Larkspur

Larkspur


Children - Grade 4th-6th
104 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Anastacia (Stacey) Hawkins grew up as a California girl in the suburbs of L.A. County. Her father was a dancer, her mother a beautiful artist, but Stacey could neither dance nor draw. Instead, she found her passion in writing. In college, she majored in English and Communications. She had always dreamed of being a writer, but ended up in banking in order to pay the bills.

Many years later, now a wife and mother, Stacey came across an ad for the Institute of Children’s Literature. The ad said, “We’re looking for people to write children’s books!” She was intrigued. She signed up for their course “Writing for Children and Teenagers”.

In April, 2008, Stacey sold her first story to Shine Brightly Magazine. She was hooked! Today, she is a participating author for a Christian reading program created by Kirkwood Education Center in California, as well as the One Story a Day series published by DC Canada Education Publishing. She was chosen to write the stories for an Italian/English parallel text book, Storie Italiane, which can be purchased on Amazon, and her first middle grade novel, Larkspur, is getting rave reviews!

Stacey now resides in Maple Grove, Minnesota, with her husband, Shayne, and their daughter, Sierra.

“Being a children’s author is the most gratifying job I have ever had! As a parent, I feel that I have so much more to share than I had when I first graduated from college all those years ago. I encourage all who have a passion for writing to pursue it; don’t give up on your dream!”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Leslie and Taylor loved their dance teacher Madame Lumiere and built their self-confidence as she taught them. Madame Lumiere was in her eighties and was one of the oldest dance instructors, yet she was amazing. The lady was from Larkspur and had a slight Irish lilt to her voice; she even made their dresses (complete with a touch of magic). During a recital the girls heard their cue and danced on the stage when suddenly Taylor felt dizzy and began to fall; both girls landed softly on a carpet of grass. A young man named Redmond rushed to them thinking one of them was Luminara. He explained to the girls that Luminara (Madame Lumiere) was the true queen of the realm of Larkspur. A female warrior named Puranna used dark magic against Larkspur’s king and queen, luring them into the Murky Realm never to return. Puranna declared herself to be the new queen and hypnotized the villagers when they tried to rebel. She also banned dancing in the kingdom. Redmond introduced the girls to Claire, Luminara’s sister and the next in line to the throne. Can the girls save the kingdom of Larkspur? Are they truly up to the task set before them? Can they dance the dance that will bring Luminara home?

Anastacia Hawkins offers readers a mystical journey into the land of Larkspur. Her tale reads much like the fairy tales I grew up on. She has created characters that are likable and endearing. Who would not like Redmond, Taylor, Leslie and Luminara? Larkspur is simple and easy to read, with 102 pages. I would like to see Hawkins expand the plot or make this a series. Female readers from third to sixth grade will quickly be swept away by this tale. On the stage of my mind’s eye I could see the scenes as they played out. Hawkins has combined, adventure, action, and romance in this tale; what more could a reader ask for? Well done Ms. Hawkins, what else do you have in store for your fans?

Bookworm Jen

Ballet students Taylor and Leslie are performing on stage when they find that they have suddenly been transported into another world. The World of Larkspur holds both mystery and adventure for Taylor,Leslie and their friends (new and old).

These two young ballerinas will soon find themselves dancing for more than just applause from the audience, they are entrusted to perform the "Dance of the Dawn" to return their ballet instructor to her rightful home. Through team work Taylor and Leslie and their friends learn to trust themselves, their magical gifts from Madame Lumiere and each other to attempt the unthinkable and free the King and Queen of Larkspur from the Murky Realm and restore Madame Lumiere to Larkspur.

You will find yourself captivated by the magic of Larkspur and it's inhabitants, especially a certain little baby frill. Will the girls learn the "Dance of the Dawn" in time to free Madame Lumiere and return the King and Queen of Larkspur to their castle ? Can the light overcome the darkness of the Murky Realm?. Guess you'll just have to read the book to find out what happens! You'll be glad you did. "Larkspur" is a great summer read for the young and "young at heart".

Rosimonde

Anastacia Hawkins takes us all, young and not-so-young, on a magical trip through the land of Larkspur. Her setting and characters are well-drawn and we care about them immediately. The story and the length of the book are perfectly suited to the younger reader, without losing the focus of their elders. I believe there is a second book in the wings, and I can't wait to read it. Or whatever else she might conjure up.

Young-at-Heart Grandma

I was eager to see just what this interesting title was all about. I loved the young ballet students, Taylor and Leslie, and it was easy to fall in love with these charming girls and their friends. Being transported to another world with a glass of iced tea and Larkspur was a wonderful break in the day. The author did a great job of describing this magical land, leaving you feeling that you were experiencing the sites firsthand. Young girls especially will love this adventure, but folks of any age will feel the read was worthwhile.

Snowycows

An imaginative and magical book, Larkspur is a fun read for elementary and middle-school aged audiences. Its themes of perseverance, faith, and loyalty to friends and family are universally appealing and engaging. Thank you to Ms. Hawkins for introducing us to this enchanting world, and I hope we will see many further adventures of Taylor and Leslie.