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Thursday, March 7, 2024

Cover Reveal- THE THIEF OF TIME by @ViviBarnes, @ChristinaFarley & #AmyChristineParker With An Excerpt & $25 Gift Card #Giveaway!

Today Vivi Barnes, Christina Farley, and Amy Christine Parker and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE THIEF OF TIME, their new middle grade contemporary fantasy book which releases May 7, 2024! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!


On to the reveal!

About The Book:

Title: THE THIEF OF TIME (The Library of Alexandria Series #1)

Author: Vivi Barnes, Christina Farley, and Amy Christine Parker

Pub. Date: May 7, 2024

Publisher: Infinity House Creative

Formats:  Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 312

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon 

The Thief of Time is a thrilling contemporary fantasy that will steal your breath away. Chock full of complex world building and magic that springs from the power of story, this book will definitely keep young readers turning pages.”—Polly Holyoke, Award-winning author

Unleash the Magic…

THE THIEF OF TIME is an exciting middle-grade contemporary fantasy adventure that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the realms of magic, friendship, and self-discovery.

On a visit to their local library, Ben, Bridgette, and Maya unwittingly unleash a dragon from an ancient book and find themselves fighting for their lives against a swarm of evil birds. They battle to escape with the help of the dragon and are whisked through a portal into the magical Great Library of Alexandria.

Once they pass the Trials and prove themselves worthy, they are invited to become students at Helicon Academy. There they train to become librarians for the Library of Alexandria, protecting books and the magical artifacts within.

Ben, Bridgette, and Maya fall in love with the story-themed dinners, fantastical animals, and fictional characters roaming the halls. But when they discover a dark and sinister mystery within the academy’s halls, the three must embark on a quest to protect the library and preserve the fabric of time itself.



"Every so often, you read a book with a fictional place that is so full of magic and so full of wonder that you want to live there forever -- the library in The Thief of Time is such a place. You're in for a treat!" —Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of Spark


What a ride! The Thief of Time whisks readers from the immortal Library of Alexandria to adventures across the globe. Maya, Ben, and Bridgette kept me reading to the very end! —Sarah McGuire, author of Flight of Swans and Valiant


We all know books are magic, but in The Thief of Time, they are beyond our expectations! This adventure jumps right in with our protagonists facing an adventure, both physically and mentally, unlike any other I've read. Fans of Land of Stories and magical school books are going to devour this new twist on what it means to truly get into a book. —Kellee Moye, librarian




Chapter 1

Polly Definitely Doesn’t Want a Cracker


The first weird thing Ben noticed was the birds. 

Clustered in bushes around the front of the library, they watched with unblinking beady red eyes as he made his way up the steps. 

“To be, or not to be…gone!” he said loudly, clapping his hands at a pair that was preening on the steps in front of the door. They hopped only a few inches away and fixed Ben with a baleful stare.

Ben shook his head. Here he was, quoting Hamlet at creepy birds and returning an almost-overdue book on a Friday night when there were probably ten end-of-summer parties going on—or at least two that he was invited to. 

He yanked the door open and stepped inside. Mr. Lozano, who’d been the town librarian ever since Ben could remember, was scanning barcodes from a tall stack of books.  

“Hey, Mr. Lozano.” Ben slid his book across the counter. 

Mr. Lozano caught the book and added it to the stack. “Just under the wire, Benjamin. Your dad wouldn’t be happy to come pay another late fee.” 

“I know.”

Mr. Lozano picked up a magnifying glass to peer at the book. With the plaid bow tie and pencil mustache, Ben thought he looked more like a Scotland Yard detective than a librarian. 

Mr. Lozano peeled off the outside cover that was titled “Practical Science.” Ben inwardly groaned. He meant to remove that before returning it. Underneath the cover was a copy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Mr. Lozano sighed. “Your father still giving you a hard time?”

Ben shrugged. His father was a surgeon and thought Ben should be studying math and science, not “farting around with theater and poetry,” as he liked to say. It was just easier for Ben to pretend he was more scientific than he was.

His mom would’ve understood him better. Not a day went by where he didn’t think about her and wish she was with him again, reading Shakespeare’s sonnets like she did when he was little. The gentle lilt of her voice always lulled him to sleep.  

“I know what you’re going to say,” Ben said. “I’ll talk to him again, and—”

“Mr. Lozano, that astronomy book isn’t here,” a girl announced as she walked up and set a stack of books on the counter. She looked familiar, maybe from school. She wore an old Texas Rangers baseball T-shirt and had a short mop of auburn curls, pale skin, and thick round glasses that made her green eyes seem extra-large. 

She shrugged her oversized military-looking green backpack off her shoulders and plopped it on the counter next to the books. “It was due five days ago. I’ve been on the waiting list forever.” 

“I’m sorry, Bridgette. I’m sure the person will bring it back soon.” Mr. Lozano glanced at the clock over the desk. “Unfortunately, the library’s closing so I can’t help you find something else right now.”

“Can’t you call them? Fill out a police report or something?”

“Excuse me.” Someone with two long dark braids squeezed between Ben and Bridgette, her hands cupped around a small ball of fur. A volunteer badge was clipped to the sleeve of her light blue shirt. “Mr. Lozano, I think Griffin’s sick. I’m really worried about him.” 

This girl Ben knew. Everyone knew Maya Friedman, who moved here last summer from Israel and within a month of their sixth-grade year became one of the most popular kids at Harrison Middle. Her braids had kind of become her trademark. Ben hated to admit he was jealous, but no matter how many times he’d styled his sandy blond hair or even dyed it, he’d failed to get a trademark “look.” This girl showed up with two long braids and perfectly tanned olive skin and everyone was like whoooooaaaa. 

“Who’s Griffin?” Ben asked.

“One of the library’s animals.” She held up a small ball of brown fluff. “Does he look a little lethargic to you?” 

Bridgette shrank away. “Keep it away!”

Maya pulled it to her chest protectively. “He’s just a little guinea pig. He won’t hurt you.”

“I know.” Bridgette pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “Its scientific name is Cavia porcellus.” Her face flushed as Ben stared at her. “I read a lot.”

“Poor Griffin,” Maya cooed to the ball of fluff. “That girl didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” 

Bridgette frowned. “I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings. I’ve just never been near one before.” She reached out and awkwardly patted its tiny head with one finger. “Good boy.”

Maya smiled at her, then glanced at Ben. “I think I know you from English class. Ben, right?” 

Ben nodded. “You’re Maya.”

“And I’m Bridgette,” Bridgette said from the other side of Maya. “I mean, if anyone wanted to know,” she added softly. 

“No one wants to know,” another voice piped in.

Ben cringed as the awful Davey Singleton swaggered over with a group of his friends. Davey had been Ben’s nemesis ever since Ben was cast as the lead in the third-grade rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and ended up with a terrible case of stage fright, puking all over a kid in a tree costume. Davey took over the role for the rest of the show and still delighted in tormenting Ben about it. Worse, he seemed to beat out Ben for every lead role since then.

“Awww look, it’s Shakesfear,” Davey said. “Library’s closing, Shakesfear. Go barf somewhere else.”

Ben rolled his eyes. “Hang in there, Davey. One day, maybe you’ll actually come up with something original.”

“Hey, Maya, you going to Drew’s party?” one of the girls in the group asked. “Davey’s ditching but you should come.”

Maya brightened. “Sure, after I close up here.”

“And, um, change shoes?” the girl said as she stared at Maya’s scuffed black combat boots. “Where’d you get those?”

Maya’s face reddened. “My aunt gave them to me when we left Israel.”

Ben got the feeling she never wore those boots in front of her friends.

“Sorry, you’re not invited,” the girl said to Bridgette as she and her friends walked out the door, laughing.

“Like I was interested anyway,” Bridgette mumbled, looking away.

“Lozano, we have to leave,” Davey said. “When are you going to kick these nobodies out of here?” He pushed through the half-door of the counter and came back with a brown leather suitcase.

“Where are you going?” Ben asked.

“None of your business.”

“We’re fine, we’re fine.” Mr. Lozano glanced again at the clock. “We have ten minutes.” He nodded at Ben, Bridgette, and Maya. “You kids head home now. Library is closed. Maya, thank you for taking such great care of the animals. And Bridgette, tomorrow maybe I can help—"

A loud crack sounded outside of the library. Everyone jumped. Bridgette squealed and pushed closer to Ben, who was rubbing his ringing ears.

“What was that?” Maya said, cradling the chirping Griffin close.

“Lightning?” Ben suggested.

“It’s not even raining,” Bridgette pointed out.

“Quiet.” Lozano held up a hand, frowning. 

Something dark moved against the frosted glass of the front door. Ben heard tiny scratching and tapping noises, which got louder and louder until it sounded like hundreds of birds were trying to claw their way through the door. 

Ben covered his ears, his heart leaping into his throat as the birds shrieked and screamed.

Mr. Lozano yanked open the door to the circulation desk. “Everyone, get behind the counter.” 

