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The Sequel - Soul Crystals: The Mask of Tragedy - To Be Released Aug. 27

The Foxburg Free Library, Librarian LaTrobe Branitz announces that the sequel to his first book is being released on August 27th. The new book’s title is Soul Crystals: The Mask of Tragedy.

A synopsis of the new book goes like this: Paul Engel is a 17-year-old superhuman soldier who has already been through the wringer. In his first few months as an Amuli, he has encountered hardships, torture, and death. Now part of a prestigious strike force, he continues to battle for the safety of his friends and family. As a key operative in the superhuman organization A.R.C., he begins to uncover corruption not only in competing organizations but in his own. His powers are growing faster than he can learn how to control them, making Paul worry that the person he should fear the most… is himself. Amid the constant stress of his cross-country missions, will he be swallowed by the shady A.R.C., the evil A.I.M., or by his own, high-risk powers?

Barnitz says he spent most of 2020 writing his new book, and before the pandemic even hit, he had graduated from college with his master’s degree and had been laid off from work. He says there wasn’t much else going on other than writing. He was a lot busier during the latter part of 2020, actually, when he took over as director at Foxburg Free Library. There was a lot to do in getting the library ready for patrons again.

Barnitz reports that he sold all the books he had at Foxburg Free Library, which he donated to the library, and he intends to do the same with his sequel.

LaTrobe hopes to have a few book signings at local bookstores and libraries. If you attended the Festival of the Book at the Oil City Library on August 21, then you may have run into LaTrobe.

At his website:; you can keep up with his activities and events.

He is most excited that the story is continuing and that fans will have a chance to find out what happens next. Most of the characters are returning in Soul Crystals: The Mask of Tragedy and the storyline picks up only a few months after Soul Crystals: ARC of the Amuli. Hopefully, everyone will be able to jump right back in. There are going to be a lot of twists and turns that I hope to keep readers guessing.

LaTrobe thanks the local community for all their support. As he said, we quickly ran out of copies of the first one at the library and that is a testament to how this community supports each other. He has received many kind words of encouragement and congratulations on the first book, and he hopes to make everyone happy with the second book, Soul Crystals: The Mask of Tragedy.

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