Promo Post of The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano (excerpt)


OK Cover


Title: The Order of the Key
Author: Justine Manzano
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Genre: Upper YA Urban Fantasy
Pages: 240 pages
Buy Link:
Softcover Price: $18.95
Ebook Price: $6.99
Release Date: July 9, 2020


Jacklyn Madison never expected to be attacked by a beast on an evening snack run. Add a rescue mission enacted by a trained regiment of teenaged warriors, and her night officially becomes just like a scene from one of her beloved comic books. Turns out, her parents were once members of the Order of the Key, gifted humans that protect humanity from creatures spilling through inter-dimensional rifts. Unable to control her newfound abilities, Jacklyn and her family rejoin the Order.

After an attack on their headquarters leaves Jacklyn questioning their leadership, Kyp—the boy who led her initial rescue—reveals a darker secret. The Order’s leader may be corrupt, and Jacklyn’s questions could put her family in danger. Drawn into the search for proof, Jacklyn must use her guts and magical brawn to protect her family, her friends, and herself from the monsters spilling from rifts, and those hiding within the Order.


Quotable Quotes: 

“He and the creature observed each other. This wasn’t a standoff between a predator and its prey, like those Discovery Channel shows my sister watched for fun. It was two predators, about to go toe-to-toe. I swallowed. That made me the prey.” ~ Jacklyn Madison

“Because . . .yeah, of course Mom could start a campfire with her hands. That matched up with the way this day was going. Not crazy. Not at all.” ~ Jacklyn Madison

“I’d gone out for a walk, run into monsters and soldiers that fought them, and healed a handsome guy with my fingers and the power of positive thinking. This was absurd.” ~ Jacklyn Madison

“He had a point. But, more importantly, I trusted the boy from the dream, the one who’d taken a blood oath to never leave me, only to have my mother yank me away. My once best friend.” ~ Jacklyn Madison

“That’s my sister, Gana. Mess with her and I’ll detach your favorite body part.” ~ Jacklyn Madison 

“There were once many Keys. But that was before paranoia divided us. This left us vulnerable to the inter-dimensionals and swaths of our people were led to their demise. You see, Jacklyn, the last time a Madison decided things should be done differently, he nearly wiped out the entire Order. Do you want that on your conscience?” ~ Lavinia Franklin

“You’re already crying a ton, so I’ll take this as an opportunity to tell you I owe you an apology.” ~ Jaina Madison

“We’ll be stronger together.” ~ Kyp Franklin

“Something dark, like a bruise, bloomed in my heart.” ~ Jacklyn Madison

“I hate it. I was trained to kill things before I understood what killing meant. First the whys, then the hows, then the actual practice of it. I want out.” ~ Kyp Franklin

“I know you don’t need to be protected. But I need to protect you.” ~ Kyp Franklin

“Dude. I’m a monster hunter, and now I’ve joined a rebellion against other powerful monster hunters. I’ll be risking my life pretty much every day. Adding you to the mix won’t kill me any faster.” ~ Jacklyn Madison




From Chapter 8 of The Order of the Key


I’m being watched. 

I felt it through the fog of my sleep, the idea that eyes were on me. Dimly, I remembered 

I’d fallen asleep with Gana in the room, and relaxed, sinking back into sleep. 

A wet, snuffling sound woke me right back up. I  tensed.  That  was  not  Gana.  That  sounded  like  something  else.  .  .something more animalistic. 

My eyes flew open to find a shadow moving over the foot of my bed. It took a moment for my eyes to focus and my Aegis to kick in, but that sound was unmistakable. A Gorvhan climbed over my footboard and onto my bed. 

I bolted upright but managed to keep myself from screaming. Gorvhans hunted in packs and I wasn’t eager to draw more my way. 

Weren’t there wards to prevent this? It didn’t matter, because like it or not,  a  Gorvhan  sniffed  up  my  leg  like  I  was  a  four  course  meal  ready  for  consumption, and that needed to stop. 

