Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Donna Galanti
Author: Donna Galanti
Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb. Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever. To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him. In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.
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A dark swarm swelled in the sky. Dozens of wings fluttered and a cool wind swept toward me in waves. I rubbed the crystal in my pocket crazily, wishing hard to make the birds disappear. It didn’t work.
“The korax,” Charlie said in a cracked voice. “Hold on tight. I saw a kid fall just before you got here.” He smiled to reassure me, although he nervously bounced a curled thumb to his mouth. “But he squirmed a lot. Screamed too. Broke his leg. They took him off to the bunkhouse doctor.”
Charlie certainly had guts for wanting to come with me.
As the swarm drew closer, they appeared as monstrous black ravens with a giant wingspan that filled the sky’s empty spaces. Their massive beaks opened and closed with gurgling croaks, but it was their eyes that terrified me. They burned a bright green, shooting us with a mean glare as they torpedoed down. Chanting words echoed across the dark land: light bringers, light bringers. Imagined words? The whirring of wing beats throbbed in my head as they grew closer, matching the beat of my own thudding heart.
The cackling screech of these mutant birds slammed through my ears as their beaks opened on giant hinges, and tongues like fat worms squirmed about in cavernous mouths. Screaming kids pushed up against me on all sides as a rancid wind roared over us. The words light bringers stabbed me over and over, and I cupped my hands to my ears. The other boys stampeded around me, shoving, yelling, but the guards pushed us back, vapes hissing.
We had nowhere to go, not with monsters and men on all sides.
Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at www.project-middle-grade-
mayhem.blogs..., a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at www.donnagalanti.com and www.ElementTrilogy.com. Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.
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· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti (INT)