Discover Fantasy Tour – Jeremy Rodden


This is my last post in The Discover Fantasy Tour and I would like to say a big thank you to the organisers for letting me take part and to the fabulous authors for their brilliant posts.

This final post features the wonderful Jeremy Rodden. I have read a couple of Jeremy’s books and am a big fan. So, although I don’t as a rule do reviews, I’m going to review Toonopolis Gemini.

First though lets find out a bit about Jeremy!

I spent the first ten years of my professional life in retail sales, working my way up to store management positions in two different Fortune 500 retailers. Along the way, I managed to earn a BA in Religion and English Writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA and an MA in Secondary Education from Holy Family University, also in Philadelphia.

After completing my Masters, I began teaching high school English. When my second son was born in May, 2010, however, my wife and I decided that it would be more prudent for me to be a stay-at-home dad, taking care of the new baby along with my first son, who was born in June, 2005. I have since had the challenge and pleasure of being a homemaker.

It was at this time that I finally grasped the stories that had been in my head since I was a teenager and wrangled them to paper. Toonopolis began as a silly interactive fiction game played with some real life and virtual friends. The game only lasted a few years but the world I had created and my characters never escaped my thoughts.

As a writer, I consider C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll to be my strongest influences. They were able to create magical worlds that readers of all ages enjoy, which is exactly what I want to achieve with Toonopolis. It is a lofty goal, indeed, but the only goals that will invariably be unachievable are the ones that are not set.

Toonopolis Gemini

Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. As the center of the Tooniverse, it acts as an other-worldly rest stop for these creations. Gemini is a teenage human boy who is thrust into Toonopolis through his father’s scientific research program. He loses part of himself in the process and immediately begins a quest to regain his lost memories with the help of his Tooniverse guide named Jimbob the Talking Eggplant. After an altercation with a mysterious Shadowy Figure, Gemini’s mission is changed, and he begins a new quest to defeat Shadowy Figure and protect Toonopolis from his nefarious destruction. Along the way, he meets new friends, discovers just how diverse and strange Toonopolis is, and learns lessons about compassion, forgiveness, redemption, and being true to oneself.

Before I read Gemini I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my type of book, I had never read a novel set in a cartoon world before (probably because there aren’t that many!). But I have to say I was very quickly gripped by the story, and it’s characters. Gemini gathers a very colourful group of friends, to help him on his journey through the cartoon world, who all have their own distinctive personalities. I particularly liked Jimbob the Talking Eggplant and Won Won the mechanical dog .

I found this an easy exciting read which I can imagine will greatly appeal to the young adult and mid-grade market. I can also see it crossing over and being enjoyed by all the rest of us big kids who love to escape back to the days of Saturday morning cartoons, carefree adventurers and slapstick humour!!

You can findToonopolis Gemini on:

Jeremy also has another book out in the Toonopolis series Anchihiiroo 


And an anthology of essays by stay at home dads about what it’s like for dads to be the primary care provider for their children, The Myth of Mr.Mom







Bye Bye Babies!

It’s been very quiet here on my little blog for the last couple of weeks, sorry. I have had a bit of a head cold which left me feeling a little groggy, but I’m finally feeling better!

In news from home, all the swallow babies seem to have left their nests now. It has been a very successful year for the swallow families who live in our stable roof each summer. Most years we have to rescue babies who fall out and clamber up step ladders to return them to their homes (this doesn’t turn their parents against them as people seem to think. They normally survive as long as the fall hasn’t injured them.), but not this year, we haven’t noticed any losses! So here’s a picture of one clutch of babies about to fly!

A World Apart, David M Brown

Hi, I’m hosting another post from the Discover Fantasy Tour and today we have an excerpt from David M Browns latest book A World Apart. I’ll kick off with a bit about David himself first.

David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera.  When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval.  Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David’s dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.

A worl Apart is the second book David has released in his ‘The Elencheran Chronicles’ series. here is a short synopsis:

Demetrius makes his first mistake when he lets his best friend Halcyon marry Eleyna, the love of his life, without saying a word. On the day of the wedding, he walks away from the Elencheran town of Dove’s Meadow and joins the army.
He makes his second mistake when the pirate Black Iris tricks him into letting dozens of men, women and children die in a fire. Demetrius is imprisoned in grief and disgrace.
But he can atone. The Black Iris is dead. The Ivory Rose has risen to the top of the pirates and is leading brutal raids on the coast. If Demetrius can capture and kill her, he’ll win his pardon.
And then Demetrius discovers the Ivory Rose is Eleyna. He must decide which will be his third mistake: losing his last chance at a pardon or destroying the one woman he’s ever loved.

It sounds very exciting! This excerpt is from chapter 13 of the book and is called Wolf’s Edge.

Eleyna and Halcyon joined the crowd at the bar. They decided to have a drink at the tavern and just try to remain as anonymous as possible. Whenever they looked round they found some of the locals were watching them, some frowned suspiciously while others winked at Eleyna. Halcyon felt completely ill at ease when a couple of men blew kisses in his direction.

As they waited, Eleyna glanced over to her left, her eyes shifting from table to table before finding two more secluded tables in an alcove a comfortable distance from the rest of the locals. The tables had been moved together and around them sat the most unusual group Eleyna had ever seen. Her eyes narrowed. Not only did this group dress more richly than the criminals resident in Wolf’s Edge, there were a myriad of races amongst their numbers.

Eleyna was certain she could make out a valkayan, an elamorgia and even a Tuvolan. Elamorgias and tolderes were familiar in Himordia. They had been brought to the island as slaves by the colonists only for the Order to rebel in protest to their appalling treatment, driving out the colonists they had previously allowed to settle in Himordia and releasing the slaves. The Order had offered the liberated slaves a home in Himordia or vessels to return to their homes. The former slaves had chosen to remain in Himordia, aware of the opportunities in this developed land, and their numbers had remained healthy ever since.

