Spotlight + Excerpt: Silver Dawn Afire + Giveaway

Silver Dawn A fire

Silver Dawn Afire
by Sonja J. Breckon
(The Seventh Age Saga, #1)
Publication date: March 16th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Myridians are coming, each wielding one of Six Cataclysmic Powers that will lay waste to the world and wake the God of Neutrality. What happens when one refuses to succumb to her myridian nature and sets out to save the world instead?


SIDRA ANATOLA will soon die a human death and be reborn as one of the myridian, beings destined to destroy the World of Aetheria. In a desperate attempt to change her dark fate, she flees home and the young man she loves to seek help from a powerful entity who has lived through all the ages. But she may not make it in time before she is killed by hunters—or by the love of her life, also a myridian, who fights every day to hold onto the emotions that made him human.

BRESEIS ERISWEN was expelled from the academy and failed her father who expected her to carry on her late mother’s profession as a myridian hunter. But Breseis never wanted to be a hunter—she refused to kill, and she never believed in myridians, to begin with. She leaves home with big dreams, lacking experience, and a broken heart, to prove that she is more than a failed hunter.

Two contrasting paths converge to become a turbulent one. A mouthy intellect with a colorful personality, and a skilled warrior with a frosty attitude, put their differences aside and travel the rest of the way together, robbing temples, angering false gods, and escaping numerous predicaments with their lives. Amid the chaos, they form a friendship despite a gut feeling that both hide dangerous secrets that can save or destroy the world and each other.

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The susurrus of voices and the shuffling of bodies filter in from the parlor just outside the room where a small crowd has gathered, though not for Sidra’s sake. Most either don’t know she’s here, don’t know she’s dying, or don’t care. Some are people from the streets who, like Sidra and me, have gone into the brothel to take shelter from the rumbling mountain and the chaos in the streets; others are the brothel’s residents, Eslanda’s girls who live and work here.
“They found her,” Eslanda announces from the doorway.
She enters the room with a young woman embellished by a thin yellow dress that clings to her naked form underneath. She has reddish-brown skin; her cheeks and nose splashed with dark freckles, and her hair falls just below her ears in springy reddish-black curls. She reminds me of my good friend, Evolet, back in Valdania: lovely and kind and incredibly talented.
Can it be that simple? That Eslanda can send someone into the city to find a healer, and Sidra be magically cured as a result? I don’t think anything is that simple, so there are no feelings of hope or relief when the woman steps into the room. Okay, maybe some hope, but not much.
“This is Nesrin,” Eslanda says. “She’s the best healer I know; I’ve seen her do extraordinary things.”
“But Sidra’s not sick,” I point out kindly. “She’s cursed.” I grasp the top of Sidra’s hand, absently trying to comfort her; Sidra’s fingers feel clammy against my skin.
The healer, named Nesrin, steps up closer; she smells of begonia and a hint of honeysuckle. I notice the woman carries no satchel or anything that might indicate she is a healer. Where are the salves and herbs that traditional healers often possess?
“I have banished as many curses as I have healed diseases,” Nesrin says in a honeyed voice. “I make no promises, but I will do my best to help your friend.”
I release Sidra’s hand, and I stand.
“You know Banishing Craft,” I say; it is as much a question as a statement.
“I am one of few left with the gift,” Nesrin says.
“Gift?” I make a face. “Forgive me for saying, but Banishing Craft is as much a curse as the curses and diseases it cures—why do you still practice it?”
Nesrin places the palm of her hand to Sidra’s forehead; then, she sits down on the bed beside her; I move out of the way to give her more space.
“Because it is my calling.” Nesrin runs her fingers through Sidra’s hair. “If I die banishing the maladies of others, then it will be a good death.”
Um…okay; have to admire her dedication, at least.
Banishing Craft is one of the most sought-after crafts in all of Aetheria—because it almost always works, even against so-called unbreakable curses and incurable diseases. But like all things involving life and death, there are consequences. The one using Banishing Craft is at risk of dying from the same curses and diseases they cure. It is why there are so few of their kind left. And few ever seem to care for the healer’s life when they are so worried about the lives of their loved ones, and I have always felt bitterly of such people—I’ll be damned if I became one of them.
“I don’t feel right about this.” I pace, one arm across my midsection, the other propped atop it at the elbow; my fingers curled underneath my chin. “I mean, of course, I want someone to help her, but I…” I bite my lip. “But by agreeing to it, I feel like I’m trading one life for another—it’s just not right.”
“Do you want your friend to die?”
“Of course not. But I don’t want you to die either.”
“Your conscience is clear,” Nesrin assures. “I choose to help her.”
“You don’t even know her.”
Nesrin smiles softly.
“One day you will understand,” she says and turns to Sidra. “I would like everyone to leave the room.”
My arms drop to my sides, and I just stand here, not liking the idea of leaving Sidra alone with anyone.
Sidra moans in her unconscious state, and her body trembles and sweats profusely against the linen that covers the small bed. I can only imagine what horrible images the fever is trying to burn from Sidra’s mind.
“All right,” I give in. “But if you need me…”
Nesrin nods.
“Let’s go sit in the parlor.” Eslanda reaches for my hand.
“And please,” Nesrin says, stopping us, “do not come into this room unless I tell you. Many curses, when removed from one body, find another one to attach itself. Let it be mine, as I am experienced in such things.”
With reluctance, I follow Eslanda into the parlor, where several people are all standing and sitting around in groups of three and four, discussing amongst themselves what they think might be happening with the quakes in the city. I can’t bear to sit or stand still, so I pace, arms crossed, my bottom lip wedged between my teeth.


Author Bio:

Sonja J. Breckon is a builder of fantasy worlds and not ashamed to admit she lives in them more than in the real world. Besides writing books, she works with various programs to create her own cover art, interior art, design, formatting, and fantasy maps. She loves nature, the universe, coffee, and bookstores. Oh, and chicken potato enchiladas.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story + Giveaway

it's kind of a cheesy love story

It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story
by Lauren Morrill
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: March 9th 2021
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Young Adult

A delicious love story with all the toppings, Lauren Morrill’s It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story is a contemporary YA rom-com about love, friendship, and pizza, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han.

After her mother gave birth to her in the bathroom of a local pizzeria, Beck has been given the dubious privilege of having minor fame, free pizza for life, and a guaranteed job when she turns sixteen—a job she unfortunately can’t afford to turn down.

Now she’s stuck with her geeky co-workers instead of taking Instagram-ready shots with her best friends (and her epic crush).

But maybe the pizza people aren’t all bad. Maybe that pizza delivery guy is kind of cute. And maybe there’s a way to make this Bathroom Baby thing work for her. Because when disaster strikes the beloved pizza place that’s started to feel like home, she’s going to need a miracle—one that might even mean bringing her two worlds together.

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“Gentlemen, I present to you my selection from table eight,” she says, ignoring him. Thanks to my training, I know table eight is the round banquette in the back corner. It’s usually favored by families or rowdy groups of unchaperoned tweens. “On this plate is a piece of pizza, yes. But not just any pizza. This is pizza that came from somewhere else.”

There’s a beat of silence while everyone looks at the slice.

“No fucking way,” Jason whispers.

“Way,” Julianne replies. She leans back against the counter, crossing her arms over her chest with a satisfied smile. “We do not sell stuffed crust pizza here at Ye Olde Hot ’N Crusty. Someone brought this in from outside.”

Even I can barely suppress a gasp.

“What kind of asshole goes to a pizza place and brings pizza from another pizza place?” Greg says, bending down to observe it like a NASA scientist.

“I wish I knew, friends, but I didn’t see who left it. Now should we vote?”

“Why bother? Julianne clearly wins,” Greg says with a shrug. He reaches for his note card and shoves it back in his pocket.

“She’s got my vote,” Frank says, taking the shoe and tossing it into the cardboard box behind the counter that’s used as a lost and found.

“That’s two!” Julianne says. She flashes me a big, open-mouthed smile, like can you believe it? But then she remembers who I am and the smile drops before she turns to Jason. “You’re welcome to vote, but either way, I believe you have lost. And so I’d like to direct you to the cleaning supplies. Those bathrooms need some attention.”


