About the BookBook: Demolishing the Stronghold Author: Allen Brokken Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Release Date: November 4, 2023
Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan finally found respite for their whole family in the grove surrounding the Wellspring of Life. However, the threat of the Dark One’s forces still looms over the Heathlands, and lighting the tower of Light in Blooming Glen is their only hope of cleansing their land of The Darkness once and for all. While the family plans a surprise attack on the stronghold at Blooming Glen, the Bishop calls forth the Calamitous Drake, a monster forged from the essence of The Darkness in the corrupted heart of the Iron Mountain. In the midst of the battle, the monster scatters the family, leaving Mother, Uncle, and Tye in the hands of Lord Refi’Cul and the evil giant Skull Crusher who aims to make Tye his wife and become the Master of the Heath Wardens
The children must take to the skies to forge a weapon capable of defeating the Calamitous Drake. Will Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan’s faith give them the strength to Demolish the Stronghold?
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About the AuthorAllen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband, and a father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age-appropriate way. He’s dedicated 18 years to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his children are off to college, he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media.
More from AllenAs I worked to close out the Towers of Light series, I had to work hard to develop something new and different that still fit the 1800s frontier setting. I had a lot of pressure from my readers to bring a dragon to the prairie. On multiple occasions, I had to remind my biggest fans that there aren’t any dragons on the prairie. But they were insistent that dragons make an appearance. So, as I put the final touches on the previous book, Wellspring of Life, I thought that the censors spreading evil could bring evil things into the world to corrupt the prairie. So, the concept of a dragon formed from the censor’s smoke made a lot of sense. But what would a “Smoke Dragon” be like? I shared the idea with my Realm Makers critique group, and they helped form something that early feedback says works well. The dragon’s name, The Calamitous Drake, is also an homage to a line from “The Hobbit” that refers to Smaug as a great calamity. With a dragon flying about, I also had to devise a way for the kids to engage it in the air. This took significant research as I didn’t want to introduce giant eagles or something else that didn’t exist on the frontier. As I investigated different options, I discovered that hot air balloons were more common in the 1800’s than I thought. It turned out they served in minor roles during the Civil War and used a technology they called a gasifier to fill them up. I took some artistic liberty with that, and Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan now had a way to get off the ground to meet the dragon in the air. This story was so much fun to write, and early reviews from my biggest fans say it was the perfect end to the series.
Interview with Allen
Do you read books in this genre? If so, who do you like to read?
I like funny kid books. Something that takes the edge off. Iggy and Oz and the Soda Pop Wars, by JJ Johnson, or I’d Punch a Tiger in the Eye for You by Ben Wolf come to mind.
What helps you to write? Do you eat snacks, listen to music?
Time on my hands is my worst enemy. When I have no deadlines or far away deadlines, I just end up with fanciful ideas bouncing around in my head with no outlet. Give me a deadline, even a self-imposed deadline and words fill the page.
As for sustenance, lots of coffee. No go to snacks but I do check Extra chewing gum quite often.
What is your favorite hymn and why?
Amazing grace. It’s a classic from growing up and it’s one that finds itself rolling through my brain from time to time.
What is one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I went out of my way to avoid actual literature classes. I found ways to adjust my schedule or take alternate classes because I was going into science. I really wish I hadn’t.
What inspired you to write this book?
I began writing the Towers of Light series for my kids when they were little. I was traveling for work and would come home on the weekends and tell them a fantastic story about themselves.
Share with me a few of your favorite things.
- Spending time with family and friends
- Playing games, I’ve got a gaming group and we’ve been playing online for over 20 years. We’re mostly all over 50 now and a bit slow. We call ourselves Team Fail and our motto is “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory since 1999.” For my 50thbirthday, we all got together in person, and it was a blast.
- Anything Star Wars
Thank you for letting us get to know you better!
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To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.