Monday, August 17, 2015

"The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty. If he survives…" ~ Blog Tour & #Excerpt ~ Spinner by Michael J. Bowler

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Spinner!

About Spinner:

Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.

In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.

They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.

The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.

The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.

If he survives…

Michael J. Bowler

Genre: teen horror/mystery

Publisher: YoungDudes Publishing

Date of Publication: August 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9946675-1-9

Number of pages: 464
Word Count: 138K

Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris

Link to Tour Schedule:

Read an Excerpt:

Eucalyptus Park was lit at night, but dimly, and the shadows seemed to grab at Roy from every direction. All the weird stuff happening to them the past couple of days made him jumpier than usual. It was stupid to be scared. Hell, he’d grown up in Hawthorne and had hung out at this park after dark many times, he thought, as he parked his truck on 123rd Street and they entered at the south side.
Tonight, however, seemed especially cold. The wind had kicked up again, and the chill sank right through Roy’s thick hoodie into his bones. Alex looked warm enough in his leather jacket and jet black helmet, but Roy felt strange. The empty play area and dried up wading pool loomed ahead between willowy trees, and both looked sad with no kids playing in them. The two shelters with their stonework columns and picnic tables seemed especially menacing, though Roy couldn’t have said why. It just felt like someone was watching, hiding and watching, and a chill wrapped itself tightly around him.
They moved past the public bathrooms. A crack startled Roy and he spun around toward the men’s room entrance. The light above the doorway cast a yellow pool on the concrete in front, but no one emerged, and no one was anywhere that he could see from this vantage point. He looked ahead at the empty basketball courts. Leaves blew everywhere, and the wind sounded hollow as it forced its way through the tree branches overhead, like an old man groaning in pain. Roy felt certain someone was watching them, but his roving eyes revealed no one.
You’re just spooked from last night, he told himself, as another shiver worked its way down his back.
Alex paid no attention to the wind or the dark or the huge shadows that seemed to come at them from every side. He simply rolled toward the skate park in silence.
Roy fought down his fear. He was more worried about what stunts Alex might try in the dark. His panic meter had gone into overdrive when he’d asked his friend, and Alex grinned in a reckless, scary kind of way.
They passed through the basketball courts and stopped in front of the skate park, looking through the fence. There was a big, empty concrete pool with sides that weren’t too steep, a cool-looking spine, some rails and ramps that Alex could easily jump without breaking a sweat.
The skate park didn’t close until nine, and usually there were other kids skating, even on weeknights. Roy used to spend a lot of time here in middle school. But tonight the place was cold and empty, and somehow threatening, even beneath the warm lighting. He hoped Alex just needed some exercise to shake off his sad mood. Roy usually did that by working on his truck or fixing some other mechanical device around the house. He’d completely revamped the heating system, but his dad never even noticed.
The wind suddenly blew leaves right into Roy’s face. Startled, he jumped back with a cry of surprise.
Roy felt abashed. “No,” he lied, his breathing a bit ragged. “Just surprised me, that’s all.”
Alex nodded, gazing again through the fence at the empty skate park before him. The entrance was on the far side and they’d have to go around. Roy watched Alex and waited for his friend to move. But Alex merely stared at the shadowy slopes and curves and peaks of the park in silence.
“I’m gonna try, Roy,” he finally said, his voice an excited whisper. The helmet covered most of his hair and with his face turned away, Roy almost missed what he’d said.
“Uh, try what?” Roy had a bad feeling.
Now Alex turned his head and looked at his friend, a fiery look in his shimmering blue eyes. “I’m gonna do a backflip, like Aaron.”
Roy sucked in a breath. He’d seen the videos of that Aaron kid doing backflips, and crashing hard when he missed them. “No way, Alex! It’s too dangerous, man.”
“For who? If I kill myself, I’ll just be a dead freak. But I won’t kill myself.”
Roy’s heart thumped wildly. He could almost hear it against the weird quiet surrounding them. “Please, Alex, this is crazy! It’s too dark. Please!”
Alex didn’t respond. He simply grabbed his wheel handles and started forward, around the perimeter of the park toward the entrance. Roy scrambled to stay by his side, frustrated, not knowing what to say. When Alex made up his mind to do something, he did it.
The wind became stronger, whipping the hood off Roy’s head and flinging his ragged bangs in front of his eyes. He had to push them aside and nearly collided with Alex, who’d stopped moving and stared straight ahead.
Alex pointed toward the open gate into the skate park. Someone small stood there gazing at them. Roy was as bad with numbers as with words and had no idea how far away the guy was, but it was close enough to look creepy. And he was blocking the entrance.
“Do you know him?” Roy asked, even as the wind penetrated his hoodie and sent shivers straight into his heart. Something about the figure, all dressed in black, some kind of ski mask covering his face, made him nervous. It wasn’t that cold for the guy to have his face covered.
Alex shook his head, his eyes riveted to the unmoving figure. Roy felt panic well up within him. This was bad. The wind increased. Leaves spun around him. Still Alex stared. Roy jostled his shoulder. “You okay?”
“Something about him….” Alex mumbled, clearly lost in thought. He rolled himself forward before Roy could grab for the chair. Roy started after him when an ear-piercing yowl shot through the night and he jumped back in fright.
Perched atop the skate park fence was the biggest frickin’ cat he’d ever seen, like a dog almost, light brown and furry with shining eyes and gleaming teeth. “Holy shit!”
Alex stopped and spun around, following Roy’s gaze towards the enormous animal.
“That’s the cat, Roy, the one that….”

Available at Amazon:

About the Author:

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.

His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.

His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.










Michael Bowler said...

Thank you for hosting me today. I really appreciate it. :)

Sapphyria said...

You're very welcome! :)