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New Release | The Crystal Canvas by @JcrPaulino #supernaturalthriller #thriller #newrelease


The Crystal Canvas


JCR Paulino


Supernatural thriller

Book Blurb

Following their ordeal in China, Jon and Natalie are living happily ever after in Miami. Everything is looking up for the young couple, including Jon’s plans to launch his own deep-sea treasure-hunting company and marry his lovely fiancée... until everything is turned upside down with a single phone call.

Jon’s grandfather and uncle have been murdered in California, leaving Jon’s last living relative, six-year-old Amelia, all alone. When Jon travels to Los Angeles to look after his cousin, he is thrust into a centuries-old struggle between supernatural foes. The ensuing life-or-death battles force him to treasure hunt for ancient relics.

Jon’s visit explodes into an epic adventure in Los Angeles when he discovers that Amelia was born with supernatural powers and is coveted by an ancient and sinister creature. To complicate matters, Amelia is kidnapped by a rogue faction set to kill her a few hours later, the moment she turns seven years old.

To save Amelia, Jon must locate a supernatural camera capable of turning paintings into portals to private dimensions. He is forced to make a one-day excursion into another realm, master a new mystical sword, and face off against overpowering foes. The fate of the world is at stake. Will our hero rescue Amelia as he discovers deities, supernatural races, the truth of his ancestry, and the existence of the breathtaking crystal canvases?

Grab this supernatural thriller today! The Crystal Canvas is like nothing you’ve ever read.


Jon looked around. Two bouquets of freshly cut marigolds adorned the front door, their overpowering musky smell making his throat taste like wet hay.

He strolled into the apartment. Large panels of laminated glass made up the apartment’s outer walls, their bluish shade tempering the sunlight coming deep inside the apartment while offering a clear view of what lay beyond. Jon took a moment to soak it in. The apartment had a fantastic view of the city of Pasadena—buildings and houses rolled away on flat land peppered with greenery, and the whole scene was framed by the mountains of the San Gabriel Valley. From here, Jon could see all the way to the Rose Bowl Stadium.

Inside the apartment, molten glass and brass features provided a rather classical feel, but the silver-blue palette, high-end furniture, and abstract art made the surroundings quite pleasant. I wouldn’t mind upgrading to something like this, Jon thought. He smiled; he could probably afford it after the kind of money he’d made the previous year.

“Uncle Peter!” a little girl screamed atop the stairs.

Jon turned. Brown bangs, long hair, green eyes, and freckles . . . she was the cutest girl he had ever seen. The gigantic smile on her face made her all the more adorable.

“You’re finally out of the house!” she said, running down the stairs.

Amelia didn’t slow down when she reached the first floor, so Jon put his backpack on the floor and dropped to a knee, bracing for impact. She kept running and jumped into his arms.

“Oh! I missed you, Uncle!” The six-year-old dangled from Jon’s neck, her little arms squeezing him hard.

Jon felt more moved than surprised by the gesture. She seemed to be starving for affection. Her body felt fragile in his arms as if she hadn’t been eating well, and the tinge of sadness that had crept into her voice stung his heart. Soon, however, Jon felt her mood changing.

“What happened to your hair?” she asked, moving back to take a better look at him. Her eyebrows knitted. “And what happened to your eyes?”

Jon’s hair was black and his eyes were amber. “Well, the thing is, I’m not Uncle Peter, Amelia. I’m Cousin Jon.”

Her eyes opened wide. “I have a cousin!” An ear-to-ear grin appeared on her face. She hopped up and down and then leaped into Jon’s arms again. “Best day ever!”

A burst of loving laughter came out of Jon’s throat. Do all children’s emotions shift this quickly? he wondered, bemused. “Let me take a better look at you,” he said.

Amelia took a step back. There was a tinge of mischief in her eyes as she swiveled her body left and right. “Gorgeous, right?”

Jon laughed and glanced at Maggie, who had come down from the second floor. “Gorgeous, indeed,” Jon said. “Who taught you that word?”

“Uncle Peter. It means I’m the beautifulest.”

“Wow! Another fancy word. Aren’t you the clever one?”

“The cleverest.”

Jon chuckled. “I see!” He looked at Maggie with inquisitive eyes, then back at his little cousin. “Amelia, tell me about this Uncle Peter.”

“Oh, he’s my best friend ever! He lives at grandpa’s house and never leaves home and doesn’t have a room. He sleeps inside the big painting with the skinny dragons. And he doesn’t have an iPad either.” She stopped and thought for a second, frowning. Then she put one hand on her hip and lifted a small finger on the other. “But he likes ponies!”

“Ah! A redeeming trait.”

“Amelia, darling, why don’t you go upstairs and change,” Maggie said. Only then did Jon notice that Amelia was wearing pajamas. “I’ll make you breakfast and offer your cousin coffee or tea.”

“Sure!” Amelia said. She immediately started toward the stairs.

Jon stood up and walked closer to Maggie while Amelia ran up the stairs and then disappeared somewhere on the second floor.

“As I mentioned, she sees things that aren’t there,” Maggie said with a coy smile. Jon pursed his lips.

A loud clank went off in the kitchen as if all the pots had fallen at once and were rolling around on the floor, extending the stream of noises.

At the sound, Jon could have sworn that Maggie’s eyes changed from dark brown to blue-green. She darted toward the kitchen with surprising agility and turned around a wall, out of view. Jon started after her, but the sound of rustling fabric behind him halted his body.

“Where’s the girl?” a potent male voice said behind Jon.

He turned. A tall man with soft features stood inside the apartment, wearing a light purple dress with long butterfly sleeves and floral patterns. His brown skin glowed faintly. His emerald eyes and flowing hair made him look eccentric to Jon, an impression aided by the green ring tattooed at the top of his forehead and the scabbard strapped across his back.

The sight of the odd man briefly stunned Jon. How did he get in here?

“Where’s the girl?” the man asked again, impatience rising in his tone.

Jon frowned. “Who the fuck are you?” His surprise grew as he watched the man’s clothing begin to shrink in on itself, tightening until it had become a taut bodysuit covering his legs, arms, and torso. Jon’s eyes opened wide, recognizing what he was looking at. That’s a battle suit! This dude is getting ready to fight!

“I’m Gaalal. I’m here for the girl. You must turn her over at once. We don’t have time to waste.”

“Why would I do that? What do you want with Amelia?”

“The girl must die,” Gaalal said, clenching his fists.

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Author Biography

JCR Paulino is an emerging author of magical realism, fantasy, and science fiction. His debut novel, The Swords of Blood and Gold, received the Literary Titan Golden Book Award, the Artisan Book Review Book Excellence Award (in mystery, thriller, urban fantasy), and the Readers’ Favorite 2022 International Book Award Silver Medal (in Fiction – New Adult). indieBRAG, LLC awarded the book the status of B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree and listed it in the Medallion Honoree library. JCR’s second book, The Crystal Canvas, was published in January 2023.

JCR lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.

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1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Jan 10, 2023

Thank you, JCR, for sharing your new release with us! I can't wait to read this one!

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