Excerpt Tour: City of Lights

I’m happy to welcome middle-grade author Kelly Byrd. Today, Kelly shares her new release, City of Lights.


What happens when oh so ordinary Mary Jingo, follows her instincts (and her nose) and ends up in a magical land Far From Home?

In City of Lights, author Kelly Byrd introduces readers to Mary, who is one week away from finishing fifth grade. Mary’s mind is on starting middle school in the fall and finally getting her own phone. But then this ordinary girl notices glimmers of light and meets a strange little man who conjures the best smell she has ever smelled. Before she even stops to consider what she’s doing, she agrees to accompany the man to the land of LeeChee, where our Mary Jingo from the Shadowlands in seen as warrior and a great hope.

Now this very ordinary girl must find a way to help save LeeChee from Thrall and restore the Everything—a magical life- and joy-giving force that somehow connects Mary’s world to LeeChee. How can she face the Void, the foul-smelling Shoeboxians, or the evil Mellie? And how can she do all of the Far From Home?


“How do you feel, Mary Jingo?” Heavy Dill asked. He was behind a table full of gadgets and instruments, some of them giving off a heavy smell of the Everything. His robes swished pleasantly as he walked back and forth.

“I think I’m okay. I feel, well, more or less normal. Showing everyone my memories really tired me out.”

Mary looked around at all the objects and instruments and wondered if she would get in trouble if she picked any of them up. She couldn’t try anyway, with her hands full of a hot teacup, which she remembered and slowly sipped.

“That was a powerful bit of controlling. Not many oracles or forecasters have that talent.”

Heavy Dill paused as if she were meant to respond. Mary only nodded silently.

“It seems to me that you have heard that phrase many, many times since you arrived here.”

Mary thought about all the things that she had done and been able to do since she arrived in LeeChee. She had disabled Flikes in the air, called a forest to her aid, sensed an entire army of Shoeboxians, and now shown People her memories. She was in awe of it all and still unsure what any of it meant. She looked up and Heavy Dill’s wise eyes were trained on her. She expected him to respond to her thoughts, as so many People here seemed to always know exactly what she was thinking.

“You have gotten better,” he said. “Better at what?”

“Better at shielding your thoughts.” “How do you know?”

“Because you were silent for a very long time, and the only thing that came across Mindspan was your wondering if I could hear your thoughts. So, either you spent that entire pause with nothing on your mind, or you have already figured out a way to quiet your mind.”

Mary felt shocked. This was yet another skill that she had just developed out of the blue.

Author Bio and Links

Kelly Byrd is a middle-grade author by choice, a writer by discipline, home-grown chef, and amateur gardener. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two cute-as-buttons rescue pups. The Far From Home series is about growing up, finding your voice, and rescuing the Everything.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon Buy Link


Kelly Byrd will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Kelly on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.


7 responses to “Excerpt Tour: City of Lights

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