Double Review and Sweepstakes: Delilah Dusticle and Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure by A.J. York

Title: Delilah Dusticle Series: Book #1: Delilah Dusticle Series Author: A.J. York Format: Paperback and eBook, Black and White 1st Edition , 96 pages Expected publication: June 1, 2014 by Createspace (first published March 3, 2013)    ISBN: 1497511798
Title: Delilah Dusticle
Series: Book #1: Delilah Dusticle Series
Author: A.J. York
Format: Paperback and eBook, Black and White 1st Edition , 96 pages
Expected publication: June 1, 2014 by Createspace (first published March 3, 2013)
ISBN: 1497511798

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Delilah Dusticle has special powers, she can completely eradicate dust. With her quiver pouch of special dusters Delilah can run up walls and reaches places others just can’t. As a maid in the Fenchurch-Whittington house Delilah’s unusual skills soon lead to her being promoted to Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover. Until one day a broken heart leads to her taking an expected turn.  This is the first in a series of touching and funny stories about Delilah Dusticle. Follow her on a journey of self-discovery, friendship and adventure.

Source: Author

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

Delilah Dusticle has a gift – no matter how small or how big the dust, Delilah can make it disappear. As Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover (awesome title!) of the Fenchurch-Whittington household, Delilah makes her employers’ home the envy of the neighborhood and on more than one occasion, the jealous and uppity ladies who frequently visit the home, have tried to entice Delilah with offers of greater pay and world travel if only she will come work for them. Ever the polite soul, Delilah declines because she is perfectly happy where she is. After all, no other home and no other uppity lady can offer Delilah access to her love, Charlie Fenchurch-Whittington the Third. Though she knows they can never be more than friends (just ask the suit of armor!), Delilah is happy just being in Charlie’s presence. And then, one day, the unthinkable happens – Charlie Fenchurch-Whittington the Third brings home a fiancé!

Distraught and not sure what to do, Delilah’s work begins to suffer and before long, her ability to eradicate dust is completely gone. Even more embarrassing is the fact that Delilah now seems to generate dust wherever she goes. Unable to do her job, Delilah is forced to leave the Fenchurch-Whittington home. For several years, Delilah lives alone, sad and, covered in dust. She only ever ventures out to tidy up the cemetery she looks after and to visit the duck pond near her apartment each Sunday afternoon. It is on one of these Sunday visits that Delilah meets Abi and her young son, Charlie. For the first time in years, Delilah feels happy and looks forward to meeting her new friends each weekend. As a result of her improved mood, Delilah even begins to notice that the dust she has grown so accustomed to is beginning to disappear. But can the friendship last?

The Bottom Line: What a delightful, quick and easy read! Delilah is a character you just simply fall in love with from the very beginning. She is adorable and sweet and when she is eradicating dust, she is at her finest. I like this book for younger readers for a few reasons: 1) it’s not dumbed down but is a strong read for middle grade and above readers and; 2) it imparts a lot of good life lessons. Delilah reminds you that it is OK to love your work, to be sad sometimes and, to forge true and lasting friendships.

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Title: Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure Series: Book #2: Delilah Dusticle Series Format: Paperback and eBook, Black and White 1st Edition , 122 pages Expected publication: June 1, 2014 by Createspace (first published January 15, 2014)  ISBN: 1497512050
Title: Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure
Series: Book #2: Delilah Dusticle Series
Format: Paperback and eBook, Black and White 1st Edition , 122 pages
Expected publication: June 1, 2014 by Createspace (first published January 15, 2014)
ISBN: 1497512050

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Delilah Dusticle is back with an action packed mission. In this illustrated instalment, Delilah and the Dustbusters are invited to Transylvania to cater for the Hallow Eve Ball. All is not what it seems and Count Dracula has a very unusual request.   This is the second in a series of stories following Delilah and the Dustbusters on adventures around the world. Get ready to join the fun and experience the magic.

Source: Author

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

Round two of the Delilah Dusticle series finds Delilah and her best friend Abi up to their ears in cleaning jobs. Opening Dustbusters has proven to be a huge success what with Delilah’s ability to completely eradicate dust and Abi’s top of the line dusters. The girls have a stellar crew that includes: Delilah’s boyfriend and vacuum cleaner fixer, Duncan; the young and somewhat clumsy Billy; the stern and very dependable, Doris and; the large and in charge, Dev. Together, the crew sets up and cleans up some of the finest homes and parties in all of England and their talents are becoming very well-known.

Much to everyone’s surprise, The Dustbusters fame has spread far and wide and so, when they are invited to Transylvania to work a large and fantastical party in a CASTLE, the crew accepts and begins preparations for the long journey. The trip to Count Winifred Dracula’s castle is anything but smooth and once the Dustbuster’s arrive, the weirdness doesn’t stop. Of course the name Dracula is well-known but nothing could have prepared the crew for Winni Dracula – he is loud and jolly and over the top excited to have the Dustbusters in his home. What’s even more surprising is what he wants the Dustbusters to do: to make a mess out of his castle rather than clean it! Clearly confused, Delilah confronts the Count.

Winnie is nothing if not completely honest and he tells Delilah that people expect a certain level of spooky and eerie when attending a Dracula’s party and so, he needs the castle to appear old and dilapidated rather than beautiful, bright and, clean. Oh, and Winnie also tells Delilah that not only can she make her magic happen in reverse but she can do it better than anyone else in the world because she is no ordinary human but, a brownie. Though skeptical, Delilah follows Winnie’s instructions and soon finds that she can work her magic in reverse and before long, the entire crew is working in reverse and the castle is covered in icky ooey dust. Please with their work, the Dustbusters are excited to enjoy the party and they do so right up until the moment Delilah is kidnapped!! Absolute madness ensues as the Dustbusters – with the help of some very surprising allies – scramble to find and rescue Delilah.

The Bottom Line: Delilah’s time in Transylvania is, as the title implies, an adventure. The Dustbusters not only expand their business but meet some very fun and entertaining characters while abroad. Additionally, with this read, York is beginning to offer a few more clues about her characters (Delilah is a BROWNIE!!) and how it is they all have come together. The plot is fun and fast-paced and though this read is longer than the first, it will certainly keep younger readers entertained. In all, I am pleased with this series and looking forward to the next Delilah Dusticle adventure! Installment three: Delilah Dusticle and the Cursed Tempest

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About the author and where to find her:

A.J. York  profile pictureAbout me? Well I grew up in the UK, but was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. My childhood influences were a mix of Pippi Longstocking and The Flumps. I have always enjoyed making up characters and their life stories, therefore I jumped at the chance to study theatre at the University of Brighton. I later trained as a drama teacher and I have a Master’s degree from Goldsmiths. I have gone back to my roots and I now live in Gothenburg, where I am writing the Delilah Dusticle series. People have told me they love reading my stories and I hope you have fun reading them too! Things I like? Swedish cinnamon buns, yoga, tea, salt liquorice, sleeping on boats, compassion and other people’s creativity. Things I do not like? Okra. The vegetable is also known as ladies fingers, which makes them even less appetising to me. Blah!

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