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Where Dandelions Grow {Book Review/ Author Interview} and Giveaway!

1. Hey! Welcome to Keturah's Korner. I'm so glad you could join us today and tell us about your book "Where Dandelions Grow."
Thank you! It’s good to be here. I’ve read various blog posts of yours over the years, but never imagined I’d one day be featured on here. It’s an honor to be invited! 

2. What was the inspiration for this book? 
Growing up my sister and two of our girl cousins did everything together. At my cousin’s high school graduation party I was sitting there musing over all our shared adventures and it hit me that I should write a book focusing on the bond between cousins. 

3. In one line - what is your book about?
The horrible consequences of bitterness, and how important family and forgiveness is. 

4. How do you handle caffeine? Or what was the inspiration for how Destiny reacts to too much caffeine? 
Oh, dear! You’re asking me that question as I sit next to a large iced coffee that I had meant to order as a decaf and then forgot to. ;)  #oops And, yes, I react in much the same way as Destiny - crazy and hyper. Thankfully I’m getting a bit better at that. Still, whenever I mention having more than a small dose of caffeine I get the look from family members. 

5. What does every writer need (materialistically)?
A computer or laptop to type on. Even if you handwrite your first drafts, if you’re gonna want to get published, you’ll eventually have to type it out. I also like to think of music as an essential for writing, but apparently, not everyone agrees.
I don't understand how any person could live without music - I think it's essential for life ;p  

6. What does every writer need (mentally)? 
The fortitude to keep going even when it’s incredibly tough and no fun. 

7. What is your favorite sort of music to listen to? From Where Dandelions Grow it would seem you have a passion for musical instruments- can you expand on this?
Oh! Such a good question. I listen to a wide range of music. I’m currently booming Christmas music in my earbuds. (Shh! Yes, I know it’s technically still summer as I’m writing this on September 19th, but no need to let that stop me.) 

The inspiration for the music playing cousin in my book - Teal - is one of my real-life cousins. Her name is Aubrey and her dedication and talent on the cello has long been one of the greatest creative inspirations. While planning and plotting Where Dandelions Grow I spent a lot of time listening to and watching her play. 
I listen to Christmas music all year around, too - it's great stuff ;) 

8. Have you ever been to a town like Swallow Ridge? What was it like?
Swallow Ridge was purely made up, but a couple years after I wrote it (I wrote Where Dandelions Grow about five years ago and then just filed it for a while), I stumbled upon a little college town complete with brick roads and maple trees. It was somewhere in Ohio but I’m not sure where. When I was there I just kept thinking, “This is it! This is Swallow Ridge!” and so that was pretty cool. 

9. Who is your favorite character in "Where Dandelions Grow"?
Mrs. Reed although I really like all four of the cousins. The most fun character to write though? That would be Felicity Moor. She only has a couple of scenes in the entire book, but they make me giggle. 

10. Do you ever decide to just go traveling to visit someplace on your heart? Expand if so. 
Traveling has been a huge part of my life for the last while - averaging over four months each year. But, for the most part, I don’t just randomly go someplace, although I really do think it would be fun to get to the point where I could just dash off on an adventure. 

11. Have you ever ridden on a private plane? 
Nope. I don’t think I’ve ever even had the desire to. I’ve flown in commercial planes a fair amount though and greatly enjoy that type of travel.

12. Thank you so much for joining me and taking the time to answer my questions! I hope your book does well and that everyone loves it as much as I do!
Aww, that’s sweet of you! I hope so, too. ;) 

Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something adventurous author who is partial to hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe, visiting friends in Africa, growing up in a barn and everything in-between. She currently works in a coffee shop during the day and concocts stories by night. 
Find her online at her 

Back Cover: 
What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you? 

Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers. 

Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal - unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But living in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught. 

Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope?


My review:
(I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own ;b)

Destiny isn't sure what to do with her life - she has a passion, but she hasn't told anyone about it for fear they won't understand as her mother doesn't.

She knows college isn't for her - but what is? She knows she wants nothing to do with success; her mother's life long idol.

Against her mother's wishes, Destiny returns to her childhood hometown Swallow Ridge. Maybe as she remembers who she was as a young child she will also be able to discover who she is NOW. 

And so starts a beautiful journey of learning the true meaning of success and life purpose.

I enjoyed reading Where Dandelions Grow - it is a simple story that deals with so many complex issues beautifully.

Destiny knows one thing: she does not want to be like her mother. And success is not for her. But even this certainty blurs as Destiny learns more about what success really means…

But that isn't all...

Her cousin shows Destiny that her life may be missing even more than lost memories - peace. 

I really loved an article in the book written by Destiny's cousin Lexie, who was based off Lydia's cousin Alexa - and the real Alexa actually wrote this article, too! Here's a snippet:

The cry of desperation is one that we all know too well. The frustration with God, the weeping alone, the confusion, things that deplete our energy and empty our souls. When we can’t take anymore, and when it seems like there’s nothing else left to lose, loss pounces from the tall grass, dragging us into an even deeper pit of confusion and pain… No more can we see the beauty in life. The flowers look grey, and the sun never shines. Laughter is for those who know happiness. Love is for the lucky. Smiles for those who know no pain… We’re not the only ones who beg for pain to go away. We aren’t the only ones who fill our pillows with tears… we all feel pain, we all despair, yet we all forget to comfort, to heal, to listen… We are broken selfish beings… We expect others to complete us. We expect others to reach out and help us. We expect others to make us feel better… Yet even we cannot fill these voids. Even we cannot restore the empty soul. Even we cannot give laughter and smiles back. Even we cannot provide a way out… But there is One that can fill our voids… He is ready, but we refuse to accept… We still feel desperate. Our void grows larger and larger… Yet we remain stubborn… Yet in the midst of the chaos that we’ve put ourselves in, we hear a shout. A far off cry, repeating our names, over and over and over again. “You! Yes, you! You are loved! You! I haven’t stopped trying! You! I will save you!”… We are made new… We have accepted the confusion, because Someone knows how it will end.

I ABSOLUTELY love the messages portrayed in this book.  Success, peace, bitterness, choosing a different path - just some of the issues dealt with in Lydia's novel. 

Does this sound like a book you'd like? If so - make sure to add it to your to-read list!

And for the giveaway!!!


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