Welcome to my stop on the Crown Phoenix Tour. This tour is brought to you by First Rule Publicity!
Today we have an excerpt and my review from this exciting new series. Also, there is a giveaway with some great prizes including a Kindle Fire!!!
Miriam Pearson’s father has died. Her guardians, The Marchpanes, take over her house and her father’s company. The strong-willed girl instantly clashes with their son, Simon. The Marchpanes hire a governess, Mana, to take care of her. Mana is black, and has magic powers. She and Miriam eventually become friends. With Simon and Neil, his friend, they uncover a plot by the sinister Barbara Cantwell to use Miriam’s father’s company for evil means. Barbara is very beautiful, and at first, Simon is very attracted to her.
Once Barbara realizes that Miriam and Mana are on to her scheme, she forces the guardians to fire the governess. Mana is hustled out of the house by the Marchpanes, but Miriam, Neil and Simon follow her to the Night Watchman Express. However, Miriam and Simon are captured and put on the Night Watchman, bound for a sinister destination. Mana is loaded onto a boat headed to Big Star Island.
Neil manages to steal a boat and follow Mana’s captors to the island. A native girl, Riki, rescues him and brings him to her house. She is spoiled and her mother has no control over her, but Neil manages to become her friend. Her father forces him to stay with the family so Neil can be Riki’s companion and manage her wild behavior.
Neil learns about Atol, the king of the island, who seized power after the last monarch was killed. Atol is plotting with Barbara Cantwell to force the islands to produce drugs instead of bolemor wood, and he is also shipping his people out for use in human experiments. Neil discovers that Mana is the rightful queen of the island, and is being held by Atol. Neil and Riki manage to rescue Mana, and they head back to the mainland to look for Simon and Miriam.
This book really surprised me. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, as steampunk isn't one of my usual genres. But, boy am I glad I had the chance to read it. This book just oozes mystery. The characters were great. The main characters were easy to connect with and the bad ones were easy to hate. And I absolutely fell in love with Neil. First he is shy, and feels unworthy around Simon's parents as they are rich and he is the son of a fisherman. He really comes into his own, when his friends are in trouble and he must do everything possible to rescue them. I stayed on the edge, wondering what was going to happen.
The world DeLuca creates is exquisite! I felt as though I stepped into the pages of the book. The sights, sounds and even tastes came to life. Lampala is a beautiful picture that will play in my head when I need a few moments of calm.
Alison DeLuca grew up on an organic farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were British, so in the summers she went to stay with her grandparents near Dublin.
There was no stereo or TV there, so Alison, her sister, and her cousins spent the summer inventing stories and plays for each other. “This gave me the ability to entertain myself with my own imagination in any situation,” she says. “We used to be taken to tea with great-aunts, and we were expected to sit on an uncomfortable couch and not move or say a word. It was possible to endure it because I was watching my own little stories play out in my mind.”
After graduating from West Chester University, Alison became a teacher of English and Spanish, teaching students from kindergarten up to college level. She loved teaching, and it was with reluctance that she left the classroom to be a fulltime mom when her daughter was born.
While she was teaching and raising her daughter, Alison took every free minute she had to write. The Night Watchman Express and The Crown Phoenix Series were the result.
She is currently working on the final book in the series, as well as several other projects.
Find Alison DeLuca here!
Her Blog: Fresh Pot of Tea
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”