An accidental journey through a magic mirror. A portal to an enchanted land. A mysterious family she never knew she had. Hayden's life is upended with the wonder of Destiny Falls. But it is tainted by the danger that brought her here and that threatens her newfound family. Can Hayden and her sassy sidekick remove the threat, so that she can begin her magical new life in this captivating world?
…When Hayden was a child, she lost her cat. Adults told her the cat ran away, but she knew the truth. The mirror had taken her. She knew because the mirror gave her a glimpse of an alternate world and had nearly pulled her in, so she was certain the cat had suffered that fate.
Twenty years later, Hayden discovers the secret of the mirror when she is thrust into it. She learns of an enchanted world she never knew existed, and a family she never knew she had.
But danger brought her here, and it followed her. Now, Hayden is on a mission to remove the threat, so that she can begin her magical, meaningful new life in this enchanted world.
"Absolutely brilliant, delightful, magical story. This is one book that you cannot stop reading. More please, much, much more, please! ~ Carol, Goodreads
"Oh my goodness this was SO GOOD!! Please do yourself a favor and read this book." ~ Prockish
"A captivating read! A great story, full of interesting people and places, with surprises around every corner." ~ Linda C. Goodreads
"This is no run-of-the-mill paranormal book! Unique ideas. You will be glad this is a series!" ~ Susan G. Amazon
"A magical, delightful tale with a quirky cast of characters, engaging dialogue, a pleasantly appealing universe, and an intriguing plotline that I could not put down." ~ Dru Ann, drusbookmusing.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books are published in over twenty languages. She is also the author of the popular Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the mother of four and Nana to one. She hopes you have as much fun reading the Destiny Falls books as she enjoys writing them. Visit her & sign up for her mailing list at nocrysolution.com.
Hayden is terrified of mirrors which started when she was a child and she used to see people in them that weren’t there, or worst still, a mirror took her cat. Now as an adult Hayden is suddenly thrust into a parallel world (with a different pet cat) that everyday folk can’t see, so they don’t know it exists.
She arrives in a place called Destiny Falls. A magical world that moves around depending on the season. Here she discovers that her father, a father she never knew, lives with his family and his parents and they are a very special family as they are the keepers of the town. Oh, and her pet cat can talk to her and wants to be called ‘Princess Latifa’.
Not long into her stay in Destiny Falls a murder occurs and Hayden is sure she can help find the killer. But does she have the skills and will she put herself in danger?
Falling Into Magic is the perfect title for this book as essentially this is what happens to Hayden. One minute she is in the real world with a sinister-looking man coming towards her, the next she is in a strange place with her cat talking to her and a man telling her he is her brother.
The world-building was quite special and easy to visualise. Destiny Falls seems quite like the perfect place as the world changes depending on what you need or what help you require. In fact, the world felt quite cartoony. Not in a bad way, like the cartoons set in magical lands where everything is bright and beautiful. Plus, we have a witch living there too.
Whilst I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the world I wasn’t quite so sure with the writing as it felt like it was aimed at young readers and I did wonder if the book was more for the YA market than for adults. It was very much a case of telling you what is happening rather than letting the story pan out naturally and show the reader what was occurring.
It took me a while to get through it but I think not being a big fan of fantasies and cosy mysteries is partly the reason why. This is the first book in the series but it is where my journey ends. If you love fantasies and want something different that interweaves a murder mystery and is set in a weird and magical world then this is the book to read.
What a quick and fun read. Harper has a great sense of adventure and family. She has literally fallen into her story and is determined to find the answer to all of her questions and figure out where she fits into this new world. This book left me with so many questions that I will definitely be reading the next in the series.
This is a new series that is bound to be a smashing success for this author. It may be her first foray into fiction writing, but she definitely shows us what she can do in the fictional world.
The book starts off somewhat eerie and I wasn't quite sure what to make of the prologue other than I was intrigued. We are tossed into Hayden's world where we learn she is not a morning person (don't talk to her until she has had her first cup of tea), has a love for cats, and an amazing support system with her best friend and grandmother and great grandmother. Her parents are long gone, or so she thinks until she is pulled into a magical world that introduces her to her brother, father, and his parents. What a crazy day that was for her to find out the true story of what happened to her father. On top of that, she can communicate with her cat, Sassy, who now wants to be called Princess Latifa.
Destiny Falls is a world unto itself and her family, the Caldwells, are the keepers of this town. The town is magical and continually rearranges itself to fit what Hayden, or anyone else, needs. All is going well until someone is murdered and Hayden is determined to discover who the killer is and why. There is a lot of effort displayed throughout the book to portray the town, the Caldwell family, and the other citizens. Quirky is probably an understatement to describe the Caldwell family. Outside of Hayden's brother, her half-siblings are all named after shades of blue - Indigo, Sapphire, and Cobalt. Their mother is Jade and that might have played a part in their names.
Caldwell Manor is another interesting facet of Destiny Falls. This is where Hayden is staying while she adjusts to the town. The house seems to sense what each person needs and provides it to them. Now if we could all have a home like that! The staff is rarely seen but there is one person, Cleobella, that is fascinating and I loved the descriptions of her each time Hayden saw her. The outfits and the glitter made me giggle.
The mystery itself kept me guessing and just when I thought I knew who the killer was, BAM, a twist. I was quite surprised at the reveal and never would have suspected this character. The author did a good job of keeping this character out of the spotlight and while I thought this character was a bit odd, I would never have thought them possible of the crimes. Shows you what I know!
