Blog Blitz: Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron – The Middle Grade Fantasy of my Dreams

Hello everyone! Today I’m pleased to bring you a blog blitz post about a book that released today: Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron. It’s a Middle Grade fantasy novel starring a young black protagonist, set in the south side of Chicago! (That’s where my family is from!!!) The book sounds great and I’m very happy that the kids of today have so many diverse books like this one to read. I personally loved Rena Barron’s YA Debut Kingdom of Souls, so I’m sure that her middle grade debut will be just as great.

There will be no review in this post, but keep reading to learn about the book and the author. Go support it on release day!

About the Book

Title: Maya and the Rising Dark

Author: Rena Barron

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

POV: 1st Person

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: 9/22/2020

Page Count: 304 pages

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indigo


In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya’s search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret.

Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams.

When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark—where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya’s nightmares, awaits. Now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer’s over.

About the Author

Rena Barron grew up in small-town Alabama where stories of magic and adventure sparked her imagination. After penning her first awful poem in middle school, she graduated to writing short stories and novels by high school.

From a very young age she loved reading stories where kids saved the world, tamed dragons, wielded magic, flew spaceships, became the chosen one. She desperately searched for characters in books who looked like her and was always disappointed to find none, which fueled her early interest in writing.

Before HarperTeen acquired her Young Adult Epic Fantasy, Kingdom of Souls, Rena spent 10 years in the query trends–writing across multiple genres and age groups in the pursuit of publication. In 2017, she entered Pitch Wars, a popular and highly sought-after online mentorship program that included an agent showcase round. Rena’s entry (then titled “The Last Witchdoctor”) received multiple offers of representation. She signed with Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary shortly after, and the manuscript went on to sell in a heated auction.

In addition to the Kingdom of Souls series, Rena also has written a middle grade epic fantasy titled Maya and The Rising Dark debuting in Spring 2020, pitched as Stranger Things meets Percy Jackson, that sold in a pre-empt to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

On a personal note, Rena loves all things science fiction and fantasy, ghosts, and superheroes. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading or brushing up on her French.

Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Happy release day to Maya and the Rising Dark! I wish it much success. Please go check out the book at the links in this post. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Blog Tours for including me on this promotional blog blitz. Here’s the link to the tour schedule so that you can see all of the participants. We’ll also be sharing this book on our instagrams, so check online for some pretty photos of the book!

Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Instagram for book pictures, mini-reviews, and more!

Check out my shop, Total Bookish Eclipse!

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