Author Guest Post | Donna Galanti, a debut #MGLit novelist from #Month9Books who created an intriguing plot around natural phenom ‘lightning’!

Posted Friday, 29 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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I recognise I am a bit delayed in wrapping up the final edits for today’s Guest Author Feature, for which I apologise as I took ill and was unable to complete this stop ahead of now. IF you visited me earlier in the day, I hope you were able to come back round and see what I had to share with you! I was super excited to have the opportunity to share a bit more about this novel, as I truly was captured by the essence of the story and how it will effectively continue to gain momentum as the series continues forward in new installments wherein the author will tempt our imaginations to continue to take the journey she began with her debut!

What I like the most about finding Middle Grade novels where writers are curating their own unique style of telling a story through a hybrid of Science Fiction and Fantasy, is the incredible depth of the layers in which their worlds are built upon. To take the reader into a world where everything about it’s reality is purported out of science but culled together through fantasy, is a true suspension of where stories endeavour us to jump out of our preconceptions and embrace something wondrously new!

As you will soon read, Ms Galanti answers my question about the ‘science’ threaded behind her novel’s story inasmuch as how she drew a clarity of how to express the ‘science’ behind the lightning road! May this guest author feature help inspire you to take a chance on this exciting new title by Month9!

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Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti


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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comGuest Post Topic: My great-grandfather was fascinated by lightning and the way in which electricity could light up the night’s sky; similar to your own childhood where storm watching was your favourite past-time. What do you remember as a young girl was the ‘moment’ where seeing cracklements of raw energy bolting through storm clouds became a phenomena you simply could not take your eyes off of? How did you base the ‘science’ behind the ‘lightning road’ on known science or theories and the method of transport it provides? (a hidden quantum gate perhaps?)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comHarnessing the Power of Lightning with Imagination
by Donna Galanti

Storms have always fascinated me and I vividly remember being nine years old when my intrigue with lightning began. We lived in rural New Hampshire at the time where the sky was vast and covered me in darkness. I felt so small in the world under that giant black sky – until it lit up with white fire power and sucked me into its energy.

I would sleep out on the screened-in porch to watch the big show, intoxicated by the smell of rain and electricity in the air – and I’ve never forgotten that smell. Smells can hold powerful memory triggers, and I wanted readers to see Joshua’s world as he experiences it with all of his senses in Joshua and the Lightning Road. When you first smell a new scent, you link it to a person or event, right? Like how the scent of fresh cut grass can remind you of a summer day, even if it’s the end of autumn. And when you happen upon that smell again, the link is there, ready to pop that memory open.

When I got older the movie War of the Worlds fascinated (and terrified me!) with how the aliens rode blasts of lightning. I thought “wouldn’t it be cool to travel a lightning road to another place?” And the idea for Joshua and the Lightning Road was born.

I imagined a road of lightning that didn’t burn you but a road you could surf on to another world – a road that connected worlds. In the book Joshua calls the Lightning Road a ribbon of cold fire, and in this scene he encounters it for the first time when he’s stolen away:

“Yellow and white ribbons of fire snaked before us in a black tunnel, and I froze in absolute terror. Lights ricocheted through the darkness on either side of me like shooting stars. We moved faster and faster. Wind roared everywhere.”

I’ve always been a science fiction fan eating up shows and movies like The Twilight Zone, Star Trek the Next Generation, Stargate, and Star Wars, so the idea of a portal for transport between worlds was already rich in my imagination. This is where the Lightning Gate came into play as a doorway connecting the Lightning Road between worlds and realms.

And to make it more fun, I created a gate key that had to be used to activate travels through the gate. I envisioned the gate key like a jeweled Rubix cube that fit into the gate using specific combinations to travel to a desired destination. In this scene Joshua encounters a gate key for the first time:

“Leandro pulled his satchel from under his cloak and lifted out a flat square that gleamed bronze. He set it on a slab nearby and pushed at its flat surface. In an instant, the paper-thin sheet popped up into a wooden cube the size of a tissue box. Gold sparkles moved through it. In the gold flickered colored squares of rubies and emeralds like a sun in the dark cave.”

