We are at the end of this month long journey of all things Wicked. It has been quite the trip. We have learned what everyone fears from the basic things such as snakes and spiders to the more sinister stuff. It was interesting learning more about each and every author and I loved hosting everyone. Before I get to the final post, I want you to check out these stops:
Ali@My Guilty Obsession:Susannah Sandlin: Penton Legacy Series
Maja@The Nocturnal Library: Matthew Quinn Martin: Nightlife
I have one final Wicked post today, in fact, it is a ghost story, but before we get to the tale, I want to do a few thanks. First, a big thanks to my three cohostesses: Candace@Candace's Book Blog,Maja@The Nocturnal Library and Ali@My Guilty Obsession . I couldn't have done it all without you three. Thank you for helping me get everything together and for hosting your own exciting weeks of guest posts and giveaways. Thank you to all the bloggers who signed up for the blog hop and put together such wonderful giveaways. Thanks to the bloggers who did daily guest posts and giveaways. A huge thank you to all the authors who guest posted and provided giveaways, we couldn't have put on this event without your help. I appreciate each and every author who took time out of their busy schedule to guest post and for their generous giveaways. Finally, thank you to all of you regular readers who stopped by daily and read the posts and entered the giveaways. This event and blog would not exist without your continued support so thank you!
Now that I am done with my soap box speech, how about we dive into our final post and giveaway? I am pleased to welcome back author Andrea Jones. Ms. Jones was here back in September with her book Hook & Jill, an exciting retelling of the classic Peter Pan. What would Halloween be without pirates? Today, we are boarding Captain Hook's ship the Jolly Roger and setting sail with Red Handed Jill and the rest of the crew in Other Oceans. In this book, there is plenty of adventure as well as the unexpected and a bit of magic so prepare to set sail. Ms. Jones is here with a bit of Halloween fun, she is sharing a ghost story with us all today, but first things first, I want to introduce you all to Andrea Jones:
Andrea Jones is author of the Hook & Jill Saga, a series of award-winning novels based upon J.M. Barrie's Neverland, and intended for adult readers. Graduated from the University of Illinois, Jones holds a B.A. in Oral Interpretation of Literature. In her career in television production, she worked for PBS, CBS, and corporate television studios.
Jones is known around the world as “Capitana Red-Hand” of the web-based pirate brotherhood, Under the Black Flag. She is a member of the pirate reenactment troupe, The Brethren of the Great Lakes. Having outgrown the "hideout under the ground," she lives near Chicago.
Hook & Jill is a serious parody of the Peter Pan story. It is Book One of the Hook & Jill Saga. Other Oceans is Book Two. Keep a weather eye; at least five books are planned in this series. You can find out more on Andrea's website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Here is Andrea with her ghostly tale:
by Andrea Jones
Author of the Hook & Jill Saga
Novels of Neverland, for “grown-ups.”
The ghost of whom I speak is the shade of a boy. Once he was flesh and blood, and his memory, even buried as it is between the lines, is preserved, perfect, forever. This boy is the very first Lost Boy. He is the boy who would never grow up.
He is David.
In 1867, on the eve of his 14th birthday, David Ogilvy Barrie broke through the ice of a Scottish country skating pond, and drowned. His brother, James Matthew Barrie, was only 6 years old. David’s death was the first tragedy of James’ life, but certainly not the last. James suffered and survived many further disappointments, all of which influenced his art in fundamental ways. James’ tragedies touch us with cold, ghostly fingers as we experience his books and plays.
At our first glance, as children, we don’t perceive the darkness of the Neverland. As adults, we awaken to its dual nature. But “Peter Pan, or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” (1904) is only one of James Barrie’s plays to offer us a voyage to an enchanted land. James himself seemed to be haunted by the hidden “island,” the paradise which, once enjoyed, can be remembered but never revisited. He breathes life into that grief over and again within his stories.
In “The Admirable Crichton,” a family of English aristocrats is shipwrecked on an island in the Pacific ocean. Here, with a sudden sense of helplessness, they turn to their butler, Crichton, to save them. A reversal of roles takes place— the butler, the only practical-minded person on the island— “magically” becomes king. He serves the family in a new role now, that of benevolent dictator. The previously untouchable man of lower caste is now the most eligible bachelor. He wins the hand of the aristocratic daughter (who, after some false starts, throws herself into her role of island Diana, hunting game, dressing in skins, and running for the joy of it— very like Peter Pan himself). All find happiness here until the family, (thanks, ironically, to the butler’s ingenuity), is “rescued.” Then servants and masters revert to their former roles. Or do they?
In the world of James Barrie’s play “Mary Rose,” an 11-year-old girl visits an island that keeps her hidden for weeks. Her parents are frantic until she just as suddenly reappears. But when Mary Rose returns to her family, they perceive that she’s been touched by some kind of magic. Mary Rose herself doesn’t realize she’s been missing. As she grows, she doesn’t achieve full adulthood. Something of the child hangs about Mary Rose forever, (again, like Peter Pan), even after she resettles into her parents’ home, grows up to marry, and bears her own baby.
But beware the adult who disbelieves in magic! Over the years, Mary Rose’s husband comes to doubt the story of her enchantment. When their child is nearly three, he arranges an outing on the fatal island, and Mary Rose disappears again. This time, she loses 25 years. Upon her return, Mary Rose’s tragedy is that she cannot comprehend that she has been lost in time, nor grasp that her baby boy, Harry, has grown. Estranged from his family, Harry too, has disappeared, and Mary Rose never sees her son again. Here then, we catch another echo of “Peter Pan,” (and indeed, of David), as parents and children suffer the loss of one another, due to the interference of a magical land. And the island of “Mary Rose” is even more sinister than the Neverland. Whereas children cannot approach the Neverland unless it is looking out for them, the inimical isle of “Mary Rose” calls to children, and will not be disobeyed.
“Mary Rose” is an actual ghost story. When Mary Rose dies, she haunts the house, searching for the child she left in life. The sadness happens again, and with growing poignancy, when her “baby” returns to the house, a grown man, and the ghost of Mary Rose no longer recognizes him. She pines over the loss of her infant, even while her specter perches on his lap to feel his consolation. To Mary Rose, the act of being comforted by one’s child is symbolic of the ending point of motherhood, the closing of the circle in the cycle of life. Only when Mary Rose and Harry have reversed their roles can she float out the window to drift in peace among the stars. Given her childlike state and the “open window,” we might expect Peter Pan to be hanging about the firmament, waiting for her.
Like the theme of loss, this theme of role reversal is heartrendingly portrayed time and again in James’ works. Consider Wendy the child behaving like a mother, striving to win the love of the “father,” Peter Pan; Mary Rose the mother behaving like a child, parented by her son; Crichton the butler becomes king of all he surveys…but, in each case…only for a brief and beautiful time. Ecstasy is grasped, yet, like a phantasm, slips through our fingers.
Even Peter Pan himself experiences loss. If you’ve enjoyed the original work, you’ll remember the scene in which Peter recalls a time when, having delighted enough in adventure, he returned to the nursery to be his mother’s boy once again. He has flown to his window, only to find that the window is barred. And even worse, a new baby boy sleeps in his bed. Peter sobs, believing that he has been replaced in his mother’s affections. In James’ first written version of Peter Pan’s story, in the 1902 novel The Little White Bird, James can bring tears to the reader’s eye as he renders Peter’s devastation, and he comments on life and its lost opportunities: “There is no second chance, for most of us. When we reach the window it is Lock-out Time. The iron bars are up for life.”
And so, we return to David.
James’ mother, Margaret, mourned deeply at the death of her favorite child. Young James, in his own real-life role reversal, sought to console her. Over the years he drew his mother out, encouraging Margaret to tell the tales of her childhood in a Scottish village. These stories were the basis of James’ first successful books, known as the “Thrums” novels. Margaret told James how at age 8, upon the misfortune of her mother’s decease, she assumed the role of “mother” to her younger brother. It isn’t difficult to recognize the seed of Wendy Darling, child-mother to the Lost Boys. Nor is it difficult to see the impact on James’ later work when his mother, in her bereavement, took comfort in the thought that David would never grow up and grow away, but would forever remain the boy his mother loved so dearly. A glorious feat, is it not, to fulfill a parent’s ideal at the age of 13, and never live to disappoint her?
