When the Pilot Falls Review and GIVEAWAY!


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 Review

A romantic mystery full of unexpected twists and turns, April Hayman pens the third installment in the Ever After Mysteries, When the Pilot Falls. I have to say that this is now my favorite book in the series, due in part to the fact that I am unfamiliar with the original fairy tale from which it is adapted, East of the Sun, West of the Moon. As such, I truly went into this one without any idea of the plot or characters, and I love that because it kept me in anticipation throughout. As always, I avoid reading book summaries, so I became privy to the crime itself alongside the figures in the story and was unable to predict the outcome. To me, that is the best kind of mystery!

Hayman confronts some of the most challenging issues of 1920s America while infusing the narrative with humor and intriguing characters. Opening in Kansas in 1923, When the Pilot Falls features barnstormer Willie Labeau, an intrepid female pilot who speaks her mind and has no problem wearing trousers. Her philosophy is likewise straightforward: “Everything was simpler in the air. She only had to worry about the plane.” However, as a woman in a predominantly male profession, she is considered easily replaceable, and when she ends up back at home, she laments to her father that “I’m just so tired of it. Of trying to prove myself over and over. And when I do the right thing, it doesn’t do me any good.” He tells her that “If things were that bad, you might have asked for help before it got out of hand. But that’s in the past and something to learn from for the future,” a reply that proves to be prophetic in the next leg of her journey. She becomes a Hollywood stunt pilot, working for Hugh Taylor under the curious condition that she doesn’t pry into his family life. Things seem nearly idyllic until her new life comes crashing down when Hugh vanishes.

There is a plethora of action and background in each chapter of When the Pilot Falls, yet it never feels overwhelming or confounding. The story is clean, with references to characters praying but no overt religious content. Estie, an African-American female pilot, is my favorite secondary character. Not only is she groundbreaking in aviation, she is loyal and dauntless, as are her family members. They contribute so much to the second half of the story, and they are witty and enterprising. Conversely, Queenie makes a repulsive villainess, and Hayman uses her character and the era of Prohibition to great effect in establishing the climax of the plot. It all makes for a story that flies along so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to put down!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

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.


10 thoughts on “When the Pilot Falls Review and GIVEAWAY!

  1. Eva Millien

    When the Pilot Falls sounds like a great combination of mystery and fairy tale which I hadn’t thought of, April, I can’t wait to read your book and discover how it turns out! Thanks for bringing it to my attention and have a great day!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s