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Joshua and the Arrow Realm ebookI’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 $.99 cents 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).


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


A faint rumble groaned through the whistling wind.


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.


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Joshua-Arrow-Realm-Lightning-Road/dp/0996890491?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/joshua-and-the-arrow-realm-donna-galanti/1123486660?ean=9780996890496




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 http://www.donnagalanti.com.


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.


Click on  a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!

“My Seventh Grade Life in Tights” by Brooks Benjamin

Here’s my fifth grader’s review of My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin. Without revealing any spoilers, it sounds like this is a worthy addition to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement:

My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights is a lovely read that explores the life of a seventh grade “ninja freestyle” dancer named Dillon.  It looks at all the twists and turns of a dancer’s life. The ups, the downs, the ins and outs.

Dillon is part of a dance crew with his close friends Carson, Kassie, and Austin. Sounds great, right? Wrong. When Dillon comes across and ad for a dance scholarship, he’s thrilled, but Kassie has a bad history with that studio and she claims that studios are for “sell outs.” And that’s not Dillon’s only problem. His dad has him committed to football, though the only position Dillon seems to play in Bench. Will Dillon earn the dance scholarship? Will Kassie let him? Will Dillon’s Dad finally understand why Dillon thinks dancing is awesome? Read the book to find out!

My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights is a highly enjoyable book that I would recommend for anyone ages nine to ninety. It’s a quick read that will make you think.CgXUS3PUUAASPM9

“Counting Thyme” by Melanie Conklin

Here’s my eleven-year-old son’s review of Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin:

Counting Thyme is an enchanting read that tells the story of Thyme and her cancer-stricken brother Val,  who are forced to move to New York for Val’s treatment. Thyme longs to connect with her friends back in San Diego, but it remains hopeless. Then Thyme remembers the “Thyme Jar,” a jar that her mother made shortly after Val was diagnosed. The “Thyme Jar” has pieces of paper for “me time,” time that Thyme can just be alone and use to her heart’s content.

Thyme’s new school isn’t so bad either, although there are a few jerks at it. Jake, on the other hand, is not a jerk. Quite the opposite, in fact. And then there’s a new adult in Thyme’s life who makes things better.

All in all, I think Counting Thyme is definitely a worthwhile read. Kids from ages eight to fourteen would like it. It is full of deep emotions.IMG_20160430_154201

“The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price” by Jennifer Maschari

Grief, magic, and a secret passage. That sounds like an intriguing combination, doesn’t it? Here’s what my ten-year-old has to say about The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari. He read it start to finish in one day!

The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price is quite an interesting concept. Charlie’s mom had cancer and died. Charlie and his sister, Imogen, are grieving. But something isn’t right. Charlie is seeing less and less of Imogen, and when he does see her she is disgruntled and can’t remember anything. Charlie discovers Imogen is going through a secret passage in her room to a parallel universe where their mom is alive. It almost seems too good to be true. Is this just a lucky discovery or sinister magic at work? Read the book to find out!

This book really tugged at my heartstrings. I think this book would be good for a range of kids from seven to fourteen. A wide variety of kids would like it, especially those who enjoyed tear jerkers and magic.

“Treasure at Lure Lake” by

My ten-year-old son is on a reading rampage through all the middle grade books from debut authors in 2016. Here are his thoughts on Treasure at Lure Lake by Shari Schwarz which is our newest purchase:

Treasure at Lure Lake is an exhilarating read that I read in under three hours out of pure excitement. Bryce and his older brother, Jack, are staying with their Grandpa for a couple of weeks. Except, it’s not that simple. Bryce finds an old treasure map and starts hunting around. With twists and turns at every corner, the lure of Lure Lake remains illusive. Will Bryce find it? What is the treasure? Will Jack finally get cell phone reception? Read the book to find out!

This book would be great for third through seventh graders. Girls would probably like this book too, even though it’s heavy on boy characters. It’s a fast read that will keep you turning pages.


“The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee” by Erin Petti

My ten-year-old son has issued himself the challenge of reading all of the Middle Grade debuts in 2016 from my fellow Sweet Sixteen authors–except for “the girly books.” Here’s his review for The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee by Erin Petti:

I think that The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee is a great book with an artfully crafted build-up to the final moments. Thelma Bee is a very curious girl, and when her dad receives a strange antique she can’t help but investigate. I won’t give away the exact happenings, but she should have just burned that box on the spot.

