Interview with author P.S. Broaddus

P.S. Broadduss is the author of ‘A Hero’s Curse’, I reviewed this book here on the blog not too long ago. He kindly agreed to do an interview with me. Apparently my questions are ‘a ton of fun’ and his answers are certainly interesting. I have to admit I would quite like to join the dinner party with the quests that he would invite!

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Interview 

What inspired you to write ‘A Hero’s Curse?’

C.S. Lewis talked about how he came to write the books of Narnia, saying that they “all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood.” My own storytelling is similar. I write from images in my head. For me it was the picture of a young blind girl standing in the desert, listening to a long awaited storm rolling in.

Which one of your characters would you like to be for the day and why and what would you spend the day doing?

I would enjoy being Tig. He and I share a love for snarkiness. I would probably spend the day napping in the sun.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Tough question, as I had several. I have revisited The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame most often. For more on books that shaped my childhood, check out this post.

What character (of any book by any author) would you like to have dinner with and why?

Probably Professor Lupin, from the Harry Potter Series. He has a broad knowledge of the wizarding world and is one of the most approachable and straightforward adults in the series. I feel like we could talk for hours about the wizarding world without him glowering at me (sorry Snape—I’m just too curious), or being over-awed while not getting full answers (Dumbledore, you’re awesome, but maybe a bit much so…and you play everything too close to your chest for a dinner guest). Any of the younger folk—Harry, Hermione, Ron—I feel like I know a lot about them and their lives and we would just re-live stuff and say wow, isn’t that cool—but they don’t have the depth of experience and history the adults have, and that’s what I’d want to mine. If Professor Lupin was busy, I suppose I’d enjoy having Boromir over, or Legolas, or Gimli—the dwarves especially love a good story. So yeah…my dinner guest list is fairly long.

You are stranded on a desert island with a character from one of your favorite books, who is it and what is the first thing you do together?

I’d probably go with Samwise Gamgee or Ron Weasley. I mean, there’s a ton of folks it would be fun to hang out with for a couple of days—and there are a ton of folks who have skills to help us survive or get home. But as far as long term companionship without going crazy or going at each other—it’s got to be Sam or Ron. The first thing we’d do? Probably figure out what to eat and get a cooking fire going. See, they’re so dern practical!  

Would you rather have a witch or a wizard as a best friend?

A wizard who can teach me to play quidditch.

What author would you like to go in a submarine with?

The funny thing is, there are a lot of authors out there who write great books, but it would be a nightmare to get trapped in a submarine with them. Authors and writers are a strange, rummy bunch. Probably C.S. Lewis or Tolkien—they both had their quirks, but we would probably get along just fine.

Merlin has come along and changed you into a cat, you have to find the antidote, what is it and who has it?

Why do I need the antidote? I mean, I get to be a cat!

Would you rather have a dogs tail or cats ears?

Cat’s ears. Super hearing. But I would probably wear a beanie most of the time.

When writing your books how do you decide the personalities of your characters and do you ever base them on people you know?

Often I do a character sketch, but then that character develops a life of their own. I haven’t ever based them on people I know—real life is stranger than fiction—rather, characters often pick up bits here and there, from something I saw, a conversation I heard, or a personality aspect that fits.

Who would play you in the movie of your life and why?

Well, if we’re being honest, my wife and I think it should probably be Dick Van Dyke. On the Dick Van Dyke show he is a writer with a beautiful wife and little boy. There are a few differences—I’ve got three boys and I don’t do a part in my hair, but it is pretty close.

What book do you wish you had written?

Interesting question—none of my favorites—I like the way they were written, and nobody could have done them better. But then, I wouldn’t have wanted to have my name across something I don’t like either!

Who’s your favorite author and why?

C.S. Lewis is such a powerful storyteller and uses analogy beautifully. J.K. Rowling’s world building and character building makes me want to revisit the stories again and again. And then there’s P.G. Wodehouse. He has a turn of phrase and a way with words that makes me laugh and will keep me coming back for more.