“Don’t have to tell me twice!” Davey pushed through the opening, almost knocking Bridgette over with his suitcase. 

Another crash sounded at the door and more dark figures shot past the frosted windowpane, bird silhouettes with feathers and crooked bills that almost looked like creepy noses. 

The door wobbled and shook as if someone was trying to get inside but didn’t know how to use the handle.

Mr. Lozano yelled into his phone, “They’re here! I don’t know how. We need an R.E.R. team now!”

He gestured to Ben and the others. “Gather round and take hands. Now.”

More banging at the door. Davey kept his hands on his suitcase. Bridgette grabbed Ben’s hand, her eyes wide with fear. He squeezed hers with a reassurance he didn’t really feel and felt Maya take his other one. He really hoped his palms weren’t sweaty.

Lozano glanced at the clock. “Hold on. And…now!”

Everyone watched as Mr. Lozano stepped one foot into the empty wastebasket next to the wall. 

And waited. 

Mr. Lozano pulled his foot out of the basket, then stepped in again. And again. 

Ben cleared his voice. “Um, Mr. Lozano, you okay?”

The librarian grabbed the phone, beads of sweat breaking out across his forehead. “It isn’t working. We need a car!”

With a loud smash, the glass in the door shattered, and large black birds with creepy red eyes started clawing their way through the window with long, almost fingerlike talons. Ben yelped and Bridgette screamed.

“Into my office!” Lozano yelled as a flurry of black feathers cascaded over them. “I’ll handle this.”

The kids scrambled into Mr. Lozano’s office and slammed the door behind them as birds thumped against its frosted glass. A single black feather floated in. Ben grabbed it and shoved it in his pocket. “That’s one less feather you’ll have to fight with,” he yelled at the door, not caring how weird he sounded. This whole thing was terrifyingly weird.

Ben turned around, realizing he’d never been in Lozano’s office before. It was like something from another century—old bookshelves, weird telescope-looking things, and ancient leather-bound books piled on a table. A low humming sound seemed to be coming from them. Ben rubbed his ears. 

Screeching from right outside the office made Ben forget all about the humming. The birds hurled against the window. Thump! Thump! Thump! The glass started to crack. 

“We need to hide.” Bridgette yanked her backpack onto her shoulders. 

“Behind there!” Ben ran to the heavy oak desk on the far wall. Bridgette and Maya followed. 

Davey crouched behind a plush chair near the door, clutching his suitcase. “Make them go away,” he whimpered.

A crash sounded on the other side of the door. Ben clamped his eyes shut, hoping Mr. Lozano was okay. 

“Griffin!” Maya cried out.

Ben opened his eyes to see the guinea pig running at top speed toward a crack in the wall. Maya started after him, but Ben grabbed her arm. “He’ll be fine. We need to stay together.”

The square glass window in the door shattered. Davey threw his hands over his head as the birds flew directly at him. His screams pierced the air. Ben gritted his teeth together. No matter how awful Davey was, Ben couldn’t just hide like a coward while birds were trying to kill him. This wasn’t a third-grade play. This was real.

“We have to help him. Distract the birds,” Ben told Maya and Bridgette. 

“How?” cried Bridgette. “It’s not like we have bird seed.”

“Hey!” Maya called out, standing up and waving her arms. 

“What are you doing?” Bridgette yelled at her as birds flew toward them. 

Ben crawled across the floor to Davey, where a bird was flapping over his head, poking him with its beak. He grabbed Davey’s suitcase and threw it at the bird. The bird dodged it, shrieking.

“Hey, that’s expensive,” Davey cried out. 

“So’s our lives!” Ben yelled as more birds converged around them. He grasped for the nearest book, an ancient one with a dragon etched into the leather and the imprint of a harp-looking instrument stamped on it. Ben flung it at the birds. The book landed with a thud on the ground, open. 

Everything went completely still. 

A gust of wind whooshed through the broken window and caught the pages, turning them fast and then faster. The humming he heard earlier grew louder in his ears. Ben gasped as sparks flew out of the pages like sparklers on the Fourth of July.

A column of fire-red flame shot up from the book. Something huge, red, and terrifying burst from the center of it.




About Vivi Barnes, Christina Farley, and Amy Christine Parker:

Vivi Barnes, Christina Farley, and Amy Christine Parker are best friends who bonded over their love of telling stories and going on adventures. They live in sunny Central Florida with their families, where inspiration is just a beach day away.













Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $25 gift card to the book vendor of their choice, International.

Ends March 14th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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