I have been working for Immortal Works Press since July of 2018. First, they hired me as an acquisitions editor, then promoted me to Production Manager. As an AE, I get to be the first in line to read submissions. It’s my favorite part of the job. I LOVE finding new, gorgeous stories and giving them a chance to be seen. As the PM, I am in charge of taking the proofread, finalized manuscript and putting in all the artwork, chapter headings, and little details that turn it into the final product. I get to click the publish button! It’s so great. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be an author, and in college, that is the career I pursued. But I never considered being on the other side of publishing, and I discovered that it is my favorite job ever! Below, I have included a list of the books I acquired on behalf of Immortal Works and a short review of each one.
Almost the moment that Rocky’s dad is dead and buried, his mom rushes to move them out of town. Rocky knows she is keeping a secret and he is determined to find out what it is.
This one is a middle grade mystery, but Risa also manages to address mental health and grief issues in a healthy and appropriate way for children. She nails Rocky’s voice as a tween without dumbing down the material. It’s such a great story!
After botching a piece for the school newspaper, Nita believes that her journalism career is over, at least until she reads the discarded journals of her criminal neighbor and learns of a stunning injustice that must be rectified.
As I read this book for the first time, I was flabbergasted that it wasn’t already published. It was so good! So I assumed that this must be Pete’s first ever attempt at submitting (it wasn’t), and I felt gleeful that I would get to snag it before anyone else. This book is gorgeous. Though geared toward middle grade readers, it’s comparable to To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Leo’s goal to be a surgeon is destroyed by a terrorist bomb, leaving him with no choice but to mop bathrooms on a starship. Hophnia loses her rank as an officer after a battle and is assigned to a lowly job of making boots. In order to survive, they must work together to save the ship and identify a traitor.
Space operas are so much fun! Derick’s writing is full of humor that keeps you laughing, but he doesn’t slack off in the intense, serious moments. His story is character driven within an epic space setting. I loved every frustrating dilemma and every little triumph.
Caleb’s grandpa has dementia and one of the few things he can remember is an old harmonica that once belonged to Robert Johnson. His fixation on finding that long lost family heirloom drives Papa Clem to run away from the care facility. Caleb doesn’t know if the harmonica even exists, but he isn’t about to let Papa Clem go alone, and he just can’t bring himself to tell his grandpa no.
This book invokes such beautiful feelings of nostalgia. I loved the themes of family history contrasted by mental illness. The bond between Caleb and Papa Clem is so sweet and made me wish I could have spent more time with my own grandparents.
Nathan’s father vanishes while touring as The Amazing Q, a world famous magician. Though assisted by innovative talking birds, Nathan must confront the quirky villain king keeping his father prisoner with his own powers, and there’s nothing magical about them.
This book felt very unique and I enjoyed how Peter enforced the importance of kindness to others. I felt a little like Alice in Wonderland when reading about Gondwanaland in this story. The characters and setting are so rich and vibrant, as if coated with lots of paint. 😉
Abbey’s father sends her to the wrong summer camp. Since he’s unavailable on a business trip and her mother is missing, Abbey just has to stick it out. But things get complicated when the ghosts she can see start trying to send her a message.
I loved Abbey’s voice, a perfect blend of 80s songs, sarcasm, and humor. Though the subject is paranormal, and I felt fearful at times, the book was light enough that the scary did not become overwhelming. Abbey’s problem solving skills are top notch and hilarious.
Edmund Dantes has been betrayed. After spending years in prison, he escapes and sets out to recover a hidden treasure so he can exact his revenge.
The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all time favorite books. This one is a pulp fiction, horror blend retelling of that classic. It’s another submission that made me wonder why the heck it wasn’t already published. I was hooked the moment Edmund fought the kraken. Delicious novel.
Cat hates frozen dinners, but that’s all her mother ever cooks. After a scheduling mix-up at school which enrolls her in Culinary Arts, Cat finally finds out why. Her family can bake emotions into food, but Cat’s abilities seem to be the strongest, and that causes all sorts of problems.
This book is so light and refreshing. Cat’s teen voice is endearing and I laughed out loud at the predicaments she got herself into with her baking. Best yet, the book includes her recipes. Just make sure when you try them that you bake happy.
Sam’s mom is a piece of work, and that’s the nice way of putting it. He wants to lose himself in football, but his poor neighborhood has no way to finance a team, until his grandmotherly neighbor steps in and takes on the coaching position. The way she runs things is a bit…different.
This is my FAVORITE Pete Fanning novel. It is so raw and beautiful. The way he uses words takes my breath away sometimes and I have to pause and savor them. I love all of his books, but this one is the best.
Cade Dawkins is given an assignment to find out who is murdering gorgeous blonde women. As he investigates, he discovers that the serial killer’s true target may not be the women at all.
I love crime shows and books. This one scratched that itch perfectly: a serial killer with an ulterior motive, a determined lawman, a love interest to protect, a head to head confrontation. This story is a thrilling read from start to finish.
Best friends Matt and Lia navigate a difficult summer before their first year of high school.
This book exposes the sweetness and pain of adolescence as these kids learn to endure judgment and stand up for their beliefs. It’s a beautiful, bittersweet coming-of-age story.
Mia is an autistic microbiologist looking for answers to how life began on Earth. But a new pathogen interrupts her research when she is called away from Antarctica to prevent the potential destruction of all life on the planet.
If you enjoy scientific thrillers comparable to Michael Crichton’s, then you will love this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and the climax is EPIC! There is intrigue and tension and the threat of extinction. Even better, it sneaks in elements of faith, which is unusual for this type of book.
Colton is not good at much of anything. He’s third-string quarterback on the football team and his efforts to impress a girl in theater fall short, literally. His little sister (a witch wannabe) stumbles upon a spell that actually works and grants Colton proverbial wings. He’s suddenly a super-star athlete at center-stage, and it’s not exactly everything he dreamed it would be.
This is Pete Fanning’s most light-hearted novel. I loved the shenanigans that Colton and his sister got up to. Strong, whole families are rare in fiction, and I appreciated the representation in this book. Humor is also a strong element, from Colt’s role as a fairy in the school play to the bottle of theater-issued glitter that gives him his powers; I chuckled many times while reading this book.
This is the sequel for Swallowed by a Secret. Rocky’s mom announces that she is going to marry a man that Rocky doesn’t trust. In fact, Rocky blames the guy for several accidents that shouldn’t have happened, and he decides he needs to stop the marriage. But when Rocky is accused of cheating at his summer writing camp, he finds himself in need of a mentor, and he finds one in the most unusual place.
Rocky is such a loveable character. His predicament with his family is so relatable. The childhood rivalries, friendships, and the family dynamics really felt genuine. In his moment of crisis, he is able to find a mentor and then create a bond with the very man he distrusted so much. It’s perfectly woven together in the end.
Nico is an orphan in 15th century Venice, and he is unexpectedly chosen to serve during the election of a new doge, during which he witnesses cheating. He flees to Constantinople to avoid being killed for what he knows. But eventually he must choose whether to continue to hide or return to Venice and save the city he loves.
This book is so rich in its setting. I loved getting a glimpse of the historic cities in these pages. Nico’s coming-of-age journey is beautifully woven into a politically unstable and dangerous environment. I couldn’t put it down.
Nat witnesses a teacher assaulting a female student and intervenes on her behalf. But the girl refuses to speak up and explain what happened, so he gets expelled from school for assault. As he learns more about Molly and her background, he feels driven to help her escape her unsavory environment and find freedom to live as she wants.
Once again, Pete Fanning addresses difficult topics with grace and beauty. Themes of racism, immigration, and sexual assault all come together in a truly tasteful and engaging story. Reading this book gave me an education in how many people struggle in ways that we don’t typically see.
Jack has just moved to a new town and his dad is trying to help the adjustment go smoothly by supporting his interest in music. But what Jack really needs is to talk about his mom and her death. He finds solace in the pages of his dad’s journal, where his dad speaks more freely about his beloved wife and Jack’s mother than he does he real life. Eventually, he must confront his dad, and force him to talk before their family bond is broken beyond repair.
Pete Fanning always nails the coming-of-age tropes. Jack is endearing and relatable. His love of music is infectious. I loved how the writing gently pushes teens to talk to their parents about hard topics.
This is the sequel to Abnormally Abbey. Abbey visits a circus with her dad, and now creepy clowns are haunting her. Even worse, girls are disappearing. Abbey must follow the clues the clowns are giving her and stop a killer in her new hometown.
Abbey is such a wonderful, quirky character. This book is appropriately spine tingling for teens. The mystery and intrigue kept me turning pages when I should have been doing chores.
After Chloe’s mom dies, she moves in with her aunt and uncle. Unfortunately, her aunt’s younger brother uses her vulnerable state to take advantage of her. Chloe is faced with an impossible choice, to tell someone or take matters into her own hands.
I will admit that this one was hard for me. Though Pete Fanning writes beautifully, as always, I didn’t like the subject matter and I almost rejected it. Our acquisitions team had a long discussion about the content and whether it was appropriate for our intended audience and whether it was something we wanted to address. But this book opened my eyes to reasons that girls might not report assault and abuse, and a lot of other issues, and I felt it was important for other people to have the opportunity to learn like I did. So we ultimately chose to publish it.