Saturday, April 25, 2015

eARC REVIEW: Dare to Dream by: Carys Jones + Author Interview

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and all opinions within the review are my own.* 

Dare To Dream

Title: Dare to Dream
Author: Carys Jones
Publisher: REUTS Publishing
Release Date: Feb. 15, 2015 Kindle Editon
March 3, 2015 Paperback Edition


" The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain."

Fourteen year old Maggie Trafford leads a normal life. Well, as normal as being crammed in a three-bedroom house with four siblings and a single parent, can be, anyway. But despite being somewhat ignored at home, Maggie excels, earning top grades, a best friend who would do anything for her, and stole looks from a boy in Maths.

It's not until the dreams start that Maggie realizes ''normal'' is the least of her problems. Every night, she lives the same nightmare-red lightning, shattered glass, destruction. But nightmares are just that, right? No one believes her when she says it's an omen. At least, not until the mysterious pillars of Stonehenge start falling.

No longer alone in her fear, Maggie and the world watch with bated breath as one after another, the historic stones tumble, like a clock  counting down. But only Maggie knows what it means: when the last stone falls, destruction will reign. And when the world ends, there's only one option left-survive. 

Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief. 



Carys Jones' Dare to Dream is an amazing thrill ride from start to finish. It'll have you sitting on the edge of your seat and you'll be unable to put it down, I know that I didn't want to. The action starts almost instantaneously and never slows. 

Maggie is a brillant 14  year old girl from Bainbridge England and attends Bainbridge Wells High School. She has always been the type of kid that her mother never had to worry about: she got good grades, helped out around the house and with her siblings, and never got into any trouble. Then she starts having these horrific nightmares and her entire life starts going on a downward spiral. 

Maggie is the main character but we get more than one POV. We have the chance to hear the thoughts of not just Maggie but also, Angie (Maggie's Mom), a news reporter, Dawn (her best friend), Andy (a classmate), and a few other characters.  Maggie was an easy character to like, and I found myself getting attached to her and caring about her well being. She hasn't had it easy growing up being the middle child out of five kids. Her mother Angie, has tried to care for them all, but being a single mother with some serious emotional issues she's fallen short. 

Dawn is Maggie's best friend and lives on the other side of town, the well off part of town. Financially she has always had whatever she has wanted, at school she's always been the girl that every guy has wanted, but she hasn't had the best home life. It's not as bad as what Maggie's is, but it's not been the perfect life either. She kind of comes off as shallow, but her and Maggie have the ideal friendship, the kind that other people envy. 

Andy has always been just another guy in some of Maggie's classes. He's always been a nice but quiet guy. In the first part of the book you just get brief snippets of what kind of person he is, but in the second part you get to see what it is that makes him the type of person he is.

I would love nothing more than to talk about the entire book but I don't want to spoil it and this is one of those books where you need to read it and experience everything for yourself. Carys Jones has crafted a thrilling, slightly scary, suspense and surprised filled world that will have you wanting to know what happens next. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read.


About the Author:

Carys  Jones
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the readers imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo. 

When she's not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science-fiction films and playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you loose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books. 

For more information about Carys  you can visit or follow her on Twitter; @tiny_dancer85 .

Author Interview:

Hi Carys, and Welcome to Mountain Rhinestones and thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.

1.) How did you come up with the idea behind Dare to Dream?

A while ago I read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. If you’ve not read it, it’s quite a bleak tale about a post-apocalyptic world. You’re never really told what happened to the world, you just endure the exhausting quest for survival with the MC and his son.

The challenge of writing about a destroyed world really appealed to me. But I wanted to give my own story some more context, I wanted to describe what happened to the world and experience the destruction first hand. Then I started thinking about what if someone knew the world was going to end? And what if no one would listen because they were just a fourteen year old British school girl? And from those initial thoughts Dare to Dream was developed.

2.) Did you draw the image of any of the characters from anyone in your life?

No, I don’t tend to base the characters in my books on anyone as I feel there is too much danger in it. I’d hate someone to think a character was based on them and then that character does something awful or dies and the person reads too much in to that. So if anyone reads my books and thinks a character is based on them I can promise that it’s merely a coincidence.  

3.) Will there be a sequel to Dare to Dream or is it a stand alone?

Dare to Dream is actually the first book in a trilogy. The second book is Dare to Believe and the third is Dare to Fight. I’m currently writing the second book.

4.) What was your favorite part, of Dare to Dream, to write?

The parts where the world ended were a lot of fun to write, as warped as that sounds. It was an exciting challenge to imagine all the destruction and how that would be perceived on a personal scale through Maggie’s eyes.

5.) When you first started writing did you ever imagine you'd be a best selling author?

All I’ve ever wanted to do with my writing is to be able to share it and have people enjoy it. Everything else is just an awesome added bonus.

6.) How would you describe your journey so far as an author?

I’ve been really fortunate to get to work with some great publishers like Reuts and CarinaUK but my journey has been pretty long and at times really tough. You have to knock on a lot of doors and face a lot of rejection to get to where you want to be and some days that’s easier to take than others. The best part of being a writer is always the process. I’m happiest tucked away in my writing room working on my WIP.

7.) How would you describe a normal writing day?

I always write first thing in the morning as my mind is freshest then. I rely heavily on notes and have a quick check of where I’m at in a story and then just dive in and don’t get up until I’ve hit my word target for the day. I try to write daily to help maintain the thread of a story. I have a pink room in my house where I go to write and my dog, Rollo, comes to sit with me.

8.) What is your most interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure it’s all that interesting but I have to write in absolute silence. I can’t even hold a conversation while writing as I’m too busy chatting with all the characters in my head! It means that when I do finish writing I’m a bit of a zombie for a while afterwards! Lol.

9.) What advice would you give an aspiring author? 

Write as much as you can! But more importantly write the books that you want to read. It’s tempting to look at what trends are popular or write what you think other people will like but ultimately the best advice I’ve ever received is simply to sit down and write the book that I’d love to read.

10.) What are some of the books in your To-Be-Read pile?

I have a stack of books piled by my bed that are demanding my attention! They include The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Fallen by Lauren Kate and I also need to read the sequels to Shadow and Bone and Alice in Zombieland. It doesn’t help that I’m a painfully slow reader…

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions, you rock!!


To buy a copy of Dare to Dream you can visit Amazon Here . 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and all opinions within the review are my own.* 

(c) 2015 Andrea Hatfield All Rights Reserved

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