Debut Novel out now!
From Brick & Darkness
The most powerful wishes aren’t said with words.
Bax always fantasized something remarkable would happen in his life. So when a decrepit man with glowing purple eyes offers him a ring intended for his estranged father, Bax accepts.
The ring speaks to Bax in a dream, tempting him with a vision of a powerful djinn. Desperate to make his fantasies a reality, Bax unleashes a creature called Ifrit, but soon learns this djinn isn't what the ring led him to believe. Feeding off the depths of his subconscious, the sinister demon fulfills what he thinks Bax wants by manipulating, threatening, and murdering. With everyone he loves in danger and a trail of crimes pointing back at him, Bax must scramble to solve the puzzle that will banish Ifrit forever.
Neck bones popped as his head rotated toward me, his face eclipsing the rays of the streetlight. His irises were dull purple, glazed over with a foggy film, and deep-set wrinkles radiated from the corners of his eyes like arrows drawing attention to them.
A shudder caused the keys to slip from my hand and clank on the ground. My face burned with shame that the poor man’s appearance had startled me. My rudeness would have disappointed Mom.
“I’m sorry, but really—” I snagged my keys.
His hand slithered out of the brick-colored sleeve as his arm rose, trembling as he strained to hold the weight of his own limb. Gloved in loose, veiny skin, his skeleton hand had yellowed fingernails so overgrown they grew in on themselves like curly birthday ribbons. As his fingers unfurled, he revealed a ring nestled in his palm.
It was large. Too large. The ring resembled the toy jewelry Jason’s sister played with or something from a Halloween costume. Grimy gold with a single dull purplish jewel that matched his eyes.
His hand trembled under the heaviness of the ring. “Take it.”
Shifting my backpack to my other shoulder, I took it. “What is this?”
The corners of his thin lips curled into a grin as a gust of warm, dry wind cut through the chilly October night and swirled around me.
What People Are Saying
"Rising young adult author, J. L. Sullivan, combines mythology, theology, and astronomy to create an invitingly fresh, nail-biting coming-of-age teen tale."
"Suspenseful and perfectly written, From Brick & Darkness was an outstanding story."
"A bold page-turner that interrogates the notion of winning one’s heart’s desire."
"In this beautiful and quirky YA debut with paranormal hints, J. L. Sullivan delivers a captivating tale centered on the complexities of having one’s wishes granted."
"A dark and sometimes twisted look at coming of age."
"Effortlessly inclusive and massively entertaining, From Brick & Darkness wraps a childhood fairytale up in a slick modern package, offering readers of any age a most enjoyable escape."
"From Brick & Darkness will attract young adult fantasy readers who enjoy stories about magical opportunities gone awry, and impossible dreams that turn into nightmares."
"It is fast-paced, creative, and perceptive with a tightly woven plot that will have readers wanting more."
"Sullivan’s debut is an exhilarating page-turner, featuring a fully fleshed-out cast and a fantastical world packed with both whimsey and dark."
About the Author
J. L. Sullivan writes young adult stories inspired by gritty urban environments and the fantastical tales that percolate within abandoned buildings and desolate alleys.
In high school, he wrote for a local newspaper before venturing into creative writing in college. His debut novel won first place in the Readers' Favorite 2022 International Book Awards for Young Adult Urban Fantasy. He currently lives in St. Louis with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Princess Penelope Picklesworth.
Recommendations by J. L. Sullivan
Here are a few of the young adult books I've enjoyed, and hope you do too.