T.M. Blanchet is the author of Herrick's End: Book 1 of The Neath Trilogy, available now from Tiny Fox Press. (Book 2 in the series, Herrick's Lie, is scheduled for release in March, 2023.) T.M. is a former reporter, editor, and award-winning humor columnist, and a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers. She founded the nonprofit organization Operation Delta Dog: Service Dogs for Veterans in 2013.
T.M. is also a producer at A Mighty Blaze, an initiative created in 2020 to help authors and indie bookstores reach readers during the Covid-19 crisis, and the producer and host of A Mighty Blaze Podcast. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Photo by Tricia Chamberlin @triciachamberlin.studio
"He caught sight of it then. The fog parted, the dim light illuminated the gloom, and the facade rose up in front of him like a soaring, breathing nightmare. And the moment he saw it, Ollie knew he had made a terrible, terrible mistake."
Ollie is trying. He really is.
He's trying to lose weight in the biscotti-and-bolognese wonderland of Boston's North End.
He's trying to recover from his mother's recent death.
Most of all, he's trying to battle the loneliness that comes with being 19, living in a shoebox, and working a dead-end job. No girlfriend, no parents, no friends.
Well, he does have one friend. Nell.
But she's gone missing.
At first, Ollie pretends that he hadn't noticed Nell's bruises and skittish behavior. Then, finally, he faces the facts: Nell is gone, and probably in danger. And he might be the only one who can help.
What he doesn't know--couldn't know--is that his journey to find her will take him far below the streets of the city into a dangerous, underground world: a place where magic spills like blood, humans are not quite human, and notions of justice and revenge are as murky as the cavern's brackish waters. And this time, trying just won't be enough.
Book 1 of The Neath Trilogy
Book Trailers! Click to play...
Praise for Herrick's End
“I get obsessed with a novel that grows its genre with surprise after original surprise—and that’s all in Blanchet’s astonishing YA fantasy debut. Herrick’s End is a knockout.”
- Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You
“Droll, delightfully grotesque in the best Star Wars cantina tradition, sometimes terrifying, and always laugh-aloud funny, Herrick’s End is an inventive, edge-of-your-seat underworld adventure you’ll never forget.”
- Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Family and Woodrow on the Bench
“Every time you think you know what’s coming next, you round a corner and find out that you were wrong. Readers who follow the lovable and heroic Ollie Delgato down into the terrifying and fantastical land T.M. Blanchet has created will be coming back for more!”
- Joseph Moldover, author of Every Moment After
“Like the best tiramisu, Herrick’s End offers layer upon layer of deliciousness. An unlikely but lovable hero, a quest gone wrong, a vicious villain, a dark and richly-realized underworld, and a badass love interest. A true ‘pick-me-up.’ I want more.”
- Sarina Dahlan, Hugo Award-nominated author of Reset
"Something is rotten at the Neath’s core, and what began as Ollie’s earnest search for a friend turns into a quest for survival, justice, and acceptance. Blanchet’s debut is the first in a promising trilogy that examines the line between setting things right and exacting revenge in surprising ways. Set in a whimsical underworld full of dangers and wonders, this coming-of-age story develops Ollie’s sense of community and belonging while his internalized fatphobia, white-knight complex, and sense of self-worth are thoughtfully explored, questioned, and subverted... A thoughtful and empowering hero’s journey." -KIRKUS
Book 2 of The Neath Trilogy, Herrick's Lie,
is due out from Tiny Fox Press March 28, 2023!
Underground. Underwater. Out of time.
Ollie probably should have expected trouble. After all, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction,” right? He’d learned that in 10th grade physics. And Ollie’s actions at Herrick’s End had been seismic enough to cause tidal waves of catastrophe crashing from one end of the Neath to the other.
He’d only wanted to make things better. And he genuinely thought he had, until he sees the stark truth spelled out in black-and-white: His friends are in danger. Everyone is in danger, and it’s all his fault.
The good news is, there might be a solution. The less-good news? It’s hidden, apparently, at the bottom of the cavern’s deep, green lake, which churns with myriad fantastical creatures, unknowable perils, and immeasurable expanse—not to mention a distinct lack of oxygen. All in all, not a great set-up for humans. Leaping into that water, he knows, is a monstrously bad idea.
It’s also the only idea he’s got.
With so much on the line, Ollie might have no choice but to jump first and ask questions later. And there will be questions. Many, many questions. Because getting into the lake is one thing… Getting out will be something else altogether. And Ollie’s quest to right past wrongs is about to open up a whole new can of wormwalkers in the extraordinary underground world he now calls home.
Book Trailers! Click to play...
Praise for Herrick's Lie
"Herrick's Lie is a whirlwind romp through the depths of the Neath, filled with magic, mystery, and twists that will keep you breathless to the last page. This layered fantasy delivers both adventure and heart."
-Susan Bishop Crispell, author of The Holloway Girls, Dreaming in Chocolate, and The Secret Ingredient of Wishes
“Be prepared for high stakes, a uniquely crafted world, a view into history that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew, and a loveable, endearing hero in Ollie Delgato that will have you rooting for him from the start.”
-Edwin Hill, author of The Secrets We Share, Watch Her, The Missing Ones, and Little Comfort
"Fans of Neil Gaiman will love the Neath! This dark, compelling world practically vibrates off the page with flora and fauna and unravelling secrets, and the plot swoops and swirls in the best of ways. Most of all, though, it’s Blanchet's irresistible characters that make you care so deeply about every cavern and creature and narrow escape. She’s created an unforgettable hero with Ollie, and I can’t wait to find out what he does next."
-Gin Phillips, author of Fierce Kingdom, Family Law, and Come In and Cover Me
T.M. is the producer and host of A Mighty Blaze Podcast, a weekly show that features interviews with some of modern literature's most beloved authors. From highly anticipated debut writers to bestsellers and living legends, the AMB Podcast offers an intimate peek into the wit, wisdom, and reflections of America's favorite scribes.
A Mighty Blaze was founded in 2020 by bestselling authors Jenna Blum and Caroline Leavitt as a way to help readers, authors, and indie bookstores find each other during the pandemic shutdown. Since then, AMB producers have hosted hundreds of live-streamed interviews with writers of every stripe and genre, including fiction and nonfiction, cookbooks and memoirs, mysteries and literary masterpieces. The AMB Podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and many other outlets. You can also watch past interviews at the AMB YouTube channel anytime.
Just a few recent guests...
Chatting with David Duchovny about his newest book, TRULY LIKE LIGHTNING!
In the kitchen with Magnolia Bakery's Allysa Torey on "Blaze Baking with Rach!"
In conversation with THE Alice Hoffman
(and her adorable dog)!
Live-streamed interview with Kathy Callahan on publication day for 101 RESCUE PUPPIES!
T.M. is the founder of Operation Delta Dog: Service Dogs for Veterans, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to rescue shelter dogs and train them to work as assistance dogs for veterans who suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and related conditions. The dogs get the homes they need, and the veterans get the help they deserve!
Since its founding in 2013, the organization has matched more than 50 dogs with veterans throughout New England. For more information about donating, volunteering, fostering, or applying for a service dog, please click here!
Photos by Kirsta Davey