One of the many things that makes this book special is the illustrations. They are beautiful paper and pencil efforts worked into the text. The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee is a short but sweet read that people of any gender will like.

“Hour of the Bees” by Lindsay Eagar

It’s hard discovering a book my fifth grader hasn’t read, but Hour of the Bees, by debut author Lindsay Eagar, is a fresh pick for 2016. Here’s my son’s review:

The Hour of the Bees is a lovely read, well worth my time. It tells the story of a girl named Carol and her grandfather, who has dementia. My great-grandmother has dementia too, but (no offense) she’s not nearly as interesting as Grandpa Serge. Carol’s grandpa starts telling odd stories, and they all chalk it up to dementia. But when the words of the story start coming out into real life Carol wonders: “Is it really just dementia or is there something strange afoot?”

Hour of the Bees didn’t start with a big bang, but by twenty pages in it was really going. I stayed up all night to read it. I couldn’t have slept without finding out what happened. I think this book is great for ages five (with a parent reading it) to fifteen.

“Poppy Mayberry, The Monday” by Jennie K. Brown

Here’s my ten-year-old’s review of Poppy Mayberry, The Monday (Nova Kids) by Jennie K. Brown. We received a free, advanced reader’s electronic copy as part of my participation as a debut author in The Sweet Sixteens. My son has read a lot of books in the past few months, but you’ll see that this one really captured his attention!

Poppy Mayberry, The Monday is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It has a perfect mix of romance, comedy, and suspense–all geared toward middle grade readers. The plot line is that all kids in the town of Nova have special powers determined by the day they were born on. Monday is telekinesis, Tuesday is teleportation, Wednesday is electrical, Thursday is mind reading, and Friday is disappearing. Saturday and Sunday don’t have any powers.

As the title states, Poppy Mayberry is a Monday, but she’s not a very good one. After being shipped off to a special school for power-disabled kids with her worst enemy Ellie (who can’t control her powers), Poppy is paired up in a team with Logan, a Friday, and Samuel, a Wednesday. That’s when things take a downward turn. I won’t give away spoilers but it gets pretty wild.

I think kids ages eight to fifteen would like Poppy Mayberry, The Monday. It is one of my favorite books ever!

“The Last Boy at St. Edith’s” by Lee Gjertsen Malone

Here’s my ten-year-old son’s review of a brand new middle grade book we recently purchased. It’s called The Last Boy at St. Edith’s by Lee Gjertsen Malone.

In The Last Boy at St. Edith’s Jeremy Miner is the only boy at St. Edith’s Institution, a formerly all-girls school. It used to be an all-girls school, but as that it was doing poorly, it switched to co-ed. But, enrollment was still low. A bunch of boys were there but all of them ended up leaving but one–Jeremy Miner. Jeremy and his friend Claudia engage in a series of pranks meant to get Jeremy expelled. What happens next is a series of comical incidents including a giant snowman and whole bunch of lawn gnomes.

As a ten-year-old boy myself, being at an all-girls school sounds pretty sweet, but after all, I’m not Jeremy Miner. This book will appeal to a variety of kids, from fourth grade on up. I thought it was a rollercoaster of a read, and definitely worth my time.

“Sticks and Stones” by Abby Cooper

All year my ten-year-old son has been reading advanced review copies of middle grade books we borrow via my membership as a debut author in The Sweet Sixteens. Here’s his review of Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper.

Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper is a middle grade read that comes out in July of 2016. The hook is that Elyse is a middle grade girl with a special affliction called CAV which makes everything she calls herself and other people call her show up on her skin. So if somebody gives her a compliment, it feels great, but if someone insults her, it’s super itchy. Most people don’t know about Elyse’s CAV. On top of all that Elyse is dealing with her first break up and her best friend leaving her for the popular crowd.

I thought this was a great book, even though as a fifth grade boy I wasn’t exactly the target audience. It had more romance than I was used to. The hook was really clever. “Sticks and stones can break your bones but words will never hurt you.” Or  … do they!

