The Door Keeper Blog Tour Day Three

Thank you so much to Marilyn for featuring on her amazing blog. You should check out her blog http://thesalonnieresapartments.com/. Her thoughtful review of The Door Keeper is below. You should also follow her on Instagram, her pictures with reviews are beautiful and almost always themed to the book.

 

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A little while back I interviewed author Steen Jones about her upcoming debut book, The Doorkeeper. The book is due for release on February 20 and I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of the book to review!

Eden Saunders is an artist and single mother about to open her very own art gallery. She’s happy, busy and contented, and ready to put the tragedies of her past behind. But that’s all about to change when her daughter Gabby starts asking questions about Eden’s parentage. Eden always knew she was adopted and there were mysterious circumstances surrounding her birth, but she was more than happy to let sleeping dogs lie… until now, especially with the recent dreams she’s been having about her birth mother. All this prompts Eden to head to Italy in an attempt to find out more about who she is and where she came from. Little does she know, there’s a lot more to this than she realized and it’s all connected with a mysterious door in the middle of a field which Eden has long been drawn to.

The Doorkeeper is touted as a fantasy book but it’s more than that – it’s also a tale of the bond shared between mother and daughter. The relationship between Eden and Gabby is heartwarming and delightful, and a big part of what drives the story. In fact, more than anything, it is the relationships between Eden and her friends, her family and the people she would meet along her journey that truly drives The Doorkeeper. As you can guess, there is also a strong female arc, for it is Eden’s desires and that of the other women of the book which set things in motion, for better or for worse.

Jones isn’t afraid of tackling tragedy either – Eden lost her husband early on in her marriage and she must also deal afresh with the loss of her birth mother, two incidents which make her simultaneously eager yet cautious to tackle the new experiences that lie before her. There’s her daughter to consider too – and it’s interesting seeing how Eden balances her desire to rush into new worlds with the responsibility she feels to keep her child safe at all costs.

Did I say new worlds? Let’s not forget the fantasy aspect of The Doorkeeper! Jones has created a number of different worlds, both quirky and dark, playful and sinister. And she doesn’t just stop at fantasy worlds either, breathing life into earthly locales such as Positano, Italy, so much so if she hadn’t confessed it in her interview, I wouldn’t have realized she’s never actually been to the place herself!

The Doorkeeper is a story about love, family and trust, loss and grief and finding courage in the face of our fears. It is a story about a woman’s journey into new and fantastic worlds, yes, but even more so it’s a story about the age-old realization that, more than anything, no matter where we are, it is our loved ones that make a true home for us.

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The Door Keeper Blog Tour Day Two

Thank you so much to Michele for being a part of my blog tour! Below is her review of The Door Keeper, but you should follow her for more insightful book reviews at https://wreckedmyeyesreading.wordpress.com/.

 

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The Nitty-Gritty:
I had so much fun reading this book. The different worlds that Steen Jones has created are so beyond anything that I’ve ever read before, and I had so much fun traveling with Eden to those different worlds. I also had so much fun traveling with Eden to Italy. This is definitely one of those books that inspires you to purchase a plane ticket. I need to go now.

Not only did I love the physical journeys that Eden went on, but I also loved the emotional journey that she took. Eden is a wonderfully complex and dynamic character, and I loved watching her come to terms with everything that she was learning about herself. Seeing her struggle with how her new role conflicted with her life as a mother, as well as the family she had created for herself in Georgia, was fascinating.

Normally I hate epilogues. I feel like too often authors use epilogues as a way to tie up all of the loose ends in a neat bow because they don’t trust their readers to understand the world or the characters enough to accurately imagine where they could end up. But the epilogue for this book was so good. Honestly, the epilogue made me really sad that I had received an ARC of the book because it means that I’m going to have to wait that much longer to read the next book in the trilogy. I just want it now, alright?

The Verdict:
The Door Keeper is an excellent debut book. It’s a fun read, and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the trilogy.

The Door Keeper Blog Tour Day One

Day 1 of the Blog Tour!

A huge thank you to Darcy Lewis at https://darcylewisdesign.wordpress.com/ for her awesome review of The Door Keeper!

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As you know, I have a very long and very passionate relationship with books.  I have a list on this blog of my favorites – a list I made because I read so voraciously that friends always ask me for book recommendations.  My mood is often dictated by the book I am currently reading and what is happening to the characters – I get so engrossed in their lives that their reality is at least as clear to me as my own.

Thus, I was thrilled to join the Royal James Publishing’s blog tour for their new book, The Door Keeper, the debut offering from Steen Jones.  (As a disclaimer, while I received a free e-advanced reader copy of the book, my review is entirely independent.)

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I admit I was a little wary of the novel when I read the blurb, “Adventure. Love. Destiny.  Single mom Eden Saunders has learned that tragedy is simply a part of life. Her mother died during childbirth, and her husband was killed just three years after they married. On a journey to discover where she comes from, Eden inherits the key to unlocking new worlds from her deceased mother—including the world that should have been her home. The only thing stopping her from exploring them is the fear of leaving her daughter behind. Caught up in the circle of legacy, Eden discovers the mother-daughter bond that even death cannot break.”

It sounds like the moving family story full of angst and emotional discovery that I usually avoid, to be honest.  However, I was thrilled to find that it was a very engaging, very exciting story that I couldn’t put down.  While this book reads like a debut novel (you can see the author’s development of her writing voice as the book progresses), it is nonetheless a remarkable start to what is to be a trilogy.  Ms. Jones has a wonderful knack for describing scenes and breathing real life into her characters.  Her description of Sorrento, Italy was so vivid, I had dug out my passport and was on my way to the airport before I came back to reality!

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Seriously, doesn’t this make you want to run for the airport?

Eden is a very sympathetic and believable heroine – building a life for herself and her young daughter as an artist and owner of a new art gallery, adopted under circumstances she’s never inquired about.  Her daughter’s family tree school assignment touches off Eden’s search for her birth family and a stunning secret about parallel worlds and her own unearthly origins. Her adventurous forays into these parallel worlds (particularly enjoyable for those of us who love quantum theory and Schrodinger’s Cat Paradox, though these worlds are non-paradoxical) bring into question her own identity and whether she must subsume her own personal goals and desires to be a good mother.  Those readers who love strong female leads (like myself) will be relieved to find that Eden comes to terms with an identity that is as complex and 3-dimensional as real women are.

The Door Keeper straddles several genre categories, but defies neat pigeonholing.  It has fantastical elements, but is not really a fantasy novel.  It has a strong female lead learning about her life, but is more than “chick lit” (a term I hate, coined to disparagingly dismiss ‘books that women like’).

The epilogue feels a little like an afterthought, but does neatly set us up for book number two, and I can hardly wait!  I am really looking forward to seeing Ms. Jones’ continued development as a writer and she is definitely an author to watch.  The Door Keeper comes out on Feb. 20th, and you can preorder it from Amazon here or from Smashwords here.  You can also find it on Goodreads.