Thursday, December 20, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Library of Absolution by Jennifer Derrick

Library of Absolution
Jennifer Derrick
(Legacy of the Book Mesmer, #1)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: December 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Alarick Brandon is the powerful wizard who operates The Keep, a refuge for magical people fleeing the persecution of the Ministry. A bitter realist, Alarick knows it’s only a matter of time until the Ministry succeeds in eradicating magic from the world—and exterminating all magical beings—so he has been careful to avoid any personal involvement with the people who pass through his sanctuary.
But when Elissa Stone arrives at The Keep, her village a smoldering ruin, and only her magical talent and a forbidden library left to her name, Alarick’s ordered world descends into chaos. Elissa is a Book Mesmer, a magical talent long believed extinct. She can enchant books, making them indestructible, unreadable…even deadly to unauthorized readers. But while her magic can secure a legacy for future magical generations, it’s not a skill that’s good in a fight, and certainly not one that Alarick sees any real use for. But there’s something compelling about a woman who defies the Ministry’s edicts against female literacy, and she seems determined to prove that knowledge is a weapon in its own right…
The first installment in an enticing new fantasy series by author Jennifer Derrick, The Library of Absolution is a compelling story of perseverance and determination in the face of persecution, in a Dark Age where hope is lost—and knowledge is the only thing left to fight for.

He dressed for bed and settled down to sleep, but sleep didn't come. After tossing and turning for an hour or so, he got out of bed, slipped back into his clothes, and crept out of the suite.

The library was his first stop. A few of the scholars were still at work. The library had become a twenty-four hour operation since their arrival.

"Excuse me," he said, interrupting the work of one man who, Alarick knew, was copying a book of potion recipes for him.

"Yes, sir?" the man asked. "Is everything all right?"

"Fine. Can you tell me where Adil sleeps?" Alarick asked the man.

"He rarely sleeps," the scholar said. "But at this time of night you are most likely to find him outside the gate, on the dune to the northwest of our village. It's not far. It's a clear night. You should have no trouble spotting him up there."

"Why does he go up there?"

The scholar shrugged. "It is not my place to ask, sir."

"Thank you," Alarick said and headed out into the night. Once outside the village walls, he pulled his cloak tighter around himself. The cold night wind, kept at bay by the walls of the village, blew freely out here, kicking sand into Alarick's face. What in the world could Adil find interesting about sitting out here in the middle of the damn night?

The scholar had been correct. Alarick had no trouble spotting the lone figure sitting atop the dune. He did have trouble climbing to the top. Sand was a foreign substance to him and staying upright as it ebbed and flowed beneath him was a challenge. He soon figured out how to work with it, however, and summited the dune.

Without a word, he sat down next to Adil who turned to him, only the faintest surprise on his face, as though he was expecting company.

"Why?" Alarick asked, indicating the sand on which they sat.

Adil shrugged. "I stopped sleeping through the night years ago. It made more sense to come out here than to fester in my room. Been doing it ever since. Look up," he said.

Alarick did and gaped at the number of stars and planets above him. Plenty were visible in England, but trees always blocked at least some of the view. Out here, the stars draped all the way to the horizon.

"Incredible," he said. "And humbling."

"Exactly. I'd rather come out here and watch this than stay inside and brood. Sometimes I can see a nomad camp or two," he pointed to a tiny flicker of light on distant sand. "And ever so often I think about running away to joining them. What brings you out here?"

"Looking for you," Alarick said.

"I figured you might come. You don't seem like you sleep much either, friend."

"Not for years. Between the Ministry, the Keep, and now—" he trailed off, uncertain how to continue.

"Ah. The relationship between yourself and Miss Stone of which, as she said, the exact nature eludes you both. But I think it no longer eludes you?" he asked, turning to face Alarick.

"I know what I want," Alarick began. "But I do not know what she wants. Or if what I want is the right thing, the best thing for her. I'm a selfish man, but I hesitate to impose my selfishness upon her."

Adil shrugged. "I was married once, but so long ago that I may not be the best person to give advice on such a situation."

"What happened?" Alarick asked.

"What happens to all of us. It was before we established this refuge. I was part of a small group of magicals living in an apartment inside Marrakesh. We were young and careless, heedless of the threat the Ministry presented. We all believed their reign wasn't so terrible or, at least, we were beneath their notice. What fools we were," he muttered.

"Sarah, my wife, was caught in the market one afternoon and executed because she was reading a merchant's menu to another woman who could not read. I'm not certain they even knew she was a witch. Just the fact that she could read was enough to get her killed."

"I'm sorry," Alarick said. "That is essentially why Elissa is now blind. Her literacy."

Adil shrugged. "It is what it is. If you're seeking my advice, it would be to find out what your lady wants. But you'd best find out before it's too late. Happiness is a rare thing for our kind in this world, and you might find it snatched from you on a sunny summer afternoon. Best grab it while you can. Your Book Mesmer seems to be a woman who knows her own mind. If she wants you, then it's the right, best thing. If she doesn't, well, there's plenty of room on this dune each night, friend."

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.
Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:


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