Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Monday, November 26, 2012

THE BURNING of ISOBEL KEY by Jen McConnel/ A RABT VBTour




Contemporary New Adult
Title: The Burning of Isobel Key
Author - Jen McConnel


Date to be Published: October 1, 2012


Synopsis:


When Lou travels to Scotland, she’s a mess.  She’s twenty-six, unemployed, and unsure of herself.  It doesn’t help that she’s traveling with Tammy, her best friend, who is everything Lou is not.
At first, the trip pushes Lou towards the brink of depression, but then she meets Brian, a handsome local tour guide.  When Brian tells the tourists about the countless witches burned in Scotland, Lou starts to listen.  And when she discovers information about Isobel Key, one of the victims of the seventeenth century, Lou finds renewed purpose.
Lou has begun exploring the Neo Pagan faith, a dramatic shift from her wealthy Catholic upbringing.  Despite her fears of being too “hocus pocusy”, Lou turns to her new faith as she struggles to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Isobel Key.  But faith or not, Lou must face her demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

EXCERPT:

As the flames rose, Isobel stopped cursing and instead started to make a shrill, screaming whine, much like the sound of the sap boiling in the logs at her feet.  It was so eerie, so utterly un-human that even the executioner, a man long seasoned to the sounds of death, wanted to cover his ears and sob into the skirt of the nearest woman. 
     The sound carried from the village green, through the streets and wynds, penetrating the windows and doors shut tight against the execution.  It was as if not attending could erase the sin of allowing it to happen in the first place.  No one who heard that sound could reconcile it with the once melodious voice of the burning woman.  The evil thing at the stake was not a woman they remembered or recognized.
     Their memories were as short as the day, from the morning after her terrible deeds were revealed and the witch was brought into town bound in the back of a pony cart.  It was suddenly as if none of the villagers knew the poor creature at all.  None could recall seeking her help, and none would avow that she had always been kind and ready to bake breads for town feasts or to watch the little ones play while their parents danced together.  Kindness lingers less than murder, for it was obvious to all that the woman had murdered at least three souls, if not countless others.  Justice was being served, and her blood would not stain the god fearing hands in St. Andrews.  She was not their responsibility, and they wanted to take no claim for her evil.



   
Author Bio:


Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).

She is also an active reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.

A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.
                

My Review:

I enjoyed this book immensely as there has always been a lure for me to the Salem witch trials.  I enjoyed the characters and could relate to Lou and Tammy's best friend relationship.  And I loved Brian the tour guide.

I liked how chapters about the modern day vacation in Scotland was interspersed with interludes reverting back to the 17th century and the life and times of Isobel Key.

And it seemed like modern day folk of St Andrews had some insight into Lou's bloodline, even if she knew nothing about it.   The writing was fluid and was character driven making this a most enjoyable read.

One conversation between Brian and Lou regarding the social times of ancient days revealed that times have not changed that much:

  “I mean, people were killed for things they believed, or didn’t believe, things that other people were afraid of, and isn’t that the same as now, when people are killed for being different?” Her words rushed out of her mouth, tumbling faster now that she had an audience. “In the States, hate crimes still happen, and even though there isn’t a trial or a stake, isn’t it the same as what happened to all those witches?” She finished in a rush and held her breath.

There was a lot of history, and a lot of suffering resulting from the fears of the day.  I though it was a very thoughtfully written story. 

                          For additional Perspectives, please follow our tour below:


November 23 - Gothic Angel Book Reviews - Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
November 24 - Disincentive Reviews - Givewaway/Excerpt/PROMO
November 25 - Hooked in a Book - Review/Excerpt
November 25 - Winged Reviews - Guest Post/Giveaway/Excerpt/PROMO
November 25 - For the Love of Film and Novels - Giveaway/Guest Post/Excerpt/PROMO
November 26 - Book Addict - Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
November 26 - Beth Art From the Heart - Review/Excerpt
November 27 - The Readioactive Book Blog - Review/Interview/Giveaway/Excerpt
November 28 - Rowan's Mom - Review/Giveaway
November 29 - My Seryniti - Review/Interview/Excerpt
November 30 - Lovely Reads - Interview/Giveaway/Guest Post/PROMO
November 30 - Reviewing Shelf - Review/Giveaway
December 1 - Books For Me - Review
December 2 -  Bless Their Hearts Mom - Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
December 3 -  Marie Loves Books - Review/Giveaway
December 4 -  My Escape - Review/Giveaway/Interview
December 5 -  YA Novel Reader - Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
December 6 -  Bea's Book Nook - Review/Giveaway
December 7 -  Forget the Hosework, I'm Reading - Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
December 8 -  Bookishly Devoted - Review/Giveaway
December 9 -   Wonderland Reviews - Review/Interview
December 10 -  Cozie Corner - Review/Giveaway
December 11 -  Kimmie's Bookshelf - Guest Post/Excerpt/Giveaway/PROMO
December 12 -  Genuine Jen - Review/Giveaway
December 13 -  Books Books, The Magical Fruit - Giveaway/Excerpt/Interview/PROMO
December 14 -   What's Beyond Forks - Review/Interview/Giveaway/Excerpt
December 15 -  Pink Fluffy Hearts - Review/Giveaway/Guest Post/Excerpt
December 16 -  Paulette's Papers-  Giveaway/Excerpt/PROMO
December 17 - My Miscellaneous Bookshelf - Giveaway/Excerpt/PROMO
December 17 -  Reader Girls - Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
December 18 -  A Soul Unsung - Review/Giveaway/Guest Post/Excerpt
December 19 -  A Bibliophiles Thoughts - Review/Giveawy/Excerpt
December 20 -  Celtic Lady Book Reviews - Review/Excerpt
December 21 -  Book-A-Holic - Review/Giveaway
December 22 -  Booklovin Mamas - Giveaway/Guest Post/Excerpt/PROMO
December 23 -  Andi's YA Books - Review/Giveaway/Guest Post/Excerpt


Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

1 comment:

Jen McConnel said...

Thanks for having me! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book :) The sequel is due out in January!