Monday, November 18, 2013

The Child of Denys By Nicole Gillette

Title: The Child of Denys
By Nicole Gillette
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction
Publication Date: 10/31/2012

Disclaimer: I got this book from The Avid Reader Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.


When Katie finds a cat hiding in her mother's garden, she has no idea the kinds of adventure that await her.

 A new kid appears in school at the same time Katie's friends and family begin having nightmares, and she begins to have amazingly vivid dreams. In her dreams this new cat speaks to her, telling of darkness that has invaded the Dream Realm and encouraging her to begin a journey to help save not only the Dream Realm but the real world as well.

Max, the new kid in school, has a dog that seemed to adopt him. Just as the cat had claimed Katie. Max's mom recently died in a car accident and his father had a very difficult time dealing with her death. That left Max alone and without any friends other than his new dog.

Katie, her family and her friends learn that a simple, caring gesture is sometimes all it takes to change the course of the world. Join Katie and Max as they learn the true power of our dreams and the importance of our friendships.

A Sneak Peak

Back in the classroom, Mrs. Daily had us work on writing. “I’d like you all to try writing a creative story. We will work on the stories for the next few weeks. Today I’d like you to write down some ideas for your stories.” Mrs. Daily explained. “You don’t have to actually write the story, just jot down some ideas and you can begin to weave the ideas together as your story develops.”As I began to write down ideas, I recalled the dream I had the night before. I wrote about the horses, the palace and the book. I also wrote about Dennis, and how she could talk. Next to me, Max was writing as quickly as I was. I could hear his pencil as he scratched words in dark slashes across his paper. I tried to read what he was writing, but his slouching shoulder blocked my view of his paper. Later on the bus, Tasha and I talked about the stories we were writing. I told her about the dream I had the night before, about the cat I had found and about how my dad was making me look for her owner. “Maybe he is right.” Tasha said. “If she is that special of a cat she probably does have someone looking for her.” Frustrated with Tasha, I asked “Didn’t you hear what I was telling you? She TALKS to me. She told me she doesn’t have an owner.” Tasha didn’t believe me. ~~~~~
Almost as if she was reading my mind, Phoebe said “Go child, eat this and nothing will harm you.” She handed me what looked like a small stone.“This is just a rock!” I argued. “We do not have time for arguing.” Phoebe said impatiently. “Eat and you will be fine.” Fine? How could I be fine? Feeling like I had no other choice I began to wade into the water. As I entered the water I put the small stone in my mouth. On first taste it was as sour as a lemon. I felt my tongue dry in response to the acidic flavor. I began to chew the stone, and the sour taste began to change into a delicate, fruity flavor. It was a flavor I had never tasted before, yet seemed so familiar. It was like everything good I had ever eaten was combined into one momentary taste. As I swallowed the last bit of the stone I felt an odd warm sensation in my head. I braced myself for the cold I expected, but found the water was actually warm. Not quite as warm as the water I run for my bath, but certainly not cold. Wading deeper into the water I felt strange creatures brushing up against my legs. “Do not fear, Child.” Phoebe yelled from the shore. “If you are not afraid they will not harm you.” ‘Don’t be afraid’ I thought, ‘Yeah right; they aren’t the ones in the water.’

Katie finds Dennis, a cat, in her Garden. But Dennis is not an ordinary cat and she has come to take Katie to the realm of dreams, which was in danger. She was sent from the dream world to find Katie.Since Katie was a child who still believed in magic

When Katie goes to the magic realm, she finds  beautiful colored ponies in all unimaginable colors and the most amazing thing about these were that the animals could talk. They were all excited to see Katie and believed her to be the savior of their world. The dream realm could only be accessed when the humans were sleeping, but now it was being taken over by the dark lord, who was being helped by another human child. They just didn't know who the child was. So they needed Katie to find this child and stop him.

In the meantime, the adults in the real world  were plagued by nightmares, as the Dark Lord was getting stronger, as he was capturing more and more children.

Katie knew that it was one of the children from her school, who was helping the Dark Lord. But will she be able to find him and stop him, before it is too late?

This story reminded me of The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne. The sense of magic was present, the timing was perfect and to say that I, as an adult was lost in the story would not be wrong. In fact, when I read this out to my son who is about six years old, he did want me to go on and if any story can hold the attention of a six-year-old, that is worth having it on your shelf. The best thing, that I loved about this story was not only the magic created, but also the mystery that was created.



The only thing I found lacking in this story was the lack of a proper title to this story. The title “The Child of the Denyes” sounds way too serious for a children’s book. In fact, when I got this book for review, I was prepared for some serious reading, so it was a damn pleasant surprise when I was transported to the world of dreams. So, for those who believe in the world of magic, this title of the story could be misleading. But I can assure you that after a few pages, when I forced my son to go to sleep, I had not put down the book. I wanted to know who was that kid who was helping out the Dark Lord. It had all the ingredients magic, mystery, magical ponies and talking cats., Now, who would want to miss that?

Meet the Author  Nicole Gillette

Nicole Gillette (or Nikki to her friends and family) describes herself as a wife, mother, crafter, gardener, chef and whatever else is needed. She stays busy following her two children around to sporting events, creating amazing art pieces, writing, and running her online business "Creating Amidst Chaos".  

