via Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor to prevent nutritional deficiencies – Vitamin B3 – Niacin
Day: April 2, 2019
Lanterns In The Sky P.S. Malcolm (The Starlight Chronicles, #1)
Lanterns In The Sky
(The Starlight Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: April 2nd 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Everything was normal for Lucy Maisfer until the day a star fell from the sky and knocked her out. Upon waking, she comes face-to-face with Jason Woods, who also happens to be the mysterious new guy in her best friend, Valarie’s, life.
Then the strange dreams begin, and she learns about the Starlight Princess— who must not under any circumstance be reawakened. Driven to uncover the meaning of it, she finds herself caught up in a strange twist of events that eventually lead to bigger danger than she ever anticipated. Before long, Lucy is forced to make a choice between saving the world, or saving her best friend; only to discover that Valarie cannot be saved… that she has an even darker secret, and that her supposed star-crossed romance with Jason might not be so destined after all…
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What Inspired The Starlight Chronicles Series?
It was after a short writing break that I was inspired to sit down at my wooden desk, cup of tea in hand, and write a psychological thriller. It’s also worth mentioning that I had no clue how to write such a genre at the time. But I was driven around the concept of the stars actually being lanterns in the sky in need of regular re-lighting, and creating a world around that with a stealthy antagonist.
Of course, the book flopped a couple of chapters in for this reason, and the draft was left saved on my memory stick which I unthinkingly lent to a friend for her assignment.
This friend happened to be a major bookworm and found the manuscript, devoured it, and demanded I keep writing it. At the time, another story concept had floated into my brain—one consisting of stars and princesses and magical kingdoms. The two ideas sort of blended together, and suddenly I was really inspired to write a story much more within my reading tastes.
A tragedy story with gritty, dark romance and action!
I wanted my readers to cry, to scream with frustration, to feel deeply for the characters. I wanted them to be awed by the plot twists and not be able to possibly predict what was coming.
I loved reading stories like that—was constantly awed by authors who could make me feel such a way, and I vowed that I would do the same. It all fell together so easily and so quickly that I finished the story in a month. By the end of the year, I had four books drafted out and a small following of loyal readers glued to the series.
What makes this series so powerful is the conflict between the characters and how deeply entwined it is with the plot—there are so many stakes and perspectives to consider. Each character is uniquely different and contributes to the overall plot, making them necessary key players in the conflict. This was one of my big goals—I wanted to write a story where siding with just one character would be difficult, and there would be amazing character growth ARCs to witness.
After many re-writes, the first book is finally hitting shelves and I couldn’t be more excited or prouder—I can’t wait for readers to connect with my story and follow the exciting journey waiting for them!
You can grab your copy of Lanterns In The Sky here
If You Love These Books, You’ll Love Lanterns In The Sky
I am a huge fan of royal revolutions, magical fantasy and powerful, badass characters—which is why I read these books as well as write them!
In this post, I want to help you figure out if Lanterns In The Sky is your next go-to read by sharing a couple of similar books with relating themes, settings or style. You might even discover another book you haven’t heard of yet (did someone day two for one?)
So buckle up, and let’s take a look shall we?
Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
I’m sure most people who read YA fantasy have heard of this book by now. Red Queen kind of blew up—and I definitely see why.
Some of the best parts of this book were the magic structure in this world, the worldbuilding, the stakes and the plot twists! (If you’ve read this one you know exactly what I’m referring to).
Enter Lanterns In The Sky—a story set in the present world descending into a slow downfall of society, with major stakes and a super killer plot twist to throw you off—because I love Victoria Aveyard’s style! *wink*
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Ah… dreamy Stardust! I love this beautiful, whimsical read and the adventures the characters go on. Also, the romance is just lovely!
Though Lanterns In The Sky is more dark and gritty, it has it’s powerful and lovely moments—and if you love ‘star’ magic and constellations, then Lanterns In The Sky is heavily based around that entire concept.
I like to think that the writing is balanced between dark moments and hopeful ones—with an interesting love story unfolding along the way.
An Ember In The Ashes, by Sabar Tahir
This book has some amazing character development, action, and shares a very similar theme to the backstory of The Starlight Chronicles. Character conflicts are something that come up a lot in Lanterns In The Sky—so these books share a parallel here.
If you love resistances and royal revolutions and enjoyed reading An Ember In The Ashes, then you’ll definitely want to add Lanterns In The Sky to your reading list (especially because the following novella, Starfall, will really intrigue fans of An Ember In The Ashes.)
Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, by Laini Taylor
If you love European settings crossed with fantasy worlds, you will just adore Lanterns In The Sky.
One of the most notable things about Daughter Of Smoke And Bone was it’s distinct settings in Prague and Paris and other places outside of the U.S. It also managed to magically blend fantasy worlds in the epic way that Laini Taylor does!
Although we don’t get to explore the other ‘fantasy’ worlds of The Starlight Chronicles until book two, the setting of Lorelei is entirely unique on its own and influenced by Vienna and Salzburg. Plus, there are angels in this book and they are super cool beings!
I hope this post has inspired your next read and helped you decide if Lanterns In The Sky is for you! You can grab your copy of Lanterns In The Sky here
P.S.Malcolm (Pagan) grew up in Proserpine, Queensland– a small, Australian country town on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. She was a storyteller from a young age and spent years perfecting her craft.
For two years, she juggled waitressing in tourist filled coffee shops while undertaking two degrees in Creative Writing online. She has always had an interest in writing, but never saw herself working in the industry until she made the choice to self-publish her debut novel, STUCK ON VACATION WITH RYAN RUPERT. Realizing that she loved the process of publishing her book, she pursued an internship at a publishing house and snagged a spot as Pen Name Publishing’s Marketing Assistant.
In between interning and writing, Pagan opened her first business working as a freelance Marketing Strategist for Paperback Kingdom– which helps indie authors with all aspects of their author careers.
Pagan also enjoys reading– particularly fantasy and paranormal– and is a passionate blogger. She reviews books that she has read on her personal website, and indie books on her business blog. Some of her favourite and most influential authors include Amanda Gernentz Hanson, A.G. Howard, Marissa Meyer and Michele Jaffe. She is a cat enthusiast, tea lover, and floral fanatic.
Her newest book, LANTERNS IN THE SKY, is set to be released by The Parliament House Publishing in Spring 2019.
She put the glasses on. The hydrant glowed yellow.
Toward the top, extra-bright yellow letters flashed:
She stared at the hydrant. It was waist high and had a domed cap. A large round outlet on its front faced her. Two smaller outlets stuck out on either side like stubby arms. Short chains connected the pentagon-shaped bolts to the body of the hydrant.
While Samantha put the glasses in her purse, Nipper pushed past her.
“I’ve got this,” he said as he reached the hydrant.
First, he put his hands on the domed cap and tried to twist it. Then he tugged at the chains. Finally, he pulled
on the two arms and tried to get the whole hydrant to turn.
“I can do it, Sam,” he grunted, putting his full weight into it. “I’m sure there’s . . . a way . . . to make it . . .”
Nipper lost his grip and his footing, falling onto the grass behind the hydrant.
“Ouch!” he said, looking up at Samantha. “I just fell on my hand lens.”
“Get up and pass it to me,” she replied. “I want to check the Plans.”
Samantha unslung the umbrella from her shoulder, raised it above her head, and popped it open. Then she extended a hand to Nipper, who was still lying on the ground. As she waited for the magnifier, she looked past her fingertips at the hydrant. The large bolt on top of the cap caught her attention. She quickly turned and looked at the open umbrella. Then she looked down at the bolt again. Each had eight sides. They were both octagons! It couldn’t be a coincidence.
Samantha stepped off the path toward the hydrant. Meanwhile, Nipper was running his fingers through the grass.
“Hey, this is fake,” he said. “It’s artificial turf.”
Samantha focused on the octagonal bolt. She reached out, grabbed it, and gave it a quick turn. Immediately, she heard a soft click and a loud hiss. The ground shook. She reached out again to steady herself. The lawn surrounding the hydrant, about three feet in all directions, began to drop slowly. They were sinking into the park on a green, ring-shaped platform.
“Interesting,” said Nipper, standing up quickly.
Samantha watched the fire hydrant rise above them in the center of the ring as they descended. They dropped below street level and continued downward until, with a gentle bump, they came to a stop. Looking up, she saw the fire hydrant thirty feet above, framed by the sky. Some light trickled down, but not much. Machinery droned softly, and she heard what sounded like sheets of sandpaper rubbing together.
Something clicked and lights came on.
They stood in the center of a small room It was about ten feet to the wall all around. The floor beyond the edge of the platform was rotating clockwise.
The white tile walls surrounding them had four wide rectangular openings, spaced evenly around the chamber. Samantha read a large sign above each one.