Where can readers find you?

You can haunt me on twitter, @psbroaddus, find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/aheroscurse/, follow me on Goodreads (P.S. Broaddus or A Hero’s Curse), subscribe to our YouTube channel, (psbroaddus) or check out our website and subscribe to the blog at www.psbroaddus.com. I’m always excited to hear from fellow adventurers!

Interview with author Nicky Peacock

I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicky Peacock today. Nicky is the author of Bad blood which is the first book I reviewed for my blog – read it here.

Bad Blood

Bad blood is the first of four books in the series, watch this space for the reviews for the other books in the Bad Blood series.

Interview

What inspires you to write about the supernatural? 

I grew up on family ghost stories. My mum and dad used to tell my brother and me about a haunted house they lived in when they were first married. It was scary stuff and, years later, I met someone else who had lived in the same house – weirdly enough they told me the same stories about footsteps on the stairs, cans stacked in pyramids and Christmas trees that would never stay standing for long. Between that and being drawn to horror novels and movies, the supernatural is really my ‘go to’.

Which one of your characters would you like to be for the day and why and what would you spend the day doing?

I’d like to be to be an imaginary friend like Mr Custard from Lost in Wonderland. I’d spend the day helping people that need a friend.

What was your favourite book as a child?

I used to read The Animals of Farthing Wood, and I adored Roald Dahl. The Witches, James and the Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr Fox was my favourites. I also use to read the Tales from the Crypt comics and watch the TV show.

Nicky
You are stranded on a desert island with a character from one of your favourite books, who is it and what is the first thing you do together?

If I was stranded with Huckleberry Finn, we could build a raft together to escape! Or perhaps with the Crypt Keeper from the Tales from the Crypt. He could tell me stories; I’d never be bored then.

Would you rather have a witch or a wizard as a best friend?

Witch, they are usually eviler and more fun! We could cast spells, and she could teach me to ride a broomstick.

What author would you like to go in a submarine with?

LOL, I’m not sure I’d want to go in a submarine, too claustrophobic and I’ve watched too many disaster movies. I’d rather go on a boat trip with Stephen King – see if I can scare him.

Merlin has come along and changed you into a cat, you have to find the anecdote, what is it and who has it?

It’s a unicorn horn. It is being auctioned at a supernatural museum at midnight. I have to gather together a team of other cursed animals for a heist to steal it, so we can all turn back to humans. Little do they all know that the unicorn horn only has one spell left in it, and I’ll have to get to it first if I’ve any chance of breaking the curse.

Would you rather have a dogs tail or cats ears?

Cat ears, I could hide them under my long hair, and they’d give me fantastic hearing.

When writing your books how do you decide the personalities of your characters and do you ever base them on people you know?

Yes, but only parts. My protagonists tend to have at least aspect of me in them, that way I can channel them better through my prose. Other characters will have aspects of people I know in them; for example the way they speak and slang.

Who would play you in the movie of your life and why?

Kate Winslet. She’s a great actress, and my life is relatively boring, so she’d liven things up a bit.

What book do you wish you had written?

Twilight or The Hunger Games – they were both so big and got teens reading. They also made a nice wad of cash each, which I certainly wouldn’t turn down.

Who’s your favourite author and why?

So many authors! And they change depending on my mood. For horror, I read Poppy Z Brite or Richard Laymon. For Paranormal Romance I read Kresley Cole and Christine Feehan. For Urban Fantasy it’s Keri Arthur and Patricia Briggs. For YA it’s Kiera Cass and Cassandra Clare. And for when I’m feeling very brave, I read any paranormal non-fiction book from the publishers, Llewellyn.

Where can readers find you online?

