Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Great Big Ocean Sky by Kelly Byrd @GoddessFish

Great Big Ocean Sky

by Kelly Byrd

GENRE: Mid-grade Fantasy


Book Two of the Far from Home Trilogy

Catch up with Mary Jingo as she trains with her friends in the Great Big Ocean Sky-side city of Festdelm. She may have survived the danger in Luminos, the City of Lights, but new challenges await as she, Teeny, Van Clare, Corb, Mikeala, and WindRunner continue their fight to save the Everything. When a new Shadowlander comes to LeeChee, will Mary be able to trust him—even if he is one of her closest friends?

Join Mary Jingo and her motley crew as they travel to the far ends of the world on their quest to save the Everything.

As more of LeeChee falls under Thrall, Mary must choose wisely. Whom will she trust? What bonds will endure? And... how did a Yorkshire Terrier end up as a part of this crazy experience?

The answers, dear reader, await inside as we set sail on the Great Big Ocean Sky.

This book will be on sale for only $0.99.

Buy Great Big Ocean Sky

Amazon Kindle ~ Amazon Print ~ Barnes & Noble ~ IndieBound


WindRunner shot into the air, following the great ‘Dragon through the sky. Peregrina’s wake was strong and fast, and WindRunner put himself in the center of her air stream. Mary looked around, sensing for the other Thoughtdragons that had attacked the Garnet Revenge, but did not feel them.

It doesn’t mean they aren’t nearby, WindRunner said.


Do not become overconfident with this power, Mary Jingo. The Thoughtdragons are dangerous. Older even than my Kin. While I face the same temptation as you—I am drawn to her great power—remember that Peregrina wanted to be found. Otherwise, we would not have been able to follow her.

That couldn’t be possible, Mary puzzled to herself. She had known where Peregrina was. Mary had made this decision to follow Peregrina, hadn’t she? A stab of doubt hit Mary in the chest. Had they walked into a trap?

Peace, Warrior, WindRunner said soothingly. Peregrina wanted us to follow her. I don’t think she will harm you. I think she wishes to speak with you. Or, that is what Mikeala said to me before we left the boat.

You had a private Mindspan with Mikeala?

Yes. She told me I should take you if you wished to go.

Private Mindspans are rude when they are about someone else. The Father says so.

WindRunner laughed in her mind.

Suddenly, Peregrina stopped in midair and whipped around. WindRunner dove to keep from running straight into her serpentine length, ending their conversation. Peregrina beat her wings softly to stay stationary, and WindRunner flew around until he was face to face with the great Thoughtdragon.

Mary’s stomach sank. The last time she had been face to face in the air with someone like this, it had been the evil Mellie. She had won that battle, but only barely. She was not certain she could win a battle like that again. Peregrina was even more terrifying than Mellie. Her head was twice the size of WindRunner. The Thoughtdragon only needed to barely open her mouth to swallow them both whole.

WindRunner sent courage through their bond, but Mary felt his unease. He was being strong for her, just like she wanted to be strong for him. Peregrina spoke then to them both, her voice rich, gravelly, and musical, like a bass note dropped beneath a perfect melody.

Well, you followed me out here, Shadowlander. What is it that you want?” She slithered her great head to the side as she said this, and Mary felt and smelled the Thoughtdragon’s untamed power. It blotted out her fear.

I need your scales. Three of them. We need them in LeeChee. The Everything is shrinking, and I am fighting with the Resistors. We are trying to save it,” Mary said, breathing deeply. She spoke clearly and with confidence. “Please help us, great Peregrina.”

The ‘dragon shook her head and laughed.

Save it? Save the Everything with my scales? Child, in your tiny mind, I might as well be the Everything. You cannot save the Everything with the Everything. And that world, that island, has been pitiful and beyond saving for many annuals now. Your Keeper is the size of a child. Don’t you see? It is lost. Go home to your dark, dark world and leave us in peace. Your People are causing the problem anyway.”

My People?” Mary responded, trying to hide the hurt in her voice.

Yes—you Shadowlanders. The Everything is created in the Shadowlands. It cycles up and up to places like LeeChee to be kept safe. Over time, it drifts back down to the Shadowlands and the cycle continues, with the ebb and flow of time. Do they not teach you anything in school down there?” Peregrina paused and turned her livid golden eyes to WindRunner.

And you, the Lumon’s son. Bound by oath to protect a girl from the Shadowlands. Why have you done this?”

She can save us,” WindRunner blasted back.

Can she?” Peregrina replied with a grin on her giant mouth. “How? It is the greed of her People that has caused the blight in your lands. They don’t go outside anymore. They are trapped in their own heads, in their own tribes. They don’t listen to each other. They hardly interact with anyone who doesn’t think exactly how they do. How does one child heal rifts and tears that are hundreds of years old? This is why the Everything shrinks. Do you not know, WindRunner, son of Spearwing? Or are you all much too blind to see it?”

Mellie is to blame for the Void. Mellie has been warping the Everything to her own purposes,” Mary said, yelling across the distance.

