Friday, May 22, 2015

Joshua and the Lightning Road Book Tour: Guest Post, "Playing on Our Fears," and Giveaway (5 Winners)

Joshua and The Lightning Road
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.

Playing on Our Fears
by Donna Galanti

Do you love to be scared? I do, ever since I was a kid—as long as I know it’s safe. Haunted houses. Hayrides. Adventure rides. Cemeteries at night.

And when I write, I return to the magical—and fearful—worlds of my youth, where monsters and faeries roam the land. Through my stories I can become these characters, good and evil, and wield their powers. My favorite stories as a kid were thrillers that made my heart race and my fingers keep turning the page to see if the good guys would win over the bad guys.

I grew up an only child on a mountain with only nature as a playground, so my time was spent roaming the woods with my notebook and pen. I wrote in secret fields and beside hidden ponds. The woods were my home. My favorite room with a view is still one strewn with fields, rock walls, and looming mountains.

So, you can see that I was never scared to be alone and I think we as readers like to see our beloved characters alone to face scary challenges. It makes us wonder—what would I do in that situation if I were all alone without any help? Would I be too terrified to act or would I face danger head on and conquer it? And these are the kinds of situations I thrust Joshua into in Joshua and the Lightning Road while trying to blend just the right amount of scariness and tension for a children’s book. I love it when an author takes my beloved characters to the edge of no return and gives me that spine-tingling rush of “oh, nooo!” This is what I aim for in my own stories.

I am drawn to stories that play on our fears because I am fascinated by how people act when put in dire circumstances. And I love the challenge of writing a tortured hero. It forces me (and the reader) to step out of our safe world for just a bit and be uncomfortable—while in the safe place of a book.

I love to see how much torment we can pile on a character, how lost they become, how near the brink of desperation they reach—and then redeem them or not. We can relate to their pain because they are flawed, like we are all wonderfully flawed—and this reveals our humanity.

So, in reading scary stories, for a short while we can live amongst monsters without the fear of facing them in real life. Our heart pumps. Our fingers grip the pages. Then we close the book and go out again in the sunshine.

Watch the Joshua and the Lightning Road book trailer!

Praise for Joshua and the Lightning Road:

"Vividly imagined characters in a gripping action fantasy that never lets you go until the very last page." —Jenny Nimmo, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlie Bone series
Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Donna Galanti
Order Links:

Donna Galanti
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, a cooperative of published middle-grade authors. Visit her at and 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.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Information: Winner will be drawn June 19, 2015
• Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti (INT)
Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Susan Heim on Parenting is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment.


  1. Thanks so much for being a stop on the Joshua and the Lightning Road blog tour day!

  2. My grandson would really like this book!

  3. andie1:26 PM
    This would be perfect for my goddaughter - thanks!


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