Spotlight Post: The Other, Better Me by Antony John (Excerpt)

Hey everyone! Today, I have an awesome excerpt to share with you from Antony John’s The Other, Better Me (October 1, 2019 – HarperCollins). First, here’s more about the book:

From the critically acclaimed author of Mascot comes this heartfelt novel, perfect for fans of John David Anderson and Cammie McGovern, about a girl searching for the meaning of family.

Lola and Momma have always been a team of two. It hasn’t always been easy for Lola, being one of the only kids she knows with just one parent around. And lately she’s been feeling incomplete, like there’s a part of herself that she can’t know until she knows her dad.

But what will happen—to Lola, to Momma, to their team of two—if she finds him?

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound


And now for the excerpt! Enjoy!!

THE OTHER, BETTER ME by Antony John – Chapter 1 Excerpt

It’s Friday the thirteenth, and I don’t think Momma will be getting up soon.

She was working late at the restaurant last night because Frankie, the boss’s son, got sick. It’s why she’ll be in bed until ten minutes before the school bus comes to pick me up.

I don’t like it when Momma works late. I always lock our door, so it’s not like I’m scared. And the house is small and cozy – two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, and bathroom. But there’s a space under our house, and when the wind blows hard, it makes this weird howling noise like a ticked-off dog. Last night, I called our neighbor Ms. Archambault so she could hear it over the phone. She’s like my grandmother, only she’s not family. Her house faces ours, so I can see her when she stands in her kitchen window and waves at me. Because Ms. Archambault owns our house, she promised to get her friend Ned, who’s a handyman, to stop the howling noise. That sounded like a good idea to me. We don’t need any ticked-off imaginary dogs living under us.

On the bright side, whenever Momma works late, I get to watch YoutTuber videos on her laptop. She thinks her laptop is password-protected, but my best friend, Kiana, told me to try typing in “pa$$word.” When I told Kiana that it worked, she gave this long, deep nod, like she knew all along. Kiana wants to be a detective, like her dad. I think she’s off to a good start.

Anyhow, today I let Momma sleep until precisely fifteen minutes before I need to leave the house. I eat Cheerios, wash my bowl in the sink, and keep the water running so all the detergent bubbles disappear down the drain. I put my backpack by the door, wet my bobbed hair so it won’t stick up in the back, and make sure my armpits don’t smell. Momma says I have lax standards of personal hygiene. I don’t know what that means, but I think it has something to do with needing to sniff my armpits more often. Finally, I pour a cup of really strong coffee and take it to her.

“I’ve got to go,” I say.

She rolls towards me. “Toilet’s over there,” she mumbles.

I let out a long sigh. This is isn’t the first time Momma has used that joke.

“Are you coming?” I ask.

She catches the smell of coffee but doesn’t reach for the mug. “Oh, Lola, honey. How about you put yourself on the bus today? You can do that, right?”

I’m not sure how to answer. Sure, I can put myself on the school bus. The stop is only half a block away. But Momma has put me on the bus almost every day since I started kindergarten. Even when she was real sick a couple years ago, she hardly missed a day. Plus, she isn’t looking at her coffee anymore. She calls it her “wake-up juice,” but it’s like she has forgotten the mug is there.

Just this once,” she murmurs, eyes closed. “I could really use a little extra sleep.”

“Okay, Momma. I’ll see you after your shift tonight, ‘kay?”

“Same time, same place.”

I lean forward and kiss her. She smiles. But she doesn’t kiss me back. And she still won’t open her eyes.

Spotlight Post: The Obsidian Compass by Liesl Shurtliff (Guest Post)

Hey everyone! Today, I’m incredibly excited to share with you a guest post from Liesl Shurtliff, author of The Obsidian Compass, book two in the Time Castaways series (October 15, 2019 from Katherine Tegen Books)!! I really enjoyed Liesl’s book, Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood, so I’m excited for her new series! First, here’s more about the book:

Liesl Shurtliff, New York Times bestselling author of Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, continues the action-packed Time Castaways trilogy with book two, in which the Hudsons sail across time and history as they embark on a daring rescue mission.

With magic, mystery, and adventure, this is perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Percy Jackson.

Mateo, Ruby, and Corey Hudson have lost their friend Jia to the villainous Captain Vincent’s clutches, and now they’re determined to bring her back to safety. But the Hudson kids don’t have a way to time-travel without the Obsidian Compass, until Mateo figures out the secret component to get his own homemade compass working.

Soon the whole family—plus their wacky neighbor, Chuck, and his rusty orange bus, Blossom—are swept up in another epic journey.

With their own time-traveling vehicle and some help from history’s most famous young markswoman, Annie Oakley, the Hudsons think they’re prepared to sneak onto the Vermillion. Unbeknownst to them, Captain Vincent already knows they’re coming. In fact, he’s counting on it…



And now here’s the guest post from Liesl! Enjoy!

The Joys and Struggles of Writing Time Travel

By Liesl Shurtliff

This is going to be so fun! That’s what I said to myself when I signed a contract to write a time-travel trilogy. And it has been fun. Fun and thrilling and deeply satisfying. Time Castaways is a rollicking family time-travel series full of adventure and history and family drama. Book 1, The Mona Lisa Key, starts with three city kids, Mateo, Corey, and Ruby Hudson, who board a Subway train in present-day Manhattan and end up in Paris on August 21, 1911, on the very day the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. (True historical event!) The adventure continues in Book 2, The Obsidian Compass (Available October 15th) sending the Hudsons to the Siberian Ice Age, The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and Yellowstone National Park. I’m neck deep into writing Book 3, The Forbidden Lock.

With nearly three time-travel books under my belt, I have a slightly more sober perspective on writing time travel. Any time someone even mentions time-travel in my presence I immediately shiver and metaphorically curl up into fetal position. Time travel, I have learned, is not something to take lightly. Writers beware!

I’ve been vocal about my pains. I complain to anyone who will listen, much like those women who have dramatic birthing stories. We want the world to know what we’ve been through! If people ask me which of my books has been the hardest to write I don’t even hesitate. “Time travel is a beast,” I say. Some will ask what makes it so difficult. There are a million reasons, I think, but two stick out in my mind. For one, when writing in a universe where time travel is possible, the possibilities are endless. Wait a second, you say, isn’t that a good thing? Sometimes. It’s good to have lots of possibilities, but eventually you need to create boundaries and parameters. Rules are very important when building a fantasy world, otherwise your story can get out of control. Sure, you could go wild and have no rules, let anything happen without logic or reason. Some writers might be able to pull it off, but you run the risk of your story not making much sense and being rather weak and dissatisfying to your reader. (Or it could be incredible! Go ahead and try it!)

Time itself exists to create certain constraints within our world. As Einstein once said, “The only reason for time is so everything doesn’t happen at once.” Time creates order. Remove time and you have chaos. I had to work really hard to create certain rules and logic with a concept that felt limitless and illogical. What happens when you time travel? What are the physical effects? What can you do outside your own timeline? What can you not do? Do you age when you travel outside your own timeline? Can you live for an extended period of time outside your own timeline? Can you see yourself? What happens if you do? Is it different if you see yourself twenty years in the past versus twenty seconds? There was a lot to consider, and each answered question birthed twenty more questions. I tried to avoid falling back on old tropes and clichés or things that have been done in recent popular entertainment. I wanted it all to feel unique and fresh. That is the burden of all writers.

The second reason time travel can feel so overwhelming is simply keeping track of everything. Timelines, character ages, places, dates, events… I have several Google sheets where I keep track of all of these things. I’ve given access to my editors, copy editors, and beta readers, and it’s still difficult to keep it all straight. We have to double, triple, and quadruple check. How old is that character again? How long did they hang out in the wrong decade? How much older are they than their mother now? It takes a village to keep everything straight and in the end we’re all dizzy!

Once, when things got particularly difficult with this story, I posed a hypothetical. If I could travel back in time, would I tell myself not to write these books? Nope. These books have been massively difficult to write, but also incredibly fulfilling. I’ve learned so much, both about writing and myself. I would never take that away. Plus, I’ve received so many thoughtful letters from readers telling me how much they loved Book 1 and can’t wait for Book 2. Just the other night I caught my own 10-year-old son reading in bed far past his bedtime. He was reading my early copy of Time Castaways #2. The joy of even one reader washes away all pains.

That said, I would travel back to myself in the beginning of writing these books, when I was full of so much hope and inspiration, give myself a hug and say, “I’m here for you whenever you need to talk. Any time.” Because in my time-travel world, we should be allowed to help ourselves through the tough stuff. But if that were the case, would the tough stuff really be all that tough? Gah!


About the Author:
Liesl Shurtliff is the New York Times bestselling author of Rump: The True Tale of Rumpelstiltskin, other books in the (Fairly) True Tales series, and the Time Castaways series, She was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, the fifth of eight kids. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and four kids, where she writes full-time.



Spotlight Post: Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

Hey everyone! Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon (October 29, 2019 – Delacorte Press) releases in THREE WEEKS!!!!! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered it yet???

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Book Depository | IndieBound

Spotlight Post: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Hey everyone! Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw (November 5, 2019 – Simon Pulse) releases in ONE MONTH!!!!! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered it yet???

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance set deep in the magical snow-covered forest, where the appearance of a mysterious boy unearths secrets that awakens the enchanted, but angry, woods.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Book Depository | IndieBound

Spotlight Post: Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell

Hey everyone! Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell (November 5, 2019 – Margaret K. McElderry Books) releases in ONE MONTH!!!!! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered it yet???

A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Book Depository | IndieBound

Spotlight Post: The Last Dragon by James Riley

Hey everyone! The Last Dragon (The Revenge of Magic #2) by James Riley (October 8, 2019 – Aladdin) releases in LESS THAN A MONTH!!!!! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered it yet???

Fort Fitzgerald is determined to uncover the truth, but a new student at school and the secrets he has to keep complicate matters in this second novel in a thrilling new series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Story Thieves!

Fort Fitzgerald can’t stop having nightmares about the day his father was taken from him in an attack on Washington, DC. In these dreams, an Old One, an evil beyond comprehension, demands the location of the last dragon. But other than some dragon skeletons dug up with the books of magic on Discovery Day, Fort has never seen a dragon before. Could there still be one left alive?

And weirdly, Fort’s not the only one at the Oppenheimer School having these nightmares. His new roommate, Gabriel, seems to know more than he’s letting on about this dragon as well. And why does everyone at the school seem to do whatever Gabriel says? What’s his secret?

Fort’s going to need the help of his friends Cyrus, Jia, and Rachel, if he’s going to have any chance of keeping the Old Ones from returning to Earth. Unless, the Old Ones offer something Fort could never turn down…

Goodreads | Amazon

The Book Depository | IndieBound

Spotlight Post: Slay by Brittney Morris

Hey everyone! Slay by Brittney Morris releases in just ONE month on September 24, 2019 (Simon Pulse)! Have you checked it out/pre-ordered it yet???

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

Goodreads | Amazon

The Book Depository | IndieBound

Blog Tour: CAPE by Kate Hannigan (Spotlight Post)

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for CAPE by Kate Hannigan (August 6, 2019, Aladdin)! This book sounds incredible, and I’m super excited to share it with you!

A brilliant girl puzzler discovers she’s part of a superhero team!

Josie O’Malley does a lot to help out Mam after her father goes off to fight the Nazis, but she wishes she could do more—like all those caped heroes who now seem to have disappeared. If Josie can’t fly and control weather like her idol, Zenobia, maybe she can put her math smarts to use cracking puzzles for the government.

