Some stars aren’t meant to be followed.
Welcome to one of the many stops on the book blitz for The Magi Menagerie by Kale Lawrence with Goddess Fish Promotions. Look for others participating in this blitz across social media and on your favourite bookish blogs December 5-11, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! More on that at the end of this post. #XpressoTours #kalelawrence #MagiMenagerie #YALit #NALit
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About the Book
The Magi Menagerie
The Magi Menagerie Book One
by Kale Lawrence
Published 7 September 2021
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Page Count: 345
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Some stars aren’t meant to be followed.
For seventeen years, Ezra Newport and his parents were habitual immigrants, traveling from their Ottoman Empire home across 20th century Europe. As the Newports migrate to Belfast, Ireland, Ezra wants nothing more to settle into a consistent life and lay the foundation of his architectural dreams. But after a strange, mechanical bounty hunter murders his mother and prompts the disappearance of his father, Ezra discovers that his parents had actually been on the run. Now, their enemies are targeting him, and they won’t stop until he is dead.
In a moment of desperation, Ezra’s fate collides with the Third Order of the Magi, a secret society dedicated to using their supernatural powers to protect their communities. With increasing violence around the world, the Magi are fairly certain they know who’s behind the attacks on Ezra and his family since the same group could also be threatening their own existence.
Both Ezra and the Magi’s survival hinges on knowledge only Ezra’s father has and the key to saving them could be buried within history itself. In a race across continents and time, both Ezra and the Magi must secure an ancient Babylonian artifact before hell is unleashed on the world. And, against all odds, Ezra must decide where his allegiances truly lie, despite what is written in the stars.
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Jonas van der Campe awoke with a start.
Heaving heavy breaths, his fingers fumbled for the key on the oil lamp mounted to the wall above his nightstand. Golden light bathed the bedroom in a soft essence, shedding a momentary sense of relief over his heightened nerves.
“Just stay calm,” Jonas muttered to himself as he untangled his limbs from his bed linens. With every panicked heartbeat, vexation set in. He never had to talk himself down from a proper nightmare. As a child, perhaps. But as a thirty-year-old Magus? He was stronger than this. “Pull yourself together, now.”
The horrific carnage of the train accident troubled him more than any dream typically would. Jonas could feel in his bones this nightmare was real. And it wasn’t the first time he had witnessed cruelty at the hands of the Watchers.
Without wasting a second, he pulled a robe around his night clothes and hurried from his cellar flat up three flights of stairs to the rooftop garden. The moment the glacial March air washed over his face, he sighed in relief and closed his eyes to bask in the clarity of daybreak.
“You’re certainly up early, Cousin,” spoke the soothing voice of a young woman sitting underneath a vine-covered trellis. Still in her nightdress, Kierra McLarney’s bare feet grazed the rug beneath her as she allowed the swinging bench to sway in the morning breeze.
Jonas swallowed the trepidation forming in his throat.
Kierra waited for his reply but turned when silence answered instead. Her features morphed from complacent to uneasy.
“What’s wrong? Bad dreams?”
“The whole thing. Ghastly. All of it,” he stammered, searching for his usual voice of reason. “Kierra, I feel the tides are shifting.”
“How do you mean?” She motioned for him to join her on the bench.
Jonas sank beside her and stared at the purple glow crowning the horizon. The images burned across his consciousness were not the only things troubling him. The timing—
God. The timing could not be any worse.
With worrisome storms brewing in his mind, Jonas reached into his robe pocket and retrieved a small logbook, right where he had left it after the previous evening’s stargazing. Flipping toward the centre, he ran a fingertip over the pages and froze, his fears confirmed by the hasty ink.
“What, Jonas?” Kierra asked, her features becoming increasingly troubled.
“The State of the Stars at the turn of the new year hinted at something concerning in our near future,” he summarised, his eyes racing across the penmanship. “When I observed the stars the evening of January first, I noted a strong planetary presence within Aquarius. Both Saturn and Mars battled for dominance within the Great Water Bearer.”
“Concerning, indeed,” Kierra admitted. Strands of light red hair obscured her face, rippled by the wind.
Jonas closed the book, his palm caressing the soft leather cover. Such disturbances within the Magi’s constellation suggested more than a mere harbinger. It sang of transformation, an irreversible shift in destiny. “It did not make sense then, but now…” his voice trailed off, battered by internal tempests. “We will undoubtedly find ourselves challenged by fiery aggression from our enemies. And I think I might have just witnessed the igniting spark.”
Kierra remained silent, anticipating his explanation.
“In my dreams, there was a boy,” Jonas said, his voice distant.
“A boy? One of my students at the academy?”
“No. At least, not yet. He’s an immigrant,” Jonas recalled. “All I know is that he—or his family—are important to them. Beyond the usual means. I cannot explain it, but I know they are important to us, too. Crucial to the Magi’s existence. Right now, at this very moment in time.”
Kierra’s eyebrows knitted together while she digested the information. “So, this is not just about the Order of Babylon?”
“Something even darker than that.”
Kierra hesitated as Jonas folded his hands together in nervous contemplation. “What should we do? Should we alert the Magi Administration?”
Jonas lowered his eyes from the horizon to the oil lamp sitting on the floor beside them, completely bewitched by the dancing flame. Even with the Gift to control fire, the flames taunted him with their flickering movements. It was far too similar to the ones he had just witnessed devouring a vulnerable passenger train only minutes before. Letting the scene dissolve into a fading echo, he met his younger cousin’s gaze.
“I shall send them a telegram this morning,” Jonas insisted, drawing his robe closer around himself for warmth. “We must wait for further instructions from the Council. They will know what to do.”
Despite the confidence in his voice, the flame inside the oil lamp teetered on the edge of extinction.
About the Author
Since the early age of 6, Kale Lawrence knew she either wanted to be an astronaut or an author. Obviously, the astronaut gig didn’t work out, so instead, Kale turned to fantastic fictional worlds. When Kale is not writing creatively, she works as a Marketing Manager at a pet product company, and pretends she’s an Olympic swimmer at the gym. She has also served as a board member for the South Dakota Writes organization.
In addition to books, Kale has lent her writing prowess to television, and her writing has been featured on nationwide PBS television programming, NBC newscasts, ABC newscasts, and the Travel Channel.
Kale currently lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with her feisty tortoiseshell calico cat, Emma Bug and sassy Siamese, Seattle Bean.
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Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
Signed copy of The Magi Menagerie
$25 Amazon gift card
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