"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Excerpt: FLOWER MOON by Gina Linko (MG)

Hello, friends! 

I am so over the moon to be able to share with you an excerpt of one of my most anticipated middle-grade books for 2018 called FLOWER MOON... it is about "sisterhood, carnivals, and summer magic!" Once you read this excerpt you will agree with me that this is definitely a book to keep an eye out and read as soon as it is released!

by Gina Linko
Expected release date: January 2nd, 2018
Published by: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Middle-Grade Magical Realism/Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, eBook


Tempest and Tally Jo Trimble are mirror twins - so alike they were almost born the same person - and they've been inseparable since birth. But it's the summer they turn thirteen, and it seems like everyone can tell something is changing between them.

Pa Charlie, whose traveling carnival is the best part of every summer, is watching them closer than ever. 
Digger, who sneaks poor kids onto the carnival rides for free and smiles faster than anyone, seems to be fixing for a fight.
Even Mama is acting different, refusing to travel with the carnival this year even though her own twin, who she hasn't seen since childhood, will be there.

And Tally and Tempest are the most different of all. There's a strangeness between them, a thickness to the air, an unseen push and pull, and it's getting stronger. It starts with a feeling, but soon it's sputtering and sparking, hurling them backward, threatening to explode.

When Tally learns that she and Tempest may not be the first twins in their family to be separated by whatever this force is, she realizes she'll have to find a way to stop it - or she might lose not only her sister but everyone she loves. 


The light show was really something. Purples and reds, blues and whites, and a couple of umbrella-shaped oranges and yellows. The sparks erupted in the sky, dazzling. They dangled there for a moment before tapering off into nothingness.
I found myself wishing Tempest was with us. She would love this, I thought.
Or would she? She would’ve last summer. But now, she spent more and more time on her own, with her box of bolts and her trips to the junkyard for parts.
I shook the thought away, the smile fading from my face, and I knew Digger’s eyes were on me.
“You’re different,” he said. He lit a bottle rocket and tossed it away from us.
“No, I’m not,” I said, scowling. “You’re different.”
“I guess I am,” he said, and I could hear something in his voice, something new. I didn’t like it. “Playing on the eighth-grade baseball team next fall,” he boasted. “My curveball is the best in three counties.” He sort of stuck his chest out when he said this.
“You’re still a pain in the butt to me.”
And with that, he laughed, his car-engine laugh, and he sounded like my Digger again.
That’s when Tempest appeared out of nowhere, scaring me half to death. “Why’d you leave me behind?” she said, folding her arms over her chest.
I shrugged.
“We didn’t know where you were,” Digger said.
“Fat Sam let me look through his old bicycle parts.”
“Find anything good?” I asked. I was trying to be interested in Tempest’s quest for gadgets galore.
Tempest nodded. “A vintage speedometer. Some cogs and ball bearings.” She shrugged and started to root around in the bag of fireworks. Digger took off across the field to set up a line of bottle rockets.
“Here, let me light that for you,” I said, striking a match for Tempest, who had chosen a big chrysanthemum.
But when I got close to her, there it was. That strange something again, just like that day in the science lab.
But stronger. It exploded between us, pushed me back from her in a jolt of energy, a hissing whoosh of air. I nearly fell back on my behind. I scuttled backward three steps, four, and the force still brushed my hair back. The match went out, and I stopped dead still.
“What in the world is this?” I asked. “You got some invention brushing me back, Tally? You pulling some kind of prank?”
“No . . .”
Digger’s bottle-rocket succession exploded and the noise jolted me.
Tempest and I stood about two feet away from each other, and I took another step closer. It wasn’t like I couldn’t do it; I could. But it was hard, like trying to propel myself through a wind tunnel. The air between Tempest and me, it was thick and fairly pulsing.
I ripped out another match and worked to strike it on the matchbook cover while Tempest eyed me all suspicious-like. I couldn’t get the darn match to strike.
“Let me try,” Tempest said, and then she reached out for the book in my hand. And I could see her struggle, see her eyes widen at how hard it was to push through the space toward me.
“What the heck is—”
            But I didn’t finish my sentence because as she reached toward me, and even before her hand grasped the matchbook, I watched one of the matches spark a weird, blue-purple color. In a blink, the whole book caught fire, every single match in one big hot flame.
“Whoa,” Digger yelped from where he stood nearby.
I hurled the fiery matchbook away, and it landed in a patch of brush near Tempest. The dried grass and brush crackled and caught fire. Tempest took several steps away from me, eyeing me closely.
“You better cut this out,” I said. “You’re—”
“It’s not me.” She busied herself stomping out the fire, and Digger joined in, muttering to himself.
I stared at them, scared to get too close.
When the flames were out, Digger turned his attention back to me. “What was that? You forget how to light a match?”
“I . . . um . . .” I let my voice trail off as I backed even farther away from Tempest, needing to lessen the pressure on my lungs. I snatched my inhaler from my pocket, took two long pulls. It was still there, coming at me in waves, settling between my eyes like a bad case of brain freeze. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t get a breath. “You got a drink of water?” I squeaked.
“Yeah,” Digger said, digging into his bag.
Tempest looked at me all funny. “I just remembered, I gotta go back . . .” she stammered. “I promised Pa Charlie . . .” She turned back for camp, and my breathing came easier with each bit of distance Tempest put between us.
Digger’s eyes were full of questions. “Here.” He gave me a bottle of water, and I took a pull. I felt better already, though.
Digger watched me, but I just ignored him like it was my job, draining the bottle of water.
Instead of peppering me with the twenty questions I was sure he wanted to ask, Digger let it drop.
Wonders never cease.
He took off toward the Spanish oak near the base of the hill. I watched Digger’s silhouette as he climbed up into its massive, kudzu-covered branches.
“Come on, Tally, you’re missing the view!” he yelled.
“Uh-huh,” I called. I ran toward the tree, but when I got up into the branches of that old oak, it wasn’t the view that drew my attention. Not the bright sickle moon in the sky or the lit-up constellations in the wide-open country sky. No, it was the tiny, disappearing figure of my sister running back to camp, small and alone, a silhouette against the lights of the carnival and flame of the campfire, her pigtails bouncing with each step she took.


Author of the middle-grade novel, FLOWER MOON, coming in January 2018 from Sky Pony Press.

YA author of INDIGO and FLUTTER, both from Random House Books for Young Readers.


  1. This book sounds lovely and sweet! I've now added it to my tbr :-)

    1. I'm happy to hear that you have added FLOWER MOON to your list too!
      Thank you for stopping by :)

  2. Sounds like a delightful and magical read! I can't wait!

    1. It does, doesn't it? Happy to hear you are looking forward to it too :)
      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment!
      Happy holidays!!!


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