Joshua and the Arrow Realm book trailer reveal



I’m thrilled to unveil the trailer for book two in Donna Galanti’s fantasy adventure Lightning Road series,  JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM, arriving August 30th. The Midwest Book Review calls book one, JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD, “a heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.”  Grab book one for just $.99cents now through September 20th.

Be sure to enter the fun giveaway package at the bottom of this post that includes a paperback of book one, poster of the Lost Realm, bookmarks, and a $25 B&N gift card (U.S. only). Sign up for Donna’s Thunderclap book release campaign and help her zap the world through social media with her lightning message!

ABOUT JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM:

On August 30th take the lightning road back to a world of beasts, bandits, and heroes in book two of the Lightning Road series. Join Joshua in a new fight for power in the Arrow Realm. Can Joshua and his friends conquer an unstoppable evil?

Joshua never thought he’d return to the world of Nostos but is soon called to the Arrow Realm to free his imprisoned friend, King Apollo, kidnapped as a power pawn in Queen Artemis’s quest to conquer every realm. With his loyalties divided between our world and theirs, Joshua wonders whether he alone can restore magic to the twelve powerless Olympian heirs and save all those enslaved. But when he finds himself abandoned in his quest, he fears he cannot only save those imprisoned—but himself as well.

“Fast-paced and endlessly inventive, Joshua and the Arrow Realm is a high-stakes romp through a wild world where descendants of the Greek gods walk beside you, beasts abound, and not everything—or everyone—is as it seems.” ~ Michael Northrop, New York Times bestselling author of the TombQuest series

JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM BOOK TRAILER:






EXCERPT:

A faint rumble groaned through the whistling wind.

Boom!

Thunder ripped the sky overhead.

Charlie reached the frozen pond, spinning across it. “Woohoo! I win! You Americans can’t beat us at speed!”

Lightning flashed. It zinged across the pine trees like brilliant sunlight. A seed of terror flickered inside me.

Boom! Boom!

Another flash scorched the sky.

Charlie’s smile fell to a frown as he raced across the ice, peering up into the swirling clouds.

We both knew what lightning could do.

Suddenly, sneaking outside for a moonlit sled ride before Bo Chez got home from his monthly poker game didn’t seem so smart.

The sleet turned to snow. Icicles flew off trees like glass splinters, shattering on the hard snow. As I shot toward the pond, a tree on the edge moved. Its branches swayed in the swirling snow.

It wasn’t a tree, but a girl! She stumbled through the mad flurry, arms outstretched.

“Charlie, look!”

Gusts snatched the words away as my sled hit the ice and careened out of control on the bumpy surface. The girl staggered and fell onto the pond. I twisted my sled away to avoid hitting her and smashed right into Charlie. With a yelp, he pulled me up, and we clumped toward the girl. We lifted her up, half dragging her back up the hill to the house in the pelting snow and sleet.

“Who is she?” Charlie yelled.

“No idea,” I yelled back.

He said more, but his words were lost in the wind.

My lungs burned with the cold and effort. There was only one reason someone would appear with lightning—to steal us. This girl might appear like a waif unprepared for a storm but I couldn’t trust that’s all she was.

PRE-ORDER JOSHUA AND THE ARROW REALM:

Amazon and  Barnes & Noble

MEET DONNA GALANTI


Donna Galanti is the author of The Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). 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. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse, and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. You can find her at www.donnagalanti.com.

BOOK REVIEWERS:

E-book ARCs are available for this next thrilling book in The Lightning Road series! Email donna(at)donnagalanti.com for copies and specify the format you’d like.

GIVEAWAY:

 

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LEGACY launch party + giveaway



Synopsis

A troubled young journalist finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth dark secrets from the past.
Spring, 2010. When Luna Ward, a science journalist from New York, travels halfway across the world to work undercover at an alternative health clinic in Cadiz, her ordered life is thrown into turmoil.
The doctor she is to investigate, the controversial Rodrigo Rueda de Calderon, is not what she expected. With his wild gypsy looks and devilish sense of humour, he is intent upon drawing her to him. But how can she surrender to a passion that threatens all reason; and how could he ever learn to trust her when he discovers her true identity? Then Luna finds that Ruy is carrying a corrosive secret of his own…
Luna’s native Spanish blood begins to fire in this land of exotic legends, flamboyant gypsies and seductive flamenco guitars, as dazzling Cadiz weaves its own magic on her heart. Can Luna and Ruy’s love survive their families’ legacy of feuding and tragedy, and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of the past? 
Legacy is a story of truth, dreams and desire. But in a world of secrets you need to be careful what you wish for…

Available at Amazon   Amazon UK   I  Barnes and Noble


Author Bio: Hannah Fielding


Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean. 

Hannah is a multi-award-winning novelist, and to date she has published five novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; The Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’ set in Italy; and the Andalusian Nights Trilogy Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy – her fieriest novels yet, set in sunny, sultry Spain.
 

You can find Hannah online at:

* her website
* Goodreads

 



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Picture Book Saturday: Duncan, the Story Dragon


Duncan, the Story Dragon

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately…so does his book.

Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends?



I dare anyone to read Duncan, the Story Dragon and not fall in love. If you can't tell, the illustrations are adorable and full of whimsy. Every page is full of cuteness. As I followed Duncan on his quest to find someone willing to read a book to him, I could not help but smile. With every no he received, I felt his disappointment. Any reader will be able to relate to Duncan's plight; it is one we all share-- trying to find someone that loves books as much as we do! When Duncan does find a very surprising companion that shares his love of books, his story really takes off! Get ready for a grand journey with Duncan and his friend. 

Duncan, the Story Dragon is a 2016-2017 Sunshine State Reader Jr. title. 


Picture Book Saturday: The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty


The Storybook Knight

Even dragons can’t resist a good story…

Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…




Oh man. If you are unfamiliar with the Docherty duo, get yourself acquainted now! They have to be one of the most adorable and extremely talented (and amazing) team ever. Ever! I have been completely enchanted with everything they produce since I stumbled across The Snatchabook on Netgalley a few years ago. 

When I saw they had a new book coming out, I got excited. I was a bit worried it would not live up to my expectations since I absolutely LOVED The Snatchabook, but The Storybook Knight did not disappoint. I loved that my 8 year-old son climbed up into my lap to read this one with me. (He knows how excited I was to read this.) As usual, the illustrations were AMAZING. Absolutely stunning and the perfect compliment to a charming story. I am always in awe of the talent these two have. I had a digital copy to review, and yet, the images were still vibrant and eye catching. We loved looking at all the little details included on the pages. 

Little Leo is a reader, and I love him for that. It was great to see how he tackled a problem in his own unique way. I'm all for a character (person) staying true to themselves despite the challenges they face. What a great message for little minds! 

I highly recommend this one. In fact, I think you'll want to add it to your personal collection. I know I do! 

Picture Book Saturday: Sparky! by Jenny Offill


Sparky!

The ingenious author of 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore and a brilliant illustrator and production designer of the Coraline movie have created a hilarious, touching picture book perfect for young animal lovers. Like the Caldecott Medal-winning Officer Buckle and Gloria, Sparky stars a pet who has more to offer than meets the eye. When our narrator orders a sloth through the mail, the creature that arrives isn't good at tricks or hide-and-seek . . . or much of anything. Still, there's something about Sparky that is irresistible.






I have to admit that this book caught my eye on the 2016-17 Sunshine State Reader list because it featured a sloth. See, my teenage son has a lot in common with Sparky. In fact, sloths are his spirit animal. It only made sense that I would pick up Sparky! from the library. 

As we read, I found myself smiling at all of Sparky's lackluster tricks. I couldn't help but thinking of the saying that goes something like "there is more to it than meets the eye". That sums up Sparky well. 

While the story was simple and straight forward, and the illustrations felt more like sketches, I think Sparky!  will appeal to many young readers. Especially those that have always wanted the "perfect" pet. 

Picture Book Saturday: Snap! by Hazel Hutchins



Snap!


What could be more perfect than a brand new set of crayons? Evan can't wait to use them, until Snap! the brown one breaks in two. Then one by one, the others break, get crushed, are blown away, or simply disappear. How can he possibly draw when there's no green, purple, or even black?

Evan feels like throwing things, but instead, he scribbles using all the bits and pieces that are left. But what's this? Where yellow and blue cross, there's green, and when blue and red get all mixed up, it creates just the right purple to draw monsters. Soon, all he's left with are tiny stubs of red, yellow, and blue, but Evan discovers that even with just a few crayons, he can create new and exciting art--his imagination is the only tool he needs.




Snap! is a book about finding great imagination when things seem dire. It was really cute to see how Evan thought his day was ruined when the first crayon snapped, but then discovered that all was not lost. In fact, he found many things to do with each crayon! I enjoyed seeing all of Evan's projects and remembering what it was like as a child to do the very same things. The illustrations are great and capture the whimsy of Evan's adventures. 

Minute Review: Zero Day (Jan Gangsei)


Zero DayEight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold…but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the administration who find her timely return suspicious.

When a national security advisor approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could the girl he’s missed for all these years be a threat to the United States? Still, at the risk of having his own secrets exposed, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

He soon realizes that his old friend is much more than the traumatized victim of a political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission…but will she choose to complete it?

























Zero Day is action packed from the very first chapter!  This YA thriller will keep readers turning the pages until the very end. 

Told in alternating points of view, you get an interesting glimpse into Addie and Darrow's lives after the abduction. There are many gaps in what Addie is willing to share, but as the story unfolds the reader is able to piece together a pretty good idea of what happened. Of course, there is the big reveal in the end that might catch you by surprise if you didn't figure things out before hand. 

I will have to admit, parts of the book got a bit technical for me-- hacking terms that I know nothing about. For the most part, those were glanced over quickly so it didn't seem to bog the story down much. Overall, I felt like the pacing was adequate and it certainly kept me reading. My only complaint would be how quickly the ending wrapped up (or didn't!). I'm not really a fan of cliffhangers, but I assume it was done on purpose to leave room for a follow up book. Unfortunately, it made me feel like the rushed ending was a hurried attempt to end a novel before it got too long.  

Overall, I think it will be an enjoyable read for anyone that doesn't take it too seriously. It's certainly geared towards YA readers, so don't expect a super detailed psychological thriller. 

mini review: Stone Field (Christy Lenzi)

Stone FieldIn a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.




























Not sure about this one. But then again, I was not sure about Wuthering Heights either. If I'm being honest, I spent most of my reading time confused about what Ms. Bronte was talking about... and Stone Field was pretty much the same experience for me.


Cat is definitely unstable. Stonefield might be a bit off as well, but I think I would lean more towards he's driven mad by intense emotions.  Since this is a very character driven book, let's discuss some of the characters: Cat, Stonefield, the preacher and Effie.

Cat is a lunatic. Period. Probably suffering from PTSD of some type, causing her to really behave in some crazy ways. Everyone copes with grief differently, so it does (kind of ) make sense that her guilt and grief drive her mad. Stonefield, on the other hand, seems more intentional. (Side note: I am also not convinced that he did not take advantage of Cat's mental state to get what he wanted earlier in the novel.) His race is questionable, but given the time period it's a pretty good guess that he's Native American (there was a hint about the Trail of Tears). I wanted to like both of these characters, but I never really could connect with them. Cat boasts extreme devotion one minute, then acts like a spiteful ex-girlfriend the next moment. Stonefield was not better, as he showed his very selfish side often.

Effie, on the other hand, came across as pretty straightforward. Her role was unique being that she was a minority during a time of slavery. Not only was she a minority, she was extremely intelligent and raised to be no one's inferior. Probably not the most historical accurate given the Southern location of the story, but it did make for interesting contrast to Cat. Effie and Cat were best friends, and much of the story relied on Effie to tone down Cat's craziness.

Finally, there is the preacher. Gag. I just can't even come to terms with him, but he was creepy! Again, I felt that he took advantage of situations to get what he wanted. (i.e. he claimed God told him to help Cat). I don't think God told him anything about Cat. I think he was a horn dog that saw her and knew she was a bit unstable and decided to work those situations to his advantage. He really wasn't a very likable character.

Overall, this one was intense at times and blurry at other points. It's a roller coaster of a ride and can be challenging to keep up with. But if you know the general gist of Wuthering Heights, you know how the story will end for Cat and Stonefield. 

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