FEBRUARY Tours- Tours From Scholastic, Holiday House, CamCat, Simon Kids, Union Square, & More!

Jaime | 10:01 AM | Please comment!

Hey everyone! I am super excited to announce the January Tours I'm hosting! There's a mix of YA, MG, & Adult. This a great list with a great variety of genres from fantasy, historical, horror, sci-fi, paranormal, contemporary, & more! There's FOURTEEN tours to sign up for so there's something for everyone!

REVIEW COPIES- Most of these tours will have physical copies for US Residents only. It will say in each book's description below if there are physical copies or only ebooks.



Check below for specifics on each tour and click on the book covers for the Goodreads links and book info.

Details on giveaways are TK.

If you'd like to be considered to be a stop on any of these tours, please first sign up as a tour host and fill out the form below.

Please note: Signing up for the tour does not guarantee you will be selected. I will reach out to all hosts that have been chosen once the sign-ups have closed.

I am totally stoked for the tour for all of these tours this February. I can't wait for everyone to read them!

About the Books! 

Click on the covers to add the books to your Goodreads lists!


This Classical Girl Press Women's Fiction tour runs for three weeks from January 25th-February 8th, will have fifteen stops, one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, interviews, pre-made guest posts, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books and eBooks available (US addresses only). There will be images for Instagram stops. 


About The Book:

They thought the professional ballet world was tough. Then they tried parenting.

From the author of Outside the Limelight—named a Kirkus Best Book of 2017—comes a story about parenting, the performing arts, surviving high school and fighting back, in this gripping finale to the Ballet Theatre Chronicles.

Katrina Devries, having navigated the cutthroat world of professional ballet to arrive at the top, has found the perfect life as a principal dancer and mother of a three-year-old. But when her partner announces he’s found true love elsewhere and moves out, Katrina’s perfect world begins to crack. Devastated, she turns to April, her best friend among the company’s artistic staff.

April, a seasoned ballet master and parent, is confident she can solve any problem thrown her way and plants a distraction at the studios: a handsome young pianist, eager for work as an accompanist. Only it’s April’s teen daughter, not Katrina, who falls for him, hard.

Now April’s dealing with new, tougher problems on the home front and at the studios, where a celebrity choreographer’s ballet featuring Katrina borders on disturbing. When he and his ballet display violence—toward Katrina—April must make a controversial decision that upends protocol and imperils the careers both she and Katrina have worked a lifetime to build.

Other Stages chronicles the behind-the-scenes challenges of professional ballet, parenting and friendships, amid the journey of learning what to accept and when to fight back for what’s right.

"An accomplished interweaving of character trajectories in the intense world of ballet."-- Kirkus Reviews


This Jens Boele Horror Novel tour runs for one month from February 1st-29th, will have one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, pre-made guest posts, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books and eBooks available (US addresses only). There will be images for Instagram stops. 


About The Book:

Abandoned Horrors. Deranged Souls. A Deadly Survival Story.

In the chilling new horror novel, "Urbex Predator," by Jens Boele, a group of intrepid urban explorers embarks on what they believe to be a routine trip to an abandoned barracks in the middle of nowhere. As a relict from the Cold War era, they are a popular destination for photographers, influencers, and adventurers. A place that is closely guarded and harbors a multitude of risks. But it’s not just the derelict buildings that pose a danger. Nela and her friend Tess venture to the eerie ruins to complete their photography thesis, only to find themselves relentlessly pursued through the darkened corridors by a group of ruthless thugs.Zander, Yelka, her sister Vivien, and her manager Damon set out on a photo shoot, only to be unexpectedly cornered by a gang of depraved youths. As night descends, the boundaries between life and death blur, and the group is forced to confront the darkest corners of their own souls. As the night deepens, will they fall victim or rise as hunters in the shadows? 

Inspired by early works from literary giants like Jack Ketchum and Richard Laymon, "Urbex Predator" promises readers a heart-pounding journey through the realms of fear and survival, where every turn reveals a new nightmare. Yet, this spine-tingling narrative is not just the product of imagination; it's also a reflection of author Jens Boele's real-life experiences as an Urban Explorer, who spent many years venturing into the very places he describes in his book.

This Azra's Pith Books Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure tour runs for one month from February 1st-29th, will have one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, excerpts, interviews, ore made guest posts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books available and eBooks available (US addresses only). There will be images for Instagram stops. 


About The Book:

John William Drake believed there was something special about the medallion Celeste found. It chimed and sparkled in the sunlight. He was right; the medallion was from Copia, a lost city masked in time. Legendary tales were repeated of a golden city inhabited by Empyrean Wizards until it was plagued by dark sorcery when a meager fledgling magician by the name of Imperious the Great wandered in.

Some did not believe the city ever existed; others who knew better wanted it to stay lost. How did it all start? How would it end? The answer simmered for hundreds of years waiting for the right moment to escape.

John and Celeste were more than ready for another adventure. The journey to Copia was also a search for his missing father. They were unaware of just how dangerous their quest was until it was too late. The medallion’s power could bring the lost city to life again, unlocking the dark past dormant within its walls. The young explorers were in the middle of a battle of ancient sorcery that could end with an evil capable of destroying the realm and they held the key.

This Scholastic Press Upper Middle Grade Mystery tour runs for one month from January 8th-February 2nd, will have one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, pre-made guest posts, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books and eBooks available (US addresses only). There will be images for Instagram stops. 


About The Book:

The Inheritance Games and One of Us is Lying for middle grade -- beloved author Alyson Gerber's new series is an unforgettable mystery featuring a secret society, a mysterious island, and dangerous family secrets.

Weatherby is a fish out of water. When she lands a scholarship to the prestigious Boston School, she’s excited to be in the same world as her dad, whom she’s never met, and make real friends. But Weatherby has a secret she’ll risk everything to protect, one that could destroy her new life.

Every member of Jack’s wealthy and privileged family has made their mark at the Boston School. Everyone, that is, except for Jack, who is entirely mediocre. He’s desperate to prove his worth to his influential father. But Jack has a secret of his own . . . one with the power to ruin everything.

