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Monday, October 25, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - When the Pilot Falls Author: April Hayman On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book: When the Pilot Falls

Author: April Hayman

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: September 7, 2021

In 1923, there aren’t many pilots, but Willie Labeau didn’t let that stop… her.

A bear of a man, Hugh Taylor, needs a stunt plane pilot, and despite their rocky introduction, Willie sets off for golden California and a new life as his pilot. There’s just one little thing she has to do in addition to flying.

Leave his past alone. Period.

When the flame of her own curiosity becomes fanned by encouragement from Willie’s sister, the feisty pilot can’t help but do just a little investigating.

And Hugh vanishes.

Friends rally around her, and with all the information she can find in hand, Willie sets off to rescue Hugh and battle the evil family holding him hostage.

A fierce air race, a sincere act of humility—are they enough to free Hugh and give Willie a chance to be with him… forever?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. When the Pilot Falls offers a retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch hearts soar and daring dos.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

April Hayman lives in the high desert of California with her husband and their three sons. During the day, she focuses on homeschooling the boys and working on client projects. She writes at night when the temperature outside is only somewhat cooler than during the day.

Her passion for reading began in grade school and her teachers often reprimanded her for reading when she should have been completing her math assignments. Now she reads whenever she likes and writes for those who love to read.

April collects fountain pens, has too many pen pals (and always looking for more), journals sporadically, creates art when she can squeeze it in, and hordes stationery.


More from April

I’ve always loved to write. I still remember pounding out a science fiction story about a lizard man on my Grandmother’s typewriter, with its sticky ‘e’ key, then excitedly asking to read it to her. She patiently listened and praised my writing. I was thrilled even though, now as an adult, I realized she was humoring me. I continued to write on an off for the next twenty years, but it wasn’t until I found National Novel Writing Month that I really began to write in earnest.


I’d already begun my search into story structure and, one day while researching, NaNoWriMo popped up on my browser window. Interested, I clicked over and I was intrigued. Here was a chance to write 50,000 words in thirty days with a support group of other writers! And, with a day to go, I signed up. After all, how hard is it to write 50,000 words?


Turns out, it’s super hard. Especially when you’re new to story structure, developing characters, and correct pacing. It was a fabulous disaster of a story, but I did manage to hit my mark and “win” that year. And, best of all, I’d met Chautona Havig. She and I became friends and her brilliant writing advice and support has meant the world to me.


Every year after that, except when I moved away, I participated. Eventually I became a Municipal Liaison, the head volunteer and writer wrangler, for our area. It was a lot of fun but not one of those books has been published. They’re just for me and I love them, even if they’re awful.


Eventually, my participation was noticed by my three boys. While all of them enjoy reading to varying degrees, writing was always hard for them. Not that they don’t love to tell a good story. It’s the writing part that’s hard. Anyway, my eldest son finally decided to join the Young Writers Program (NaNoWriMo for pre-teens and teens) one year and got bitten by the writing bug. We’re currently working on his latest story. I’m so happy to have passed on my love of writing to him and his brothers!

My Thoughts

When the Pilot Falls is written by  April Hayman. This is a fairytale retelling, historical story. This is part of the Ever After Mystery series. A series that is written by a variety of authors. They are stand alone books, but tied together by a central theme of fairytale retelling.  This is book number 3 of 8. This is the first book that I have read by this author - and it will NOT be my last. 

I was not familiar with the fairytale " East of the Sun, West of the Moon" that this is based off of. I had to go read a bit about it before I got started. The author did a good job bringing her story to life. In the fairytale - a white bear rescues a girl from an impoverished situation. This book is set in the 1920's.  We see Willie, a female pilot who does stunts and flies like a professional. When the circus that she is working with takes the side of a piolet who was trying to throw a trick, Willie finds herself without a job and having to head home to her run down family shack. 

Hugh is a large man. A bear like man as he is described. He comes from a broken past and has been banished to the west coast. He finds and recruits Willie to be the pilot on Hollywood stunts. What he does not count on is how he falls for her but will not let her completely get to know him. Willie enjoys Hugh, and looks past his flaws of his large stature. She enjoys what she is doing. Until she decides to dig into Hugh's past. 

Willie wants to know where he came from - even if Hugh wants to keep it hidden. Doing so, causes Hugh to disappear and Willie to go on a quest to try and find him. Once Willie recovers from her stunt plane crash, she sets out east to Kentucky to try and find Hugh. What she didn't count on was what he was hiding from her. 

The author did a great job on historical research. Willie reminds me of Amelia Earhart - wanting to push past the stereotypes of women wearing pants and flying airplanes. The author has created a fun, historical mystery. This book does touch on bootleggers and illegal alcohol sales during prohibition. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

Inklings and notions, October 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 19

For Him and My Family, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 20

SodbusterLiving, October 20

ABBA’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Connie’s History Classroom, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 27

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, October 27

For the Love of Literature, October 28

Through the Fire Blogs, October 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 29

Back Porch Reads, October 29


To celebrate her tour, April is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Your book sounds wonderful and beautiful!! Hoping to get the chance to read her.

  2. Hi! East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a great fairytale but one of the more obscure ones, I admit. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my book. ~April

  3. I definitely need to add this to my list! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This story sounds like quite the adventure. Thank you for the review that includes the fairytale that the story is based on because I had never heard of it before.

  5. Sounds like an exciting read, April! Thanks for sharing it with me! Thanks Connie's History Classroom for sharing your review! Have a great day!

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this story, it sounds like an excellent book and series, a must read for me

  7. This book sounds like an excellent read.

  8. Connie, Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!