Monday, June 24, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Review for The Reluctant Goddess by A.F. Firebird

Welcome to my stop on A.F. Firebird's Virtual Book Tour for The Reluctant Goddess.  Please leave a comment or question for A.F. below to let her know you stopped by.  

Interview with A.F. Firebird 

A.F Firebird author of  “The Reluctant Goddess” talks about her new novel and metaphysical fiction

Q: You describe your new novel as metaphysical fiction, what is metaphysical fiction?

AFF: It is a form of speculative fiction which explores ideas prevalent in metaphysics through the medium of story and characters. This type of fiction strips away religious rhetoric and new age language, so that the reader can contemplate the ideas presented in a simpler and hopefully more accessible way.

Q: Give me an example of the type of ideas explored in the book.

AFF: Firstly, the story is written within the context of a benevolent conscious universe, where the inanimate and animate alike work to help Ellena. The books in the shop, that she owns, all have something to tell her if only she could hear them. Her pets, a dog and a cat, are her spirit guides offering gentle, loving encouragement. Through the eyes of the characters we see our planet and the universe from a perspective.

The second main theme, is the idea that the greatest work a person can do is to live authentically. To discover who and what they really are. The main character, Ellena, has lived a life full of the common distractions of life. By the time she reaches her late forties she still has not discovered her true self or a purpose which gives her life meaning. Throughout the novel we follow her journey as she is assisted by a conscious benevolent universe, to fully realise her identity.

Q: The Reluctant Goddess takes a non traditional approach to the idea of a goddess. Explain your take on what it means to be a goddess.

AFF: My aim has been to merge old ideas with new. Ellena is a reincarnation of Quan Yin, Goddess of compassion, who, rather than take up buddhahood, chose to stay on earth to help all humans reach enlightenment. Instead of showing the goddess as super human, the book explores the effect of fully realising the virtue of compassion in the world. And so the idea of a goddess being someone who lives their virtues or values whatever they might be.

Q: Now that The Reluctant Goddess is finished what next.

AFF: I want to continue working on metaphysical fiction. The next book continues to delve into the role of compassion in human evolution. I believe, as so many others before me, that fiction is a great way to open discussion and contemplation of ideas, so I am looking forward to feedback from readers.

The Reluctant Goddess
by A.F. Firebird

Publisher: POSE
Release Date: March 31, 2013

Genre: Metaphysical Fiction

Buy Links:  Amazon │ B&N │ POSE


Ellena Ripley is a bookshop owner from a rural town in the south of England - or so she thinks. But lately, she has a growing sense that life is not as it seems. At night, she dreams of a serene man who appears to be trying to tell her something; In the day, she can't shake a feeling of expectation. But of what?

Meanwhile Hector, servant of LIFE and the man from Ellena's dreams, has a dilemma. How do you tell someone they are a goddess? His previous attempts have met with disaster so he must be cautious, particularly when his new trainee, Boudica, formerly Queen of the Iceni tries to help. The question is can they succeed before it is too late? 


My incarnate body was not all I had hoped for. It was not that I wanted a human body - it’s just that I wanted to be a Great Dane. I shifted in my basket by the Aga and nibbled an itchy bit of black fur just above my right paw. But that’s LIFE: so often you get what you need, not what you want. Even so, a Border Collie with a bit of Labrador thrown in was not a real dog as far as I was concerned. My fur was long, my paws were white, while the rest of me was black except for a white crest on my chest and a circular patch around my left eye, which I guessed had been added for comic effect. Still, it could have been worse - I might have been a poodle.

The current phase of my mission was going well. Although the overall project, Brh-man: Phase 1, was not. But as I frequently reminded the Council, who had sanctioned the project, one had to take the long view with these things. This time … well not time really, that was my dog-self talking. There was only now, or as LIFE liked to call it “the present” owing to its love of puns. In reality a “time” would be more accurately described as a handful of stuff grabbed from the lucky dip barrel of the present.

So far I had incarnated without too much difficulty. Dog-shape was ideal for the kind of work ahead and I’d succeeded in being adopted by Ellena, who was ripe for my special kind of assistance. Boudica, my trainee, had met with similar success. Although not everything had gone so well for her, she was at this moment prowling around Ellena’s front room irritably, no doubt still wondering how the Queen of the Iceni had come to this. It seemed that, Boudica, not as adept at subconscious communication as myself, had not been able to plant an image of her real name in Ellena’s mind. So while, I had a shiny tag with “Hector” written on it, Boudica’s tag said “Fluffy”. Since she was a large long-haired white cat, I felt this showed a distinct lack of imagination on Ellena’s part or perhaps an overdeveloped sense of irony. Either way Boudica was still having a major sense of humour failure.

My Review

This is probably going to be one of the shortest reviews I’ve written for the blog, mainly because I’m still not really sure quite how I feel about this book.  When I first signed up to read The Reluctant Goddess by A.F. Firebird, I didn’t really understand what “metaphysical” fiction was.  I thought it was a form of fantasy or perhaps paranormal fiction, something it is definitely not.  More philosophical in approach, metaphysical fiction is in fact a form of spiritual fiction (not Christian fiction).  It’s really more like an ancient “teaching” story; it’s aim is to teach us about ourselves, our world and our place in the world in which we exist. 

Ms. Firebird’s writing style is smooth, thoughtful and easy to follow.  While it’s clear her goal is to make each individual think and get to know ourselves and what we bring to life, she also intends to entertain us.  Ellena, Hector and Boudica are likable, well developed characters and they get involved in some interesting situations (not every attempt to bring the goddess to life in human flesh has turned out well). 

Overall this is an interesting book.  It’s interesting to note that Ellena’s gift or power that she brings to the world is compassion; something we always seem to be in need of.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 Crowns

About the Author:

A.F. Firebird is the alter ego of a sociologist/psychologist turned web developer from the UK. While A.F. Firebird has worked in several fields her primary focus is the exploration of six virtues: appreciation, forgiveness, compassion, humility, understanding and valour. Her first novel, The Reluctant Goddess, numerous short stories and children's books, all investigate aspects of these virtues. 


Virtual Book Tour June 10 - June 28

June 10- Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
June 11- Gothic Angel Book Reviews - Review
June 12- Jody's Book Reviews - PROMO
June 12 - Books, Authors, Blogs - Interview/PROMO
June 13- Reviewing Shelf - Review
June 13 - Must Read Faster - PROMO
June 15- In This World of Books - Review
June 15 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Interview/PROMO
June 16- Andi's Book Reviews - Interview/PROMO
June 17- Playing Jokers - Review
June 18- Word to Dreams -PROMO
June 19- Noemi Betancourt - Review
June 19 - Readaholics Reviews - PROMO
June 21- My Cozie Corner - Review
June 21 - Snifferwalk Books - Interview/PROMO
June 22- The Luv'n - Interview/PROMO
June 23-Bunny's Reviews - Interview/PROMO
June 24- Queen of All She Reads - Review
June 25-Bibliophilia, Please - Interview/PROMO
June 26- The Book Maven - Review
June 26 - Ali's Books - PROMO
June 26 - A Life Through Books - Review
June 27-Wintry Words - Interview/PROMO
June 28 - Faerie Tale Books - Review
June 28- RABT Reviews - Review
July 4 - Tanya's Book Nook - Review

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