Today I am delighted to introduce the author of a fun kids' fantasy adventure, Nikki Bennett! Nikki is the author of Four Fiends, which I reviewed here. Nikki has agreed to come by and tell us about the inspiration behind her book. Without further ado. . .
About the BookTitle: Four Fiends (The Countdown), 2nd Edition Author: Nikki Bennett Publication Date: February 16, 2014 (2nd Edition) Publisher: Independent: Firedrake Books LLC Pages: 215 Recommended Ages: 8+ Summary: The Four Guardians of the world have gone missing. They’ve been kidnapped by some of the most diabolical fiends that ever existed. Now, four misfit kids from different parts of the world must band together to save the Guardians. Along the way, they learn to work together, as they confront and conquer their deepest fears.
THE MYTHOLOGICAL INSPIRATION BEHIND “FOUR FIENDS”
By Nikki BennettFOUR FIENDS came about because I’m a mythology freak. But for most of my life, I only knew one kind of mythology: Greek. But, as the saying goes (or is paraphrased by me) a writer cannot live on Greek mythology alone.
When we moved to Japan in 2008, I flung myself into Asian mythology and culture. I lucked out, because our little military magazine here at Iwakuni was desperate for writers willing to explore Japan and write about its traditions. And, it helps to have a Japanese mother-in-law who knows EVERYTHING about Japanese history, and a husband who is also a history nut and who loves exploring. So FOUR FIENDS really came about because I opened my horizons to another culture.
And not just one culture. We explored China and Hong Kong too. I’d been to Italy and Rome before, and although I’d LOVE to get to the South Pacific, I’ve at least hoofed around Oahu and explored Bali down in Indonesia. So most of the places the kids visit in FOUR FIENDS (even some specific spots, like Jinjing’s “cave” in Hong Kong, Saburo’s favorite beach spot in Japan and Pietro’s crumbled old church in Italy) are places I’ve visited and explored. So, they all found their place in this book.
Oddly enough, the one place in this book I HAVEN’T been to (besides the top of Mt. Olympus) is the Pine Barrens in New Jersey. Whenever I get back to the US, that’s one place I’ll have to visit, since a good portion of the book takes place there.
The follow-up to FOUR FIENDS, which is called THREE TREASURES and will be released this fall by Firedrake Books, LLC, explores more exotic countries and mythologies, but it is centered in Japan and follows the kids’ adventures as they rescue the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan. While they’re at it, they get to Bhutan, India, Jamaica, and Petra in Jordan (which I haven’t been to yet, but REALLY want to get to).
Eventually, there’ll be four books in this series. I can’t wait to explore other countries so I can incorporate them into these stories! Now the only question is: where to go next? Egypt? Easter Island? Australia? Machu Picchu? The possibilities are endless! But wherever my travels take me, I’m sure to discover wonderful fables and incredible cultures, and by weaving them into these books, I hope I can give kids a sense of a planet larger than their own hometown—a world full of beauty, mystery, that’s just waiting for their exploration.
"This was one of the most entertaining reads for the whole family we have found in a long time. The characters are very believable, and I am always a sucker for heroes that have to find their way. The reading is very fluid and easily understood by the little kids when read aloud (sounds silly but anyone trying to do this will tell you it's not as easy a thing to achieve as it sounds) and the kids all seem to enjoy the story. The history is easily accessible even without a lot of research or background knowledge. The kids are very motivated to research and learn more on their own because this story has captured their interest. I already have many home learning lessons in mind using this book and have begun developing them with my kids. I think this is a book that will be found in classrooms very soon! Great job! I'm looking forward to more soon!!!" ~ 5 Star Review, Mariah W., Amazon
"Excellent read in and of itself, and provides excellent, character-building source material for reading to youngsters. The characters are well written and realistic, and the storyline is cleverly written and intelligent." ~ 5 Star Review, Alia K., Amazon
"Fantastic read. I loved the characters in this book so much that I re-read to my 9 year old after finishing it. I highly recommend this book for anyone that likes stories about adventure and believing in yourself." ~ 5 Star Review, Keith, Amazon
About the Author: Nikki BennettNikki Bennett is an author and world traveler currently living in Japan. She loves traveling, and incorporates all the culture and folklore she can from the countries she visits into her stories. Nikki has two books out right now. Her first book, FOUR FIENDS is a MG fantasy adventure and her newest book, MUKADE ISLAND is a YA adventure/fantasy (think Lord of the Flies meets LOST, it it was set on a different world!) Find out all about Nikki's books at www.worldofnikki.com
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Four Fiends Blog Tour Schedule (2014)May 1
* Blog Tour Giveaway *Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Nikki Bennett and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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