Far From Home, an ordinary girl is a powerful warrior: Mary Jingo of the Shadowlands, the People of LeeChee’s great hope.
Welcome to the July 27th stop on the blog tour for City of Lights by Kelly Byrd with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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About the Book
City of Lights
Far From Home Book One
by Kelly Byrd
Published 14 May 2021
Genre: MG Fantasy
Page Count: 292
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
In City of Lights, author Kelly Byrd introduces readers to Mary, who is one week away from finishing fifth grade. Mary’s mind is on starting middle school in the fall and finally getting her own phone. But then this ordinary girl notices glimmers of light and meets a strange little man who conjures the best smell she has ever smelled. Before she even stops to consider what she’s doing, she agrees to accompany the man to the land of LeeChee, where our Mary Jingo from the Shadowlands in seen as warrior and a great hope.
Now this very ordinary girl must find a way to help save LeeChee from Thrall and restore the Everything—a magical life- and joy-giving force that somehow connects Mary’s world to LeeChee. How can she face the Void, the foul-smelling Shoeboxians, or the evil Mellie? And how can she do all of the Far From Home?
“Mr. Cody, I mean, Commander Cody, sir. So, I don’t want to upset you, but I’m not cut out for this mission. I don’t know how I ended up here, but I have friends at home, well, my best friend for one, and my brother Sam, they would be better cut out for these missions. I’m not brave. I’m not anything, really. I disabled all the Flikes when we were coming back… I don’t know what I’m doing here…”
Mary trailed off, she didn’t know what else to say. She stared at the ground, at Cody’s sneakers (How did he get sneakers here?), at the blue grass below them.
“Do you want to go home, Mary Jingo?”
“I don’t, I don’t… I don’t know,” she said, twisting her hands and not looking at him. Cody rubbed his hand down his face and smiled. “When I was eight, my mom went out sailing with the Rabble Rousers, those are Flores’ and my mother’s People. It wasn’t a dangerous journey or even an out of the ordinary one, but somehow, she disappeared. My father was beside himself. He cried for weeks. One morning, he came to my room and told me that we were leaving. We had family in Luminos and we weren’t going to stay on the borders of Festdelm anymore. He said that being so close to the Great Big Ocean Sky was too terrible for him. Too many memories. We boarded a boat and came here. I was so angry. I loved that little town outside of Festdelm. All of my friends were there. I didn’t want to leave. Plus, I had to go to work because we didn’t have very much money. So, I started building things. Small things at first, like a ramp for my toy bicycles, and a set of stairs to help my granny get into bed. And do you know what?
I was good at it. Me. I was. A poor boy from Festdelm was good at building things.”
“I’m sorry you lost your mom,” Mary said quietly.
Mary looked up at Cody. His face held so much kindness and warmth, she wanted to wrap her arms around his neck.
“What else did you build?”
“That’s the point, Mary Jingo,” Loey Cody said with a smile. “Sometimes you end up somewhere you don’t expect to be or don’t want to be. But my dad always says that you have to bloom where you’re planted. Find your gifts and use them,” he paused to stand as the line moved forward. He looked to his left and right, to make sure no one around them was listening.
“We won’t force you to stay. Rickface is a powerful keeper, he can find a way to escort you back to your hometown. But we talked to your parents and they’re okay with you being here. I think for myself (and I don’t want to speak for anyone else), we would be very happy to have you stay. So you can see what you are made of.”
…“Now, I will ask you again. Do you want to go home?”
Mary shook her head.
“What was that?”
At that moment, she smelled it. Every lovely and perfect thing that she loved the most. She felt a sense of purpose surge through her and, for just a moment, she did not feel afraid, as if something propped her up and held her tightly. Cody looked at her and smiled and laughed.
About the Author
Kelly Byrd is a middle-grade author by choice, a writer by discipline, home-grown chef, and amateur gardener. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two cute-as-buttons rescue pups. The Far From Home series is about growing up, finding your voice, and rescuing the Everything.
Kelly Byrd will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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