Jack Templar: Monster Hunter Book Blast

Jack Templar: Monster Hunter

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack’s fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it’s great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend “T-Rex” from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he’s the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he’s destined to be in the family business. Second, that there’s a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits…until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

As if that weren’t enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the “One?” Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

Author Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.

Kirkus Reviews

“Gunhus brings young readers a monster-filled romp to read at their own risk. In the first few pages, Jack, the storyteller and main character, warns readers not to read about these real-world monsters that would seem to only exist in fiction. The tone is set–sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and likable; rooting for Jack is easy…Gunhus masterfully introduces fully realized characters with whom readers can connect almost instantly. The pacing is quick but not rushed, and events seamlessly progress, complete with action, cliff-hangers and surprise reveals. “

Amazon Reviews

Watch out Percy Jackson here comes Jack Templar
Move over Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there’s a new kid in town – Jack Templar, and he will take you on a wonderful adventure of good vs evil, with friends and enemies at every turn. The twists and turns keep the reader on a roller coaster of entertainment in the way of JK Rowling and Rick Riordan. ~ Penny Brein

Fast paced adventure through and through
Written for middle school aged students, this book is action-packed from the beginning and will hold the attention of young readers. Not only that, as an adult reader, it was hard to put down, so parents will enjoy it as an easy read. ~ bluejellybean

Kids will love it!
Not only will kids love it, adults will too! I don’t want to give the plot away but this is a book worth reading. This book is creatively written drawing in the reader to be a participant in the story. There is lots of action with enough blood and guts to be interesting without being gross. Girls will like it too with the strong female role models and the hint of romance. Even though this is a children’s book, I couldn’t put it down. I will definitely be adding this to my classroom library. I am looking forward to reading the book in this series and sharing it with my students. Awesome book! ~ pixiep


Book Trailer


Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.
     But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.
     First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first…and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.
     You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke. Monsters are real and the story I’m about to tell you really happened. If you’d rather walk through life believing that monsters are only found in books or on the movie screen, then you should shut this book right now and go do something else.
     I give you these warnings because the story I’m about to tell you isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. The blood. The gore. The monsters.
     This life was thrust onto me. I had no choice but to take up a sword and fight. But you can still walk away and pretend this dark world doesn’t exist. Or you can walk through the door that I’m about to open and find out the truth about the world around you.
     But I warn you (and this is a big warning), if you read this book, if you learn about the monsters that roam among us and the hunters who fight them, if you decide to learn the truth, then you will become fair game for the monsters to chase.
     Make sure you understand what I’m saying.
     If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too. You will start to see things that no other humans can see. The shadows will move when you walk near them. The creatures of the night will seek you out, testing the doors and windows of your house, looking for a way in.
     And, at some point, they will find you, just like they found me, and you will be forced to defend yourself.
     So, think carefully before you turn the page, because once you do, there’s no turning back.
     Once a monster hunter, always a monster hunter.
     See you on the other side.
     If you’re brave enough.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast $50 Giveaway
Ends 2/15/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Mayday Update

April is a Winning Month!
Welcome to another month! April was a very difficult month for writing. I had the opening of “The Secret Garden”, the crash of my computer and a thousand other things vying for my time. I’m pleased to report, however, that on April 30th, I jumped over the finish line for 50,000 words in April.  That was a close one! I had to find all sorts of little times to write a little here and there. It really does add up.
My hard drive situation is still not taken care of, but I have high hopes. I will get back to posting writing stats once I get back my old records. Until then, just know that I’ve done about 200,000 words already this year! Many fun projects coming your way soon.

Canticle Kingdom eBook
Great news! “The Canticle Kingdom” is now available as an eBook!  You can get the Kindle edition here: http://amzn.com/B007TWN5KY and on the Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-canticle-kingdom-michael-young/1018964936.  Many of the Canticle Kingdom prequel stories are going eventually to be in eBook form as well, and the two sequels I am writing will be in eBook form as well, so this makes me very happy.  

I went to the LDStorymakers conference this weekend  down in Provo and it was just to soak in all the knowledge and to get a chance to pitch to agent Holly Root. I think it all went really well!  I also loved seeing all of my writer friends and catching up on their amazing projects. We are in good company in our organization.
Last week, I attended a great workshop given David Farland about outlining. If you ever have a chance to take anything from him, jump at it. He has trained many NYT bestsellers and is one himself. You can find more about him at http://www.davidfarland.net.