The mystery does seem like a minor part of the story until near the end. With the magical aspect, it does take a lot to build up this world because it isn't like going to another small town. Well, it is but it isn't. There is a couple of potential love interests for Hayden and while there is a peek into what might happen in future books, we still don't know what will occur since it would seem that Hayden would want to return to our world and her friends and family. I'm sure you are wondering where they think she is....Denmark, on a research trip. This does seem a little farfetched that Hayden would take off on a moment's notice for another country and not tell anyone where she is going until she gets there. But, Hayden had to come up with something because she cannot tell them where she really is at that moment. In fact, the computer servers won't let her spill those details.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and do recommend it. I am curious to see what is in store next for Hayden. We give it 4 paws up.
“Falling into Magic” is the first book of the “Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic” series and was very entertaining.
The first aspect that struck me is the adorable method of the author’s writing style. The author narrates the tale in a childlike, whimsical manner that makes you feel like reading a classic. I got absorbed in Hayden’s world as she found herself going through a portal that would change her life.
Hayden is lovely, and I liked how she handled the mystery and challenges that came her way. She has a beautiful bond with Axel, and their relationship is one of the highlights of the tale. As the story progresses, the author also introduces the more extensive cast of the Cardwell family, where Hayden finds herself as a possible target in a murder mystery. Characters like Eleanor and Han were also intriguing. Similarly, Latifa was adorable and one of my favorite characters. Also, I enjoyed the cozy mystery aspect because there are quite a lot of suspects to go through.
Moreover, the author also constructed the world-building nicely, and I enjoyed how the environment shifted itself to suit the resident. For instance, I loved how the library positioned itself for Hayden to enter it. Some shocking moments like when Hayden sees the bearded guy, or the incident with the car, added well to the tale.
However, at times I felt there was too much in the story. For instance, certain characters feel unnecessary when looking back, like Ian and Indigo. Some paragraphs felt repetitive, like Hayden’s love for the library or missing her family in Seattle, that staggered from the mystery element. Also, the storyline with the witch, while entertaining, felt disconnected.
Nevertheless, overall, “Falling into Magic” is a promising start to the series and worth reading.
Growing up Hayden knew there was something strange about mirrors. As a child she had a kitten that disappeared seemly without a trace. Hayden was convinced that the mirror took it. As a adult after accidentally falling through a portal she knew her suspicions were true. Hayden not only found out what happened to be long lost childhood kitten but her long lost father and brother. Along with her father and brother, she also found a family she never knew she had. However it appears that someone was targeting Hayden and her newly found family. Can she find out who they are and what they want before it’s to late?
This is an entertaining story. The characters are interesting and relatable. Although you have to suspend a bit of reality as far as Hayden communication with her cat, I believe this is really how some cats personalities are in real life, over the top and self absorbed to an extent but also lovable. The mystery of who is a threat to the family is well written with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing.
I listened to the audio version of the book. The narrator does a wonderful job during the characters and the story to life. You know exactly which characters is speaking and what emotions they are feeling.
All thoughts and opinions are my own, and in no way have I been influenced by anyone.
Falling into Magic is a dynamic introduction to the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series. The dynamic characters and vivid world-building, as well as an intriguing mystery and a unique found family, make for an immersive and entertaining read.
Smart, kind, and a huge lover of cats, Hayden is such a likable protagonist. She has a lovely relationship with her grand and great grandmother as well as her best friend, and she is dedicated to her career and family. Hayden is caring and astute, and her affection towards her cat Latifa is endearing. I love that when in Destiny Falls, Hayden has this telepathic communication with Latifa. Who wouldn’t love to talk to their pet? Latifa has a fantastic personality, and I enjoyed her role in the story.
Hayden learns so much about the family she never knew, and this found family trope is one of my favorite parts of the novel. Hayden envies her best friend who has a big and boisterous family, and it’s wonderful to see her developing relationships with her newfound family. I particularly like her relationship with her brother Axel. They develop a strong bond in the few weeks they are together, and their brother-sister dynamic is fabulous! Some of the other family members prove a bit difficult to get to know for Hayden, but I have a feeling these relationships will continue to bloom in future books in the series.
The world-building and magic system is also fascinating. Destiny Falls is a wondrous place (especially the library!) that seems to cater to citizens’ wants and needs. I love that Destiny Falls is almost a character in its own right, and I was intrigued by the constantly changing world. Vivid imagery paints a clear picture of Destiny falls and its inhabitants.
The mystery surrounding who’s targeting Hayley and her family adds a good bit of intrigue that kept me guessing throughout the story. As a newcomer, Hayley doesn’t know who she can trust, and there are many suspicious people who seem less than happy with her arrival. It was interesting to see the mystery unfold.
I enjoyed Falling Into Magic and look forward to reading the next book in the series. I want to find out more about the budding romance, as well as the rest of Hayley’s story! Thanks so much to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
As a young girl, Hayden’s cat disappeared. Her family told her the cat ran away, but Hayden is convinced the cat went through her mirror. Over the years, she has seen many images in the mirror including a castle she is convinced is hers. She even sees a man she thinks is her guardian angel.
Now, as an adult, Hayden has a fairly happy life. Although she has no siblings or parents, she has her Nana, Granana, her best friend Luna, and her cat Sassy. Sassy is a beautiful Himalayan. Sassy helps Hayden through the lonely times. Luna and Hayden run their own online magazine.
Then, one day she is walking through town holding Sassy in her carrier, when she falls through a hole and into an alternate reality. She's taken into the enchanting town of Destiny Falls, where she discovers a family she never knew about. Fortunately, Sassy is with her but Sassy isn’t quite the same any longer. She’s still a beautiful Himalayan but she now communicates with Hayden through their thoughts. One thing Sassy is sure to tell Hayden is that she doesn’t like the name Sassy.
