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Blog Tour: Quintessence by Jess Redman (Excerpt + Giveaway!)

Posted August 7, 2020 by Kait in Book Tours, Excerpt, Giveaways / 0 Comments

Blog Tour: Quintessence by Jess Redman (Excerpt + Giveaway!)

Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the QUINTESSENCE blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an excerpt of the book to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about QUINTESSENCE and Jess Redman!

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Blog Tour: Quintessence by Jess Redman (Excerpt + Giveaway!)Quintessence by Jess Redman
on July 28, 2020
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 384
Goodreads

Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she told her parents that they did. Every day she feels less and less like herself.
Then Alma meets the ShopKeeper in the town's junk shop, The Fifth Point. The ShopKeeper gives her a telescope and this message:​Find the Elements.Grow the Light. Save the Starling.​That night, Alma watches as a star—a star that looks like a child—falls from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and with the help of some unlikely new friends from the Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of astronomy, a little bit of alchemy, and her whole self.
QUINTESSENCE is a stunning story of friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you you.

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Chapter Fourteen

The stars took Alma’s breath away

Through the quintescope, she could see far more of them than without. Thousands more, millions more, stars hiding in places that had seemed black and blank. 

They weren’t just silvery white either. Through the quintescope, they appeared in startling detail. They were icy blue and molten yellow and blazing red, each with a gleaming golden sphere at the center. The sky was a box of jewels. The sky was a fireworks display that extended and expanded endlessly, forever. 

As old as it was, the quintescope moved at Alma’s slightest touch, guiding her around the universe. She moon-gazed for a while, following the paths of the craters and pits, then journeyed from star to star to star. 

She paused on a small, golden-centered copper star. It was surrounded by other stars and it wasn’t particularly noteworthy except that it seemed extra shimmery. Alma imagined, as she watched it, that each twinkle was a message. 

What are you saying, star?she wondered. Can you see me down here?” 

Then, in an instant, in less than an instant, the star was gone, lost in a wave of rapidly expanding, color-saturated light. 

Alma jerked her head back, and the quintescope swiveled away. She lunged for it, and pressed her eye against the ring of the eye piece, hard enough that she felt its circle imprinting on her skin. Her fingers fumbled with the focus knob and twisted too fast, too far, light smearing across the blackness. She slowed down, turning back, pivoting the quintescope. 

Where the star had been was now an ocean of light, vast and chaotic and as full of dust as the light in the Fifth Point had been. Alma knew there was a name for the wild, terrible, beautiful thing she was witnessing, but she couldn’t remember what it was

Then she saw itright below the light and dust, streaking down ward, copper and swift and gold-centeredthe star that Alma had seen before. 

The star was falling. 

And as she stared, following the path of the light, Alma saw that it was no longer just a star. There was something else where the gold sphere had beena brighter, burning something that made her gasp. 

Because it looked like a person. It looked like a golden person was falling from the sky. 

Down, down, down came the star until it was so big and so close that Alma pulled away from the quintescope, and there it was, in front of her eyesa cape of fire and a glowing ball and inside of it, no longer golden but fiery copper, an unmistakably human shape. 

And not just human. A childa girl, perhaps. A girl in a star,Alma whispered to herself. Ama Starling!” 

Alma couldn’t remember the exact words, but she knew the ShopKeeper had mentioned Starlings right at the end, right when he’d said so many things she didn’t quite understand. The Starlingif that was what she waswas beneath the clouds now, close to Earth. Alma could make out long hair streaming above her head and dark places where two eyes and a mouth would be. Her thin arms and legs were spread out from her small, compact body. 

The world seemed to be silent. Alma felt as if everything had stopped, absolutely everything, except for this falling, shining, luminous thing. 

Then the Starling reached the tops of the trees that grew behind Alma’s new house, and there was a crashing of leaves and branches

And then there was a flash like a great bolt of lightning and a boom that shook the house. 

And thennothing. Alma was left kneeling on the roof in a dark, silent night. 

She gulped in the air she hadn’t been breathing. Her hands were shaking. Her whole body was shaking. 

“What should I do?” she said, and her voice was shaking too

The first answer that came to Alma was this: Save the Starling

That, she remembered now, was what the ShopKeeper had said. Save the Starling. She should climb down from the roof. She should cross the backyard she had never set foot in and walk to the edge of the woods where the sound and the light had come from. She should go and save the Starling. 

But this answer was overwhelming. This answer made Alma’s heart pound and her throat tighten. Neighbors would have seen the light, would have heard the noise. Her parents must have too. What if they came outside to investigate? She should not be on this roof in the middle of the night. She should not have opened the door to the Fifth Point. She should not have waited, should not have listened to that strange Shopkeeper’s confusing ramblings about homes and Starlings and elements. 

What should she do? “Nothing,” she answered herself. “There’s nothing to be done.” 

Alma didn’t look through the quintescope again. She disassembled it with trembling fingers, shoved the pieces into the soft red cushion, and latched the case shut tight

Then she crept back through the window, closed it as quietly as she could, and climbed into bed. She lay there, wide awake, and she tried not to think about the golden child who had fallen out of the sky

She tried not to think about anything at all.

 From Quintessence.  Copyright © 2020 by Jess Redman and reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers.

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Jess Redman is a therapist and author of books for young readers with FSG/Macmillan. Her first book, THE MIRACULOUS, was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2019, an Amazon Best Book of 2019, and was called “layered, engaging, and emotionally true” in a Kirkus starred review. Her second book, QUINTESSENCE, releases on July 28th.  The book was featured in OwlCrate Jr.’s subscription box and was described as “a fanciful adventure with a rich emotional core and a fairy tale” by Publishers Weekly. Her third book, THE ADVENTURE IS NOW, is scheduled for publication in May 2021. Redman currently lives in Florida with her husband, two young children, an old cat named SoulPie, and a fish named Annie.

 

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Week One

7/27/2020

Little Red Reads

Review

7/27/2020

BookHounds YA

Interview

7/28/2020

Nerdophiles

Review

7/28/2020

The Try Everything

Review

7/29/2020

Hurn Publications

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7/29/2020

Jotted by Jena

Review

7/30/2020

Rajiv’s Reviews

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7/30/2020

onemused

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7/31/2020

Do You Dog-ear?

Review

7/31/2020

She Just Loves Books

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Week Two

8/3/2020

PopTheButterfly

Review

8/3/2020

TheReadingCornerforAll

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8/4/2020

Here’s to Happy Endings

Review

8/4/2020

Twirling Book Princess

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8/5/2020

Book-o-Craze

Review

8/5/2020

Wonder Struck

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8/6/2020

notinjersey

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8/6/2020

Two Chicks on Books

Interview

8/7/2020

Two Points of Interest

Review

8/7/2020

Kait Plus Books Excerpt

Enter here to win a print copy of QUINTESSENCE by Jess Redman!

(US Only!)

Doesn’t this book sound amazing? I’ve added it to my tbr, have you added it to yours? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!

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