After an official tosses out her puzzler test because she’s a girl, it soon becomes clear that an even more top-secret agency has its eye on Josie, along with two other applicants: Akiko and Mae. The trio bonds over their shared love of female superhero celebrities, from Fantomah to Zenobia to the Black Cat. But during one extraordinary afternoon, they find themselves transformed into the newest (and youngest!) superheroes in town. As the girls’ abilities slowly begin to emerge, they learn that their skills will be crucial in thwarting a shapeshifting henchman of Hitler, and, just maybe, in solving an even larger mystery about the superheroes who’ve recently gone missing.

Inspired by real-life women from World War II—the human computers and earliest programmers called “the ENIAC Six”.




About the Author:
Kate Hannigan is a noted author with a special passion for stories that empower girls and women. Her picture and middle grade books have received high praise, multiple starred reviews, selected for Booklist Editor’s Choice and a Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade fiction. She lives in Chicago with her husband and three children. Please visit her at

Spotlight Post: Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning (Excerpt)

Hey everyone! I’m super, super pumped to be sharing an excerpt from Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning with you! You guys know I’ve been obsessed with this series since, like 2015 (as mentioned in my 2017 Debut Authors Bash post, in which I interviewed Sarah). And I LOVED Sea Witch. So, of course, I’m BEYOND excited for the sequel, and absolutely ecstatic to be sharing this excerpt with you (and a GIANT thank you to Wunderkind PR for reaching out and allowing me to share the excerpt)!!!

So first, here’s more about the book:

“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love.

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.



And now for the excerpt! Enjoy!!


The sharpest of things keep their edge even in the dullest of settings.

And so, my coral knife shines through the shadows I call home. Rendered ghost white with magic, the serrated blade sharp is enough to cleave a single hair in two.

Beautiful. Deadly. Perfect.

I only hope it’s enough for when they arrive.

Because in the hours since the little mermaid left the sea for land, chasing her true love, I felt it. A tug. A thread pulled clear and released. I felt it in my bones, rotting through the marrow, septic in my lungs, gut, and heart, and yet, this jolt of pain was bound to come. It needed to come. The sea’s monopoly is not sustainable.

In the time that I’ve lived below the surface, the magical balance has shifted, the power slowly tipping from land to sea, until the majority of the land’s magic had sunken to depths of the sea king’s domain, destined to obey an unnatural master. Now the imbalance is so glaring it’s all I can see beyond the lair that is my cage, beyond my forest of polypi, the fissures in the earth bubbling with turfmoor, and the violent whirlpools spinning sirens in the deep. Past the eerie blue radiance of the sea king’s castle and its grounds, magic teems, heavy, overflowing.

After the little mermaid left, I began to think how impossible it is that the magic on land has all but died away, though it’s simple, really. There were so few of us witches. Hunted, killed, banished. We were eliminated one by one for centuries, until the land was nearly drained of its magic and those who knew how to control it. From Maren Spliid and her death at the hands of the witch-hunter king, all the way through the years to me, each of us cast into the sea. But I did not die, not in every way, and so my magic is still my own, a mix of land and sea.

I remember my time above, and the thaw inside me crystallizes, clear and blue. I was a witch turned underground by fear—I didn’t even know how to use my strength. It was how Tante Hansa tried to keep me safe. Hiding away my power, repressing it. As if it were something that could be shuttered away in a cupboard from prying eyes. Out of sight, out of mind.

But now, my eyes are open.

The balance of magic has always been precarious. Built on exchange, all of it. Not just the spells, the whole system. And the ebb and flow of power is skewed toward those who seek to own it. Yet as the little mermaid set foot on land, taking her powers with her, the scale tipped back toward the land just a sliver. The land’s shockwave of relief sent that ripple pouring through my bones, but my brief pain is of no concern. I do not need this magic to live.

