Friday, December 21, 2012

FANTASTIC FRIDAY INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt by Ilana Waters

by Ilana Waters
Middle Grade Fantasy
Grades 3-6
Review copy purchased.


Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader, Christopher Siren. With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic.

Stanley has only two allies back home: a witch named Meredith, and a young apothecary called Sophie. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim in the tyrant’s evil plot?

If you enjoy the fantasy works of Rick Riordan, Lemony Snicket, or Philip Pullman, then explore the world of Stanley Delacourt today!



I'm a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey. When not creating content for websites, I work on novels and short stories—as well as nibble string cheese. I once pet-sat an electric eel, and enjoy walking in circles around the park for no particular reason.

My first book—"The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia"—is a middle-grade fantasy. It is available online NOW at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. I'm currently writing Book II of the Hartlandia trilogy, due out in 2013.


What's the story behind the story of Stanley?

I know this sounds silly, but it came to me in a dream. Really--it did! I woke up and knew the basic plot and three of the main characters. The rest of it is loosely based on equal parts life experience and wish fulfillment.

What led you to become a writer?

I’ve wanted to be writer since I was six years old. My first grade teacher said I was good at writing, so I figured that’s what I should do (this really tells you something about the power of labels).

What is your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite?

I love so many things about being a writer, it’s hard to choose just one. I guess what I love most is living in a world of make-believe—at least until I finish the chapter! And to be honest, I don’t really have a “least favorite” thing about writing. I can’t think of anything bad about it.

Where's your favorite place to go to write?

Well, I only have one place to write at the moment. It’s at my bedroom desk, which faces a wall. Ideally, I’d love to have a separate office and a window with a nice view.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

I would absolutely get into a time machine and travel to the Renaissance, or perhaps the Victorian Era. Wait—maybe you meant regular travel? ;-) In that case, I’ve always wanted to see Venice. I also have a special place in my heart for New Orleans.

Favorite ice cream or desert?

All of them. J But I am partial to anything chocolaty, nutty, or minty. A combination of the three is also acceptable.

Favorite book character?

Oh dear—there are far too many to choose from! Lyra Bellacqua from The Golden Compass, Klaus Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Matilda from Matilda . . . don’t make me go on. I love characters that are brave, resourceful, smart, and don’t take “no” for an answer. Oh, and if they’re a little bit magical, that works too. 

Something most people don't know about you.

I’m addicted to Cheetos. I have to have a little every day, or the next morning I disappear in a puff of orange smoke. ;-)


This book is a fun coming-of-age adventure perfect for middle grade readers.  I fell in love with Stanley from the first page. Maybe it's because he's a librarian like me, or maybe it's because he's had to grow up so fast (doing a man's work at the age of 10). I also loved the library that he runs.  His friends are great, Sophie, who's doing a woman's work with a very feisty spirit and Will, the cheerful, reckless adventurer. It's the kind of place that I would love to spend hours, it about broke my heart when the place was burned to the ground.  But it was the death of one of Stanley's best friends, Will, that really got to me. I was with Stanley all the way as he struggled with anger and confusion.  Like most of us when faced with tragedy, Stanley wanted to do something about it.  So he sets off on a self-imposed mission to see the Ruler of the lands, Christopher Siren, and find out what was going on with all the new ridiculous and dangerous new rules that led to Will's death.  Of course, along the way, he finds more than he could have ever dreamed, including friends, enemies, and more adventure than he ever wanted. I found this to be a pleasantly page-turning read and had to keep reading until I finished it. I appreciated that while it is part of a trilogy, the book actually has a solid ending, so many series books these days don't, so I found that refreshing. I am definitely looking forward to reading more about Stanley and Sophie. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a good quest story with some depth to it.


Thanks to the author, I have three 3-copies to give away. This is open internationally. All you need to do to enter is fill out the form below. You do need to be 13 or older to enter.  The winner will be notified and have 48 hours to respond.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much, Heidi, for your lovely review. I'm delighted you enjoyed the book. And thank you for hosting this giveaway--best of luck to all the participants, and a very happy holiday!

  2. Great review & it sounds like a wonderful book. My favorite coming of age story has to be Harry Potter I suppose. I love, love, love Encyclopedia Brown and The Three Investigators, but I can't really say they are coming of age stories. This sounds great, I can't wait to read it! Thanks for hosting the giveaway & best of luck to Ms.Waters.

    Paul R. Hewlett


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