Monday 3 March 2014

Finding Monsters by Liss Thomas Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Finding Monsters (Guardians of Esurack #1)
Release Date: 10/16/13

Summary from Goodreads:

Monsters are real but they're not what we'd expect. Their realm lays hidden only to be found in darkness. They watch their humans and keep them from the dark portals leading to their world. To touch is forbidden... but not all follow the rules.

Missy has been fighting to live her entire life, but when she finds herself in a realm of unique and sometimes deadly monsters, she discovers just how much of a survivor she really is. Accidentally transferred to this mysterious realm by her monster and only friend, Charlie, he finds himself weak and unable to protect her. The only way she can defend herself and him, is to become a monster herself. But an unknown dark stalker watches her progress and if he steals her power, he will unleash a scourge on both his world and the world she left behind.


Chapter 1 Excerpt – The Human

I knew I was dying. It’s weird the doctor felt the need to explain that to me. I hear him 
outside my bedroom talking to my mother, encouraging her to move me to a hospice. My mother refuses with hot indignation. I picture her flailing her arms and insisting I stay with the family ‘during this difficult time’. Truth is I’ve never really lived. I look around my bedroom, and where most teens have a stereo, sits a monitor for all the little gizmos attached to my body. 

No cool friendship beads or Hawaiian leis decorate the posts of my bed, just two IV drips with drug cocktails potent enough to subdue a lumberjack. Of course, it’s the drugs that make the disease bearable. Not completely free from pain, but the numbness helps. I hear my mother at the door again. She sneaks in silently just in case I’m asleep. I’m not.

“You’re still awake, Missy?” she asks, brushing her fingertips across my brow.
“Yes, Mom, I’m not really tired right now.” But I’m always tired and I sleep most of the day. I just enjoy looking out the window when the sun is bright and the clouds are scarce. I love watching the birds perch on the feeder that hangs from my window. They are my entertainment, and currently there is a rose finch noshing my seeds. I can’t sleep through this.

“Do you need anything, sweetheart?”“No. I’m fine. I know you have things to do. Don’t worry about me, Mom.” I try to sound cheerful so she won’t worry, but I know she’s in a constant state of worry. Flashing my bravest smile, I reach for her hand. I don’t wince, even though it is painful to move my stiff limbs. She holds my hand and kisses it before releasing her grip and retreating from the room. I can tell she’s going to cry again. I blow out a huge sigh.

A cool rush of air blows across my face. It feels good. The antiquated osculating fan was my idea. The ceiling fan kept me too cool but the floor fan blows air every few minutes making the air pleasant. The gust is strong enough to lift papers from the bedside table. The whoosh and crackle they produce bring back a memory, making me wince. Funny what you think of at times like this. The sound sends me back to my earlier childhood. I’m gripping the covers and stifling sobs into my pillow as I hear the other children playing outside my window, knowing I could never join them. Sometimes I would hear another sound coming from under the bed. As a child, I thought it was a monster. I was right. He’d softly call my name and ask if I could play with him. Once, I had the courage to look under the bed with a flashlight. Only the dust bunnies and missing socks greeted me, but I still heard his voice.

“Missy, come to me; let’s play.”Sometimes I would answer him. “I can’t today; I’m sick.” He would grow silent but I felt sure he never left. I laugh to myself thinking back on those memories and I swear I hear the monster calling me again.“Missy, come to me. Let’s play,” he calls from his hiding place.My muscles strain and it’s getting harder to breathe but I wheeze out, “I can’t today. I’m sick.” This time I’m startled to hear the monster laugh at me.“Please come play,” he says.

Chapter 6 Excerpt – The Monster

After washing and dressing, I make my way to the cooking fires to prepare breakfast for Missy and myself. I carry the tray of breads and fruits to her room. I knock. I knock again. Opening the door, I glance inside, ready to retreat if she is still sleeping. I panic. Missy is not in her room. Flinging open the door, I put the tray down. Her bed is made. I check the washing room which is also empty. I check my room just in case. Not there. I run to my parents’ room with my heart thrashing in my chest.

