Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: The Dream Keeper by Mikey Brooks

Back Cover Blurb
Loser—the most frightening word to ever be uttered in middle school. Even the coolest kids are afraid of being associated with it. 14-year-old Parker Bennett is no exception. He can’t even be himself around his friends for fear they might not accept who he really is. When circumstances force him to team up with Kaelyn Clarke, the biggest loser in the ninth grade, Parker has to decide what is more important; protecting his social status or saving the world. Nightmare named Fyren has taken over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, with the intention of controlling mortals, and it falls on Parker, Kaelyn, and Gladamyr – the Dream Keeper – to stop him. They learn being called a loser is no longer a fear, when compared to the terror of real nightmares.

My Review
4 out of 5 stars
I have been collecting books for a while now that I can read with the twins as they get older. The Dream Keeper is definitely going in the collection. This is an adorable middle-grade novel that has a little bit of everything--adventure, fantastic worlds, a hero's quest, and romance. Although the book is written for a young audience, it's definitely something adults will enjoy as well. I know I did!

I loved how clean the book was--definitely something I would feel comfortable with a young kid reading. I also loved the obvious lessons and themes the book taught. The main characters learn how to love and accept themselves and how to be brave. I love it when a book can not only entertain but teach a lesson.

The main characters were people I'd love to become friends with. The climax had me on the edge of my seat, and the ending was an unexpected--and exciting--cliffhanger. I can't wait for book two!

If you are looking for a way to stave off summer boredom in your children, hand them a copy of The Dream Keeper. You'll have just bought yourself hours of peace and quiet. Better yet, read it together!

Buy The Dream Keeper on Amazon!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: The Laundry Basket

Every day the twins get more hilarious. They have recently discovered that they can work together to accomplish tasks and drive Mommy crazy.

They have also recently realized they can drive each other crazy. And when I say "they" I really mean Thing 1. Despite being quite a bit smaller than his brother, he is definitely the older brother (if only by two minutes) and has taken to asserting his authority of late so that Thing 2 knows who's really in charge.

Yesterday the twins ended breakfast by throwing their food all over the kitchen floor and sitting in timeout while I cleaned up the mess (an almost inevitable occurrence every meal, no matter what I do). After getting out of timeout, they pulled out the empty laundry basket and started helping each other push it around the room. Thing 1 got on one side, Thing 2 got on the other, and together they were laughing and playing and giggling with glee.

My mother's heart melted. They are so adorable, I thought. It's moments like those that make me truly love being a twin mother. I love watching them interact. There's nothing like it.

I turned my back on the kids and proceeded with cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast.

That's when the screaming started. It was Thing 2 crying, I knew immediately. Thing 1 has become a bit of a bully, and Thing 2 isn't great at defending himself. I turned around, thinking Thing 1 had stolen the laundry basket from his brother. Stealing toys is a favorite task of his lately.

He hadn't stolen the laundry basket. Not quite. Thing 2 was trapped underneath the laundry basket. His little fingers reached through the slats as he cried hysterically for help. And Thing 1 sat triumphantly on top for the basket, grinning for all he was worth. He was still in charge.

I quickly got Thing 2 out. He really was scared, I think. But now I kind of wish I'd taken the time to take a picture.

It's moments like these I hope I never forget. It's the little things that give life color and make it worth living.

But I hope they can learn to get along better soon. (I can hear all you moms laughing out there.)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review: The Knight of Redmond

Back Cover Blurb
Lily is desperate to experience the world beyond her small village. A summer trip through the kingdom in the company of her uncle promises just the sort of escape she yearns for until, scarcely a day into their journey, the threat of battle on the road ahead ends her exploration before it’s even begun. But the path home proves more perilous than she could have imagined. After a terrifying encounter with her uncle’s merciless adversary, Lily must flee for her life. Separated from her uncle, she has no choice but to enter enemy territory alone. It appears that adventure is on the horizon after all . . .Thrust into an unfamiliar world, Lily is forced to align herself with Wren, a young knight from a rival land. With war looming, they must set aside generations of contention to save the ruling family—as well as Lily’s own people—from annihilation. But when a shocking secret is revealed, her allegiance to her clan—and her growing feelings for Wren—are called into question. Now, Lily must make a choice: continue on the conflict-ridden path of her kin, or break down the barriers in her land . . . and her heart.

My Review
4 out of 5 stars
I was really excited about this book, and overall it was a good read. I loved the medieval setting. I think the author did a fantastic job of making me feel like I was actually in feudal Europe, and as a former history teacher, I think she did her research well. I also really enjoyed the way witchcraft and superstitions--so common in the middle ages--played into the story. It added a richness and depth to the setting that I absolutely loved.

I was intrigued by the plot, and anxious to find out if the bad blood between the two fiefs would be resolved. There were some really unexpected plot twists that I loved. I also enjoyed the way the romance naturally developed between the hero and heroine.

What I didn't love was the heroine. I had a really hard time liking Lily in the beginning. She was a little whiny, and had a woe-is-me attitude that drove me nuts. She was incredibly judgmental and prejudice too. Although Lily did have a character arc and was a different person by the end of the book, the switch was too sudden for me, and honestly by that point I disliked her so much, I couldn't be brought around to loving her. That being said, Ren was likable enough to carry the story forward. I rooted for him the entire book, and felt for his struggle. He was a complex character, and I really understood his motivations for the things he did in the book.

The lead-up to the climax was fantastic, but the actually climax involved a too-stupid-to-live moment that had me rolling my eyes. Overall, the book is definitely worth your time. While there were some things I really didn't like about the book, the things I did like I really loved, and it was more than enough to carry me through the rougher parts of the story. I'll definitely be looking forward to move books by this author


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: Disciplining Twins

My mother's house is like a death trap for twin toddlers boys. Since she does not have any children at home, there are all sorts of fun--and not kid friendly--things in her house.

One of these items happens to be a cabinet that holds all the equipment for the entertainment center--DVR, DVD player, surround sound get the picture. It's one of those cabinets that has a glass door that stays closed with a magnet at the top.

Well, the glass in this particular cabinet shattered a while back, and my parents replaced it with plexiglass. While the plexiglass has the bonus of not being able to shatter again, it is very flexible and a favorite no-no for the twins to play with. They love to open and shut the door. They love to bend the plexiglass until it pops out of it's socket and falls off the cabinet. They love to play with the equipment inside.

A few weeks ago, I was having one of those mommy-is-losing-her-mind days. I didn't feel well (darn allergies), the twins were crabby (darn teething), and I was just plain exhausted (darn life). After naptime, I decided to take the twins upstairs to visit my mom since my sister and her kids were there as well.

We hadn't been upstairs very long when Thing 2 started playing with that darn entertainment equipment cabinet. The one that is off limits.

"Thing 2," my mom said, using her best stern grandma voice. "Whoops." (This is like our version of "no" at our house.) By this point, I was too tired to care what the twins did--just so long as they weren't bawling--and just watched the whole exchange, content to let my mom be the disciplinarian for the moment.

Thing 2 continued playing with the cabinet. "Uh-oh," my mom said. "Looks like we have to go to timeout." She took Thing 2 and held him in the corner for a minute, then let him go.

He promptly ran back to the cabinet. Shocking, I know.

"Whoops," my mom said again. She took him back to the corner. After a few seconds, she asked, "Okay, are you ready to make a good choice?"

"No," he said emphatically.

It was hard to hold back the giggles. "Oooookkkaaayyy," my mom said, drawing out the word. She held him there for ten seconds or so more. "Are you ready to make good choices now?" she asked.

"No," Thing 2 insisted.

It was impossible to hold back the laughter now. Me, my mom, and my sister were all giggling.

"How about now?" my mom asked one last time.

"No," Thing 2 said again. But "no" is sort of the twins' favorite word lately. It is their go-to response for everything from "are you ready for bed?" to "would you like ice cream for dinner?" So my mom let him go.

And he promptly ran back to the cabinet and started playing with the plexiglass with an "I told you so" expression. I laughed so hard I cried.

So maybe the whole disciplining thing isn't going as well as I'd like it to most days. Maybe my kids have to go in timeout for the exact same offense multiple times in an hour.

But at least we've got honesty down pat.

TWIN MOM TIP: Find the humor in situations. Otherwise you'll just lose your mind.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: What Do Twins Think of Themselves?

My sister has an adorable little boy who is just six months older than the twins. M, Thing 1, and Thing 2 have so much fun together and are such cute little friends.

My sister happens to be adopted. I only mention this because she is micronesian, and therefore very brown. Photographers really hate it when we have family pictures taken. I am extremely fair skinned, as are my two children. My sister is very brown skinned, as are her two children. It is nearly impossible to find a lighting setting that compliments us both. I'm either too blown out or she's too get the picture.

Anyway, last week my sister and her two kids (M and new baby) were down visiting. We decided to take all the littles to the park for some good fun, and my mom and grandmother came along for the ride.

They (the littles--M, Thing 1, and Thing 2) adored the park. They had a blast. But that's not the point of the story. As the littles were playing, two bigger kids came over and started to play on the same equipment as them. They looked to be about 7, and they looked an awful lot alike. Identical twin alike.

"Hey, are you boys twins?" my mom asked them.

One of the kids nodded. "Yup," he said.

"How cool!" my mom said. She gestured to the three littles playing at the feet of the big kids. "They're twins too."

The boy's eyes grew wide, and he said, "All three of them are twins?"

Insert awkward pause here. "," my mom said eventually. "Just the white ones."

"Oh." The kid shrugged and walked away like either response--yes or no--would've been acceptable to him.

I'd never really wondered, until that moment, at what point a twin understands just what a twin is. I guess not at seven. At seven, "twin" can apparently refer to two white toddlers and a brown one.

TWIN MOM TIP: Unless your twins are a lot calmer than mine, don't attempt a visit to the park unless you have at least one adult for each child. Just trust me on this one.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: Ashes Ashes by Julie Coulter Bellon

Back Cover Blurb
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?

Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out---if she tells him the truth.

Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him---including the woman at the center of it all?

My Review
I've been a fan of Julie's books for many years now, and Ashes Ashes did not disappoint. The opening scene, where Colby is on site at a hostage negotiation scene in case his sniper abilities are needed, immediately pulled me into the story and had me rooting for his character. I loved his loyalty, and I loved the way he allowed Sophia to be independent and make her own decisions. I really enjoyed how strong Sophia was. I loved watching how she dealt with her difficult situation. Sophia and Colby--and their relationship--just seemed so real. One of my favorite aspects of the book was watching their trust in each other slowly develop over time. I didn't happen all at once, and they even doubted each other a few times, and that made it so believable. 

Julie balanced suspense and romance like a master in this book. She carefully weaved the two together, blending them seamlessly. Each had its place; the characters were focused on the matters at hand when they needed to be, and focused on romance when appropriate. There was none of this we-have-two-seconds-to-detonate-the-bomb-so-we-should-probably-make-out stuff that Hollywood so often does, and which drives me batty. The characters' reactions in all the situations were realistic and believable.  

The plot was also flawlessly crafted. As I watched it unfold, I kept looking for plot holes, and I couldn't find any. 

Ashes Ashes is the second book in the Hostage Negotiation series, but it can totally stand on its own. I have not yet read book one (though I plan to remedy that soon!) and I didn't feel lost at all while reading Ashes Ashes. 

This is an intense, edge-of-your-seat read that will keep you turning pages all night long!

Author Bio
Julie Coulter Bellon loves to write international romantic suspense novels because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas.

Julie offers writing and publishing tips, as well as her take on life on her blog You can also find out about all her upcoming projects at her website or you can follow her on Twitter @juliebellon

Buy Links
Amazon * B&N * Createspace


Friday, June 7, 2013

I, Spy Blog Tour!

We're celebrating the launch of I, Spy! Read on to find out more about the book, get a cool spy tip for your daily life and download a free gift! Then find I, Spy on Amazon, Kobo, and!

About the Book

Canada is probably the last place you'd expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets—and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there’s one thing she can’t do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation. It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy? She can make this work, too—until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn't the only thing suffering. Now to save her secrets and her country, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves. More about I, Spy | Add I, Spy to your Goodreads to-read list!

Advance praise

The edge-of-my-seat undercover operations kept me turning pages, and just when I thought the story would go one way, plot twists sent it down another path. Thrilling, adventurous, and romantic, this book has it all for an Alias fan.
Jami Gold, award-winning author
Jordan McCollum’s debut novel is a delightful combination of mystery, action, and romance. Talia’s CIA training and almost OCD caution feed her quirky humor while exposing her very human fears and insecurities. Add in her boyfriend Danny, and it's enough to twist your heart.
Donna K. Weaver, author of A Change of Plans
Clever, suspenseful, and charged with political intrigue and romance, I, Spy is the perfect combination for a fun and captivating read!
Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

About the author

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most—she’s a mom. Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.

Hone your spy skills

Do you know what spy skill comes in handy in labor?
Further hone your spy skills by reading I, Spy!

The clue!

As part of the debut of I, Spy, Jordan is hosting a contest to figure out the song that inspired the story. Collect clues at each blog stop and use your spy skills to piece together the clues to win a $25 Amazon gift card! How to enter The clue for this stop is:
The I, Spy song shares its name with the album it appears on.

The freebie!

Thanks for participating in this launch tour! As a free gift this week, Jordan is giving out free copies of Mr. Nice Spy, an I, Spy prequel novella. Simply to go You can also get 40% off I, Spy!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesdays in Twinland: Writing and Twins

The age old question for all writers is, "How on earth do I find time to write?" Well, I've mentioned more than once when I write--nap time. The twins take about a three hour nap every afternoon, which leaves me with a decent chunk of time to accomplish things.

The problem I'm running into more and more as they get older and more busy is exhaustion. Not just physical exhaustion, although that is present and real. Mental exhaustion. I'm just mentally and emotionally drained all the time. Not because I don't love my kids. But because being their mom just takes a lot of energy these days.

So while the time for writing is blocked out, the ability to actually write--to start typing and have the words flow, and characters emerge, and a story with a plot emerge--isn't always there.

I say a lot that I feel "creatively dead." I'm just tired. I don't know what to write. I don't know how to write. I can't find the energy to write. It's not that I don't love it--I do. When I get an idea, I get to work and it's awesome. But finding the ideas is hard. My brain is so overtaxed by daily life, it goes to sleep when it needs to come up with brilliant ideas to write.

I know there is a time and a season for everything, and one day my kids will be grown and I'll have more energy to create. Writing is a career path for me, and so I'm okay with taking things more slow right now. It's not forever. Enjoying my kids is the most important thing.

But seriously, other moms of tiny do you keep your creativity alive when you are just so darn tired? Because while I can accept and be okay with the fact that writing is a little slower for me at this time of life, it'd be great if I could have my cake and eat it too.

TWIN MOM TIP: When you have those days where you are just exhausted--mentally, emotionally, physically--try to remember that this phase of life won't last forever. And then go eat a chocolate bar. You deserve it. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review: A CHANGE OF PLANS by Donna K. Weaver

I'm so thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Donna's new book! Donna is a dear friend, and I'm so happy to participate. Not only do I get to participate in the blog tour, but there is a Rafflecopter giveaway associated with it too! Five lucky people will get an ebook of choice from Rhemalda Publishing. Make sure to enter at the bottom!

Back Cover Blurb 
When twenty-five-year-old Lyn sets off on her cruise vacation, all she wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a diversion uncomplicated by romance. What she gets is Braedon, an intriguing young surgeon. He's everything her fiancé wasn't, and against the backdrop of the ship's make-believe world, her emotions come alive.
Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship—on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic.

But it's hard to get away from someone when you're stuck on the same ship. Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions. Then paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped, and Lyn's fear of a fairy tale turns grim.  

My Review
I have been dying to read A CHANGE OF PLANS since before Donna's contract with Rhemalda was signed, and it definitely did not disappoint.

There were so many things I loved about the book, but one of the things I really appreciated is Donna's attention to detail. I really became immersed in the various settings. I felt like I was on the cruise ship. I felt like I was on the various islands. I felt in the story. I also appreciated the detail she gave to characters; Lyn's hair got icky and Braedon didn't always smell nice. It's those types of details that make a story really come alive for me. 

The characters are so rich, likeable, and real...especially Lyn and Braedon. I also am a huge Jori fan. (Read the book to fall in love with Jori yourself.) I was emotionally invested in the story and the characters from the end of chapter one. I loved watching Lyn and Braedon's relationship. I loved that they fought. They were a couple I constantly rooted for and I just was dying for them to succeed.

The book took a couple of unexpected twists and turns for me, and ended up being not quite what I expected. I love it when a book does that. I was drawn in from page one and finished the book with a happy sigh. An adorable story that I loved!

Buy Links
Amazon * kindle * B&N * nook * Goodreads * Rhemelda Store

Author Bio

Donna K. Weaver is a Navy brat who joined the Army and has lived in Asia and Europe.

Because she sailed the Pacific three times as a child, she loves cruising and wishes she could accrue enough vacation time to do more of it with her husband.

Donna and her husband have six children and eight grandchildren who live all over the world.
At fifty, Donna decided to study karate and earned her black belt in Shorei Kempo.

After recording city council minutes for twenty years, Donna decided to write something a little longer and with a lot more emotion--and kissing.

Social Media Links
Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter * Website

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Reading With Kids by Mikey Brooks

I'm so happy to have Mikey as a guest on my blog today! Mikey's new middle grade book THE DREAM KEEPER was just released and I'm so excited to have him here to speak about reading with kids.

Reading With Kids
by Mikey Brooks

I have three great passions in life: my wife, my daughters, and books. Naturally as a book lover I want my children to have a passion for the written word. So much can be learned from stories. I recall several times a story from a book helped me as a child. They taught me the true meaning of friendship, the longing for adventure, and the thrill of suspense. As an author/illustrator I am interested in telling a good story not only with words but with art. I find that art and words work great in painting a larger picture in the child’s mind. Picture books are important in developing a child’s love of books. As the levels of illiteracy grows it our duty as parents to help encourage our kids to read. They are our future and our future needs books. We need to make reading sound fun and entertaining. I wanted to share some tips that I have on reading with your kids.

My Tips:

Dedicate a comfy place. Whether they are on your lap, sitting in bed, or relaxed in a chair, make sure your area is free of distractions and comfortable.

Do it daily! The best habits come from repetition. If you make it a part of your routine it will become a habit the whole family will love and enjoy.

Start right now! It is never too early to read to your kids. Tiny babies love the sound of your voice. What they’re teenagers? Do it anyway. Books can build connections.

Be animated. Not everyone is gifted with doing voices but you can always try. Kids love the effort and it makes the story fun to them. Try different dialects, pitches, and sounds—it will be fun for both of you.

Talk about it. Once you are done reading your chapter, book, or section take a minute to ask your child what they enjoyed about it. Discuss the art, characters, plot, or theme. Try to find connections to them making the book more meaningful.

Let them do it! While it is fantastic for kids to listen to their parents read it is more important for them to do it on their own. Help them find courage to read aloud to you. Encourage them with the difficult words. For older kids try taking turns.

Make it fun. There are many, many books make sure you select one that is interesting to your child. If they like airplanes make an effort to find books on airplanes. If they like ghost stories research great ghost stories. Help make reading interesting to them.

Read a Great Book! Nothing can compare with reading a fantastic book. When a kid falls in love with a story they fall in love with reading and that is your goal. There are so many terrific books. Utilized your local children’s librarian, they can be a great tool in discovering good books.

Need a book to reads to your kids? Well I got some for you. For the younger ones I recommend my picture books. ABC ADVENTURES: MAGICAL CREATURES is a fun concept book that has fun with fantastical beasts and the alphabet. If your kids are older I have a book for them too. THE DREAM KEEPER is an action-packed adventure with a toe in both the real world and the fantastic. “When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?” You can check out my books and more about me at:

Have fun reading with your kids!!

THE DREAM KEEPER back cover blurb
Loser—the most frightening word to ever be uttered in middle school. Even the coolest kids are afraid of being associated with it. 14-year-old Parker Bennett is no exception. He can’t even be himself around his friends for fear they might not accept who he really is. When circumstances force him to team up with Kaelyn Clarke, the biggest loser in the ninth grade, Parker has to decide what is more important; protecting his social status or saving the world. Nightmare named Fyren has taken over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, with the intention of controlling mortals, and it falls on Parker, Kaelyn, and Gladamyr – the Dream Keeper – to stop him. They learn being called a loser is no longer a fear, when compared to the terror of real nightmares.

Parker was about to assassinate the general of the goblin army. It wasn’t murder, it was an assignment. He tried to justify what he was about to do as he jumped from the rooftop and landed just above the battlement wall. It was the perfect spot to scout the camp. The goblins filling the keep were everywhere, sharpening blades and axes or gathering weapons for the impending battle. Parker noticed a large troll in the right hand corner of the space below, hammering solidly on a sword large enough to split three men into six. He spotted his target.

The general of the goblin army was a large brute with golden braids hanging down his chest. He was the one who had ordered the burning of Parker’s home village. The one who had ordered the death of Parker’s family and friends. This monster, this villain, was the reason Parker had set out on his journey to seek vengeance upon the unjust. This was the creature responsible for Parker swearing allegiance to the Mightercore army, who quickly gave him the role of assassin-scout.

Parker maneuvered his way down the wall, careful not to move too fast or his invisibility cloak would lose its power. He placed his foot in one crevice, then his hand in another. After a few moments of skilled climbing, Parker found himself precariously positioned just behind the golden haired brute, leaving only a small distance between him and his foe. In a quick session tactic, Parker could ignite his blade with the magic of the Mightercore and his target
would be no more. He positioned himself to strike, raising his sword and whispering the incantation that would release the blade’s power—.


He ignored whoever was calling his name; they did not matter. All he saw was the villain before him. The completed spell ignited Parker’s sword with a blazing haze of blue fire, and he had to act fast.


The loud call startled him and he swung too late. The goblin general had already turned and he struck, forcing Parker back against the rocky battlements. Parker parried the attack and thrust forward with a low slash. The general sidestepped and lunged forward again. Parker parried and rolled away from the wall. A lightning spell was the only magic he had left. If he could find enough time to call out the incantation, he could have the general radiating electrons from every appendage.

He rolled until he was a good ten feet from his opponent, then quickly stood. Lifting his hand into the air, he called down the lightning. The sky filled with a brilliant white light, and the crack of thunder reverberated off the walls. Parker briefly closed his eyes then opened them, praying he had hit his target. As the white dust began to clear, he made out an image before him. He peered at it, his heart thumping.

The screen went black.

“Parker, I’ve called you three times. Now get off that machine and go do your homework.”

Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as adult. On occasion you’ll find him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of several books including BEAN’S DRAGONS, the ABC ADVENTURES series, and author of the middle-grade fantasy-adventure novel, THE DREAM KEEPER. He spends most of his time playing with his daughters and working as a freelance illustrator. Mikey has a BS degree in Creative Writing from Utah State University. He is also one of the hosts of the Authors’ Think Tank Podcast.

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Author Links
website * blog * podcast * Amazon author page * goodreads * facebook * twitter * wattpad