The day is here. It’s still difficult for me to wrap my head around it. I wrote a book and now it’s out in the world. I have the hard copy of Through the Veil sitting beside me at my desk, and I’m thumbing through the pages right now, all my words blurring together. I spent so much time crafting those words into sentences and paragraphs, and now they’re something. I’m not sure what yet, but they’re something.
But let’s get down to business first.
You can purchase Through the Veil at any of these fine online establishments.
Some people have already said some really nice things about on Goodreads:
“If you are a fan of Irish mythology and things we may not be able to see, you need to do yourself a favor and check out this book.” ~ Give Me Books
“…an enchanting debut novel.” ~ Chanelle
“Through the Veil is a very promising start to The Aisling Chronicles. So much went down in these pages, and there’s still more to come which I feel will only get bigger and better from here.” ~ JC’s Book Haven
“An articulate and exciting world of Faeries and Irish Lore come to life— I couldn’t put it down from the first page.” ~ Rachel Caplinger
“If you like your women strong and like to see them succeed through adversity you’ll love this book.” ~ Tracey
“I was completely sucked in to Through the Veil – I finished it at 3:30 A.M. which is something I hardly ever do anymore.” ~ Margaret
“Through the Veil by Colleen Halverson is a gem and definite must-read! I just couldn’t put this book down!” ~ Katrina Berry
It feels good to know Elizabeth and Finn are finding their audience, and they’re enjoying their adventures as much as I enjoyed writing them. Of course, I appreciate any and all reviews, and I extend gratitude to anyone who takes a chance on a debut author and takes the time to write a review.
But here’s the exciting part of this post. To celebrate the release of Through the Veil, we’re hosting a huge giveaway.
My friend Claribel Ortega made this kickass book trailer for Through the Veil, which you can check out here.
Make sure after you view the book trailer that you enter to win the $25 Amazon gift card.
But the big kahuna is the swag pack for Through the Veil, which features hand-picked items that specifically reflect some of the magic of the novel.
1) A Tree of Life Pendant
2) A Book of Kells Coloring Book
3) A Tree of Life Journal
4) A one-of-a-kind, hand-painted Celtic silk scarf
5) A signed copy of Through the Veil
The scarf is vacuum sealed to keep it safe from my kids’ sticky hands, but here is what it looks like when it’s open.
I know, right?!!!! It’s like the artist read my novel and knew exactly what to create. Her name is Luiza Malinowska. Please visit her Etsy shop here. Her scarves are divine!
Please do enter! The winner is going to be one very lucky Celtophile…
Here’s the direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb55495746/
So now that we have all that out of the way, there is something I want to say because it’s important for me to make meaning out of my experiences. There’s a story I like to read to my education students, many of whom are non-traditional students, returning to fulfill a dream of becoming a teacher after years and years of putting it off because of life, family, bills, and other responsibilities. The book is called Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett. If you have a little person in your life, please go buy this book. It’s wonderful.
Spoilers ahead, lolz.
The story is about a little girl named Annabelle who finds a box of colorful yarn of seemingly endless supply. She knits herself a sweater, but there’s still more yarn. She knits sweaters for her dog, for her classmates, for the whole town, and there’s still more yarn. Annabelle fills her dark, dreary town with this colorful yarn and the town comes to life because of her beautiful handiwork.
But one day, a duke comes to town and offers Annabelle a million dollars for her magical box of yarn. She refuses, and so, late that night, the duke steals the box of yarn. But when he goes to open it, there’s nothing inside!
He curses the little girl, throwing the box of yarn out into the sea, declaring that she will never be happy again. But at the end of the book, we see the box return to Annabelle. She fishes the box from the stream and sets to work knitting again. And it turns out, the duke was wrong. Annabelle was happy.
I use this book to teach my future Elementary Ed educators how to teach their students about plot. It has a nice, neat three act structure with clear conflict and resolution. After we’ve mapped the entire plot of Extra Yarn, we go through particular moments in the story and I ask them questions like “why doesn’t the box run out of yarn?” “Why is the box empty for the duke?” But the biggest question of all is, “Why does the box return to Annabelle?”
The answer from my students always is, “Because love comes back to you.”
Love comes back to you.
What a powerful message, and what a powerful thing to believe.
I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. As soon as I knew how to put sentences together, I was writing stories. I remember my fifth grade teacher assigning us a story based on some random topic, and I spent the whole night writing. Her jaw dropped when I turned in twenty hand-written pages the next day. When I was fourteen, I stumbled into a poetry reading at a local coffee shop, and I begged rides from my brothers every week, sometimes taking the bus across the city just so I could read one poem out loud to people. I continued to write stories and plays well into college.
And then something happened. I’m not sure what. Life took over, and I allowed negative people to consume my joy. I felt afraid a lot of the time. I let writing go, and for a long time I believed it was gone forever.
And then one cold autumn day, at a moment in my life where I felt the most defeated, I started to write a story about a young woman and an ancient manuscript. It was awkward at first, the words not quite doing what I wanted them to do, the language stilted, the picture a bit flat and out of focus. But I felt that rush of joy again, the same joy I felt in fifth grade when I scribbled out that story at my dining room table. The fear was there, it will always be there, but some greater force had taken over.
Love had come back to me.
Because that’s what love does. It finds you even in the darkest places. And if you followed me on this journey, I will tell you this is the lesson I’ve learned. That thing you loved to do when you were a kid? The thing you thought you lost? You haven’t. It’s waiting for you. And when you’re ready, it will come back to you.
Thank you to all who have helped me fulfill this dream. To my family, my friends, and my followers, this day belongs to all of us.