Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Gates of Atlantis - Battle for Acropolis

Hi, Everyone! Today on Peacewrites we are celebrating the new MG fantasy/adventure series THE GATES OF ATLANTIS! This is a shared series, written by six awesome authors, each of whom have created characters that the others are free to use. Yet each novel concentrates on that author's specific characters, and each is a separate ATLANTIS adventure.

You will find author pics, bios, and the other five book covers below, but first I'm going to concentrate on just one of the books in this series, BATTLE FOR ACROPOLIS by my dear friend, fabulous writer, and talented book cover artist, MIKEY BROOKS.
 Below you will find my review of his book, and then an interview I was lucky enough to get with him. He gave some cool and insightful answers to my questions - check them out! After that, you will see the other book covers in THE GATES OF ATLANTIS series, plus pics of the authors and their bios. And finally, there's a REALLY cool giveaway to enter, so don't forget to scroll to the bottom!
OK, peeps ... here you go!

Cas Peace (short)  review of BATTLE FOR ACROPOLIS:
       BATTLE FOR ACROPOLIS is a fun and exciting read. The main characters are Talon, a thirteen-year-old lad with strange eyes, strange powers, and an even stranger destiny, and his foster sister Hattie, a girl with a most unusual lineage. The novel starts out like it's going to be a school drama, with Talon unintentionally burning down his school library. (Don't worry - there are no spoilers here!) However, it soon becomes clear that Talon has been singled out for something, by someone - only he has no idea for what or by whom. When Hattie decides to take drastic action in order to find the person depicted on a postcard she received, the two kids embark upon a journey that is exciting, frightening, character-forming, and magical. Talon in particular will have to grow up real fast in order to fulfill the destiny mapped out for him. The kids meet others in the shared world of Atlantis, and each has their own unique part to play in the city's future.
       I loved the feel and movement in this novel. I've read some of Mikey's previous MG novels and am a fan - particularly of his series The Dream Keeper Chronicles. He always seems to know how to reach into the minds of his young characters, maybe because he has young children himself, or maybe because he has never really grown up! Whichever it is, he has a gift and he uses it well. I wish his novels had been around when I was growing up; they would certainly have had pride of place on my bookshelf!
      I would definitely recommend BATTLE FOR ACROPOLIS, I'm sure it will be a best-seller. :-)

So now we come to the interview Mikey gave me. I really loved all his answers - see what you think!
Ok, Mikey, many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Here's your first question...
1) Can you tell us why you choose to write MG fantasy novels? What is it about this genre that draws you?
I believe I write it because this was the genre of book that first gave me my love of reading. I was a teen when I picked up the Oz series by L. Frank Baum and it opened a world to me that I never knew could exist. Books then became very important to me. When I got older I tried to read the more “grown up” books but very few grabbed me like middle-grade books do. Maybe it makes me feel young? What I like most is touching the hearts of the young readers who pick up my books. They are what make writing worth it.
2) Have you tried writing in any other genres?
I did when I was studying at the University for my degree. I actually won a couple awards and had some nonfiction published in literary magazines. I always come back to writing middle grade though. I just love the age group and the ideas of be in between places; the books that straddle the realistic and the fantastical.
3) What inspires you as far as plots go - where do you get your ideas from?
When the Atlantis authors set out on this adventure we had in mind a basic plot for the series. That being Atlantis is in trouble and the magical creatures that reside there need to fix it. We all spoke of magical creatures we’d like our characters to be. Once I decided on what Talon was (I won’t spoil it here) I then tried to think of the best way for him to discover it on his own. So I’d say for this project it was just a group of creative writers brainstorming. Most of my ideas come from children. If you listen to what they say without them knowing it can spark a wild fire of ideas.
4) What do you enjoy most about the writing process? Are there aspects you don’t like?
I like the world building. I like to explore places that no one else has been before. There is something magical about creating your own world. I also love doing the research. For the Gates of Atlantis I got to read old texts about the lost city and explore rumors about the Bermuda Triangle. It was all very fun to do. Aspects I don’t like…well I don’t care much for the editing part. Even with a degree in English I’m not too keen on grammar and punctuation.
5) Has writing changed you as a person, and if so, how?
My wife would say I live in my head more often than I used to. I am constantly thinking about what will happen next in my book. I do find myself wanting to be a better person after writing about all these characters that continually change for the better.
6) Which do you like best - your writing or your artwork?
Oh goodness. You might as well ask me which of my children I love more. There are days that I have to express myself in words, other times I have to do it with art. I guess what I like best is when I can bring them together.
7) If you weren’t a writer or an artist, and you could be anything, what would you be?
Can I be a superhero? If I could be anything I’d want special powers to help other people. If I could have any job in the world I’d want to run a children’s book store. No kidding! It has always been a dream of mine.
8) If Battle for Acropolis were to be made into a film, who would you choose to play Talon?
Oh man, what a question! Let’s bring on the film! Brace yourself Hollywood. The problem is the kids grow up too fast. I think Chandler Canterbury could pull Talon off. He is still young and has a hard edge look to him. He was in the film The Host.
9) What does your family think about what you do? Do any of your children show signs of being as talented as you?
I think my wife would like me living in the “real” world a little more often than I do. Other than that everyone is so supportive. The girlies love to tell people what daddy does. My oldest, Bean, wants to be an author/illustrator like her dad. I have noticed she has a talent for art. So does my second oldest, Buggy. I think they all will go far in whatever field they decide to flourish.
10) Have you, or would you ever consider naming a child after a novel or film character?
Ha! It is funny you should ask this question. I did not set out to name my children after character’s from my books but they do seem to find their way in. I don’t share publicly my children’s names but if you’ve read my books, you’d probably find them. For this book I swore to my wife I wouldn’t include one of our kids’ names in it…but…yes always the but, one of the other authors happened to name their main character my daughter’s name. So much for promises. 
11) What is next for author Mikey Brooks? Apart from seeing your books selling worldwide, where would you like your writing to take you?
As long as I can continue to write and share my stories with kids I will die a happy man. Do I dream of success? Of course I do. What author doesn’t want their books to be successful? However, success can come in many different forms. As long as kids are asking me to write, I have found success. Oh, and I dream about that movie deal, too. J

