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Our Dried Voices ~ Review

Our Dried Voices
By Greg Hickey

Our Dried Voices is set in the future on a distant planet. Humanity has called the planet Pearl home for several centuries, but the technological abilities that were used to accomplish this seem well beyond the intellectual abilities of those who live in the colony.

The people of the colony remind me of the Eloi, of H.G. Wells Time Machine.  Not that they are in any way a duplicate of the Eloi, but rather they are simple and emotion seems entirely lacking.  They've allowed the ease of their existence to stunt them mentally.  They don't seem able to think an original thought nor take the initiative to start a task that hasn't been trained into their herd like existence.

But when calamities begin occurring that threaten the existence of both the colony and those who live within its boundaries, a "hero" steps forward.  Samuel notices the incidents and their impact on the colony.  As the effects and troubles continue Samuel begins to think.  And as a result he starts to change.  But why are these people attacking the colony?  What is the purpose behind these acts of sabotage?  Samuel is determined to find out why and to end these threats.

But what he finds is not what he expected.  Will the last remnants of humanity survive?  Or will Pearl finally be rid of this human settlement?

Our Dried Voices is both interesting and disturbing.  A world without want whose sole purpose is pleasure and utter ignorance.  Having come from a world where knowledge was responsible for their ease one would think knowledge would have been valued and passed down through the generations. It's sad to think that knowledge and learning could be abandoned.  Yet this is a common theme in both this work and the earlier mentioned Time Machine and it is a sad commentary on what some view our distant future.  Samuel's growth is welcome one and a glimmer of hope that the thirst and quest for knowledge is not dead, it just needs a spark to ignite it.

I was provided a copy of this book by the author through PUYB in exchange for my honest review and my tour participation.

Book in the Spotlight:

Title: Our Dried Voices
Author: Greg Hickey
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Pages: 234
ISBN: 978-1940368931
Genre: Dystopian / Science Fiction
Format: Paperback, eBook (.mobi / Kindle), PDF

In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity.

Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence.

With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony.

Book Excerpt: 

The sound of the bells echoed across the colony. They sounded five times, and by the end of
the fifth peal everyone had stopped what they were doing and started to walk toward the
nearest source of the noise. The bells had a tinny, hollow sound to them. To be sure, it was
unmistakably the sound of bells, but it lacked that rich, thunderous, rolling swell once heard
in passing by an old church at the top of the hour. Instead, it was as though the sound of real
bells had been recorded and re-recorded ad infinitum until only bell-like sounds now

The bells called the people to the midday meal. All across the lush meadow, the colonists fell
into a kind of reverie. Moments earlier, they had been romping through the meadow or
splashing in the river with the joyful abandon of children, while others napped blissfully at
the base of a modest hill or fornicated with some momentary lover in the shade of a
spreading tree. But now their innocent laughter, their hushed excited voices, their
intermittent shrieks of pleasure all ceased for an instant as they moved as one toward the
sound of the bells. As soon as the fifth toll had faded in the air, the human noise resumed as
though it had never been silenced. The colonists walked eagerly but unhurriedly, small,
hairless, brown-skinned people, all barefooted and dressed in simple, cream-colored smocks.

The bell sounds came from the seven meal halls spread throughout the colony—long, tall,
rectangular buildings erected from the black, craggy rock characteristic of the mountains of
Pearl, now smoothed down and cut into bricks and painted a soothing off-white. Another
smaller building abutted one end of each meal hall. Their wan stone fa├žades matched those
of the larger halls and there were no discernible entryways in their solid exteriors.

As the colonists entered each meal hall, they lined up along the right-hand wall to wait for
their food. The walls were painted a pale sky blue, and on the far wall was a small square
hole. One by one, each diner stepped forward in line, a small, red light above the hole
flashed, a short clicking and whirring noise sounded and then a round, firm, dark brown cake
appeared at the edge of the opening. One by one, each colonist took the proffered meal cake
and carried it over to one of the many wooden tables or out into the meadow.

Near the front of the line at one hall, a male colonist turned to face the man behind him.

“Hellohoweryou?” said the first man.

“Goodthankshoweryou?” replied the second man.



The two men stared blankly at each other for a moment. Then the first man blinked and said


The second bobbed his head and grinned. “Betterenyesterday.”

They continued to gaze at each other with vapid expressions until the first man turned around
and stepped forward in line. The two men were right. It was Tuesday. It rained on Mondays.
And thanks to the colony’s weather modification system, it had rained every Monday, and
only on Monday, for hundreds of years.
When about half the colonists at this particular meal hall had received their food, an adult
woman moved to the front of the line. A young boy, no taller than her waist, stood behind
her. The woman stepped up to the wall, the red light above the hole flashed… and nothing
happened. There was no clicking, no whirring, and no meal cake emerged from the hole in
the milky blue wall. Some people a few places behind the first woman, by now so accustomed
to the regular pace of the line, stepped forward in anticipation of her taking the food and
continuing on. When the line did not move, they bumped awkwardly into the colonists in front
of them, very much surprised that there should be a fleshy, breathing, human body in their
path instead of empty space. Those closest to the front of the line fell silent when they saw
the woman had not yet received her meal, and then the silence spread evenly and
rhythmically down the line, like a row of pillowed dominoes falling to the floor. Yet all the
colonists continued to wear the same insipid half-grin on their faces as they waited patiently
for the food to be dispensed and the line to creep forward once more.

A long, loud, whining shriek from the young boy waiting with his mother at the front of the
line broke through the stillness, and it was this sound, not the actual interruption of the food
service, which seemed to have the greatest effect on those in the hall. The boy did not cry.
He shed no tears, and the sound which emerged from his mouth was not a breathless and
choked sobbing, or even the petulant howl of a child’s tantrum. It was a primal, animal moan
that rose from the depths of his unfilled stomach, rushed up his throat with a cold and
persistent ferocity and forced its way over his teeth, throwing his head back as it broke from
his lips. No one tried to comfort the boy. His mother did not even turn around to look at him.
Her weak smile faded, but she continued to stare at the dark hole in the wall, still waiting for
her meal to appear. Then a child some dozen places back in the line picked up the boy’s
howl, and then a woman farther behind did the same. Soon the entire line was wailing loudly.

Those colonists who had already received their meals hunkered over their cakes and stuffed
their last bites into their mouths. One of them stood up, bumping hard into his table. The rest
followed. They walked hurriedly to the door, brushing past the onlookers from outside who
had gathered to see what all the noise was about. Those still in line stared dazedly at the
others around them, at the now half-empty hall, an incipient question forming somewhere
deep in their skulls.

A man in the middle of the line broke their unsteady ranks first. He ran, stumbling over tables
and chairs bolted to the floor in his maddened dash toward the doorway. The rest of the line
scattered in his wake. Out through the door they went, cracking bony limbs on the wooden
furniture in their paths, pushing and trampling one another as they all tried to force their way
through the doorway at once, like blood cells pumped through a clotted artery.

Those who had already finished their meals stood outside in a loose ring several meters away
from the entrance of the food hall, and as the wild runners pushed their way through the
door, they began to run as well, picking up the wail of the unfed as they went. They ran in no
particular direction, a single mass exodus from the hall, teeming out across the gay green
meadows, up and over the soft, undulating hills, and their cries rippled throughout the once-
peaceful fields to fill the void left by the cessation of the bells with a sound far more vibrant
than those stale chimes which had just called them to their uneaten meal.

Purchase The Book:

About the Author:
Greg Hickey was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1985. After graduating from Pomona College in 2008, he played and coached baseball in Sweden and South Africa. He is now a forensic scientist, endurance athlete and award-winning writer. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Lindsay. You can visit Greg’s website at

Connect with Greg:
Author Blog:


Noble Knights Blog Tour ~ An Uncertain Choice

There is nothing quite as satisfying as reading a book that leaves one with a feeling of delight and the desire to again open the book at the first page and to re-experience the entire book.
And An Uncertain Choice  by Jody Hedlund is just such a book.