I  inched  up  the  bed.  The  oil  slick,  with  its  misshapen  skull  and  empty  eye  sockets,  stared  back  at  me,  silver  teeth  dripping  saliva.  Like  a  cat,  it  batted at my leg, muscles bunched, prepared to leap forward. 

I gulped and flattened myself against the headboard, heart hammering, entire  body  convulsing  against  the  idea  of  any  saliva  dripping  onto  me.  It  leaned  forward  and  growled,  rancid  breath  wafting  into  my  face.  I  had  to swallow the bile before it escaped. 

My  eyes  darted  around  the  room  in  search  of  a  weapon.  I  hadn’t  been  allowed  to  keep  my  dagger,  or  any  other  weapon,  because  Lavinia  said  I  needed to earn weapons by training with them. I didn’t necessarily disagree, but right now, I really needed to kill this thing with something. 

It  growled  again  and  gnashed  its  teeth,  just  as  my  eyes  landed  on  the  heavy  Batman  bust  on  my  dresser.  I  worked  an  entire  summer  at  an  ice  cream shop to get that damn thing, and I didn’t relish the idea of denting it on  a  Gorvhan’s  skull,  but  it  was  likely  the  heaviest  thing  in  the  room.  

Unfortunately, the Gorvhan stood between me and my weapon. 

Sharp silver nails scratched across the bedding as it pulled itself closer. When saliva dripped onto my arm, instinct took over. I swung my fist into its  head  hard,  ignoring  the  crack  and  flash  of  hot  pain  in  my  hand  as  the  punch   connected.   It   crumpled   under   the   blow,   and   I   managed   an   uncoordinated  kick  in  its  side.  Once  it  rolled  off  me,  there  was  plenty  of  space to leap to my feet and run for the Batman statue. 

I  hefted  it  up  and  swung  it  down  on  the  Gorvhan’s  head  once,  twice, three  times,  cringing  with  every  crunch,  every  splash  of  green  ichor  that erupted  from  the  body.  Every  crack  of  its  skull  was  another  crack  in  my skillfully crafted collector’s item. The Gorvhan deserved it for entering my room uninvited, but Batman did not. 

The door slammed open, and I whirled, new weapon at the ready. 

It wasn’t another Gorvhan seeking dinner. It was Kyp, barefoot, in a t-shirt and flannel pants, eyes wide, hair messy. A spot of green blood marred the pure white of his t-shirt. That spot meant there was another Gorvhan in the Estate. 

He  rushed  to  close  the  door  behind  him.  His  eyes  traveled  over  me, blinking, lingering on my legs for a moment, before moving back up to my face.  His  hand  gripped  the  doorknob  hard  enough  to  turn  his  knuckles white.  Then,  the  anxiety  in  his  expression  melted  away,  a  crooked  smile forming in its wake. “The Dark Knight has seen better days. Are you okay?” 

I  nodded,  looking  at  the  Gorvhan  blood  splattered  across  the  long  red Wonder Woman t-shirt I wore as a nightgown. 

I had killed something. Not helped kill something, but killed it, without a second thought. I’d known I would have to eventually, but the reality of it had been hazy, an unformed thought. My vision blurred with tears.



author info



Author Photo

Justine Manzano is a YA author and freelance editor living in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her novel, The Order of the Key will be available from Black Rose Writing in July 2020. She can normally be found at her website,,and she’s on all the usual social media haunts. If you’ve looked in all these places and can’t find her, she’s probably off reading fanfiction. She’ll be back soon.














Author: confessionsofayareader

My name is Kristi and I review books and mod on TBR and Beyond on Facebook. I love to travel and go to concerts. I've been married for over 20 years. I listen to a lot of pop punk. Otherwise, I'm pretty boring. We do have four grandchildren now and try to see them monthly since they don't live close. I read mostly YA and adult mystery/thrillers. I also read a lot of middle grade and some adult romance. You can also find me on facebook, twitter, and instagram (don't post often).

One thought on “Promo Post of The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano (excerpt)”

  1. OoOoOoOo 😍😍 Interdimensional rifts and all that huh? 😍 Sounds like a Supernatural episode to me AND THAT’S GOT ME EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK NOW! 😍❤️


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