Sunday, July 20, 2008

Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo and Giveaway

It's May 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!

and his book:

Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)


Robert Liparulo is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly. He has sold or optioned three screenplays.

Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.

Here are some of his titles:

House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings Book 1)

Comes a Horseman



Product Details

List Price: $14.99
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595544968
ISBN-13: 978-1595544964

website link for Bob:



At twelve years old, David King was too young to die. At least he thought so.

But try telling that to the people shooting at him.

He had no idea where he was. When he had stepped through the portal, smoke immediately blinded him. An explosion had thrown rocks and who-knew-what into his face. It shook the floor and knocked him off his feet. Now he was on his hands and knees on a hardwood floor. Glass and splinters dug into his palms. Somewhere, all kinds of guns were firing. Bullets zinged overhead, thunking into walls—bits of flying plaster stung his cheeks.

Okay, so he wasn’t sure the bullets were meant for him. The guns seemed both near and far. But in the end, if he were hit, did it matter whether the shooters meant to get him or he’d had the dumb luck to stumble into the middle of a firefight? He’d be just as dead.

The smoke cleared a bit. Sunlight poured in from a school-bus-sized hole in the ceiling. Not just the ceiling—David could see attic rafters and the jagged and burning edges of the roof. Way above was a blue sky, soft white clouds.

He was in a bedroom. A dresser lay on the floor. In front of him was a bed. He gripped the mattress and pushed himself up.

A wall exploded into a shower of plaster, rocks, and dust. He flew back. Air burst from his lungs, and he crumpled again to the floor. He gulped for breath, but nothing came. The stench of fire—burning wood and rock, something dank and putrid—swirled into his nostrils on the thick, gray smoke. The taste of cement coated his tongue. Finally, oxygen reached his lungs, and he pulled it in with loud gasps, like a swimmer saved from drowning. He coughed out the smoke and dust. He stood, finding his balance, clearing his head, wavering until he reached out to steady himself.

A hole in the floor appeared to be trying to eat the bed. It was listing like a sinking ship, the far corner up in the air, the corner nearest David canted down into the hole. Flames had found the blankets and were spreading fast.

Outside, machine-gun fire erupted.

David jumped.

He stumbled toward an outside wall. It had crumbled, forming a rough V-shaped hole from where the ceiling used to be nearly to the floor. Bent rebar jutted out of the plaster every few feet.

More gunfire, another explosion. The floor shook.

Beyond the walls of the bedroom, the rumble of an engine and a rhythmic, metallic click-click-click-click-click tightened his stomach. He recognized the sound from a dozen war movies: a tank. It was rolling closer, getting louder.

He reached the wall and dropped to his knees. He peered out onto the dirt and cobblestone streets of a small village. Every house and building was at least partially destroyed, ravaged by bombs and bullets. The streets were littered with chunks of wall, roof tiles, even furniture that had spilled out through the ruptured buildings.

David’s eyes fell on an object in the street. His panting breath froze in his throat. He slapped his palm over his mouth, either to stifle a scream or to keep himself from throwing up. It was a body, mutilated almost beyond recognition. It lay on its back, screaming up to heaven. Male or female, adult or child, David didn’t know, and it didn’t matter. That it was human and damaged was enough to crush his heart. His eyes shot away from the sight, only to spot another body. This one was not as broken, but was no less horrible. It was a young woman. She was lying on her stomach, head turned with an expression of surprised disbelief and pointing her lifeless eyes directly at David.

He spun around and sat on the floor. He pushed his knuckles into each eye socket, squeegeeing out the wetness. He swallowed, willing his nausea to pass.

His older brother, Xander, said that he had puked when he first saw a dead body. That had been only two days ago—in the Colosseum. David didn’t know where the portal he had stepped through had taken him. Certainly not to a gladiator fight in Rome.

He squinted toward the other side of the room, toward the shadowy corner where he had stepped into . . . wherever this was . . . whenever it was. Nothing there now. No portal. No passage home. Just a wall.

He heard rifle shots and a scream.

Click-click-click-click-click . . . the tank was still approaching.

What had he done? He thought he could be a hero, and now he was about to get shot or blown up or . . . something that amounted to the same thing: Dead.

Dad had been right. They weren’t ready. They should have made a plan.


David rose into a crouch and turned toward the crumbled wall.

I’m here now, he thought. I gotta know what I’m dealing with, right? Okay then. I can do this.

He popped up from his hiding place to look out onto the street. Down the road to his right, the tank was coming into town over a bridge. Bullets sparked against its steel skin. Soldiers huddled behind it, keeping close as it moved forward. In turn, they would scurry out to the side, fire a rifle or machine gun, and step back quickly. Their targets were to David’s left, which meant he was smack between them.


At that moment, he’d have given anything to redo the past hour. He closed his eyes. Had it really only been an hour? An hour to go from his front porch to here?

In this house, stranger things had happened. . . .

No No No NO!!! Not a cliffhanger. This is worse than the Dallas series when JR Ewing was shot. I remember the media and fan buzz over it. I was too young to care myself, but the rest of the world seemed to think it was all that mattered. Well, I for one feel that January is just too far away for the next book, thank you very much! Yes, January 2009. Six months! Ugh...

So, we begin this adventure with the King family right where we left them: in a freaky house, without a mom, and teen boys heading into rooms that remind me of the Choose Your Own Adventure stories. When I did my review on the first book, I likened it to The Magic Treehouse series on steroids. It's so much more than that. For the most part, it's quite the adventure. The boys continue to go into worlds that test their abilities to stay alive to make it back to the house. Another element, the one that makes me read with one eye shut, is the "scare factor". The men who keep showing up in the house, like they did in the first book, make me want to sleep with the light on. Sheesh, I read through those parts as fast as I can! The rest of the story I can't quite categorize. The family is battening down the hatches and getting to the business of finding their mom and working on their relationships.

I don't know how Toria, the little sister in the story, handles it all! She goes with the flow and tries to keep some semblence of normalcy. If I were her, I'd probably faint every time a board creaked. Xander, the oldest brother, is continuing to work on his relationship with his father. He's in the teen angst years and to go through everything he's gone through in just a week's time, has only intensified that. David is in the preteen stage and is still finding his footing. He wants to obey his dad, but he wants to find his mom even more. So when Xander convinces him of certain things, the desire to find his mom always overrules. And then there's Dad. He's trying to maintain the cover of the "regular" family, and has a hard time doing it. He's trying to juggle a lot of balls. He wants to repair his relationship with his oldest son, go to work every day, show his kids some cool things at the house, and pretend to the rest of the town they're "just fine", all the while starting a command post to figure out where his wife has been taken.

Well, while Dad is thinking, the boys are doing. Xander has no desire to think things through, make plans, or to tell his dad exactly what he wants to do. He just goes for it. That's where the high adventure kicks into gear. Of course, Xander takes David along on these wild adventures! Dad has made the rule they can't do anything, especially in the house, alone. On Xander's last trip through a door, chaos breaks out in the home. As he makes it back, amidst all the insanity, he starts to share what he's seen and that's where the book ends, but not the story!

I am really enjoying this series, even though it's made for the younger crowd. Mr. Liparulo has a talent for drawing the reader in. I am pretty positive that if his adult books are like these, but a lot more intense, I don't think I could handle them. His writing is too good, and that means I'd be too afraid. I know, I'm a big baby but this stuff gets inside my head. I like the whole sleeping thing I do at the end of my days! This series Dream House Kings, is just right for me. I'm still sleeping at night. Thank you again Mr. Liparulo, but could you either write faster, release about 3 books at once, or get your publishing house to change the process so your books come out sooner?! The suspense is killing me, which is what I know you want from your readers.

If you'd like to win BOTH Mr. Liparulo's books in this series, leave a comment telling me what the scariest/strangest book is you've ever read. I will choose a winner on Aug 3rd. I know this is a long contest, but I want to make sure I get the info to all the sites and people I can. This is for US residents only. Please leave me your email address to be considered for the drawing in this type of format: mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com, or something similar. If I don't hear from the winner within a week, I will choose a new one. One way to know if you've won is by signing up to receive my blog updates at the top right of the site. The other is to click to receive email updates whenever someone posts to this message. Blessings ~Mimi


Anonymous said...

I love the first two books in this series as well. I can't wait for the rest of the series.

Anonymous said...

This would be a whole new genre for me to try - I guess I don't really read scary/strange books normally. This sounds like a great place to branch out and try somethign new!


angelahipp at charter dot net

Cherie J said...

Scariest book I ever read is Tick Tock by Dean Koontz. This series sounds really good. Please enter me in the drawing.


Mimi N said...

Cherie J is the winner of the Dreamhouse Kings books. Please get in touch with me by email within the next week! :o) Congrats.


Anonymous said...

im not entering or watever becase its old. i just want to say i read the first book and im only 13, and i totally dig your book and i finished it in less than 17 hours because it was so awesome and im gunna get the second book soon hopelully.... u rock

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.