Book Review: Onwaachige The Dreamer

The Dreamer

Onwaachige The Dreamer, the third book in the Two-Spirit Chronicles is another delightful read by Jay Jordan Hawke. I loved the first two books in this series and the third is no exception. Not as dark as the second book, this one reaches levels of genuine hilarity in the banter between fourteen-year-old Joshua and his best friends, Mokwa and Little Deer. These three teen boys have distinctive personalities and play off each other perfectly. Having only just met at the beginning of summer in the first book, they bonded as only friends who were meant to be friends can bond.

 

This installment follows Joshua on a journey to discover the meaning of his dreams, and in a larger sense, to find his place in the world. He runs away following the horrific events that concluded A Scout is Brave because of a prophetic dream that terrifies him, and returns to the only place he has ever felt safe and secure – his grandfather’s Ojibwe reservation in Northern Wisconsin.

 

Back on the rez, Joshua tries to hide from his mother, who he knows will come searching for him. Once Mokwa – a fun-loving, sweet-natured teen who can’t keep a secret if his life depends on it – discovers Joshua by the lake, the cat is soon out of the bag. And speaking of cats, Pywacky, the rez cat, befriends Joshua and becomes a memorable character unto himself.

 

These three boys could be a comedy team. They know each other’s rhythms so well and their dialogue, as they first try to keep Joshua’s presence a secret and later set off into the north woods in search of Joshua’s father, is always spot-on and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. If this story were set in the present day, these three would be You Tube sensations – all they’d have to do is get on camera and just be themselves.

 

I also love the character of Gentle Eagle, Joshua’s wise and patient grandfather. In this installment, he has some extremely well written scenes with Pastor Martin, a minister who has lived on the reservation for decades. Previously, Martin came across as a self-righteous man who disdained the Native culture that surrounded him and believed he had all the answers. In his extended conversations with Gentle Eagle while they search for the missing Joshua, the man comes to understand and accept that Native ways are not bad and don’t conflict with his Christian beliefs as he’d always thought. Because he’d never taken the time to understand Gentle Eagle and the Ojibwe culture, he’d never realized how narrow-minded he’d become. These two men form a much stronger bond in this book, one that is built on mutual respect. Nice to see.

 

A new character, Caleb, one of the college interns who befriends Joshua, is also a breath of fresh air. He’s the kind of Christian I am more familiar with who behaves in a Christ-like manner and doesn’t judge Joshua for being Two-Spirit and doesn’t dismiss Native beliefs as being superstitions or even running counter to his own. He is a kind, generous young man who passes judgment on no one and at no time attempts to shove his beliefs on Joshua or another teen character, Crazy Crow. Seeing nuance in Christians is almost unheard of in books or movies – they are usually portrayed as stuffy, narrow-minded jerks – and I commend the author for his refreshing, more balanced, and more true to life take.

 

Since all three books occur over the same summer (yes, Joshua has an eventful three months), I would suggest starting with the first book, Pukawiss the Outcast. There are numerous references throughout this narrative to previous events, and much exposition in the first chapter, so reading Onwaachige as a standalone is perfectly acceptable. However, the arc of Joshua’s passage from a boy who was adrift to one who becomes anchored is a joy to behold and you really should take the entire journey. As for me, I eagerly await the further adventures of Joshua, Mokwa, and Little Deer. Let’s hope I don’t have long to wait.

Onwaachige The Dreamer on Amazon

 

Why the Genre Term “Young Adult Literature” is Dangerous

Young Adult

I hate the term “Young Adult Literature.” Teens and children are NOT young adults and they never will be young adults. Twelve and under are children or kids. Thirteen to eighteen are teens or adolescents. Eighteen years old is the beginning of young adulthood in America, and the adult brain isn’t fully formed until age twenty-one plus. That’s real science, not my opinion.

I point this out because it’s a major theme in my writing. America seems bound and determined to rob children of their childhood. Even on such supposedly safe channels as Nickelodeon and Disney, shows often depict kids as young as ten or eleven pursuing romantic relationships.

These storylines put ideas into the heads of kids at home that there must be something wrong with them if they don’t want a boyfriend or girlfriend in elementary or middle school. Kids that age should NOT be pursuing such complicated and stressful relationships. They should be building friendships that are strong and binding. Developmentally, they are figuring out who they are as individuals and don’t need the pressures of a “relationship” they can’t fully understand and don’t actually want. I talked to an eleven-year-old recently who said he wanted a girlfriend. When I asked why, he didn’t have an answer. I know the answer – it’s because the media keeps pushing that idea and kids always want to “fit in” with whatever is the current trend. Why the media pushes romantic, and by extension sexual, relationships on children is a disturbing question to ponder. No good can come of such poisoning of children’s minds and souls in this fashion, and yet we as a society allow it to happen. That’s scary.

There’s another, even more insidious aspect to labeling kids “young adults.” Children today are exposed to more and more adult behaviors, usually bad ones, and when they copy those behaviors they are expelled from school or arrested. If the behaviors are really serious and somebody gets hurt, these children are put into adult court and sentenced to prison. I know a large number of them personally. I’ve spent time with seven and eight year olds in juvenile hall. Children reflect the society in which they grow up, and America is teaching them how to be self-absorbed consumers with little regard for others. Maybe that’s the plan – keep them self-absorbed with “me” centered behaviors and they won’t challenge the status quo. If kids, i.e. the next generation, don’t challenge the status quo, corruption and greed win every time.

Young children can be tried as adults in many states and the media always labels these kids “young men” or “young women.” Why? Because readers or viewers won’t feel sorry for them and think of them as the damaged children they actually are. Even when children do something positive, they are still referred to with those factually and morally misleading terms “young men” and “young women.” It’s clearly an agenda designed to benefit adults. There’s no other explanation. If society decides children are “little adults,” then anything goes with those kids, right? They can be put into prison, used sexually, or forced to work so parents or guardians can make money off of them.

My Children of the Knight series explores these themes in depth. My young characters rebel against societal brainwashing and use social media to galvanize their peers across the country to do the same. A revolution ensues that continues in the latest installment, Warrior Kids: A Tale of New Camelot. Children and teens are the only ones who can make society better because they will run it some day. Brainwashing them to obsess over themselves – as though kids don’t do this enough already – is the easiest way to ensure that those in power across the board won’t be challenged. Sadly, the tactic seems to be working. It’s my hope that kids who read my books will come to the same awareness as my characters about what is really going on and feel empowered to rise up and stop it.

Vigilant parents keep their kids away from media, and screen everything, within reason, that kids watch or read. And allow their children to grow developmentally along natural milestones. Rushing children to “behave” like adults is a net negative. Far too many adults are poor role models. These adults don’t want to make the world better for kids because they personally benefit from how it is now. I don’t want my children copying the behaviors of most “famous” people, or even characters in so much of what passes for children’s entertainment these days, because then my kids will become part of the problem, not the solution.

So yes, I decry the term “Young Adult” applied to children and teen lit. It’s just an excuse to distract kids by putting more adult material into their books, mostly sexual material, and get away with it because the books are for “young adults.” No, they’re not. These books are for kids who are still developing and are not young adults and never will be young adults until they actually grow into young adults. I write books for teens and tweens that can be enjoyed by adults of all ages. Now I just have to convince the rest of the industry to call teen lit what it is – teen lit. If more parents complained on a grass roots level and emailed publishers and Amazon to replace that “Young Adult” moniker, we could seriously challenge the status quo. Or we could just succumb to the brainwashing and do nothing. I prefer to challenge. And then go after Disney and Nickelodeon.

Anyone with me?

WarriorKids-Facebook V2

Michael J. Bowler

Michael J. Bowler Amazon Page

Horror and Adolescence

SPINNER

Horror and adolescence go hand in hand for many reasons, which explains why teens tend to thrive on horror films and books more than any other demographic.

Adolescence is a time of great change for kids – a transitional period between childhood and adulthood. No, teens are not young adults until they reach the age of eighteen (despite the media obsessively referring to 11 year olds as “young men” or “young women”), but their brains and bodies are changing at such a rapid pace that these years teeter between exhilarating and terrifying on a daily basis. The adolescent brain has one foot firmly planted on the accelerator while the other foot struggles to find the brake. Teens seek out thrilling experiences that pump the adrenalin and pound the heart. Hence the love of amusement park thrill rides, fast driving, and the heart-pounding experience of a good horror film or book.

But the “thrill gene,” as it’s been loosely dubbed, in teens isn’t the only correlation to horror, or the only reason teens love the genre. Fear is a HUGE part of adolescence, and teens stress over how best to manage that fear. What fears do teens face on a daily basis? Depends on where they live and go to school. For many, the fear is physical. Will they make it through the school day without getting bullied? Will they make it home without getting jumped? Will they fail yet another class and have to take it over? Will dad be drunk again tonight? Will mom tell them they’re losers? Will there be any food for dinner or will they have to go hungry until school the following day? These are but a few of the real fears no kid should have to live with, but far too many in America do.

But, above and beyond these issues, every adolescent is afraid to be different, to stand out from their peers, to not fit in. This is a palpable fear that guides almost every decision teenagers make. While some parents may encourage kids to embrace their differentness, most want their kids to be “mini-me’s” and conform to the “accepted societal norms” so they (the parents) don’t look bad in the eyes of other adults for having “that weird kid.” Such parents are embarrassed to have a disabled child, or one who isn’t good at sports, or who doesn’t get all A’s in school or who’s LGBT. By the time the adolescent brain kicks in, the wiring is geared toward socialization and social acceptance, so teens squelch their innate differentness in order to fit in. They live in fear every day that the mask they wear will be knocked off, the real “them” will shine through, and they will be ostracized as a result. So they dress the same, talk the same and act the same as their peers out of fear that their real selves will be rejected.

How does this fear relate to horror? Look at the huge number of horror films that feature a kid who’s odd or different or possessed or threatened by nightmares that expose his secrets to the world. Look at how many films or books that feature a damaged character that hides behind a literal mask. Horror often features the outsider kid, the one nobody likes because he or she is “different” as the hero, the one who saves the day when his or her “conforming” peers are getting knocked off one by one. The plethora of possession movies speak to teen fears of having someone inside themselves, i.e. the real human being, revealing itself to the world and not being accepted. For LGBT youth, this fear is profound because they know how society consistently rejects kids like them for being born “different.” I supervised the GSA at my high school and, sadly, most of those kids were more afraid of their parents than their peers. Many kids wanted to attend meetings or functions, they’d tell me in private, but were afraid other kids would turn against them or, worse yet, inform their parents.

Special Education (SPED) kids harbor a similar fear. As a teacher to disabled students, I know from experience that their greatest fear is for peers to find out they’re SPED. I know the fear – I’ve lived with hearing impairment my whole life and there was not a single kid like me at any grade level up through and including graduate school. I never told peers that I couldn’t hear clearly. I just laughed if other kids did, even though I didn’t hear the punch line, or I stayed silent and nodded if I didn’t clearly understand something. I shied away from group sports or dances or activities that were loud and had many kids talking at once because I was afraid I’d have to admit my weakness and then get mocked for it. There was never a day when I wasn’t reminded that I was different. So it was no surprise that even as a child I loved horror films and books. For me, seeing people manage fears that were greater than mine helped me deal with my own. These stories also raced my heart and fueled my imagination and inspired me to be a writer when I grew up. Horror is a thrill ride teens hope they never have to live through in real life, but they thrive on the adrenaline rush of being chased by the guy with the chainsaw, or having an exorcism performed on them, or having a guy with blades for fingers reach out of their dreams to try and kill them. Their hearts pound, blood rushes, and then they get to walk away unharmed.

For these very reasons, the best horror stories feature teen protagonists. Teens are always more willing to take risks adults wouldn’t – like opening that cellar door to see what’s down below, or sneaking into a graveyard to dig up graves or playing with that Ouija board that they know from countless films will lead to disaster. Teens are risk-takers, and horror stories are about managing fear while taking extreme risks, the kind that can often be deadly.

Spinner features a cast of teen characters with disabilities who have to solve a centuries-old mystery, as well as a string of murders quite possibly committed by one of them, all without the ability to read or write or, in Alex’s case, walk. Like gay kids and bullied kids, these characters face fear every day just by going to school where they know they will be mocked and ridiculed for being “different.” But being different doesn’t stop them from bonding together and risking their lives for each other. At the heart of any good horror story is friendship between characters who have to make life and death choices that the viewing audience, or the reader, hopes never to have to make in the real world. Horror teaches kids valuable lessons without being dogmatic or preachy. Some lessons are complex, like how the smallest choices can have the biggest consequences, while others are minor – like don’t go into a dark basement alone when you hear sounds down there.

Being a teen today shouldn’t be the equivalent of a horror film, but it sadly often is; reading a novel or watching a film can be cathartic and help kids survive by reminding them that the different one, the “odd kid out,” the bullied kid, the kid who thinks outside the box will be the last man standing. Within these fictional forays into terror, kids see how their true selves, the ones they hide from the world, are the ones that ultimately survive and save others along the way. In teen horror, “different” is the new “normal.”

SPINNER has been given the SEAL of APPROVAL from Literary Classics. It also won Honorable Mention in the Young Adult category from the San Francisco Book Awards and it won the Young Adult category in the Hollywood Book Awards. Kirkus Reviews says: “It will warm your heart and chill your spine.” Spinner releases on August 5th. Pre-Buy Link Here: Spinner Amazon Link

Spinner front cover with CLC Sticker v3

My Series Is Complete

Once full cover

My final book is available as of today. Once Upon A Time In America brings The Knight Cycle to a close and will be the last book I have in print for a long time. Children of the Knight was never a stand-alone book, but merely the first of five long chapters spanning four eventful years in the lives of my characters and the country as a whole. Once is the chapter that brings the story of Arthur and Lance and the modern-day Knights of the Round Table to a close, and I hope I ended their journey in a way that satisfies readers and engenders within them the feeling that the series was a worthwhile investment of their time.

It has been a long, often bittersweet journey for me in the writing and publishing of these books, but in the aggregate I am proud of my accomplishment. I feel I have greatly improved as a writer and the books get better as they go along. I’m proud that this series addresses issues that most writers tend to shy away from. I’m proud of the themes and messages that youth can take away from this story. I’m proud that the series is not another knockout of “insert title of popular YA book here,” but stands on its own as an original, unique “world.” It’s our world of today, but rather than make it worse and dystopian as so many writers do, my story offers hope that the world and America can get better, and that young people are the ones who will make it better. To do so, youth need to ignore much of what they’ve been taught by the media and their elders. They must join together and be the change they want to see. They must accept and embrace their superficial differences and work together as human beings first, everything else second. In banding together in this way, the youth in my series bring about profound and positive changes for the entire country, and are outstanding role models for any teens who read about them.

My next blog post will be aimed at those out there who want to be successful authors, especially those who have their first book ready (they think) for publication. I made a lot of mistakes in my attempted journey from writer to author, mistakes I have yet to overcome. Perhaps if I share them with the world at large, other writers will not commit the same errors and will achieve real success.

Writing is difficult and lonely, but also very exciting as the world you envision comes to life on the computer screen before your very eyes. However, going from a writer who has written a story to an author with sufficient readers to make all the time and effort worthwhile is an entirely different story, but it’s really the “big picture,” and in my view what separates a writer from an author.

Because of my mistakes and the fact that self-promotion is an area in which I have zero ability (sadly, no joke there), I have garnered a mere handful of loyal readers. But they are super-loyal and love my series and I love my readers. And I’m grateful to have them. For those readers, and because I always finish what I start, I completed the series and made it available. It is my hope, of course, that word of mouth might eventually bring more people to the story and then those people will bring even more. Writers write so that readers will read, and hopefully enjoy, their work. I am thrilled that those people who have read all five books greatly enjoyed them and loved journeying with the characters, and I thank everyone who has stuck with me along the way.

At present, I have written another novel – a YA horror thriller – that I will shop around. I strongly doubt that it will see the light of day as a published book, but as one of the main themes of my Knight Cycle asserts, hope endures. The writing business is tough. I don’t make claims to being a great writer, but I think I’m a good storyteller. However, my opinion doesn’t count. LOL The marketplace determines the success or failure of any piece of art (I’m greatly stretching the meaning of that word to include my books – Ha!), so time will tell if The Knight Cycle will ever catch on with the reading public, especially the youth for whom it is intended.

My book writing journey ends for the time being alongside the journey of Arthur and Lance. However, I will now, hopefully, write more posts for this blog since Sir Lance tells me he’s lonely all the time. HaHa! The next post will be centered around the mistakes I made on my road to becoming an author and then, who knows? I will, of course, work hard to interest an agent or publisher in my new book and if, by some miracle it gets picked up for publication, I’ll be thrilled and grateful. But I won’t expect that to happen. False expectations in any avenue of life can be deadly. I’ve learned a valuable lesson from the many incarcerated kids I’ve worked with over the decades: hope for the best, but expect the worst. Sadly, that’s how our juvenile justice system works – the worst usually prevails. Success in the highly competitive world of book publishing is so not different.

However, hope endures…

Amazon link to Once Upon A Time In America is below.

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Time-In-America/dp/099087110X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1415807221&sr=1-3

Does Word Count or Storytelling Matter More To Readers?

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How long is too long for a novel? According to everything I read from “experts” online, a novel is defined as between 50,000 and 110,000 words, with 100,000 often the upper limit of word count that an agent or publisher will even consider for publication.

For Young Adult novels, the upper end of the word count is defined as 80,000, with 70,000 or less preferred. Anything over 80,000 words is considered “too long” to engage teen or young adult readers.

Here’s my question to you, the reading community – do you consider word count before you embark on a new book, or do you select books because the story sounds interesting and/or you like the cover art?

For myself as a reader, I love long books if the story and characters are engaging. I do not like extraneous detail that adds to the word count and detracts from the story. By “extraneous” I mean describing in extreme detail what each character is wearing each and every time he or she appears on the page, or describing what paintings are hanging on the walls or other unnecessary setting details. If such information is intrinsic to the plot or essential to understanding a character, it’s fine as long as it’s not overdone. Most of the time, however, authors simply “indulge” themselves.

As an example, I know people love the Song of Ice and Fire series, but I cannot get through them. I read two and a half books, very slowly and sporadically, I might add, while simultaneously reading other books that I found more appealing, and then finally gave up. Besides the constant brutality, especially towards children and teens, the author spends far too much time describing things I don’t care about. What Circe chooses to wear in every single scene is not important – a general description in a few words suffices to create an image in my mind. I do not need paragraph upon paragraph of descriptive detail when that detail does nothing to move the story forward.

Digital printing of paperback books is not very expensive. I know this because I have self-published books and my novels have better covers and formatting than many works from large publishing houses. That’s my opinion, of course, but I find the finished products to be stunning and completely professional.

It seems to me that the word count numbers used nowadays by agents and publishers reflect the overall “dumbing down” philosophy of media in general. I feel insulted that these people equate me with someone who only watches television or other “short-attention span” media. Readers, by definition, have longer attention spans and like being engaged with the printed page (or even the digital one.) I know people are busy these days and life is more complicated, but as a reader I love to be involved with characters I care about no matter how long the journey is, or how many words the author needs to finish the story. Some books have a lot of characters and plot – I’m very guilty of this – and thus require a higher word count to give both the story and the characters justice.

So here are my questions, and I welcome your comments and opinions – do you as readers only want short books, or does the quality of the writing and the complexity of the plot matter more? Do teens and young adult readers only want short books with simplistic plots and only a few characters to keep track of? Are readers incapable of following long stories with involved plotlines? Does word count matter more than storytelling?

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=Michael+J.+Bowler&search-alias=books&text=Michael+J.+Bowler&sort=relevancerank

Do Awards and/or Good Reviews Help Spur Interest in Books?

Running Full CoverFinalistMD

Running Through A Dark Place, the second book in my epic 5 book series, The Knight Cycle, is a Finalist in the 2014 Rainbow Awards in the Young Adult category, which is super cool and I’m very honored to have been chosen and to be in the company of so many talented authors. The first book in the series, Children of the Knight, was a Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards for the Young Adult category, and ended up in the top ten. With over 500 books submitted this year, and a number close to that last year, it’s amazing to be in the final 19 selected for the Young Adult category.

Children of the Knight was also given Honorable Mention in the 2014 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Young Adult Age 15-18 category, and it scored a Gold Award under Best Books For Teenagers from the UK-based The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards.

My novel, A Matter of Time, won a 2012 Silver Medal from Reader’s Favorite under the Romance/Suspense category.