Thank you SO much, Mikey, for that great interview! Now, let's see the other book covers in THE GATES OF ATLANTIS series, and learn something about the other authors. After the bios, you will find a list of links where you can buy these fabulous books:

Laura Bastian grew up in a small town in central Utah                         
and now lives in another small town in northern Utah.
She always loved stargazing and imagining life outside her
own little world. Though they grew up only thirty miles apart,
she didn’t meet her husband until they went to college. A graduate
of Utah State University with a degree in Elementary and Special
Education, Laura has been using that training as she raises her
children and writes make believe worlds. You can usually find
her on her laptop either typing away, or on social media interacting
with friends.
Buy her books here:

Jaclyn Weist is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read.          
She developed a love for writing as a senior in high school,
when her dad jokingly said she was the next Dr. Seuss
(not even close, but very sweet). She met her husband, Steve,
at BYU and they have six happy, crazy children that encourage
her writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have
adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in
Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various 
activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do
You can purchase Jaclyn's books here:
Find Jaclyn here:

Juli Caldwell                                                                                        
This is where I tell you about how amazing and
interesting my life is. Sorry to disappoint you with
my non-glamorous life, but I'm a normal person
who loves to read and loves to write. I've written
romance, YA paranormal, and mid-grade fantasy--
who knows what I'll try next? I just listen to the
voices in my head and let their stories out. I'm
married to my favorite person, and together we're
raising two hilarious daughters and a dog who
dances gangnam style for treats. La vie est belle!
You can find Juli's books here:
Find out more about Juli here:

Wendy Knight is the bestselling author of                                         
the young adult series Fate on Fire and Riders
of Paradesos. She was born and raised in Utah
by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten
because she was the baby. Now she spends her
time driving her husband crazy with her many
eccentricities (no water after five, terror when
faced with a live phone call, no touching the
knives…you get the idea). She also enjoys
chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis,
watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping
is also big—her family is slowly working toward
a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi
nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for
whatever the occasion. And if everything works
out just right, she will also be writing.
You can find all of Wendy's books here:
You can find more about Wendy here:

JR Simmons lives in Northern Utah with his                                            
wife and 4 boys. He loves spending time with
his family and coaching his kids in all of their
different sports. He is an avid gamer and is very
excited that his boys are picking up on his hobby.
JR was recently introduced to triathlons and has
since found that he loves the sport. Most nights
he can be found either sitting down with a good
game or hunched over his iPad writing.
You can purchase his book here:
Find J.R. here:

           The Gates of Atlantis Links

Banshee at the Gate:
Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

Guardians of the Gates:

Secrets of the Mine:
Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

Magicians of the Deep:

Madness Behind the Throne:
Paperback | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

Battle for Acropolis:

Now we come to the extra-cool part - the GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway