Friday, October 18, 2013

Author Bio: John Theo, Jr.

       John Theo, Jr. has numerous published articles on arts, culture and sports figures. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. During the day John serves as Vice President of Operations for Blue Sky Holdings, which owns many commercial fitness clubs. John is also an adjunct professor at Endicott College in Beverly, MA, where he teaches screenwriting. John's Book, The Grotto Under The Tree, has been released by Astraea Press.

Find the author: Website 

Blog Tour Review and Guest Post: The Grotto Under the Tree by John A. Theo Jr.

Blog Tour hosted by Candace's Book Blog

Book Description:
       Follow two young heroes, Sebastian and Sara, as they mistakenly descend into a mystical land where elves, mermaids, gnomes and other mythological creatures live. The two discover they have stumbled into an ancient battle between these fair folk and evil creatures called the Kylo. Their guide on this journey is Capri, an elf lord who is on a quest to find his lost tribe. The Kylo chase the children and Capri in his flying galleon north into the Arctic Circle where they find the most unlikely ally. During the final battle the children learn about sacrifice, love and ultimately forgiveness.

The Grotto Under the Tree Review

        The Grotto Under the Tree is a fast-paced middle grade novel. It's filled with action and adventure.
        The two main characters, Sara and Sebastian, are true friends who would do anything for each other. Together they go on a journey with the mysterious Capri. They meet mermaids and elves and kylo, all stuff that never in their wildest dreams they could have thought up.
        I really liked Sara and Sebastian. They were friends of the best kind. Sara would do anything for Sebastian, including going on a wild journey up north. And Sebastian would do the same for her.

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Recommended for: 9-13

Guest Post

       This original cover was something a friend did for me a long time ago when I first released Grotto. I have since refined the story, and it was subsequently picked up by  Astraea Press who did the phenomenal job on the current cover. I just love everything about the new cover. From the colors to the setting. The staff at Astraea Press exceeded my expectations.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Transition from The Lightning Thief to House of Hades **Warning: Spoilery**

        So since Tuesday I have been alternating between reading The Lightning Thief to my brother and The House of Hades to myself. It's made me realize how far Percy and Annabeth have come and the development of their characters. Percy goes from this naive little kid who doesn't believe in monsters to this broken sixteen-year-old who barely bats an eye when it comes to killing one of them. And then their's Annabeth who is so totally enraptured with Percy in TLT though she would never admit it. But by HoH she is openly showing her feelings and holding Percy's hand and comforting him. And Percy's returning the affection.
Rachel Dare has come far as well. She's no longer the fourteen-year-old girl with the silly crush on Percy. She is now the Oracle of Delphi, frightening, yet lovable and human. (Although she still has her blue plastic hairbrush.)

        Nico is definitely not the same person he was before. He's no longer the geeky tag-a-long with a love of Mythomagic. He admits that he never was in love with Annabeth and instead had always loved Percy. In admitting that he made himself stronger and secured a place on the team.
You don't see Grover that much in this book, but in the short amount of time he is there you can tell he's different. He's not the satyr who couldn't fit in anymore. He is now head of the council and he has friends who care about him.
Even the newer characters have changed in the last four books. Jason is no longer this untouchable guy. He's more down to earth (no pun intended) and his leadership qualities have improved. Piper isn't the Damsel in Distress anymore. She can take care of herself.

        Hazel has finally seen her true potential and her part in the quest. She's accepted that she is the daughter of Pluto and all it entails. Frank isn't the cuddly bear of a guy he was in SoP. He's completely learned to use his gifts and has grown up.

        Even Leo is different. He still cracks bad jokes and lightens the mood, but he no longer thinks of himself as the dreaded 'seventh wheel'. And he's found love.
         This strong character development is what has secured Rick Riordan on the list of beloved authors for years to come. It is what has kept readers, children and adults alike, coming back for more. And it's what helps Percy and the gang survive their many adventures.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm showcasing Allegiant, the last book in the Divergent Trilogy. It comes out on October 22, just twenty days away!

Are you as excited for Allegiant as I am? Tell me in the comments!