When the money for their school trip to a private island―exclusive to Boston students―is stolen, Jack and Weatherby are invited to play a high-stakes game and solve the mystery of the missing money. If they win, they’ll be selected to join the oldest, most powerful secret society in the world―and they’ll be Boston royalty forever. If they lose . . . well, they better not lose.

Beloved author Alyson Gerber crafts an unforgettable mystery that asks―are some secrets and lies impossible to overcome?

This Robyn Michaels Adult contemporary book tour runs for one month from February 1st-29th, will have one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, interviews, pre made guest posts excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. eBooks available. There will be images for Instagram stops. 

About The Book:

This is a coming-of-age story and real African history, including slavery. Dayal Singh is brilliant, quirky, & has Asperger's.  Son of parents trafficked  to East Africa from India just before independence, he knows he's Sikh, African, and calculus is the evidence of God.

He becomes fascinated by a broken piano. and is offered a piano to sell, buys it and learns to play.

Mentored by his older brothers, he follows them to Singapore to further his education, then goes to Switzerland.

He falls in love  with the granddaughter of the man who bought his father. She tells him that the situation is impossible, and that he must stay in school as long as his way is paid.

His youth is fraught, being another . In Switzerland, he is constantly proselytized to, which only defines for him how he wants to live. He'll never embrace Christianity. He's studying physics and engineering, but finds peace in playing the piano. He meets other students, they jam, and suddenly they are rock stars ...which Dayal never imagined could happen.

He agrees to meet Sita, the daughter of a Sikh man his father met, and Dayal thinks they are both in agreement about how they will live and raise children, but things gradually go downhill. When Dayal learns Sita hasn't been truthful with him, he has to make a decision. There is sexual and religious content.


This Peachtree Middle Grade tour runs for two weeks from February 5th-9th & 12th-16th, will have one or two stops a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books and eBooks available (US addresses only). There will be images for Instagram stops. 


About The Book:

A baseball book full of on the field action perfect for middle grade readers.

"Strike one is the best pitch in baseball." Mike loves pitching, and he loves knowing his team counts on him to deliver wins. But Mike's father starts to worry that Mike is getting too carried away with baseball and not spending time working at after school jobs and developing a sense of responsibility. Can Mike and his father reach a compromise in order to let Mike play the game he loves and help his team win the league championship?

Read “The Real Story” of Harvey Haddix, who pitched a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves in 1959 and LOST. Baseball fans will love this extra dive into sports history.


This Holiday House Middle Grade tour runs for two weeks from February 5th-9th & 12th-16th, will have one or two stops a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books and eBooks available (US addresses only). There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

Can Lou Bennett keep a secret? She’ll do just about anything to prove herself to her new friend—and the best friend she betrayed—in this debut novel that is a modern-day Harriet the Spy with high emotional stakes.

It’s the thirty-fourth day of sixth grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Missouri, and eleven-year-old Lou wishes she could rewind time. 

Lou wants to go back to the ninth day of sixth grade—the day before she fought with her best friend Francie and said the terrible, horrible things she can’t unsay. Or better yet, she would go back to fifth grade when Francie was still the Old Francie. 

Then the new girl, Cece Clark-Duncan, passes Lou a mysterious note. It says she was kidnapped. (!) If Lou can help Cece, maybe she can prove she’s not the world’s worst friend. 

But as observant Lou uncovers the complicated truth about Cece’s family, she starts to panic. Can she help Cece without hurting her? Or will Lou end up losing another friend instead?

Anchored by an outstanding voice and a page-turning mystery, this remarkable debut novel honors the powerful middle school friendships that can both break and heal a tender eleven-year-old heart. Perfect for fans of Fish in a Tree and My Jasper June.

This CamCat Books YA Thriller tour runs for one month from February 5th-March 8th, will have one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books and eBooks available (US addresses only). There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

Dreams do come true. It’s Jude's job to make sure they don’t.

Born with the curse of prophetic nightmares, Jude sees violent murders through the eyes of the killer before they happen. His father, who shares Jude’s dark gift, has trained Jude since birth to save the innocent and to kill the killer. A life for a life―it’s the only way.

But everything goes awry when Hanna Smith, the young woman he was supposed to save, rescues herself instead, and catches Jude in her home. Fate isn’t inescapable, but it demands balance. While Hanna may be safe for now, Jude knows that the killer will strike again, only next time there will be no warning. Jude must now find the killer on his own, without the visions to aid him, in order to carry out the task he’s been training for before it’s too late.

This Brien Feathers Adult Dark Romantacy tour runs for three weeks from February 6th-20th, will have fifteen stops, one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, pre made guest posts, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. eBooks available. There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

Guard your heart and go home or fall for a stranger and perish.

Reiko is the immortal spirit of the storm. Seeking to unravel a reoccurring dream that perplexes her, she visits the mortal realm during the Soul Festival and boards a train to the historical district of Sunlit City. There, in the imperial palace of old Nara, she finds no answers, only more questions as a peculiar girl indulges her with a tale of a disgraced deity and a mortal warlord.

Ayame has a bad temper. She slapped the Immortal Emperor's sorceress, and her punishment was to spend a decade on earth as a mortal—a task easier said than done.

Nara is amidst its centuries long warring era, the age of the warlords. To navigate this treacherous new world, Ayame befriends a wine-loving, trickster fox spirit, and scrapes by as a servant in the household of one of the greater clans. Toiling day and night, she's made do for five years and dreams of the day she can return home.

But war arrives. When death announces itself outside her door, she assumes the identity of a noble and finds herself betrothed to the youngest son of an enemy clan, his father a ruthless warlord. To live, Ayame must play her role, but she soon finds herself dangerously drawn not to her intended husband, but to the infamous warlord himself.

In the tumultuous world of a warring empire, trouble is always on the horizon. Betrayals run deep within families and clans, and nothing is as it seems. All Ayame wants is to survive her banishment and return home, yet she may risk it all for a mortal man.

A vicious killer, twice her age, nothing is right about him, including his insanely possessive concubine out to get Ayame. She knows it, but can she control her temperament, or will she find herself at odds with yet another court, this time a deadly one?

A slow burn dark fantasy, Remember Me is Book 1 of the Royal Diviner Trilogy, and comes with content advisory for violence and intimate situations.

This Christian Cura Adult Fantasy tour runs for three weeks from February 6th-20th, will have fifteen stops, one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, pre made guest posts, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. eBooks available. There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

On the shores of Cordacia, Tama believes she has left Khione and its dangers behind. But not even a full day goes by before she discovers that Malsumi's corruption has somehow, inexplicably, followed her here. When Tama, Liseli, and Isabelle go to the Amphitheater to watch the Games, corrupted creatures strike, and Tama leaps into action. Alongside Cordacia's finest warriors, she quells the threat, but no one is sure who triggered the attack in the first place. Her only lead is a mysterious woman who appears right before Malsumi's minions emerge. Who is she, and why has she aligned herself with the dark goddess? More importantly, will Tama find out before it's too late?

This Pudel Threads Publishing YA Fantasy tour runs for two weeks from February 12th-16th & 19th-23rd, will have one or two stops a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, pre made guest posts, excerpts, & spotlights. Physical books available (US addresses only) and eBooks available. There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

Fate can be cruel.

A standalone novel. If you've read the Threads of Magic series, this book is a centuries ahead prequel that also stands alone.

Alexius has been ignored for centuries. He’s quietly taken the blame for his sister’s death and simply tries to get by unnoticed, until his heart won’t let him ignore his mate. Will she bring him closer to his family or pull him away?

Aexie is trying to figure out why she’s turned into a raging, angry dragon that can’t express what she wants to while not letting her anxiety control her.

Jaxon fights to decide how best to keep the family together or if he should just give up and travel the world.

Xerus is learning to navigate the ancient love of his life and run the kingdom he’s been brought up to rule.

As siblings grow up, their duties to themselves clash with their responsibilities to their family and realm. Mysterious attacks force them to put the kingdom first and work together. They need to figure out who the culprit is before their entire realm falls.

Will they come together or will they abandon their duties and watch their kingdom fall to evil?

This Union Square & Co. Historical Mystery tour runs for two weeks from February 19th-23rd & 26th-March 1st, will have one stop a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, excerpts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stopsPhysical books available (US addresses only) and eBooks available. There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

A witty, engaging murder mystery featuring Jane Austen as an intrepid amateur sleuth—the first in a series.

Jane Austen—sparkling, spirited, and incredibly clever—is suddenly thrust into a mystery when a milliner’s dead body is found locked inside a cupboard in the middle of a ball. When Jane’s brother Georgy is found with some jewelry belonging to the deceased, the local officials see it as an open-and-shut case: one which is likely to end with his death. Jane is certain that he is innocent, and there is more to the murder than meets the eye. Her investigations send her on a journey through local society, as Jane’s suspect list keeps on growing— and her keen observational skills of people will be put to the test to solve the crime and save her brother. 

Featuring the same lively wit, insightful social commentary, and relatable characters that have made Jane Austen books into perennial classics, this first entry in the Miss Austen Investigates series is perfect for anyone who enjoyed The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl or other historical mystery books based on real people, as well as fans looking to add to their Jane Austen collection.

This Ocean Scribe Publishing Horror Fantasy book tour runs for two weeks from February 19th-23rd & 26th-March 1st, will have one or two stops a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, excerpts, pre made guest posts, & spotlights. Priority will go to review stops. Physical books available (US addresses only) and eBooks available. I may also get some audiobook codes. There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

***Paperback and Audible versions will be available on or shortly after February 20, 2024***

What is The Nightmare Machine? Think Silent Hill meets Inception and Monster Hunter International.

Five millennia of suffering. A pilgrimage steeped in terror. Will her quest bring redemption or only a false promise of salvation?

Bangor, Maine. Sara Holcomb knows what she must do. Raised within a secret order devoted to protecting humanity from a malevolent god, the dutiful seventeen-year-old prepares for a terrifying expedition through a world of nightmares. So when the time comes, she convinces three close friends to escort her on a perilous journey to an otherworldly cathedral of bone and blood.

Transported to a land of chaos and horror while they sleep, Sara wrestles with guilt at bringing people she holds dear to this hell from which they may not escape. And as vicious traps and pitiless creatures tear at their bodies and minds, the honor-bound young woman fears they won’t be strong enough to complete the mission that will preserve mankind.

Will Sara succeed in staving off annihilation?

The Nightmare Machine is the thought-provoking first book in the Soulaerium horror-thriller trilogy. If you like flawed but resolute heroes, deep themes of self-determination, and plenty of action, then you’ll love Tim White’s terrifying tale of good versus evil.

CONTENT WARNING: This book is intended for mature readers and contains adult subject matter, including graphic violence, profanity, indirect references to sexuality and childbirth, drug and alcohol use, and scary situations. Reader discretion is advised.

This Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Middle Grade tour runs for two weeks from February 26th-March 1st & March 4th-8th, will have one or two stops a day on a Blog, Instagram, or TikTok and consist of reviews, pre made guest posts, excerpts, & spotlights. Physical books available (US addresses only) and eBooks available. There will be images for Instagram stops.  


About The Book:

“Lynch is back and better, smarter, and funnier than ever.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award Winner

A boy learns how to be a friend from man’s best friend in this funny and moving middle grade novel about humans being able to change and dogs changing us from acclaimed author Chris Lynch.

In a family of strong personalities with very strong points of view, Louis is what his mother lovingly calls “the inactivist,” someone who’d rather kick back than stand out. He only hopes he can stay under the radar when he starts high school in the fall, his first experience with public school after years of homeschooling.

But when a favor for a neighbor and his stinky canine companion unexpectedly turns into a bustling dog-walking business, Louis finds himself meeting an unprecedented number of new friends—both human and canine. Agatha, a quippy and cagey girl his age always seems to be telling two truths and a lie. Cyrus, a few years his senior, promises he’s going to show Louis how to be a better person, whether Louis wants him to or not. And then there are the dogs: misbehaving border terriers, the four (possible stolen) sausage dogs, the rest of Louis’s charges, and a mysterious white beast who appears at a certain spot at the edge of the woods.

Dogs and human alike all seem to have something they want to teach Louis, including his menacing older brother who keeps turning up everywhere. But is Louis ready to learn the lesson he needs most: how to stop being a lone wolf and be part of a pack?

Sign up for all the tours HERE!


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Blog Tour- HEIRS OF THE PROMISE by @LFranzAuthor With An Excerpt & #Giveaway! @atmospherepress

Jaime | 12:00 AM | Please comment!

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the HEIRS OF THE PROMISE by Langdon Franz Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Book:


Author: Langdon Franz

Pub. Date: November 13, 2023

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 522

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/HEIRS-OF-THE-PROMISE

For two hundred years, Kilal has dutifully carved intricate runes into his wrist every forty-eight hours to maintain his Immortality. But now, faced with the disappearance of his daughter in the Ashen Lands, the presumed death of his wife, and the imminent threat of his sworn enemies breaching the Sunlight Domain, Kilal's sanity teeters on the edge.

Haunted by hallucinations and tormented by whispers in the dark, Kilal embarks on a desperate quest. He must assemble a band of warriors to thwart the encroaching Ash Fallen invasion, while also confronting the Heirs of the Promise, a mysterious group that has infiltrated his land and corrupted his fellow Arbiters.

Amidst the chaos, Kilal's need for the Carving of Immortality intensifies. He must rise above his crumbling mental state and combat the encroaching madness, for his daughter's fate hangs in the balance. With time running out, Kilal must defy his own limitations, uncover the truth, and find the strength to reunite his family.

In a world where Immortality comes at a bloody cost, Kilal must navigate a treacherous landscape of loss, enemies, and corruption against a backdrop of impending doom, where every decision carries weight and the search for salvation becomes a race against time.



Langdon Franz crafts an epic story that traverses individual challenge and bigger-picture social and political transformation in a world under siege.”- Midwest Book Review


“The book is full of fast-paced storytelling, compelling characters, interesting  magic and lore, and intense fighting sequences. Franz should give himself a pat on the  back. Heirs of the Promise is one heck of a start to a fantasy series.”- Independent Book Review


“The world that Franz creates is immersive and precarious, with every decision carrying immense weight, as Kilal fights for his sanity and loved ones while racing against time to unravel the truth. This gripping and adrenaline-fueled read will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”- BookView Review




Kilal pressed the knife into his wrist, grasping for Immortality. A rusted porcelain sink caught the blood dripping from the open wound as he dragged the sharp blade through his flesh. With a precision gained by decades of practice, Kilal carved a tight circle, two inches in diameter. Next came a straight line from the top of the circle to the bottom. Each end protruded exactly one centimeter past the perimeter.

Every detail had to be perfect. Even a hair’s width of inaccuracy would render the Carving obsolete.

Cutting a second path from left to right, the two lines intersected perfectly in the middle of the circle. Kilal paused and wiped sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand.

 Bloody business can’t keep their air conditioning running or something?

 He returned the tip of the knife to his flesh and carved four more lines, enclosing the circle in a diamond. The pounding bass reverberating through the walls was barely more than a buzz. His focus seemed to do a better job than the walls at keeping the music at an acceptable level.

Kilal swapped the carving knife for a smaller blade suited for minute details. With a steady hand and careful attention to detail, he etched a tiny rune, no more than an inch long, in each of the four quarters of the circle. Breath held, Kilal moved the blade through his skin with an efficiency any Arbiter would envy.

Finished, he ran his wrist beneath water from the cracked and rusty faucet and examined the raw, open flesh representing the Carving of Immortality. Satisfied with his work, Kilal walked to the door of the restroom and jiggled the lock. It was secure. It would take more than what an average human was capable of to break through the door. He checked again anyway.

 The door vibrated to the rhythm of the bass blasting behind it. Kilal clenched his teeth. His target just had to frequent a bloody club, didn’t he?

 Confident the door would halt any would-be visitors, Kilal strode into a stall and locked it. Taking a seat on the toilet, he chided himself for being so sloppy. How had he allowed himself to get stuck in a club full of humans hostile towards Arbiters with no active Carvings to defend himself?

 “Bloody idiot,” he muttered. “Get yourself together!”

 Kilal pulled out a third blade—more a pick than a blade—and pierced the center of the Carving. Feet pressed against the stall legs, he locked his knees straight and shoved himself back against the toilet tank. He took a deep breath and rotated the pick one-hundred and eighty degrees clockwise.

The Carving flashed white, and the seizure hit him with the force of a War Plague.

 Kilal shook. His body tightened, and his muscles spasmed. The stall vibrated with him. His legs kept him strained against the porcelain. The stall door knocked and rattled, the lock’s rhythmic metallic pinging mimicking the bass still beating outside the bathroom. The convulsions lasted for what felt like an eternity, but eventually, it was over.

Breathing ragged, eyes half open, Kilal flipped himself over. His knees hit the floor just as the nausea reigned. Bitter bile spewed from his mouth and into the toilet, his already empty stomach twisting like a wrung cloth. Kilal spit, trying futilely to clear the acidic taste from his tongue.

 Finished, he flushed the toilet and stumbled out of the stall, back to the sink. He splashed water over his face.

Hunching to fit his large frame into the view of the mirror, Kilal glared at the man staring at him. Pale, clammy skin. Dull, sunken eyes. Oily, dark hair brushing his shoulders. His beard was so thick and unruly, he couldn’t remember the last time a razor had kissed his cheeks.

“Bloodshed and Oaths, you look like an Ash Fallen,” Kilal said. “Or a man allergic to soap and water.”

He ran his left wrist under the faucet again, washing the blood from his skin. When the water ran clear, Kilal stared at the smooth, unblemished skin—as if a blade had never touched him.

He again pulled out the first knife and pressed it against his forefinger. Time to test the Carving. Any good Arbiter worth their oath would. Gritting his teeth, Kilal sliced his finger off with one swift motion. It dropped and rolled into the sink. The finger didn’t even reach the drain before white lightning crackled around the severed joint.

It wasn’t enough to endure the sharp, throbbing pain of the Carving ritual. He also had to endure the excruciating agony that came with the healing. Instantly regrowing bone, muscles, tendons, skin, and organs was worse than the injury itself. Nerves searing, fibers and flesh regenerated and stitched back together.

Simultaneously numb and oversensitive, Kilal flexed the new finger. The one in the sink disintegrated into a pile of ash.

Immortality was his. For the next forty-eight hours, at least. Then he’d have the joy of Carving everything all over again.

 One down, two more to go.

Kilal pressed the blade into his flesh again to work on the Carving of Gravitational Control.

 When finished, Kilal returned to the stall. He drove his pick into the center of the Carving and activated it, just as he’d done before, though he wasn’t able to flip himself around in time to vomit. Fortunately, there wasn’t much left in his stomach. He only spilled a small amount of acidic spit onto his shirt. Unfortunately, any amount of bile still tasted terrible.

 Kilal stumbled back to the sink and hovered over it for a moment. He took a few deep breaths before splashing water onto his face and into his mouth, trying to clear the vile tang.

 Eyes closed, Kilal pictured the Carving of Gravitational Control as a knob. He ‘grabbed’ it and twisted it to the right, increasing gravity’s effect on him. When dirty bathroom tiles groaned beneath his increased weight, he mentally returned the knob to normal.

 Carvings one and two completed, he began his third and final, the Carving of Deific Strength.

 The overhead light flickered. Kilal froze. It flickered again. His chest tightened and his breath caught in his throat. The third time the light flickered, ash began falling from the ceiling.

 Kilal wrenched the knife from his wrist. It slipped from his fingers and clattered on the floor. He pinched his eyes shut and pressed the heels of his hands into his cheeks until it hurt.

 It’s not real. It’s not real. It’s not real. You’re not there anymore. You escaped. It’s just your bloody mind playing tricks on you.

 “You abandoned your daughter.”

 He opened his eyes and searched for whoever spoke. The hairs on his neck stood on end when his gaze settled on the reflection in the mirror.

 “Shut up!” he snapped.

 His reflection sneered. “You left her there.”

 Kilal gripped the edge of the sink, squeezing until it cracked. He held the reflection’s stare, glare for glare. “I didn’t have a choice.”

 The reflection rolled its eyes. “That’s right. Because you must save this floating rock you call home.”

 Ash built up around him, covering the sink, the floor, his shoulders.

 “Bloodshed and Oaths, you know that’s the truth!” Kilal cursed. “I swore to protect this world. I can’t abandon it. For anything.”

 A nasty smile worked its way onto his reflection’s face. “What sort of father leaves his daughter in that place?”

 Kilal growled and slammed his fist into the mirror, shattering it into a hundred pieces. Blood dripped from his knuckles for only a second before white electricity crackled around his fist. The sting accompanying the healing was barely more than a whisper compared to the tightness in his chest and burning in his stomach.

 “She’s dead,” a cacophony of voices said from the broken shards. “That’s why you left her there.”

 “She’s not dead!” Kilal pressed his eyes shut and leaned over the sink, leveraging the full weight of his two-hundred-seventy-pound frame on it.

 The porcelain ripped from its enclosure connecting it to the wall.

 “Kill yourself.”

 “I’ll go back for her. I’ll go back for her. I’ll go back for her,” Kilal repeated, rocking in place. He would. He would!

 The knob of the bathroom door rattled and twisted.

 “Hey! Who’s in there? Open up. Other people need to piss, too!”

 Kilal ignored the would-be visitor, hoping the lock would continue to do its job. His breathing was all he concentrated on.

 The tightness in his chest eased, and the hairs on his neck lowered. His grip loosened on the half-dangling sink. Kilal opened his eyes. The ash was gone, and his reflection in the mirror shards scattered around him no longer taunted him.

 “Twice in two days,” he said, rubbing his face.

 Kilal waited for the banging on the door to go away before he retrieved his knife from the floor and returned to his third and final Carving. Though no sooner had he started, the knob rattled again. He ignored it. He guided the knife with keen precision.

Someone pounded on the door again, more urgently than before.

 “Get the point and move on,” Kilal growled.

 He sighed when the door slammed open. It crashed against the wall, and music, fast and rhythmic, flooded the restroom.

A large bald man strode in. His white t-shirt stuck to his sweat-soaked skin, and he wore pants he shouldn’t have been able to squeeze into. The newcomer stopped dead at the sight of Kilal, wrist dripping blood and knife in hand. Two other men, dressed similarly, stopped in their tracks as well, one bumping into the bald man. He had a jaw pointy enough to pierce skin, while the other’s chin was so flabby he barely had a neck. Three sets of eyes moved as one to Kilal’s wrist.

 Baldy sneered. “Didn’t you see the sign, freak?” he yelled, though his voice barely rose above the beats bumping into the bathroom. “Your kind isn’t welcome here!”

 “Looks like we caught him before he could finish.” No-Neck grinned.

 Baldy scrunched his face and pinched his nose. “What’s that smell?”

 Kilal gritted his teeth. Forgive me for not consistently caring for my hygiene while I was held captive and tortured in the Ashen Lands.

 The three stepped further into the room, and Pointy-Chin shut the door. The pulsing thrum of the music dampened. The vibration gently wavered through the floor, and the heavy beat could still be counted, but the relative ‘silence’ in comparison was a blessing.

 Baldy cracked his knuckles, but it was his voice that grated on Kilal’s nerves. “We oughta teach him what happens to his kind when they go places they aren’t wanted.”

 “Come on, Drig.” Pointy-Chin grabbed Baldy’s arm. “We don’t know if he’s one of those Arbiters who can use more than one Carving. What if he already has one in him?”

“You should really listen to your friend,” Kilal said. He returned his knife to the sheath on his belt. The last thing he needed was to accidentally kill the fool.

 Baldy smiled. “You can’t hurt us. Your oath will only let you hurt Arbiters and Ash Fallen. Not innocent folk like us.” He shook his arm free of Pointy-Chin and stepped forward.

 Kilal sighed, shaking his head. “Technically, you’re right. I can’t hurt you.” Baldy’s smile widened. “That is,” Kilal continued, “unless I consider you a threat. In which case, I’m free to defend myself. So, what do you think? Should I consider you a threat?”

Baldy faltered and looked at his friends. They gave quick shakes of their heads.

Unfortunately, Baldy was made of dumber stock than most. “Nah.” He turned back to Kilal. “I don’t believe you. Never heard of such a thing. You’re just trying to save yourself.”

 Bloodshed and Oaths. This bloody idiot is going to make me hurt him.

 He unsheathed his carving knife and brandished it at them. “Get out. Now.”

 Baldy looked from the blade to Kilal, then his friends. He didn’t make any gesture to leave. Kilal growled. He didn’t have time to deal with fools. He didn’t want to hurt them, but what other choice did he have?


 He held his open hand up and ran the knife across his palm, parting flesh. Blood dripped, and the sting barely registered before white energy crackled around the wound, re-knitting the skin.

The trio paled.

Again, Kilal pointed the blade at Baldy, then at the door. “Get. Out.” Baldy wheeled on his friends, shoving them aside as he made for the door—“Wait!” Kilal thundered. His voice bounced off the tiles. The men froze. “Your shirt, Drig. Give it to me.”

Bloody idiot. He looked down at his own vomit-stained shirt. What would you do if Drig wasn’t as large as he is? Walk through the club smelling of death and bile? Good thinking.

Drig didn’t argue. He ripped the fabric over his head and threw it at Kilal before charging out the door, his friends on his heels.

Kilal caught the sweaty shirt and groaned. The thing stunk as if it had been dipped in a gallon of cologne. He placed it aside and re-secured the door before returning to his third and final Carving.

When he’d completed the process, Kilal did his best to clean himself up at the sink one last time. He pulled on Drig’s shirt and was pleased when a glance into a mirror shard proved he didn’t look entirely ridiculous in the small, damp fabric.

Feeling almost like a new man, his three Carvings refueling him with energy and confidence, Kilal exited the bathroom. He ignored the flickering light and the crunch of glass beneath his boots. When he stepped out, he winced. The music assailed him as he headed down the short hall with chipped and peeling black walls.

 The hall deposited Kilal into an enormous square room three stories high. Over a hundred bodies, by Kilal’s estimation, writhed about on the floor under the probing lights, dancing to the rhythm of the booming bass. Or at least, that’s what he assumed they were doing. When had the flailing of limbs and grinding against each other become ‘dance’?

 Kilal cut across the floor and made his way to the spiraling staircase on the other side of the room. Cologne, perfume, and body odor mingled into a single collage of stink, making Kilal almost as nauseous as activating a Carving.

 His wide, muscled frame shoved aside anyone not keen enough to get out of his way on their own, and he quickly freed himself from the knotted mass of moving flesh. He ascended the steps, taking three at a time, and strode onto the third-floor balcony overlooking the club. The clock on a nearby wall flashed bright red numbers. 11:21 p.m.

 Just in time. His target supposedly frequented the place every evening at 11:30 p.m. sharp.

 Kilal moved to a table at the edge of the balcony. He took a seat and waited.

 A young woman approached him, carrying a notebook and a smile. She knelt beside him and placed a hand on his thigh, a brow raised. “What can I get for you, handsome?”

 The girl either had extremely poor taste in men or was looking for a good tip. Either way, a hundred years ago, Kilal would’ve reciprocated the flirtatious attitude. Now?

He gently removed her hand from his leg, never taking his gaze from the dance floor beneath them. “Water.”

 She didn’t answer or bother to write his order down. She just stood, turned on her heels, and stormed away. Kilal didn’t expect to receive his water any time soon.

He scooted his chair up against the guardrail and rested his arms on it as he scanned the mass of bodies below. The club’s name flashed in bright neon colors on the wall across from him.

Forget Everything.

 Pressure spiked behind his eyes. The room seemed to warp, the walls bending, flexing outward. What immense power! Frantically, Kilal looked for the source. He found him, stepping through the revolving glass doors and into the club.

Jayden. His target.

 Only a few times in Kilal’s two hundred years of life had he felt power like that, and it confirmed his decision to hunt Jayden down. Now, he only had to convince the man to help him save the world.

 Jayden, chest puffed out, sauntered from the entrance to the dance floor, smiling and pointing at people like he owned the place. He wore a green V-neck t-shirt; the cutout dipping nearly beneath his flat, hairless chest, and his yellow pants were so tight, Kilal wasn’t sure if his legs hadn’t been painted instead. Although, the six inches or so of skin showing above ankle-high white socks confirmed the man was, indeed, wearing pants. Black leather shoes rounded out his abysmal clothing decisions.

 For such a provocative outfit, Kilal would’ve assumed Jayden had a reason to wear them, but he didn’t look like he’d done an honest day’s work in his life. The only thing he had going for him was a neatly trimmed haircut over bushy brown eyebrows.

 The music stopped, and everything went quiet, but the dancing continued. In fact, the bass still vibrated through the railing and floor. What was going—

 Kilal shot to his feet, kicking the chair behind him, and turned about, hands up before him. Three individuals sat at his table. Arbiters. And one of them had created a sound pocket around them. Normally, he would’ve sensed the use of a Carving, but the sensation must have been drowned by the immense power emanating from Jayden.

 Kilal eyed the strangers. The one sitting nearest was tall and lean, yet solid with muscle. He sported a black tank top with gray tattoos wrapped around his arms. Carving tattoos! Kilal didn’t know whether he should slap him for such foolishness or fear him. If he displayed his knowledge for all to see, surely the man was a threat to be respected, though the lopsided and arrogant grin stuck to his face said otherwise. Probably an Enlightened Arbiter, and a Fighter, at that. Kilal dismissed him without another thought.

 The second person, sitting across from Tattoos, was a woman with short blonde hair. Nothing stood out about her. She hunched forward, shoulders folded in, and kept her arms beneath the table. She was trying to display a sheepish personality, which Kilal assumed worked against most people. He almost fell for it until he met her gaze.

 He held her gaze just long enough to catch it before she flicked it away. An edge was behind them, a hardness only the most battle-experienced Arbiters obtained. Why had she chosen to partner up with a bloody idiot like Tattoos?

 She was the one who’d thrown up the sound bubble. Buzzing in his ears indicated it was a Carving from the Mind branch. And the taste of copper identified the use of a second Carving, one from the Physical branch. A High Arbiter, and more specifically, a Bruiser. Was she prepared for a physical altercation?

 Of course, he could’ve been completely wrong about his estimation of the two. The problem with sensing Carvings was how difficult it was to determine who was using them. For all Kilal really knew, he could have switched the two Arbiter’s classifications. It was also possible they were both Enlightened instead, each using only one Carving. But Kilal had learned to trust his instincts. After two hundred years of sensing, he found he was usually right with his predictions.

 The third and final stranger held Kilal’s attention the longest. He wore a long black coat buttoned up to the neck. Matching leather gloves kept his hands concealed. Most ridiculous of all were the dark sunglasses concealing what Kilal knew lay behind them: eyes with veins as stark as the man’s skin.

 Kilal picked up the chair he’d kicked over. He returned it to the table and sat, carefully putting a few feet between himself and Tattoos. The power he sensed from each of them boosted his confidence. As long as he didn’t allow Sunglasses to touch him, he’d walk away from the encounter unscathed. Regardless, an Arbiter always treated another with a healthy dose of respect and fear until they knew what Carvings were in play.

 Kilal was the first to breach the silence. He leaned back and crossed his arms. “An Enlightened Arbiter, a High Arbiter, and an Inflictor entered a club. Every table within was theirs to choose from. Which one did they pick?”

 They stiffened.

 Tattoos sucked at something stuck between his teeth. “I don’t know. Which one?”

 Kilal narrowed his eyes. “The wrong one.”

 The lady leaned forward. She placed her arms on the table and straightened her spine. Good. She wasn’t trying to hide who she was anymore. “From where I’m sitting, I think we chose the right one. Few Primes remain unaffiliated with the Heirs of the Promise.”

 Who? The title meant nothing to him.

 “What do you want?” Kilal asked.

 “To talk. I’m Issa. This is Iathu.” She nodded toward the Inflictor, who gave Kilal a small tilt of his head. “And he’s—”

 “None of your business,” Tattoos said, picking at a dark object between two teeth with his tongue. “What are you doing introducing us like we’re all pals?” He leaned back against his chair, propping it up on its rear legs.

 Issa’s eyes hardened. “That’s Caz.”

 Kilal winced at Caz’s repulsive lip-smacking. “You gonna ask him to dance next?”

 “Are you always this disrespectful to ladies?” Kilal asked.

 Caz sneered and leaned forward. His chair slammed onto the floor, and he brought his face so close, the air reeked of stale smoke from his breath. “Ah, I’m sorry. Did I offend you?”

 Kilal raised a brow. “Are you really bringing yourself this close to an Arbiter you don’t know and whose Carvings you aren’t aware of?”

 Caz shrugged. “I ain’t worried.”

 Kilal gave him a toothy smile. “You should be.”

 Whatever Caz saw in his expression made him pause the sucking of his teeth. He leaned back again and crossed his arms. “Ain’t here to wipe the floor with you, anyway.”

 “One moment.” Kilal pushed himself away from the table.

  He stood and walked to the railing, scanning the dance floor. His head swiveled like a man in charge, but his gaze darted around frantically. The search didn’t last long.

 A large circle of empty floor had formed around Jayden. The man flailed about, moving from girl to girl to recruit them as his dance partner. After so many rejections, the guy should have gotten the point, but Jayden wouldn’t be dismayed.

 Kilal strode back to the table. Caz was rebuking Issa. “Can’t believe you’re gonna let him talk to us like that.”

 Issa ignored him.

 “Like I asked before,” Kilal said, “what do you want?”

 Iathu didn’t move. His sunglasses remained firmly planted on Kilal and his right hand on the table. Kilal didn’t let that hand out of his sight.

 “We’re representatives of the Heirs of the Promise,” Issa said.

 Kilal shrugged. “That supposed to mean something to me?”

 Caz guffawed.

 Issa’s eyes widened. “You don’t know?” Kilal shook his head. “Bloodshed and Oaths, man! Where have you been?”

 Kilal raised a brow. “I’ve been…busy. Have you not heard of me?”

 Issa squinted and studied his face. Finally, she elbowed Iathu. “You know him?”

 He gave a slight shake of his head. Caz slapped a knee and spit on the floor. “I knew I recognized you! I saw you earlier this week. You were the guy living in the alley between Westside Boulevard and East Street, right? Nice box house you got yourself.”

 Interesting. It had been a long time since he’d been around Arbiters who didn’t know who he was. Should he be disappointed or relieved? Granted, he’d been missing for the last decade.

Kilal drummed his fingers on the table.

 Issa, head cocked, stared at him. “The Heirs of the Promise is an organization operated by Arbiters. We run this city. All new Arbiters to Silent Haven must register themselves, their classification, and the Carvings they use.”

 Kilal clenched his jaw so hard his grinding teeth could have competed with the throbbing beat outside the bubble. His fingers stilled.

Iathu inched his hand slowly across the table. Caz smiled and cracked his knuckles.

 Kilal pointed at the Inflictor. “If you don’t put that hand under the table, I’ll rip it off before you can even think to cancel my Carvings.” Iathu’s lip curled up, showing white teeth. Kilal smirked. “There it is. Not as emotionless as you want to pretend. Now, put your hand away.”

 Iathu didn’t budge. Kilal prepared his Carvings, picturing them as knobs in his mind, ready to ‘turn’ them and increase his strength and gravity at a moment’s notice. Issa nudged her partner. They shared a look, and whatever passed between them encouraged Iathu to finally put his arm beneath the table. The tension eased.

 “You two are joking, right?” Caz asked. He gestured at Kilal. “He threatened us! And you’re just going to let him get away with that?” He turned to Issa and sneered. “I guess that’s what happens when a woman is in charge.”

 Issa flinched but didn’t say anything.

 Kilal, however, snapped his fingers in Caz’s face. He’d had enough of the insufferable, big-mouthed Arbiter. “Come here.” He beckoned with a finger as if calling a dog. Caz broke into a wide grin and leaned in. When their faces were nearly touching, and Kilal had the pleasure of enjoying his foul, smoky breath again, he said, “You should really treat women better.”

A sleazy smile crept its way onto Caz’s face. “I do. When they know their place.”

 “And what place is that?”

 “As pretty little trophies meant to be conqu—”

 Kilal slapped him. Caz’s head ricocheted off the table edge with a sickening crunch. He crashed to the floor, unconscious. With his foot, Kilal shoved him aside.

 “Bloodshed and Oaths, thank you,” Issa said.

 He stood and repositioned his chair, using the motion to mask looking for Jayden. When he spotted him, Kilal sat down again. He propped his elbows on the table and folded his hands beneath his chin. “Your organization is a mockery to all we stand for. Arbiters are a force of good. We were created to defend the Sunlight Domain and its people from the Ash Fallen. Not band together and lord over those we protect.”

 “Those days are long behind us. Those values are archaic. They may have worked five hundred years ago, but if you haven’t noticed, there aren’t many of us left. We can’t be the lone wolves we used to be. Things need to change.”

 Kilal smashed a fist on the table. “What I noticed is an army of Ash Fallen on the other side of the Veil, preparing to sweep through our world again!”

 “On the other side of—” Issa frowned. “Where did you say you’ve been again?”

 Kilal cursed himself. He didn’t want anyone to know what had happened to him, let alone a corrupt group of Arbiters.

 “You think the Heirs are the first to do this?” he said, trying to direct the conversation away from his slip-up. “Rally Arbiters together, claiming unity, peace, and a better future? You’re all bloody fools! The ones in charge are gathering all the knowledge of Carvings you’ve each earned, and when they have enough, they’ll turn on you, using your own powers against you.”

 Issa sat back and placed her hands under the table. The taste of copper flooded his mouth—she was activating her Physical Carving!

 “Three cities,” Issa said. “Silent Haven. New Cita. Vitrol. That’s all that’s left of humanity. We can’t keep going on like this. It’s time for something new. Join us. It’s the only option.”

 “Where are the Keepers of the Oath? Why have they allowed the Heirs to move into the city?” Issa and Iathu shared another glance. What did they know? Kilal growled, “Where are the Keepers?”

 “Will you return with us and register yourself, your status, and your Carvings?”

 Kilal leaned in slowly. “I would welcome the embrace of a Pestilence Plague before I gave into your demands.”

 Issa closed her eyes and slumped her head. After taking a deep breath, she stood, and Iathu followed. “You have twenty-four hours to leave the city. This time tomorrow, if you haven’t left, you will be black-marked. The first Arbiter to kill you will be handsomely rewarded.”

 Kilal shot to his feet and shoved the table aside. His hands shook, and the veins in his neck strained against his skin. “You threaten me with my own people? Tell your masters this: their time is short. They should use what remains of it to flee somewhere I won’t find them. Elsewise, I won’t be trapped in this city with them—they’ll be trapped in this city with me.”

 To her credit, Issa didn’t even flinch. She just gave a sad shake of her head and walked to the unconscious Caz. With little effort, she hauled him up and threw him over her shoulder. She paused before leaving and glanced at Kilal. “If you change your mind, come to our headquarters. Head to the center of the city and look for…Well, you won’t miss it.”

 Issa headed for the back door of the club, Iathu trailing behind her.

 Despite their absence, thankfully, the noise-dampening bubble remained intact for Kilal to brood in. Fingers and glares were thrown his way, but he ignored them and stepped over to the balcony again, chewing on his lower lip.

 I could’ve handled that better. What was I thinking? An empty threat, and for what? If only an army of Ash Fallen weren’t looming on the other side of the Veil. He sighed. One problem at a time.

 Everything had changed while he was gone. The Heirs of the Promise. The Keepers. What had that look between Issa and Iathu meant when he mentioned the Keepers?

 If anything happened to them, I’ll—


 Kilal whipped his head around, but the poorly dressed man was nowhere to be seen. Jayden was gone.


Excerpt originally posted on Langdon’s blog


About Langdon Franz:

Langdon Franz lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two teenage daughters, two dogs and two cats. In 2022, he finished his Masters in Creative Writing and has been hard at work creating his own book series ever since. When he isn’t writing, he is designing board games with his wife or playing one. Langdon has a passion for all things fantasy as well as creating fantastical worlds others can enjoy.

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of HEIRS OF THE PROMISE, US Only.

Ends January 31st, midnight EST.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:



IG Post


A Dream Within A Dream



Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt/IG Post


Kountry Girl Bookaholic

Excerpt/IG Post


Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post


#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two:



IG Review


The Momma Spot




IG Review


The Guild



Books and Zebras

IG Review


Confessions of the Perfect Mom

Review/IG Post



IG Review/TikTok Post

Week Three:


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post


Country Mamas With Kids

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