A Circle of Firelight
by Curtis Edmonds
Genre: NA Fantasy
Release Date: February 20th 2020
Scary Hippopotamus Books
On the battlefield of dreams, the strongest weapons are imagination --- and love.
Ashlyn Revere is a bright, determined and resourceful college graduate trying to get a job in publishing. When Ashlyn and her sister Penny are left comatose after an automobile accident, they find themselves in Summervale, a beautiful and perilous realm straight from the pages of fantasy novels --- which is ruled by a mysterious Dark Lord.
When Ashlyn discovers that Penny is being held captive, she enlists the help of a talking black rabbit and a scarlet knight to save her sister. She learns that Penny is deep within her own fantasy of Regency romance --- and that she sees being in a coma as a way to escape from her daily struggles with cystic fibrosis. Ashlyn tries to rescue her anyway, but a fire-breathing dragon and a real-world seizure complicate her plans.
As Penny recovers from her injuries and leaves Summervale, Ashlyn is rescued by a servant of the Dark Lord who promises to show her just how precarious her own medical situation is. In the real world, Ashlyn’s medical condition has worsened, forcing her doctors to consider risky surgery. Ashlyn rejects an offer from the Dark Lord to remain in Summervale forever, and chooses to raise an army of knights to fight for her freedom and independence.
Penny must face a choice of her own. As Ashlyn hovers between life and death, Penny learns that Ashlyn would be a good match to provide the donor set of lungs that Penny needs to free her from the constraints of cystic fibrosis.
As doctors battle to save Ashlyn’s life, she leads her forces against the Dark Lord in a desperate conflict in the streets of an imaginary Manhattan --- while Penny must find the answer to her own destiny in a dying circle of firelight. Can the sisters rescue themselves—and each other?
A CIRCLE OF FIRELIGHT blends postmodern fantasy and real-world emotional conflict in a daring tale that will delight adult and young adult readers alike.
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"What Edmonds does especially well is to sprinkle fantasy and pop-culture references throughout, making the volume accessible even to readers who aren’t genre fans. What results is a charming tale that allows every reader to smile knowingly. A sturdy, well-crafted, and vibrant fantasy."
- Kirkus Reviews
"The execution is for the most part charming and clever, with lively dialogue, easy pacing, and fleshed-out protagonists... Edmonds’s novel evokes the magic of portal fantasies while grounding it with emotionally resonant relationships."
About the Author:
Curtis Edmonds is a writer and attorney living in central New Jersey. He is the author of two novels, WREATHED, a humorous contemporary romance set in the beach resort of Cape May, New Jersey, and RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY, a literary romance set in the mountains north of Atlanta.
His work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Untoward Magazine, Liberty Island, The Big Jewel, Yankee Pot Roast, and National Review Online. His book reviews appear on the Bookreporter website.
Blog Tour Organized By: YA Bound Book Tours
ASHLYN REVERE. Age, 23. Pisces. Recent graduate, University of North Carolina. Currently seeking her first job, preferably as an editorial assistant for a large New York publishing house. Ashlyn was born in central New Jersey, and graduated from high school there. When she was five years old, her younger sister was born with cystic fibrosis, a serious genetic disorder that results in the build-up of thick, ropy mucus in the lungs. Throughout her life, Ashlyn has had to play a significant role in her sister’s care—which she has often resented. Ashlyn worked hard in high school to develop as an athlete, primarily to earn a scholarship to an out-of-state college. She studied English at North Carolina, and starred on the field hockey team until a mysterious injury knocked her out in the first game of her senior year. Ashlyn is tall and pale, with ash-blonde hair that she wears in a utilitarian ponytail. She has attractive, regular features, but no one would ever describe her as pretty. In her junior year, she dated a senior at UNC—but he dumped her after he was accepted to Stanford Law School. She has dated occasionally, but draws the line at jerks and Duke students. Ashlyn is a lifelong fan of fantasy literature, thanks in part to the influence of her father. Ashlyn tore through the Harry Potter books at a young age, and then started working through her father’s collection of vintage fantasy paperbacks. She wrote her senior thesis at UNC on similarities in theme between Ursula LeGuin’s novels and Virginia Woolf’s short stories. As the novel opens, Ashlyn has returned to New Jersey and is temporarily back in her childhood bedroom, looking for the job opening that will guarantee her independence. PENELOPE “PENNY” REVERE. Age 18. Taurus. Preparing for her senior year of high school—except that she will be home-schooled yet again due to her cystic fibrosis. She has logged significant time in children’s hospitals in Morristown, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. She is currently number 37 on the nationwide lung transplant list. If she does not receive a lung transplant, she is likely to die before age 40. As a CF patient, she is under the constant risk of infection. While she has attended school at times, she has spent most of her young life either at home or in hospitals. She is very close to her older sister Ashlyn and her two younger brothers. She is an inveterate reader of both classic romantic fiction and modern bodice-rippers. Unlike Ashlyn, who is somewhat reserved, Penny is a classic extrovert. She is talkative, and often sarcastic. She is a huge fan of the “Hamilton” soundtrack, and her dearest wish is to see the play in person. She has strong negative opinions about doctors and health care in general, and has been caught several times sneaking out of hospitals to get snacks. She does not know when to keep her mouth shut. ANDREW “DREW” KINGMAN, M.D. Age 31. Sagittarius. Assistant Professor of Neurology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Graduate of Louisiana State University and the University of Nebraska Medical School. Completed residency at Emory University in Atlanta, where he became a loyal Atlanta Braves fan. After residency, Dr. Kingman got a job at the Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, working primarily as a clinician but also teaching at the medical school. He was consulted to care for Ashlyn and Penny following a car accident that left them both with severe head injuries. Dr. Kingman is from rural southern Louisiana. His home was devastated during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as he was preparing to enter LSU. He has not returned to Louisiana since graduation except for short visits, and has worked to correct his accent (although he still enjoys cooking Cajun specialties). He is devoted to his patients, to the point of affecting his home life. He is single and feels as though he is too busy for a relationship. He is shorter than average, with a slight build and would almost be handsome except for the dark circles under his eyes. NICHOLAS. Age: indeterminate. Talking Rabbit. Ashlyn’s mentor and guide through the dangers of Summervale. Arch sense of humor, BBC Received English accent. Not somebody to mess with. T.J. VALENTINE. Age: indeterminate. Bad boy, standing in the shadows. Regional manager for the Dark Side. Rides with Ashlyn in the climatic battle that will shape the destiny of Summervale. Fond of leather coats.