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The Final Battle At The Mountain

Michael J Bowler Author Interview

Spoiler follows a young man who’s plunged into a deadly standoff and must choose between the torture of his loved ones or giving in to Ms. G’s monstrous demands? What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I’ve always been fascinated by choices we make and I believe we don’t ever really know someone (or ourselves, for that matter) until we’re tested in a difficult situation. Alex has always had a desire to heal, not hurt and he’s so empathetic toward the pain of others that he can’t see someone suffering without needing to help, and yet if he helps, in this case, he will hurt countless other people. I like putting characters into challenging moral quandaries to allow readers to ask themselves, “what choice would I make under those circumstances?” I didn’t have any special sources for the situational portion of the book except that it continues what began in books 1 and 2 and I took the premise to its logical conclusion. I felt the moral vacuum that is Ms. G must do monstrous things because that’s who she is, and the young heroes—particularly Alex—would therefore be forced to resist her in any way they could (without stepping over the line into her level of evil.)

This book is very creative. What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

My favorite scenes were the personal ones, the character bits that emphasized relationships and family, like the scene in the gym where everyone worked out together and bonded even more than they had previously. I also liked exploring the development of William and Francis and how they explored their innate humanity (despite having been told by Davalos and others they weren’t fully human.) The most challenging scene was the final battle at the mountain. I had to make a list of every character who would be present, what “team” each would be on, and an approximate outline of where each would be as the scenes progressed. Even then, I still forgot about some along the way and had to go back to make sure I showed what he/she was doing.

What challenges did you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

This biggest challenge was to wrap up and pay off all that had been set up in the first two books and do these things in ways that readers would find enjoyable and satisfactory. Series like this that have so many characters and so many threads sometimes stumble in the final book because some of those threads are left unraveled, and that has often frustrated me as a reader, so I hope I have resolved everything to my readers’ gratification.

Do you have plans to write more books in the Healer Chronicles?

I definitely leave the door open for more stories with these characters, especially with the promise Alex, Andy, William, and Francis made to the president that they are available in a national crisis. Of course, William and Francis are already special agents, and I’ve considered a spinoff series focusing on them. Time will tell. For now, I’m giving these characters (who are some of my all-time favorites) a much-needed rest.

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Having barely survived the latest attack on him, Alex feels adrift at the loss of his twin brother, despite everyone’s attempts to console him. Officials from the Pentagon, the Vatican, and even a representative of the Native American Onondaga tribe descend on the Air Force base to mobilize against an imminent assault on humanity.

Despite losing Andy, Alex has a few fleeting moments of happiness, especially as he finds himself falling for Allison, Mr. Shaw’s spunky daughter. But he knows these moments of “normalcy” will be short-lived because Ms. G and her group need his power to fulfill their evil plans.

When on-base treachery leads to attempted assassination and kidnapping, Alex—along with Roy and Allison—is plunged into a deadly standoff with Ms. G that he knows will result in his death and that of his loved ones. Can he allow them to be tortured, or will he give in to her monstrous demands?

Colonel Walker gathers his troops around the location where Alex is held prisoner – the mountain housing a mysterious “gate” into another dimension. Should Alex be forced to open that gate and release the dark entities within, the human race will come to a swift and violent end.

As the final battle approaches, can Alex hold out long enough for rescue to arrive?

The Healer Chronicles conclude.

Spoiler (The Healer Chronicles Book 3)

Fresh off a chaotic battle, Colonel Walker and his band of superhuman kids, created through government-sanctioned experiments, realize that the world is in more danger than they thought. There’s a breach in the barrier separating earth from the dimension housing demons, and dark entities are slowly seeping into our world. Even worse, Ms. G, a strange but powerful woman, is bent on opening the gates between both worlds to let demons into ours. Once again, Alex the healer, Colonel Walker, and the group, with help from the Pentagon, the Vatican, and others, must stop Ms. G before she causes untold darkness to overrun the world and end the human race.

Spoiler, by Michael J. Bowler, is the third book in a gripping series that is brimming with adventure and imaginative science fiction elements. It’s a compelling coming of age story of camaraderie, exploring what is means to be human, and the evils that are lurking on the fringes of the world as we know it.

The book sounds a tad spooky, right? It is, but only when it has to be, otherwise it has an adventurous spirit overall. The author finds a great balance between the dark themes and the refreshing fantasy ones. Frankly, reading Spoiler took me back to the description of Netflix’s Stranger Things which once caught my eye: “hair-raising and heartwarming.”

There are no flowery words or complex descriptions. The writing is simple and evocative as Bowler relies on the strength of his plot and characters to keep you spellbound. It’s been a while since I read a book that had me wondering, “how have I read 100 pages already?” Spoiler reels you in with the promise of chaos, drama, and twists and delivers massively.

The author has a fantastic ability to create gripping tension. He expertly teases several possibilities and leaves a few crumbs of evidence here and there, just enough to heighten your suspicion without giving too much away too soon. I think the book moves along at a good pace. Bowler nicely builds up to the inevitable chaos and uses that buildup to connect readers with the characters before everything devolves into chaos.

Spoiler is a real page-turner and an occasional tear-jerker. If you’re looking for an exciting young adult urban fantasy story with imaginative paranormal elements then you’ll heartily enjoy The Healer Chronicles series.

Pages: 377 | ASIN: B0B2V5J6C4

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A Dark Ending in Mind

Michael J. Bowler Author Interview

Michael J. Bowler Author Interview

I Know When You’re Going to Die follows young Leo as he grapples with the ability to see people’s death and the need to save his friend. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

The original idea was going to be a short story set in a remote area where a group of teens are camping. They start talking about a series of murders in the city where they live, and one kid says he can look into their eyes and tell them when they’re going to die. Some of them want to know, but others don’t. I had a dark ending in mind, but decided to expand the idea and the story took a vastly different turn.

I enjoyed the unique ability that Leo had and how it was utilized throughout the story. How did this idea start and change as you wrote the story?

When I developed the character of Leo, his inability to look people in the eye was a crucial trait because I didn’t want to bog the story down by having him willy nilly look in everyone’s eyes to find out when they’ll die. Such a gift would, and should, freak most people out, though some would immediately try to profit from it, which is a direction I chose not to go. I wanted Leo to be a reluctant recipient of the “gift” because that reluctance allowed him to grow as a character, from someone who wanted nothing to do with such a power to a hero who will do whatever it takes to change Fate and save his best friend’s life.

The mystery that drove this story was something I found exciting and entertaining. Did you plan it before writing or did it develop organically while writing?

As I developed the story and the characters surrounding Leo, J.C., and Laura, I decided who the would-be murderer would be prior to writing. Knowing the endgame in a mystery is essential to plotting because clues have to be planted, red herrings introduced, etc. The image of the snake jacket has always been with the story. It just entered my mind when I first thought of the short story idea and it seemed so visual that I retained it for the novel. I was tempted to take the plot in other directions during early drafts before I settled on the current story. I’m well aware that Leo’s ability could inspire a different iteration from every writer out there as to how it could be used in a story. It’s like the perfect prompt in a creative writing class and might easily generate better stories than mine. Even my original ending differs from what’s there now. Storytelling is like life itself – it’s all about choices.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have two completed books for the teen market (one action/adventure mixed with social issues and the other mystery/sci-fi) and one middle grade adventure, all of which I keep tinkering with. All have been edited and revised numerous times, but I have to decide which one might be the easiest to market. Middle grade is tougher than teen lit or YA because reaching the intended demographic without publisher support is almost impossible. Still, I might try wading into those middle grade waters since that’s my son’s current age. We’ll see.

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I Know When You're Going To Die by [Bowler, Michael J.]

Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look people in the eye. One night while he’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, an old man forces eye contact and gives Leo the power to see Death.

His best, and only, friend—J.C. Rivera—thinks this new power is cool until Leo accidentally looks into J.C.’s eyes and “sees” his murder, a murder that will occur in less than two weeks. Stunned and shaken, the two boys sift through clues in Leo’s “vision” in a desperate effort to find the killer and stop him before he can strike.

Aided by feisty new-girl-at-school, Laura, the boys uncover evidence suggesting the identity of the murderer. However, their plan to trap the would-be killer goes horribly awry and reveals a truth that could kill them all.

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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 humanity. 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…

Finalist in the 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Honorable Mention in the 2015 Halloween Book Festival
Runner-Up in the 2015 Southern California Book Festival
Literary Classics Seal of Approval 2015
Bronze Medal in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Awards
Honorable Mention in the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival
Winner in the 2015 Hollywood Book Festival

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