Free: Matilda Seer

Matilda Seer

2020 Eric Hoffer Award recipient: Fantasy category honorable mention and shortlist finalist.

Rachel woke up on her sixteenth birthday dreading the day ahead. Little did she know that after being pulled into a mysterious mirror by an unknown force, she would emerge in a new realm and soon become Matilda Seer.

Every year on December 12th, twelve sixteen-year-old foster kids, all with the same birthday, are chosen to enter through ‘The Entrance’ that leads to the Inner Realm. For the past sixteen years, none have materialized – until now. To the shock of the Watchers only seven come through. Once there, new names appear on the teens’ foreheads, revealing unique abilities. For the first time two of the teens receive a second name, share identical birthmarks, speak telepathically, and are inexplicably drawn to each other. Rachel becomes Matilda Seer, the only known seer alive. The Watchers leave the Chosen, seeking out answers. But when a vision reveals to Matilda that they’ve been captured, the group leaves the safety of Quarry Cottage to rescue them. The Chosen must quickly learn to master their new powers in order to overcome terrifying creatures, such as the Nightlings. Then there’s the Nameless, and the murderous Lord Rafe…Free on Kindle.

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Shrug

Shrug

It’s Berkeley in the 1960s, and all Martha Goldenthal wants is to do well at Berkeley High and plan for college. But her home life is a cauldron of kooky ideas, impossible demands, and explosive physical violence. Her father, Jules, is an iconoclast who hates academia and can’t control his fists. Her mother, Willa, has made a career of victimhood and expects Martha and her siblings, Hildy and Drew, to fend for themselves. Meanwhile, Jules’s classical record store, located directly across the street from the U.C. Berkeley campus, is ground zero for riots and tear gas.

Martha perseveres with the help of her best friend, who offers laughter, advice about boys, and hospitality. But when Willa and Jules divorce and Jules loses his store and livelihood, Willa goes entirely off the rails. A heartless boarding school placement, eviction from the family home, and an unlikely custody case wind up putting Martha and Drew in Jules’s care. Can Martha stand up to her father to do the one thing she knows she must—go to college?

With its running “soundtrack” of classical recordings and rock music and its vivid scenes of Berkeley at its most turbulent, Shrug is the absorbing, harrowing, and ultimately uplifting story of one young woman’s journey toward independence. $0.99 on Kindle.

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