by Maureen O. Betita
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Swashbuckling heroes, pirate ships on beautiful seas, evil witches, ipods....Wait, ipods?!? K, that part took a minute to get used to. But trust me it all works and makes sense.
The world Emily Pawes finds herself in isn't quite like the Caribbean from her own world's past. Here magic and modern day, and even beyond, converge with surprising results.
In The Kraken's Mirror Emily is swept through a magic mirror into an alternate 1697 and to the enchanted island of Tortuga. Little does she know that her falling through the portal is no accident. She was brought by THE Kraken to help defeat Glacious and release Captain Alan Silvestri from the curse that has held him for over forty years. But this trip through the looking glass is also an opportunity for Emily to restart a life that she thought was over.
I really got into this story. Emily is no shrinking young thing with no life experience, however she is far from perfect. She has lived her life in our reality. Her self image and worth are shaped by present day perceptions of beauty based on youth and the opinion that life ends after a certain age. And that once you have reached said age you are simply to wait for actual death to take place. In this alternate time she is given the chance to see herself as more than just a number, and to also another chance at love. Alan see's Emily as his chance to break a curse he has suffered with for most of his life, but he also sees her as so much more. I love the relationship between Alan and Emily. I really felt I got to know both of them, which isn't surprising since this is their story. The descriptions of the beautiful Caribbean and the islands of Tortuga itself, as well as the ships and surrounding islands really drew me in.
If I must find any flaw it is that there are other characters I wish I could have gotten to know as well. However, the good news is there are more tales from the Krakens Carribean in the works.
Just head to Maureen's website to check it out.
The author herself also won me over. She was kind enough to do a mini interview with me when she found out I was doing a review of her book. Not all the questions relate to The Krakens Mirror, but I am always interested in what is in an authors head wether it relates to a currant book I'm reading or not. So I hope you find my questions entertaining, and Maureen is a wonderful person so if you think of any that you would like answered please feel free to post them and I will try my best to get her to answer them.
Thank you again Maureen for letting me pester you and eat up your time, and thank you for The Krakens Mirror. Love and life are possible no matter what your age or circumstances.
INTERVIEW with Maureen
AimeeKay: How much of your stories are based on real life experiences or people?
MAUREEN: Well, I’ve never fallen through a magical mirror into a Hollywood pirate world…but I do watch a lot of movies about pirates. The idea of the ‘real people’ is a bit more complicated. I work as a bartender aboard the Romance Writers Revenge…not the real world, but it is a world. It’s a blog of romance writers who formed around a universe where we man a ship, sail the Caribbean, drink a lot of rum and talk about writing.
My experiences aboard the ‘make believe’ Revenge and the people who inhabit this world all played parts in helping me craft The Kraken’s Mirror. The writers and all the discussions we’ve had in the last few years all contributed to the book.
(It is a great blog for writers, pirate minded or not. I’m the only one who has actually written about pirates. The rest just like the lifestyle. And the rum.)
AimeeKay: How did you get started writing? What made you first start writing?
MAUREEN: I always wanted to write. I was born into a family of readers and books are sacred. The idea of writing was present early on. I always wanted to be the next James Michener…
I wrote poetry, I wrote some god awful stuff, ala Conan the Barbarian…hit high school and kept thinking about writing. Met the guy I eventually married in high school. Got married, got busy getting him through college… Once he’d graduated and I could leave my miserable job, I started taking classes and working part-time in bookstores. And a long time later I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie and the drive to write pushed me past reading and working through “The Writer’s Way” repeatedly and the poetry into stories.
AimeeKay: Do any of your readers ever come away from one of your stories with a completely different interpretation of it then what you had intended? If so has it changed how you've viewed the story?
MAUREEN: Haven’t had that happen yet. But I assume it will eventually. In one of my various dickering around with doing things…I made jewelry and would fashion a piece, call it one thing because that was what I saw it as… And a customer would buy it and have a completely different thing in mind. I’d just smile and nod.
The few readers who I’ve talked to about The Kraken’s Mirror totally get what I was saying…that experience makes the best adventures. In other words, being not twenty doesn’t mean you’re dead. In any way you can think of. It will be interesting as I hear from more people to consider the things that readers will see.
AimeeKay: What inspired you or lead up to you writing The Kraken's Mirror?
MAUREEN: Ah, I dedicated the book to The Romance Writers Revenge. The crew inspired me…even when they shook their heads and tried to tell me how a hero who is 65 and a heroine who is 53 is all but impossible to sell.
I’ve been reading all my life and here I was, quickly approaching my 50s and getting tired of stories where older women were either secondary, non-sexual characters, or sex maniacs lusting after younger men. A few television shows began to portray seasoned women with seriously passionate relationships and I decided it was time for the same sort of realistic couple for romance literature. And adventure. And if I could throw in pirates, even better.
For the record, I’m also a big fan of stories that continue after the wedding bells. The happily ever after doesn’t mean the end of life, lust and adventure.
Review and interview post created for ...and a bottle o'rum event by AimeeKay of How Can You Help Out? © 2011. All rights reserved.
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A Kraken parasol
A pirate perch hat-handcrafted by Maureen (color chosen by winner)
and the book!
GRAND PRIZE: A Sony Pocket E-Reader
signup at Maureen's site
-end May 31, 2011