About the Book
Book: Demolishing the Stronghold
Author: Allen Brokken
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release Date: November 4, 2023
Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan finally found respite for their whole family in the grove surrounding the Wellspring of Life. However, the threat of the Dark One’s forces still looms over the Heathlands, and lighting the tower of Light in Blooming Glen is their only hope of cleansing their land of The Darkness once and for all. While the family plans a surprise attack on the stronghold at Blooming Glen, the Bishop calls forth the Calamitous Drake, a monster forged from the essence of The Darkness in the corrupted heart of the Iron Mountain. In the midst of the battle, the monster scatters the family, leaving Mother, Uncle, and Tye in the hands of Lord Refi’Cul and the evil giant Skull Crusher who aims to make Tye his wife and become the Master of the Heath Wardens
The children must take to the skies to forge a weapon capable of defeating the Calamitous Drake. Will Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan’s faith give them the strength to Demolish the Stronghold?
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I received a complimentary copy of this book,
All opinions given are my own and not an endorsement
Of all author’s opinions.
Why did you want to become an author?
As a kid, I always had an active imagination and took to writing as soon as I learned how. I began the Towers of Light Series as a story for my kids. I was traveling for work 4 days a week and spent a lot of lonely nights in hotels across the country. I started writing a story about them in a fantastic setting and then shared it on the weekends. They loved it.
What/Who inspired you to write on the main themes found in the book?
I began the Towers of Light Series as a story for my kids. I was traveling for work 4 days a week and spent a lot of lonely nights in hotels across the country. I started writing a story about them in a fantastic setting and then shared it on the weekends. They loved it. It also gave me a way to take Christian Worldviews and communicate it to them in a way that they would understand.
What did your research process look like for this book?
For this series, I did a bunch of research on the technology of 1700-1800 in America. A lot of it was research from trips to places like the Little House on the Prairie Museum and the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. I really wanted to build out an American frontier feel for this series. However, the most interesting stuff for this book came from learning about Hot Air Balloons in the 1800’s
What made you choose the setting/time period for this book?
The setting is inspired by Little House on the Prairie and the rural Midwest I grew up in. I was really inspired by the wilderness stories by Jack London as a child and I try to bring as much realism to my fantasy world as possible.
Did you have to step out of your comfort zone to write this book? If so, how?
My readers really wanted me to add a dragon to this series. However, I kept telling them there aren’t any dragons on the Prairie. But they insisted, so I had to get really creative with how I introduced a dragon into the story and come up with something unique, memorable and that fit the overall plot.
What message do you hope readers take away from your book?
I hope that people walk away knowing ultimate victory comes from God. That while we can follow his ways and solve big problems through his grace. He’s still in charge and that we should be humbled when he works through us in big ways.
About the Author
Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband, and a father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age-appropriate way. He’s dedicated 18 years to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his children are off to college, he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media.
More from Allen
As I worked to close out the Towers of Light series, I had to work hard to develop something new and different that still fit the 1800s frontier setting. I had a lot of pressure from my readers to bring a dragon to the prairie. On multiple occasions, I had to remind my biggest fans that there aren’t any dragons on the prairie. But they were insistent that dragons make an appearance.
So, as I put the final touches on the previous book, Wellspring of Life, I thought that the censors spreading evil could bring evil things into the world to corrupt the prairie. So, the concept of a dragon formed from the censor’s smoke made a lot of sense. But what would a “Smoke Dragon” be like? I shared the idea with my Realm Makers critique group, and they helped form something that early feedback says works well. The dragon’s name, The Calamitous Drake, is also an homage to a line from “The Hobbit” that refers to Smaug as a great calamity.
With a dragon flying about, I also had to devise a way for the kids to engage it in the air. This took significant research as I didn’t want to introduce giant eagles or something else that didn’t exist on the frontier. As I investigated different options, I discovered that hot air balloons were more common in the 1800’s than I thought. It turned out they served in minor roles during the Civil War and used a technology they called a gasifier to fill them up. I took some artistic liberty with that, and Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan now had a way to get off the ground to meet the dragon in the air.
This story was so much fun to write, and early reviews from my biggest fans say it was the perfect end to the series.
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Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14
Guild Master, November 15 (Author Interview)
Lots of Helpers, November 15
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 17 (Author Interview)
Blogging With Carol, November 18
Blossoms and Blessings, November 19 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, November 20
A Reader’s Brain, November 21 (Author Interview)
For the Love of Literature, November 22
Lights in a Dark World, November 23
Beauty in the Binding, November 24 (Author Interview)
To celebrate his tour, Allen is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.