Archive for June, 2014

Prism Tour Grand Finale: The Valley of Decision (mine!)

Culture | Posted by Shannon
Jun 30 2014


A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

It’s the Grand Finale for
The Valley of Decision
by Shannon McDermott

“A solid fantasy that wears its spirituality lightly yet effectively.”
~Kirkus Reviews (read the entire review
here)

We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the characters and the story-book world of The Valley of Decision. Did you miss any of the stops? You can check them out below:

Colorimetry – The Mountains, the Moors, and the Hills
If you ever travel north beyond the Black Mountains, into the kingdom of Belenus, you will find yourself in a vast and varied land, a country of laws unwritten, unspoken, and scrupulously obeyed…

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – The Trow
Deep in the mountain Anuin, the smithies of the Trow house mighty fires. Those crimson flames imbue the stony heart of the mountain with heat, fill it with a pulsing red glow like living rubies.

Bookworm Lisa – The Fays
Belenus, the master of the North, does not often leave his glittering palace or his green hills. You are not likely, even if you roam his kingdom, to ever see him…

Distractions of Grandeur – Review
“The best story element involved the Fay, an elvish race who for once felt truly alien. She went beyond current stereotypes and really brought out the danger of these beings, even those one might count as allies. There were echoes of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, elevating the stakes and the narrative itself.”

Finding the True Fairy Tale – Interview
Which of the characters from The Valley of Decision was your favorite to write?
The main character, Keiran the Captain of the Hosts. To even attempt what he did, a person would have to be either very desperate or very confident of his own abilities. Keiran is the second, and he has an extreme self-assurance, and sometimes conceit, that I enjoyed using. He’s also bold, another fun characteristic for a writer to work with. And because he is a very able man, and has reason to be confident, his occasional conceit adds texture to his character and makes him more interesting.

I Love to Read and Review Books :) – Ten Fun Things to Know About Shannon
(1) I was born in California but grew up on the East Coast.
(2) I have seven little sisters.
(3) I like sweet potatoes baked or boiled, with butter or with sugar, made into fries and made into pies. But I cannot stand them canned.

Wishful Endings – Dokrait and the Black Mountains
The Black Mountains are high and treacherous – so many sheer, soaring cliffs, so many monstrous boulders dangerously perched. Wolves teem on the mountains, spilling into the lowlands when the winters are long. Bears and the great cats prowl those hazardous slopes, too.

Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Pretty much. I was eight when I first decided (and declared) my ambition to write a book. Of course, it was years later when this desire to write took on the adult dimension of “This is what I want to do with my life, this is how I want to earn my living”.

Mythical Books – The Dochraitay
The Dochraitay possess the unhappy distinction of being the foremost servants of Belenus. They fight his campaigns against Alamir and the Islemen, they grow the crops and hunt the animals eaten by the Fays, they give up their children for the mines and the army and the palace of Muireach.

Brooke Blogs – Interview
2) What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When I take my scenes, written longhand in my notebook, and transcribe them into the computer, revising and polishing as I go. It’s easier than the initial writing, and I finish with a feeling of satisfaction. The scene is done! Until my editor gets her hands on it, anyway.

Coffee Books & Art – Interview
How did you come up with the title? Names?
The title comes from a Bible verse found in the Book of Joel: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!” For the names, I established this pattern: of Gaelic origin, unusual enough that the names would not be common in our own world, but not too unusual. I avoided names like Ruairidh because it just looks too foreign. Who would care to guess how to pronounce it? So I ended with names like Torradan and Artek and Belenus – different, but easy enough.

Mel’s Shelves – Review
“There are lots of moving parts that came together in the end for a satisfying conclusion. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read this, and I look forward to reading more from this author!”

The Wonderings of One Person – The Alamiri
Long ago, the Alamiri tribes came from the distant sunrise lands – climbing nameless mountains, fording forgotten rivers. Their wanderings ended here, among the forests south of the Black Mountains.

The Written Adventure – Interview
3) What gave you the idea for The Valley of Decision?
The Lord of the Rings, much as it pains me to admit it. In those books, Sauron had legions of human slaves whose only purpose in the story was to fight the good guys (and get beaten). It’s not that Tolkien was heartless in his use of these characters – remember Sam witnessing one of them being killed and sadly wondering what his name was and if he even wanted to fight – but I came to think how good it would have been if Sauron’s slaves had staged a revolt. Why should all the heroes come from the free nations fighting Sauron? Why not from the enslaved nations oppressed by him?

Mommynificent – Review
“The characters were definitely my favorite part of the book. I really enjoyed coming to understand the complexities of the three main characters, who interestingly are all male. I also really enjoyed the unfolding mystery of who the Fay are and why they are a part of this world.”

Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is one message in The Valley of Decision, it’s that we all have choices to make, and we can’t escape it. Not making the choice is itself a choice. My principal character, Keiran, faces the ultimate choice: Rebellion or obedience, God’s way or his? But all the characters have to choose, and their choices mean risk and sacrifice and (sometimes) reward – just as our choices do.

Platypire Reviews – Review
“Keiran, the Captain of the Hosts, was an interesting character. From the beginning of the book, I wasn’t quite sure what direction the story was going to go in, and I didn’t know what to think of him at first. As things were revealed and I got further in the story, I found myself rooting for him as a reader and enjoyed his character development.”

Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – The Northmen
In the uttermost north, beyond even the kingdom of Belenus, icy mountain peaks look down on the Coldlands. The Coldlands are not on our maps, not even the borders. The Alamiri do not venture even to Belenus’ home, let alone past it. But rumors come to us – from foreigners, adventurers, and far-travelers, brave, reckless, wild men.

My Devotional Thoughts – The Hobgoblins
One more tale? All right, my love; just one.
Long ago, the great father Athair led the first Alamiri up into the Rhugarch Pass. They were men of his clan, relatives loyal and strong. When they scaled the mountain to the Rhugarch Gap, they stopped for the night.
The men settled down to their rest; the fire sank into embers; the watchman grew drowsy. And a soft, soft pattering murmured into the camp.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Interview
What do you hope people take away from your books?
I hope that whenever someone finishes one of my books, they feel like they’ve been on a journey and it has ended well. Every story is about a character’s struggle for something, and I hope my readers will be able to feel that in my stories and be encouraged.

The Bookish Fairy – This or That
Chocolaty or fruity candy?
Chocolaty. Hands-down, 100%, all the time.
Get out of the house or stay at home?
Stay at home.
Winter or summer?
Can I pick spring or fall? I’ll go with summer.

The Valley of Decision
by Shannon McDermott
Adult Fantasy
Paperback, 416 pages
May 31st 2014 by SALT Christian Press

Where the Black Mountains pierce the sky, they divide the south from the north, Alamir from the kingdom of Belenus. Belenus, the undying master of the north, commanded Keiran – the Captain of the Hosts – to conquer Alamir. But the Captain is deep in conspiracy, and he has his own plans.

The Valley of Decision is a fantasy novel, a saga of slavery, freedom, and choices.

AmazonSALT Christian Press

Shannon McDermott is a Christian author of speculative fiction, as well as a humorous detective series called “The Adventures of Christian Holmes”. She has written both fantasy and science fiction, and has yet to decide on which one to like better.

She was born to Wisconsin, expatriates in California, grew up on the East Coast, and now lives in the Midwest. Her principal hobbies are politics, history, novels, and coffee.

WebsiteBlogGoodreadsFacebook

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and ebooks of The Valley of Decision and The Sunrise Windows (open INT)
– 2 print copies of The Valley of Decision (US only)

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Review: The Word Changers

Book Reviews | Posted by Shannon
Jun 27 2014

One day, seeking a refuge away from home, Posy went to the library. She ended up in a book.

Not, you know, in the metaphorical sense of reading a book, or even in the literal sense of having fallen asleep in an open book. She was inside the book: Within the story, surrounded by characters, and expected to fulfill her own assigned role in the Plot.

And so the adventures begin.

The Word Changers is Ashlee Willis’ debut novel. A YA fantasy, with a strong element of romance, it is based on a fresh and original idea. Characters who are, even in their own world, characters in a book, and conscious of it, and behaving accordingly; the Author who wrote all; the Plot that must be replayed; the waiting for a reader – all makes for a fun and intriguing premise. I felt it had the mark of a book-lover.

I enjoyed Ashlee’s use of such fantasy creatures as mermaids and ipotanes. The world of her novel – especially the Glooming and all its travails and deceits – was effectively imagined and written. The characters, too, were vivid – the king, the queen, Falak, Kyran. Posy’s own reactions, struggles, and joys felt real to her circumstances.

There is an allegorical aspect to this book, with the Author of the story clearly corresponding to God. A theme of choices and free will emerges easily from this, and there are moments when characters try to grasp the whole meaning and purpose of what happens.

The romance angle was strong for a fifteen-year-old character – many parents would be nervous to have their fifteen-year-old in a relationship that serious. But I suppose Posy was old enough for it.

The Word Changers is a fresh, lively fantasy, well-written and memorable. Recommended.


And here, readers, are your links:

Ashlee Willis’ blog

Ashlee Willis on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads

The Word Changers on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

CrossReads Book Blast: Service Station Angel

Culture | Posted by Shannon
Jun 17 2014

Screenshot (102)

Service Station Angel
By Lisa J. Schuster

About the Book:

Sometimes God places you in a situation of great perplexity, but you perceive His intentions are premeditated and purposeful. Do you trust His lead?

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” – Psalms 37:7 (NIV)

Ernie Price is a middle-aged, humble-hearted man who owns and operates a service station in a rural Midwest town in Upper Michigan, back in a time when full service was the only service, and you got your windows cleaned and your tires pumped for free.

Ernie’s life has been a reflection of God’s love, giving of himself fully and graciously to people in the community and his church. As music director for the children’s choir or hosting the yearly Christmas party for the less-fortunate children in town, Ernie impacted lives and was loved by many.

When trouble rocks the small town and Ernie is physically incapacitated to offer his help, the community is left to pick up the pieces, mourn, and move on, while Ernie wrestles with the spiritual questions of his accident:

My glimpse of heaven is for what purpose on earth?

Why do I feel compelled to help this stranger know the love of the Lord? Who is this stranger anyway?

This heartwarming story of love, faithful forgiveness and following God’s perfect plan, will inspire and delight!

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK

80c6dd3e31f90a82390bef.L._V366868119_SX200_Faith, family and friends inspired Lisa J. Schuster to write again and God nudged her to publish her first novel, Service Station Angel. She believes the words in this book are her service to others, so that they may find joy and comfort during a season of time when they need it most. “May your hand reach up towards His so that you may touch another with Jesus’ abundant love,” prays Lisa.

Lisa lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with her husband and two children. She enjoys creative writing, traveling, working with inner city youth, bible study groups, singing and theater.

Follow Lisa J. Schuster

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Lisa J. Schuster!

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Prism Tour: Dystopian Grand Finale

Culture | Posted by Shannon
Jun 10 2014


A Prism Tour with Prism Book Tours

It’s the Grand Finale for
THE DYSTOPIAN TOUR!
What will the future bring? We’ve featuring several possibilities. Did you miss any of them? Check them out now!!

May 28: What Tomorrow May Bring #1
Simplistic Reviews

Tomorrow becomes today.
What will it bring?

Our potential for good is matched by that of destruction. At any moment, change can fall on the world, people fight and die, and our comfortable lives can be lost to corrupt leaders. These are circumstances we can’t imagine, but places like this exist in the world today.

What if tomorrow brings that grave reality to us, and we wake to find our lives in flux, poverty and confusion? Perhaps humanity’s insatiable appetites drive us to the brink of survival where sanity is redefined and life, as we know it, changes forever.

