Book Blitz: What Dreams We Had, by Phil Featherstone

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What Dreams We Had
by Phill Featherstone
Metaphysical Fiction, Visionary Fiction, Coming of Age

Five young people are in the dead period between finishing their exams and getting the results that will determine what they do next. It’s a time of anxiety but also a time of hope. And it’s the end of an era because whatever happens they will go separate ways. Meanwhile, there is a long summer vacation to fill.

Out of the blue, they receive an astonishing invitation. Four of them are in a band and a wealthy celebrity wants them to play at an event to be held at his home in Tuscany. All their expenses will be paid and they will live in a luxury villa. It sounds too good to be true, and it is.

They go to Italy, but when they reach the villa they find it’s empty. The location is remote, and with no transport, no internet connection and no mobile signal they are cut off from the world. A succession of mysterious events begins which forces them to review who they are, and to rethink what’s important to them. It’s not until the final chapters that we discover the real reason why they’ve been brought to the villa and exactly what the experience will mean for them.

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Author Bio
Phill lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK. He came to writing late, after a career in education and educational publishing. His first novel was Paradise Girl (2017). It’s the first book in the REBOOT trilogy and is the story of a teenage girl, Keryl Shaw, who finds herself alone when a deadly virus wipes out her family and friends. It was followed by Aftershocks (2018), recounting the adventures of Kerryl’s twin brother as he journeys to investigate and understand the pandemic. The finale to the series is Jericho Rose (2020). The pandemic is over and it’s time to rebuild, but there are some who see the chaos as an opportunity to pursue their own selfish aims. Phill’s fourth novel, The God Jar (2020), is a time-shift tale of a mysterious object and its strange powers. What Dreams We Had (2021) is his fifth novel.

Phill’s writing has received a number of awards. Paradise Girl, Aftershocks and The God Jar have Chill With a Book awards. Paradise Girl and The God Jar are Wishing Shelf finalists. Paradise Girl and Aftershocks have received Indie BRAG Medallions. Jericho Rose is a Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon Winner.

When he’s not reading or writing Phill likes walking, going to the theatre and concerts, travel, and visiting museums and galleries. He enjoys music and plays the tenor saxophone.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: The Half-Orphan’s Handbook + Giveaway

TheHalf Orphan Handbook Tour

The Half-Orphan’s Handbook
by Joan F. Smith
Published by: Imprint/Macmillan
Publication date: April 6th 2021
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Young Adult

For fans of John Green and Emily X.R. Pan, The Half-Orphan’s Handbook by Joan F. Smith is a coming-of-age story and an empathetic, authentic exploration of grief with a sharp sense of humor and a big heart.

It’s been three months since Lila lost her father to suicide. Since then, she’s learned to protect herself from pain by following two unbreakable rules:

1. The only people who can truly hurt you are the ones you love. Therefore, love no one.

2. Stay away from liars. Liars are the worst.

But when Lila’s mother sends her to a summer-long grief camp, it’s suddenly harder for Lila to follow these rules. Potential new friends and an unexpected crush threaten to drag her back into life for the first time since her dad’s death.

On top of everything, there’s more about what happened that Lila doesn’t know, and facing the truth about her family will be the hardest part of learning how a broken heart can love again.

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Excerpt:

