blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Absent Victim – David Roy

No body, no motive, no name…so who did she kill?

When wealthy divorcee Stephanie Kuler asked a private detective to investigate a murder, he told her to go to the police instead. 

But when she told the rest of the story, he took the case. 

There was no body, no reason to kill and no name for her supposed victim, but she knew she was the murderer. 

Solving the mystery meant jail for her and a headache for him. Premonition, false memories, déjà vu…the mind playing tricks or reality distorted through time? 

The unmissable new thriller from David Roy explores the dark side of memory and its impact on us all.

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David Roy was born in Bangor, Northern Ireland in the mid ’60s. After a number of years in the army he left a life in uniform to read for a degree, ultimately qualifying as a secondary school teacher.  

He is the author of many books, the first written in 1994 as an account of his service in the first Gulf War. His book ‘The Lost Man’, the first of his Ted Dexter adventures, featured on ITV ‘The Alan Titchmarsh Show’; where it was shortlisted in The People’s Novelist competition. 

As well as being a soldier, David has been a dishwasher, a teacher, a civil servant, a security guard, a welfare assistant and an ambulance crew member. He is married and now lives in the north of England with his wife and two daughters.

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My thoughts: this was a very clever and slightly strange tale. A woman insists she’s killed someone but doesn’t know who, when, how or why. The police aren’t interested, this is too silly for them but the narrator – a private investigator, agrees to try to solve this. He’s also got several other cases on the go so puts his best man – the rather peculiar Billy, on the case.

There’s absolutely no evidence to go on, the client barely exists online, she’s given them almost nothing to work with so it’s time for some rather unorthodox approaches, like hypnotism. It’s all twists and turns as they try to piece the truth together. Does the answer lie in Steph’s past? In the family she never knew or the care home she was raised in? How deep will they have to dig? And why does she seem so determined to send herself to prison? Answers will be revealed. (But not by me!)

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Change – Kirsten Miller

Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick—a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers—putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town. 

In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…

After Nessa James’s husband dies and her twin daughters leave for college, she’s left all alone in a trim white house not far from the ocean. In the quiet of her late forties, the former nurse begins to hear voices. It doesn’t take long for Nessa to realize that the voices calling out to her belong to the dead—a gift she’s inherited from her grandmother, which comes with special responsibilities.

On the cusp of 50, suave advertising director Harriett Osborne has just witnessed the implosion of her lucrative career and her marriage. She hasn’t left her house in months, and from the outside, it appears as if she and her garden have both gone to seed. But Harriett’s life is far from over—in fact, she’s undergone a stunning and very welcome metamorphosis.

Ambitious former executive Jo Levison has spent thirty long years at war with her body. The free-floating rage and hot flashes that arrive with the beginning of menopause feel like the very last straw—until she realizes she has the ability to channel them, and finally comes into her power.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio of women discover a teenage girl whose body was abandoned beside a remote beach. The police have written the victim off as a drug-addicted sex worker, but the women refuse to buy into the official narrative. Their investigation into the girl’s murder leads to more bodies, and to the town’s most exclusive and isolated enclave, a world of stupendous wealth where the rules don’t apply. With their newfound powers, Jo, Nessa, and Harriett will take matters into their own hands…

My thoughts: of the three woman I loved Harriett the most – she just doesn’t care a lick about what other people think about her anymore. They say she’s a witch, fine, she’s a witch. Jo and Nessa still worry about other people’s opinions, even as they investigate the missing girls and the super privileged community on the cliffs.

This is a shocking and brutally honest book in many ways. Women are often overlooked and undervalued. All three of these women and many others whose stories weave into the narrative have suffered, often horrifically, at the hands of selfish, cruel and overindulged men. From sexist comments and being passed over for promotion to domestic violence and sexual assault, woman suffer. And now these three are not going to take it anymore. Woe betide any man who crosses them.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Generation Killer – Adam Simcox

The second thrilling instalment of Adam Simcox’s ‘wildly entertaining’ (Adam Hamdy) THE DYING SQUAD series.

There’s a new serial killer on the streets of Manchester – and only a dead cop can stop them.

Detective Joe Lazarus works for the Dying Squad, solving crimes the living police can’t. When the Generation Killer starts wiping out Manchester’s innocents, Joe and his new partner Bits have mere hours to catch the murderer. A young woman’s life depends on it.

Joe’s former partner Daisy-May has her own problems. Children are going missing in the afterlife, and she’s the only one who seems to care. Her investigation uncovers a conspiracy so vast, it threatens both the living and the dead.

