Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ben Gartner will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I don’t remember much before third grade, but then the memories flourish around this time. And many of my memories center around books or, more accurately, stories—either ones I read or the ones I made up in my own head. That time in our human development is such a critical time when the brain undergoes rapid development and we’re feeling the world in a way that, in many ways, shapes who we are to become as adults. Kids in this age group have a vivid imagination and a no-holds barred approach to what might be possible in the world. This openness is what attracts me to juvenile fiction.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Ice cream, for sure. I mean, I love chocolate too, but ice cream is by far the winner. Peppermint is my favorite, but that’s a seasonal thing usually, so mint chip is usually a staple. Though I love variety in my ice cream choices as well and have been known to buy whatever the new Ben & Jerry’s flavor might be.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be a movie director. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were my heroes. I bought an RCA video camera---the huge block that sits on your shoulder---and filmed stop-motion scenes with my action figures and choreographed fights with my friends. I tried my hand at scriptwriting at the time, but the format felt odd to me, so usually ended up writing stories instead. Gradually, I faded from directing because I could never quite translate the vision in my head onto film. With that, I gravitated more to books because it lets you imagine the story as you see best, colored by your own life and perceptions. I still love movies, but books are more immersive and engaging.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

Oi. In a single phrase, I think I’d say, “This, too, shall pass.” I’m STILL working on not taking myself so seriously. I have a really, really hard time doing anything half-ass. I read someone recently who said they had the same problem, but doing things three-quarter-ass sometimes is probably okay. I’m working on it.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

Stopping or slowing or traveling through time. It would be a super power that is so, well, powerful. Flying is great, shooting lasers from your eyes would be neat, but with those skills you’re still subject to the effects of time and cause and effect. With the ability to travel through time, not only could you experience the land of the pharaohs and the first flight of the Wilbur brothers, but you would also have no excuse to ever do anything half-ass ever again. After all, if time is fleeting, you have to pick and choose how to spend it. But if you had all the time in the world, couldn’t you experience everything?

Ideal summer vacation.

Hiking through the Alps, which I’m actually going to be doing this summer! We’re very excited. I love mountains. They never cease to instill in me a sense of grandiosity that I don’t get with any other natural scene.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

English, of course! Reading books, writing, talking about the ideas presented – what’s better than that?!

Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!

Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.

For readers graduating from the Magic Treehouse series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail.

Read an Excerpt

“Sarah, where are we?” John asked, frozen in place despite the heat. In front of them was a vast ocean of sand as far as the eye could see. It rolled in carved waves, dunes that sparkled in the low-slanting rays of the sun.

Dunes? John thought.

Sarah staggered forward, shielding her eyes from the glare. “I—I—”

It was rare for her to be speechless. And it was kind of spooky, her not saying anything and stepping forward with the jerky movements of a zombie.

“Are you okay?” John followed his sister out into the sand, suddenly very afraid to be even a foot away from her.

“Woo-hoo!” she shouted, jumping into the air in her signature move, arms shooting up in a V shape.

“You’re excited about this?” John snapped. “Sarah, how are we in a desert all of a sudden? Where’s the mountain? The cave?” The incredible moment tickled at his brain, and he couldn’t put two and two together. “Am I dreaming?”

“Yeah,” Sarah said. “Dreaming. We must be dreaming. Together.” She knelt into the sand, picked up a handful, and let it drain out of her fist. “This feels pretty real to me.” She turned around to John as she said it, so he could see the roll of her eyes.

“How could we be in the mountains in one moment and then . . .” He trailed off, watching Sarah’s eyes go up and her head tilt back, taking in something very large behind him. John wasn’t sure he wanted to turn around.

Sarah laughed, her face turned toward the sky, her hand covering her mouth. “So.” She took a full breath. “Cool!”

The curiosity got the better of him. John held his breath and rotated on his heels in the sand. He’d been stunned by the vast golden dunes, but what he saw now made him squeak out a chortle of disbelief.

“What—? How—? Is that—?” John stammered. His finger reached out, pointing to the scene as if maybe he could poke it, like it was a postcard of a giant pyramid and not a real one.

About the Author: Ben Gartner is the author of adventure books for middle graders and thrillers for adults. His writing for both audiences shares an ability to grab readers by their neurons for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.


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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gouster Girl by David E. Gumpert

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David E. Gumpert will be awarding a $25 gift card to Garrett Popcorn, then a Water bottle with Chicago flag for a second winner, and a Mug with Chicago flag for a third winner, all randomly drawn via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Gouster Girl is the coming of age, risky affair between Valerie Davis a cute black girl from the South Side of Chicago and nerdy white Jeffrey Stark.

While the two are somewhat smitten they are late to realize that falling in love on Chicago’s South Side in 1963 is a highly risky business for an interracial couple.

Opportunities arise for both of them to help one another out of tough fixes—he saves her from attack at an all-white amusement park and she saves him from injury in a racial brawl at their high school. But as their romance becomes more serious, so do the racial dangers. White police target Valerie as a prostitute and black gang members see Jeffrey as trying to sexually exploit a black girl. Seemingly inevitably, the blossoming romance collides head on with the realities of Northern-style racism one hot summer afternoon at one of Chicago’s most beautiful Lake Michigan beaches, when a racial protest turns ugly, confronting the couple with terrible choices.

Read an Exclusive Excerpt

It was by seventh and eighth grades that I noticed a correlation between an increase in the number of Negro kids and an increase in the problems in my life…like who got to be a patrol boy.

You wouldn’t think getting to wear a white cloth belt that looped over your right shoulder and around your waist and standing on a street corner each morning and afternoon to let other kids pass during breaks in traffic would be such a big deal. Nor would you think it could highlight racial problems. Being a patrol boy always was a prestige position, as such things sometimes are for young kids. But it seemed to be a position available to any seventh or eighth-grade boy who wanted to volunteer.

Somehow that changed when Tommy Sullivan, a skinny brown-haired neighbor kid also in the seventh grade, set himself up as the patrol boy kingpin. The thing I remember most about Tommy’s appearance was that he walked pigeon toed. Because it looked a little strange, it might have become something to make fun of for some kids. But Tommy had a certain attraction, call it charisma, that made his strange gait part of his coolness.

Tommy used his coolness to accept or veto patrol boy candidates. To become a patrol boy, you had to be on Tommy’s good side or he’d pass you over, no matter how badly you wanted the job.

Maybe I remember it so well because of what Tommy did to Tyrone Lamond, who was in my class. Tyrone was a smart Negro kid, a budding Ivy Leaguer, who hung out with Nate and me during recess and gym. When Nate and I became patrol boys, Tyrone decided he wanted to be one as well. Usually it was just a matter of one or two patrol boys giving Tommy the word that a friend wanted to be a patrol boy and, presto, a fresh rolled up white belt appeared and a street corner was assigned.

But when I mentioned Tyrone wanting to be a patrol boy to Tommy, he didn’t just grin and nod his ascent the way he usually did, but instead hesitated. “I’ll think about it,” he said, and walked off in his pigeon-toed walk.

Over the next couple weeks, I savored being a patrol boy. It’s difficult to explain the boost in status I felt standing on the street corner down the block from our apartment, proudly wearing my white belt and signaling other kids to either stop or walk ahead. One of the kids I’d wave through each morning was Tyrone.

“We need you patrolling over on East End,” I’d tell Tyrone.

“Yeah, that would be neat,” he nodded, and a broad smile creased his light brown face, made handsome by a broad forehead and high cheekbones.

But when no word came from Tommy during those two weeks, I inquired again about Tyrone, this time with Nate at my side in the gravel school yard. “I told you I’d think about it,” he said to me, looking down and kicking gravel around, a hint of irritation in his voice. “I’m still thinkin’.” And off he walked in his awkward gait.

About the Author:
David E. Gumpert grew up on the South Side of Chicago, in South Shore and Hyde Park. In the years since graduating from the University of Chicago, he has attended Columbia Journalism School and worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and an editor for the Harvard Business Review and Inc. magazine. He has also authored ten nonfiction books on a variety of subjects—from entrepreneurship and small business management to food politics. His most prominent titles include How to Really Create a Successful Business Plan (from Inc. Publishing); How to Really Start Your Own Business (Inc. Publishing); Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Food Rights (Chelsea Green Publishing), and The Raw Milk Answer Book (Lauson Publishing).

He spent ten years in the 1990s and early 2000s researching his family's history during the Holocaust. The result was a book co-authored with his deceased aunt Inge Belier: Inge: A Girl’s Journey Through Nazi Europe (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing).

He spent much of the last half-dozen years going back to his own roots in Chicago to research and write the historical novel, Gouster Girl. While some of it stems from his own experiences growing up in South Shore and Hyde Park, he also conducted significant additional research to complete the book in late 2019.

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Finding Frances by Kelly Vincent

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kelly Vincent will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Retta Brooks thinks her life is on track after convincing her overprotective mom to stop home-schooling her and allow her go to Buckley High. She comes home from a night out with friends to find that her whole world has changed, and she has extremely hard decisions to make. Not to mention finding the answers to questions some people would rather she not know. Is she strong enough for what lies ahead?

Read an Excerpt

“Did he just hit us?” I asked, turning around. I couldn’t see anything behind us except the vague shape of a car with a silhouetted driver—it was so close the headlights weren’t visible.


We were speeding up, already going way too fast for this road, but the car was still right on the truck’s bumper.

I clutched the dashboard as Jack tried zig-zagging a bit to shake the guy, but it didn’t work. Then the truck accelerated, and finally the guy fell back. Jack hit the brakes pretty hard, and I hit the door and was jerked to the floor as we took a corner sharply.

“Retta!” Jack yelled. “Are you okay?” He leaned over and gripped my arm, helping me back into the seat before speeding back up.

I put the seatbelt on before stealing a glance behind us. “I don’t see him.”

“No, I think he might not have made that corner. It’s what I was trying to do, but I never would have if I’d realized you didn’t have a seatbelt on!”

“I’m okay, it’s fine.” I shook my head, having to extricate myself from the top half of the seatbelt to pick up the phone off the floor.

About the Author:

Kelly Vincent wrangles data weekdays and spends the rest of her time playing with words. She grew up in Oklahoma but has moved around quite a bit, with Glasgow, Scotland being her favorite stop. She now lives near Seattle with three cats who definitely help her write her stories. She’s also working toward the Red Earth Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Oklahoma City University.


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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Retaliation by Haley Cavenagh

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sakota saved Astraeus and her friends from certain death, but in doing so, she gained the attention of the Oreck, who will stop at nothing to destroy everything in their path. With their ship severely damaged, Sakota and her crew land on a nearby planet and seek sanctuary while they make repairs to return home. But nothing on this perfect planet is as it appears, and Sakota soon learns they've traded one danger for another. Hunted and targeted, will Sakota be able to carry out her mission, or will everyone she cares about be destroyed?

Read an Excerpt

“No .”

Sakota bolted up in bed in the middle of the night.

Her dreams of blood and fear were monopolized with pointed teeth, cartilaginous faces, long, double-jointed arms and legs, and cruel, black alien eyes. The Oreck. They haunted her, perpetual alien God-ghosts with their eerie, electromagnetic glow beneath papery, gray skin.

Beside her, Astraeus slept, his arm flopped over the groove in the bed where she’d lain as he held her. He stirred, frowning. Was he having a nightmare too? She reached her hand out and searched with her emotions, as she’d learned to do.

He tossed, fitful, in the clutches of a nightmare to do with Upsilon’s destruction. She couldn’t remember what her nightmare had been about, but it had ended violently. Peace, she sent silently. Tranquility . Calm . Rest .

Astraeus sighed in his sleep, relaxed, and rolled over. She feathered hair out of his face. His existence had blown her away, and it still did. Astraeus’s genetic code far outstripped her own. He had defense mechanisms in place to protect him from climate extremities that she could never even dream of having. But more so, for the first time in her life, she’d fallen in love. It went against her pragmatic nature, but his comforting presence anchored her amid the wreckage.

She scrubbed her face with her hand in the darkness and swung her legs over the side of the levitating bed, careful of the bed’s height when she stood.

Humans were either a lot shorter than most of the visiting interplanetary delegates, or for some strange reason, they liked their beds high.

Her limbs ached, fatigue from the action of the last several days. She suspected healing from microgravity had something to do with it too, but she’d been through the wringer. The way she walked, the weight of her lips when she spoke, her arm and leg muscles seemed heavier and more visceral, like someone had injected them with a heavy drug. Ridiculous, of course. She was in the best shape of her life.

In the center of the room, she stretched and did some yoga until the tightness lessened. She rotated her neck. In a day or two, the slight dizziness and disoriented inertia would subside. As a physician, she knew the symptoms. She’d be fine. But telling a patient about them versus experiencing them were two different things.

She padded barefoot out onto the balcony, drew a silver cup from the shelves, and dipped it into the fountain. Distant light illuminated the Chuleron buildings along the skyline in the distance. She brought the brim of the cup to her lips and drank. Cool and refreshing, much cleaner than the sterilized water she’d had back on Earth. Tastier too. Earth water had to be purified at least five times before it could be considered healthy enough for consumption. Bacterial pathogens ran rampant in food and the polluted streams and springs back home, so sterilizing was essential. The delightful coolness soothed her throat.

She twisted her hair and pulled it over her right shoulder, taking in the strange, tantalizing city. Did her suspicions about this place come from her subconscious, because of the death and violence she’d experienced? Or was Hisoka right and something seemed off?

About the Author:
Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. She is an alumna of Columbia College, a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley resides with her family in the United States and enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. She loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.


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Monday, December 30, 2019

The Frights of Fiji by Sunayna Prasad

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sunayna Prasad will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to Books in the Hall! Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

Even though I’m 26, I tend to be more attracted to children’s fiction rather than adult. Just a couple years ago, I started being interested in new adult, but didn’t read much of it.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

My main character, Alyssa, would have pictures of her and her parents since they died when she was 7. She also would have pictures of her with her friends.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

Classics like “Charlotte’s Web” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” were my favorites in 3rd grade. After reading them for school, I’d read them for pleasure. In 8th grade, I started reading the “Harry Potter” books.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

Not to have unrealistic expectations about what you publish. I was constantly told that my writing wasn’t good enough and I would argue back saying that it was good, because I was so in love with my stories. It wasn’t till I published one and it got pure negative feedback that I realized that everybody was right.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

“The Fairly OddParents” was my idol. I would go out of my way to watch new episodes. I also wanted to be home in time to catch a certain special of the cartoon.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

My MC, Alyssa, who’s gone through a lot in her life. She and I have some similarities, as well, such as how both of us used to take horseback riding lessons, are good with animals, and are quite na├»ve.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Definitely chefs. Thanks to that class, I expanded my taste buds and tried new things that I wouldn’t have eaten before. One of them is cheese, which I disliked when I was little.

A world of magic and adventure awaits…

Sent to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love. Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the window that will change everything.

"Your life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere."

Before long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.

Originally titled "From Frights to Flaws", this story is the exciting and enchanting first book in the "Magical Missions" series.

Read an Excerpt

About a half hour had gone by, and footsteps thumped down the stairs. Alyssa figured out that Mathias had returned via his flying tube since Isabelle had said that he owned one too. Alyssa turned to the staircase and watched him carry a small cage with about six or seven mice. They had white fur with patches of green, purple, red, and blue. Mathias also carried a bag of silver, gold, copper, metallic green, red, and blue fronds.

He entered the living room and sat on one of the couch chairs. He placed the cage on the carpet. But Isabelle bent her eyebrows. “Mathias, don’t put them on the carpet. They’re going to—”

“Isabelle, it’s okay. They’re in a cage.”

“Still, they’re filthy wild animals, and they could get my clean carpet dirty.” “Oh, Isabelle, stop being such a neat freak,” said Mathias.

“No.” Isabelle turned to Simon, who sat on the other couch chair and listened to his WiPod. “Simon, can you track the snake, please?”

Simon took out his earbuds. “What did you want me track? I didn’t get that.” Isabelle repeated herself, and Simon made his tablet appear. Alyssa watched him press it; he probably programmed a way to track the snake.

“Simon, how far away is the snake?” asked Alyssa.

“Erm . . . about a hundred feet away,” he replied.

“Oh my god,” moaned Alyssa.

“Let’s go,” said Isabelle.

Alyssa’s stomach hardened as she walked up the stairs. She could even feel her heart throb through her throat. She hurried her breathing and followed everyone else out of the tent.

Alyssa stepped onto the sand and saw something move. She gasped, her muscles constricting to her bones. Her hands shook and cooled down despite the burning sun. Tingles spread through her toes and fingers and expanded to the rest of her body. She whined through her contracted throat. She wished that what she saw was just a mirage. But the smell of the ash hanging in the air revealed to her that she didn’t just see things—the snake drew nearer.

It opened its jaw, exhaling light gray ash. It stuck out its pointy black tongue and pushed its head toward Alyssa, and she coughed. But it sped up its slithering. Alyssa screamed and spun around. She dashed along the beach, and her feet sped up, thus kicking the backs of her legs.

“Alyssa, get back here!” yelled Mathias. “I can’t disappear holding the cage or mice! It’s impossible doing both!”

But Alyssa continued to sprint across the beach. Sand streamed into her sneakers. Sweat even trickled into the neckline of her shirt and her legs.

Something scaly slapped her legs. She flew into the air and screamed. Her body fought against the direction of the breeze, and she landed on her butt.

She moaned and quickened up breaths through her gritted teeth. The snake continued to slither and release ash. Shrieking, Alyssa bolted up and turned around. She headed into the rainforest.

Facing vines, twigs, trees, bushes, and fronds, Alyssa found her way around them. Her legs ached from all the different movements she made. She ran sideways from a tree, jumped over a couple of twigs and vines, and zigzagged around trees and bushes. A trail even lay in front of her.

Alyssa’s thin legs and body kept her energy going, but her legs felt like they’d been clogged with broken cobblestones. The snake kept chasing her, though.

About the Author: Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, formerly titled as From Frights to Flaws. She is passionate about modern life, fantasy, and world-building. Aside from her website,, she also has a blog about different creative and entertaining topics, including fiction and writing, called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.

Sunayna has graduated from college in May 2017. She lives in Long Island, NY.


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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

In Between Days by Anne Jamison

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anne Jamison will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Chicago suburbs, 1985. The high school. The mall. The blood-stained Mercedes. Misogyny. Homophobia. Class warfare. Cocaine.

(And the first semester isn’t even over yet.)

The Jocks with their pastel Izods. The Barbies. The loser Burnouts.

High school in the 1980s had rules. Barbies and Jocks can mix. Barbie cheerleaders steer clear of the losers. Punks want to burn it all down.

Samantha Ward doesn't love the rules, but she plays to win. So when a snarky Burnout goes after her in a face-off, of course she fights back. Of course she fights mean. She may not get his sex joke, but she knows he made one. About her. In front of the entire cafeteria. And what's worse, she feels a tingle when she looks at bad-boy Jason.

How could she know her mean girl put-down would launch a war? Or that the school she knows hides a darker world she never even dreamed of?

In Between Days is a pitch-perfect story of first love, friendship, and enemies; of loyalty, betrayal, and the power of secrets. This darkly funny, suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of The Outsiders and The Breakfast Club.

"GRIPPING AND UNPUTDOWNABLE." --Christina Lauren, international bestselling authors of Dating You/Hating You “THIS WAS a bittersweet tumble into eighties high school nostalgia, with all the angst, sexual tension and emotional confusion involved with first love, and so well done it was a non-stop read to the end.… (Oh, and one of the best first kisses I have EVER read...),” says one reviewer

Author's Note:

This is a historical novel that contains period language that is, and was then, and should be, offensive.

Read an Exclusive Excerpt

Samantha realized he’d been listening, and he knew Samantha was totally confused. Jason and his slimebag friend Skinny knew what everyone was blushing and leering and laughing about. They knew, she didn’t know, and they knew that, too.

It got worse. Jason Devlin’s gaze, it had some kind of weight to it. Samantha felt her breath quicken, hated herself for it. It only lasted a split second.

She wouldn’t look at those boys again.

But they were looking at her, and they could tell something. “Looks like Teen Barbie is already checking out the swim team, dude.” Skinny nudged Jason in her direction.

Samantha could feel her cheeks getting pinker. Now, not looking at those boys made it seem like they were getting to her, like she cared even one bit about Skinny Nowlin and anything he said. If Jason Devlin was famous for being bad, Skinny was famous for being nasty.

She whipped around to face him. “Drop dead, loser. Was anyone talking to you?” It wasn’t the best line, but wasting good lines on burnouts just looked desperate. People like Skinny were best crushed like bugs.

Dave Watson turned back toward Samantha—angry, but not at her. “Are these losers bothering you?”

Samantha barely knew Dave but that was how it worked. She and her friends were more swim team territory than burnout territory. They’d get protection just on principle. Something about this bothered Samantha more than even Skinny Nowlin did, but she couldn’t put her finger on what. It hovered there for a minute, something not quite seen from the corner of an eye, and then was gone. And she had more than enough to worry about that she could see.

Skinny slouched further into Jason with a smirk that seemed like it might crawl right off his face and slither toward her. Jason drawled, “We just felt these young ladies should know that the swim boys aren’t necessarily the best divers in the school.”

Samantha could feel Jason Devlin’s eyes were on her like she was on display. Which, in a way, she was. It was what lunch was about. But for most of the school, Samantha and her friends were strictly look but don’t touch.

Jason Devlin’s gaze made her feel more than touched. Undressed, maybe. And Skinny Nowlin made her feel even worse. Like fingered. In public. Without her consent. She hated it.

Samantha was staring at her chicken breast with teriyaki sauce as if it were the last thing in the universe left to see except Jason Devlin’s eyes. Dark eyes. Darker under a long, low, slanty fringe of dark hair that slouched over his eyes like he slouched over her, over Skinny, over the entire lunchroom. Like his hair had been studying carelessness to cover for his eyes, which had a sharper edge to them.

About the Author:
Anne Jamison is the author of three critical books, including Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. She lives in Salt Lake City with her dogs, her son, and an avant-garde poet. She is an English professor, but not the kind that corrects your grammar (unless she is actively grading your paper). In Between Days is her first novel.


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Monday, November 25, 2019

Gods of Merlin by Priya Ardis

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Priya Ardis will offer a $25 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn winner, and an autographed copy of the book to a second randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Foster kid and occasional shoplifter Eowlyn Patience just wants to fit into her Boston high school. When the Sword In The Stone falls out of the sky like a meteor into the middle of London’s Trafalgar Square, everything changes. Then, an enigmatic golden-eyed man arranges for her to attend a school for the gifted in England, and the irritatingly perfect Matt Emrys from science class turns out to be Merlin—the Merlin, King Arthur’s greatest wizard.

Frozen in a cave for fifteen hundred years, Merlin has woken to find the next Arthur. Eowlyn Patience’s mysterious admittance to Avalon Preparatory was not something he foresaw…a disturbing aberration when his most powerful gift happens to be visions of the future.

The race to find the rightful heir rages between deadly gargoyles, wizards, and Regulars, but figuring out the troubled Eowlyn might be by-the-book Merlin’s hardest job yet. She’s altogether the wrong girl. Torn between what is right and what saves lives, will Eowlyn do what it takes to win—even if it means sacrificing Merlin to a god?
Read an Excerpt

“You are my Gwenhwyfar,” he said. “Or how do you say her name in your time? Guinevere.”

I stood, wanting to run but knowing it would do no good. Because I was not in reality. I was in a dream. I played along. “Wasn’t Guinevere King Arthur’s wife? I’m a little young. I belong to no one.”

“I did not come seeking a wife. My former love is the reason we are in this mess. I have chosen you to be my champion, my right hand. You will go where I cannot.”

I growled in disbelief. “What makes you think I would do anything for you?”

Golden eyes glowed as he considered me. Power radiated from his gaze. The power burned so bright, like the sun, that I would be burned if I looked too long. Then, golden eyes blinked. The light dimmed and I could breathe again.

He peered at me. I dropped to my knees on the ground.

He touched my cheek. “You will do it, Eowlyn Patience, because you crave what I do. You would do anything to leave this small life behind. You would do anything for a bit of power.” His thumb traced the line of my jaw. “Seize the day, my champion.”

About the Author:
Priya Ardis loves books of all kinds--but especially the ones which make your nose leak and let your chai go cold. Her novels come from a childhood of playing too much She-Ra and watching too much Spock. Her bestselling series, My Boyfriend Merlin, about Merlin going to high school is a YA contemporary fantasy and romance for those like road trips, wizards, Greek gods, and gender-bent quests.

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