Thursday, April 03, 2014

Blog Tour, Review & Guest Post: The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie

Title: The Golden Apple   
Author: Faerl Marie         
Published: October 2013, Createspace  
Format: E-book, 165 pages   
Source: CLP Blog Tours  

MEET POPPY PARKER, a recent widow who knows she must move forward but has no idea which direction to take. To start fresh, Poppy moves from her idyllic home in Georgia to the grimy glamour of New York City to open up her own boutique and find a way to live and love without her husband.

Austin Bandy has been in love with Poppy since the moment he laid eyes on her years ago, right before her wedding. Now she is back, grieving and broken hearted by her nearly-perfect husband’s death—not Austin’s ideal romantic situation. He needs to wait for her to recover but not so long that someone else has the chance to move in and sweep his dream girl off her feet and keep him as a “good friend” forever.

Poignant, hopeful and fresh, Faerl Marie’s enchanting debut novel will have you hooked and ready to pursue your own hopes and dreams the moment you turn the final page. The Golden Apple is a charming and fashionable novel about loss, love and moving on without betraying your self, your past or those you love.

My thoughts: This is Faerl Marie's debut novel and I really enjoyed it. Right from the beginning, I found myself pulled into the story. It was a quick read, full of hope and I devoured it!!!

I loved Poppy's character and how she really questioned and struggled with when to move on. This was not an easy decision for her and this alone makes it feel more real. I also loved that we see her not only moving on in her love life but in all aspects of her life. I could totally appreciate, though, how sometimes, Poppy would overthink things - I often times find myself doing the same thing as I'm sure many others do as well! Again, this only added another dimension to making Poppy seem more real.

I also loved the way Austin and Poppy's relationship was not based on sex, but rather on romance and friendship. This made it more innocent and real. While most of the book was told from Poppy's point of view, a few times it was told from Austin's point of view, giving us some valuable background information about their history. Austin has loved Poppy from afar for a while now and while patient as she works through her grief, he also doesn't want to lose her.

This was such a great story and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Faerl Marie writes next. The writing was fun, engaging and heartwarming. She's certainly an author to keep an eye on!

About the author: Faerl Marie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and minors in English and Social Welfare. She has worked as a style consultant, personal shopper and wardrobe curator, among other things. Faerl Marie spends her days writing, dreaming about new stories and characters, walking her dog and adoring her husband. She lives in the idyllic mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Golden Apple is her first novel.


 Guest Post with Faerl Marie

I'm often asked how much my characters are influenced by my real friends, family and relationships. My response is, "a lot." I don't know how any author could write away from the people they know in entirety and there's always the old adage "write what you know." To that I would add "write who you know."

Aside from villains, and even then I can't help but derive from the flaws of myself and those I'm close to, all characters will resemble in some ways the people in my life. All heroes will have characters that I admire in my husband, father and male friends. All of my female MCs will have qualities of my real-life friends, sister and mother. At this point in my writing, it cannot be helped and lends a development and believability to my characters that may not be there in full if I were to try to depart from it. 

I've been told by friends who have read the book that they recognize my husband in Austin or wondered if Vivian was based on my best friend and I take that as a compliment. If the people in my life can recognize each other in my writing than I'm having the desired effect of creating characters with depth, dynamic and dimension that rivals real people--is there any higher goal for character development?

The same goes for writing aspects of myself into female MCs. At this point, I can't help it. Without very extensive research I wouldn't try to write in detail about a character with schizophrenia because I don't have experience with that illness. In the same way, writing an optimistic, hopeful, early-riser comes naturally because those are traits I know, can easily relate to and describe. If I can't relate at all, it's very difficult to get behind the character's point-of-view and see things through their eyes. For example, when I was writing The Golden Apple I was blonde. It helped me relate more to Poppy and know the clothes she would wear and the way that light would be cast on and around her for other characters to experience. When I finished and began writing a new novel about a red-head I colored my hair. When I first wrote Poppy's "signature hair style," her high bun, I went to the bathroom and practiced piling my own hair into a top knot and took in the way it felt on top of my head, how the short hairs around my face escaped and how simply it could be done in a pinch. These may be drastic efforts to relate to my characters but it helps. It helps me to really stand where they stand and be seen the way they are seen, even if it's just my own reflection in the mirror. I hope an MC with raven hair never enters my psyche, it wouldn't flatter my complexion.

*** The Golden Apple by Faerl Marie is on tour with CLP Blog Tours. Be sure to check out the other tour stops to read more reviews, excerpts and guest posts by Faerl Marie.  ***


1 comment

Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love interacting with other book lovers and appreciate any thoughts or feedback! If you read a book after seeing my review, please let me know. Come back and leave me a link to your review so I can read it. Thank you!!!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig