About The Inn at the Amethyst Lantern

Awards News Amethyst Lantern Instagram

My first young adult novel, THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN, written under my J. Dianne Dotson pen name, has received two awards nominations (Nebula and BSFA), to my great delight. This blog talks about the history of the book and some of its themes.

The Book Deal(s)

Bookdeal Lantern

First off, I am still bewildered that I got two book deals in one day in 2022. One was for THE SHADOW GALAXY collection (longlisted for the BSFA Awards) from Trepidatio Publishing. But this blog post is about THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN


My debut young adult novel, THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN, published on October 24, 2023, via Android Press. LANTERN is a young adult (YA) science fiction and fantasy (SFF) full-length Lunarpunk novel. Here is the beautiful cover, with art by Kim Herbst:



THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN is a Lunarpunk novel set in the future. What is Lunarpunk? Lunarpunk is a sub-genre of SFF that deals with night-based aesthetics and future tech. You can read more about Lunarpunk HERE. LANTERN came about via a short story in Solarpunk Magazine titled “Midnight Serenade.” You can buy the issue with the story HERE. This story now serves as the prologue for the novel.

In “Midnight Serenade,” Mira Celestus is a 14-year-old girl who is not “of age” in society, which is 15, and cannot go to the Glowworm Ball. But she might just find a way. And when she does, some unexpected things occur. 

Enter THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN. When I wrote “Midnight Serenade,” I fleshed out the world-building of the land and the people who populated it. This happened very quickly, and a new novel burst forth in my mind. Feeling ambitious, because I loved it already, I pitched it to Android Press and they said YES. (See the book deal post pictured above.)

A Brief Summary

Atop a seaside bluff, an ancient lighthouse named the Amethyst Lantern sweeps its violet light across the sea and around the bayside town of Glimmerbight. The citizens do not remember a time in which the Lantern was built. But tales abound of the Inn in its shadow. Long ago, the Inn played host to a wondrous twilight era of a time long passed before the sun’s harsh rays forced humanity to adapt to Night Living. Legend tells that the shuttered Inn still houses a mystic hermit who powers the Lantern, and who may have founded the town itself.

Gentian “Gen” Lightworth and her brother Jas are two teens who live at the edge of the woods beyond which the Inn and the Amethyst Lantern still stands. After their cousin, Mira Celestus, breaks the societal age code by attending the annual Glowworm Ball via magic, something awakens in the Inn. Two giant Luna moths carry an invitation from the Inn addressed to Gen alone, portending that something stirs at the base of the Amethyst Lantern after all. Gen and her friends seek to uncover the truth of the Inn and find that something strange is happening in all the land, that could threaten the pleasant town of Glimmerbight and force Night Living into a more sinister era of darkness, or even worse, to bake in the brilliance of a savage sun.

A Fun Mix

For the new novel, I wanted to tap into several very fun influences or homages. Some of these include Stranger ThingsThe GooniesSabrinaNancy DrewThe Hardy Boys, and, yep, even John Carpenter’s The Thing and Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan…among other influences.

A Reluctant Hero

One thing I love about Gen Lightworth, the main character of LANTERN, is that she really, REALLY does not want to be a leader or a hero. She just wants to have adventures. Gen did not plan on needing to save the world! 

Review Blurbs

“An exciting, adventurous blend of heroism, fantasy, and sci-fi. The originality of the world-building in this charming YA novel is matched by beautiful writing and characters you can’t help loving as though they were friends.”  
— S. P. Miskowski, author of the Skillute Cycle

The Inn at the Amethyst Lantern is a delight! A subtle and intriguing blend of fantasy and science fiction that thoroughly enchants!” 
Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin

The Inn at The Amethyst Lantern is as beguiling, touching, and luminous as the nocturnal world in which it’s set, containing both a fabulous tale of tomorrow and a dark warning for today.”
Gareth L. Powell, author of Stars and Bones

“Alive with magic, mystery, and mayhem, THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN, is a heart-pounding adventure you won’t want to miss. With vivid, bright prose, Dotson weaves a story brimming with fantastical details and memorable characters who are given the daunting task of saving the world. Highly recommended!” 
— Danika Stone, author of SwitchbackAll the Feels, and Internet Famous

“J. Dianne Dotson has crafted a magical world young readers can get lost in until dawn. THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN is a glittering, luminescent mystery adventure that reminds us no matter how dark it gets, we are never truly alone.”
— Kristy Gardner, author of The Stars in Their Eyes and The Darkest Stars

Awards Recognition

I’m deeply honored that THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN is a finalist for a Nebula Award and a BSFA Award. Thank you to my peers and readers for these nominations!

Buy the Book

You can buy THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN from your favorite bookseller in ebook, paperback, or hardback!

Some Examples:

Bookshop.org (supports indie bookshops)
Mysterious Galaxy Books
Barnes and Noble

Thank you for your support. Write on!

Jendia Gammon (who also writes as J. Dianne Dotson) is a Nebula and BSFA Award finalist author, science writer, and artist. View her published works under both names on her books page.