Excerpt from The Fairness of Beasts by Gar LaSalle

Hello bookworms! I am so excited to share an excerpt from the upcoming novel The Fairness of Beasts by Gar LaSalle. This book releases on Tuesday, October 24 and is the third book in the Widow Walk series. I am in love with this cover and the book sounds even better!



The Fairness of Beasts by Gar LaSalle

Widow Walk Saga Book 3



February 15, 1861 Washington, District of Columbia

Sarah knew how they viewed her and her brother: “Lying bumpkins. “Yarn-spinners,” one of the other children had mocked. “Four steps behind in education and four miles behind in manners” she had heard been said by one of the older girls in the special school created for the children of congressmen and senators. But they weren’t tall yarns at all . . . about how a griz killed Marano Levy, bit through his head and jaw, it most certainly did, before he could get o another shot and then she had to help her mother and Jojo bury the poor man with his Spanish Bible in the frozen ground, – and how she had hit a drunk, naked Russian sea captain in the head with his own whiskey bottle when he was trying to mount her mother, – and how her step-father had been murdered and the Northerners took his head and showed it o , up and down the coast for weeks, and then her mother lost her baby, – and how she, because she was old enough while her mother was sick in a coma, had to help her Aunt Cory and Mrs. Crock- ett with the tiny fetus that would have been another brother if it had lived because she saw it was a boy before they buried him, – and how her brother Jacob, after he was kidnapped and then got rescued, had told her that he had bitten several of the Northerners who kidnapped him, – And how he thought the Devil, yes the Devil himself, had taken him, – and how the Northerners kept him tied up and beat him, and how Jacob thought he saw their father’s ghost when he was kept in the Northerner’s camp, and how he had started wet- ting his bed again and was setting res under their grandfather’s desk at his home up in Boston, because he dreamed the devils were coming back again, – and how she and Jacob and two other kids, little ones, had gotten lost in the Panama jungle during the train robbery when so many passengers had been murdered, and how they had been found by the Panama aborigines and were taken to their huts and kept, – and how the aborigines put tattoos on her and the other children’s faces and chests which kept the ies and mosquitoes away, and how the aborigines had decided to take them back to the railroad and just leave them at the side of the tracks, and how they never heard from their protector, Jojo again after that robbery, – and how the robber that had take their mother hostage down there had mailed her brother Jacob a huge diamond that had blood on it. And how their mother had a beau now and both she and Jacob thought he was what their mother needed, to pro- tect them maybe, even if their mother wasn’t so sure yet. They weren’t tall yarns. It was all true. But she and Jacob had to fight with the other children, especially the older ones in the school over and over again, every day it seemed, whenever they tried telling any of them about what had happened to them in the Pacific Northwest and down in Panama. She understood why they thought she was spinning yarns. She couldn’t prove any of it.
Her tattoos had faded away and the rest of the students at the Washington, DC school thought they were a lot smarter than her or Jacob because she and her brother didn’t read as well as they all did. Not yet, at least. She forgave them. She told Jacob he should do the same. Forgive them. Because their classmates were only children, after all. Children. No matter if they were the same age or even older than she was. No matter how the boys behaved, attractive brats that they were. It really didn’t matter at all because she was an old soul, after all, and there were more important things she had to worry about. There was a war going on now.

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Author Website

Buy the book here!



Blog tour – Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris

I’m going to talk about a book today that is not my typical read. I very rarely spotlight middle grade books, but when I was asked to participate in the blog tour for Mustaches for Maddie I jumped at the chance to talk about this book. I hope you learn something about a resilient little girl named Maddie and pick up a copy for yourself! Thank you to Smith Publicity for asking me to join the tour.


Goodreads summary:

Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for the fake mustaches she carries in her pocket. She likes to make people laugh and slapping on a mustache, especially a fuzzy pink or neon green one, always gets a smile. Maddie hopes that the class queen, Cassie, will find her mustaches as funny as she does and want to play with her at recess. She’s been self-conscious lately because her right arm only feels normal when it’s curled against her chest and she’s constantly tripping over her feet. But that’s probably just part of growing up and not something weird, right?

When Maddie’s arm continues to bother her, her parents take her to a doctor who gives them a shocking diagnosis: the cause of the abnormal behavior of her limbs is a brain tumor and she must have surgery to remove it. She’s understandably afraid as he describes the procedure, but knows she must find a way to be brave and must face her fears–all of them–at the hospital, at home and at school.

She will need all of her courage not only to face her illness, but also to face Cassie at school. Both Cassie and Maddie are auditioning for the same role in the school play, but when Cassie accuses Maddie of lying about her tumor in order to get attention, Cassie’s bossiness turns into bullying.

And as Maddie’s surgery approaches, she begins to worry more and more about the outcome. What if something goes wrong? What if the doctors don’t get all the tumor out of her brain? What will happen to her family? What will happen to her?

It will take all of Maddie’s vibrant imagination, a lot of kindness-both given and received-and of course, the perfect mustache to overcome the tough stuff ahead of her.


Q&A with Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Where did you get the idea for this story?

This book was based on the true story of our daughter, Maddie. She thinks fake mustaches are hilarious, has a great sense of humor, and loves to act in plays. In February 2013, she was diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland pressing up against her brain. She courageously faced a very difficult situation, went through one successful surgery, and then later had to face another. Her brothers (she really has four brothers, and two of them are identical twins), teachers (Mrs. Acord and Mrs. Lyon), and friends were extremely supportive.

What about people putting on mustaches for Maddie? Was that real?

People really did put on mustaches, took pictures, and sent them to her, or posted them on the Internet with the hashtag #mustachesformaddie. (It was Jenny Mason’s idea. Thanks, Jenny, and thanks to everyone who made our girl smile.) There were hundreds, if not thousands. A few local news stations even did a stories about it. All those mustaches definitely cheered Maddie up.

Is the rest of the story true?

Maddie faced pressures and problems in school, though Cassie and the difficult situations that happened at the elementary school in this book were entirely made up. Though Yasmin, Lexi, Devin, and others were fictional characters, Maddie had many real friends who helped her. And Maddie did make up games to get more kids involved in her school.

Did Chad really have a book coming out when Maddie had her first surgery?

Chad, the father in the story, really was in a hospital room with his girl when his debut novel, Cragbridge Hall, The Inventor’s Secret hit the shelves. He canceled part of his promotional tour and doesn’t regret it at all.

This is the most important question: How did Maddie’s second surgery turn out?

Near the end of 2014, Maddie had a second surgery, and her doctors were able to not only remove a cyst that had grown on the remaining tumor tissue, but miraculously they also removed the rest of her tumor. As of 2017, no signs of the tumor have returned, though Maddie still has an MRI regularly to check. She was an amazing girl before the surgery and has grown to become even stronger, braver, and more caring through her experience.


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Mustaches for Maddie website

Chad Morris author website

Shelly Brown author website