Tomorrow, our lives could be very dark.

Dystopian tales take us to these lightless places where suffering is a daily chore. But they also show us that in the deepest part of the night, pitched against a backdrop of despair, a beam of hope will shine brighter than ever before. And in our darkest moments, it can show us the way back.


GoodreadsAmazon

Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path.

May 29: Terra by Gretchen Powell:
Christy’s Cozy Corners

Creating the Cover of Terra: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

No matter what anybody says, it’s pretty much a fact that people do judge books by their covers. And can you blame them? After all, book covers are an art in and of themselves these days – the beautiful images, illustration, and typography that are blasted across the internet pique our interest and drive our readers’ minds. The cover is a reader’s first impression of what your book will be like. It only takes a second for that instant connection to be made: Bad cover, bad book. Great cover, great book.

Now, that doesn’t always hold true, of course, since I myself have read plenty of incredible books with terrible covers, and vice versa. But it doesn’t change the fact that—especially as a self-published author—covers matter. And I knew from the get-go that I wanted the cover for TERRA to stand out, but still feel appropriate for the genre and would “fit in” with its traditionally-published book brethren. So here’s an exclusive scoop on what went into creating my debut novel’s cover.


GoodreadsAmazonBarnes and NobleKoboApple Store

Terra follows protagonist Terra Rhodon through a dystopian future where the planet’s natural resources have been depleted and the rich and powerful have fled to cities in the sky.

May 30: Stitch & Shudder by Samantha Durante
Nocturnal Predators Reviews

**What Everyone Had To Say About This Series**

“Seems like your normal, seemingly average university cross paranormal romance story… until the dystopian sci-fi comes in. Everything from there changes… I am gobsmacked.”
Behind the Pages

“Quite incredible… grips the reader and won’t let go. Officially entered a good book hangover.”
Parajunkee

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes and Noble

Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.

June 1: Contributor & Infiltrator by Nicole Ciacchella
Author Cindy C Bennett

Unexpected Favorites

One of the things that consistently surprises me when I write is how fond I grow of some characters, especially when they start out as little more than a nebulous concept. Contributor is no exception. When I was peopling the world, I thought a lot about Dara, her parents, her boyfriend, Jonathan, and her mentor, Letizia. I certainly gave consideration to the other characters as well, but this was the core group I focused on, and so imagine my surprise when I developed a major attachment to a couple of the characters I thought would just be minor players.

The first is Javier Gutierrez, one of Dara’s rivals for the position of Assistant to the Head of Engineering…

GoodreadsAmazon

When the Great Famine threatened the existence of mankind, the Creators saved humanity. Humanity has been their loyal subject ever since.

June 2: What Tomorrow May Bring #2
I Am A Reader

THE DYSTOPTOMISTS: PART 1

WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING, the YA Dystopian boxed set, is a collection of dark yet hopeful stories from eleven different authors. Each wrote a short essay on dystopian fiction calledMy Thoughts On Tomorrow, to introduce their novels. Here are excerpts from six of those essays, the full versions can be found at The Hunt For Tomorrow.

Meet The Dystoptomists: Shining Light on a Dark Future…


GoodreadsAmazon

Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path.

June 3: Among the Joyful by Erin Eastham
My Devotional Thoughts

Q&A: Among the Joyful

Q: What was your inspiration for Among the Joyful?

A: I happened to see an article about smile surgery, which is a real thing. Some young women in South Korea have a procedure done so that their default facial expression is a smile, no matter what they’re feeling. It made me think about the pressure we all feel at times to act like things are fine when they’re not, to present a happy appearance to the world no matter what’s going on inside. That was what prompted the idea for the world of Among the Joyful, where negative emotion has to be hidden if you want to be a functioning member of society.

Q: What makes Among the Joyful different from all the other YA dystopias out there?