Growing up in Northern Michigan Nikki learned to appreciate spending time outdoors. She enjoys camping, hiking and fishing and collects memories and mementos on her trips to use in scrapbooks, crafts, art projects and writing. Nothing is off limits to use!

As she began to explore different art techniques her friends and family encouraged her to teach lessons on scrapbooking and mixed media art. As a result she developed a series of written tutorials that are now available in e-book format.

In addition to the crafting tutorials she has written children's books that are engaging and entertaining for children and adults as well. Most of the inspiration for her writing come from the wonder she sees in the eyes of her children as they explore our world.

Nikki ensures us that as a 'Jack-of-all-Trades' you can be sure of only one thing. As time goes by she will develop and change so you can expect her projects and writings to do the same. 

Buy the book @
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A tete a tete with Nicole Gillette

Hi Nicole,
Welcome to my blog.:)

1.    As I went through your book, I was taken back to the days of innocence and being young. What made you come up with the idea of ‘The Child of Denys’? 

The idea for the book came from a combination of different places.  First off, when my daughter was young she told us some pretty interesting stories, like how she could breathe through her ears, and how she remembers the day she was born and how hard it was to break through her egg.  Those stories and a few more were wrapped into the book.  Secondly, when we were looking for a kitten my daughter fell in love with a little girl cat but insisted we named her Dennis - we knew she was a girl cat.  They have a very unique relationship, and many aspects of the cat in the book are very real characteristics of the cat who lives in our house.  As a matter of fact, at one time Katie told us that Dennis did talk to her.

2. Who is Denys? How do you see her?

Denys came from what I imagined our cat would be if she could actually talk.  Our cat Dennis is affectionate, yet a bit ‘odd’.  She is very expressive and often has a look of ‘entertained disinterest’ in what we all are doing.  I had to look for a name that sounded like Dennis, yet had a mystical feel to it when I came across St. Denys.  He is a bit morbid when you read the details of his demise, but in some cultures he is seen as a guide. 

3. Why the children genre? What attracts you to this genre?

I love the innocence of kids.  The magical idea that anything can happen.  And, although the perceived market is small compared to other niches, I think it has a much greater reach than some of the other.  It is a book that parents can read with their kids, and both can enjoy it.

4. Do you think this genre is more difficult to write for? Do you have to think like a child, imagine like a child when you pen down the stories?

I don’t think it is any harder to write for children than it is for adults, and I love the free, imaginative nature that kids have.  Some of my most treasured moments are those times I’ve spent looking up at the clouds with my kids, or digging up doodle bugs.  I think we all need those little, quiet moments - both adults and children - where our world is only limited by what we are able to imagine.  As for imagine like a child - if you ask my husband he’d tell you I never outgrew that childhood imagination!

5. What is your next venture? Can I wiggle out a sneak peak from you?

I have had an idea running through my head about my son’s experience with band and learning an instrument.  How my main character’s world was thrown into darkness and as he learned to play the color came back to his world.  I am going at it in a little different manner.  As a mixed media artist I am making a ‘visual journal’ of his journey then I will fill in the holes when I write the story. 

6. While growing up who was your favourite author? Did he or she influence your writing?

Oh boy, a favorite author….  I can’t really say I had (or even to this day have) one.  I read so much when I was young, as a matter of fact, my best friend and I had read all the books our parents would let us check out of the local library by the time we were in 6th grade.  Apparently at age 12 they didn’t think we were old enough to read from the adult section….  By 7th grade our world was opened up when we were able to get our hands on books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and so on.  I don’t know that there was really any influence on my writing other than to give me ideas of different styles, and help me develop my own.

7. Do you think with all the paranormal stories flying all about, it is taking away the innocence of the kids in the modern world?

I think they are just a symptom of the already fading innocence in our kids.  As for paranormal stories - they have been around for such a long time they have just changed a little in the last few years.  We have gone from ghost stories to vampires and werewolves.  That pendulum will swing back before too long.  The big difference I see has more to do with the relationships of the characters.  It is up to parents to make sure the content of the books their kids are reading fit with where they are developmentally.  There are some paranormal books I think my kids will really enjoy (ages 11 and 13), and others that I just feel the content is a bit too mature for them.  They are getting to the age, though, that I trust their judgement in what books they choose.

8. If you had to choose between a vampire story or Famous Five, which one would it be?

I thought long and hard about this question.  I do enjoy a good vampire story from time to time but I think I would probably choose a Famous Five book most of the time.  The books I enjoy, whether it is in a paranormal genre or not, have more to do with the relationship of the characters than what they are.  A vampire book for the sake of having a vampire book is not appealing, but neither is a book about five kids playing around just because they are kids.  I look for characters that grab me, keep my attention and make me want to get to know them better.  The best books are the ones that you are disappointed you have come to to last chapter - not because you don’t like the book but because you don’t want it to end.

9. Any advice for the new writers in the block?

 Don’t force it!  If you feel stuck step back for a bit.  Sometimes a little distance is what you need. 

10. Have you ever experienced writer's block?

As a matter of fact, I did.  I would go in bursts of writing.  I would get a bit into the book and would be plugging along until I hit a wall.  If I couldn’t find a way to get passed it I would put the book away for a bit.  Quite often I’d read a book in a totally different genre, almost like resetting my mind.  Once I went back to my book I’d have a fresh perspective of what I was facing and often found a way around the wall I had previously hit.

Stalk her @

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