Welcome to just one of the stops of the Noble Knights Blog Tour
Learn more about The Vow and An Uncertain Choice
from Jody Hedlund - her first Young Adult focused books.


Here are a few of my favorite moments from An Uncertain Choice

"I wouldn't tolerate cruelty on my lands -- having
outlawed it since the Plague had taken my parents."

A short distance from the guildhall stood a war horse
mounted by a knight -- the coat of arms unfamiliar.

"Sir," I started. "I owe you my deepest gratitude."
Only then did he straighten.

"My lady." His voice echoed behind the hollow metal.
"You owe me nothing."

After four years alone of isolation and missing
my parents, I'd never felt as alone as I did now.

...for the vow my parents made was unbreakable
except by death.  
Three knights were mounted directly behind the 
duke's steed, set apart from the others --
obviously his most trusted men.

"After much investigation, my scribes have
finally found an exception to your parents' vow."

"...what hope did I have of finding true love
and getting married?"

"Trust me, Lady Rosemarie," came the soft 
whisper of the duke. "I have nothing to gain...
except your happiness."                

"How could I have neglected the gardens
in my search for the Rose among roses?"

"'Tis often the rarity that makes something
so precious, wouldn't you say?"

I'd sensed his silent challenge--
a challenge to stand up for
myself and be a stronger leader.

The beauty of the forest was something 
I'd missed--the dense green, the lush moss,
the rushing of the river. But more than that,
I'd missed the companionship...

Pick your Knight and comment below for one of your entry options
for the An Uncertain Choice giveaway.

Be sure to visit Jody's Events page for more 
giveaway opportunities and unique content on the 
Noble Knights Blog Tour

Enter for a chance to win a copy of An Uncertain Choice
Open to US residents only
Ends April 1, 2015 at 11:59 pm.
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email with 
their US shipping address
or an alternate will be picked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What Was Lost ~ Review

What Is Lost
By Lauren Skidmore

A Red Riding tale of betrayal and longing

Joch, having failed in his mission to assassinate the prince, is desperate to flee Venesia and the Royal Guard.  But to get away he finds himself having to rely on a stranger - a beautiful young assassin with an agenda of her own.  

But Kit offers Joch what he has been searching for - the chance to find Tatiana.  But they are being hunted by the Royal Guard and will have to all their skills to stay free.

What Is Lost is a sequel to What Is Hidden but instead of following Evie and Aidan's story we travel with Joch the Chameleon learning about him and why he became an assassin.

Wondering where the "Red Riding Hood" reference comes from?  First there's Kit who wears a red cloak.  Then there is The Wolf for whom Kit and Joch both have ties.  And finally there is Grandmother a wealthy noble woman who is a mysterious figure that is linked to the underground.

This is a beautiful story of love lost and second chances.  There are unexpected twists and turns that will keep you wondering until the end what will happen next.  And even when you come to the end you'll be left wait for book 3 which seems to be very likely with how What Is Lost ends.

What price will you pay to find What is Lost?  Is there such a thing as too high a price?

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review and blog tour participation.

Angry at his failure to exact vengeance on the prince, mask maker Joch flees Venesia to find his lost love. When a red-cloaked assassin promises answers, he has little choice but to trust her -- even though he knows he may be walking into a trap. Unravel the deception in this dazzling story of second chances that will keep you guessing to the last page.

Author Bio:
Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and traveling. When she's not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.


The Boy Who Loved Rain ~ Review

The Boy Who Loved Rain
By Gerard Kelly

Colom is haunted by a dream.  A dream that keeps coming.  His sister is drowning and he can't save her.  But Colom has never had a sister.  But why can't he clear her from this dreams?

Colom's dreams are slowly breaking his family.  His behavior attributed to normal adolescent swings is becoming destructive.  As he slides deeper into himself his mother determines to save him.

Desperate to save the life of her teenage son Fiona Dryden, makes a decision that she hopes will keep Colom from taking his own life.  Calling on an old friend for assistance, Fiona, with Colom, flees England for a coastal town in France.  Can the peace offered by a town cut off from the rest of the world break down the wall of pain and silence Colom lives behind?

But Colom's pain is one that has been buried by years of lies and secrets.  Can the truth set him free? Or is it too late?  And who is the sister Colom can't save?

The Boy Who Loved Rain is a powerful and moving story that looks into the fabric of a family slowly losing itself to lies and half truths.  Lies given out of love but nonetheless destructive.  This story explores the persistence of memory and how traumatic events can lay dormant eating away at the core of one's being until eventually manifesting in destructive behavior.  But more importantly it is a story of the power of love.

I don't normally read stories quite like this and the few times I have I've come away feeling rather depressed.  The Boy Who Loved Rain didn't leave me with this feeling.  There is hope in this book which was refreshing.  Like the first rain at winter's end, something new can be felt.  The bleakness of winter's end gives way to the new growth of spring.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Lion Hudson, through Kregel's blogging program in exchange for my honest review.

They say that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. They’re wrong.

Colom had the perfect childhood, the much-loved only child of a church pastor. Yet he wakes screaming from dreams in which his sister is drowning and he can’t save her.

Fiona turns to her husband, desperate to help their son. But David will not acknowledge that help is needed—and certainly not help from beyond the church.

Then they find the suicide pledge.

Fiona, in panic, takes Colom and flees… but when will she acknowledge that the unnamed demons Colom faces might be of her and David’s own creation?

This beautifully written and searching novel by poet Gerard Kelly explores the toxicity of secrets, the nature of healing, and the ever-present power of rain.

From March 23 - 27, 2015 Kregel is offering 
The Boy Who Loved Rain at a special price of $0.99 
for the Kindle eBook on Amazon.


Serving Up a Sweetheart ~ Review

Serving Up a Sweetheart
A February Wedding Story
By Cheryl Wyatt

When an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm brings the roof down on her home/catering business Meadow Larson is quite literally on her way out of business if she can't come up with a plan. Unfortunately her possible rescuer is the one person she hoped to never see again - Colin McGrath. The person who hurt her so badly in high school is her new neighbor and a contractor.

Unwilling to accept Colin's help, Meadow has little choice if she wants to save her business and her sister's upcoming wedding.  Is Colin's offer of help genuine or is it another elaborate prank to again humiliate and hurt her?

Colin is determined to make things right with Meadow.  He's a changed man and no longer the teenage boy striking out at the hurting, to hide his own pain.  But Meadow has had years of pain and hurt to keep her from trusting.  Can Colin convince her to take a chance on him?

Serving Up a Sweetheart is a February story that will warm your heart.  A sweet story that will fill a long afternoon with a delightful read.

It is interesting to watch Colin and Meadow as their relationship develops.  Forgiveness is a major theme in this story, both the giving and the receiving of it.  Learning to let go of pain is a major component of be able to forgive.

I was provided a copy of the novella by the publisher through the BookLook blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:
Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it's served up on a silver platter?
During one of the biggest weeks of her catering career, Meadow Larson’s kitchen roof caves in after an unrelenting blizzard. She has to accept help from the last person on earth she wants to see: Colin McGrath. The tormentor from her past is now a contractor, her new neighbor—and the only person available to take on a project of this size.
Colin is aware God has given him a second chance to make things right with Meadow after bullying her in high school. After years of regret and guilt, Colin is determined to earn her respect and forgiveness, no matter what it takes.
It’ll take an extreme kitchen renovation, several cooking lessons, a little lace, and a lot of grace, but God is using this renovation project not only to restore Meadow’s heart, but also to restore Colin’s integrity in her eyes. Will Meadow learn to trust the new Colin even as their relationship grows from a business exchange to something more meaningful?
About the Author
Cheryl Wyatt writes romance with virtue. She’s earned RT Top Picks, spots #1 and #4 on her debut publisher’s Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books list, Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence final, and other awards. Cheryl loves readers! Join her newsletter at Facebook: CherylWyattAuthor Twitter: @cherylwyatt


Wintergarden ~Review and Spotlight

By T.M. Wallace

Addy Marten has just learned that what she believed were delusions were in fact actual events.  She did indeed travel into the Fairy Realm.  And worse Connor is still trapped there.  But to return to the Median Realms and free Connor she'll need the help of Mrs. Tavish.