It’s not long before Hayden realizes she’s in danger. Someone doesn’t want her there and will do whatever it takes to get rid of her. There’s already one dead body and Hayden is determined not to be the next.
For me, reading Falling Into Magic is like spending several hours in a beautiful fairy tale. The setting of Destiny Falls is dazzling. I wish it were a real place, I’d go there in a heartbeat. It’s delightful to spend a few hours away from reality to delve into this magical town where you can have anything you want and anything can happen. Hayden quickly finds out how easy it is to adapt to her new surroundings, although she does miss the people she left behind. She vows to find a way to bring them here.
The characters are quite likeable and quirky. I fell in love with our heroine, Hayden, although my favorite is Hayden’s cat and I am happy to see her get a major role in this sweet story.
The story oozes in charm, enchantment, and some mystery too. I couldn’t figure out who was behind the threats aimed at Hayden and her family. This book kept me thinking until the end. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say there are so many fun, delightful and touching moments in this book.
I’m not usually a big paranormal fan, but this one warmed my heart and won me over. I’m looking forward to reading book #2 in this whimsical series.
FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from the author and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Even though the day Hayden was born her family was torn apart leaving her with a missing father and older brother and a mother who ran away, she had a good upbringing. Her grandmother and great-grandmother (Granana) raised Hayden and they did pretty well. She has a best friend Luna who is also her business partner producing an online magazine, her grandmother and Granana, and her loving cat, Sassy. Even though she has a good life, she cannot help wondering about her parents and every so often she sees something in her mirror that doesn't make any sense.....until one day she and Sassy fall into a construction hole and end up in a whole new place !
After falling through this hole Hayden wakes up in a bed and can communicate with Sassy ! Then she is introduced to her long lost brother who is the person that she would see in the mirror once in a while growing up. Once she gets over that initial shock, she is hit with a lot more .... like she is in a hidden place called Destiny Falls and at the house of her grandparents called the Caldwell Crest. The Caldwell family is considered the Chosen Ones and are treated like royalty. She is soon introduced to her grandparents, reunited with her father as well her half brother and 2 half sisters. She learns that the house and town are magical in a way that is hard to understand but quite enjoyable.
It all seems like a fairy tale and Hayden is soaking it all up until there is a death on the grounds of Caldwell Crest and Hayden wonders if it is the same person that pushed her through the portal. Hayden and her brother Axel develop a quick bond and after his jeep is broken into and her belongings are searched, they begin to work with Sheriff Jaxson Redford to try to solve the murder.
Hayden has no idea when or even if she can return home to her family and friend so she sends them all emails telling them that she is in Denmark doing research for work so that they won't worry about her. So she periodically sends them emails with photoshopped pictures buying her time while she gets to know her family and Destiny Falls secrets and help solve the murder.
To say everything is overwhelming for Hayden is an understatement and to provide you with more to the story would be ruining the story for the readers. Falling into Magic by Elizabeth Pantley is like Harry Potter meets the Hallmark channel with a Law and Order undertone. Readers will find something that perks their attention and keeps you engrossed in reading. You are not going to want to leave Destiny Falls either and hopefully when you close the book, you will be a fan and looking forward to the next book in this series.....I know I am !!
Falling Into Magic by Elizabeth Pantley is a fantasy book that evolves into a mystery. For her entire life, Hayden has been questioning of mirrors. She stays away from them. She has seen things in them that unnerve her so it is to be expected. Once she saw a little boy, smiling and waving at her. Now she finds herself on the other side of the mirror and meeting that little boy, all grown up, her brother. He knows her and has been expecting her. He takes her to the family home where he ensconces her in his own bedroom. He tells her she will have a room of her own soon. It is wonderful, but all very odd. She is able to continue writing and emailing her family and friends, so long as she doesn't mention where she really is. The house seems to change around her. Soon her father and grandparents return and all are very standoffish. At the same time a mysterious person is visiting a witch in a cave, hoping for a potion that will do what?
What could be a good story is somewhat hampered by the style of writing: it lacks any elegance at all. It makes me wonder if Pantley is a fiction reader, as she seems to be lacking in some of the basic concepts of fiction, which is not surprising as all her published works are how-to baby books. Many questions are answered, but many are not, which is OK for a book in a series, but some are essential. How did this happen at all? is a basic. There are more books to come in which we will have answered some of these basic questions as well as where is Hayden's mother; why her father and Alex's removal was historically necessary; and what the heck is going on here?
I was invited to read a free ARC of Falling Into Magic by the Cozy Mystery Review Crew. All opinions contained herein are solely my own.
I received a free copy of this book from VRO in exchange for an honest review.
This book has so much potential and a really interesting concept, but falls flat in the writing and execution.
I really enjoyed the concept of the mysterious magical town where buildings and landmarks can change on their own. However, the mechanics of the magic are never explained, and it’s unclear what the magic can really do or if the people of the town can use it or it just happens to them.
The writing style was perhaps the weakest part of the book for me. There was a lot of unnecessary repetition, 2-3 pages of description every time we went to a new setting, and the majority of the story was told through the endless internal dialogue. I didn’t feel like I knew any character besides Hayden and Latifa any better by the end of the book.
I don’t want to go too much into the continuity errors, but there were several.
Clearly Hayden’s love triangle is going to be explored later in the series, but there was absolutely no relationship development with either of them, besides Hayden repeatedly thinking to herself that she shouldn’t pursue anything romantic with them right now, but she could get to know them. And then she didn’t. She just put on pretty sundresses for them.
The villain was so obvious that I thought I must be on the wrong track. Hayden also stumbles into the answer to the mystery rather than being anywhere close to solving it.
Overall, this book has a lot of potential, and could definitely benefit from a hefty amount of editing. I wanted to like it, it just wasn’t quite there for me.
Falling into Magic is a fantasy novel written by Elizabeth Pantley. This book is full of magic with more than a little touch of mystery mixed in. Falling into Magic is the first book that I have read by this author and overall I enjoyed the storyline. The author begins the story with a little girl who notices strange things in her mirrors, but gradually grows to be okay with the strange occurrences. When she's older an " accident" leads her to discover the truth behind the strange happenings with the mirrors. Overall, I enjoyed this book for the most part. When Hayden has her "accident" that transports her to another world I really got " Alice down the rabbit hole." I really liked it and was eager to see if there would be more similarities. While there really weren't I did like reading about Hayden learns about this alternate magical world. There is a lot going on and I love that her cat is not only along for the ride, but is also a part of the story as well! My only complaint...the simplicity of the story and how it's written. It's a bit flat for me. I wanted a bit more spice in the story. You get some good moments that make you eager for more but then it becomes a bit too plain again. The mystery element is there, but more comes later which brings more oomph to the story. I am rating this book 4 out of 5 stars. I like the story but it's just a little too bland for me. For a fantasy novel I need more to keep me engaged and page-turning.
Falling into Magic by Elizabeth Pantley is the 1st book in her new Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series. We meet our heroine, Hayden when she was a child, who was afraid of a large mirror in her room. Seems her cat disappeared, and though her family said the cat must have escaped outside, Hayden was sure the cat escaped through the mirror.
Twenty years later, Hayden, who lives with her grandmother, great grandmother and works at home with her best friend, Lulu, and her cat, Sassy. While walking outside with her cat, a man comes rushing at her, and shoves her through a hole. When Hayden wakes up, she sees a young man, who turns out to be the brother she never knew. She learns she is in an alternate and somewhat magical world, Destiny Falls, and her brother, Axel helps to bring her to the beautiful mansion his family lives in.
Hayden gets to meet all the members of the Caldwell family, and is greeted by the father she never knew. Her father left Destiny Falls for a different life, fell in love, married and had two children. After Hayden’s birth, he and his young son, Axel were pulled back into Destiny Falls, with no way to return. Hayden begins to learn how magical Destiny Falls is, especially when her cat (now called Latifa) can talk to her telepathically. There conversations between each other was fun and cute.
Though she is enjoying her time meeting all members of her family, she sends emails to her family back home explaining she is on a work assignment in Denmark. In a short time, Hayden will notice some strange happenings, including seeing the man who had pushed her into that hole, and realizes someone is behind the dangerous attempts on her. She is determined to investigate who is the culprit, which puts her own life in danger.
Falling into Magic is a lighthearted mystery, in a magical and enchanted realm. To say too much more would be spoilers; there is a satisfying conclusion, but somethings were left open. It was a fun story, and I adored Latifa, who was a blast; and enjoyed many of the secondary characters created by Pantley. I look forward to more of what Elizabeth Pantley has in store for us in future books.
Falling Into Magic was an entertaining, quick, and enjoyable read. It is a fantasy, full of magic and a bit of mystery. While the start of the book was something I wasn’t sure about, Falling Into Magic soon became a captivating read. There’s a bunch of surprising twists, turns, and interesting characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style as well as the magical elements incorporated into the book. Hayden was a fabulous main character and most of the book is from her point of view. Her character isn’t necessarily perfect and that made the book all the more enjoyable.
I’d most definitely be interested in reading more about Destiny Falls!
I was excited to start this book as magical cozy mysteries are my favorite. I grew to really like Hayden and wanted to learn more about her daily life... but she gets thrown into Destiny Falls and the book shifts to its true plot. Hayden is now living in a magical town with the magical family who basically owns it.
I found the writing style to be kind of a drag compared to other cozies. There are many people introduced in this book but most of the relationships stay at a very surface level and I would have loved to seen more in depth development. There is much internal dialogue or dialogue with the cat and I longed for longer, more revealing conversations with these new people in her life. Two love interests are introduced but such little development. With that being said, I still was intrigued with the story and did enjoy reading this book.
I think the town story took precedence to the mystery in this story, which is ok because I love the idea of the town and that's what will draw me back to the next book. The book kind of strayed away from the typical cozy set up of having the heroine work closely with a male figure. I would love to see her have more dialogue with another to solve the mystery. I hope to see more character development in the next book.
This was a pretty cute book. I wish the protagonist was a bit more snoopy and investigated more but I liked the magic and nuances with different worlds. Definitely a good start to a series and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Greetings Humans! For those of you who do not know me yet, my name is Elza. I am a fluffy white kitten who will present you with a review for Falling into Magic. My Mommy has written a couple of reviews, but ever since this book fell into her lap, I begged her to do the review from my point of view.
I do a lot of reading with my Mommy and I can tell you, she reads as wide as the sea is deep. Falling into Magic is the type of book you take to the beach and just enjoy it for what it is - funny, fluffy, far-fetched and fabulous. Although my Mommy doesn't always read the fffff books, she always enjoys a good Disney or Hallmark movie or mini-series.
Finally! An author who manages to pin the Disney/Hallmark magic down on paper. Yes, yes, I do know that the author dedication normally comes at the end of the review, but I am a cat and I shall do as I please. Miss Elizabeth Bennet, wait - that's someone else. Mrs. Elizabeth Pantley had me at hello:
Dedication "This book is dedicated to all the cats and dogs who support and protect their owners, in exchange for only love and care."
All books should start like that. It's almost as powerful as Once Upon A Time. No, I am not only talking about the most magical opening line in literature history, I am also talking about the hit TV Series, Once Upon a Time and more specifically, the magical town of Storybrooke.
If you thought Storybrooke had magical powers, wait till you spot Destiny Falls on the map of enchanted realms. "Destiny Falls was a community, perhaps a town, maybe a world. It was unique and magnificent. And it was very, very well hidden."
Nothing-special-about-her Hayden, lives in Seattle with her Himalayan long haired cat, Sassy, her grandma and great grandmother. While on her way back from a grooming parlor with Sassy safely tucked in her carrier, a man shoved them both in a construction hole and blackness enfolded them. When Hayden saw the light of day again, she was in a beautiful palace, a princess with a sparkling, twirling gown and a her gorgeous cat turned into a Fairy Godmother.
Okay, I'm exaggerating here. But not really as much as you would imagine. When Hayden woke up (in a magical mansion) she was greeted by her brother who she didn't even knew she had. The only Axel she knew in "our" world, was this guy
I tell you, they breed them better in Destiny Falls. Hayden quickly realizes that she is part of a very important family, the Caldwells. Better known as the chosen ones. No, they are not vampires or the last remaining family after the apocalypse. This is a fairytale, stay with the plot and theme, please. Thus - they were the town's royalty (see, like a princess).
Hayden soon meets the rest of family who are all picture perfect. But as we know, no fairytale can be complete without a villain, an evil stepmother/grandmother, a fairy godmother and a talking animal or two. Okay, maybe there isn't a fairy godmother, but there is a fairy housekeeper and the talking animal is non other than Sassy! Who now goes by the name Latifa and she is so the true queen of this story with one sassy personality. Jazz hands to you girlfriend!
My Mommy says I need to stop with the spoiler alerts now, so if you want to know what actually happens from here on, you better read the book. It won't disappoint. It's very Disney'ish (to quote the author), and Disney always delivers.
Although Destiny Falls is not Elizabeth Pantley's first book to be published, it is her first attempt at fiction. One will never say that. Hayden is a first person narrator and her quirks and comments on herself and her own thoughts, are delightfully refreshing for this type of narration. Elizabeth's writing style is strong and the plot flows smoothly and effortlessly. Most memorable, is the character sketches. Granted, it is mainly from Hayden's point of view, but if a picture says a thousand words, then this author can do the reverse with 10 to 20 words.
As always, my Mommy has highlighted a couple of great quotes:
"We all have things that go wrong in our lives it's part of being human. And then we have choices to make. We can go down the rabbit hole of anger and sadness, or we can pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get on with life. It is our life, after all, and we can make it as good as we choose."
"Caldwell women do not sneak. We do not avoid confrontation. We do not run from problems. We keep our emotions in check. We get stronger. We get focused. We get to work."
We want to be like the Caldwell women. Something tells me, Hayden is going to develop into one amazing Caldwell woman as the rest of the series unfolds. With such a sassy cat by her side, can you expect anything less?
This is a different kind of story. Hayden's father, mother and brother disappeared when she was a baby. Once in a while she sees a boy in the mirror, but she knows that can't be real. One day she is walking along and a man tries to grab her. She falls into a hole but when she wakes up, she is in a place she has never seen before. Turns out that the boy was real and she finds her long lost father and brother. The problem is, she can't get back to her home unless the magic releases her. As she explores her new home and gets to know her family, she has a mystery that needs to be solved. Will she ever get back to her other family and friends?
If you are someone who loves to escape into another world and let your imagination run, you will love this book!
This was a fast read and I really enjoyed it. The beginning didn't grab me right away, but I decided to give it a chance and I'm so glad I did! By the time we were in Destiny Falls, I was 100% HOOKED. I am obsessed with the characters and once I got going I could not but it down. It's fun, funny, and keeps your curiosity peaked with just enough mystery and danger.
Falling Into Magic is the debut novel of cozy mystery series, Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic. It’s a light and airy read laced with humor, whimsy, and just the right amount of mischief. I enjoyed the way our main character, Hayden, just goes with the flow of things when she falls into an unexplainably magical land and a newly discovered family with her now-talking cat. In fact, most of the characters have refreshingly positive attitudes and likable personalities even when their safety is being threatened and they find themselves questioning everything.
The plot moves along at a rather quick pace, captivating your attention and keeping you guessing. I made many of my own mental notes, as one does with a good mystery, and cheered for family members along the way, hoping they weren’t behind the scandalous threats. There are just enough pieces of the backstory left unexplained to bring you back for more, and I’m happy to report that there are already 5 more books in this series! (6 in total)
What a captivating read! I was prepared to like this book. Instead I found I love it!! I couldn't put it down. What a great story, full of interesting people and places to get to know, with surprises around every corner. Enjoyed getting to know the Caldwells and Destiny Falls. Looking forward to the next one Elizabeth. You have a real talent.
Falling Into Magic: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic is a lovely fantasy novel based in a fictional island town that reminds me of many of the seaside areas in the Pacific Northwest. The fluffy cat on the cover is one of the stars of the novel, and I’m so excited to see her own love interest play out in the next book. Falling Into Magic is a fantasy book that has been aptly described as Disney/Hallmark, though the witch is definitely of a different sort, and another one of my favorite characters. The characters are diverse, hilarious, and smart, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. Better yet, I actually read the book in just a couple of days. It was exactly the right amount of fluff and lighthearted story that I needed in 2020.