Thus James’ brother was the first inkling of Peter Pan. Peter is the half-boy. Like David’s ghost, Peter isn’t really here, but he isn’t ever absent. Peter is only— yet thoroughly— the spirit of boyhood. But Peter’s role is more profound, even, than this. In his third written incarnation, the novel Peter and Wendy, Mrs. Darling relates that “There were odd stories about him; as that when children died he went part of the way with them, so that they should not be frightened.” James in his genius declines to fill in the blank. Part of the way where? As is his wont, James leaves it to our imaginations to decide. Our own losses will seep from our souls to fill the void.
David died, but David’s phantom lived with James Barrie for the rest of his life, and, indeed, that spirit lives on past James’ own grave. Has anyone ever experienced a more powerful ghost? How many of us have been touched over the last century and more by the story-that-never-grows-old, the legend of Peter Pan? Who is to say how much less David’s younger brother might have accomplished, had David himself lived to adulthood? Have we witnessed another role reversal? Would James Barrie have been second, subservient like Crichton, his king-like qualities buried— instead of David?
Thank the Powers, the answer must remain a mystery.
David is dead, but he lives forever. May he rest in peace, and may the gift of his ghost haunt us, always.
Thanks, Andrea for sharing! The perfect little story for Halloween! Now Andrea wanted to make sure that we end this month with a great giveaway and she didn't want to leave anyone out so there are two opportunities to win. You can enter to win a hardback copy of Other Oceans this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The second is for an ebook copy in your choice of ebook format open Internationally. To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. Good Luck! Thanks, Andrea for helping to close out Wicked!a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Other Oceans(Hook & Jill #2) by Andrea Jones
="Identify the weapon, and use it first." Such is the code of Captain James Hook, in this lyrical sequel to Hook & Jill. And this time, the turmoil begins not with 'The Boy' — but with a girl.
Ten days out of Neverbay, Hook and Jill capture a ship's surgeon, pressing him to join the Roger. But Doctor Hanover is a gentleman, with a daughter to defend. When Red-Handed Jill shows him favor, his heart is taken prisoner, too. Hanover contrives to deliver Jill from the pirate king, and redeem her to society…as his wife.
But Captain Hook is impossible to escape. Other rivals contend for Jill's red hand, and Hook fights for supremacy with his skill and brilliance. When the doctor's daughter draws Hook's eye, she emulates Jill, using feminine weapons to charm him.
With no word of farewell, Hook vanishes, and Jill is a queen without a king. To hold Hook's power, she must come to terms with each of the dangerous men in her domain. When a challenger seizes command of the Roger — and over Jill — Hook and Jill's dominion will be overthrown unless, as Hook has taught Jill to do, she can identify the weapon…and wield it wickedly.
Other Oceans is an unabashed study in loyalty, vibrant with the dynamics of power. From the pen of a masterful crafter, Book Two of the Hook & Jill Saga delivers all the exhilaration that a clash of wills, hearts, and fortune can arouse.
Hardcover, 640 pagesPublished July 2012 by Reginetta Press
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Four stars: A rollicking pirate adventure!
Jill has sailed away from Neverland leaving the girl, Wendy, far behind. No longer is she the innocent, sweet storyteller. Wendy has transformed into Jill the Pirate Queen, lady and lover of none other than Captain Hook. Shortly after leaving the confines of Neverland, the crew takes on two new passengers, a surgeon and his daughter. It seems that the surgeon only has eyes for Jill, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to make his own, even if that means resorting to dastardly deeds. His daughter, Eliza, isn't the sweet and innocent girl she pretends to be either. Once the pair is on board the Jolly Roger, bad luck ensues. A deadly game of cat and mouse follows, and Captain Hook comes up missing. It is up to Jill to lead the crew and save her love. Can she recover Hook and maintain order on the ship?
What I Liked:
- This was an incredibly complex read with plenty of suspense, mystery and intrigue. This isn't the type of book that you can rip right through, it is a read that takes care, time and dedication. For those of you who enjoy detailed, intricate and complicated plots you will enjoy this book.