A: I wanted to create a dystopian society that could just as easily be described as utopian. The original founders weren’t setting out to oppress people—they wanted to make life better, and in many ways they succeeded. They created a culture where service to others is valued, where citizens contribute to the public good and take care not to have a negative impact on their community. Of course, there’s a price, and that’s where it gets interesting.


GoodreadsAmazon

Everyone knows that it’s a citizen’s duty to smile; negative emotion is a social contagion, an aggressive act against society. For Alaire Larkin, staying positive has never been a problem.

June 4: The Annihilation of Foreverland & Foreverland is Dead by Tony Bertauski
Mythical Books

AUTHOR’s INTERVIEW

Have you written in any other genres besides ya dystopian? What drew you to you this genre?

I’ve been fascinated by consciousness, identity and what this all means since I was young. I would read my grandfather’s science fiction books with elements of artificial intelligence and wonder what happened when they died? I suppose that’s why all of my writing deals with the big mysteries of life in one way or another. In a way, I write for my own exploration, in a sort of thought experiment approach, pulling apart our identities, exploring what makes us who we are. If I lost my memories, would I still be me? If I had my body parts replaced with synthetic replications, at what point would I not be me? Do I even need a body? What am I?

A few years ago, I figured I’d write a romance novel. Since all of my books have a romantic element, I thought it would be fun. Halfway through the novel, I found myself thinking more and more about the next project—a dystopian idea. So 40,000 words in, I scrapped the romance novel and got back to what I love.


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When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds.

June 5: The Breeders & The Believers by Katie French
Beck Valley Books

Take 10 – Author Interview

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’ve always wanted to be a back-up singer for some awesome artist. You’d get all the joy of meeting fun people and performing, but do not have to lose your freedom or worry about tabloids and paparazzi.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Brad Pitt. It would be a really weird, concept movie.

Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

All the time. Right now I’m pretty sure I’m Jessica Day from TV show The New Girl. But without the cute bangs. Man, I should really get some bangs.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes and Noble

Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world’s last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race.

June 6: What Tomorrow May Bring #3
Bookworm Lisa

Meet The Dystoptomists: Shining Light on a Dark Future.

WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING, the YA Dystopian boxed set, is a collection of dark yet hopeful stories from eleven different authors. Each wrote a short essay on dystopian fiction called My Thoughts On Tomorrow, to introduce their novels.

Part 1 featured excerpts from six of those authors.

Here, with Part 2, are excerpts from the remaining five. The full versions can be found at The Hunt For Tomorrow.

Join the mailing list for news on our upcoming dystopian scavenger hunt…


GoodreadsAmazon

Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path.

Tour-Wide Giveaway
Ends June 15th.

US Only Giveaway
Print copy of Terra + bookmarks
Print copies of Stitch & Shudder + bookmarks
Print copy of Among the Joyful

Internationally Open Giveaway
Amazon GC $15 (Megan) + $10 (Erin) + $10 (Samantha)
11 ecopies of What Tomorrow May Bring
Ebook of Terra
Ebooks of Stitch & Shudder
10 e-book copies of the complete Contributor trilogy, including book 3 (Kindle only)
Ebook of Among the Joyful
Ebooks of The Annihilation of Foreverland & Foreverland is Dead
Ebook of A Taste of Tomorrow Boxed Set
5 ebooks of The Breeders & The Believers

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CSFF Blog Tour: Interview with Wayne Thomas Batson

Culture | Posted by Shannon
Jun 03 2014

Wayne Thomas Batson is the author of the new book Dreamtreaders, the first of a trilogy. To learn more about him and to see a full listing of his works, visit his Goodreads page.


Good to have you here! Can you begin by telling us about Dreamtreaders?

Great to be here! Thank you for having me! Dreamtreaders is what you might call “urban dream fantasy.” It’s the modern world that all readers will recognize but with a disturbing caveat: Dreams are far more serious—and dangerous than we ever guessed. Archer Keaton, at age 14, is the youngest Dreamtreader ever chosen. He and the other two Dreamtreaders are guardians of the Dream realm where a deadly serious enemy is out to destroy mankind from the subconscious level. Throughout the centuries, the Dreamtreaders have kept the Nightmare Lord in check, but now, something has changed. The very fabric between the Dream and Waking Worlds is fraying. Will Archer and the Dreamtreaders do enough to stop the cataclysmic Rift from occurring? Read and see. 😀

The back cover of your book says that “dreams have been powerful ingredients of God’s plan as revealed through Scripture.” How did that influence your thinking as you wrote Dreamtreaders?

As I explored the Dreamtreaders concept, I needed to know what God has to say about dreams. Are they noble? Are they sinister? Are they a gray area? I was more than a little surprised to see just how often God used dreams to communicate truth to His people. But not just truth, but warnings as well. And I got to thinking that the enemy of our souls usually likes to pervert anything God has called good. And I thought about nightmares. Sometimes they can feel so real, can’t they? Sometimes bad dreams shake us up. Sometimes, they can provoke anxiety or even a sense of confusion over what was dream and what was actually memory of reality. So that took me deep into the plot and gave me the Bible backbone I needed.

How did you go about constructing the world of the Dream with all its rules?

The first step was recognizing a need for rules. The fantasy genre is rather free with such things, meaning that you can invent whole worlds, cultures, races, families, and such. But no matter what the setting, there must be an internal logic to it. The Dreamscape, for instance, cannot simply be anything goes all the time because it robs the story of its tension. Sure, it’s fun to have no-rules, imaginary, crazy town for a little while, but after a bit, the reader would soon realize that nothing really matters. If a villain cannot kill me or even hurt me, then, there’s no threat. If, in the dream, my enemy turns himself into a cat to scratch me, but I turn into a dog, and the enemy turns into a lion, and I into a hunter…see where that goes? It’s Merlin versus the Fairy Godmother all over again. It’s cute for a little while but soon becomes exhausting.

The next step is to decide what rules make sense for a dream world? Since dreams happen in the mind, it made sense to have there be a limit to just what the mind could endure. So, in the Dream, you -CAN- create anything you want, but it’s harder the first time to create anything you’ve never created before. And, your mental energy is finite. Your will can wear down over time, so that creates a boundary and, by extension, adds tension. What happens to a person who tries to create something too big or too complex? What happens to a person when the mental energy runs out? Those are the kinds of dangers that can (hopefully) drive a story!

Reading Dreamtreaders, I had fun noticing the names. “Kara Windchil”, for example, is one letter different from “wind chill”, “Rigby” is one letter different from “rugby”, and Thames is, of course, a river in England. Are there other meanings or references in your characters’ names?

I do like to play around with names. In fact, I kind of obsess over names. But, as to the names you mentioned, I can neither confirm nor deny that these names indicate anything significant or sinister about their characters.

Was there any character you found particularly hard to write?

Master Gabriel, the head of the Dreamtreaders Order, was difficult because I kept picturing Gandalf the Gray in my mind. I really don’t want a character to be derivative of another well-known character or type. But Master Gabriel is very cantankerous, very sarcastic, and very impatient. And, like Gandalf, Master Gabriel always has one thought on this world and its troubles and
another thought simultaneously on troubles beyond our comprehension. I did find a few ways to nuance Master Gabriel, so I think he still succeeds on his own merits. Readers, ultimately, must be the judge of that.

Can I ask you which character is your favorite, or is that like asking you to identify your favorite child?

The term “favorite” is kind of loaded in that it seems to imply that I think one character better or more interesting than another. I don’t have an ultimate favorite in that sense. But I find myself very fond of Kaylie Keaton, Archer’s 8-year-old little sister. She’s a true genius but still a little kid. She’s mischievous, tender-hearted, fearless, and afraid all at once. Lots of fun to write her scenes.

Dreamtreaders is marked for middle-grade readers. What thoughts would you hope they would be left with after reading it?

Anchor first. Anchor deep. This is one of the Nine Dreamtreader Laws and, in my mind, the most important for our current generation. This world is rapidly being cut adrift from our moorings. No one seems to know what’s right and wrong any longer. In the hurricane of “do whatever feels good,” our nation’s youth are being swept away. You have got to have anchors. Know what you believe and why. Stand on truth. For the Christian, you have to absolutely count on God to be good, to be there, to be right, and to ultimately save you.

When will the next book come out, and do you have any teasers for us on where the story will take us? I’d like to learn more about Bezeal and Master Gabriel, myself.

Dreamtreader’s 2: Search for the Shadow Key should be out this fall. All I can tell you is that there’s a series of chapters in that book —whoo!— it’s the most tension-filled sequence I’ve ever written in any of my 14 books. It will leave you breathless. I can’t wait to see what readers think! Oh, and you’ll get more on Master Gabriel and Bezeal too!

The last word is yours: Any final thoughts, anything you want to say that I didn’t get to?

I guess I’d kind of like to offer up a disclaimer to readers: Dreamtreaders is not a theological treatise. It’s not a parable to the Bible or a gospel tract dressed up as urban fantasy. It does, however, have a soul. There are themes that I truly believe will sharpen the Christian and challenge the unbeliever. Some of the best themes in the book came about very organically. It wasn’t until after that I looked back and thought, “Holy cow! That’s a lot like…” God is so cool in that way. The Lord of the Harvest is also the Lord of Surprises.

CSFF Blog Tour: Dreamtreaders

Book Reviews | Posted by Shannon
Jun 02 2014

Archer Keaton’s life, when he’s awake, is fairly ordinary: a brother, a sister, a dad, school days, chores. Friends, including that one he would like to have as more than a friend.

But when Archer Keaton is asleep, his life is extraordinary. He is a Dreamtreader – roving the Dreamscape, meeting its many and often strange citizens, repairing breaches between the Dream and the waking world, and – every once in a while – confronting the Nightmare Lord.

Dreamtreaders is written by Wayne Thomas Batson and is the first book of his new trilogy. Like Archer’s life, the book is made of two parts: the waking world, with its routine issues of school, family, and friends, and the Dream – a perilous and intoxicating place, in which the rules of the waking world are suspended, and the rules of the Dreamworld take over.

So the novel mixes a school story with a fantasy adventure, ultimately bridging the two in a logical and interesting way. The world of the Dream is intensely imaginative, and though it seems at times the living definition of freewheeling (how wild is a place where you can simply think anything into existence?), it is still governed by its own strange laws, some of them quite unforgiving.

The world-building of Dreamtreaders is excellent – as we see primarily in the Dream, but also in the waking world. Scoville Manor, including its charming-but-odd menagerie, is a fine piece of craftsmanship. Batson’s skill as a writer brings home his imagination to his readers, helping us not only to see his worlds but to feel them.

Characters, too, are well-done, from the precocious Kaylie to the nettlesome Master Gabriel to the slimy Bezeal. Archer Keaton is an admirable protagonist, adventurous and brave and caring, with well-measured amounts of flaws and mistakes.

The imagery of the book, usually quite compelling, got too disturbing a few times, especially in the final storming of Shadowkeep. I also thought Rigby and Kara’s turn during the same section a little too abrupt; it confused me initially, and I wished it had been foreshadowed earlier in the book.

But the thing is, I really enjoyed this book. It swept me up and away. In Dreamtreaders, Wayne Thomas Batson does justice to humanity’s ancient fascination with dreams. Recommended.


Tomorrow I will be sharing an interview with Wayne Thomas Batson about Dreamtreaders. He had many interesting comments about the book, just as you’d expect, and I hope you’ll come by to see it.

Now we have the links:

Dreamtreaders on Amazon;

Wayne Thomas Batson’s website;

and the blog tour participants:

Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner

Carol Keen
Jennette Mbewe
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer

Chawna Schroeder
Jojo Sutis

Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.