Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm Virtual Book Tour, Review, Author Interview and Giveaway

Thursday, December 9, 2021


Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm

Written by Lori Adams

Ages 9-12 | 336 Pages

Publisher: Spyhop Publishing | ISBN-13: 9781737131205

Publisher’s Synopsis: When a young girl learns she is the Last Heir of the legendary pirate Davy Jones, she is whisked away to begin life aboard an enchanted schoolship for Pirate Heirs where danger and excitement awaits.

Contemporary kids who happen to be Heirs of the most villainous and celebrated pirates in history. Superstitions, mysteries, curses, secrets, strange ocean creatures, undead pirates, and seafaring legends will thrill middle-grade readers in this rollicking, globe-trotting adventure.

Avalina Jones, the Last Heir of the infamous pirate Davy Jones, has never heard of Sea Magic, flying dinghies, Pirate Heir schoolships, phantom islands, undead pirates, or creatures called Half Ones. And she has never understood her strange connection to water. But when a beautiful woman arrives in a swirling waterspout, Avalina’s life explodes with more adventures than she can possibly imagine. She takes her rightful place aboard a giant Pirate Heir schoolship teeming with Heirs of the world’s most nefarious pirates.

Raised as a Landlubber, Avalina quickly realizes bizarre and danger are normal aboard Pirate Heir schoolships-food fights back, school supplies giggle or explode in your face. And not everyone can be trusted.

When Avalina is accused of a terrible crime, she must prove her innocence or risk being banished from the schoolship forever-and this in the middle of a crucial Treasure Hunt!

Avalina races to unlock the secrets of the ship, and makes a dangerous discovery that threatens everyone aboard. With the help of her new friends Charlie, Pippa, and Bummy, Avalina draws closer to the truth, unaware that a deeper, darker fate awaits.

Author Lori Adams expertly delivers a story that is timeless, bringing together elements of sea lore, magic, and adventure. The first book in a seven-book series, Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm, is a romping tale for middle graders who are searching for the next enduring fantasy classic.

Available for purchase on Amazon here or Bookshop.org here.


LORI ADAMS is the author of the Avalina Jones series for middle-grade readers (Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm (#1) as well as two young adult series: The Kate March Mysteries: Speak Easy (#1) set in Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, and the Soulkeepers Series: Forbidden, Awaken, and Unforgiven, a paranormal fantasy set in the quintessential but fictitious town of Haven Hurst, Connecticut and first published through Random House.

Lori was born and raised in Oklahoma but moved to Southern California where she lives with her family. She loves traipsing along SoCal’s wonderful beaches, watching Angel’s baseball, Cowboys’ football. Aside from writing, Lori loves reading and watching Classic Hollywood Movies.

For more information, visit https://loriadamsbooks.com.

Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm follows the orphan trope that discovers something unique about their origins, however, this series is really unique in that it creates a magical pirate world. The magical pirate world has a school for children, adventures, food that fights back, unique creatures, mysteries, curses, magic, and danger. The world is so unique and different that at first it was a little hard to understand all of the dynamics, and I felt like the author rushed a little bit where I needed a bit more description and explanation. As the story progressed, I gradually caught onto how the world worked. The world is vastly interesting and imaginative. The story is filled with action, memorable scenes and mystery. The author did a good job at making this story an action-packed adventure and incorporating famous pirate names. It was never dull or tedious to read. Overall, it was an exciting read and start of a series. I think it's a book that both boys and girls would enjoy reading. The scenes weren't too scary and I felt like it was appropriate for Elementary school kids to read. It's a book that I would feel comfortable with my 8 year old boy reading.


Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write Avalina Jones: And the Eye of the Storm

Lori Adams - Strangely enough, the seed that sprouted the Avalina Jones series came from an online article about cruise ships. Some years ago, I read about a trend involving elderly folks retiring to live—full time—aboard large cruise ships. They had all their needs met: food, entertainment, travel, and access to doctors. My mind immediately jumped to having children from all cultures living on ships and supplied with everything they needed: food, schools, friends, libraries, adventures, and exploration. And without parents! But these children had to be distinct. Special. And unique. Hours of ship research kept leading me to pirates. While pirates have their place in history, I took the liberty of cultivating an alternative view for middle-grade readers. Keeping some of their more flamboyant and adventurous characteristics, I revolutionized pirate society and created a contemporary world for Heirs to the Pirate Kingdom. Avalina Jones is the last heir of the infamous pirate, Davy Jones. She lives on an enchanted schoolship along with other Pirate Heirs. Adding a touch of Sea Magic and bizarre sea creatures, the series set sail in a whole new direction. And of course, Pirate Heirs have their own secrets and mysteries. And not everything is as it seems.

Life Is What It's Called - How does this new book series differ from your other series? 

Lori Adams - The Avalina Jones series is my first journey into middle-grade fiction. My first young adult series, the Soulkeepers: Forbidden, Awaken, and Unforgiven is a paranormal fantasy geared toward older teens with a slightly darker theme. It’s set in the quintessential but fictitious town of Haven Hurst, Connecticut. This series rotates three points of view—the main character, Sophia St. James, (who is not who she thinks she is) a guardian angel, Michael Patronus (who tries to protect her), and a demon knight, Dante Dannoso (who is desperate to take her soul). My most recent young adult series, Speak Easy, A Kate March Mystery (#1) is a historical murder mystery for teens with adult crossover potential. It features a tenacious young reporter determined to solve the murder of Hollywood’s beloved film director. The Kate March Mysteries, as a whole, is steeped in 1920s Hollywood with authentic settings, fashion, lingo, and zero fantasy. So far. 

Life Is What It's Called -  How is it similar to your other series? 

Lori Adams - For similarities I would look at the main characters. Each series is led by an intrepid, flawed, and determined heroine. Avalina, Sophia, and Kate are vastly different due to setting, time period, and circumstance but share common characteristics. They have a deep desire to plunge into life (somewhat recklessly) but always with good intentions. I would imagine, if I asked them, they would all three agree with that saying, “I do not intend to tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death” ~M.M. Gavillet. 

Life Is What It's Called - What do you think kids will learn from the Avalina Jones series? 

Lori Adams - I hope kids, who might be reluctant readers, will discover the joy of escaping into a book or diving into a story and giving their imaginations free rein. There is no technology aboard Pirate Heir schoolships but there are several tangible things kids will pick up throughout the series: ship terminology, sailing commands, identifying sailing knots, celestial maps, and reading wind and weather. Curious readers might like to follow the schoolships’ plotted courses throughout each book. While the Phantom Islands are from my imagination, the general geography, islands, and oceans can be traced on any map. Interwoven within the plotlines are also key life lessons that readers will experience alongside Avalina and her deckmates while living aboard a Pirate Heir schoolship: teamwork, healthy competition, friendship, comradery, overcoming bullies, keeping your word, following rules, respecting diversity, and acceptance. When Avalina doesn’t want to reveal her unique, supernatural ‘gift’ because she’s afraid to be seen as different, First Officer, Scarlet Read says, “And why not be different? How marvelous that we are all born unique and special. Imagine how tiresome life would be if we were all the same. Don’t fret, Miss Jones, by being different you fit in quite nicely here, I assure you.” 

Life Is What It's Called -  How many books will be in this series? 

Lori Adams - There are seven books in the Avalina Jones series. 

Life Is What It's Called - How much fun did you have writing this book?

Lori Adams - I had more fun writing this book than I ever expected! There is a saying I learned in a great writer’s workshop: write the book you want to read. Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm is the book I would love to have read when I was young. Writing it, I let my imagination run amok and had a ball in the process. 

Life Is What It's Called - Was there anything difficult for you about writing this book? 

Lori Adams - Difficult? Not really, but I did challenge myself to learn ship terminology and knot tying, which was fun. However, I will say that I began this book in 2012 and went through numerous revisions. It was originally written in third person. Then I rewrote the entire book in first person. And then decided I liked third person best. The original version was slightly longer so it has been trimmed down. I put the whole project aside when the Soulkeepers series was acquired by Random House. With that completed, I returned to Avalina Jones and made more revisions. Just part of the process that led to the final version. 

Life Is What It's Called - What are some of your upcoming writing projects? 

Lori Adams -  I’ll be working on the Avalina Jones series for another six books. The Kate March Mysteries is an open series, so I’ll write them as they come. The Soulkeepers series is currently off the market for repackaging. I’ll be re-releasing it under Spyhop Publishing, hopefully next year. So, I’ve got my hands full at the moment. Other stories clamoring for my attention are on the back burning for now. I’ve had some wonderful reviewers anxious to read the next book in the Avalina Jones series, as well as the Kate March Mysteries so the pressure is on! 

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you decide to be an author? 

Lori Adams -  I’m not sure I ever ‘decided’ to be an author. I think I’ve always had it in my head, underneath everything else—that constant voice creating characters, storylines, or editing the stories I was reading. I’ve always loved to read. I was the kid under the covers with the flashlight reading after lights out. I wrote for fun and as a hobby for years, basically teaching myself until I enrolled in a writing workshop. It was there that I began to take it seriously and think about publishing. The journey to becoming an author feels like a natural progression—what I’m supposed to be doing. I tried to stop once and put it aside but found I was subconsciously creating stories in my head or dialogue or characters. Stopping didn’t stick. And now I can’t imagine myself not writing.

Enter for a chance to win an Avalina Jones and the Eye of the Storm prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • An autographed copy of Avalina Jones: And the Eye of the Storm
  • An Avalina Jones quote tote
  • A Hands-Off Me Gigglin’ Grog mug
  • An Avalina Jones fridge magnet
  • An Avalina Jones bookmark

Two (2) winners receive:

  • An autographed copy of Avalina Jones: And the Eye of the Storm
  • An Avalina Jones bookmark

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Lori Adams.

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