Entering the Wintergarden and the magical labyrinth is the easy part. Finding Connor is a little harder.  The Witch-Queen is spreading her darkness, threatening all realms in her quest for power.

Addy and Connor are destined to be in the realms at this time.  It was the Great Creator's plan, but can they withstand the evil that threatens to destroy them?  Each is the other's weakness, as well as their strength.

Wintergarden is an exciting fantasy with unexpected turns and twists. Addy and Connor both learn truths about themselves that they hadn't expected.  For Connor, who couldn't remember his past, any revelation is a piece to the puzzle of who he was before.

Wintergarden is the sequel to Under a Fairy Moon and unless I'm mistaken the story could quite easily have a third installment (pretty please!). This book will appeal to those teens who delight in the world of fairies, with an occasional dragon thrown in for good measure and added excitement.  Winter has come and summer is threatened forever....

I was provided a copy of this book by the author through PUYB in conjunction with this blog tour and in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Theresa Wallace-Pregent lives with her husband and four talented children
in Ontario, Canada. Her young adult fantasy novel Under a Fairy Moon was a finalist in the Amazon Break-through Novel Awards in 2010 and was published by Brownridge Publishing in the summer of 2011. In 2012, Under a Fairy Moonwon the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for Fantasy and the Canadian Christian Writing Awards (Young Adult.) Her sequel to Under A Fairy Moon will be published in the Fall of 2014.

Her latest book is the YA/Children’s fantasy, Wintergarden.

For More Information:
• Visit T.M. Wallace’s website.
• Connect with T.M. Wallace on Twitter.
• Find out more about T.M. at Goodreads.
• More books by T.M. Wallace.

About the Book:
Title: Wintergarden
Author: T.M. Wallace
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 220
Genre: YA/Children’s Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Addyson Marten must travel a magical labyrinth to its center in order to reach
her friend Connor and free him from the witch of the Median Realms. Both
Connor and Addy must learn to use their own magical abilities to fight the
growing evil in the Human and Fairy worlds.

Wintergarden is the sequel to the Award-Winning book Under a Fairy Moon,
(Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards—Fantasy, 2012, Canadian Christian
Writing Awards—Young Adult, 2012.)

For More Information:
Wintergarden is available at Amazon.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


Galadria ~ Trilogy Review and Excerpt of Book 3

Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage
Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Mists of the Three Lakes
Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Knights of the Leaf
By Miguel Lopez de Leon

The Rites of Passage
Book 1

12 year old, Peter Huddleston has just started the worst summer of his life. Summer vacation has just started and he's grounded and being accused of attacking others in town.  And to top it off he's being sent away to live with an aunt he never knew he had. Worse Aunt Gillian lives 3 days away!

Instead this is about to be the best summer ever.  Well, other than the attempts on his life.  And the classes he has to take to prepare him for his rule of the Galadrian kingdom.  And then there is the Rite of Passage to prove he can and should be Aunt Gillian's heir.

This is about to be an interesting summer...

The Mists of the Three Lakes
Book 2

Peter Huddleston is about to spend his second summer with Aunt Gillian in her earth estate of Hillside Manor.  And he will finally see Galadria.  This year the trip to Aunt Gillian's isn't one of dread, but rather one of anticipation and excitement.

But first there are official state duties he must perform - interviews, speeches, and a dance - all to introduce him to the Galadrian people.  But when Peter is given a warning that Knor Shadowray and the Shadowray family are plotting against him, his summer is about to get a lot more complicated and dangerous.

War is about to descend upon Galadria and ancient legends are about be revealed and lives will be lost.  The only question is who will prevail - the Willowbrooks or the Shadowrays?

The Knights of the Leaf
Book 3

Peter Huddleston has been rescued from the surprise attack.  He's injured but alive and hidden away from the forces of Knor.  Peter is desperate to make his way to the Grand Palace, to rejoin Aunt Gillian and his friends, if they survived.  But Peter's rescuer is about to reveal the truth about the situation and circumstances surrounding death of his mother.

