Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan. Unfortunately, I was unable to read this before the tour date; however, after reading some of the review, it is definitely going on my TBR. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom for the Tour Schedule and a chance to win a copy of I Hope You’re Listening.
Meet Tom Ryan
Tom Ryan is the award winning author of several acclaimed books for young readers. He has been nominated for multiple awards, and was the winner of the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best YA Crime Book. Two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections, and three of his young adult novels, Way to Go, Tag Along, and Keep This to Yourself, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013, 2014 and 2020. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction.
Tom, his husband and their dog currently divide their time between Ottawa and Nova Scotia.
About I Hope You’re Listening
Title: I Hope You’re Listening Author: Tom Ryan Publisher: AW Teen Publishing Date: October 6, 2020 Page Length: 368 Genre: Mystery Age Range: YA Synopisis: EVERY MISSING PERSON HAS A STORY.
In her small town, seventeen-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.
At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way.
When another little girl in town goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much of her own story is she willing to reveal in order to uncover the truth?
Finished copy of I Hope You’re Listening. This giveaway is US only and ends on October 20th.
Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour for A Golden Fury by Samantah Cohoe. This tour is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. It’s been a while since I’ve read an atmospheric historical fiction with fantastical elements and I couldn’t wait to read it once I heard about this tour. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom to enter the giveaway and see the schedule for the rest of the tour.
Meet Samantha Cohoe
Samantha Cohoe was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She attended Thomas Aquinas College, a Great Books college in California, and graduated with a BA in liberal arts. After studying Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School, she decided academia wasn’t for her.
In the midst of marriage, child-bearing, and the identity crisis that followed, she rediscovered her early love of writing and adverbs. In 2011, she moved with her family to Denver, where she currently divides her time between teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs.
About A Golden Fury
Title: A Golden Fury Author: Samantha Cohoe Publisher: Wednesday Books Publishing Date: October 13, 2020 Page Length: 352 Genre: Historical, Fantasy Age Range: YA CAWPILE: 7.86/10 Synopsis: In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the streets of Oxford and London come to life, and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final chapter.
Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.
While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.
But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.
Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and Wednesday Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review.
I am so glad I was able to read this book. I haven’t read many books that deal with alchemy and even fewer taking place in a historical setting (18th century). It was hard to believe this was a debut novel. I found Cohoe’s writing to be engaging and I wasn’t able to put the book down until I was finished.
I found Thea to be a really well written and interesting character. She was smart and witty – definitely different from women of her time period. She wanted to make a name for herself in her profession, alchemy, but was also aware of some of the limitations of being a women in that field. Even when she trailed from this sense, how she acted with her love interest still made sense. She was a self-sacrificing character that would do anything in her power to help those she found kinship with. It was interesting that she trusted so few males in her field, but one character she was more than willing to share information with – despite his lack of trustworthiness.
Cohoe’s other characters were interesting as well. While I was reading the story, everyone’s actions made perfect sense. They all had their reasons for doing what they were doing. However, looking back, the two male “love interests” did some acts where t didn’t line up exactly (although there were moments where I wasn’t even sure if that was their purpose – love or friendship).
This book had a lot of self-sacrificing, both by the main character and others, but there was also a lot of selfishness. It seemed like everyone had selfish reasons for doing something – although the main character didn’t have many, and if she did she didn’t always act on them. The characters felt realistic, but still served a purpose in the end.
The plot was interesting and had constant twists and turns. There were many points where I wasn’t sure where the story was going – or at least how it would get there. Everything did end up wrapping up nicely, and relatively neatly, not fully what I was hoping for – but still not unsatisfying. The weakest point of the book – which still wasn’t truly a weakness – was the logic. There were just points in the story where it felt like Cohoe wanted the book to go to this point, but wasn’t fully 100% sure on how to get there. Sometimes the route to getting to that point didn’t fully make sense to me. But really, that is a minor nitpicky point on my part. While reading it, everything made sense and I wasn’t questioning anything – it wasn’t until writing this review that I realized there were point where things didn’t add up entirely (and honestly, that may be because some time has passed between reading and writing this review).
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and will be keeping an eye out for more that Cohoe writes. I loved the alchemy element in the story and the strongly written characters.
One finished copy of A Golden Fury. US only! This giveaway ends on October 20th.
Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour for Winter, White and Wicked by Shannon Dittemore. This is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom for the schedule to see other content creaters and a giveaway (US Only).
Meet Shannon Dittemore
Shannon Dittemore is a young adult author, conference speaker, and mentor. Her books include the Angel Eyes novels (Thomas Nelson Fiction) and the forthcoming Winter, White and Wicked, to be published by Abrams Books in the fall of 2020. Since 2013, Shannon has taught mentoring tracks at a local school where she provides junior high and high school students with an introduction to writing and the publishing industry. She writes weekly for Go Teen Writers, a blog recognized by Writer’s Digest three years running as a “101 Best Websites for Writers” selection. Shannon’s stories often feature strong female leads grappling with fear and faith as they venture into the wilds of the unknown. In many ways, she’s writing her own life story.
About White, Winter and Wicked
Title: White, Winter and Wicked Author: Shannon Dittemore Publisher: Harry N Abrams Publishing Date: October 13, 2020 Page Length: 384 Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Synopisis: Mad Max: Fury Road meets Frozen in this striking YA fantasy about a rig driver’s journey to save her friend
Twice-orphaned Sylvi has chipped out a niche for herself on Layce, an island cursed by eternal winter. Alone in her truck, she takes comfort in two things: the solitude of the roads and the favor of Winter, an icy spirit who has protected her since she was a child.
Sylvi likes the road, where no one asks who her parents were or what she thinks of the rebels in the north. But when her best friend, Lenore, runs off with the rebels, Sylvi must make a haul too late in the season for a smuggler she wouldn’t normally work with, the infamous Mars Dresden. Alongside his team—Hyla, a giant warrior woman and Kyn, a boy with skin like stone—Sylvi will do whatever it takes to save her friend.
But when the time comes, she’ll have to choose: safety, anonymity, and the favor of Winter—or the future of the island that she calls home.
Sarah Glenn Marsh is a great author and a super nice person so I was more than happy to take part in her Book Blitz for her new book, and companion novel to Fear the Drowning Deep, Dread the Harvest Moon. This is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. You can find a list of other blogs and Instagrammers that are also taking part in today’s Book Blitz below.
Meet Sarah Glenn Marsh
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.
When she’s not writing, Sarah frequents the pottery studio, volunteers her time to sighthound rescue, and raises awareness about her autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes. She often enjoys pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.
Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen series, and several books for younger readers.
About Dread the Harvest Moon
Title: Dread the Harvest Moon Series: Fear the Drowning Deep (Companion) Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh Publishing Date: October 13th, 2020 Page Length: 354 Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Synopisis: A companion novel to Fear the Drowning Deep, an NPR Great Read of 2016.
Three tasks. Two worlds. One deadly queen.
Always follow the rules.
That’s what seventeen-year-old barmaid Liss Corkill does. She’s never cursed or kissed a boy, and until two years ago, when a mythical serpent kidnapped her, she was never late to anything. She knows that if she were like her free-spirited older sister Bridey who sailed to America just before the Great War, her mother would be devastated. Liss is determined to be what everyone expects, even if that means giving up her dreams.
Unless the faeries make you break them.
When Liss accidentally interferes in a fairy queen’s quest for true love, she’s pulled into the vast and dangerous world of Un-Mann, a magical realm as old as the Isle of Man itself. As punishment for her mistake, Liss must complete three tasks for the queen by the night of the Great Harvest Moonlight, the fairies’ biggest yearly celebration.
Or you find something worth dying for.
Liss’s attempts to complete her tasks are met with constant misfortune, as if someone doesn’t want her to win. But she has powerful friends: the town witch, Morag, and her sister’s best friend, Cat, who she’s secretly falling for as they hunt sea monsters by night to protect their home. Sensing a need for inspiration as the final gruesome task draws near, the queen marks Liss’s little sister for death unless Liss succeeds.
Her sister. Her town. Her dreams. If she can’t own who she is and make some new rules, Liss will lose it all.
I’m excited to be part of the blog tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford. Be sure to check out the schedule at the bottom for other bloggers and Bookstagramers. Also, be sure to check out the giveaway too (US Only).
