In the heart of ancient Delphi, Fippa, a sixteen-year-old misfit mystic with unusual gifts, stands at the edge of a cosmic pool, ready to drown. Her sacrifice is the only way to open the portal within the water’s black depths and the only chance she has to bring the young warrior, Ision, back to Earth before Darkness annihilates Love from the Cosmos.
Submerged in the pool, Fippa’s heart stops beating and the portal opens. She finds herself unexpectedly transformed into an exotic butterfly girl—a creature of legend—the Shalilly. Resurrected into a parallel dimension—a land full of mythical creatures, talking animals, and the Pale Ones who dominate them—Fippa the Shalilly is captured and sold to the very man she came to find.
With Darkness looming ever closer, Fippa must persuade Ision to return with her to Earth by telling him a fantastic story—their story. The story of Love.
As a young girl, Elizabeth Gracen found herself often escaping into the world of make believe. Her eccentric grandmother—a would-be witch who read palms and invented wild stories about good fairies who battled an army of evil spiders in her attic—gave her the gift of imagination, a gift she has always treasured.
Years later, after traveling the world as Miss America 1982, Elizabeth discovered the craft of acting to channel her vivid imagination, most notably as Amanda in the fantasy series, HIGHLANDER. After the birth of her daughter, she became a filmmaker and launched FLAPPER FILMS—a production company dedicated to creating inspiring content for multi-generational women.
Elizabeth spends her time between Europe and America and happily juggles the role of mother, business owner, filmmaker, and author. She lives with her husband, her ten-year old daughter, three dogs, and an attic full of fairies. SHALILLY is her debut novel.
By William R. Herr on May 13, 2016
Format: Kindle EditionThis book, Elizabeth Gracen's debut offering to Young Adult literature, is nothing short of a masterpiece of fiction. Weaving together themes from Scheherazade (of 1001 Arabian Nights), and the brilliant imagery of Cat Valente's Fairyland novels, SHALILLY offers new life to a genre which has otherwise grown stale with tired tropes and recycled plots. Her voice is fresh and new, and one which will be welcomed for many years to come. One suspects that there is more brilliance waiting, in the wings, for this woman's measurable skills to translate.SHALILLY is, at its heart (and like all successful YA literature) a romance. However, even in this respect Gracen deviates in wonderful, unexpected ways. Typically, one expects a romantic plot-line to begin with boy-meets-girl. Then the duo fall in love, face the obstacles to their feelings, and optionally face-off against some sort of overwhelming foe.Here, 'they-fall-in-love' comes first--and it makes perfect sense. Is it so strange, then, that the other elements, while present and comprehensible, follow in a likewise staggered manner? Open the covers of this ook without expectation, because your expectations will be dashed in the most wonderful ways.In SHALILLY, Fippa is a novitiate Oracle-in Waiting at Delphi, or so she would have her peers believe. In actuality, she is a student of the 'Wise One', and heir to the wisdom of the ancients. She is proud, willful, obstinate, and filled with self-doubt. She is also the 'Solitary', the last chance for love to survive on earth. Her opposite, Ision, is a brash young warrior, the image of bravery and strength. Together, they are forced to confront a darkness which has crept into the world in a climactic battle. Yes, this sounds old-hat and done-to-death, but the treatment and delivery make it fresh and new.Using the 'universal song' and her own innate intuitive abilities, Fippa (strongly ensconced as the main character) navigates time, distance, and multiple reatlities in her fight to save not only the man she loves, but also the world. Multiple worlds. Let me explain, please.The action in this book takes place on two worlds--Earth, where Fippa and Ision were born, and Paradigm, where the conflict must take place. Ision is cast between worlds against his will, and Fippa must follow to save him. In the process she is changed into a Shalilly, a nectar-drinking faerie which can influence emotions through song and speak to all living creatures. She is almost immediately captured and enslaved as a pet, and... well, you will have to read the book to learn more. No skipping to the last page!Like all good fantasy, however, there is more here than just magic and plot. Running beneath the text is commentary on organized religion, our place in the world, and the nature of sacrifice. The reader is invited to navigate this incredibly well-built socio-econonimic construct as a diverse mixture of races attempt to regain balance with each other.In many ways this is a time-travel piece, as well as a portal fantasy. Except that it isn't a portal fantasy. But it is. My head hurts. And it's a boy-meets-girl romance, but they fall in love before they meet. And it's a hero's journey where the hero must remain captive in a cage. Oh, stop trying to pigeon-hole it. It's a numbingly good book. Read it.If, along the way, you question the essence of who we are as individuals, our place in time, the nature of time itself, and essence of freedom, good on you. If not, you still will have enjoyed a rollicking adventure-romance-fantasy that stands strongly beside the likes of Mary Stewart.