All the stories are in for the Christmas Anthology, and one of the major steps that now needs to be made is to name it.
To this end, I’m announcing a contest. Send me in your best name suggestions and we’ll take a vote. If you suggest the winning name, you’ll get credit in the anthology, a free copy of the anthology when it comes out and your choice of one of my books or a free three-chapter edit from me if you’d rather.
Keep in mind the nature of the anthology, which is that it is comprised of short stories based on Christmas songs.  Please keep all suggestions family friendly, and be creative as you can be. Send all submissions to: thecanticlekingdom@gmail.com

‘Til I see you again, live bravely and write well! 

Blog Tour: Time Gangsters

Separately, I think that either gangsters or time travel make for an interesting read. Together they’re more powerful than a Tommy gun with a full clip. You might think that the mash up is complete, but wait…there’s more. You also need to throw in ancient Egyptian coins with magical powers.

Though this sounds like the stuff of a strange Monty Python sketch, it all works out. That is the genius of Berin’s writing: he takes off-the-wall scenarios and turns them into entertaining reads. Instead of following the trends, he creates his own. (The book is blissfully free of anything resembling a werewolf or vampire.)

Berin did an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere and language of the gangsters are the characters move back and forth in time. It was also interesting to see his magic system at play with the various coins and their powers, especially how those powers often backfired on the kids and gangsters who tried to harness them.

“Time Gangsters” is a quick and entertaining read that I’d highly recommend. The author’s vivid imagination and quirky humor shine throughout. You’ll also want to find Berin to have him sign a copy for you. The last time I saw him promoting this book, he came equipped with the pinstriped suit and fedora, though I’m guessing the bookstore frowned on him sporting anything resembling a tommy gun.

 This one’s the cat’s meow, the bee’s knees, you hear?

Order here: http://amzn.com/1599559668

Helpful Site:
Accredited Online Colleges has information on English programs of study.

Book Review: Dael and the Painted People

If you are looking for the rules of the NaNoWriMo Contest, please visit this post: http://www.writermike.com/2011/10/ring-out-one-contest-ring-in-another_17.html#.TqBg5aCImU8
The entry form is at the end of either this post or the post with the rules. 

Hello readers! Today I am reviewing the third book in the prehistoric Zan-Gah series by Allan Schickman: Dael and the Painted People.

 In this third installment, Shickman diverts the narrative from Zan-Gah and instead focuses on his warlike brother Dael. It tells the story of Dael’s sojourn among an ancient people who paint their entire bodies red. You get a close look at their way of life, their customs and how Dael and his companion integrate themselves into the society and in the process ruffle a few feathers.

The imagery is vivid and beautiful and the author’s imagination shines through, as with the previous volumes. It is a very approachable text and a quick read that takes a refreshing new direction from the other books in the series.

If I have one complaint about it, is was that sometimes I felt the author went over the head of his audience. The writing style is very simple, and is obviously geared at younger readers. However, once in a while, a great SAT word will appear like ‘ accouterments’ or ‘ululated’ that would probably leave younger readers stumped.

This volume has more of a standalone feel so that you could read it in conjunction with the other Zan-Gah books or by itself. I recommend it to young adult readers looking for a captivating world to escape to.

You can learn more about Allan and his books at http://earthshakerbooks.com/. To purchase a copy of Dael and the Painted People, visit this link: http://amzn.com/0979035767 

NaNoWriMo Contest Update: 
 I’m so glad that people are already signing up for my NaNoWriMo contest. I have one person put that they had already “won” NaNoWriMo, so I feel I need to clarify. NaNoWriMo runs from Nov 1st – Nov 30th, and to ‘win’ you have to write 50,000 words in that time and get it verified by the official word counter at http://www.nanowrimo.org.

Since NaNoWriMo has not started yet, it is not possible to win it yet. Actually, it is not possible to officially win until November 25th. If you do finish your 50,000 words (that you start on November 1st) before that time, feel free to mark that you have ‘won’ NaNoWriMo. I will then email you and ask you to send me a copy of the manuscript so that I can confirm its length.

In summary, I will delete any “I won NaNoWriMo” entries that happen before November 1st and I will confirm them all of that time if they are before the 25th. Please spread the word about the contest, and post here to let us know what sort of projects you are planning. From now until the end of the contest, the entry form will always be at the bottom of the most recent post.

Orem Authorpalooza:
Join me and many other authors this weekend at the semi-annual Orem Authorpalooza. Here are the details.

October 22nd: Authorpalooza at Orem, UT Barnes and Noble, 1pm – 4pm. 

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Kicking off "The Last Archangel" Blog Tour

Today marks the start of the blog tour for “The Last Archangel”. I’ve got a lot of great bloggers on board who will be hosting reviews, giveaways, guest posts, and even interviews with some of the characters from the book.

I just got my first physical copy of the book yesterday and it looks great! Can’t wait to get it into the hands of others.

To encourage everyone to check out the blogs of the people supporting the blog tour, I’m giving away some prizes at the end for three lucky participants. I’ll even let you choose your prize. These giveaways are good for those living in the United States, except for the manuscript evaluation, which can be claimed by any English speaker. The prizes are any one of the following:

  • A signed copy of “The Last Archangel”
  • A signed copy of “The Canticle Kingdom”
  • Two signed copies of “Portrait of a Mother”
  • A free 50-page in-depth manuscript evaluation. (No manuscripts with explicit content please. 12 pt font, doubled spaced.)
See the form below for all the ways that you can earn entries. Check back every day for chances to earn more. 

Welcome to the Beautiful Country


This second installment of Zan-Gah’s adventures does not disappoint. This time around, you are thrust into the action much more quickly, which is possible because you already know the characters and situations from the first installment.
This chapter deals with some intense issues, as Zan-Gah’s twin Dael suffers a crushing loss which sends him to the brink of near insanity. The tribes leave to inherit the beautiful land of their eradicated enemies and find themselves drawn into two groups, one favoring one brother and one favoring the other.
Like the first book, it deals with deep dilemmas and fierce confrontations between characters. The author does a great job in bringing the ancient world to life and making his characters interesting. Its good for the young adult audience, as some scenes might be a bit scary for young children.
You can learn more about Allan Shickmann and his writing at: http://zan-gah.com/

Right on "The Mark"

“The Mark” is a fascinating light fantasy perfect for the young adult audience.  I was drawn in by its cover, with its almost hypnotizing pattern on the cover with its single golden mark. 

In this fantasy/romance, we follow the lives of four teenagers brought together by the strange microscopic mark on their hands in the same spot, and other strange similarities in their lives, such as all being adopted.  They have to find out their true natures, and it keeps you guessing until the very end of the book.
I found that I really felt for the characters and that they were given interesting traits, such as the main girl practicing her Gerswhin piece throughout the book, and showing the passage of time by showing her progress.  The premise  was original and I found myself walking down paths that didn’t feel like I had taken them before.  Sometimes the dialog made it seem that the characters were older than teenagers, but overall, I enjoyed her use of dialog, even including some IM conversations.  That was a very interesting touch that I think will appeal to teen readers especially.   

From the way things ended, it looks like there will be a sequel, which I will definitely pick up.  You can find more about Marilyn and her writing at http://www.mrbunderson.com/.


A Prehistoric Adventure

The good folks over at Earthshaker books, based out of St. Louis, MO, sent me a copy of the first book in one of their sucessful, award-winning young adult series.  “Zan-Gah” is set in prehistoric times, and while dinosaurs no longer roam the earth, man is still in a primitive, tribal state.  Zan-Gah is also the main character, a young boy who slays a lion in his youth and recieves an elevated status in his tribe.

When Zan-Gah’s twin brother Dael goes missing, he sets out on a quest to reclaim his brother and to prove his status as a man.  On the way, he must face huge deserets, wild animals, and hostile tribes in an exciting journey that keeps you reading.  The story is told by an unseen narrator and the author’s writing style shines through.

It’s a good read for young adult readers.  It does contain some violence and frightening situations, but also contains a strong moral base about forgiveness, the importance of families, and the importance of courage and innovation.  It already has a sequel, “The Beautiful Country”, which I will be reading and reviewing soon.  I encourage you to support good young adult literature and check out this series.