Monday, January 25, 2021

Book Tour and Giveaway: A Detestable Name by Arabella Brown

Title: A Detestable Name
Author: Arabella Brown
Publication Date: November 10th 2020
Print Length: 302 pages
Genre: Chaste Regency Romance
Pitchforked into the title by his brother’s death, the new Lord Newsam arrives at the grim family home in Yorkshire to face daunting challenges. His peevish, self-absorbed mother despises him. The servants are insubordinate. He hardly knows his sisters, for whom he’s expected to find husbands. The estate is ill-run and unprofitable, and the bailiff obstructive. And in the midst of all this, he must find a wife for himself – but the only woman he wants won’t have him. 

To widowed, impoverished Mary Thorpe, the very name of Newsam is detestable: his brother drove her husband to suicide and made her a social outcast. But Lord Newsam insists on rescuing her from penury. The shocking realisation that she is falling in love with him in spite of herself makes her situation even more complicated. How can she let him ruin his own family’s reputation by marrying her? There seems to be no solution – until every objection is swept away by a ball nobody wants to attend and a startling discovery on their return.

Although she now lives in the U.K., Arabella Brown grew up in a small U.S. town. She spent most of her youth in the local Carnegie Public Library (thank you, Mr. Carnegie!), where she learned that intensive reading does more to broaden your horizons than school does. She still reads voraciously and her house is lined with thousands of books. Despite her emphasis on meticulous research, it’s the plot and the characters she particularly loves to create. She enjoys Jane Austen’s and Georgette Heyer’s novels and wishes there were more of them.

Under another name, Ms Brown has published a number of novels set in periods ranging from the 12th century to the 1960’s. This is her first Regency.

I live in a Victorian semi-detached “bungalow” (one story) gentleman’s residence. It was built facing a lane which no longer exists – it was blocked off long before we came – so the only access is from the back, via a narrow lane nobody knows about, a lane only one car wide – with no sidewalks! We have two-fifths of an acre, a huge garden by city standards, much of it a south-facing slope. Everything grows in it luxuriantly – especially the weeds. If you’ve ever read Betty McDonald’s “Onions in the Stew” – that’s what my garden aspires to. My old garden was 1/17th of an acre, heavily shaded, and grew moss, mold, mildew and mud, so coping with this sunny Eden is a little intimidating! No, I can’t do it myself. I do have to have gardeners. Energetic ones.
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Virtual Book Tour - New Yorkers: A Feisty People Who Will Unsettle, Madden, Amuse and Astonish You by Clifford Browder

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for New Yorkers by Clifford Browder. This book tour was organized by Pump Up Your Book. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: New Yorkers: A Feisty People Who Will Unsettle, Madden, Amuse and Astonish You
Author: Clifford Browder
Publication Date: February 7th 2020
Print Length: 345 pages
Genre: Memoir
A quirky memoir by a longtime resident, with glances at his city’s history and bits of travel lore all rolled into one. 

Readers will learn how the Statue of Liberty almost didn’t happen; how the author found the sacred in the city, and learned the Charleston on YouTube; how mobsters shared the corridors of the legendary Waldorf Astoria hotel with the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor and an ex-president; and how the author had an affair with a Broadway chorus boy (if the Cardinal Archbishop of New York could do it, so could he). 

Plus Mohawks, hustlers, scams and cons, wigmakers and crematory managers, racoons in Central Park, Trump Tower, cholera, and the Beatles. A fun book, but with some serious moments.

New York is the most exciting city in the world. The author wants to share it with everyone.


Though born and raised in the Midwest, I am a longtime New Yorker and over the years have seen many changes. I reside high above the Magnolia Bakery of Sex and the City fame in Greenwich Village. When I first came here in 1953 to do graduate work in French at Columbia University, I had to get used to the city’s bigness, noise, and bustle, its pace and its attractions. But get used to them I did, to the point where I needed them, craved them, and celebrated them. For me, New York is the most exciting city in the world. It’s special, it’s unique. I have even expressed this in an equation: 

intensity + diversity = creativity = New York

The intensity of New York is experienced immediately by anyone coming to the city, and the city’s diversity will leap out at you wherever you may go. Which makes the city incredibly creative; things happen here: the Gay Pride movement, Occupy Wall Street, opera and ballet, the Empire State Building, 9/11, and yes, the Donald and his Tower. Not everything here is admirable, but in spite of all its faults, I love this city; I couldn’t do without it. A sign that appeared at the entrance to the Staten Island ferry once asked, New York: Is There Anywhere Else?