Her predecessor the Duchess can’t help this time; she’s tracked her treacherous sister, Hanna, to Tokyo, where she’s been recruiting the dead. The Duchess must enlist the help of a local detective if she’s to have any choice of stopping her.

Time is running out for the Dying Squad. And if they can’t crack their cases, it’s the living that will pay…

My thoughts: time to crawl through some toxic Gloop once more and hang out with the residents of the Pen. Or not, as this case seems to be taking everyone soil side. Joe Lazarus and his new partner Bits are chasing a murderer, who’s killing grandfathers and their grandchildren in Manchester, Daisy-May’s trying to find out where the children of the Pen are going missing and why, and the Duchess has tracked her homicidal sister to Tokyo.

Of course none of these things is even remotely straightforward or easily resolved and there’s all sorts of chaos and horrors to fight through before even getting an answer, and without a way to communicate with each other, no one knows what’s happening or if their different cases might be connected. Just another day in the afterlife of the Dying Squad.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Gauntlet & the Burning Blade – Ian Green

In the second instalment of the Rotstorm series, heroine Floré must continue to fight back against the encroaching children of the storm – but now her daughter Marta is dying, too. Can Floré save her daughter, and her people, from threats familiar and new?

Break the chains. Hold your strength. Burn your foes.

Once a warrior of the Stormguard Commandos, Floré wrought horrors in the rotstorm to protect her people. She did her duty and swore to leave the bloodshed behind. But when her daughter, Marta, was kidnapped, Floré was forced to once again raise her gauntlet against the devils of Ferron to bring her home.

Now Marta is dying from the skein-magic she inherited from her father, and the Protectorate is weakened by the absence of the whitestaffs. The mystical order of healers and sages fled to their island citadel of Riven when strange orbs cut through the night.

Floré and her comrades must race to find a cure for Marta, to find the truth of the whitestaffs’ betrayal, and to fight back against the encroaching children of the storm.

Floré has taken up her gauntlets and her sword to keep her people safe – but steel alone might not be enough…

My thoughts: a lot happens in this book, and there are various interludes and different characters have their own chapters, as the disparate groups slowly start to meet. The soldiers that Florè and Benazir command are heading off to hunt for the whitestaffs, who have withdrawn to their island home, Tullan One-Eye is also around and the rotfolk are on the move, led by a charismatic crow-man. Ashbringer is still hunting Tullan, Janos might still be alive somehow, and Marta desperately needs him.

As each character moves towards the others, there will be fighting, there will be loss, but perhaps there will also be some clarity as to what it is the Stormguard are fighting, and why the whitestaffs have run.

Florè and her comrades continue to be interesting and enjoyable figures, though I want more from mole-person Voltos and also more Cuss and Yselda. Hopefully the next book will do that.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: With Fire in Their Blood – Kat Delacorte

Packed to the brim with bisexual and queer representation, With Fire in Their Blood is a simmering supernatural romance set in the crumbling Italian city of Castello, where mafia clans make the rules, dark magic pulses the streets and the sins of the past threaten to consume the present. . . 

When sixteen-year-old Lilly arrives in Castello, she isn’t impressed.
A secluded town in the Italian mountains is not where she saw her last years of high school playing out. 

Divided for generations by a brutal clan-family war, the two halves of Castello are kept from destroying each other by the mysterious General, a leader determined to maintain order and ‘purity’. . . whatever the cost. 

Lilly falls in with the rebellious Liza, brooding Nico and sensitive Christian, and sparks begin to fly. But in a city where love can lead to ruin, Lilly isn’t sure she can trust anyone — not even herself. 

And then she accidentally breaks Castello’s most important rule: when the General’s men come to test your blood, you’d better not be anything more than human… 

Perfect for lovers of Chloe Gong, Renée Ahdieh and V.E. Schwab, With Fire in Their Blood is quality YA storytelling at its best by an exciting new voice in YA fantasy. 

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Kat Delacorte was eleven years old when her family moved from the United States to a small town in central Italy. She soon began writing stories about her new friends developing superpowers, and she hasn’t looked back since. She graduated with a BA in History from Columbia University, and lives in Venice, Italy. 

My thoughts: Lilly’s whole life, what there was of it anyway, is uprooted when her dad gets a job in a small Italian town thats proudly stuck in a sort of timeloop – no WiFi, no technology at all really. There’s a reason for that, as Lilly discovers. This town burns witches, or those it suspects of being Saints, as they’re known. And the mysterious General keeps a tight grip on everything in the town.

As Lilly investigates the town’s past and finds links to her own dead mother, she discovers she has some unusual gifts herself.

A clever and imaginative take on the witch trials of the past and the problems of living under a censorious regime. No information gets in or out.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Spotlight: Tune in Tomorrow – Randee Dawn

Tune in Tomorrow [ISBN-13: 978-1786186300, August 23, 2022, Solaris/Rebellion] by Randee Dawn is a curious, calamitous, cockamamie story of a small town girl and the greatest mythic reality show ever.
    Starr Weatherby came to New York to become… well, a star. But after years of unsuccessful struggling, she’s offered a big role – on a show no one has ever heard of. An over 400-year-old reality TV/docusoap, Tune in Tomorrow is shot beyond the “Veil” by mythical creatures, stars humans – and “streams” out to a fanatical audience of fantastic creatures, who are positive that they are getting a peek into real human lives. And in a way, they are.

But Starr’s transformation from astounded newcomer to fan favorite is hardly smooth: A desperate, devious diva wants her gone; a handsome Lothario’s advances are suspect; her assistant is organizing a strike – and was her predecessor dropped into a bottomless pit? Starr vows to do whatever it takes to keep her dream job, but her struggle to save the show quickly becomes a fight… for her life.

Weaving together a unique combination of pop culture, fantasy and humor, Tune in Tomorrow takes readers on a roller coaster ride behind the scenes to see how the TV sausage gets made. But amid all the wackiness, tough questions arise: What is “reality”? And what might it mean to win a prize that makes you immortal?
    “Tune in Tomorrow is a book packed with some of the things that make me happiest: TV, divas behaving badly, being torn between two lovers, magical creatures and mangoes. Yes, mangoes,” Dawn says. “It’s a nutty tale of redemption and renewals, and I’m hoping everyone will tune in!”
    A funny, thrilling and mysterious adventure into the alternate world of reality television, Tune in Tomorrow is perfect for fans of Jasper Fforde, Terry Pratchett, and Christopher Moore. 

Maryland-born Randee Dawn is now a Brooklyn-based entertainment journalist who scribbles about the glam world of entertainment by day, then spends her nights crafting wild worlds of fiction. She’s a former editor at The Hollywood Reporterand Soap Opera Digest, and these days covers the wacky world of show business for Variety, The Los Angeles Times, Emmy Magazine and Today.com. Dawn’s obsessive love of all things Law & Order led her to appear in one episode and later co-author The Law & Order SVU: Unofficial Companion.  Her short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and online publications; she also dreams up trivia questions for BigBrain Games. Once a month she can be found hosting Rooftop Readings at Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, and when not writing she’s focused on her next travel destination, and hangs out with her wonderful, funny husband and fluffy Westie. She admits she reads way too many books and consumes far too many mangoes.

Find Randee on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, BookBub, Goodreads, and her website RandeeDawn.com

Tune in Tomorrow is available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and anywhere books are sold.


Question: Tell us what Tune in Tomorrow is all about?

Randee Dawn: There’s the story part of the book, which is about a reality TV show run by mythical creatures, for mythical creatures … but starring humans! They just find our antics as charming and hilarious and intriguing as we do theirs: We make movies and TV shows about castles and dragons and quests and fauns; well, they love hearing about our mundane things like clipping the hedges or embezzlement or adultery or changing light bulbs! But in a bigger sense it’s also about what it might mean to be immortal, and how “reality” might mean different things to different people. And it’s about finding your inner Starr/star!

Q: You typically write non-fiction – what inspired you to write this story and take on a whole new genre?

Dawn: I have always wanted to write a novel. I actually had written several other books about fantasy and fey creatures, but they tended to be very serious – and didn’t sell to publishers. My brilliant agent gently suggested, “Maybe you should try something different.” Humor is tough, and I had no idea if I could write it successfully, if not write it all. But once I dove into Starr’s world and heard her in my head, the silliness came naturally. 

Q: Reality TV and soap operas aren’t often considered “prestige” TV – is this a mistaken perception? What are your thoughts on that, as a pop-culture writer?

Dawn: Most all of the entertainment business is goofy and strange. But it is also an endeavor people take seriously – soaps and reality shows are no different. They are their own art form, and require hard work. And, time has shown that people continue to love them!

Q: What do you hope readers will walk away with after reading Tune in Tomorrow?

Dawn: Early on, Starr gives herself a pep talk by recalling a particularly strange improv routine she had to do once: pretend to be a singing mango. It was in that strange circumstance that she was “discovered,” and also where she truly fell in love with acting. So she tells herself throughout the book, whenever she needs an extra dose of courage: Be the mango. Sometimes, being the mango isn’t sufficient to save her, but I hope that amid all the pratfalling and puns and general shenanigans that people come away feeling that they, too, have an inner mango. And all they have to do is tap into it to get that extra push to make their dreams come true.

Q: Out of all the fruits, why a mango? 

Dawn: Because it is the most delicious of all, and I am somewhat obsessed. Also, it has a delightful name that’s just fun to say!

Q: How do you get inside your character’s heads during the writing process? 

Dawn: I have the whole movie of what my stories are about in my head as I’m writing, and though I don’t think about this consciously, if I need to be in a character’s head, I just start seeing the world through their eyes, as if I’ve put on virtual reality goggles. That really helps. Also, if I do write something that doesn’t seem right for a particular character to do or say, it will just feel wrong. That’s when I know I have to go back and make it true to the person.

Q: How did your background as a national pop-culture journalist influence the way you wrote Tune in Tomorrow?

Dawn: Often, authors are told “write what you know,” which is how we as a society end up with a lot of 20-year-olds writing memoirs. Which is fine! But limiting. When you have no other expertise, you write about yourself. It took me years in the entertainment business, and years removed from covering the soap opera world, to feel ready to use that as my backdrop. And yes, it’s true: Tune in Tomorrow has its roots in soap opera. Because that’s what reality shows are, anyway! Soaps are wonderful ways to tell story, and even if they look like Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Selling Sunset or Grey’s Anatomy today, all of those formats have their roots in the greats, like General Hospital, Days of Our Lives or The Young and the Restless. I wrote what I know!

Q: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Dawn: Be in it for the long haul. Don’t expect that your first draft will be the final draft, or even the thing that you first publish. The first draft is you telling yourself the story – I heard that a long time ago, and it’s incredibly true. After that, it’s about making it into a story that’s ready for the world to read, and that can take a lot longer than you’d expect.

Q: What is next for you? Is there another installment in Tune in Tomorrow, or what can readers expect?

Dawn: A lot depends on how Tune in Tomorrow fares. If it sells well, I’ve got part of a sequel planned that takes place in some of the other TV shows and movies that mythics have been cooking up. But there’s always a chance I’ll go back to a novel I finished during the pandemic lockdown and get it smartened up to show to my agent – about a world where all the superheroes are women.

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Blog Tour: The Last White Man – Mohsin Hamid

One morning, Anders wakes to find that his skin has turned dark, his reflection a stranger to him. At first he tells only Oona, an old friend, newly a lover. Soon, reports of similar occurrences surface across the land. Some see in the transformations the long-dreaded overturning of an established order, to be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance to see one another, face to face, anew.

Mohsin Hamid writes regularly for The New York Times, the Guardian and the New York Review of Books, and is the author of Exit West, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moth Smoke, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Discontent and its Civilizations. Born and mostly raised in Lahore, he has since lived between Lahore, London and New York.

My thoughts: there’s a sense of Kafka about this story of Anders, who wakes up one morning to discover that over night he has changed colour, becoming darker. He’s not alone and soon there are fewer white people than ever before. This, unsurprisingly if you’ve been paying attention to world events over even just the last few years, doesn’t go down well with everyone and there are ugly confrontations. Anders feels forced to leave his home and go to live with his dying father.

His girlfriend Oona is slow to change, and her mother is frightened of the prospect, inhaling the nonsense online – much like anti-vaxxers or covid conspiracy nuts of the last few years. But since becoming darker is inevitable in this reality, she has to come to terms with it. Although there is a suggestion that she never truly accepts it.

I was intrigued by the author’s use of the word “dark” to describe this change. It is only at the end that he says brown. But throughout he doesn’t specify how much darker, or whether it happens gradually in some cases. I don’t really have an explanation but it’s an interesting word choice.

A slight novel this does pack and punch and is very thought provoking. You find yourself wondering how you would feel or what that would be like in the world we live in – especially in a country like America, which is still so segregated.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Blitz: The Road Not Taken – Susan Rubin

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The Road Not Taken is available for a special price at participating retailers this summer! Take advantage and grab a copy today!

The Road Not Taken

Publication Date: September 4, 2020

Genre: Humor/ Fantasy

A woman suddenly widowed at 50,  left with money but no direction to her life, deep in transition from suburban housewife status, moves back to the West Village where she grew up. When she meets a woman who appears to be an identical twin, she discovers the Lost: a group of 100 fully-formed people dropped off on Earth as it cooled down they have lived on the planet as it developed the many species and geography of today.

The Lost show her the myriad dimensions of Spacetime, taking her to ancient Egypt, Weimar Germany, and planets without inhabitants, and reuniting her with loved ones she has lost to death. Through a casual affair with Osiris, god of Egypt, and her friendship with Vincent Van Gogh, she lives many truths that are new to her and learns who she needs to become to walk the road not taken.

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About the Author

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Susan Rubin has written for Funny or Die, and in contrast, she’s written more than two dozen documentaries that highlight international women’s issues like domestic violence, forced child marriage, and untested rape kits accumulating in police evidence rooms. Rubin has used her skill, empathy, and compassion to render these darkest of topics into accessible films distributed to tens of thousands of college classrooms.

As a playwright, Rubin has, for 20 years, been the recipient of Los Angeles County Arts Commission Grants and Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Grants. She also was honored with a six-year residency at the prestigious Los Angeles Theatre Center. Her plays have been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, Baltimore Center Stage, and at every major 99 seat theatre in Los Angeles including co-productions with Bootleg Theatre, Circle X, Skylight Theatre to name a few. She is the recipient of Garland, Ovation and LA Weekly Awards.

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Blog Tour: The Little Theatre on Halfpenny Lane – Clodagh Murphy

Aoife and her sisters know exactly what to do when they inherit their Great-aunt Detta’s theatre on Halfpenny Lane:

  • Restore the dilapidated building to its former glory.
  • Perform together on its stage to packed houses and rapturous applause.
  • Live happily ever after.
    But they didn’t count on Detta leaving a share in the theatre to her godson, Jonathan. Now they’ll have to persuade him to buy into their vision of stardust and magic – or find the money to buy him out.
    As they fight to save the theatre, Aoife also battles her growing feelings for Jonathan. Because she can’t let herself fall for the man who’s about to bring the curtain down on their dreams.

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  • Author Bio Clodagh Murphy lives in Dublin, Ireland. She has worked as a bar waitress, cleaner, secretary, editorial assistant, mystery shopper and movie extra. But she always dreamed of being an author, and after more jobs than she cares to (or can) remember, she now writes full-time. For more information about her books or to sign up to her newsletter, visit her website.
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My thoughts: this was a lovely story of sisterhood and theatre. The three sisters want to restore their great-aunt’s theatre, turn it into a going concern again and stage a production of Chekhov. But first they need to raise a lot of money. Luckily their aunt meant a lot to the Dublin theatre community and they’re all up for a fundraiser or two. And maybe Aoife might get through the tough exterior of Jonathan and her stage fright.

Enjoyable, funny and sweet, I knew I’d enjoy a story about a theatre (theatre kids never say die) and I was right!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Cover Reveal: Village of Salt and Sorrow – Laura Holt

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After an incredible ARC tour, we are thrilled to finally be able to share the cover of Village of Salt and Sorrow by Laura Holt! It was absolutely worth the wait!

Village of Salt and Sorrow ebook

Village of Salt and Sorrow

Expected Publication Date: Coming Soon!

Genre: Adult Fiction/ Magical Realism

Nova McIntosh has been called many things—a witch. Dangerous. The girl with fire in her hair and salt water in her veins, whose eyes will drag you in and crush your heart like an under tow—and they’re all true.

It’s said that Loch Moira was once home to a flock of selkies, until its fishermen made a deal with a sea witch to steal their pelts. Unable to transform, the selkies were forced to retain their human forms and wed their captors. But the sea is unforgiving and eternal and demands restitution: the lives of two girls after every storm as penance for the selkies who perished on land, or it will swallow the town whole.

The youngest in a long line of magical women bound to perform these sacrifices, Nova understands the need to be cold and merciless. So, when she finds a boy washed up on the beach after a storm, she doesn’t expect to feel anything for him. However, the ocean has never given back anything alive, either, and the closer Nova grows to Arron, the closer she comes to unraveling the mystery behind his survival and discovering the key to ending her town’s curse.

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About the Author

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Laura Holt is the award-winning author of Fathoms Below, Fathoms Above, Fathoms Between, Fathoms Across, and the forthcoming final book in the Star-Crossed series, Fathomless. She is a self-professed word witch with a passion for mythology, history, and caffeine. When she’s not writing, you can find her stretched out on a yoga mat, hiking down wooded trails, or wandering the aisles at a local bookstore searching for her next great read. She lives in small-town Georgia with her daughter, three cats, and a lot of fake plants.

Follow her on Instagram at @authorlauraholt to stay up to date on bookish news, events, and book and music recs, or subscribe to her seasonal newsletter for even more exclusive content and writer resources at https://holtlara2.wixsite.com/lauraholt.

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