Lightning has struck!



Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Donna Galanti

 Oh my gosh, I ‘ve been waiting for this for such a long time. This novel is sure to get Middle Grade students and YA fans talking. Check out the blurb.


Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.

Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.

To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.

In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

swirl and flower scrollDoesn’t that sound so chilling?  I mean, come on. A child collector?  Shiver. It just sounds so incredibly awesome, so awesome I actually asked for a few sneak peaks from the publisher … and I got them!!  And now I’m going to share them with you.   Ready?


“One hundred. Ready or not here I come!” I said with more courage than I felt, pushing the attic door open.

Inky black swallowed me up. I darted my flashlight about, but its small,round light didn’t reveal much. The mustiness of old things hidden away filled my nose. Bo Chez, hurry home. The hair prickled on my forearms as the stairs screeched with each step and the landing loomed in front of me. Could a ghost with an axe be waiting to chop off my head? I took a deep breath, waiting for a blade to fall, butt he only thing lying in wait was a dusty bookshelf.

“Finn-man, I know you’re up here.” I flicked the flashlight around the room, its cold metal warming in my sweaty palm. Thunder crashed over my head and my ears popped.

One more step forward.

“Gotya!” Finn jumped up, his shadow against the window. I tripped and landed hard on my butt.

My flashlight twirled across the floor.

Then a blue arc of light struck the window. Glass exploded. Finn’s mouth froze in a wide ‘O’. I yelled and reached out to pull him down, but another zap of light blinded me. Finn screamed. Rain splattered my face, stinging with each drop. White dots floated in the air. Something gray billowed past me carrying a familiar, rotten stench that made me gag. A knobby hand grabbed me. I bit it and shoved it away, gagging again, and the hand dropped me back on the floor with the taste of salty dirt on my tongue. An angry howl blasted the air.

Zap. Zap.

Daggers of light shot everywhere as sharp glass cut into me.


He floated in the shadows. Light erupted all around him, his eyes round with fear. The sky boomed overhead, and a deep laugh bellowed out as if the thunder itself were taunting me.

“Next time it’s you, boy,” a raspy voice said.

swirl and flower scroll

I am sooo ready to read this book, are you?

If so, scoot on over to one of the links below and grab you a copy.


Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks


Galanti_DonnaDonna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series and the Element Trilogy. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs at http://www.project-middle-grade-mayhem.blogs…, a cooperative of published middle grade authors. Visit her at and Donna wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a murder mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship (and has been writing fantasy ever since). She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Would you like to try to win a copy?  Go for it and follow the Rafflecopter Link below.


Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti (INT)

By popular demand – the conclusion of the fire beetle scene

Two weeks ago I posted six (actually seven) sentences from a short story I wrote for Six Sentence Sunday.  Afterwards, so many of you wanted to know more, so I’m posting the complete scene today.  I hope you enjoy.  You can read the first installment here.


It wasn’t the bug’s fault, exactly, but it wasn’t mine, either. If I had to blame anyone for the resulting fiasco it would be Johnny Weeder. He’s the one who started the whole thing. Well, him and Mr. Windem that is.

See, Mr. Windem stepped out of the room for a moment to talk to another teacher. This, of course, presented the perfect opportunity for certain kids to act like morons, and if there was ever a moron that existed in our class, it was Johnny Weeder.

“Say, whatcha got there,” he said, snatching my slide from the table. He narrowed his eyes in his pufferfish face as he held it up to the light. “A lightning bug?”

I reached for it but he jerked out of the way, the slide held over his head.

“No. It’s a fire beetle,” I said. “Now give my bug back.”

“No. I wanna look at it.”

“But you’ve got your own bug.”

“I know, and now I’ve got yours.”

I put my hands on my hips. “Johnny Weeder, give back my bug, now!” I headed around the table.

Johnny snickered and took off. “Uh, uh. You gotta catch me first.”

Looking back, I shouldn’t have pursued him but I couldn’t help myself. He had my bug.

“Give it back, Johnny!” I said, chasing him around the lab table. The other kids stepped out of the way and gave us track room. Then they started cheering us on — half for me, half for Johnny.

Moments later, Mr. Windem returned and from the sound of his voice, he was not a happy camper.

“Johnny! Mandy! In your seats, now!”

Johnny and I both scrambled into our adjacent seats in much the same way we would in a game of musical chairs.

Mr. Windem pressed his fingertips to the desks in front of us. “What on earth were you two doing? Johnny, I expect this behavior from you, but Mandy, I’m appalled.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Windem, but Johnny stole my slide and wouldn’t give it back.”

“Is this true, Johnny?”

“I just wanted to look at it,” he said.

“Ah, geez,” Mr. Windem said. “Where is the slide now?”

Johnny shrugged. “I dunno.”

Mr. Windem rolled his eyes. “We’ll talk about this incident after class. Both of you stay here when the bell rings.” He turned around and walked back toward the front of the room. “Class, take your seats, please.”

Moans and groans followed.

“Tattletale,” Johnny whispered to me as he slumped in his seat. “I hope you get so much homework your arm falls off.”

“Yeah. Well I hope that fire beetle you’re sitting on erupts in flames and burns your butt.”

I knew as soon as I spoke the words I shouldn’t have, but there’s one thing about a magic spell — once it’s spoken, you can’t take it back. Bad thing was, Mr. Windem heard me incant the words. He turned just as Johnny Weeder’s butt caught fire.

Johnny tumbled from his seat, wailing and crawling on all fours, flames licking at his butt. At first everyone laughed, including me, but seconds later, kids ran to the front of the room, screaming. I looked over to see Johnny’s desk engulfed in flames. My mouth fell open. I turned back to the front of the class to see Johnny pinned to the floor, coats smacking him in the butt to put out the flames. Mr. Windem grabbed the fire extinguisher and doused the desk. Someone opened the windows. The overhead sprinklers went off, and then Mr. Windem escorted me to the front office.

I was home-schooled the rest of the year.