• Alex Lopez

Be wary of the Garden

There is a violet haze is coming from the edge of your garden. A new path opens past a row of thorns and a faraway tune calls you like a siren.

But beware!

The end of the path may lead you to the Garden.

Marlena Frank takes readers down an Oz-like land alongside Shaleigh. There is a great sense of adventure that is derived from Shaleigh's love of urban exploring and photographic documentation. When she is not with her best friend, she spends the majority of the time caring for her father with mental health issues. On the day, Shaleigh realizes that there is a mark growing on her back, she is attacked by a mysterious stranger and the gateway to the Garden is opened.

However, this darker version of Wonderland is no tea party. From an animated stone lion named Mawr to fairies, Frank blended an interesting world that will appeal to readers of Melissa Albert's The Hazel Wood and Mindee Arnett's Onyx & Ivory. I definitely enjoyed seeing such a great female protagonist who uses her creative faculties to survive this chess board world where one misstep could mean an end game.

About the Book

Stolen by Marlena Frank

Pub. Date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 342

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo

It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted.

In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy...

Book Trailer:

About Marlena

I write about strange creatures. Typically they shouldn’t exist, or they have bled through from a different reality, or they’re pretending to be a crying baby in a crib. Sometimes that lands my stories in horror and other times in fantasy, but there’s always an air of strangeness to my tales. If you want to get a better feel for what I’m talking about, check out a few clips or read a few drabbles.

My work has appeared in a spattering of short story collections, but I do have a few novellas and novels in the pipeline. Other than talking about writing, I also talk about cryptozoology, werewolves, wildlife conservation, and of course kitties. I’ve also been known to nerd out about Batman and The Hobbit, and have recently discovered the cracktastic fun of Black Butler cosplay, so there will likely be more of these incidents.

By day I work as a web developer, so I’ll occasionally talk about web issues like finding the right theme.

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