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It feels like I’ve been writing about nothing but my new releases lately, but this isn’t one of mine. Well, I helped publish it, but it was written by Ariadne Frey, an incredibly talented 14-year-old girl who wrote one of the most original stories I’ve read in recent years. Titled “Of Monsters and McQuinn,” it is the first book in her Hands series.

Hands | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

As you may tell by the awesome cover (designed by Alex Saskalidis and illustrated by Dimitris Fousekis, who has illustrated my Smile series), the heroine is, well, a hand. A sentient hand at that, thanks to a magical spider. The Lazarus spider digs into graves and likes to bite the limbs of dead people. This has the surprising side effect of making said limbs come to life. Unseen, they burrow underground where they have started their own civilization. One that, inevitably, clashes with humans – and various other monsters.

As the blurb explains:

“My name is Parrot McQuinn, and that isn’t even the strangest thing about me.
I am twelve years old.
I have brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles.
And I am not human.”

Is Parrot McQuinn a monster?
Or are the monsters the ones who are after her?

Who is Mia Gower, and why does no one know she exists?

What makes someone a friend… and, come to think of it, what makes someone a monster?

Of Monsters and McQuinn is only $2.99 on Amazon. If you read and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review.