Author Bio:

LAUREN MORRILL grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was a short-term Girl Scout, a (not so) proud member of the marching band, and a trouble-making editor for the school newspaper. She graduated from Indiana University with a major in history and a minor in rock & roll, and now lives in Macon, GA with her husband and sons.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Fire and Cinder + Giveaway

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Fire And Cinder
by Christina Bauer
(Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, #6)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: February 23rd 2021
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Meet the Magicorum: modern folks who are supernaturally locked into fairy tale life templates. For eighteen-year-old Elle, that role is Cinderella. Meanwhile, Agatha is her evil stepsister. Things go downhill from there…

Cinderella On The Run
Elle—never call her Cinderella—has found the love of her life in Alec Le Charme, the prince of a jewelry dynasty. But when Alec gets spirited away, Elle must ditch her Manhattan home for the perilous Faerie Lands. To save Alec, Elle must also swap her glass slippers for a flying carpet. But will switching templates from Cinderella to Aladdin snap Elle’s sanity?

Whatever. Bring on the straight jacket. Elle is one Cinderella who’s determined to save her prince, no matter what.

Evil Stepsister or Elf Queen?
Agatha always accepted her role as Elle’s evil stepsister. Then her life template changes from nasty sibling to evil elf queen. Agatha has one thought on that score. Thanks but no thanks. Agatha refuses the regal life, even though stepping away from her crown means ignoring her lifelong attraction to the elf prince, Jacoby.

Then everything changes. Agatha discovers that Elle’s life is at risk… and the only way to save her Cinderella is by teaming up with Jacoby. Trouble is, that’s a lot of togetherness. Working with Jacoby could easily end in disaster, not only for Agatha’s heart, but also for Elle and Alec’s lives.



I stand before Cynder Mercantile, the place where I grew up. It used to be a brightly-painted storefront that showed off the coolest art stuff in the city. Now it’s nothing but boarded-up windows and faded graffiti.

What a mess.

A few weeks ago, I visited Faerie and discovered my heritage as an elf. Ever since then, I’ve been living in Cynder and looking for some paperwork. With my mother and sister gone, who actually owns this place? Me, Elle, someone else? I’m on a mission to discover the truth.

Today I finally found a records room. I could check through everything right away, but the place is dark and filled with cockroaches.

At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So instead of going through old papers, I’m off on a walk to get some coffee. Stepping away from the ruined storefront, I turn down the deserted street.

That’s when I feel it. Someone is watching me.

Chances are, it’s Jacoby. He’s an elf prince and my personal nemesis. Also, his regular attempts at conversation are the highlight of my day.
I know. Complicated.

“Jacoby, is that you?” I try hard to make my voice sound irritated, but I don’t do such a great job. It’s lonely sitting in Cynder Mercantile, surrounded by dust bunnies and memories. If Jacoby didn’t invite himself along to my nightly coffee runs, I wouldn’t have any human interaction. Sure, all I do is tell him to go away, but it’s still the highlight of my day.

Did I mention our non-relationship is complicated? It is.

Jacoby steps out from a nearby alley. He’s unnaturally handsome with his broad shoulders, aristocratic cheekbones and cute swoop of black hair. Guess that goes along with being elf royalty. You always look camera ready.

The prince leans against the building’s facade and kicks his right ankle across his left. “You really need to stop following me,” he declares. “It’s rather embarrassing.”

“I’m stalking you?” I try to look offended. Not sure I’m doing such a great job.
“It’s all right.” Jacoby gives me the dazzling kind of smile only the elves can pull off. “I forgive you. You can even buy me a coffee.”


Save Across the Series

Fairy Tales of the Magicorum
Modern fairy tales with sass, action, and romance
1. Wolves and Roses
2. Moonlight and Midtown
3. Shifters and Glyphs
4. Slippers and Thieves
5. Bandits and Ball Gowns
6. Fire and Cinder
7. Fairies and Frosting

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Author Bio:

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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