Not everyone would agree. We New Yorkers are a very special breed, tough and savvy. We challenge, we complain. And we know that New York is not for everyone, nor should it be. For quiet, for peace of mind and the illusion of stabili- ty, go elsewhere. Here are flux and change, the perennial strife of old vs. new, the turmoil and fervor of nine million strivers. We New Yorkers are great doers; we savor the charm of the old and often want to preserve it, but at the same time we forge ahead, we create, we do

In this book I want to share with others what it is to be a New Yorker, who we are, how we live, what we do, our past and present glories and horrors. Ask twenty New Yorkers about these things, and you’ll get twenty answers. What I’m sharing here is my New York. The chapters derive from posts for my blog, “No Place for Normal: New York,” which is about any- thing and everything New York, past and present. This is the city I love; I hope you’ll love it, too. Or hate it, if you must. The main thing is to know it; it’s unique.
Clifford Browder is a writer and retired freelance editor living in New York City, which he celebrates in his blog, “No Place for Normal: New York.” His published works include two biographies; three New York City memoirs; a critical study of the French Surrealist poet AndrĂ© Breton; and four historical novels set in nineteenth-century New York. His poetry has appeared both online and in print. He has never owned a car, a television, or a cell phone, barely tolerates his computer, and eats garlic to fend off vampires. (So far, it seems to be working.) 

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Secret of Dartwood Manor (The Witchling Trilogy #1) by N.A. Triptow

Title: The Secret of Dartwood Manor
Series: The Witchling Trilogy #1
Author: N.A. Triptow
Publisher: Wishing Well Publishing
Publication Date: January 18th 2021
Print Length: 390 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance

Witches. Ghosts. An ancient secret. Enter a world of myth and magic through this contemporary fantasy reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, Sense and Sensibility.

The small New England town of Tarryville, Maine is steeped in history, having been settled by the Dartwood and Farris families who fled Salem during the witch trials. The Dartwood sisters, Eden, Mariah, and Melissa, unexpectedly return home after their parents are found murdered. Upon their arrival, the girls are plagued by dreams in which dark spectral beings haunt them. When the hellish creatures seem to be more than just nightmares, another mystery begins to unravel as they discover that the circumstances around the murder of their parents may be far more menacing than they appear. Frantic for answers, they must untangle the mystery of their parents’ murders and reconstruct the pieces of an ancient secret. With the help of the young assistant curator of their family museum, Baden Correia, and an estranged friend from their past, Evan Farris, the orphaned Dartwood sisters must uncover the truth before the darkness haunting their family descends upon them as well. 

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Mariah found herself staring at the blank screen of her laptop for longer than she intended after the video call ended, hardly even noticing when the tears began to stain her cheeks. When there were no more tears left to shed, she closed her laptop and placed it on her bedside table. Rearranging herself on her bed she crawled under the covers and tried to shut her eyes, but the room around her tugged at her mind, summoning all of the haunted bedroom scenes she’d watched a million times in movies. Suddenly thankful for the old-fashioned four-poster bed, she pulled the curtains tight around her, blocking out the unwanted sights and was finally able to go to sleep.

The stillness of the manor was like a quiet pond just waiting for a fish to upset its equilibrium. The manors beside one another were nearly identical in their architectural design, but now, in the gloom of the night, the Farris manor echoed the dread of the once bright Dartwood manor with such exactness that it seemed as if they were all sleeping in a cemetery. No one stirred in the house, save for the shadows thatdanced through the windows in the moonlight. The stillness was disturbed, however, as one by one the shadows in the three Dartwood girls’ rooms began to move in purposeful strides. The moonlight no longer directed them in a nightly waltz as they made their way toward the girls.

The shadows, each a ghostly orb of darkness, started their trek from different locations in the rooms. In Eden’s room the mist trickled in from the window, while in Mariah’s it inched between the moth-eaten holes in the cloth ceiling of the four-poster bed, and in Melissa’s it crept in from under the bed itself. Slowly, the haze advanced upon each girl, their forms growing ever more into the silhouette of a person as they neared them. Hovering now only a foot or two above the girls, in unison, as if directed by the moon once more, an ethereal hand reached for each girl, fingers looking more like claws than anything else. A high pitched and yet deep hiss of sound escaped what should have been lips on the silhouettes, darkness protruding and encircling itself around the sleeping forms of the girls below them. Then, without warning, all three silhouettes shrieked a cry of disappointment, an unearthly shrill.

The sound woke each girl as they came to the terrible realization that what had been haunting them in their nightmares was in reality hovering just above them as they slept. Gasping, the silhouettes dissipated into nothing so quickly that none of the girls were quite certain of what they had seen. Nonetheless, each rose out of their beds with such haste that they all opened their doors at the same moment, only to be greeted by the horror-struck faces of their siblings.
N. A. Triptow graduated from The University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching with minors in History Teaching, Theatre, and British Studies. She teaches high school English and Film Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Strategic Communication and Advertising from Purdue University. In her free time, you can find her reading, watching and analyzing movies and television shows, attending the theatre, going on walks or hikes, and playing board or video games with family and friends. She lives in Utah.

For more from Nicole, including character artwork, playlists, swag, excerpts, trailers, and more, visit her website! 

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Book Tour and Giveaway: Edge of Sundown by Jennifer Worrell

Title: Edge of Sundown
Author: Jennifer Worrell
Publisher: Darkstroke Books
Publication Date: November 12th 2020
Print Length: 229 pages
Genre: Suspense
When dystopian fiction becomes real…

Val Haverford’s Sci-Fi and Western novels made him a household name. But that was then. A decade of creative stagnation and fading health has left him in the literary wilderness.

Attempting to end his dry spell and secure his legacy, Val pens a dystopian conspiracy theory set in a tangential universe where alien invaders eliminate ‘undesirables’ perceived as drains on society.

But as he digs deeper into violence plaguing his adopted home of Chicago, he discovers unsettling similarities between his work in progress and a life he thought he left behind. Soon he finds his fictional extremists are not only real—they’re intent on making sure his book never sees the light of day.

As he pieces together haunting truths about his city and his motives, Val realizes his last chance to revive his career and reconcile the past could get him—and the people he loves—killed.

Will he make the right choice? Or will it be too late?

Edge of Sundown is a provocative story that shows how the desperation of lost opportunity can lead to drastic and unexpected consequences.

If Jennifer were to make a deal with the Devil, she’d ask to live—in good health—just until she’s finished reading all the books. She figures that’s pretty square.

In case other bibliophiles attempt the same scheme, she’s working hard to get all her ideas on paper. She writes multi-genre fiction and the occasional essay, and is currently working on a collection of shorts and two picture books that may or may not be suitable for children.

Edge of Sundown is her first novel. She’s always been drawn to “what-ifs” and flawed characters, and has never quite mastered the happy ending.

Jennifer is a member of Chicago Writers Association and Independent Writers of Chicago, and works at a private university library.

- Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
All my characters have at least some connection to a real person, at least at the start. Mostly flaws, because flawed characters are fun to write and read about. Sometimes the characters change so much there’s no resemblance at all in the finished product. Then again a certain irrit has appeared as different manifestations in three stories so far. It’s true what they say: annoy a writer and they’ll torture you in their fiction.

- Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I wish they would have hijacked things! I had to do all the thinking, and that’s a lot of work. Many people visualize their characters taking action, while mine were more like actors at the snack table, waiting for someone to yell ‘action!’. Director Me apparently has as soft a voice as Real Life Me, and someone stole the bullhorn.

- Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have enough short stories for a collection, so I’m working on culling the best ones, then revising and rewriting. It’s both fun and daunting, and I’m really looking forward to organizing it. I even have a title, which is always the hardest thing for me to come up with. 

I may have another “novel” I wrote when I was very young, but I hope I’m wrong. I’ve seen my writing from the past and the nightmares continue to haunt me.
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One Winner: Paperback of Edge of Sundown by Jennifer Worrell + a carved wooden bookmark

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Sale Blitz and Giveaway: Feisty (Do-Over Series #3) by Julia Kent

Title: Feisty
Series: Do-Over Series #3
Author: Julia Kent
Publication Date: January 28th 2020
Print Length: 284 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

I’m not too proud to admit that finding Mr. Right involves swiping right. Right? Welcome to dating in avocado toastland.

Here I am, on my first blind date, ever, courtesy of a smartphone app and my two annoying best friends.

So what is Chris “Fletch” Fletcher doing, walking across the room, looking at his phone like he’s pattern matching a picture to find a real person he’s never met before?


Oh, no.

The guy I drop-kicked in seventh grade cannot be my blind date. The guy who earned me this infernal nickname.

That’s right.

More from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent as Fiona “Feisty” Gaskill gets her chance at love – drop-kick included. 

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“Fletch,” I start, walking into my office, waving him on. As we pass by the children, they snicker and whisper, the girls more stirred up than the boys. We reach the office, I close the door, and ask, “Why are you here?”

“I came to see you because I knew this was your lunch break and you've been ignoring my texts and calls.”

“Maybe I need some space.”

“I respect that.”

“Clearly, you don't.”

“Look, Fiona, I'm not here to argue with you. Or to crowd you or upset you. The opposite, actually. I realized our wires have been crossed and it was better to just come to you, face to face, and say what needs to be said.”

“You couldn't wait until I wasn't working?”

“If you'd answer my texts and calls, I could.”

“Fair enough. What do you want to say? What needs to be said?”

“I would like to ask you out on a date.”

“A date?”



“Because I like you.”

“That's it?”

“Isn't that enough?”

“After seventeen years of teasing me, of that stupid nickname following me around like a poltergeist, now you suddenly decide that because I saved your nephew you want to date me?”

“It's not like that.”

“Then what is it like?”

“I don't know. Let me find out what it's like by spending time with you. Let's both find out what the other is really like. Do we have to define this? Let's explore it.” He grins. “Let's explore each other.”

“I think you're trauma bonding with me and getting that confused with having feelings for me.”

“Trauma bonding?”

“We went through something emotionally intense together. You helped me. I saved your nephew. But that doesn't mean we should date.”

“That's not why I'm asking you out.”

“Is it because we kissed?”

“That's not why, but it certainly adds to all the reasons why.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 19 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French and German, with more titles releasing in 2020 and beyond.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway - Ely Air Lines: Select Stories from 10 Years of a Weekly Column, Volumes 1 & 2 by Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely

Select Stories from 10 Years
of a Weekly Column,
Volumes 1 & 2
Genre: Nonfiction
Categories: Short Stories / Aviation / Adventure 
Date of Publication: January 29, 2020 
Number of Pages: Volume 1: 350 pages; Volume 2: 330 pages  

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Buckle up and fly with Mike and Linda Street-Ely to discover amazing people, interesting places, and the conquest of flight. Since 2007, readers have enjoyed engaging articles weekly in the newspaper column, "Ely Air Lines." Now you can step aboard to enjoy a collection of stories that explore the vast realm of the flyer’s world.
Mike Ely has logged thousands of hours over more than forty years as a professional pilot. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple type ratings and a flight instructor certificate. Mike has taught people to fly in small single engine airplanes, gliders, turboprops, and corporate jets. As a freight pilot and an international corporate pilot, he has flown through all kinds of weather, to many places, both exotic and boring. His love for writing was instilled by his father at an early age. 

Linda Street-Ely is an award-winning, multi-genre author and playwright. She also holds an airline transport pilot certificate, a commercial seaplane certificate and a tailwheel endorsement. She has air raced all over the U.S., including four times in the historic all-women’s transcontinental Air Race Classic. Besides flying, Linda has a keen appreciation for great storytelling. She loves to travel the world, meet people, and learn about other cultures because she believes great stories are everywhere. 

Together, Linda and Mike are “Team Ely,” five-time National Champions of the Sport Air Racing League, racing their Grumman Cheetah, named the “Elyminator,” and dubbed “The Fastest Cheetah in the Known Universe.” They live in Liberty, Texas.

Interview with Mike Ely,
co-author of ELY AIR LINES, VOLUMES 1 AND 2

- How long have you been writing? 
It seems like forever. I would lie on my bed when I was a kid and write out all my dreams for hours. Not what I wanted to do, but what I was doing—all in my mind. I used up a lot of notebook paper. 

- How do you write? Any backstory to your choice? (longhand, typewriter, computer, phone, laptop, tablet, dictation) 
I use a laptop mostly. I have used an iPad but attached to a keyboard to type. When I journal, I prefer to write longhand and feel the texture or the page and the pen.

- Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work? 
Brian Lecomber, who wrote “Dead Weight,” a magnificent aviation story based in an exotic location with accurate details to make the story plausible. Also, Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, and Luke Short, who understood a good fast-moving story does not have to be weighed down by minute details yet paints a beautiful and accurate picture in the reader’s mind. 

- Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I write part-time because I have a full-time job teaching pilots to fly corporate jets. Because my full-time work schedule is so fluid, my writing times are sometimes shortened or paused. I work and write on the two-hour plan–my work schedule can change that quickly. Because of my job’s intense focus, it takes time to adjust when I step away from it so I can put myself back into writing mode. 

- What are some day jobs that you have held? Have any of them impacted your writing? 
I have been a bus boy, where I came home smelling like grease and cigarette smoke. I refloored semi-truck trailers, drilling through wood and steel so much that I could not make a fist at the end of the day. I worked for many years on swing and graveyard shifts for a major defense manufacturer. However, most of my working life has been as a pilot and flight instructor. It was not in the “glamorous” (or more widely known) world of airline flying. I did single-pilot freight operations in the middle of the night, no matter the weather, and I flew as a corporate pilot to many far-flung parts of the world. These experiences have added to my writing over the years and continue to impact it. 

- Do you now or have you ever considered writing under a pen-name? Why or why not? 
Yes, I have considered it. Mostly to break from one genre to the next, or from non-fiction to fiction. 

- What do you like to read in your free time? 
I enjoy reading westerns. Also, mysteries by writers such as Tony Hillerman, J.A. Jance, Craig Johnson, and Alan Furst. 

- What projects are you working on at the present? 
I am currently working on a non-fiction, semi-technical book about the changes I have seen in aviation over the past 45 years. Also sitting on the shelf and waiting for me to start work on it again is an aviation novel. 

- Is there any person you credit for being your inspiration for reading and/or writing?
My dad instilled my interest in writing by his own work. He had a small office that we built for him in the garage. He would bang away on a big old mechanical typewriter writing short stories with just a table lamp lighting his workspace. He was always available to help me edit some of my own short stories written for creative writing classes in school. 

- Where are some places you want to visit that you have not been before? 
The South Pacific and remote Euro-Asia. I would love to trek through Nepal and fly through the fjords of New Zealand.

- Is there a scene that you’ve personally experienced that you would like to write in a story
There are many. Like the way sunlight reflects off ice crystals suspended in the air, or the musty smell of the desert after a rainstorm. Or that of a horse and rider, and a dog bounding along beside them. I came upon that scene thirty years ago, as I was driving down highway 93 in the middle of Nevada, miles from any town. It had rained, and the rancher was riding out to check on his herd, which dotted the hills in the distance. The wind was whipping, the sun filtering through billowing clouds, leaving the hills mottled, covered in moving shadows. 

- If you could time travel, what time period would you first visit? 
I love U.S. history, the west and the westward movement. I would first go to the middle to later part of the 1800s and roam the American west.
Two Winners: Win an autographed, 2-volume set of ELY AIR LINES by Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely!
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or visit the blogs directly:
1/19/21 Excerpt It's Not All Gravy
1/20/21 Review V1 Jennie Reads
1/20/21 Review V2 Librariel Book Adventures
1/21/21 Guest Post Forgotten Winds
1/22/21 Review V1 StoreyBook Reviews
1/22/21 Review V2 Reading by Moonlight
1/23/21 Author Interview All the Ups and Downs
1/24/21 Author Interview The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
1/25/21 Review V1 Book Bustle
1/25/21 Review V2 Book Fidelity
1/26/21 Excerpt The Page Unbound
1/27/21 Character Interview Hall Ways Blog
1/27/21 Top Ten Momma on the Rocks
1/28/21 Review V1 The Clueless Gent
1/28/21 Review V2 Chapter Break Book Blog

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Book Tour and Giveaway: Class of '95 by Laurie Oknowsky

Title: Class of '95
Author: Laurie Oknowsky
Publication Date: October 12th 2020
Print Length: 514 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
What would you do if you got a second chance at true love?
When Eunice Rysner meets the sexy Jake Castellano, she already knows he’s going to be trouble. Though she tries to push him away to spare them both a lot of heartache, Jake is persistent. But his vindictive girlfriend and Eu’s nemesis since eighth grade, Geri Thompson, is determined to keep him all to herself-by whatever means necessary.

Even twenty years later, when the three meet up again in Long Island at their high school reunion, Eunice-now a successful novelist-can’t deny the feelings she still has for Jake. As she reacquaints herself with the now-divorced love of her life, she can’t help but wonder if this is finally the time to stand up for herself and give in to true love. But if she does, Geri may just steal everything she’s ever wanted from her yet again.

