The Stone of Valhalla Blog Tour

April 4th, 2014

 

Welcome to The
Stone of Valhalla
Blog Tour!

A middle-grade fantasy-adventure by Mikey Brooks.
Don’t
forget to check out the
GIVEAWAY at the bottom this post
for a
chance to
WIN a $25 Amazon
Gift card
and other great prizes!
Synopsis:
Aaron was chosen to save their world, but it might come at the cost of
losing his own.
Breaking
into an old lady’s basement was supposed to reward 13-year-old Aaron with new
friends. Instead he finds an enchanted amulet that transports him to another
world—one at war with magic. Before he knows it, he is accused of witchcraft
and invited to a bonfire—where he’s the main attraction. If that’s not bad
enough, a goblin army shows up and toasts the town…literally. The good news:
Aaron escapes being charbroiled. The bad news: the goblins are after him. They
want his amulet and will stop at nothing to get it. Battling to find his way
home, Aaron teams up with a not-so-magical-wizard and learns it’s his fate to
destroy the amulet and save this new world. But is he willing to sacrifice his
own?
Check out what these talented authors
are saying about it:
The Stone of Valhalla is one of those
books that only comes along once in a great while. Brooks doesn’t just create a
world, he puts you inside of it, allowing you to experience the wonder in a way
that only he can. His characters are likable and fun. His twists leave you
asking ‘Why?’ Treat yourself to an exciting adventure through a beautiful new
land. Make new friends and be a part of the magic. This is a book that you will
not be able to put down!”
—J.R. Simmons,
author of Ragesong: Awakening.
 The
Stone of Valhalla
drew me in from the get-go. Aaron’s journey is
reminiscent of Dorothy’s trek in The
Wizard of Oz
. Magic, sword fights, danger, and more danger, sprinkled with
humor and unexpected twists. This is one of the ‘best’ fantasy adventures I’ve
ever experienced!”
—BBH
McChiller, author of The Monster Moon
Series
.
The Stone of Valhalla is a riveting
mystery revealing true friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. Brooks engages the
curiosity of middle graders and older sleuths alike, until the very end.
Fantastic!”
—L.R.W. Lee,
author of The Andy Smithson series.
 
Excerpt From: Chapter Two: The Penalty of Witchcraft
Aaron thought he’d been transported
to some kind of
renaissancefair. People milled about in the street, all dressed like
they belonged on the set of some medieval movie. Most of their faces were stained
with dirt, and they wore soiled clothing. Large, wooden buildings, held
together by plaster, loomed overhead and all around him. Some had signs
announcing specific trades and goods. The sweet smell of bread came from one
shop, clearly a bakery. A rotund man stood out front, arguing with an old man
who had a silvery- white beard and a long, purple cloak. He was telling the
baker that the rolls he had purchased tasted ‘day-old’ and he required a
reimbursement.
Several passersby gave Aaron odd glances. One little girl
with a group of women dressed like nuns pointed at him and giggled. He thought
he heard her call him a buffoon, but she was quickly shushed by one of the
women and pulled into a shop.
This is so unreal.
Aaron couldn’t figure out what had happened.
How did I get
here? Who are these people?
Aaron waited for someone to jump out and yell, “Surprise,
you’re on camera!”
It never happened.
The seconds drew on like hours, and Aaron stood unmoving
like a statue in the middle of the dirt road. The sweet smell from the bakery
was drowned by the stench of a sweaty mule pulling a cart packed full with what
had to be manure. The wind blew and the wafting smell of poo filled Aaron’s nose.
He coughed and tried to cover the reek with his shirt.
“Witchcraft! Witchcraft, I say!”
Aaron turned around to see a middle-aged woman with only
three teeth shouting hysterically. She pointed directly at him. He looked over
his shoulder to ensure no green-skinned, broom-commandeering, warty-faced lady
in black stood beside him. There wasn’t anyone there. The noise on the street
stopped dead except for the woman. She grabbed a small wooden crate from a cart
filled with fresh flowers and stood on it. “Fetch the constable! Don’t let him
get away, or he’ll set a curse on our town.”
Five large men formed a group behind the woman and advanced
toward Aaron. He didn’t know what to do.
Where to Find The Stone of Valhalla:
Exclusive price for the eBook
release is just $2.99! (List Price: $4.99)
And only $9.99 for the paperback!(List Price: $12.99)
On April 12th
2014 the price will return to the List Price
Another special offer:

During The Stone of Valhalla Blog
Tour

Mikey’s other great middle-grade eBooks will also be set to the low
price of just $0.99!
The Dream Keeper:
Kindle | Nook | Kobo
The Dreamstone:
Kindle | Nook | Kobo
You’re Invited to PARTY!!
The
online launch party will take place on Thursday, April 10th at 4pm
(MST). The party will run for 2 hours and you’re invited to drop by anytime.
The longer you stay the more chances you have of winning prizes! We have slew
of eBooks to giveaway, as well as a Stone of Valhalla necklace AND a $25 Amazon gift card! It is hosted by
LovingtheBookLaunchParty on Facebook. Just follow this link to join the event: http://goo.gl/Q2Fd3r.
What’s that? Another Party!
That’s
right! If you’re local to Utah you don’t want to miss this kickin’ party. We
are having a launch party to celebrate the release of this awesome new book. Of
course there will be plenty of giveaways there too, but what’s even better are
the guest authors! Just check out these fabulous names: J. Scott Savage, Chad
Morris, Lisa Mangum, Jenni James, Ali Cross, and many more. The Launch Party
is: Friday, April 11th from 6-9pm at The Viridian Center in West
Jordan
, Utah. Follow this link for a map: http://goo.gl/dqVc0u
About Mikey Brooks:

Mikey
is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch 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 the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures
and Bean’s Dragons as well as the
middle-grade fantasy-adventure series The Dream Keeper Chronicles. His art
can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to
daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the
imagination of children can create. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah
State University and works fulltime as a freelance illustrator, cover designer,
and author. As a member of the Emblazoners,
he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of
children’. He is also one of the hosts of the Authors’ Think Tank
Podcast
. You can find more about him and his books at: http://www.insidemikeysworld.com/.

The Giveaways!

 

Enter the giveaway below to be entered to win one of the following
prizes:
$25 Amazon Gift Card
The Stone of Valhalla
Necklace
Autographed Paperback of The
Stone of Valhalla
Autographed 11×17 Poster

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Upon Review: Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstrom

January 15th, 2014

I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book CrashBook Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.

Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:

  • One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
  • Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
  • Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
  • Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
  • Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy

Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!

 

Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstrom

Four Cup

 

 

“Not my iPod!” yells Jeremy Lapoint as his day plunges to record lows when Sid Lundahl and his crew stomp on the only nice thing he owns, and Jeremy gets in trouble for fighting. With Dad in prison and Mom struggling to scrape by, Jeremy’s life seems hopeless. 

Until he has this urge to . . . fly. 

One leap and Jeremy soars through the air: with this and his other newfound powers, life is suddenly amazing and wonderful—until—a real-live demon chases him through the school hallways, terrifying him, and making him a freak to his schoolmates. Because Jeremy is the only one who can see the monster, he wonders if being able to fly is worth it. 

As Jeremy tries to fight off demons, he is relieved to get help from Asiel, his guardian angel, who wields his sword and fiercely comes to his defense. Asiel explains that Jeremy is a Nephilim—half human and half angel. After his initial shock, Jeremy’s quest to uncover how he got like this sends him to the Higher Humanity Institute where he meets other Nephilim like him along with a slew of friends and enemies —both human and not. 

In the midst of his strange and dangerous struggles, Jeremy also receives the peace and love he has always longed for but never knew. When called to lead an angelic battle for the truth, Jeremy must decide whether or not he will cling to the one who can win the war or let his old doubts and fears overtake him. 

Fun, danger, friendship, mystery, and faith fill the pages of this exciting book about angels and demons. This is a must-read for kids (and grown-ups) craving adventure with a life-changing message.

“To the Lord of Hosts!”

The Good…

This book struck me as very similar to Frank Perretti’s Piercing the Darkness only with middle graders instead of adults. Since that is one of my all time favorite books, I was excited to see the appearance of angels and demons in the story.

When Jeremy finally decides to take up the call to arms, his heroism is unquestionable. I also enjoyed the turnabouts of several of the characters, some we think are bad choosing good and vice versa.

There was excellent use of scripture throughout the book without dipping into preachiness, something that is very difficult to do. I particularly enjoyed Jeremy’s thoughts at the very end on what the birth of Christ must have been like.

***Spoiler Alert***

The fact that Prouse got away with File Number Twelve makes it quite clear the story will continue. I’ve read some books that try to twist the end so that the bad guy gets away, but it’s done in such a way that it turns out laughable. That’s not the case here. We are left hungry for the next story to see if Jeremy and his group of Nephilim will be able to find the woman and retrieve the file.

The Not-so-good…

The story beginning was a bit more abrupt than I prefer. I think I would have enjoyed it better if Jeremy had discovered his new abilities slowly, rather than making the jump from super strength to flying in a single day. In many ways, his first discoveries reminded me of Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spiderman movie, only without as much build up of “normal world” first.

The descriptions of the demons were a bit comical, as opposed to scary like in Perretti’s book, which disappointed me a little.

Also, while I enjoyed Jeremy’s views on the birth of Christ, it felt a tacked on rather than an integral part of the story.

***Spoiler Alert***

The sudden reappearance of Asiel after he was supposedly killed felt like a cheat, as if the author was afraid to deal with the issue of death. We are told that angels and demons can kill each other, but then Asiel is resurrected. While that does fit into Christian resurrection theology, I don’t feel it was set up very well in the story. Up until the moment Asiel reappears, there’s no mention of possible resurrection.

The Overall…

I believe Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstrom is a great adventure for middle grade readers and a nice light read for adults.

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