Meet Mara Rutherford
Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London. When she’s not writing or chasing after her two sons, she can usually be found pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, whether at a traditional Russian banya or an Incan archaeological site. She is the author of CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL (2019), its sequel, KINGDOM OF SEA AND STONE (2020), and LUMINOUS (2021).
About Kingdom of Sea and Stone
Title: Kingdom of Sean and Stone Series: Crown of Coral and Pearl #2 Author: Mara Rutherford Publisher: Inkyard Press Publishing Date: October 6, 2020 Page Length: 336 Genre: Fantansy Age Range: YA Synopisis: Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister’s place, she’s wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.
As an old enemy resurfaces more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor’s twin sister, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed—and they’ll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them…
Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour for Forget This Ever Happened by Cassandra Rose. This is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom for the schedule to see other content creaters and a giveaway (US Only).
Meet Cassandra Rose Clarke
Cassandra Rose Clarke’s work has placed in the Rhysling Awards and been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Pushcart Prize, and YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults. She grew up in south Texas and currently lives in Houston, where she writes and serves as the associate director for Writespace, a literary arts nonprofit. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle. Her latest novel is Halo: Battle Born, out now from Scholastic.
About Forget This Ever Happened
Title: Forget This Ever Happened Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke Publisher: Holiday House Publishing Date: October 6, 2020 Page Length: 336 Genre: Scifi, Mystery Age Range: YA Synopisis: Sometimes there’s a town called Indianola.
And sometimes there isn’t.
Summer, 1993. Claire has been dumped in rural Indianola, Texas, to spend her whole vacation taking care of mean, sickly Grammy. There’s nothing too remarkable about Indianola: it’s run-down, shabby, and stifling hot, a pin-dot on the Gulf Coast.
Well, there is one remarkable thing, she discovers. Something otherworldly.
But if you leave Indianola, you forget about it… and if you stay, you have to live with it every day.
Because there’s a confluence of energies at Indianola, a fissure in time and space, a gap in reality. Nothing is as it seems. And unless Claire can figure out this town–the talkative lizards under the pecan trees; the honey-sweet but terrifying girl next door; the cute daughter of a powerful family, who would answer Claire’s questions if she had any answers; the pervasive sense of history coming unspooled, like a video tape–she might never leave.
Featuring a mindbending plot, heartfelt queer romance, brilliant writing, and intricate worldbuilding, Forget This Ever Happened is a lush and thrilling genre-bender perfect for the Black Mirror generation.
Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour for Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Haley Krischer. This tour is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. This book deals with some triggering topics, but I’m so glad I read it. See my review and top 5 reasons to read this book further down in the post, along with giveaway for USA/Canada.
Meet Haley Krischer
Hayley Krischer has been an award-winning journalist for over 20+ years. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times, where she has covered feminist roller skaters, Instagram obsessed moms, profiled Gabrielle Union, Tatum O’Neal, and S.E. Hinton. She has also written for many publications about women and teenage girls including Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Lenny Letter, and the Hairpin. Her YA debut, SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALI GREENLEAF will be released in fall 2020 from Razorbill. Hayley received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. Her first newspaper job was as an editorial assistant at the Boston Globe. She reads tarot cards.
About Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf
Title: Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf Author: Haley Krischer Publisher: Razorbill Publishing Date: October 6, 2020 Page Length: 320 Genre: Contemporary Age Range: YA CAWPILE: 8.36/10 Synopisis: Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different. Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They’ve never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush, and the soccer team’s superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists–he rapes her.
Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean, she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she’s his best friend, his confidant. When he begs her to help him, she can’t resist.
So Blythe befriends Ali in her attempt to make things right with Sean, bringing Ali into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before.
In her searing, empowering debut novel, Hayley Krischer tells the story of what happened that night, and how it shaped Ali and Blythe forever. Both girls are survivors in their own ways, and while their experiences are different, and their friendship might not be built to last, it’s one that helps each of them find a way forward on their own terms.
Content Warning: Intense scenes depicting sexual assault and drug abuse, Reference to an eating disorder, Mental illness, Trauma, PTSD, Bullying, Victim blaming.
Top 5 Reasons to Read Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf
Wow! This book! I am so glad that I read this one. This topic needs to be talked about! We need to have books that explore sexual assault and not just fade to black. This book, although uncomfortable to read at times because of the content, handled everything so well. There were moments where I felt so overwhelmed by Ali’s experiences that I had to stop reading, but I always wanted to read more.