In the past few months, Samantha and Nipper had done so much traveling on mysterious, barely labeled trains, tubes, and ladders, it felt strange to be in a place with such clear signage.
Painted on the walls between the openings, Samantha saw:
SLIDEWALK KEEP RIGHT
“Ever hear of a ‘slidewalk’?” she asked. Nipper shook his head.
They stepped onto the rotating floor.
“‘Slidewalk . . . slidewalk . . . slidewalk,’ ” she read, watching the walls go by. “I have a feeling we’re about to find out.”
As they began their second orbit around the room, they peeked through the entrances and saw that each had two conveyor belts. The one on the right led away. The one on the left led back to the chamber.
“Okay, Sam,” said Nipper. “Where to?”
Samantha started to reach for the umbrella on her shoulder, but then stopped. She scanned the signs above each opening again. Then she smiled.
“A-L-I-M,” she replied. “Unscrambled, that’s . . .” She waited for her brother to answer.
He stared at her blankly.
“I-L-A-M backward is . . . ,” she tried again. “Mali,” he said.
“It’s in Africa,” she told him.
“Oh, yeah. Of course,” he said. “It’s one of the sixteen landlocked African countries.”
As they stepped through the entrance, Samantha marveled at her brother’s capacity for useless facts.
Excerpt copyright © 2019 by Russell Ginns. Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
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3 lucky winners will win a finished copy of SAMANTHA SPINNER Series, US Only.
Title: SAMANTHA SPINNER AND THE SUPER SECRET PLANS (Samantha Spinner #1)
Author: Russell Ginns
Pub. Date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, audiobook, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD
Get ready for round-the-world adventure with Sam Spinner and her brother Nipper in the first book in a new hilarious, puzzle-packed series filled with super-secret messages! Perfect for fans of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and classics like Holes.
Samantha Spinner’s uncle Paul disappeared, and here’s what he left:
* Samantha’s sister got a check for $2,400,000,000.
* Samantha’s brother got the New York Yankees.
* And Samantha got a rusty red umbrella with a tag hanging off its worn handle. The tag says “Watch out for the RAIN.”
Thanks a lot, Uncle Paul.
After all the strawberry waffles, stories, and puzzles they’ve shared, how could he just leave without saying goodbye? And what is the meaning of that mysterious message?
The answer is simple. Sam knows in her heart that Uncle Paul is in danger. And if he taught her anything, it’s that not everything is exactly what it seems. Which is why we should pay close attention to that rusty red umbrella, and never trust a monkey at a hula-hoop contest.
The RAIN is coming and Samantha Spinner is about to find herself mixed up in some super-important, super-dangerous, super-secret plans.
Praise for Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans:
“A winning mix of fast-paced action, fascinating facts, bathroom humor, and hidden puzzles…[that is] sure to please action-loving middle-grade readers.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Full of adventure and survival,…[and with] characters [that] are likable, realistic, and well rounded…[Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans is] great for [readers of] series like The 39 Clues.” –School Library Journal
Title: SAMANTHA SPINNER AND THE SPECTACULAR SPECS (Samantha Spinner #2)
Author: Russell Ginns
Pub. Date: March 12, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, audiobook, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD
Get ready for more round-the-world adventure with Samantha Spinner and her brother, Nipper, in the second book in this hilarious, puzzle-packed series filled with super-secret messages! Perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and classics like Holes.
When Samantha Spinner’s uncle Paul disappeared, he left presents for his nieces and nephew. Samantha’s sister, Buffy, got $2,400,000,000. Her brother, Nipper, got the New York Yankees. Samantha got . . . a rusty old umbrella.
Wow! So unfair, Uncle Paul.
Well, it seemed unfair–until Samantha discovered that the old umbrella holds the plans for a super-secret network of transit systems that covers the globe. It’s the ticket to danger and adventure beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
But Uncle Paul is still missing. And Samantha just received a new gift from him: a pair of strange purple sunglasses. Are they another powerful present? A clue to his whereabouts? Or just a bad fashion choice? Samantha and Nipper need to figure it out fast, because . . . here comes the SUN!
Praise for Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans, Book 1 in the Samantha Spinner series:
“A winning mix of fast-paced action, fascinating facts, bathroom humor, and hidden puzzles . . . [that is] sure to please action-loving middle-grade readers.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Full of adventure and survival . . . [and with] characters [who] are likable, realistic, and well rounded . . . [Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans is] great for [readers of] series like The 39 Clues.” –School Library Journal
Breaking Away Series Boxed Set Meli Raine
Breaking Away Series Boxed Set
Publication date: December 1st 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense
The son and stepdaughter of rival drug dealers, Chase Halloway and Allie Boden know the odds are stacked against them, but love doesn’t care about odds. Love only wants to find a way.
Chase Halloway knows he’ll take over his father’s empire when old Galt Halloway’s done, but he has dreams. Plans that have nothing to do with the drug ring his father’s so carefully built since Chase’s mom died years ago. Untamed and unmoored, when he sees Allie for the first time he realizes maybe the future doesn’t have to be so lonely…
Protected by Chase during a blow-out brawl in her stepfather’s bar, Allie can’t believe the tattooed, muscled man who has eyes only for her really wants her…forever. With a past marred by her mother’s death and a stepfather who won’t let her leave for sinister reasons she doesn’t understand, she wants to choose Chase and her own fate.
Drawn together by an attraction so strong they can’t find words for it, and unable to resist a physical temptation so strong they can’t deny it, can Chase and Allie’s love survive kidnapping, murder, false accusations and more?
The Breaking Away Series Boxed Set contained the entire romantic suspense trilogy: Finding Allie, Chasing Allie, Keeping Allie. Each is a full-length novel, and by the end of book three Chase and Allie get the happily ever after they so richly deserve.
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He’s warming me up with just his look.
“It’s okay.” Finding my voice is harder than you’d think. “It really is,” I say, sighing. “I…I like it.” I’m so afraid this is it, that he’s stopped for good and that I’ll never, ever feel those hands on my body again, those lips on mine, that tongue teaching me how holy a kiss can be.
“You do?” His voice is deep and low, like a man who wants something and quickly realizes there’s a strong chance he can get it.
“I do.” Oh! The wedding words. I turn three shades of pink as I make the connection in my mind, and Chase smiles, laughter carrying on the wind.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” he adds, eyes twinkling. His fingers flex and he shifts his hips, looking up at the stars and away from me.
“No, no, I didn’t mean…I wouldn’t presume…I…” Stammering and yammering, I can’t shut up, protesting that I wasn’t thinking about marrying him, for goodness sake. Who marries a drug dealing motorcycle club vice president?
“You wouldn’t marry someone like me, you mean,” he spits out. I flinch. Can he read my mind? We seem more deeply connected than either of us ever realized.
“I didn’t mean it that way, Chase. Really!” The world begins to spin and the happy moon suddenly turns sinister. How did this wonderful night become so bad, so fast? Are we arguing? This feels like an argument. I’ve never argued with a guy before, and it feels awful. Like I did something wrong and I have no idea what, but will do anything to fix it. All I want is for Chase to pull me into his arms again but instead Chase’s eyes go cold.
What just happened?
“You have a thing against MC?”
He snorts and kicks the dirt. “Motorcycle club.”
“Oh, um…” The question catches me off guard, and butterflies live in my stomach by the thousands now. The night air feels like it is brushing against every part of my skin where Chase just touched me and is erasing all the amazing feelings we just shared. My body is screaming, my brain’s on fire and somehow, I’ve offended him.
Way to go, Allie.
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.
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HUNT OF THE GODS
June 4th 2019
Ares—and the band of rogue scions he’s aligned with recovered
both the Thunderbolt of Zeus and the Heart of the Devourer and
returned them to the Gods. During the battle, Derek discovered he
could control not only the element of fire, as all war-scions can,
but also the dark element “aether,” making him the only scion
alive to wield two types of elemental magic.
to retrieve the Trinity Weapons and the Shards of Cronus, Derek and
the rogue scions are thwarted in their goal by a gang of water-scions
with a grudge against one of the rogues—Thea, heir of Poseidon.
Both groups travel to an uninhabited island to recover one of the
Shards––the Eye that belonged to Cronus, King of the Titans. But
what they encounter will lead them down a path of brutal betrayals,
hard truths, painful memories, and desperate actions.
angry and impatient gods breathing down his neck, a curse that allows
Ares to control him, a prophecy he’s desperate to avoid, a magic
spear corrupting his thoughts, and two forms of elemental magic,
Derek has a lot of baggage—and a lot of power. Will the price of
using that power to satisfy the Gods be too much for him to
truths take center stage in the second novel of the action-packed
AREIOS BROTHERS series from Amy Braun.
is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves
around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in
her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds
filled with fun characters and intense action. She is an active
member of the Weekend Writing Warrior community.
she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos,
gaming, struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction, and
diving headfirst into danger in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns