Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New release, The Guardians of Elijah's Fire, by Frank L. Cole, author of Hashbrown series

I'm excited to feature author, Frank L. Cole, on my blog and tell you about some of the books he's written and about his most recent book release.

First, here is a little about the author.

Frank was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Sadly, he misplaced the manuscript and has since forgotten what he wrote. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted.

Frank is the author of the highly successful Hashbrown series. He has written an exciting adventure series for youth (adults will enjoy this book as well) and the second book in the series was recently released. The first book in the series is, The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter;

Amber never dreamed her archaeology class would turn into a top secret mission that would take her across the globe, but when her teacher goes missing, Amber realizes it's up to her to protect the Hidden Scepter or risk unleashing an ancient power too terrifying to imagine. This guaranteed page-turner from the bestselling author of the Hashbrown Winters series is perfect for the adventurer in your family.
and the second book, recently released is, The Guardians of Elijah's Fire.

Just when she thought she was safe, Amber learns she's become a target and it seems even her closest allies can t be trusted. Now Amber, Trendon, and the whole gang are facing their most terrifying enemy yet. This thrilling tale ups the action and doubles the danger! Bestselling author, Frank L. Cole delivers an engrossing tale for adventurers of all ages.

If you like suspenseful and exciting adventure books, you will love this series. I thought both stories were extremely well written and paint a vivid picture for any reader's imagination.

I asked Frank to tell me a little about himself.

I have lived in such exotic places as the Philippines and Kentucky, and currently live with my wife and three children out west. While I strived for years to earn my publishing credits, I consider sharing my message of “Exercising Your Imagination” to over 30,000 kids across the country as my greatest accomplishment. The Guardians of Elijah’s Fire is my 5th published book.

Here is my interview with Frank:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Frank: I suppose a lot of authors say this, but I’ve loved writing since I was a child. I can remember being in elementary school and having a collection of my stories I would share to anyone willing to listen.

M.B.: What is your writing and educational background?

Frank: I really don’t have much of a writing background. I graduated from Weber State in Communications, which has helped me immensely with marketing my book and speaking at assemblies.

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Frank: Long, hard, and very painful. I began the publishing journey about 11 years ago with my first novel (a very poorly written middle grade fantasy.) Over the next few years I saw probably more than 125 rejection letters. I don’t know how many times I considered hanging it up, but something kept me going. I received a contract for my first book, The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters, in December of 2008. That was about seven years after the journey began.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Frank: I still feel discouraged because as every author realizes or eventually will realize, rejection never ends. I deal with it by screaming a lot. ☺ Seriously, I would wallow in self-pity for a while after a particularly painful rejection, but then I would go back to work. I had to remember my roots and realize I didn’t start writing as a child because I wanted to be published. I started because I truly enjoyed it.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Frank: Sporadic. If I’ve caught the writing fever I’ll write for hours every night. If I’m in between projects, it can be weeks before I smack the keyboard. I try to at least set aside a few hours each week to focus intently on a story, but with life, my job, and my family, it can be difficult.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is
good enough to write a book about it?

Frank: I have a fairly unique background. I was born in Kentucky and my dad told me stories of his upbringing in Brooklyn, NY. I usually pull from my own experiences and memories to begin a story. I’m also a horrible sleepwalker and talker. My mind is constantly going in a million different directions. It can be tricky finding the right idea to focus my energy. If it wakes me up in the middle of the night or if I suddenly can’t think of anything else but the idea than I usually know I have something. I’ll also try it out on my wife and family to see their reaction.

M.B.: When did the idea for this book first come to you?

Frank: I woke up one night and scribbled down a few notes in my notebook I keep by the bed. I had this dream of these kids studying archaeology and I got excited about it. I’m a huge Goonies fan and I love a good adventure tale.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Frank: Absolute quiet and the only light I use comes from the computer screen. Plus I need warm socks. Weird. I know.

M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Frank: They all have a special place in my heart, but I think I love my newest novel, The Guardians of Elijah’s Fire. It is the sequel to my novel, The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter, which came out last March. I really did a ton of research on it and I just love the creepy stories found in the Old Testament, which seriously reads like the greatest fantasy novel. Plus, when I read those stories and realize they actually happened, it makes the world a more mysterious place. I love that. My Guardians series follows Amber and Trendon as they search for dangerous artifacts capable of Biblical destruction. I incorporate a ton of action, frightening sequences, and of course, humor. I have to make it funny.

M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?

Frank: I’m still scared to walk up my stairs at night. I take them two at a time and try not to look back. If someone or something grabbed my leg I would scream like a banshee. Honest truth.

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Frank: Don’t give up. Keep writing, polishing, and thinking up new ideas. You’ll eventually find somewhere your books belong and you’ll be happy you stuck with it.

M.B.: What are you working on now?

Frank: I’m finishing up the 4th Adventure in my Hashbrown series, which will come out in April of 2013. Right after that I’ll start immediately on the final book of my Guardians trilogy. I also just finished a new novel called, The Summoner’s Handbook, which I’m polishing in my free time.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Frank: Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book, Amazon. You can read more about my books at http://franklewiscole.blogspot.com

You can also befriend Frank on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review of The Kindling, by Braden Bell

Homework? Of course. Crushes? Sure. But who knew seventh grade included superpowers?

From the back cover:

Loud shrieks sliced the air, followed by the smell of burning cloth. Conner looked over in time to see Geoffrey jumping up and down, yelling and shrieking. Smoke poured from the seat of his shorts while blue and yellow sparks snap-crackle-and-popped all around the heater.
All thirteen-year-old Conner Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens. He didn’t mean to set anyone’s gym shorts on fire or make school lunches explode. But now that the strange powers inside him have been ignited, Conner’s normal teenage life is about to go up in flames!

The Kindling, by author Braden Bell is a page-turning adventure filled with excitement, suspense, humor, magic, and fun, perfect for middle-grade readers and adults alike. Bell’s writing is filled with vivid images, wonderful characters and plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader completely entranced from start to finish.

From the first page, the excitement and intrigue begin. A series of strange events start happening to Conner Dell, his sister Lexa and her friend Melanie and suddenly their whole world turns upside down. Not only are kids starting on fire but a creepy guy keeps following them, and no one else can see him! Even the teachers at school are acting weird.

Not sure who they an trust or where to turn for help, the children soon find themselves in a battle of good and evil, a fight of light against darkness.

Author, Braden Bell, also a middle school drama teacher, definitely knows his audience and his writing reflects that. The dialogue is witty and fun, the characters are relatable and quirky and the plot clips along at a breathtaking pace.

The story also reflects deeper themes of family, loyalty and the hope that good will triumph over evil.

With all the books available for youth that don’t bother providing anything edifying, I was pleased to read a book that not only kept me entertained but left me feeling uplifted.

The Kindling is a great book for youth and the first in the series. Let’s hope the next one hits the shelves soon!

To go to Braden's web-site click HERE and to purchase the book on Amazon click HERE