So, I didn’t base any of the lightning powers in Joshua and the Lightning Road on science but rather all on my own vision. Lightning is big and scary and full of power – and this fuels my imagination to harness its power in my stories.

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Donna GalantiAuthor Biography:

Donna 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 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.

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#JoshuaAndTheLightningRoad,#MGLit or #JuvenileFiction

& #Month9Books

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I heard similar stories of awe-inspiring moments my great-grandfather had when he stepped outside his own home and gave his attention over to the electrical displays shooting across his night’s skies. It is interesting how you described the power and the allure of lightning to the full height of it’s presence, but also broke it down to a sensory awareness of smell. This is interesting because you took a bit of a different turn of fascination than I believe even my great-grandfather had himself — I believe he was more interested in how ‘lightning’ operated as a method of electricity as his background was in the field where harnessing electricity by man’s limited knowledge of it’s truer capacity for power and strength was something he wanted to educate himself on further. I think part of his curiosity was rooted in how lightning is the most raw form of electricity and thereby, a true unknown by an electrician’s point of view.

Love how your own experiences with science fiction serials gave you the jump-start of an idea which became the novel where Joshua takes up your courage to travel down a road of lightning! It’s such a smart and tangible way to find a niche of an idea sparking out of a legacy of science fiction. I find it fascinating how little seeds of thought can be picked up from different mediums of joyous discovery and then re-imagined into a wholly new idea which gives us a grounding of our own imaginative realities! Wicked lovely, Ms Galanti!

Thank you for providing small quotations of select scenes from your novel, as if a reader like me who is awaiting a print edition wanted to smidge of a glimpse of what we would find inside it’s pages, this was truly a treat! I honestly wasn’t disappointed at all — sometimes the best choices we make as a writers is to take a thread of inspiration and let our imaginations run us off into a direction of narrative thought we might not have realised had potential to being created. The best stories are not always rooted in science from our own collective reality but rather the science which is invented inside the fictional worlds of today’s science fiction and fantasy!

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This Author Guest Feature is courtesy of:

Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours badge

on behalf of Month9Books (@month9books)

Previously I unveiled the book trailer for this novel, be sure to check it out!

Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for reader insights & more author guest features:

Joshua and the Lightning Road blog tour via Chapter by Chapter Blog ToursFun Stuff for Your Blog via

Reader Interactive Question:

What pulled you back into Middle Grade / Juvenile Fiction and Young Adult Literature as an adult?! What gave you the greatest joy in picking up where you left off from  your own younger years by embracing the new authors of today!?

What grabs your attention to read Joshua and the Lightning Road?

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Previously I’ve hosted an eclectic mix of Month9Books Authors, some of whom are linked below in the *Related Posts* section! You can also use the tag for the publisher ‘Month9Books’ to pull up a threaded directory of features! I have only had the pleasure to read one of their titles in print format as they do not release print copies for review; therefore all the guest author features are being hosted by me as a precursor to the day where I can ILL the books through my local library system.

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Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

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{SOURCES: Cover art for “Joshua and the Lightning Road” along with the author photograph & biography, the selected excerpts of the novel were included with the author’s response to my Guest Post Topic, the book synopsis, the individual blog tour badges and the Chapter by Chapter badge were all provided by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours and used with permission. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 29 May, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Coming-Of Age, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Month9Books, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Science Fantasy

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2 responses to “Author Guest Post | Donna Galanti, a debut #MGLit novelist from #Month9Books who created an intriguing plot around natural phenom ‘lightning’!

  1. Thank you so much for having me on as a guest today and sharing Joshua and the Lightning Road! Lightning continues to fascinate me as an adult and contains powerful magic all on its own.

    • Hallo Ms Galanti!

      I was thrilled to peaches to host you today, I apologise I was delayed getting this posted but I had a true delight in getting such an up close and personal view of how you created the world Joshua lives inside! :) I know my readers will appreciate the introduction and the inspiring method you used to create the story! Such a lot of wicked fun! Lightning definitely has magic about it — I am truly impressed by it’s power and of the ways we can see how it lights up the night sky (when it’s ‘heat lightning’). One day, I will read your novel, but for now I am happy to help celebrate it’s birthday! Here’s to you!

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