Spotlight: Gemja, by K.M. Messina

The Message #1
by K.M. Messina
325 pages
YA Fantasy

Resa Stone is one of the first humans to set foot on a foreign world. But ever since arriving on planet Wandelsta, the introverted teen witch can’t sleep. Visions of a mysterious jeweled forest haunt her dreams. Who is the ghostly shrouded girl who emerges from those woods? And what is the meaning of the ominous message she delivers: You are the one?

And when the unearthly messenger appears in her waking life and leads her to a mystical glowing gem, Resa learns of an ancient legend that suggests the stone may be a remnant from a crystalline paradise called Gemja and harbors great power. On a quest to discover the significance of the stone, Resa is transformed by love, betrayal, magic, and hidden secrets. And when danger befalls her, she must summon the courage to journey into her dream realm to confront the ghost for answers…

Only to discover that deciphering the message reveals a painful truth…

One that may cost Resa her life.

“An edge-of-your-seat adventure…sweeps to a cliffhanger climax. A rousing introduction to a promising new series.”

“A fast-paced tale with richly drawn characters that revels in mythical worldbuilding…It blends fantasy and SF elements, along with witchcraft and teenage romance, with a degree of skill that’s likely to satisfy fans of all these genres.”

About the author:
km messinaK.M. Messina is an earth and space science teacher, a dog mom, and a lover of all things mystical. Her black German shepherd Luna is the star of her award-winning picture book, If You Could Ask Your Dog One Question, which won the Best Independent Book Award (BIBA) and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for best picture book for all ages. She lives on the rocky coast of Long Island, New York, where she enjoys feeding wild turkeys, moon gazing, and adding to her ever-growing collection of stones and crystals.

Visit K.M. Messina at her website and on Instagram.

Spotlight: The World Beyond the Redbud Tree, by Madison C. Brightwell

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The World Beyond the Redbud Tree
by Madison C. Brightwell
April 11, 2023
Koehler Books
254 pages

Sixteen-year-old Charli is living in a pandemic-ravaged 2020 America when she stumbles upon the parallel world of the Q’ehazi. Drawn to these peaceful people, whose constant joy and optimism provides a stark contrast to the suffering and violence in her own life, Charli wants nothing more than to stay with them forever—but first, she must learn to attain a state of grace.

Can she forgive her mother’s abusive boyfriend? Can she learn empathy for her mother? Charli’s inward and outward struggles will lead her to a discovery she wasn’t even looking for: the beauty of her own world. 

Amazon / Goodread


Brightwell’s storytelling is vivid and rich and her writing compelling. The World Beyond the Redbud Tree is a fascinatingly adventurous and original examination of life, grief, forgiveness and compassion. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before: captivating, touching, gently magical and ultimately uplifting.”
— Penny Haw, author of The Wilderness Between Us 

“The novel offers us the story of a struggling young girl making her way through both dystopian and Utopian futures. A very thought-provoking tale for readers of all ages. I highly recommend The World Beyond the Redbud Tree.”
— David Silverman is a Hollywood screenwriter, with writing credits including The Flintstones, The Wild Thornberrys, and Life with Louie. 
“Madison has a great way of merging two worlds together in The World Beyond the Redbud Tree. She writes beautifully and has an incredible imagination. She showcases how a young girl Charli is running from her fears but stays resilient and really just wants to be loved. Madison Brightwell is a talented writer and has created a masterpiece. I hope to one day see it on the big screen.”
—Kandace Caine, Voice Over Actress of the popular games Hogwarts Legacy and Call of Duty; screenwriter and producer.

About the Author:

Madison C. Brightwell is an author and a licensed MFT with a doctorate in psychology. She has been working as a therapist for fifteen years, before which she worked as a professional actress and in film and TV development. She has written four other novels and three self-help books in the field of psychology. Since moving to Asheville, North Carolina, from her native Britain, Madison has become inspired by the history of this land, originally inhabited by the Cherokee. She draws on many of her experiences helping clients with trauma, addiction, and chronic pain.

Visit Madison at her website and on Facebook and Instagram.

Spotlight: Touch the Sky, by Alison Blasdell

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Touch the Sky
by Alison Blasdell
Historical, Time Travel Romance

What if you could see into the past and uncover a Bronze Age secret—an ancient ability so threatening that it was erased from human history. More importantly, why are you able to see it?

Jennifer Bracken is visiting the British Museum in London when she falls, hitting her head. While unconscious, she sees life through the eyes of a young priestess from a long-ago Bronze Age civilization. Assuming the experience was the result of striking her head, she discounts the episode and goes to visit her best friend in Scotland. There, at the foothills of The Highlands, the visions return, both frightening and compelling. Each time they occur, Jennifer is drawn deeper into the young priestess Cela’s life.

Driven to discover if such a Bronze Age society ever existed, she enlists the help of noted archaeologist, Derek Rannoch. Derek is astonished by Jennifer’s detailed descriptions of that era. He demands to see the source of her information in exchange for his assistance. Jennifer refuses, but she needs his archaeological expertise. She must find a way to convince him to help her, for an uneasy feeling begins to overtake her. As Derek and Jennifer’s turbulent—and often antagonistic—relationship develops, Jennifer is inexplicably drawn to him, feeling safe in his presence, but safe from what?

Touch the Sky takes the reader on a mesmerizing trip back and forth between the Bronze Age and contemporary times—a trip that will challenge our notion of science and reality and affirm our belief in the immortality of love.

Amazon / Goodreads

Book Three in the Series Has Previously Been on the Blog:

Spotlight: Power of the Sky, by Alison Blasdell

About the Author:

Als-book-photoDSC_0616Alison Blasdell holds a PhD in physiology and biophysics but has wide-ranging interests. An equestrian, with a background in music, martial arts, a passion for history, and an interest in the potential of the human mind, Alison often weaves these areas of interest into her books, always keeping a woman of strength and compassion at the heart of the novel.


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