Ali was written so realistically. Everything she did seemed so realistic and logical in the circumstances that it felt like this really happened. It’s hard to talk about this book without looking back on my own experiences and how I reacted. Although my own experiences were not the same as Ali’s, I felt that, in some cases, we reacted fairly similarly. To read a book that represented me in some where, a way that I have never seen in a book before, was overwhelming at times. There were moments where I was crying alongside Ali.
I wasn’t expecting to have the perspective from Blythe as well. I’m glad we did. We got to see just how manipulative Sean was to everyone in his world. It helped us see Ali’s world a little better and get a better understanding of what Blythe was going through. If we had only experienced this book from Ali’s perspective, we would not have been able to gain the empathy towards Blythe and her actions would always seem negative. I felt, although Blythe’s actions were horrible, I could see why she was doing what she did. There were “reasonings” behind them. I do not believe her actions were right or moral by any means, but she is an imperfect character that helps make this story even more believable.
As for the other supporting characters, I HATED the majority of them. Again, this seemed to be done on purpose. We got to see Ali’s support system and just how they interreacted with her and her distancing. We also got to see just how the popular kids acted in this situation. They are all horrible people – the ones from Blythe’s life (well almost all). We got to see just how toxic her friendships were.
The overall story arc was well written and followed a logical chain of events. Without going into spoilers, it felt very much like how one would experience this type of trauma, but still managed to explore it more. It felt more in depth than I had experienced in a book before. No fade to black; no tiptoeing around the idea of it. We get to see how this rape affected Ali and those around her and Sean.
I just wanted to mention that I do read books that could possibly trigger me – I don’t know why, but I always want to see how others react to a similar situation; to see another perspective and attempt to… I don’t know feel closure by seeing how things could turn out because I will never get that kind of closure. I know many cannot read books with this topic because it is too trigger and a toxic for their own health and I respect that. I understand and respect that. I do, however, believe that this is an important book to read and I am so glad that I was able to.
Finished copy of Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf. The giveaway ends on October 13th.
I’m excited to be part of the blog tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours The King’s 100 by Karin Biggs. Be sure to check out the schedule at the bottom for other bloggers and Bookstagramers. Also, be sure to check out the giveaway too.
Meet Karin Biggs
Karin earned her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Purdue University and served as an event planner for two Big 10 universities and various non-profits for over eight years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. She enjoys chocolate-covered peanuts, uninterrupted sleep and singing with other people. Karin lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, cat and dog.
About The King’s 100
Title: The King’s 100 Author: Karin Biggs Publisher: Immortal Works Press Publishing Date: July 26, 2020 Page Length: 320 Genre: Fantansy Age Range: YA Synopisis: “A fun Sci-fi Fairytale mashup that is sure to please fans of The Lunar Chronicles!” – Lorie Langdon, author of Olivia Twist and Gilt Hollow
Sixteen-year-old princess, Piper Parish, is a disappointment to the citizens of Capalon, a STEM-structured kingdom where innovation is valued above all. Her older sister, the queen, views Piper’s tears during their parents’ funeral as a weakness, not to mention her strange affinity for singing. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death and flees Capalon to prove once and for all that she’s not just the queen’s defective little sister.
Posing as a Mondarian citizen named Paris Marigold, Piper bumps into a cute black-haired boy named Ari who encourages her to audition for the King’s 100, an esteemed performance court of singers, magicians, and drummers. Piper lands a spot as a singer and dives head-first into a world of glittering dresses, girl-code, sugar, blackmail, and physical contact-all while taking direction from an evil maestro.Under Mondarian law, Piper will be killed if her identity is revealed. But living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all.
Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour for A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan. I loved A Touch of Gold when I first read it (and my reread). When I found out we got this tour, I knew I wanted to read the conclusion to this series. Don’t forget to check out the Book Tour Schedule at the bottom, along with a giveaway.
Meeting Annie Sullivan
Annie Sullivan is the author of the young adult novels A Touch of Gold, Tiger Queen, and A Curse of Gold. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, and she loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s working as the Senior Copywriter at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. She loves to hear from fans, and you can reach her via the contact form on this website or on Twitter and Instagram.
About A Curse of Gold
Title: A Cure of Gold Series: A Touch of GOld Author: Annie Sullivan Publisher: Blink Publishing Date: September 22, 2020 Page Length: 352 Genre: Fantasy, Retelling Age Range: YA CAWPILE: 6/10 Synopisis: Curses and queens. Pirates and kings. Gods and magic. This highly anticipated sequel to Annie Sullivan’s enchanting A Touch of Gold, the story of the daughter King Midas turned to gold, is the gripping crescendo to this sweeping fantasy adventure. The final saga of a cursed queen, a vengeful Greek god, and a dazzling kingdom in the balance.
After barely surviving thieving, bloodthirsty pirates and a harrowing quest at sea to retrieve her stolen treasure, Kora finds readjusting to palace life just as deadly. Kora’s people openly turn against her, threatening her overthrow as heir to the throne—a cursed queen who has angered Dionysus. When Dionysus puts out a challenge to kill the girl with the golden touch and burn down her kingdom, it’s not just her future on the throne in danger. Kora’s life and entire kingdom are now on contract.
As bold and brave as ever, Kora sets out to find Dionysus, the very person who is trying to kill her, on the mysterious disappearing island of Jipper. Kora has no other choice. If she wants to save her kingdom and have any chance at reversing her father’s curse, she will have to enter into a deadly game with Dionysus, the greatest trickster the world, or the underworld, has ever seen.
When I first picked up A Curse of Gold, it jumped right into action. It starts a few months after A Touch of Gold and we see just what all our main characters have been up to. All of our favourites return in this book and we get a couple of new ones. Some of the characters grow, while I found others reverted back to supporting characters and most actions that they took supported the plot moving forward.
Annie’s writing was easy to read and, with it being so fast paced and action packed, it moved rather quickly. A lot of the action was back-to-back and left little time for the reader to breath. Once a problem was solved, we would quickly move on to the next – whether that being a high-stakes puzzle or a fight between main characters and enemies.
I must say there are a lot more mythical elements within A Curse of Gold in comparison to A Touch of Gold and I was very happy with that. I love Greek mythology and anytime more components can get added into a mythical retelling the happier I am.
The duology concluded nicely, with everything being resolved and everyone getting what they want. Lots of happy endings all around for the most part. There was a moment where I felt like a character was done wrong, but other than that, I was happy with how everything ended.
If you read A Touch of Gold and wanted a little more of Kora, Royce, Hettie and Rhat then I say give this a go. If you’re into high, non-stop action then I high suggestion this one (just obviously read book 1 first). I am glad I was able to finish this series
One winner will receive a finished copy of A Touch of Gold and Tiger Queen. US/CAN only. The giveaway ends on September 28th.
I am super excited for Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron and more than happy to be part of TBR and Beyond Tours Book Blitz for it. Check out the schedule at the end to see the other blogs and Instagramers that are part of the Book Blitz.
Meet Rena Barron
Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school.
From a very young age she loved reading stories where kids saved the world, tamed dragons, wielded magic, flew spaceships, became the chosen one. She desperately searched for characters in books who looked like her and was always disappointed to find none, which fueled her early interest in writing.
Before HarperTeen acquired her Young Adult Epic Fantasy, Kingdom of Souls, Rena spent 10 years in the query trends–writing across multiple genres and age groups in the pursuit of publication. In 2017, she entered Pitch Wars, a popular and highly sought-after online mentorship program that included an agent showcase round. Rena’s entry (then titled “The Last Witchdoctor”) received multiple offers of representation. She signed with Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary shortly after, and the manuscript went on to sell in a heated auction.
In addition to the Kingdom of Souls series, Rena also has written a middle grade epic fantasy titled Maya and The Rising Dark debuting in Spring 2020, pitched as Stranger Things meets Percy Jackson, that sold in a pre-empt to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
On a personal note, Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.
About Maya and the Rising Dark
Title: Maya and the Rising Dark Author: Rena Barrow Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Publishing Date: September 22, 2020 Page Length: 304 Genre: Fantasy Age Range: Middle Grade Synopisis: In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya’s search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret.
Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams.
When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark—where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya’s nightmares, awaits. Now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer’s over.