There is another who has much to fear.

I tuck the knife away, safe in my cave, and pull out my spell books, presents from Tante Hansa, one in each tentacle, plus two in each hand. I settle into the pewter sands and thumb through them. Tante Hansa always told me that magic will forever seek equilibrium. Now that the door has been finally opened, perhaps I can hasten the land’s gain.

That’s when the polypus closest to my cave clears its throat, and the voice I took from the little mermaid cuts into my insulated world. “Weren’t your efforts to curb the Tørhed enough of a disaster? You want to try again?”

I startle a little—so used to fifty years of silence. Anna. She can surely feel the imbalance too. Though I gave her the little mermaid’s voice, we’ve yet to talk much about what she did, why she did it, and why I did what I had to, to save Nik. But now is not the time to start.

“This is different,” I say. My spell of abundance to end the sea’s Tørhed and bring life to our fisherman’s nets created an imbalance that angered Urda. My desire here is just the opposite. “I have to try.”

“Fine,” Anna goes on. “But you won’t find what you want in those books.”

I turn the page of my spell book in defiance.

Almost as an exclamation, there’s the distant sound of an explosion, big enough to push the whirlpools off axis, turfmoor burping, sea floor quaking into the water and then drifting into a new arrangement. My polypi forest— like Anna, bodies discarded and moored by magic—twists and hisses, waving in the disturbance.

Yet another sea mine—a bomb hidden in the water, eager to blow a hole in the right ship and make bones of targeted men.

There’s a war raging on the surface. Over land and sea, and even in the air, humans under many flags have banded together to kill one another. There is no magic involved, of course. If there were more than a meager amount of magic left on land, perhaps this war might not be waged. Still, the search for power—magical or not—will always be. Once the mines and the bullets stop, lines will be redrawn, and a different type of power will shift. Another imbalance.

Anna starts a tart reply. “Evie, you—”

“Létta.” Stop, I command. Because something’s not right.

Then, as if in answer to the sudden silence, a great voice booms into my lair, echoing hard enough to rattle my teeth and bend the branches of my bone-thick polypi forest.

“It can’t be—the great sea witch talks to herself?”

I freeze as he comes into view, power and magic dripping off him in a terrible wake.

The sea king.

His hair is the color of snow in the thick of winter, eyes crystal blue, skin glowing with almost too much life, flush and vibrant. Atop his head is a crown of pearls fitted to a cluster of eel skulls, jaws pried open in wide V shapes, their teeth on edge. I have never seen his crown in person before, but it is the very semblance of life and death, and power. A reminder of what can be taken—the fruits of one’s labor, sucked out, even when one bares fangs.

The sea king smiles, and it is as brilliant and deadly as one would expect. “It must get so lonely, stuck in the shadows by yourself.”

He would know. It’s not my magic or memories that keep me here, it’s the king’s. So afraid of what I can do, though he floats before me, amplified in a way that isn’t natural, even for magical creatures.

He has a penchant for the nectar of the rare ríkifjor flower—a drug that both harnesses magic and intensifies it. But surveying him now, it’s almost as if the ríkifjor has fused to his blood, bone, and skin. That imbalance I feel, it leans hard into this man, who has absorbed as much magic as his body can hold and then doubled it through the constant, steady ingestion of ríkifjor.

Looking at him can only be compared to staring directly into the sun.

He is power.

But if he’s here for the first time in fifty years, there is something his power cannot hand him.

“At times, Your Highness, this cove has felt like a prison,” I say, and his smile curls up. “But just because I cannot leave doesn’t mean I don’t receive visitors.”

The sea king’s posture stiffens. Yes, this is why he’s here. This powerful man has lost something important to him. His daughter is gone, and perhaps more importantly, so is her magic, which shares a direct tie to his. As I suspected, the thread pulled from me must have been so much worse for him. “Reverse the spell and bring her back. Now,” he commands.

