GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
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?
Mary shivered against the cold air. They crested the mountains and Mary tried not to look down. They had been able to read her thoughts? As a shy person this was Mary’s worst nightmare. She felt like screaming. She wanted to tell WindRunner to land. To take her home. Anything, anything other than knowing that these People had been listening to her innermost thoughts.
Just then, she felt a strong, wild presence press at the edge of her conscious.
It’s okay, Mary. I’m your friend. You can trust me. I’m going to take care of you, WindRunner’s voice echoed through the chamber of Mary’s mind. WindRunner glided along and pushed good thoughts and feelings her way. They can’t hear us, Mary Jingo. I have shielded our conversation from Judde and Van Clare. Mary did not answer him, even in her mind, she could not find words to put to all of her feelings.
Don’t worry, little one. I know you feel betrayed. The Resistors meant no harm. They deeply need help. This was not the best way to get it.
What do I do, WindRunner? she thought, helplessly.
You help them, or you do not. But LeeChee is fading. If the Thrall continues, the Everything will disappear completely. And then, who knows? The land may cease to exist all together. Cody feared to tell you this much. We have been betrayed so many times. He cares so deeply to save what he loves.
Mary did not know what to do. They were almost over the edge of the mountains. She could just start to see the tops of trees that saved her life a few nights before. The flowers in the field, the trees of the forest—she had seen so many beautiful things here already.
Will you stay with me, WindRunner? The thought was so faint, it was barely a whisper. She gripped the handholds of his armor harder as an anxious knot formed in her stomach.
As long as my wingtips can catch the breeze, as long as my claws can clasp a branch, I swear to you, Mary Jingo of the Shadowlands, you can always count on me.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
Buy the book on Amazon: https://bit.ly/FarFromHome1
Follow Far from Home on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/farfromhomeseries/
Kelly Byrd will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.