Fool! Mellie was once like your precious Mikeala. As tall as a mountain and charged with keeping the Everything and the flow of the Cycles safe. She could no more turn the Everything into the Void than I can. It is against her nature. But to regain her former strength and form, she may have been tempted to help someone corrupt the Everything. The Void is powerful, even if it is unnatural. She may be helping the flow of the Void, but no, no. She did not create it.”

Her scars,” Mary said to herself and WindRunner, thinking of the marks that marred the woman’s face. “Her scars are from the Void.”

Yes,” Peregrina said. Her hearing must be excellent to perceive Mary over such a distance. “Yes. She has paid dearly in service to the Void.”

You must help us,” Mary cried desperately. “Mikeala said you brought me out here to talk to me. Help me. I know you can.”

The giant Thoughtdragon swirled her body in the air in front of Mary. Small flames burst from her mouth when she laughed. Mary could feel their heat as they crackled in the air.

Why would I help you? As I said, the greed of your people is what is causing LeeChee to die. It will grow dark and cold and fade, and me and my kind will visit it no more. And your land will suffer, Mary Jingo. As we have all suffered.”

Please—you cannot let this happen.”

How dare you!” Peregrina boomed. Her jaws opened wide. “How dare you accuse me of letting anything happen. It breaks my very being to know that LeeChee will fall into darkness and the Void, but I cannot intervene. Your People, you Shadowlanders, with your pride and your lack of imagination, your desperation for profit. You will kill LeeChee. I allowed you to follow me here because I wanted to see your face before I send you back to that darkened world of the Shadowlands. You don’t belong in LeeChee, Mary Jingo. You will only make things worse.”

Peregrina dove towards Mary and WindRunner, spinning her long body in the air and flapping her wings hard. WindRunner, always ready for attack, spun out of the way, as Mary gripped the handholds. She cast for Peregrina’s power, but found herself blocked from it.

WindRunner. She has shielded me. I cannot channel or control.

Sensing Mary’s fear, WindRunner burst through the air, the giant ‘dragon following swiftly behind. Peregrina was bigger, which WindRunner used to his advantage, banking and turning quickly through the air, making it hard for the Thoughtdragon to follow. Mary found herself dizzy and out of sorts, casting about for ideas. WindRunner blasted a mighty caw at the Thoughtdragon and watched as a jet of light shot from his beak and hit Peregrina squarely between the eyes. She roared angrily, then continued her wild pursuit.

Interview with Kelly Byrd

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I have written two books, both in the Far From Home Series. The first is called City of Lights, and the second is Great Big Ocean Sky. Out of the two, I think Great Big Ocean Sky is my favorite. We learn so much more about the world of LeeChee in the book and it’s just so fun! But, in reality, you can’t have one without the other. So, I’d recommend reading both if you want to go on an adventure with Mary Jingo.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

I am working on the final book in the series! It doesn’t have a title right now, but it is in the oven baking as we speak. It will wrap up Mary Jingo’s journey in LeeChee and solve the many mysteries and questions set out in the books.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

These three books are definitely a series, but I don’t know if I’ll build on the world of LeeChee going forward. I have an idea for a science fiction story that I want to work on once these stories are concluded, and then, from there, we’ll see. I have a soft idea for a spin-off series from this one, but only time will tell.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

The titles of the books usually come to me as I’m writing them. Once I’m a little way into the story, a place name or a person’s name will jump out at me, and I’ll instinctively know that I have found the title.

How long did it take you to write this book?

This particular book, Great Big Ocean Sky, took me about two years to complete. That being said, I had been working on the world of LeeChee and its characters for more than ten years before crafting the series in full.

What does the title mean?

The Great Big Ocean Sky is the space around LeeChee. It’s where the Rough Riders go out to find Thoughtdragons and fish for their very potent scales. Since this is where one of the pivotal scenes of the book takes place, it felt like an appropriate title.

What did you learn when writing the book?

I learned so, so, so many things!. Most importantly, I learned that having confidence in your voice as an author is so important to keep an audience interested. The less I hold back as an author, the more the reader will get out of the story.

What surprised you the most?

I was most surprised at how difficult editing this book would be. I had to kill a lot of darlings in the process and it was not always fun. But, through that editing process and the difficulty, I think I found something very good. I’m extremely proud of this work.

Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

Not yet! But it’s definitely a possibility.

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

The characters live in my head and they are so noisy! Usually, I find myself in dialogue with them while I’m writing. This sounds like a strange phenomenon, but I’ve learned it’s more common in writers than you would think. Once I’m “talking” with a character, I usually get a good sense of where they want to go and what they want to do within the storyline. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Stories have crept around the halls of Kelly Byrd’s mind since she was a little girl. Not even the combined will of her two loyal pups, her devoted husband, and all her house plants could keep her from putting this story into the world. You’ll find this happy crew in Nashville. Tennessee.

Connect with Kelly Byrd

Website ~ Blog ~ Instagram



$25 Amazon/BN GC 

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Marcy Meyer said...

The cover looks great. Sounds like a good story.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

We appreciate you hosting today. Thank you!

Kelly Byrd said...

Thank you so much for hosting! <3 <3

Sherry said...

This sounds like a good book and I really like the cover.

marisela zuniga said...

very good excerpt, thank you for sharing

Daniel M said...

looks like a fun one