With the threat of the total annihilation of everything connected to the Willowbrooks Peter has no time to ponder this turn of events before he and his grandfather are sent on a mission to rally aid from the Knights of the Leaf and other less certain sources.  But the future Galadria depends upon the success of this mission.

But ultimately the battle is Peter's, he alone must defeat the man who hates him.  But can a 13 year old boy defeat a man who wields such power?  Peter's life and the lives of those he love depend upon on it...

These three books will appeal to preteen boys. There's tigers, magic, and creatures too fabulous to describe gracing these pages.  Adventure and excitement build as the series progresses to it's conclusion.  Take a trip to Galadria with Peter, you just may want to stay for awhile.

I was provided a copy of these books by the author through PUYB in exchange for my honest review and tour participaion.

About the Author:
Miguel Lopez de Leon is a prolific fiction writer with over 30 short stories published in a variety of international literary magazines and anthologies. De Leon, who prefers to write in the mornings, began working on his first novel as a hobby. That first book blossomed into the Galadria trilogy. “One part of the writing process I really enjoy is writing the first draft of a novel...For me, it’s the time when you can lose yourself in the story the most.” De Leon lives in Los Angeles and enjoys reading historical biographies and collecting vintage comic books.

His latest book is the fantasy novel, Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Knights of the Leaf.

For More Information

• Visit Miguel Lopez de Leon’s website.
• Connect with Miguel on Facebook and Twitter.

Title: Galadria: Peter Huddleston and The Knight of the Leaf
Author: Miguel Lopez de Leon
Publisher: Galadria Worldwide
Pages: 148
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle

In book three of Miguel Lopez de Leon’s Galadria fantasy series, GALADRIA: PETER
HUDDLESTON & THE KNIGHTS OF THE LEAF, Peter and his family command a
mystical cast of powerful, exciting new characters in their war against the blood-thirsty
tyrant, Knor Shadowray.

Reviewers of book three of the GALADRIA trilogy praise the author’s stunning artistry
and skill:

“A grand finish to a YA trilogy that never fails to challenge audience expectations.”–
- Kirkus Reviews

“With the close of his Galadria trilogy, Miguel Lopez de Leon packs battles, travel and
adventure into a story that’s ultimately about family ties.”–BlueInk Review

“Once again, the writing in this book is superb and the story is fast paced and action
packed.”–SPR Review

In book one of the trilogy, GALADRIA: PETER HUDDLESTON and THE RITES OF 
PASSAGE, 12-year-old Peter leaves his friendless, uneventful life in the suburbs and
suddenly finds himself spending the summer chomping down magical chocolates and
tossing around an enchanted boomerang at Hillside Manor, the 3000 room home of his
aunt Gillian Willowbrook. While there, Peter learns he is the next in line to the throne
of a magnificent realm called Galadria where his aunt is queen. His position is being
challenged by a ruthless nobleman, Knor Shadowray.

LAKES shows Peter struggling to play the role of a prince. After being accepted as
the heir of the Golden Realm, his new challenge is to gain command of Galadrian
princely etiquette and survive dangerous adventures with his fearless white tiger, Rune.
At a parade held in his honor, Peter and his aunt are violently ambushed by a band of
screeching monstrosities and a merciless dark army led by the fiendish Knor Shadowray.

In the final book in the Galadria series, GALADRIA: PETER HUDDLESTON and
THE KNIGHTS OF THE LEAF, the story continues where book two left off: Knor
Shadowray’s relentless attack on the ruling Willowbrook family. In a desperate attempt
to save her kingdom, Queen Gillian Willowbrook sends Peter and his grandfather to
the Forests of Fernell to recruit a multitude of diverse warriors to defend the crown.
Populated with serpent priestesses, nature-loving knights, magical weapons, paper-thin
tree nymphs, and political fairies, the final installment of the Galadria trilogy shows
the Galadrian populace at their breaking point as the realm explodes into a full-fledged
civil war. A flurry of riotous battles are fought against the villainous Knor Shadowray’s
ambitious attempt to capture the crown of Galadria.

De Leon developed the GALADRIA series out of a love of the fantasy genre and the
thrill of creating “new worlds, creatures, and story lines...enhanced with magic and
otherworldly mystery.” The trilogy also tells the coming-of-age story of a boy as he
learns to accept himself and discovers the family he never believed he would have. “The
Galadria trilogy is mainly about a lonely boy who, through overcoming obstacles, finds
out who he really is. I think everyone has an element of the extraordinary in them, and I
hope Peter’s story shows that,” de Leon says.

For More Information:
• Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Knights of the Leaf is available at Amazon.
• Pick up your copy at Barnes and Noble.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
• Watch his book video at YouTube.

Book Excerpt:
(From Chapter Nine)

As the group of adventurers strode onward into the thick, soupy fog that seemed to
encompass the entire valley, Peter distinctly noticed that it had gotten much colder.
The plants around them looked putrid and gnarled, more like grotesque weeds than
flourishing plant life, and the few pathetic trees that grew from the muddy earth were
blackened, leafless, and hard. Covering everything was a thick, palpable, unmoving
stew of mist, thin in some parts, thicker in others, but certainly everywhere. The entire
cursed area smelled like rotting fruit ... a moldy, sick, sweet smell that made Peter feel
completely nauseated.

 With Bastian in the lead, his shield positioned firmly in front of him, the ambitious group
continued moving steadily forward. Suddenly, the young knight raised up his hand,
halting his other companions.

 “Crouch down on the ground, now!” Bastian whispered, quickly lowering himself to the
soft earth. “Use the shrubs and fog as cover ... Quiet ... Don’t move!”

 Peter, Henry, and Restella dropped to the ground behind a cluster of decrepit shrubs,
careful not to make a sound. Sabasti silently slithered up next to them, before remaining
completely still.

Seconds passed, as Bastian continued to peer intently in front of them. Peter was gazing
in the same direction as the young knight but saw nothing through the relentless thick
mist. A few moments later, Peter started to hear strange clicking sounds growing louder
and louder. Straining to make out the source of the mysterious sounds, Peter had to stifle
his shock, when a huge garish monstrosity suddenly became visible through the thick,
vaporous haze around them. To Peter, it looked like a gigantic dark blue lobster, as big
as an elephant, completely covered in little jagged horns protruding from all over its
enormous body. The terrifying beast had two huge clicking lobster claws and a long
armored tail, which ended in an odd plume of slimy black feathers. The strange
monster moved startlingly fast, and just as quickly as it had appeared, so too did it turn
back and vanish from sight. As soon as Bastian signaled that it was safe, the silent group
continued to soldier

 “What was that?” Peter whispered to Bastian, as they made their way forward.

 “I’m honestly not sure,” the young knight answered, still scanning the surrounding area.
“As protectors and preservers of nature, the Knights of the Leaf are familiar with most
of the creatures that inhabit our forests, but we rarely travel this far into the Darkened
Valley. We’re not sure why, but we’ve discovered that most of the creatures that
choose to live near the wraiths’ dwelling seem to mutate ... some to the point of being
unrecognizable. I’ve never seen anything like what we just saw ... It didn’t even look
close to any other species I’m familiar with.”

 And so they trudged on, futilely trying to ignore the increasing cold that was steadily
escalating around them.

 Suddenly, the group halted, as a high, feminine voice abruptly pierced the chilly air.

 “H-help me ... ,” the voice cried out. “P-please ... I need help ...”

 As Peter and his companions moved forward, they encountered a small waiflike woman,
with beautiful pale skin and silky black hair, kneeling on the ground. She was wearing
nothing more than a slip of a white dress and seemed to have injured her ankle.

 “Are you hurt ... ,” Peter began, taking a step toward the wounded young woman.

 In unison, Sabasti began to hiss violently, as Restella quickly grabbed Peter’s arm.

“Stop, Your Highness!” the priestess demanded, her yellow eyes focused on the woman in front
of them.

“Something is wrong. This woman is not what she seems ...”