Sunday, October 26, 2014

Michael J. Bowler - And The Children Shall Lead - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

The campaign to save California’s children was only the beginning. Now King Arthur and his Round Table of teenaged knights set their sights on fixing something even bigger – the entire country. How? By targeting America’s most sacred document – The Constitution.

Native American teens Kai and Dakota, despite harboring secrets of their own, join the team, and swear undying loyalty to Lance. They carry the hope of their people that the crusade will better the lives of Indian children, who are the most neglected by government. This new campaign will take the young people to The White House, the halls of Congress, and beyond in their quest to change the prevailing opinion that children are property, rather than human beings in their own right.

But an unseen nemesis stalks Lance and Arthur, and ratchets up the attacks on New Camelot, promising to kill them and destroy all that the king has put in place. Lance, Ricky, Kai, and Dakota become the enemy’s favorite targets, and barely escape with their lives on more than one occasion. Who is this mysterious stalker, and what is the motive for these attacks? Lance has no idea, especially since he’s never intentionally hurt anyone.

“You were right, little boy, death is coming for you, but slowly, and only after it takes out the people you love.” That chilling promise haunts Lance, but also strengthens his determination to protect the people he loves at all costs. Or die trying.

The Knight Cycle Continues…

My Review

Lance goes from "The Boy Who Came Back" to "The Boy Who Came Out." His public declaration of his love for Ricky, sets him up to face a whole new set of challenges as the teenage knights of the Round Table grapple with the idea that their leader is gay. Some are afraid of being cast in the same light. Others think it'll make them look weak. They fear the public backlash from Lance's announcement.

But Lance is finally okay with who he is. For a boy who was sexually abused at the age of six, he has finally found the one person he was meant to give his heart to. It's been a long, hard road for him to travel. His self-acceptance was a painful process, a battle that wasn't easily won, and the repercussions of that seem far easier to have to cope with than the inner hatred he had been dealing with for so long. Now, he's going to embrace his new relationship with Ricky, and to hell with what anyone else thinks.

Now seventeen, the time is drawing near for Lance to take up the mantle and assume the throne. Merlin warns him that King Arthur will not be with them for too much longer, and that Lance will need to step up and keep the crusade going. Lance hates to hear Merlin talk that way, so he pushes the thought aside, refusing to accept the truth behind his dire prediction.

Because Lance doesn't think he'll make it to eighteen. The mysterious stranger with the phone number 000-000-0000 is back, upping the ante with his death threats. First, Lance and his friends are fired upon with rubber bullets, then a window washing platform nearly crushes him. His assailant is playing a cat and mouse game, threatening to take out Arthur and Ricky first, before coming for him, in order to make him suffer. Things escalate when a horde of motorcycle assassins chase him through the streets of downtown Washington DC and into Arlington National Cemetery where a helicopter almost separates Lance and Ricky forever.

Lance feels like he is a character in one of the FINAL DESTINATION movies, knowing that he cheated death once and it's only a matter of time before death comes for him again. He's gets all "emo" about what is going to happen to him, not wanting the ones he loves to fall in harm's way. While everyone is out to label him as "homo" or "gay," he knows his identity reaches far deeper than that. All he wants to be known as is "human." That's it. Because after staring down death time and time again, he knows what's really important in life.

The only thing that can define him is love.


And The Children Shall Lead can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.99 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 302
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release: September 25, 2014
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9780990306368
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of seven novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, and Once Upon A Time In America.

His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, something that is sorely lacking in this state.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed he and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He is currently at work on a horror/suspense novel based on his screenplay, “Healer.”

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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