Blog:   Twitter: Y  A Facebook Page:   UK Amazon Author Page:

US Amazon Author page:   Good Reads: Tumblr:  Authorgraph:

I currently have a FREE read available. YA vampires vs zombies historical novella, Traitors’ Gate. You can find it here:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Traitors-Battle-Undead-Nicky-Peacock-ebook/dp/B01KGBLIN0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474314710&sr=8-1&keywords=traitors+gate+nicky

traitorsgate
And my latest book, Lost in Wonderland a YA supernatural thriller twist on Alice in Wonderland can be bought here:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Wonderland-Twisted-Brave-Book-ebook/dp/B01E9NX1W2/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1474314825&sr=1-2
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Thank you for having me on your blog today.

 

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Unfair by Steven Harper

 

Unfair is a middle grade novel about Ryan November. Ryan is autistic and has problems understanding the emotional and social world he lives in. He lives with his mother, two aunts and father. While Ryan has problems understanding emotions and social cues he does, however, understand numbers and patterns.

Ryan and his best, and only, friend Alison share a birthday. Ryan wakes up on the morning of his birthday knowing that he can see into the future. He finds a strange silver piece of string on his bedroom floor, when he picks it up it embeds itself under his skin forming a circle. Alison joins them for breakfast and over breakfast Ryan has his first vision. Alison is about to spill her milk over; he stops it from happening because he doesn’t like mess but his actions confuse and annoy Alison who believes she wasn’t going to spill the milk.

After breakfast they go to the lake where they first met each other, this is where the adventure begins. Ryan confides in his best friend and explains why he pinned her hand down at the breakfast table. Curious, Alison asks how far into the future he can see but Ryan has an emotional melt down, the vision he sees terrifying him. Alison tries to get him back to the cottage but can’t lift him up the stairs. Then out of the lake appears a lady, made of water, who claims she can help. Her appearance causes Ryans screaming to stop as he stares at her in disbelief. This is the first fairy encounter the two friends come across in the story.

After defeating an evil undine, of the faiy folk, the pair discovers secrets are being kept by Ryans parents and aunts. Then after coming face to face with an angry rock (you have to read it to find out what I mean) the cottage, Ryan lives in with his family, is burnt down. Ryans parents and aunts are then kidnapped by the faiy folk and the two friends journey into the fairy realm to rescue them. It’s in the fairy realm where Ryan comes into his own, what are his restrictions in the ‘real world’ are his super powers in the fairy realm. Here Alison learns how Ryan must feel in the ‘real’ world. A great way of showing the importance of putting ourselves in others shoes to see how they must be feeling. Ryan has to pass some tests that are set for him as he fights sylphs, brownies and salamanders and mentally battles with a voice in his head. The longer he stays in the fairy realm the bigger the pull it has on him and he has to decide whether he wants to stay there or go home to his family.

I was lucky enough to have a whole rainy Saturday day to myself and I spent it reading this story. I couldn’t put it down and finished it within the day.  It’s very well written. I think the author is a genius. His use of flow charts to show mental processes is brilliant. He brings in mathematics in a fun and interesting way. And the way he has managed to describe awkward emotions can help children understand what may be going on in their own heads in some situations. It may help to give children an understanding of what autistic children, in their class or school or environment, may be going through and also may help to give autistic children some visual aids in interpreting emotions. The author clearly has an in-depth understanding of autism. And the whole story has a fun tone. It certainly is a book you want your children reading.

A fun story full of lessons, morals, adventure and good over evil, I absolutely loved it!

Definitely five out of five stars from me! I’ll be checking out his books written for adults.

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un/Fair by Steven Harper

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

Publisher: Month9Books

It’s difficult enough to live in the neighborhood “freakazoid” house. It’s even more difficult when you’re autistic and neither your family nor best friend really understands you. So when Ryan November wakes up on his eleventh birthday with the unexpected ability to see the future, he braces himself for trouble. But even his newfound power doesn’t anticipate that the fair folk–undines, salamanders, gnomes, and sylphs–want him dead, dead, dead. Ryan races to defend himself and his family against unrelenting danger from the fairy realm so he can uncover the truth about his family history–and himself. Except as Ryan’s power grows, the more enticing the fairy realm becomes, forcing him to choose between order and chaos, power and family. And for an autistic boy, such choices are never cut and dry.