Valkayans too had been used as slaves, though they had been subject to Eligantian colonists in Emeraldon and were rarely seen in Himordia. The Tuvolan in the group was the real mystery. He was typical of his race, with dark skin and though seated he was visibly taller than all those with him. Tuvolans were often twice the size of the average man and host to amazing strength as well. This Tuvolan was likely the leader of this group but this was the first time Eleyna had encountered the race beyond tavern tales.

Eleyna turned her attention to the other three members of the group. At the edge of the group was a woman with long brown hair and a guitar by her side. Close to her was a rotund man with receding blond hair who frequently leaned over and joked with the woman, nodding in the direction of the rest of the locals in the tavern.

The final member was difficult to make out. Eleyna suspected it was a man but she couldn’t be sure. He sat at the very back of the alcove, a hood raised over his head to disguise his face. He was offered Mizuansi but a simple wave of the hand was enough to stop the group bothering him. Eleyna was able to deduce that this shadowy figure must be the leader of the group. Though she couldn’t see his eyes Eleyna had a feeling that the mysterious figure was all too aware of her and Halcyon.

The tension is mounting there! I can’t wait to read more of this! If you’re as keen as me and I’m sure you are the you can get your copy here for the UK and here for the US.

Here are a couple more books by David,

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed this exciting post as much as I have, thank you for joining us 😀

They’ve Arrived!!

Yes!! They have got here at last! The proof copies of my first book Vortex have finally arrived and I’m so very excited 😀 There are a few small issues with them which have to be rectified so it’ll be another couple of weeks before they’re available, but being able to hold your very own book as a real live paper book for the first time after all the hard work is incredible!! 😀

Discover Fantasy Tour – Jonathan Gould

I am very excited to be hosting a guest post by the very funny Jonathan Gould. Jonathan has provided us with an exert from his latest book Magnus Opum, but first a bit about the author himself.

Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn’t. He has written comedy sketches for both the theatre and radio, as well as several published children’s books for the educational market.

He likes to refer to his stories as dag-lit because they don’t easily fit into recognisable genres (dag is Australian slang for a person who is unfashionable and doesn’t follow the crowd – but in an amusing and fun way). You might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.

Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).

Magnus Opum has had some great reviews here are a couple.

Magnus Opum is an epic fantasy that’s slightly skewed – Tolkien with a twist.

Do you ever get one of those moments when you want to lose yourself in a book that is totally magical, brimming with imagination and fantasy, and entertaining from start to finish? This book by the very talented Jonathan Gould is the very thing that delivers on all counts. –

Jonathan Gould is a master at “Adult Fables”…Turning his talents to a full length novel – Magnus Opum – Gould creates an even richer world and experience… –

So here we go, read and enjoy!

Excerpt from Magnus Opum for Discover Fantasy tour

One Friday afternoon, about three months after Magnus had last received news of his brother, some travellers passed through Lower Kertoob.

This was not an unusual occurrence. The road that passed through the village was long established, having once served as a trade route linking Sweet Harmody with the old grop mines to the east. However, as the mines had been exhausted many years ago, the road was not heavily used, and so it wasn’t every day that passers-by entered the village. Still, with the infrequent travellers and the occasional tour parties, the Kertoobis were not totally isolated from the outside world.

These particular travellers were a couple of Doosies. As they strolled leisurely down the main street, it didn’t take long for a sizable crowd to build up in their wake, eager for stories.

Being Doosies, the travellers were only too happy to give the Kertoobis exactly what they wanted. Of all the races, Doosies were the biggest storytellers and gossips you could ever meet. They had three ears – two in the normal places and another on the back of their heads – so they could hear absolutely everything that was said by anyone in the vicinity. In addition, they had long, prehensile noses, perfect for sticking into other people’s business. Unfortunately, they only had one eye and not a very good one at that, so there were often substantial discrepancies between what they heard and what had actually happened. Not that this ever got in the way of a Doosie telling a good story. In fact, Doosies were so efficient at passing news from one to another that they were the primary source of information for pretty much all other races. As soon as one Doosie heard something, it was usually only a matter of hours before pretty much every other Doosie in the land also knew about it, which explained the popular Kertoobi rhyme:

If you’re after the newsy,
Then speak to a Doosie.

Not a particularly good rhyme, but it did neatly sum up the way Doosies always seemed to know absolutely everything about everyone. It also summed up the great appeal of having a couple of Doosies in the village.

When the two short, but sturdily built, figures reached the village square, they sat down and began recounting a tale to their enraptured audience. The story involved the Geruntings, a fearsomely shy folk who had spent the last twenty years building the tiniest city ever, so they could live their lives without being noticed by passers-by. The city, truly one of the great marvels of its age, was filled with intricately designed palaces, shops and dwellings, none of which was higher than a few inches tall. Unfortunately, upon its completion, the Geruntings, who happened to be a race of fifteen-foot tall giants, quickly discovered that there was no way they could actually reside in the city they had so painstakingly created and were forced to remain out in the open, painfully exposed to all who passed.

The Kertoobis all giggled with delight at the completion of the story.

“Please tell us another story,” cried several members of the audience.

“I have another story,” proclaimed one of the Doosies in his rich, deep storyteller’s voice. “And this one will be extra special. I believe it involves somebody from this very village.”

Well, I would like to thank Jonathan for this peek at his wonderful new novel, I don’t know about you, but its definitely left me wanting to read more!

You can find Magnus Opum here

And here are a few more books by Jonathan too: