The last few months have been a heckuva rollercoaster ride. Back in May 2021, I received my "Worldwide Release Date Notice" from my publisher. Since then, I've been studiously attempting to create book buzz around my debut. Was I successful? I don't know, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Along with learning the ropes of promo, I've been banging out the second novel in The Allison Lee Chronicles. If my humble book intrigues you, you can find it at many fine retailers using this link. If you've already ordered it or plan to do so, you have my heartfelt thanks.
I've also put Dragons Walk Among Us out for review, most notably Kirkus Reviews. It was definitely nerve-wracking to wait for the review to come back from Kirkus. I was absolutely thrilled when it turned out not just to be a good review but a flawless one as far as I can tell. I have read that Kirkus rarely gives out such reviews, typically including barbs that sometimes cut deep. Anyway, I was pleased beyond belief to read the review when it popped into my inbox.
"Throughout, characters demonstrate emotional growth as they confront their limiting beliefs about others and embrace a sense of family. The story addresses serious, socially relevant subject matter, such as discrimination, poverty, and bullying, but it's never preachy; indeed, it has a lighthearted tone that will resonate with adolescent readers." – Kirkus Reviews
Here is the blurb and a brief excerpt the wet your appetite for Dragons Walk Among Us.
Shutterbug Allison Lee is trying to survive high school while suffering the popular girl's abuse. Her life is often abysmal, but at least her green hair is savage. Her talent for photography is recognized by the school paper and the judges of a photo contest.
While visiting her friend Joe, a homeless vet, Allison's life irrevocably changes after an attack leaves her blind. All her dreams as a photojournalist are dashed as she realizes she'll never see again. Despair sets in until she is offered an experimental procedure to restore her vision. But there are side effects, or are they hallucinations? She now sees dragons accompanying some of the people she meets. Can she trust her eyes, or has the procedure affected her more than she can see?
"Do you notice any light or shadows?" Dr. Clarissa Maywood asks.
"How many times do I have to answer that idiotic question?" I say through clenched teeth.
Dad massages the back of my hand. "Allison, don't be so waspish. Dr. Maywood is here to help you."
I groan. "I'm sorry that waking up blind in a strange bed after a two-week coma has put me in such a wonderful mood."
"I know it is frustrating, Allison. It is not unheard of to have vision problems after taking a blow to the head," Dr. Maywood says. Her voice is calm, and her words are clipped. "Now, can you answer my question?"
"I can't see anything."
Something about Dr. Maywood is annoying. My image of her is of a tall, beautiful blonde woman much like Leslie Chapman. I don't know why—maybe it's the click of the high heels against the linoleum?
"Is there anything you can do?" Dad asks.
"I am going to order some tests," Dr. Maywood says. "And we will go from there."
I listen to her walk away, feeling like I am drowning, my fingers slipping from the life preserver.
Dad pats the back of my hand. "Just hang in there, baby. Just hang in there."
I pull my hand away. "
Just hang in there? I'm blind. I'll never be a photojournalist. Never. My life is ruined."
"I know it's hard, baby, but you need to try to stay positive. I think that's for the best."
Stay positive. Easy for him to say. He can see. Why can't I see? I'm still trying to put that together, but there are too many missing pieces.
I like to think Dragons Walk Among Us has something to say about truth, so I leave you with this...
At times it's hard to believe what you see.