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Thursday, November 6, 2014

In the Heart of the Dark Wood - Giveaway and Review

"Everyone was lost somehow, turned around in their own darkwood, looking for something that would help them go on. Everyone just wanted to find their way home."

It's been eighteen months since the Carnival Day Storm when life in Mattingly would be defined as "Old" or "New" based on where you were when you arrived in town. For one young 12-year-old girl, Allie Gunderson has been marking it off in days. 542 when the novel opens. Allie has been holding on to her version of faith, refusing to accept that the tornado that tore her mother from her life, had taken her away for good. Allie was the only one in town who believed that somehow, somewhere, her mother was still out there, waiting to find her way back home. It was why she believed in her daily rituals that began each morning, and offered her a hope that she might just make it through this day.
"It started with prayer, nothing extravagant or drawn out like the speeches in church; a simply hello and thank-you were usually enough, and were expressed more through Allie's mouth than her heart."(41).

It was simply a way to mark off the time until her mother, Mary made her way home. Tornadoes were like that some times, picking people up and setting them down miles away from home. But no matter how logical some might argue their point with Allie, her faith remained. The only thing she had left of that day was a compass from the Carnival that her mother had given her. It stopped working long ago, and the strap that held it to her wrist like a watch, was once a bright red, had worn to a faded pink. In fact, she would have lost it several times, had Zach Barnett, not reminded her to keep an eye on it. Zach was one of those parts of her life, where Allie would deny she had feelings for, much like her dog Sam, because Allie knew if you loved someone, God would take them away from you. So she kept them both at arms lengths refusing to acknowledge her feelings for them.

Until the day her compass began working again. It was the day her faith would be put to the test when Allie believed her mother had found a way to communicate with her. She was simply pointing the way for Allie to come find her and help her find her way home. Now all she needed was to convince Zach to come with her and help prove once and for all that her mother was not dead. She was simply lost and needed help to find her way home, back to Allie and her father Marshall. Zach knew that Allie was barely hanging on by a thread, but he wasn't about to let her set off in search of her mother by herself. They both promised themselves that they would only be gone for a few hours, home by dark, he promised his parents. That would be four days from the day they entered the woods.

I received In the Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Billy Coffey for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions mentioned here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. This is the third book in this series, and as the author mentions at the beginning, they can be read in any order, but I have to say the way they were written is the best way to begin them. This is a novel in my opinion that explores what faith means in the midst of our darkest times. It is where we face our greatest fears and find our truest strengths. It is where we are tested by fire to see what remains and in this case it is the greatest gift of all, love.

This isn't one of those novels that is wrapped up in a pretty bow at the end, but will cause you to reflect on the journey you find yourself on where you begin reading it. It's not meant to be rushed but savored, explored, and questioned as you the pages not only of Allie's faith, but Zach's character. It is a coming of age story in a different way because each of them has held on to something they have believed in, but hasn't been tested until they day the enter the woods and it will forever change them, not just Allie and Zach, but the entire town of Mattingly. Hands down, one of my favorites by Billy Coffey and I hope that this is not the end of Mattingly. Many more questions remain but perhaps the answers lie buried until another time. Well deserved 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. A Reading Group Guide is included at the conclusion of this novel.

Thanks to Billy Coffey and Thomas Nelson Publishers, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines:

1. "Like" Billy Coffey's Facebook page. If you're already a follower, simply leave a comment on his page.

2. Be a follower of Billy Coffey's blog, What I Learned Today. 

3. Be a resident of the US or have a US shipping address. Please No P.O. Boxes.

4. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of In the Heart of the Dark Wood. Don't forget to include your email address so I have a way to contact you, if you're the lucky winner of the giveaway. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.

I will notify the winner by email once the giveaway ends on November 24th, and feel free to share this giveaway opportunities with everyone you know.

For more information about In the Heart of the Dark Wood, Billy Coffey or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Billy Coffey on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on In the Heart of the Dark Wood, please visit Thomas Nelson's website. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a chance to win Billy's new book. I have already liked Billy's page. And, I tried to join his blog and it wouldn't let me. The book sounds very interesting and I would like the chance to win it.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <


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