“The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society” by Janet Sumner Johnson

These past few months my ten-year-old son has been reading every Advanced Review Copy I can borrow through my membership as an author in The Sweet Sixteens. Here’s what he thinks of The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson, which comes out April 1st, 2016:

The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society, by Janet Sumner Johnson, is a quick, fun, middle grade read. The hook is that two best friends work desperately not to be separated by changing circumstances.

Jason and Annie have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Unfortunately, Jason has to move away. Jason and Annie are frantic, looking for a way to reverse it. They have a multitude of plans, including lottery tickets, pirate treasure, and much, much more. Things are looking bright! Can they save the situation after all?

I thought this book was a good read and I would recommend it to kids from 8 to 13.

“Paper Wishes” by Lois Sepahban

When I first heard about Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban I was eager to purchase a copy for my family. I’ve read No-No BoyObasan, and Farewell to Manzanar, but those are books about Japenese Internment camps meant for older readers or adults. Paper Wishes is geared towards kids. I want my children to learn the dark side of American history as well as the light, but would this book capture my ten year old’s attention? He read it in one afternoon! Here is my fifth grader’s review:

Paper Wishes is a compelling historical fiction read for kids who are in third grade on up to middle school. It tells the story of a young girl named Manami on her desperate need to console herself after losing one of her best friends, her dog Yujiin. Manami and her family are shipped away to a Japanese internment camp shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her family is Japanese American. The dog can’t come with them. While in camp, Manami creates artwork featuring her beloved dog Yujiin.

Before I read this book I knew all about Japanese internment camps but now I can fully realize the pain and longing that went on inside them. I have tons of Japanese American friends and I would flip if this happened to them.


“Bounders” by Monica Tesler

As soon as my ten year old saw the advertisement for Bounders by Monica Tesler on the back of “Boys Life Magazine,” he wanted to read it. Here’s my fifth grader’s review:

Bounders is an intriguing middle grade Sci-Fi book with twists and turns at every corner. The main plot is that children are being bred to “bound.” Bounding is basically teleporting anywhere they want–even planets. Life sounds good, or so it seems, until some of the bounders make a strange discovery.

Probably anyone from nine to fourteen would enjoy Bounders. It might be too hard for third graders, unless they were advanced third graders. This was a really good book and I would rate it five stars.

My son’s review of “The Rat Prince”

RatFinding books that my ten-year-old hasn’t read yet is a challenge. Have you seen our home library? So this year we are concentrating on brand new books. Luckily, I’m an author and my membership in The Sweet Sixteens means I have access to advanced review copies of books that haven’t come out yet.

So far my son has reviewed Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan, Fenway and Hattie by Victoria Coe, and The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop. Here’s his review of  The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder: 

The Rat Prince is an intriguing story I read start to finish in less than twenty four hours. I didn’t put it down, except when my mom made me. It’s a blend of the classic story Cinderella and The Secrets of Nimh. The hook is Cinderella meets the rat guardians of her family and they embark on a great adventure. That the rats have a ruler that is much smarter than you would think for a rat. He’s a good guy. The bad guy is {——} {——–}. As the story unfolds you will see how it resembles the classic tale of Cinderella but still stays mature enough to pull in an upper middle grade audience.

Stay tuned for more reviews!


Sneak Peek at “The Distance to Home”

We’re still in the dead of winter but here’s a book that will make summer feel a little bit closer. It’s called The Distance to Home and it comes out June 28, 2016. I received an early look at an advanced reader’s copy as part of my membership in The Sweet Sixteens debut authors club. This is my ten-year-old’s review:

The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop is about a girl named Quinnen trying to find herself after her older sister Haley passes away. {THIS HAS BEEN CENSORED FOR SPOILER ALERT REASONS} When Quinnen played baseball last year, her sister Haley was always cheering for her at the top of the stands. Now Quinnen can’t seem to pull herself back up after her sister’s death and has no interest in baseball.

The author uses the juxtaposition between this summer and last summer to tell the story of Haley’s death and Quinnen’s struggle to right herself. The jumping back and forth in time was confusing at first, but then made a lot of sense. It was an engrossing and interesting way to tell the story.

I think third and fourth graders would really enjoy The Distance to Home. But watch out. It also might make people with soft hearts cry.