Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Man with the Crystal Ankh / The Girl Who Flew Away by Val Muller @goddessfish @mercuryval


10 Weird Things about Val Muller
Whenever I go to parties or other social events, I can’t help but think I’m the weirdest person I know. There are times when normal people are talking about normal things and I literally have nothing to contribute to the conversation. I used to regret not being normal, but I’ve come to embrace my uniqueness. So when the question “What are 10 weird things about you” came up, I was happy to oblige.

1. When I took morning classes in college, I would sometimes fall asleep while taking notes, and I’d end up writing what I was dreaming about. Once, it was something about an elephant and leaving fallow fields (taken during a medieval history class about farming). Once in a while, if I’m writing in a notebook in bed, I’ll still do this, writing strange sentences as I fall asleep.
2. In high school, I earned the nickname “Houdini” because I got changed for gym in about 12 second flat, without anyone being able to tell I was even changing.
3. My novel The Man with the Crystal Ankh sprang from a strange episode that happened to me during a violin lesson: our instructor had very chapped hands one day, and while demonstrating notes on my violin, the chapped hand bled, leaving two drops of blood on the neck of my instrument. My co-students and I (there were three of us) were too weirded out to say anything, so I just wiped it off with my cleaning rag. Years later, the image stuck with me, inspiring to combine supernatural occurrences with playing the violin.
4. I had a dream in which I met my great-grandmother, a woman who had passed away years before I was born, and in the dream she revealed a secret about my mother, which my mother later confirmed.
5. My mom and I once had matching dreams in which my recently-deceased grandmother was going to call my mom on the phone—and in my mom’s dream, she did.
6. I tested as an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, and in true fashion, I like to overanalyze everything. Watching movies with my husband, he will frequently sigh and hit “pause” while I go on long explanations and analyses of symbols and plot and characterization. He has long ago stopped asking why I can’t “just relax and enjoy movies like a normal person”.
7. My only normal socks are running socks; otherwise, I have two drawers full of holiday, cartoon, neon, and other novelty socks that have nothing to do with the outfit I am wearing.
8. As a kid, after watching The Dark Crystal, I thought I would sprout wings, since the main female protagonist had them. Most mornings, I started the day by running to the mirror and checking my back to see if my wings had sprouted yet.
9. My daughter was born during a historic blizzard. I got to learn first-hand what happens when an emergency crew needs to get a patient to the hospital and the roads haven’t yet been plowed.

10. And speaking of hating snow, I once got stuck for over 12 hours in a snowstorm trying to drive 30 miles to pick up my husband from the Metro station. Less than a foot of snow had fallen, but the rush-hour timing combined with frightened drivers abandoning their cars in the middle of the main road meant utter chaos and gridlock. My dinner that night was a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, one of the only things available at the hotel lobby’s convenience store where my husband—and several dozens of fellow stranded commuters—were camped out like refugees waiting hours and hours for their rides. 

The Man with the Crystal Ankh / The Girl Who Flew Away
by Val Muller

GENRE: YA paranormal 


The Man with the Crystal Ankh:

Everyone’s heard the legend of the hollow oak—the four-hundred year curse of Sarah Willoughby and Preston Grymes. Few realize how true it is.

Sarah Durante awakens to find herself haunted by the spirit of her high school’s late custodian. After the death of his granddaughter, Custodian Carlton Gray is not at peace. He suspects a sanguisuga is involved—an ancient force that prolongs its own life by consuming the spirits of others. Now, the sanguisuga needs another life to feed its rotten existence, and Carlton wants to spare others from the suffering his granddaughter endured. That’s where Sarah comes in. Carlton helps her understand that she comes from a lineage of ancestors with the ability to communicate with the dead. As Sarah hones her skill through music, she discovers that the bloodlines of Hollow Oak run deep. The sanguisuga is someone close, and only she has the power to stop it.

The Girl Who Flew Away:

GENRE: YA literary

No good deed goes unpunished when freshman Steffie Brenner offers to give her awkward new neighbor a ride home after her first day at school. When her older sister Ali stops at a local park to apply for a job, Steffie and Madison slip out of the car to explore the park—and Madison vanishes.

Already in trouble for a speeding ticket, Ali insists that Steffie say nothing about Madison’s disappearance. Even when Madison’s mother comes looking for her. Even when the police question them.

Some secrets are hard to hide, though—especially with Madison’s life on the line. As she struggles between coming clean or going along with her manipulative sister’s plan, Steffie begins to question if she or anyone else is really who she thought they were. After all, the Steffie she used to know would never lie about being the last person to see Madison alive—nor would she abandon a friend in the woods: alone, cold, injured, or even worse.

But when Steffie learns an even deeper secret about her own past, a missing person seems like the least of her worries…


from The Girl Who Flew Away:

My mind races. My tailbone aches. I’m exhausted and scared. Darkness has fallen, and everything takes on a sinister shape. Car headlights seem to glare at me. Even strangers going in and out of the stores look more dangerous.

I feel alone. I think about going back into the store, explaining everything to the clerk, and asking him to call my parents. I look down at Sally’s dragonfly necklace. I wonder how many times in Sally’s life she must have been scared and felt hopeless and had nowhere to go. If she could do it, then the least I can do is spend a few extra hours trying to rescue my friend. When a police car pulls into the convenience store parking lot, I dash out of the way and resolve to make it to the park somehow.

The park is a half mile up the road. I know it’s difficult for cars to see me now, so I keep way to the side of the road. Before long, I get off my bike and walk. At the entrance to the park, I realize the gate is locked: no one is admitted inside after dark. It’s a chained fence meant to keep out cars, but I’ll be able to sneak in. I leave my bike at the gate and climb over the barrier—and I’m in the park.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Teacher, writer, and editor, Val Muller grew up in haunted New England but now lives in the warmer climes of Virginia, where she lives with her husband. She is owned by two rambunctious corgis and a toddler. The corgis have their own page and book series at

Val’s young adult works include The Scarred Letter, The Man with the Crystal Ankh, and The Girl Who Flew Away and feature her observations as a high school teacher as well as her own haunted New England past. She blogs weekly at

The Girl Who Flew Away:

The Man with the Crystal Ankh:


Val Muller will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC and a download code for The Girl Who Flew Away, a download code for The Scarred Letter, a print copy (US only) of The Man with the Crystal Ankh, and an ebook of Corgi Capers: Deceit on Dorset Drive, to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Lisa Brown said...

congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Victoria Alexander said...

LOL love how you got the name "Houdini" :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for featuring me today :)
Glad to be able to share some of my weirdness!

Joseph Wallace said...

What inspired you to pursue a career in writing? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com