I smile, reclining on my tentacles like a queen. I cock a brow. “Do you even know which one is gone?” He notoriously treats his daughters like pawns in a game, using their beauty and their talents when convenient.

“Insulting me will bring no good to you,” he says, but my smile doesn’t waver except to grow with satisfaction when he says her name. “Alia belongs in the sea. Return her.”

“Your Highness, you should know better than anyone that even you can’t control a strong-headed woman,” I say, and I know he’s thinking of his first queen, Mette, the human he saved but then couldn’t keep, her heart cracking as she longed both for him and for the life she was meant to lead. “Alia must be free to make her own choices and live her own life—experience love and freedom. But instead, you trap her, and all your people, under your thumb with false promises of protection from humans. Not since Annemette—”

“Never speak that name to me again,” he growls, his fury sputtering between us. She’s the one who left him, betraying him, his family, and the secrets of the mermaids. I hope Anna is really listening to him now.

As his nostrils flare, I look him dead in the eyes. “Like Annemette, Alia has four days to make the boy love her and live, or fail and die. Either way, you’ll never see her again.”

“I can destroy you!”

I bare my teeth. “Ah, but you haven’t. Even with all the power you steal, you still need me.” My voice gains strength with each word. He’s desperate. He can’t retrieve Alia on his own. There is an element of my magic he will never master. “I can bring Alia back, but I will need something from you in return. I have my price.”

The sea king’s lips drop open. I have him backed into a corner, and he knows it. My ask is simple, and only he can do it. He can’t give me my life back, my lost time, or Nik— may he rest in the tide—but he can unchain me from my lair. The words are on my tongue, ready, when something nasty ticks across his handsome features.

“You have your price, witch, but you forget your place.”

His teeth click together, and the blue of his eyes goes cold. It’s then that the wet, hard certainty of my mistake reveals itself to me. This man won’t kill me, but for the abundance of magic that he is, heavy and unwieldy, he can hurt me so badly, I will wish I were dead.

The power within him—amplified, multiplied, looted from land and sea—expands, bursts outward, like a living bomb. A sea mine of magic, aimed straight at me.

“Morna, herfiligr kvennali∂!” Waste away, wretched woman!

The words hit my ears with a force of magic I’ve never felt, slamming into me with the power of the sun falling out of the sky and barreling toward the earth, bringing enough light to dissolve all of us the instant before impact.

And then my world, already so dark, fades to complete, flat black.

Blog Tour: Storm Blown by Nick Courage (Spotlight Post)

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Storm Blown by Nick Courage (July 16, 2019, Delacorte Press)! This book looks absolutely epic, and I’m super excited to read it!

A major hurricane is raging across the southern United States, and two unsuspecting kids are about to have the adventure of a lifetime! Perfect for kids who love high-stakes plots and natural disaster movies, and anyone interested in extreme weather!

A little rain and wind don’t worry Alejo–they’re just part of life at the beach. As his padrino says, as long as there are birds in the waves, it’s safe. When people start evacuating, though, Alejo realizes things might be worse than he thought. And they are. A hurricane is headed straight for Puerto Rico.

Emily’s brother, Elliot, has been really sick. He can’t go outside their New Orleans home, so Emily decides to have an adventure for him. She’s on a secret mission to the tiny island Elliot loves. She’s not expecting to meet up with an injured goose or a shy turtle. And nothing has prepared her for Megastorm Valerie. Soon Alejo and Emily will be in Valerie’s deadly path. Who will survive?



About the Author:
Nick Courage is a New Orleans-born writer (and aspiring skateboarder and baker) who splits his time between Brooklyn and Pittsburgh, where he lives with his wife and two cats. His work has recently appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Story, Writer’s Digest and Full Stop. The Loudness was his first novel for young readers and Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House) will be publishing his second novel, Storm Blown, in the summer of 2019.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram