Hi everyone My name is Victoria Zumbrum, 40 years old, married 14 years with 1 son. This is my very first blog. So bear with me. I have always wanted to have my own blog. I have always loved to read. I enjoy getting lost in a good book.
I love becoming part of the story and characters. I am hoping to bring my love of books to my readers.

I love reading different genres such as paranormal, young adult, romance, romantic suspense, mystery, Christian fiction, some horror, etc. The list goes on. I started reviewing books a couple of years ago and have done reviews for different blogs and even some authors. I really have enjoyed reviewing books and I will continue to do so. If anyone is interested in me reviewing a book for them, please contact me. I still have a lot to learn regarding my own blog so bear with me. I welcome and appreciate all followers.

Friday, August 6, 2021

City of Lights book 1 in the Far from Home Series


City of Lights

(Book 1 in the Far from Home Series)

by Kelly Byrd




GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy






What happens when oh so ordinary Mary Jingo, follows her instincts (and her nose) and ends up in a magical land Far From Home?


In City of Lights, author Kelly Byrd introduces readers to Mary, who is one week away from finishing fifth grade. Mary’s mind is on starting middle school in the fall and finally getting her own phone. But then this ordinary girl notices glimmers of light and meets a strange little man who conjures the best smell she has ever smelled. Before she even stops to consider what she’s doing, she agrees to accompany the man to the land of LeeChee, where our Mary Jingo from the Shadowlands in seen as warrior and a great hope.


Now this very ordinary girl must find a way to help save LeeChee from Thrall and restore the Everything—a magical life- and joy-giving force that somehow connects Mary’s world to LeeChee. How can she face the Void, the foul-smelling Shoeboxians, or the evil Mellie? And how can she do all of the Far From Home?




EXCERPTS (Exclusive Excerpt):


“What do you mean?” Mary considered her options, as she cast around the garden at the golden plants near her. She needed something to help her rescue her friends. She reached out with her mind for WindRunner, but the connection was muffled and distant. She could hardly feel him. Mellie was not supposed to be here, she was supposed to be in the Imperial City.


“What do I mean?” Mellie asked, putting a finger to her lips in thought. “This substance, this silly Everything that I used to be a keeper of, is supposed to be so powerful. But do you know what’s more powerful? Sadness, apathy, fear, and emptiness. We thought we would have to force People to give up their connection to the Everything, but it’s been so easy. It’s not hard to get you all to just stay in your houses, too afraid to leave home. Trapped in your own self-doubt and longing, with the thought that you are safe. The more we convince People to give up their right to live their lives, the stronger the Void grows. My master has concocted a plan so powerful, I will be a queen here and in the Shadowlands before we’re through.”


Mary looked down to find creeping tendrils of the Void snaking up her ankles and wrists. She felt dull, tired, and full of jealousy for Teeny and Corb. How could they just hang there like that? They were both supposed to be so powerful, but neither one of had foreseen this. Mary didn’t even like it in LeeChee, she realized, as the Void swirled up around her middle, cloaking her lower body in a tight bronze mist. She could go home to where she was loved, cared for, and cherished. She began to focus on her living room and bedroom, feeling the want and need to be in her parent’s house again. To leave this wild adventure behind.


…Mellie ranged around the small circle of the garden, babbling to herself and laughing wildly. She reached out to the weeping willow Mary had curtsied to moments before and tried to grab a piece of the plant. “This is what we need. This is what we need,” the deranged woman muttered to herself. “Towns in Thrall is nice and all, but these plants, these plants will give us so much more power.”


As Mellie reached out a hand to grab a branch


of the tree, another one of the willow’s limbs swung through the air and knocked the small woman across the circle of the garden. Mellie landed with a thump next to the fountain and struggled to sit up. Mary’s mind cleared for a moment and she heard WindRunner clearly via their Mindspan.


You must focus, Mary Jingo. You must focus on the Everything. I am coming to you, but you must focus.


Mary looked down and saw that the bronze mist of the Void had receded from her middle section back down to her feet. She looked around at the beautiful plants and focused on all of the best things. The smells that had comforted her and supported her through this journey so far. She thought about her friends and family at home, how much she loved riding her bicycle, and how she loved to spend time lost in books. As Mary focused on the Everything, a blast of golden light erupted from her hands, as it had on her first night in LeeChee, dissolving the bronze mist that held Teeny and Corb.







AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Kelly Byrd is a middle-grade author by choice, a writer by discipline, home-grown chef, and amateur gardener. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two cute-as-buttons rescue pups. The Far From Home series is about growing up, finding your voice, and rescuing the Everything.



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  1. Thank you for hosting our last stop on the blog tour! For anyone interested, the book will be on sale for the next week. Grab your copy!