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M. Jean Pike

In M. Jean Pike’s interview I mentioned that I would be reviewing her novel In the Shadow of a Dragonfly soon and today is that day. I’ve finished it and I have many mixed feelings about this novel and I don’t know how to express it without giving away spoilers. I knew when I was asked to read and review this novel that it wasn’t an actual romance novel but a literary love story and I have to say I can now see the difference between the two. At the begining I enjoyed the views of the main characters, Hope Hanwell and Gray Baldwin’s, background lives before they met. It was a bit much for me that it would go back and forth between Hope’s life and Gray’s life with each chapter but it was interesting and I spent hours reading the first 5 chapters without stopping. I almost missed my doctors appointment because I was so captivated with the lives of Hope and Gray.
Then towards the middle when Hope and Gray finally met and got together is when things got really emotional for me that I actually cried and that is something I don’t at all unless I’m emotionally stressed. I don’t like to cry because it makes me feel bad and not good at all but it is sometimes good to have a good cry. I was so upset with Hope and Gray because I wanted them to be happy but they have so much against them because they are complete opposites and sometimes I had a hard time understanding how they could have fallen in love. I finished this eBook version of the novel in less than two days and I enjoyed it very much expect for the parts that made me cry but that is just me because I hate crying. I thought the ending was very good but it also made me wonder what would happen next with Gray and the rest of the family because there were some issues that I would love to find out how they were resolved. Overall I am glad I got the chance to review this novel and I recommend it to all who love a good heartbreaking love story to read. Here is the description of the book from her website and picture:
In the Shadow of a Dragonfly (284 Pages)($ 8.00 eBook PDF format and $18.95 paperback)

From above the shadows…light

Orphaned and impoverished, Gray Baldwin is a lost soul in search of a home, a life, and most of all—love. Kicked from foster home to foster home, at last a restored motorcycle and the onset of adulthood give him the means to leave behind all the ols threats, struggles and losses that haunt him. When he accepts a job at Hanwell Construction, life’s promising new start is both his hope and his torment.

The spoiled daughter of a well-to-do business owner, pretty Hope Hanwell has a past to reconcile and a few tragic secrets of her own. She wants for nothing—and everything, pushing love as far away as she can until love pushes back. When Gray and Hope meet, theirs is a story of heartbreak, redemption and fate at its most devastating.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGONFLY A Literary Love Story

Well today I have a special treat for everyone of my faithful readers out there. I have recently been contact with an author that I’ve recently met online through the wonderfully free Romance Writers United organization. You can get their badge on the right sidebar for you blog if you want to support the organization get new members. Well back on topic M. Jean Pike saw that I did author interviews and book reviews which I’m guessing got her interested so she contacted me, which I’m honored. I will be reviewing her novel In the Shadow of the Dragonfly, which is NOT considered romance but it has a beautiful love story. Keep on visiting the blog or sign up for the newsletter on the left or even visit the new official website to find out when the review will be posted. Below is my interview with new romance author M. Jean Pike:
Phoebe Jordan: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you?

M. Jean Pike: I’ve always had a keen fascination for anything supernatural and I love nothing more than a great love story, so when I decided to try my hand at writing a novel, paranormal romance seemed like the perfect fit. But that’s not to say that I’m not open to trying other genres. My first three novels were all paranormal romances, and my latest novel, In The Shadow of the Dragonfly, is a literary love story.

Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote? And do you still have it with you?

Jean: The first piece of fiction I ever wrote was a story called Mac: The Mysterious Mutt, the tale of a giant Labrador retriever with magical powers. I was in the third grade at the time, and yes, I still have that story! My first published short story came about twenty-five years later– a literary piece called The Gift, about a man’s struggle to love his mentally ill wife. It appeared in About Such Things Literary Magazine in the spring of 1999. I have the magazine framed and hanging in my office.

Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and did it take you a long time to gather that research?

Jean: I guess it really depends on the novel. For Heatherfield, (Black Lyon Publishing, 2008) a time travel romance set in the late 1940s, the research was endless. I spent months reading books about the WW2 generation. I looked at old magazines and watched old movies to get a feel for the lingo and clothing of the era. I visited antique stores and had a ball looking at the furniture and appliances from that decade. I loved every minute of it and filled enough notebooks with research for three books. In Waiting for the Rain, (Champagne Books, 2007) a romance about an enchanted cottage, I had to research everything from brain cancer to becoming a tattoo artist. For The Winds of Autumn, (Publish America , 2005) a ghost story romance, I did a tremendous amount of research on ghost sightings and ghostly behaviors. I write about themes that interest me, so the research never seems like a chore.

Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for Dragonfly?

Jean: In The Shadow of the Dragonfly (Black Lyon Publishing, 2008) is my first general fiction title. It is the story of a man and a woman and how Fate works to bring their lives together. The story stems from a lifetime of observing human nature and pondering the whims of Fate. It is dedicated to everyone who has ever been beaten down by life and found the courage to get up again, to go on.

Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write one of your novels? And is it the same or different with each novel you write?

Jean: I usually start daydreaming my novels months before I actually write them. Once I have a story idea firmly in mind, I start getting to know my characters. I don’t write a word until I know exactly who they are and what makes them tick. When I have a feel for them, I write a basic outline of how I want their story to flow. It is always subject to change, and usually does!

Phoebe: How did you feel when you finally saw your first published book came out in print and how do you feel about your other novels being published?

Jean: There is absolutely nothing in the world like seeing your vision morph from a fragile germ of an idea into a published work. A lot of writers say this and it’s true, the only thing that comes close is giving birth to a child. I experience the same euphoria every time it happens.

Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing?

Jean: I am a teacher of autistic children, a mother, a wife and homemaker, and all that goes along with that. Writing IS what I do to relax–lol!

Phoebe: Do you have any hobbies?

Jean: I’m an avid gardener and in the summer months can usually be found in my greenhouse. I also enjoy motorcycling with my husband and attending my son’s high school sporting events. And I love to read.

Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you?

Jean: Learn all you can about writing and never stop working to improve your craft. There will be times when you will want to quit. When you feel like you can not write another page…write another page.
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Phoebe Jordan
Phoebe Jordan

Phoebe Jordan

I'm a part-time aspiring romance novelist, book reviewer and blogger. I've always wanted to travel the world and learn everything I can about other countries. Learning the Italian language is one way of trying to make that dream come true. Traveling will help me with my writing because I'll be learning about the history of the U.S., Latin America, England, Italy, and Ireland, the countries I find so fascinating while reading the romance genre. I read and review romance novels of almost every subgenre along with erotic romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult novels. You can find the reviews at my blogs, Talk About My Favorite Authors and Phoebe Jordan's Reviews. I’ve also started a live podcast show called TAMFA | Phoebe Jordan hosted on Blog Talk Radio. This show is dedicated to everything I love about romance and young adult novels. I love having romance and young adult authors live on my show to be interviewed and showcase their books. I plan to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal romance and young adult when I get my writing career started with help from Keta. I'm not sure what genre I'll write to begin with since I love to read so many different romance genres.

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