Tuesday 29 November 2022

Blog Tour: Illuminated by Iris Marsh {Excerpt + #Giveaway}

Author: Iris Marsh  
Title: Illuminated 
Publication Date: November 21st 2022
Genres: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Thriller, Young Adult


In this coming-of-age YA contemporary fantasy, a teenage girl has her life turned upside down when her family is breaking apart, and she discovers her supernatural powers. There’s no time to deal with it, however, as she’s targeted by a dangerous power-siphoner.

Nikki Chase, a 16-year-old striver, feels like her life is falling apart around her. Her parents ’marriage seems in trouble, her best friend prefers to spend time with the popular girl, and she’s quite certain she’s on the verge of a psychosis. After all, normal people don’t see colors around people or hear voices, right?

When a volunteering assignment leads her to a mental hospital, Nikki is determined to figure out what’s going on with her—and if perhaps she belongs in that facility. What she discovers is nothing she expected: Lorene, a volunteer, tells Nikki she’s not crazy but, in fact, has the power to influence people’s thoughts and beliefs. However, someone has been sucking the power out of people just like her, leaving them behind as an empty shell. Desperate for help and someone to trust, Nikki teams up with Lorene to discover who is behind the siphoning. But can she stop them before she becomes a victim? And can she do so without becoming addicted to the power herself?

Fans of suspenseful contemporary fantasy will love this YA coming-of-age fantasy thriller book about coping with difficult emotions, navigating relationships with family and friends, and the addictive quality of power.


Goodreads / Amazon




My dad narrowed his eyes. “Why do you want to talk about this now?”

I knew what he meant: why was I ruining this moment, which was supposed to be a happy one, just the two of us connecting.

Of course, I could tell him the real reason. But what if he decided that I needed to go to Calgary Psychiatry? Then I would surely lose Carmen.

“I just think it’s interesting.”

My dad gave me a long hard look and opened his mouth to say something.

“There you go.” Rosemary appeared in front of us. “Two blueberry pies and two hot chocolates.”

She put the plates and mugs down. My dad’s smile was back, as well as that glint in his eyes. “Thank you so much; you’re a true saint.”

Rosemary giggled, putting a hand on his shoulder. Lingering. “Oh, stop.”

I looked down at my pie. My skin tingled again.

“Enjoy!” She squeezed my dad’s shoulder, turned, and walked back to the counter to help the next customers. Her long, blonde hair swayed from side to side as she did.

My dad stared after her.

“Dad?” I leaned forward, trying to catch his eye.

“Hm?” He jerked his head back to me, plastering a smile on his face. He sat back, placing his hands next to the plate with pie. “Well, let’s enjoy these, shall we?”

I nodded, picked up my fork, and dug in. The sweet-sour taste of the blueberries filled my mouth. It wasn’t enough to stop the uneasy feeling, nor the increasing pricking of my skin. I couldn’t believe it was happening again—I thought I’d managed to push it away.

“Is Mom home for dinner tonight?” Talking surely would provide some sort of distraction. I hoped.

My dad scoffed, then checked himself and gave me a small smile. “No, she’s working late. But she said she hoped we could play some games when she got home.”

I nodded. It wasn’t unusual; my mom’s job as an attorney required long hours and hard work. But it was a job she loved.

What worried me was the strained tone in my father’s voice as he said it.

This summer, we’d gone camping—enjoying the great outdoors. We’d been doing that for years, and I always loved the peacefulness. Well, I suppose I didn’t always enjoy them, but I did now I was older.

This year, however, my mom brought her laptop with her. So she could still check her email every now and then. She was close to making partner—she didn’t want to ruin it.

“This is important, don’t you understand?” my mom hissed at my dad, both of them thinking I was sound asleep.

“More important than spending time with us? Your family?” he snapped back.

“That’s not fair.” My mom’s voice broke a little. “I’ve been supporting this family for years. I’m the reason we get to go on this vacation in the first place. You don’t know what it’s like. To stand your ground between all those men. Some still treat me as their fucking secretary!”

My father shushed her, likely to keep me from hearing their conversation. I suppose they both forgot that the walls in a tent are very thin.

“You know I’m proud of what you’ve achieved. I am. But is it really more important than… than me?”

The silence stretched on.

“I-I don’t know.” Her voice was barely a whisper, yet it seemed like she was shouting in my ear.

It was then that I first experienced that crushing feeling, the clenching in my chest. The inability to breathe. The pricking and burning of my skin.

The eruption of colors. The voices.

Author Bio


Iris Marsh is a behavioral researcher turned writer. As such, she focuses on her character’s journeys as well as the plot. Her YA fantasy debut novel Illuminated is no exception: it’s both suspenseful and heavy on character development. Currently, she lives in the Netherlands with her partner and cat.

She would be overjoyed if you visited her website IrisMarsh.com and would love it if you followed her journey on Instagram.


Website / Goodreads / Pinterest / Instagram


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