BYWAYS: Release Day

Celebrate everything! A quick post to mark the release of Byways #12, In the Middle: A Zane Johns Adventure.

_12 In the Middle by C. J. Milbrandt

If you’ve been following the series, you know that every Byways Book incorporates details from one of the fifty states—places, icons, landmarks, etc. Zane’s new adventure takes its cues from the twelfth state, North Carolina.

Which is nicknamed, “First in Flight.”

Because of famous stuff that happened in Kittyhawk.

The cover makes so much sense now … doesn’t it? : ]

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COVER REVEAL: In the Middle

In the Middle, header

“If this is a Wild place, shouldn’t it be more obvious? You could say that these are magic trees, covered in magic moss, growing out of magic dirt, and it’s all the same to me.” Bree asked, “Can’t you conjure up a pixie or a dragon, or at least a wisp of foxfire?”

“I’m afraid not, but we’re definitely in the Wilds,” said Jovan. “Since there’s a town nearby, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a wake forest.”


“Wake,” Jovan corrected. “Like a ship’s wake. When colonists enter the land without making peace with the wilderness, the wild parts retreat. Only a little magic is left in its wake. Just enough to hide some surprises.”

“Nope, this isn’t wake.” Zane peered around the woods from Hobo’s saddle. “Whatever these people did when they settled, they did it right. Magic runs deep around here.”

—Byways #12, In the Middle: A Zane Johns Adventure

Tar Heels and Blue Devils. A feud on the fringes drags Zane’s teammates to opposite ends of town. Both sides are convinced Continue reading COVER REVEAL: In the Middle

#amreading All Summer

I’ve been reading and reviewing more middlegrade books on my GoodReads account, adding to my accumulation of titles for both the 2017 Reading Challenge and for the Great Middle Grade Reads 2017 A-Z Challenge. What’s middlegrade, you may ask? Usually, they’re designated as books for readers aged 8-12. And the category is often divided into lower middlegrade (8-10) and upper middlegrade (12-14).  Here are some of the books I read in June:

amreading, June 2017 ii

The Mark of the Dragonfly is a mystery/adventure set in another world, where humanity mingles with alien races. Dilapidation and steampunk elements abound. It’s the first of three books set in Solace, and I’m eager for more.

Magic Marks the Spot is also the first in The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy. The admiral’s daughter wants to be a pirate, so she and her family’s gargoyle run off. I adored both the tongue-in-cheek tone of Carlson’s storytelling and the whole crew of the Pigeon.

The Key to Extraordinary is a stand-alone story by Natalie Lloyd, the author of A Snicker of Magic. If there was such a thing as middlegrade chick lit, this is a lovely example. A vivid setting, an intriguing mystery, and a sense of destiny … all touched by magic.

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