I opened the door. “Hi?”
“Hi,” the woman said. “I’m Mari. Lead counselor.” She had a medium-brown complexion and pale green eyes. I’d never seen legs so long in my life. They stuck out of a pair of cutoff jean shorts. Her smile revealed a row of crooked bottom teeth.
I forced a smile back. “I’m just dropping off my brother.” “Really?” Mari hugged a clipboard to her chest and adjusted a beaded bracelet on her wrist. I started to pull the door closed but stopped when she spoke. “That’s not what Sammy says.”
Traitor. I narrowed my eyes at Sammy, who beamed. I swallowed. “Uh. Right. I—”
Mari gestured toward the clipboard she held. “I can give you a sec.”
I glanced at Mom, and her expression was so goddamn hopeful that I almost relented. She unbuckled her seat belt and used her knee to nudge open her door. “You can heal here, Lila.”
The tips of my ears burned. Heal? Like how counseling healed Dad?
“Honey . . . your dad would want this.”
Would he, now? Oh, well, in that case. I couldn’t stand any part of this. I couldn’t fathom the ride home with her, or entering our ridiculous house without our ridiculous father. I glanced out the window, where Sammy waited, and finished pulling the door closed with a sharp click. I didn’t want him to hear some bogus explanation about what our father would want. I steeled myself. “Jesus Christ, Mom. I’m not some knee scrape you can put Neosporin on—”
“Honey—”
“I don’t need to be healed.” “We all do, sweetie. We do—” “Stop it. Please. Just stop.” “You don’t need to be scared.”
“God, Mom, do you ever stop? No wonder he left us.” The second the words left my mouth, I couldn’t believe I’d said them. I wanted to snatch them from the air between us. “Mom. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it.”
Her mouth rolled into itself, and she gripped the steering wheel so hard her arms shook. I watched her knuckles drain of color. “I know you didn’t mean that. But that . . . you . . . Not cool, Lila. Not cool.”
“I don’t even know why I said it. I’m sorry.” Guilt rained over me, soaking my hair and settling into my toes.
“I forgive you,” she said, her tone making it very clear that she more than likely did not. At least not yet.

 

Author Bio:

Joan F. Smith lives with her family in Massachusetts, where she works as an associate dean, a creative writing professor, and a dance instructor. She received her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and has written articles for The Washington Post and Thought Catalog on destigmatizing discussions around mental health and suicide prevention. The Half-Orphan’s Handbook is her debut novel.

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Spotlight: Dead Sea + Giveaway

Dead Sea Blog Tour Banner April 5-9
Book Tour! 
Dead Sea
by: Mia Kerick
(Story Ballads Book #2)
Genre: YA Coming of Age Gay Romance
Release Date: March 3

 

Kyle is a swaggering bully; Lenny strives to be invisible.

Kyle has been left alone in the world; Lenny is the world’s biggest loner.
When Kyle saves Lenny from drowning, their lives will never be the same.
After a brutal encounter with school bullies, Lenny swims out into the ocean, determined to let the current whisk him away. Next thing he knows the meanest kid in town is pulling him from the waves, promising to be his Dead Sea, and to never let him sink.
 
All Kyle wants is to get out of beach cleanup, is that too much to ask? So he goes for a swim, only to come upon the most epic “nobody” in the senior class drowning in a riptide. Lenny’s haunted gaze grips him, and Kyle makes the impulsive decision to save his life or die trying. And through this ordeal, Kyle and Lenny are transformed.
 
Kyle’s heroic act sets him on the straight and narrow, and he opens his heart to the young man he dragged from the ocean. Lenny changes too but is still unable to reveal the truth of his pain. While drowning in a sea of secrets, the reformed bully and wary victim fall in love. But staying afloat in the Dead Sea is not as simple as it seems.
 
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Giveaway! 
$20 Amazon Gift Card (International) 

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About the Author:

Award-winning gay romance author, wife, and mother of four, Mia Kerick, knows that a satisfying romance novel is riddled with challenges. For true love to prevail, the leading men are going to have to put in some effort. But the HEA is oh, so rewarding. 
 
From Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester to Brokeback Mountain’s Ennis and Jack to Twilight’s Edward, Mia has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature. Her contemporary gay romance focuses on such tropes as coming of age, hurt/comfort, and forbidden love. She firmly believes that sometimes you have to break his heart to save him. In Kerick’s books, the course of true love truly never does run smooth. 
 
Mia’s books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine. They have won a 2019 IPPY GOLD award for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, GOLD award for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, a 2018 YA GOLD MOONBEAM Children’s Book Award, a YA Readers’ Favorite Award, several Gold Rainbow Awards in YA and adult categories, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, a YA Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award, and more. 
 
Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
 

 

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Tour Created by YA Bound Book Tours