“Where is she?” I cry without preamble. “Where is she?”Mother comes to me and tries to calm my fears. “She left this morning before dawn. She has started her quest.”
“I don’t understand. What quest? Why didn’t she tell me? Who is protecting her?” I look in turn to each as I question them. I can’t think straight. The hurt inside is growing, increasing with my panic.

“Charlie, Missy has gone on a quest to become a monster. I explained to her what happened to you when you touched her. She wants you to be as you were. As she completes the tasks of her quest, she will gain traits of a monster, strengths and abilities you probably take for granted. She will grow stronger, and so will you.”I am reeling from the news. Did I want her to become a monster like me? Somehow, I always envisioned myself as a human for her. Staggering toward the window, I look out into the distance. I scan the horizon for any sign of her. She’s gone. My human is gone. “Who’s protecting her?” I ask not looking at them.

“This is a quest she must complete on her own, Charlie,” Mother says. I whirl in a rage. “You sent her into our world alone?” I let out a stream of curses as the hurt inside turns to nausea. I run from the room before either can stop me. I run through the halls, knocking over a servant before I reach the outer doors. I wrench them open and scream her name. Other bulls stop to stare at me as I continue yelling for my human to return to me. Father appears behind me.

“Enough, Charlie!” Father jerks me back inside and I slump to the polished stone floor in silence. Mother approaches me and kneels, her long cream dress bunching around her. “She left you a note.” She puts the letter in my hand and leaves with Father. I stare at the folded parchment, a tremor runs through me. I rise and storm to my room, slamming the door. I sit on my bed, unfold the letter, and begin to read:

“My dearest Charlie, please forgive me for leaving you like this, but I fear it’s the only way we will truly be together and happy. I don’t want you crippled by my presence and that is what has happened. It’s almost as though we’ve traded places; you are sickly now and I am well. Only this time, I have the power to make you whole again. I have received my first task in a series of three that will transform me into a monster. Your mother assures me that I will be able to change back to my normal appearance at will so I am not really changing that much at all, right? Don’t fear for me, my love, your mother has told me all I need to know about your world. I am currently on my way to challenge ‘The Devil’. It sounds worse than it is. I should return to you in three days. I wish you could be with me. Even a tiny bit of you to comfort me. The hurt I feel 
inside is worse than the pain I felt as a human. I know you are feeling it too. Dawn will be here soon, and I must leave before then. I love you with all my heart.


I read the note again and again. I won’t let her be alone. Moving toward the corner, I view my reflection in the full-length mirror. I grip the sides and stare for a moment before I speak.“Reflection! Come forth.” I stand back and watch as my reflection in the mirror steps though the pane in front of me. “I need you to find our human and stay with her. I only have the strength to transform you into a butterfly but she will know who we are in that form.” I pull up the shimmering blue light and transform my reflection into the swallowtail butterfly. I feel the drain on my strength but don’t care. I open the window and my reflection flies away in search of our human. I check my mirror and I can see all that it sees. Satisfied that we will be together soon, I turn the mirror so I can see it from the bed and lie down to conserve my strength.

“I’m coming, Missy … I’m coming.”

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About the Author

I love writing fantasy fiction and especially for young adults. Many of my stories contain real life issues that teens face and although there’s a fantasy element to the solution, my job is to provide hope that things will get better. I’ve seen too many articles about teens who end their lives over bullying. I’m working on a spin off series from The Guardians of Esurack and hope to use this subject throughout each book. Life is too short to give in to bullies. I hope I can make that clear through my writings.

Author Links:

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  1. I'm excited to read this book!

  2. The cover is gorgeous. Very eye catching. Excited to read this book! :)

  3. Really excited to read this book! :) xx

  4. Yay! Is that me there, winning name!!??!!

    1. I have no idea!! This was hosted by the author so either contact them or the tour host.