Happy Friday All! Today I’m excited that IndieWritersReview is host to Spinner by Author Michael J. Bowler as part of his Bewitching Book’s Virtual tour! Make sure to check out the awesome excerpt!
Michael J. Bowler
Genre: teen horror/mystery
Publisher: YoungDudes Publishing
Date of Publication: August 5, 2015
Number of pages: 464
Word Count: 138K
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
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 humankind. 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…
Available at Amazon
Because he’d skipped lunch, Alex was hungry, gobbling his macaroni and cheese and a healthy serving of salad. The other boys ignored the salad, but Alex needed the roughage for his bowels, as well as lots of water throughout the day. He’d never been on a catheter, but he was one of a tiny percentage of spina bifida kids who hadn’t.
After eating, he’d descended into the welcome solitude of his basement room to brood, and lament the loss of someone he cared about. He showered and took care of his bodily needs, which included feeling carefully beneath his legs and buttocks for pressure sores. Thankfully, he found none.
Slipping workout shorts on over his boxers while lying on the floor, he’d pulled himself into his chair and sat shirtless, fumbling in his backpack for his iPod. He popped in the ear buds and cranked some Hawthorne Heights tunes, hoping the music and lyrics would free his mind from the images assaulting him. But it didn’t work. Ms. Ashley’s broken body, and more importantly, that gigantic cat grinning at her bloodied corpse, kept flashing through his brain like lightning.
For some reason, the image of that necklace he’d found at school intruded. He’d forgotten all about it. Wheeling to the corner where he’d tossed his jeans, he scooped them up and reached into the pocket, pulling out the necklace. He held out the medal and let it dangle before his eyes. He examined the design, marveling at the intricately woven strands that formed the web. He touched the webbing with his left forefinger, and shuddered. It felt weird, not like metal at all but more like… skin.
Still, it was pretty wicked looking, and would look kickass with his band shirts. Shoving aside junk in his desk drawers, he found a pair of needle-nose pliers and focused on repairing the clasp, bending it into place where his tire had damaged it.
The clasp was worn, and he proceeded cautiously so he wouldn’t break it. The entire chain, and the medal dangling from it, seemed really old. There was a word for really old stuff like this, but he couldn’t think of it. That was part of his trouble. He’d be taught a new word and understand what it meant, but couldn’t for the life of him remember that word the next time he saw it in print. So he couldn’t read well because his screwed up brain wouldn’t let him remember enough words. It frustrated him because, unlike walking, he felt it was something he should be able to do.
After several minutes of tinkering, Alex had the clasp in working order. Dropping the pliers onto his cluttered desk, he placed the medal and chain in his lap and wheeled to his closet. Pulling open the door, he studied himself in the full-length mirror attached to the inside. Whoever had lived here before must’ve liked seeing themselves every time they went to the closet for clothes. Alex didn’t. He always tried looking away because when he looked at himself all he saw was a freak.
He had a decent upper body because that’s all he’d used his whole life, and his arm and shoulder muscles looked pretty yoked. He had a couple of dumbbells that had travelled with him from foster home to foster home, and had used these to do chest exercises he found on the Internet. He even had better abs than many of the guys he’d seen in P.E. last year.
But then his weak, useless legs filled his vision and choked off all possible thoughts. It wasn’t that he felt sorry for himself; it was just that the chair, combined with his unnatural nature, convinced him he could never have a normal life, and that thought depressed him.
Brushing his hair away from his eyes, Alex yanked out the ear buds, snatched the necklace off his lap and wrapped the chain around his neck. The spider-web medal dangling between his pale pecs looked cool as he brought the two ends of the clasp together beneath his hair and joined them.
The door to the outside flew open and slammed hard against the wall.
Alex wheeled out of the closet and stared silently up at the open door. The lift was down, and wind howled through the room, encircling him, flinging his hair every which way and tossing leaves down onto his lap. He sat frozen in place, his eyes riveted to that open door, the cold wind raising goose pimples on his naked torso.
Something was out there.
The hackles on the back of his neck rose and tingled.
Something was coming.
And then the lights went out.
Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.
His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.
He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.
He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.
He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.
His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.