- I am awe of who Ms. Jones has taken a few of the beloved characters that we know and love from Peter Pan and completely refashioned them. I never thought I would be an avid supporter of Captain Hook, but after reading this series, I respect and admire him. He is so much more than a villain. He is a dedicated and formidable Captain who demands and gets the respect of his crew. If you are in Hook's good graces fortune is yours. If not.....well prepare for battle. I love that Hook has captured my attention and even a piece of my heart. Jill, Wendy, is far removed from the sweet naive girl who stole Peter Pan's heart. Now days she is a pirate, fierce and courageous. She never backs down, and she not only holds the hearts of all the crew but their admiration and respect as well. Toodles, Nibs and Smee round out the cast of familiar characters, I enjoyed seeing each of them grow beyond the characters I thought I knew. Smee is another one who is worthy of attention. I love his dedication to Hook and Jill and how brave and loyal he is, even if that means personal sacrifice.
- The plot is intricate and it contains many story lines. At some points in the story, there is so much plotting and scheming going on it is difficult to tell what is really going on. Is the act Jill putting on for the surgeon really a ruse or is there something more? You must keep your head on and pay close attention because there is so much to take in. My head was spinning at all the plot twists and surprises. I cannot tell you how many times I wavered in my conclusions, and in the end I was wrong.
- The two villains, the surgeon and his daughter are diabolical and awful. They are calculating and flat out nasty. They are the type of villains you love to hate. I always love a good villain and I was certainly caught off guard by the daughter, in fact I think I despised her even more than the surgeon.
- I liked that after all the surprises that everything draws to a tidy and satisfying conclusion. No cliffhangers or unresolved questions. You could certainly end the journey here and be content, but the end promises a trip back to Neverland and how can you resist the call of this magical land? I am eager to return and catch up with Peter Pan, Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell.
And The Not So Much:
- I liked the scorching romance between Hook and Jill, but I was not a fan of the other romantic developments and interests. This book moves into love triangle territory and beyond. While I can see how tempting it would be for a young girl who is the shining jewel of every man's affections to give in, it is quite another to take more than one lover. I wasn't a fan of all the developments as far as the romance goes, but things seem to be back on track to where I like them so I am hopeful that it will once again move in the proper direction.
- As I mentioned, the villains are absolutely vile, and I was not a fan of the development that occurs between the father and daughter. I won't go into details here, but it made me stomach turn. Yuck! Of course, it shows just how despicable the surgeon is.
- I discussed this in my review of Hook & Jill, but I feel it bears repeating. These books are adult books and should be read by mature readers. There are plenty of adult situations and it is definitely not suited for younger readers. Don't pick this up expecting a light, fun revision of Peter Pan. Also due to the complexity of the writing, you need to be prepared to spend time with these books. You can't pick these up expecting to cruise right through. You must focus and read cautiously and carefully. Furthermore, Ms. Jones' writing style is complicated and detailed. For those of you who don't like slower paces with an extraordinary amount of detail, these may not be the books for you. I personally enjoy detail and lengthy explanations, but even I felt that it weighed down the read a bit. The pace is also very slow. There is a great deal of time carefully laying out the conflicts, but it all reaches a thrilling, dramatic climax and resolution. Well worth the trip, you just have to be patient to get there.
Other Oceans is a book that takes characters from the beloved Peter Pan tale and refashions them far beyond their original selves. This is a fascinating book with plenty of conflict, scheming and more. The world building is detailed and complex, perfect for fans who enjoy lengthy, intricate reads. I am interested to see how the crew will fare once they return to Neverland.
"Remembering isn't the hardest part. It's going on without him."
"One can never trust a pirate."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Whew! That is wrap! I hope you all enjoyed Something Wicked Returns. Hopefully, it will rise again in 2014! For now, rest assured the great giveaways and fun are not over, in fact I still have plenty of exciting giveaways coming in November starting on Monday when Elizabeth Norris stops by with Unbreakable.
See you then! Now get out and do some haunting, it is Halloween after all. There is plenty of tricks and treats for all. Be safe!
There is still time to enter almost all of the Wicked Giveaways. Click on the button to make sure you haven't missed any.
Finally, be on the look out for the return of Fire and Ice in February. Details will be posted soon!