Mark Mayes ~ Author (THE GIFT MAKER)
This is a most entrancing and captivating story. Bea, as the central character, weathers every emotional storm you can imagine, and as we get to know her, we feel for her plight, and one is torn on her behalf as she herself is torn, between two men, two identities, two realms of reality.
Bea is living a fairly ordinary life, running a small, somewhat esoteric, bookshop in London, left to her by her much-missed uncle. Into her somewhat muted existence burst beings from another realm, and why they are so interested in her gradually becomes apparent.
Tracey-anne McCartney introduces us to a richly-detailed and dramatic cosmology drawn from Irish folktales, mythology, and magic, and it is by virtue of this age-old relationship between the world of the Sidhe and that of humans that we find ourselves drawn in most strongly. It is the skilful, often humorous, blend of supernatural and spiritual elements with that of ordinary life; the hopes and disappointments of the ordinary person, as experienced by Bea, which makes this novel so charming, and makes us experience Bea’s emotional maelstrom as our own. We want the best for her, even if deciding what that may be seems near impossible.
The final scene in Coldfall Woods is magnificently achieved, and the writing overall has the right balance of lyricism and restraint and is peppered with moments of levity when appropriate. The narration allows one not only to viscerally experience the events described but also to be privy to the internal life of the principal characters, sensing their doubts, their confusion, their pain and joy – Bea's in particular.
The finale does not give up all the secrets hinted at during the novel. Who exactly is Jonathan? What does Bea’s future hold? And other questions, which I will not pose here for fear of spoiling the many surprises and revelations this artfully-plotted novel offers us en route.
A Carpet of Purple Flowers is an original, entertaining, and sophisticated blend of romance, the paranormal, and the spiritual.
James Silvester ~ Author (Escape to Perdition)
This is the kind of book that makes you glad to have stepped out of your comfort zone for a moment. Although aspects of magical folklore and the like have always intrigued me, I've never been that keen on reading about them in fiction, perhaps because I think it is a genre that is often lazily presented, to its own detriment. Not so with this book, however, which I thoroughly enjoyed on very many levels. The folklore isn't just thrown in there, it is researched and well considered, as well as being presented in a believable manner. So too is the main character, suddenly thrown into this new, ethereal world. While saying that there is something for everyone in this book, I don't mean it at all flippantly - the elements of fantasy, love, magic, sex, humour and raw emotion are all expertly intertwined by a very talented writer who really sieze her opportunity to make this genre her own. I look forward to more.
Shirley Golden ~ Author (Skyjacked)
'A Carpet of Purple Flowers' is a wonderfully rich and sumptuous debut novel by Tracey-anne McCartney. It is an elaborate folklore fantasy, which pulled me in right from the start. The central story involves a complicated love triangle between Bea, Chance, Alithia and Karian (yep, there are four in this triangle). I cared about all of the characters and enjoyed the world McCartney created. There is an especially salient moment where an illusion is shattered, leaving a deliciously gothic image. The ending left me wanting more, and I hope there will be more to come. Recommended.
Christina Philippou ~ Author (Lost in Static)
Epic fantasy, coming-of-age, romantic drama and mythology: this book is a finely woven carpet of great fiction.
Bea, owner of a little bookshop, is drawn into the war between two paranormal factions. Kari, a royal on one side, thinks Bea's harbouring the soul of his long-lost love, Alithea, and sets out to re-win her heart. Chance, a warrior for the other, thinks he's protecting Bea, but endangers her through his own actions. As Bea gets pulled in different directions, and starts to uncover histories and recover memories, she realises she alone holds the key to this war...
From the blurb, I expected a kind of 'Twilight for adults'. What I got was intricately-imagined fantasy, suspenseful action, two beautifully interwoven love stories (not the kind of paranormal love triangle I was anticipating), and a lot of well-crafted drama. Brilliant - I want more!
*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Cate Hogan ~ Author & Editor ~ http://catehogan.com
As a romance editor / addict / obsessive, I often feel that even the best new novels are re-hashes of books I've read before. Which is why I was so pleased to discover this little gem - a truly unique premise that merges the spiritual with the paranormal in a very interesting way. The characters are gorgeous, and the love triangle is full of twists and surprises. I highly recommend.
Teresa Ruiz ~ Author (Freefall Into Us)
Not normally my genre, but was sucked in from the get-go, the author gifted at pulling you in. Could have been the instant love of the character, Bea, a book shop owner in London and the heroine in this story. Which may I say was very well written, not overly wordy (can't stand to much description) but still a whopping 400 pages. Honestly, the story was so engaging and hard to put down, It didn't matter. All the characters I liked, even Brandon whom at times I felt sorry for. Well done Tracey-anne, on a beautiful journey and debut book!
Love and light,