I do not post these awards for the purpose of bragging because that is not my persona. My purpose for this post is to ask fellow authors, and even readers, if winning an award for a book (obviously not something like the National Book Award) and/or getting good reviews helped spur visibility of the book and bring more readers to the table. Is there a way to promote awards and/or reviews (other than just through social media) that may attract more readers from the target audience?

In my case, there appears to have been no jump in sales or readers as a result of these awards. The awards are listed on Amazon with the book info, and of course I promote through social media. I also share the occasional review that pops up on Goodreads or Amazon for any of my books. The Knight Cycle is really one long epic story wherein each book begins exactly where the previous one ended, and thus need to be read in order. I, therefore, heavily promoted the first book in the series. These books feature gay teens in prominent roles, are ethnically and racially diverse, and don’t focus on any single issue, but on a great many issues facing teens and children in America today.

The Rainbow Awards is specifically targeted at books revolving around LGBT characters, and thus I was pleasantly surprised both years to be a finalist. However, those who read Rainbow Award winning books have shown virtually no interest in Children or Running. In other words, being a Finalist didn’t bring in any new readers. In the case of Children of the Knight, I did get some very positive reviews on Goodreads as a result of the book making it to the final round, but those good reviews didn’t generate much interest either.

The Wishing Shelf Awards and the Reader’s View Awards are mainstream competitions, and my wins in both have not produced any noticeable bump in reader interest.

Likewise, my Silver Medal for A Matter of Time has done nothing to garner more readership for that book.

So, back to my original question and the title of this post: does winning awards (other than major ones) and/or getting good reviews help bring readers to the table?

I don’t know the answer. But maybe some of you out there do. I’d love to hear from both authors and readers. For you authors out there, have awards and reviews helped your books, and if so, what did you do with the award and/or reviews that brought in new readers?

For you readers out there, do you care about awards or even reviews in selecting books to read? Personally, as a reader, I do look at both because I think that if a book has won an award, it might at least be worth exploring on Amazon. I also check out reviews, but steer clear of any that might contain spoilers. Almost all of the reviews for my books have been positive, but those reviews haven’t improved the visibility of the books or increased readership. I don’t have many followers on this blog, but I hope to hear from at least a few people out there because I’m very interested in your thoughts.

Thanks.

Sticker correct size Wishing Shelf AwardReader Views Awardimage description

2014 Rainbow Awards Finalists

Young Adult
Asher’s Fault by Elizabeth Wheeler
Educating Simon by Robin Reardon
Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett
Heavyweight by MB Mulhall
Here’s to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst
Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick
Omorphi by C. Kennedy
Pray The Gay Away by Sara York
Red Devil by Kyell Gold
Running Through A Dark Place by Michael J. Bowler
Safe by Mark Zubro
Silent by Sara Alva
The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick
The Seventh Pleiade by Andrew J. Peters
This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
Us Three by Mia Kerick
Vivaldi in the Dark by Matthew J. Metzger
You’re Always in the Last Place You Look by T.N. Gates

And The Children Shall Lead is Coming Soon!

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And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight IV) releases on (or around, depending on the vagaries of Amazon – LOL) September 25th, 2014. Here is the stunning cover designed by Reese Dante, who is truly gifted. Each cover in this series is more amazing than the last, front and back!

This book takes King Arthur and his youthful knights on a crusade to change the entire country, and sets the stage for the finale, which releases in November. I’m planning to write a longer blog post about diversity in YA literature soon, but I see a lot on GR, School Library Journal, tumblr, et al. about this topic, and then I wonder if any of the librarians or teachers are really serious about diversity. My Children of the Knight series has probably a greater diversity of ethnicities, races, sexual orientations all working together than any book series out there, YA or adult, and yet no one who works with teens seems interested in reading any of them. They want books with more Latino characters – mine have tons. It’s not hard to Google “books with diverse characters” or something similar and find titles like mine. So that begs the question, which I will explore in depth in that post: are these people talking the talk about diversity because it makes them look good, but ultimately don’t want to walk the walk and actually find appropriate books with diverse characters? I wonder…

In any case, here’s the blurb for Book IV:

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…

And The Children Shall Lead - CreateSpace.psd