Since reading this book, I’ve found my stride again when it comes to reading books – not just listening to them. I’m still listening to audiobooks when I’m out on a run or in my car, but otherwise, I find myself drawn back to reading the written word. After finishing Falling Into Magic, I’ve since finished another eight books. The common thread with all of the books I’ve read since then? They are all upbeat, light, enjoyable reads with a happy ending.
Magic and a cozy mystery rolled up in one, can’t be beat. From a smart cat to a mysterious world through a mirror, you will be hooked. This book the the first of two, I can’t wait to read the next one!
And frankly, Sassy-Latifah stole the show! She had the perfect amount of cattitude without being snarky, and still loving! What an adorable cat, and her side kick, Chanel. Oh, right, about the book! I don't normally care for first person, but this was fantastic! I got immersed in the story from the first paragraph, and stayed up half the night to read it til the end, because I simply could not put it down! The characterization was spot on, the suspense carried through the story with the right amount of emphasis. Really, this is a terrific story and I've already pre-ordered the next book! I can't wait!
I received a free copy of this book from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
When I was asked whether I wanted to review this book it didn't take me long to decide to say yes, something about that cover and blurb just caught my eye. It sounded like a fun read and I am glad I gave this one a try. Falling Into Magic is a fun story with a bit of magic and a bit of mystery while Hayden finds her way in another world.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book. And the first few chapters didn't quite clear that up for me. In fact the start was a bit rough for me, with the sort of two prologues and the different types of point of view (from all knowing to third and then finally to first). Then it seemed to settle into Hayden's first person perspective. The first chapters show her life back in Seattle, but the story really starts when she arrives into Destiny Falls. And from then onward I really started to get into the story. The writing style did feel a bit off somehow at times, with a few weird instances like the chapter about Leonard and a pov breach early on in a scene, but it got better as the story progressed. I liked the way the author described the surroundings, which was well done and made me able to visualize things well.
Falling Into Magic was a fun read. I enjoyed getting to know Hayden and her cat. I liked seeing her deal with everything that happened and how she had to find her place in this new world. And meeting family that she never knew she had. I liked how Hayden handled it all, although I did keep wondering what happened back in Seattle and whether she could ever tell her friends and family there the truth. I also liked how she was careful most of the time when she knew she was in danger and handled thing smartly. Which is why her actions at the end felt a bit out of characters when she rushes somewhere without backup.
I liked the subtle magic this book had. Destiny Falls has magic, but not the obvious magic fireballs type of magic. It's more subtle magic with the way the house seems almost sentient and changes and the town and trail change and adapt. It was quite fascinating even tough I don't feel like I fully understand it, but that just adds to the appeal. It really gave the book an unique touch. I can't wait to learn more about this place and the magic. There also is a bit about the mirrors and magic, but we don't learn a lot about those.
The book itself feels like a mix between portal fantasy and a bit of paranormal cozy mystery. The fact that Hayden goes to a whole different world is quite important to the story. The mystery is added later, but then becomes important too. It was a fun blend of genres and I liked discovering this new world and then trying to solve the mystery. I liked how the author wrote the descriptions of the house and nature as it made it easy to visualize how everything looked.
While most of the book is told from the point of view of Hayden, there are a few chapters form other characters. I mostly liked how this was handled as it gave the reader a bit more insight into what was going on. It did remove a bit of the mystery as part of the motivation of the killer was revealed and that allowed me to guess who the killer was. I liked the mystery for the most part and how there were multiple possible suspects. Things did get wrapped up a bit fast at the end with the mystery, but I liked seeing how things got resolved and I liked the last chapter and the glimpse of Hayden's future.
I liked Hayden as a main character and seeing her find her place and deal with anything in this new world. Her cat also was a great addition. Besides that there is quite the group of side characters, but everyone had their own personality and I was able to remember who everyone was without much effort. There is a hint of romance with two possible love interests for Hayden, but we haven't seen enough of either of them to really get a feel for their personality and who fits with Hayden.
To summarize: I had a fun time reading this one. I liked the blend of portal fantasy and paranormal cozy mystery. The mystery is a bit of a side plot, but also very important to the story. I struggled a bit with the first few chapters, but once Hayden arrives in Destiny Falls I really got into the story. I liked seeing how Hayden dealt with her new reality, being in a different place and meeting new family. I liked the subtle magic of Destiny falls and it was great to learn more about the place. I liked the way the author wrote descriptions in a way that made me able to visualize everything, The mystery had plenty of suspects, but toward the end things become clearer and I guessed in the right direction of who the killer was due to a hint about the motivation in another point of view. There are plenty of side characters and also a hint of romance with two possible love interests for Hayden. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to seeing where the series goes next.
So glad I was chosen to review this new charming series, Falling Into Magic by Elizabeth Pantley! She is no stranger to writing books, but this is her first work of fiction and I enjoyed every page!
Meet Hayden, who is our heroine of the story. She is an adorably funny, single young woman who was raised by her Nana and 'Granana'. She has a beautiful Himalayan cat named Sassy, (who later on in the story has changed her own name to be Latifa, and lo and behold, Latifa and Hayden can suddenly communicate telepathically. Wait, what?) a best friend by the name of Luna, and a very successful business that is ran by both Hayden and Luna.
The story revolves around why Hayden's father and brother left her when she was born, where they went, and why she wasn't a part of their family. Hayden's mother is another mystery in of itself. All Hayden is privy to, is that one day very shortly after her birth, her mother left a note stating she couldn't do this anymore and no one has heard from her ever since.
As the story unfolds, Hayden slowly begins to learn more about her family and why they left. But it's not just a history lesson of her family, that would be too boring. She is pulled into another dimension, so to speak, into a wonderfully magical town called Destiny Falls. The kicker is she was pulled into this parallel 'universe' by her mirror that has taunted her with visions of a little boy since she was a child. (and this mirror stole her childhood kitten but no one ever believed Hayden with that tall tale). This magical town of Destiny Falls is almost too good to be true. Is it what it seems or does it hold dark and sinister secrets to deceive and possibly hurt Hayden?
I loved how the author describes this alluring town. I did really feel as if I was there right along with Hayden as she explored Destiny Falls; the gardens, the hiking trails that lead to a majestic water fall (or is it two waterfalls? you'll understand once you finish the book) , the lush landscape, and the enchanting library that holds the secrets to her family's dark history. Hayden tries to describes the mansion that she is now living and how the house seemingly changes to suit your own personality, moods and tastes. If you are craving a strong cup of tea with cookies, it suddenly appears around the next corner. Nothing stays the same from one day to the next which keeps Hayden and the reader on their toes. We are then introduced to all of Hayden's long lost family members that she didn't even know existed until she 'fell' or rather was 'pushed' into her bedroom mirror. Some of these family members are truly excited to finally meet the long lost Hayden, but others aren't as thrilled. There are so many quirky, fun and mysterious characters in this book!
This cozy has all the elements a reader needs to enjoy a story. There is of course the obligatory murder or two or three; a wickedly bitter ugly old angry cave-dwelling witch; the twist of "who done it" because I didn't see it coming, characters you love and those you love to hate! Who do you trust to be your friend? Who is beyond angry that Hayden is living in Destiny Falls? And more importantly, which handsome town member is Hayden going to fall in love with? The ruggedly handsome sheriff Jax or the sexy, dark, mysterious Han? Is Hayden ever going to go back to her alternate universe? Will she see her Nana, Granana and her best friend Luna ever again? Or is she trapped inside the mirror for eternity? Stay tuned to the next installment of Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic!
Hayden Caldwell's parents disappeared, her father the day she was born, and her mother two days later. She was raised by her grandmother--Nana, and her great-grandmother--Granana.
When she was a child, her cat disappeared. The adults told her the cat ran away, but Hayden knew something they didn't. There's a magic mirror in the house, and she and Fluffball had already nearly fallen through it once. That's where Fluffball had disappeared to, she knew.
What the adults have never told her is that she had a brother, two years older than her, who disappeared along with her father.
As an adult herself, she's running Natural Living Magazine with her friend, Luna, living alone with her Himalayan cat, Sassy, and still very close with Nana and Granana. She's also close to Luna's large, Italian family.
Then one day, after a disturbing series of encounters with a red-bearded man wearing grass-stained canvass pants, Hayden, carrying her cat in a carrier, is pushed, falls into a construction hole, and finds herself--somewhere else.
It's a very different place, a seemingly idyllic but essentially normal small town. She's found by a man who introduces himself as her brother, Axel Caldwell, and tells her the town is Destiny Falls. He takes her to Caldwell Crest, a magnificent home at the top of a hill overlooking Destiny Falls. Their father and grandparents are away, but he'll help her prepare to meet them.
That sounds a little ominous, and there's something odd about the house. It seems to rearrange itself as needed. For instance, Axel puts her in a guest room, but says that if it turns out she's staying, the house will make a room that suits her.
When they go into town to buy some clothes for her, she quickly notices that things aren't always in the same place. For instance, she sees the town library down the street before they go into the shops. She mentions it to Axel, and when they come out, it's directly across the street. We won't even talk about what she finds when she goes into the library. Oh, and her cat, Sassy, can now communicate with her telepathically, and now prefers to be called Latifa.
When disturbing incidents start follow her around--someone lurking outside seemingly trying to see into her room, someone breaking into Axel's car when they've left new purchases there while eating lunch and only her new bag is missing, a threatening stranger following her, Axel, and Olivia, his friend, and is only dissuaded from dong so by Olivia's very impressive dog, Hercules, to name a few, Hayden starts to wonder who she can trust.
Her grandparents, she now knows, had her father and Axel kidnapped to bring back to Destiny Falls, and refused his pleas to retrieve his wife and newborn daughter. Her father, Leonard, married again and is now divorced, and ex-wife Jan is very resentful. Her grandmother, Eleanor, is stiff, formal, and seems very disapproving. But grandfather Philip nearly married someone else, and ran off with Eleanor just days before the planned wedding. So ex-fiancée Patty could also have a grudge, but is she anywhere around? There are also Hayden and Axel's half-sisters and their significant others.
The relationships are intricate, and the conflicts and confusion about who can and can't be trusted are well-portrayed. The characters are believable, with real doubt about who might have a motive to harm Hayden.
I have a suspicion about what Destiny Falls' secret is, but that mystery isn't one that's resolved in this first book in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Great Escapes Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Falling into Magic by Elizabeth Pantley is a nice cozy mystery that compelled me to read it from the beginning all the way to the end in one sitting. Ms. Pantley did a fantastic job. It was so interesting I did not want to put it down. Can Hayden find a way back home? Hayden Caldwell Hayden Caldwell is our main character and, most of the time, point-of-view character. I loved how the story is written and especially how well thought out Hayden's character is. Hayden is a fabulous character, and everything about her is great. She is flawed while also wanting to know a lot about her family and seeing how well she fits in with everyone on her dad's side. Hayden is someone that I would love to meet out on the streets as I think we are alike in some ways. I wouldn't mind visiting Destiny Falls either, as it seems like just the most magical place ever. I don't have any dislikes about this character. The Mystery For me, the mystery starts when Hayden gets to Destiny Falls before any killing actually happens. Either way, this mystery is quite a doozy. Why would the Caldwell's trusted gardener get Hayden into their town and then ends up getting killed? Why would anyone want to kill him? Not only that, who is working for the witch in the cave? So many questions about every single turn in Destiny Falls that Hayden finds and she finds a lot of them. She also ends up getting two possible love interests here as well. I can't wait to see how the next one pans out. 5 Stars Falling into Magic by Elizabeth Pantley is a wonderful written first fiction book that Ms. Pantley has created. I loved everything about it, and I recommend it to anyone who loves to read cozy paranormal mysteries. The rating is five stars, and I can't wait to dip my toes back into Destiny Falls next year!
Coming Soon on February 14, 2021
Giveaway Prize: (3) Digital Copy - Falling into Magic – A Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Book by Elizabeth Pantley
I have been hearing a lot of good things about this series, but really wanted to start at the beginning. That's why I was thrilled to be chosen as a reviewer* for the audiobook version of Falling Into Magic, the first book in the Destiny Falls Series!
It definitely lived up the the hype! Destiny Falls is a magical place, and main character Hayden (and her cat) find themselves there near the start of the book. I really enjoyed the magical realism elements of Destiny Falls mixed in with typical real-world things like wifi access and streaming tv. I think it would probably be good to start with Book 1, as if you jumped in later, you'd probably have some confusion trying to figure out things that were explained in this book.
Hayden is a great main character, with the perfect mix of common sense and openness to new (and magical) things. Her cat Latifah is hilarious....if you've ever wondered what your cat was thinking, Latifah's commentary should give you some insights. The other important characters were also interesting. I liked learning about them, with the promise of more details to come in future books. The author hit the perfect balance with the characters. Enough were introduced to make the story interesting, with enough details to make everyone seem unique, without overloading the reader.
The mystery itself didn't start until a bit later in the book, which made sense given that a fair amount of time was needed to establish the unique setting and cast of characters. Once it started, it was very well written. There were plenty of clues to follow, as well as some brief point-of-view chapters from another perspective that added interest.
I guessed the culprit, but not until fairly late in the story.
Since I reviewed the audiobook version, I will say that I liked the narrator. The voice was pleasing, and the quality of the reading was excellent.
I can't wait to read the rest of the series!
*Thank you to the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for providing a way for me to receive this free review copy. They offer a new cozy mystery for review every week; you can find them on Facebook if you'd also like to get free books!
As a child, Hayden experiences some inexplicable things, one of which is seeing visions of a young boy who communicates with her through the mirror in her bedroom. When Hayden is twenty-six, the world as she knows it is turned upside down after she and her Himalayan cat named Sassy fall into a construction hole and end up in a place known as Destiny Falls. She is shocked to find out that the boy in the mirror is her adult brother, that she has a family she never knew existed, and that she can communicate telepathically with her cat, who changes her name to Latifa. Destiny Falls is a magical community, and Hayden is overwhelmed at first, especially with meeting all of her Caldwell family relatives. Shortly after Hayden’s arrival, the gardener for the Caldwell family is murdered, and there are also some suspicious incidents involving Hayden and other family members. An investigation is launched but answers as to who might be involved and why are proving difficult to ascertain.
Falling into Magic is the first book in the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series and is a great debut penned by Elizabeth Pantley. Through the use of figurative language and sensory imagery, Pantley engages readers and pulls them into the fantasy world that she has created. Wonderful descriptions of the setting bring Destiny Falls alive in readers’ minds. The characters in the story are described in such a way that they are believable with diverse and opposing character traits. Readers will feel emotions right along with the characters. Hayden converses telepathically with Latifa throughout the story, and Latifa becomes friends with another cat who also talks to her owner. Some scenes are from Latifa's perspective. Pantley does a good job of adding the right amount of tension into scenes to keep readers wanting more and eagerly anticipating the final outcome. Falling into Magic is a delightful fantasy-fiction story with only a few minor editing errors, which does not detract from the overall reading experience. At the end is a snippet about the second book in the series that piques one’s interest in reading the next installment.
If you are looking for a great magical cozy mystery, look no further than Elizabeth Pantley’s Falling into Magic (the first book in the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series). It is the story of Hayden Caldwell, a writer who was raised by her grandmother, Nana, and great-grandmother, Granana (pronounced like “Banana”), after her parents mysteriously disappeared not long after her birth. She has always had a fascination with mirrors and feels there is a guardian angel watching over her through the mirrors.
Hayden’s life is soon turned upside down when strange occurrences start happening with herself and her Nana and Granana. She is ultimately transported to a parallel world called Destiny Falls where she learns the true story of her family. She finds out she has an older brother who had disappeared along with her father just after her birth and she is able to meet not only her brother and father, but also 3 more half-siblings and her paternal grandparents. It takes Hayden awhile to acclimate to this new “world” and the many magical happenings there. In the meantime, her family back in her own world is led to believe Hayden has taken a spur of the moment trip to Denmark with her cat to research a story for her magazine.
Unfortunately, trouble followed her to Destiny Falls and there is a murder, some poisonings, and other scary occurrences. She, of course, wants to get to the bottom of it all and does some investigation on her own with a local investigator and sheriff (both are quite handsome men who capture Hayden’s eye immediately).
Overall, this is a very enchanting story that kept me wanting to read more. I have already pre-ordered the second book in this series and wish I did not have to wait until March to read it! I very much recommend Falling into Magic to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal cozy mystery. It is so nice to be able to lose myself in such a great story and forget all the bad things going on in the world these days. I was given a free copy of this book in the hope that I would review it. I am happy to do so.