Book 1: The Swamp Fairy
By Colleen M. Chesebro
Fourteen-year-old Abigail Forester, recently orphaned and a Ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative.
Aunt Magnolia becomes Abby’s Guardian and together they claim an ancient inheritance of land that has been in Abby’s mother’s family for generations.
Abby wears her mother’s most sacred possession – a stone pendant in the shape of a heart forged from a giant mystical stone found on the very swamp land that Abby now owns.
However, Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, has other ideas. He wants Abby’s land for himself and he is willing to stop at nothing to own that land.
All Abby wants is to be part of a family again and to learn to ride horses with her two new friends, Savanna, Blake, and Cash.
The swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets and Abby is summoned by a primeval nymph who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the primeval nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.
Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?
(Synopsis from Colleen Chesebro – Fairy Whisperer)
The reader is introduced to fourteen-year-old Abby Forrester at her birthday party. With her mother deceased and her father missing, Abby is under the supervision of Mrs. Burger from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and lives with her mother’s best friend, Maxine, in Chicago. But Abby is about to move to Blackberry Ridge near Pensacola, Florida to live with her Aunt Magnolia. Before she leaves, Maxine gives Abby two of Abby’s mother’s possessions – a heartstone necklace of green calcite and the deed to a tract of land in Florida. But Abby, herself, has another gift which we discover when she meets Beauregard Louviere and his dog Sam on the bus to Pensacola.
The story is filled with well-developed, believable characters and lots of action to keep the reader turning the pages. Abby’s Aunt Magnolia who welcomes Abby into her home with open arms is a favorite. Savannah, who lives next door to Aunt Magnolia, becomes Abby’s best friend, the kind of friend every teen needs to have. Abby’s antagonist, Rafe Cobb, has evil for his middle name. Of course, there are swamp fairies, as the title suggests, but I won’t give anything away about them. Abby is a strong character, but even so, sometimes doubts crept in. I loved the way she managed to combat her fears with positive thinking. Abby is a kind and thoughtful girl who will work her way into your heart.
The plot is coherent and, though a lot was going on, I had no difficulty keeping track of the who, what when, or where of the story. With excellent pacing, I felt no lag in interest.
Don’t forget to read the beautiful haiku written by the author that precede each chapter.
I would recommend The Heart Stone Chronicles – Book 1: The Swamp Fairy to teens and young adults and anyone who enjoys a book with a bit of fantasy, fairies, and heartwarming characters. I am looking forward to the second book in The Heart Stone Chronicles series.
Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017. The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.
Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative.
When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, children, and grandchildren. When time permits, she also loves gardening, cooking, and crocheting old fashioned doilies into works of artistry. She lives in the United States with her husband and her two Pomeranians, Sugar, and Spice. You can learn more about Colleen and her writing on her website colleenchesebro.com. (Biography from Goodreads)
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