Saturday, October 22, 2016

"Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls" by T. S. DeBrosse

Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls
(The Hazy Souls Book 1)
by T. S. DeBrosse

Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls is the first book in The Hazy Souls series by T. S. DeBrosse. The author stops by today to share an excerpt. Best of all, the book is currently FREE (if it's not free for you on Amazon, please visit one of the other retailers below). Also available: Jeremy Chikalto and Leviathan Island and Jeremy Chikalto and the Demon Trace.

Jeremy Chikalto claimed for years he can look behind the air. When an angel delivers a cryptic message about the Apocalypse, a series of strange events draws Jeremy closer and closer to the core of things. What if a third entity was vying for power with God and the Devil? Why are Earth and the distant planet Watico so similar? When Jeremy crosses over to the Haze, the line between light and dark blurs. Who is he? What is he? Can a crude prince become a cosmic martyr? Enter a world where angels, demons, ghosts, aliens, and volcanoes are bound together by prophesy.

Book Video

Jeremy sniffled and stared at the air in front of him. If only he could will it to happen, right now, while he was prepared. “Come on air, whatever you are.” He breathed in deeply and focused on a spot ten inches from his face. Everything blurred together: the elaborate tapestries, book shelves with tall ladders set on casters leaning against them, and the large window opening to a dusk sky. Jeremy focused on a point. For a second, he thought he felt a zap. Then, nothing. He shook his head, grabbed his pillow, and chucked it at the wall. A picture that his mother painted crashed to the floor, scattering shards of glass across the marble.
“Calm down,” mewed Lyrna.
Jeremy slitted his eyes and felt his rage boil. His vision blurred and his mind swarmed and then everything went dark.
On a rocky desert plain, baked by the noontime sun, two armies were gathering. One camp was clad in animal skins and armed with crude spears and slings, faces hidden in wild beards and hair. They were banging their spears on their wooden shields and shouting "Yahweh!" The other camp, smaller in size, gathered in silence except for the clanging of iron. They wore iron helmets, breastplates, greaves, and boots, and carried swords and bows. The front line held out long spears behind iron shields as tall as the men.
The sea of iron parted and Vordin Chikalto, the founder of the Farmoore Galaxy, galloped to the front on a white horse. He wore white chainmail greaves and was naked from the waist up. A hot desert breeze blew back his long brown hair. He was sharp-featured and carried a massive flail.
"Is this it, then?" he shouted. "The blessing of the Lord is a curse on the righteous, and his curse is a blessing for the fool! In his mercy he is cruel, and in his cruelty he is merciful. Since I defied you by showing mercy, am I in your graces for butchering your people? And what does the Lord love more than an offering of flesh?"
Vordin swung his flail, and the iron men began to march forward. The men in animal skins, who had no leader save the One, roared and charged towards the wall of spears. Arrows flew, and the sky was darkened. Right before the contact, there was a cascade of lightening bolts, and the air tore open. Vordin and the iron men were sucked into the rift, and it closed. The people of Yahweh fell to the ground and worshipped the One.
Jeremy came to and sat up from the floor. His brow was covered in sweat. "I blacked out. Lyrna!"
Lyrna ran to him and licked his hand.
“I need fresh air!” Jeremy jumped to his feet. "I need to keep it together." Jeremy ran out into the hallway, slamming his bedroom door closed behind him.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls was extremely awesome and I'm ready to start book two! I highly recommend it, especially if you love surreal and unusual stories with gripping characters. I love Labyrinth [...], and several times while reading Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls, the book's oddness, mixed with adventure and touchingly loyal yet strange support characters reminded me of that movie." ~ Amazon Customer
"This is a very enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone who likes Fantasy. Ignore the blurb on the back cover- it's not descriptive enough. [...] I am disappointed that I have to wait until next spring for the next book- But by then, I think this will be a bestseller. Why shouldn't it be? It is very creative, enjoyable, and Debrosse has a lot of potential as a writer." ~ DG
"Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls is the thinking reader's Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Debut author DeBrosse creates a unique and complex mythology (think: biblically-inspired science fiction where Jackson uses Greek mythology) to frame her story, and it's a refreshing alternative to many YA authors who build off of another already-established fantasy world. The world that you'll encounter in DeBrosse's novel is totally original - you won't get a setting or story like this anywhere else. That, in itself, is a reason to pick up the book. And it's not the only reason I loved this novel. While DeBrosse's inventiveness makes this a truly outstanding read, at the heart of it all is an exciting story. It's got just the right amount of intergalactic travel and battle to please your inner sci-fi nerd, and just enough romance to keep you turning the pages. [...] When I finished the book, it was 1am, and all I wanted to do was talk to someone about it. It's that kind of book - it will stick to you long after you're finished." ~ Amazon Customer
"This book was really good! I have never read anything like it before and I can't wait for the next book! The ending has me anxious!" ~ Emily S.

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Fourteen-year-old Jeremy Chikalto is the heir to the kingdom of the planet Watico, established when his people were banished from Earth many years ago. Jeremy is arrogant, rude, mean, and not very well-liked. There's also something a bit strange about him: he sees hazy patches, hears voices, and experiences blackouts. When Jeremy is sent off to boarding school on a neighboring planet, he is kidnapped along with Maren and Lyrna the fizdrust (a kind of talking cat). This sets off a chain of events that could have a disastrous effect on the entire universe.
This story is a blend of young adult science fiction, fantasy, thriller, and romance. It brings us an exciting, original concept, especially the world of Mantel's Maze, which is populated by an assortment of interesting creatures. The author maintains a brisk pace by rapidly switching between scenes. As the story progresses, we can see the growth in Jeremy, as he gradually becomes a better person. I look forward to seeing even bigger changes in him as the series continues.

About the Author
Tiffany Slotwinski DeBrosse grew up in Mantua, New Jersey, and spent her childhood engaging in imaginative play with her friends and family. Tiffany attended Rutgers University, where she majored in English and Women's and Gender Studies, and was a Leadership Scholar at the Institute for Women's Leadership. After teaching English in South Korea and making documentary films for the Rutgers Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Tiffany moved to San Francisco, California, where she received her MA in English Creative Writing. Today, Tiffany enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and film-making.