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Steven Harper/Piziks is the author of multiple fantasy and science fiction novels written for adults, notably the Clockwork Empire and Silent Empire series for Roc as Steven Harper and movie novelizations and tie ins for Pocket Books as Steven Piziks (IDENTITY, THE EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING, GHOST WHISPERER: THE PLAUGE ROOM). He’s also the father of an autistic son.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Link to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29633540-un-fair

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Link to Tour Schedule: http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-unfair-by-steven-harper/

Giveaway Information: Contest ends September 23, 2016

* One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)

* Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of un/FAIR by Steven Harper (INT)

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Witches Protection Program – by Micheal Phillip Cash

Witches Protection Program

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Micheal Philip Cash

I received this book to review for Bewitching Book Tours.

This book is brilliant, I loved the story from start to finish and read it in two evenings. I was itching to put my child to bed early to read it and even managed to sneak a few pages whilst she played with her Barbie dolls! Naughty I know but I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Wes is a police officer in a special unit. At the very beginning of the story he is being given the telling off of all telling offs by his superior, who also happens to be his dad; for letting an old, seemingly harmless, lady out of their custody. What did he do? He looked her in the eyes. You may think…What?!! But with the title ‘Witches Protection Program’ you get the hint that she clearly isn’t a harmless old lady.

The story is set in modern day New York City. Wes has been reassigned to another unit, to prove his worth; another screw up and he’s out. He meets his new partner, Alastair, and is introduced to his new assignment at his new department – The Witches Protection Program. Like most young-hunky blond 25 year old males, Wes does not believe in witches and finds the new assignment a joke, to begin with anyway.

We then meet Morgan, a young college student and heiress to a multi-billion dollar cosmetics company, Pendragon, started by her deceased mother and ruthless aunt. Her aunt is still alive and very much kicking, building up her empire with the help of some seriously hardcore, high powered witches. By the way, Morgan is a witch too!! Eeeeeek I hope I haven’t spoiled it for you….! In all honestly I haven’t.

The story between Morgan and her aunt has a ‘The Devil Wares Prada’ feel to it, a film and book I LOVED! I was constantly picturing Meryl Streep playing Aunt Bea. There are two types of witches in this story, the Davinas who are good witches that use their magic to help and heal people. Then there are the Willas, powerful badass witches not using their gifts for the greater good but for their own selfish desires. The Witches Protection Program, an off the radar unit, help protect the good witches.

With Morgans aunt wanting to take control of the world, Wes has to quickly believe in witches and also his ability to do the job to the standard his father wants him to. Morgan has to fight between her loyalty to her aunt, who took her in when her mother died, and her natural instinct of doing the right thing for the greater good.

We meet some interesting and comical characters in the book; the story has a tongue in cheek feel to it but it very well written. A very easy to read and follow story that had me sniggering well into the evening. I kept thinking how much I’d love to see the film; the graphics I pictured in my head were amazing! Towards the end there is a couple of chapters that had a superman / transforms kind of feel but its really well portrayed, these were the scenes I’d sneaked off to read, there was a cartoon playing in the other room and the music in the background really suited what was happening in the book! It made the whole experience of the story become even more alive! The ending has a Walt Disney feel to it and I closed the last page hoping the author is going to make this a series.

Definitely giving this book 5 out of 5. I’ll be checking out other books this author has written.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/fMn2EgYQr8s

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Book Description:

Wes Rockville, a disgraced law enforcement agent, is given one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232 year old secret government organization. The Witches Protection Program.

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar Cosmetics company’s diabolical plan of using witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in both witches and himself.

Filled with adventure, suspense and a rousing good time, Michael Phillip Cash creates a tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern day New York City.

Excerpt:

“Follow me, kid.” She led him down a gray hallway with mulberry-colored carpet, more plush than anything he’d ever seen in a governmental office. The place had to be a city block wide, with corridors branching off to other conduits. Here and there, a doorway opened. Wes saw that many were filled with groups of people sitting at polished conference tables. Some rooms were dark, with shades drawn, the light of a presentation on screens peeking through the slats of the blinds. Staff walked through the hallways, nodding to each other. Some were in pairs. All had a badge hanging on a chain or attached to a pocket. He squinted, but he couldn’t make out the impression on the shield. Forget about attempting to read it. He shrugged; while it looked official, it was unfamiliar. For a person who grew up with an entire family in law enforcement, he found it odd that he’d never seen it before.

“What is this place?” he asked.

“This is where the magic happens,” she told him cryptically.

She opened the door, whispering, “Prepare to be amazed.” Then, with a giant pop of her gum, she disappeared.

“Where…” Wes turned, looking for the woman, but couldn’t see her anywhere. “Where is…”

“Oh, she’s gone. Come in already,” a male voice ordered impatiently.

Wes spun to the speaker, his eyes settling on a small man seated at a glass desk. He was in a neat gray suit but wore a black turtleneck, which made him look like some odd, eccentric leftover from the beatnik generation. He was older than Wes’s father, Wes guessed somewhere north of sixty, with the thickening middle of a sedentary life, a tanned complexion, and silver hair. His chubby face sported a neatly trimmed goatee. Wes wondered where his beret might be. The man studied Wes with interested black eyes that glowed with merriment.

“What kind of department is this?”

“Mr. Wesley Paul Rockville. Son of Harris and Melinda, brother to Lauren and Andrew. Tough act to follow. Runt of the litter?”

Wes bristled, wondering where this pint-size dude got off calling him a runt. At six foot three, he was hardly considered small. “I fail to see what this has got to do with my reassignment,” he said icily.

The older man ignored him. “The young gun who had his free will sucked right out of him.”

“No one took my free will!” Wes shouted, his face hot.

“I think Miss Genevieve Fox did a pretty nice number on you.”

“What are you talking about?”

Alastair cocked his head, a smile playing on his lips.

“I don’t think this is funny, um…Alastair. I’m getting out of here.” Wes had had enough. He was pissed and hungry.

“Sit down, Agent Rockville. It’s time you learned about your new assignment.”

About the Author:

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Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning and best-selling novelist of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels. He’s written ten books including the best-selling “Brood X”, “Stillwell”, “The Flip”, “The After House”, “The Hanging Tree”, “Witches Protection Program”, “Pokergeist”, “Monsterland”, “The History Major”, and “Battle for Darracia” series. Michael’s books are on the Amazon best-seller list and have also won numerous awards. Additionally, he is a screenwriter with 14 specs under his belt. Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island.

Website: http://www.michaelphillipcash.com/

Blog: http://www.michaelphillipcash-officialblog.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelPhillipCash

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaelpcash

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5 copies Witches Protection Program

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Joshua and the Arrow Realm

Joshua and the Arrow Realm – by Donna Galanti

I received this book free to read for a review for chapter by chapter book tours.

After only a couple of pages in, I realised that this book is a sequel. Even though I hadn’t read the first book I was happily surprised to find that it isn’t needed. This book drops enough snippets of Joshua’s previous adventure that you get the gist of what happened. However, after finishing the story I now want to read the first one and I’m looking forward to the third one, which I can only assume is being manifested as I type.

It’s a middle grade story, perfectly written for ages 8-12.

Joshua and Charlie are from Earth; the story begins with them sledging down ice-covered slopes and hills racing each other in the middle of a snow storm. They come across an older girl who’s staggering around; her attire catches their attention. It turns out Ash is a tree girl from another world, a world that Joshua visited in the first book. She has come for Joshua’s help to save King Apollo from Queen Artimis. Wearing the belt of a friend of Joshua’s, Leandro, who he helped in the first adventure; Ash quickly gains Joshua’s trust and she blasts both Joshua and Charlie to another world down the lightening rod.

Not wanting to spoil anything for you, Joshua and Charlie have to go and save King Apollo who was kidnapped. Apollo had freed the kid slaves that were stolen from Earth by the child collectors and angered Zeus, who seems to be the main ruler who rules over smaller kingdoms. Queen Artimis, King Apollo and Poseidon were trying to form a revolution to stop the slavery and the children from being taken from earth but Queen Artimis changes and puts King Apollo in prison. Why does she have a change of heart? Is she still working with Poseidon?

It is a fast-paced action-packed story from start to finish. Reading large chunks in one go left me feeling exhausted for Joshua and Charlie as their adventure takes them from calling wild large Korax’s (a rather scary sounding creature) on a flute that only works in this realm, to being imprisoned with King Apollo. Underwater swimming whilst following a talking dog, to fighting wild creatures that feed on humans in the wild lands; the pair encounters many dangers on their quest and the four examples given are on a few of the dangerous beings they come across. Whilst battle-ling beasts from a strange land they also encounter many people, some they can trust and some they can’t and with a few betrayals throughout the story the reader wonders will there be a happy ending  or not?

Some people in the land believe Joshua is a foretold prophesy, the oracle, they believe he has come to save the slaves and the people of the land from the evil put upon them by Zeus. Joshua’s powers are wanted by the rulers but Joshua doesn’t believe he is the oracle or that he has any powers. Throughout the story strange things happen to Joshua, yes stranger than fighting human eating beasts. Does this mean he is the oracle? Is it him making these things happen? Joshua has to believe in himself to be able to overcome the challenges he is facing.

Every chapter has an adventure within the main adventure. A story of friendship, trust, betrayal and believing in oneself are the ingredients to a well-loved adventure story that helps to inspire young people.

I give the story 4 out of 5 stars, I think it will be very popular amongst middle grade readers.

Joshua2 Cover

 

Joshua and the Arrow Realm (Lightning Road #2)

by Donna Galanti

Publication Date: August 30, 2016

Publisher: Tantrum Books

Joshua never thought he’d return to the world of Nostos so soon. But, when King Apollo needs his help in the Arrow Realm, Joshua’s will and powers will be tested in order to save him.

With his loyalties divided between our world and theirs, Joshua wonders whether he alone can restore magic to the twelve powerless Olympian heirs, or whether he is being tricked into making the one mistake that might cost them all.

JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM is the exciting follow up to JOSHUA THE LIGHTNING ROAD which the Midwest Book Review called, “a heart-pounding thrill ride.”

 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

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Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20983429-joshua-and-the-lightning-road

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | IndieBound | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

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Donna Galanti

Donna is the author of the Joshua and the Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at http://www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs…, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at http://www.donnagalanti.com and http://www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

 

 

Play time – a mothers nightmare

The large warehouse loomed in the distance; not in the slightest bit attractive from the outside but my inner self aware of the bright garish colours covering a plethora of children’s activities awaiting inside. The excited little child of mine skips happily from the car park hardly being able to contain her excitement.

‘Wow, mummy! Look at the big slide,’ is all she could say as we enter the play centre; my noise curling upwards as a bizarre musty smell reaches my awareness.

‘Grin and bare, grin and bare,’ is all I can think ‘Michelle will be here soon with the girls’.

Shrieks of joy fill the space; children zoom past running from one climbing frame to another. Metallic springs clink from the trampolines as the children try to outdo one another in jump heights.

‘I can jump higher than you!’

‘Mummy! Look how high I can jump!’

Fake spider’s webs and cheap-looking plastic skeletons provide the clue Halloween is just around the corner. Paper witches hang from the ceiling accompanied by paper pumpkins. I shiver as the chill in the space brushes through my bones; the bright red faces of the running children tell me I am alone in my rate of temperature.  Dotted around the room mothers enjoy a well-deserved coffee break relieved their off-spring are playing amongst the rainbow-coloured ball pit, whizzing down huge slides and burning off any excess energy, not requiring full adult attention.

Music from a mini carousel blasts out from one side of the space, the sound clashing with the nursery rhymes playing out from the buildings sound system. Happy cries from the children add to the mix of sounds as they run to get a seat on the carousel. New mums beam at their little ones being able to go on the ride on their own for the first time, the milestone being recorded on their smart phone.

‘One for the memory books,’ says one mother.

‘You can’t miss a thing,’ says another.

Delight waves through me as I spot my friend with her girls; I know the girls will play together which will allow us to become those mothers of the room enjoying adult conversation. Even though the coffee tastes bitter as we sip it from paper cups, hoping it will take the chill out of our bodies, we enjoy the short time we reconnect slightly into our former childless selves. Then all too soon time is upon us, and the moment comes to round up the children, the home time fight begins ending one chapter of the day to start a new one.

Seven Seeds of Summer

Review also posted on Goodreads.com

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Seven Seeds of Summer is a young adult fiction about an American art college student, Summer. Summer is an awkward introvert who doesn’t really have any friends and seems to prefer it that way. Summer’s passion is painting; I love the author’s descriptions of Summer painting, I love the way Summer feels the colours; I feel the author must love to paint too.

The story follows Summer from the start of her summer break from college. Her mother, who she is clearly not close to, collects her from college to bring her home. All Summer wants to do is paint and living by the coast she has beautiful scenery to inspire her. Summers parents work in archeology, specialising in ancient Greece and mythology; right from the beginning of the story we are introduced to ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses. Her mother loves them all except Hades, the God of the underworld, but it Hades who Summer loves and paints her version of him all the time. It begs the question ‘does Summer love this God to annoy her mother?’ but then the story unfolds to show us the reason she paints him all the time.

The reader is brought to an interesting turn in the tale when Hades, the God of the underworld, shows up and wants to take Summer to his kingdom. The story then becomes quite eventful with Summer having to move to Greece, a tragic event occurs (I wont spoil) and Summer finds herself fighting with a past life.

I find the viewpoint of Summer’s past life interesting, it is described in the story as two different people within one person. I have not read of past lives from this point before and the author puts across an interesting perspective.

Summer is fearful of Hades to start with, I mean he’s the God of the underworld you would be right? She tries to fight him and escape a couple of times but she becomes consumed with past life memories surfacing, initiating feelings for the God of death.

I love a story that spikes my interest in a subject I have not looked into before and this book made me want to know more about Greek mythology. I have a bit of a love / hate view of Summer; her teenage angst and inexperience was well described in the authors words without the author actually telling but she often felt like a damsel in distress even when she was trying to escape. It had a ‘Rapunzel trapped in the tower’ kind of feel to it. Hades comes across as an abusive, controlling boyfriend but as a God of death would he be a nice man? I don’t know anything of Greek mythology so don’t know how the God is portrayed but I didn’t like him very much in this story.

There were chapters that I loved and thought the descriptions of memories merging, paintings being painted in the mind, the inexperience of a young girl were beautiful and capturing but there were other chapters where I felt the story didn’t flow as well as other parts. I was a little bored when she was first with Hades in Greece and the leaving Hades chapter had a Beauty and the Beast feel to it ‘if you love her then let her go’ kind of thing, but who doesn’t love a fairy tale right? Also there were quite a few typos throughout the book.

I enjoyed the ending, Summer finally turns into a bad ass and you’ve got to love a strong female ending.

Overall I rate the story 3 out of 5

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Author – Chantal Gadoury

Can you love me like this?” he whispered into her golden hair and her laugh echoed throughout the dark hollows of the cave like bells. My stomach churned as her laugh echoed throughout my body. I hated her. The way she held him, the way she wasn’t afraid of the dark, the way she was perfect.

“Drink this…” the voice appeared again, and the dark caves were gone. A women stood silently, extending a cup in her hand with an evil grin. The golden goddess took the sup and began to drink the deep red liquid. I could feel it falling past my lips. It was sweet and familiar. Pomegranante. It was gone as soon as it had appeared. The women was gone, the taste was gone and I was left with nothing but the night. I felt hands on my shoulders, shaking me back and forth. It was almost like I was under water, and I couldn’t catch my breath.’

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http://chantalgadoury.blogspot.com/