“Look, Jake, let’s just end this before it starts. You don’t want to be friendly with a loser like me. Why don’t you go to the back of the bus with the more socially-acceptable crowd?” We pulled into the school’s parking lot, and I gathered my things. “Being my friend will just be social suicide. I’m doing you a favor.”
Laurie Oknowsky had her start as a community author on Wattpad and Inkitt. As her success morphed into something worth trending about, she made the leap into the world of traditional publishing. Class of '95 is her debut book being published with Ukiyoto Publishing House. Not only is this a work of fiction, it is also a very personal account of a time of awkward adolescence into the hopeful aspirations of a chaste adult.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: Journey to Zentobia by Stacy D'Alessandro

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for Journey to Zentobia by Stacy D'Alessandro. This blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the blurb blitz for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Journey to Zentobia
Author: Stacy D'Alessandro
Publication Date: November 5th 2020
Print Length: 216 pages
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure
A fast-paced fantasy/adventure that you won't want to put down! Discover exciting twists and turns around every corner in this new children's book.

When the Miller family moves to the small town of Hailsville, ten-year-old Maggie and her thirteen-year-old brother discover their neighbor comes from a magical world, Zentobia. After the amateur detectives try to help him get home, they're swept through a rainbow portal and end up in his world on their own.

In Zentobia, Maggie and Peter embark on an action-packed fantasy adventure where they encounter orange rain, cascade down floating water falls, and chat with talking animals. Before long, they learn danger lurks in Zentobia, where all magic has been banished. Maggie is captured by an evil leader who wants to bring back dark magic. Help is on the way from Peter and their dad, who team up with Zentobia's good leader. But once they reach Maggie, more trouble emerges.

Join Maggie and Peter as they navigate magical underground tunnels, use flying shoes to travel across the world, and race to save Zentobia from the return of dark magic. Will they make it in time to stop the world's last gold star from turning black, or will trouble find them first?

Maggie held her dad’s hand, and they lifted off the ground. Her stomach dropped as the speed increased. The smell from the silver flames leaving the shoes reminded her of fumes from the gas station near her home in Hailsville. “This is amazing and scary, and I can’t believe this is happening.” Below, Zentobia got smaller and smaller as they flew higher. My body is so light up here. Am I in space? Doubt it, the sky's still blue. I have to try this on my own. She released her hand from her dad’s, and her body wobbled from side to side. Cold, fresh air blew swiftly against her face, causing her to squint. 

Brit flew next to her. “Just keep it steady. You’ll get used to the wind. Focus on moving straight ahead.”

“This is a lot harder than it looks.” Maggie’s legs twisted, and she circled around. Yikes! This is crazy! “Oh no! I can’t balance. Someone help!”

Brit grabbed her arm. “You’ve got this.”

I can do it. Maggie steadied her breathing and held her hands out to her sides. “It’s working. I’m flying! Woohoo!”

They flew in silence the rest of the way. Maggie practiced tricks but kept losing her balance. As they approached the palace, Brit signaled to the group to land on the side of the building behind a set of dead trees. 

Oh no. I forgot how to slow down. “Yikes! Dad! I can’t slow these things down!” 

“Tap your right foot twice,” Brit yelled from the ground. 

Maggie tapped her foot inches from the ground, and she landed on her hands and knees. “Ouch! That was the worst landing ever.”

Her dad ran to her side. “You okay?”

“Yep.” She stood. “I’ll stick the landing next time.”
Routine trips to Disneyland with her daughter played a role in Stacy's passion for storytelling.

Her daughter inspired the idea for Journey to Zentobia on a road trip home from one of their visits to the happiest place on Earth. They would pass a piece of paper back and forth in the car and each write part of a story. Her daughter's idea for a brother and sister to transport back in time through a rainbow portal stuck with Stacy for almost two years before she sat in front of the computer and began to write Journey to Zentobia.

Though she changed her daughter's original idea of the main characters going back in time to ending up in another world, the credit still goes to her innovative, young mind.

When she wasn’t working on this children's book, she wrote freelance stories for the Las Vegas Review-Journal Real Estate Section. Prior to that, she worked in the public relations industry in Las Vegas for more than 25 years. And when duty calls, she volunteers for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Stacy D'Alessandro will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the blurb blitz each day. Good luck!
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