An Aurora YA Review: Children of the Knight (Children of the Knight #1) by Michael J. Bowler


Rating:  4 stars out of 5

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Children of the Knight coverAccording to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in Los Angeles?

This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.

With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army—the Children of the Knight. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and the children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.

Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.


Arthur, a boy apparently the reborn King Arthur, of legend, is in Los Angeles, California, with a Camelot of his very own, fighting the oppressive nature of the city with an admirable message of equality and acceptance.

I think this book had a really original idea behind it, which was something that I immediately loved, with so many books marketed toward young adults seeming like a copy of The Hunger Games or Twilight or Harry Potter. This book definitely didn’t seem like that, and the author took the idea that had a lot of potential, and transformed it into a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was interesting to see an attitude toward the adult world from someone who hadn’t quite reached adulthood yet, and seeing a young person fighting for something they really believed in, in an inclusive way. The book sends a great message without being overt about it, or pushing the theme to the point where it distracts from the actual story.

The characters were great, as well, and, again, the original idea behind the story fueled my interest at the beginning, but before long, I really cared about the characters and wanted to know how their journeys were going to play out. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it very highly.

Cover Artist: Reese Dante. I’ve said this before, and it is absolutely my own personal bias, but I simply don’t enjoy photo-edited covers as much as drawn covers except in very rare cases. That being said, this cover is well put together, and it is suited to the book, it simply isn’t my cup of tea.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press     All Romance (ARe)      amazon             buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 344 pages
Published June 20th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 19th 2013)
original titleChildren of the Knight
ISBN 1623806569 (ISBN13: 9781623806569)
edition languageEnglish

Series the Knight Cycle:

Children of the Knight #1, The Knight Cycle #1

Down Under Showcase Author – Anne Barwell


 STRW down Under Banner sm Hearts

Meet Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell  is the author of four series and 2 stand alone novels (listed below).

To get to know Anne Barwell a little better, she agreed to an interview. Look for her guest post below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.



Author Bio 1

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.

Author Contacts

Dreamspinner Author Page:



Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

All published by Dreamspinner Press:

Hidden Places series:
• Cat’s Quill
• Magic’s Muse
Echoes series:
• Shadowboxing
• Winter Duet
Dragons of Astria series:
• A Knight to Remember
The Sleepless City series:
• Shades of Sepia
• Slow Dreaming
• On Wings of Song

Hidden Places is contemporary fantasy
Echoes is historical (WWII)
Dragons of Astria is high fantasy
The Sleepless City is urban fantasy
Slow Dreaming is SF
On Wings of Song is historical (WWI)

Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Anne Barwell) is an eBook copy chosen from Anne Barwell’s backlist. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Anne Barwell’s Hunt “Word“. Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.



Anne Barwell on The Kiwi Connection!

The Kiwi Connection

Thanks for hosting me today J

As a Kiwi writer, my books often have New Zealand references or characters although sometimes this isn’t possible, as it needs to work with the story I’m telling. So far, I only have one story set in New Zealand, but I’m planning to do something about that.

Slow Dreaming is set very close to home to me as it takes place in Petone where I grew up. Sean’s a songwriter who works in a café in Jackson Street, and one of his favourite places to go and think is the Petone foreshore. I’ve spent many hours on that same beach, and the café is based on one I visit regularly. It was fun writing something set locally, and I had a few comments from local readers who recognised the places I was writing about. It made the research so much easier too and I was able to use some Kiwi idioms.

In Winter Duet, book two of my WWII Echoes series, Kristopher, Michel and the team meet a downed RAF pilot, Leo. During WWII many NZ pilots flew with the RAF. Leo is from Wellington and his uncle has a farm in the Wairarapa, which is several km from here. I remember my dad talking about a big earthquake that took place during the war, which was centred in the Wairarapa. Leo references it in the book, and also mentions the sheep on his uncle’s farm. After all, a New Zealand reference needs sheep in there somewhere, right?

Shades of Sepia, the first book in The Sleepless City series I’m writing with Elizabeth Noble, introduces Ben Leyton. Ben’s a Kiwi on his OE (overseas experience) in Flint, Ohio, a city in the States. It’s the little things that take Ben by surprise as he adjusts to life in the U.S. Here, a flat white refers to coffee with milk; there he’s asked why he’s talking about house paint. He doesn’t like creamer, being used to milk in his tea and coffee. Creamer here is powdered stuff used in coffee machines. We’re an agricultural country, so dairy products are a biggie. Milk is available as full cream, homogenised, trim (low fat) and calci trim (added calcium), and it comes in various flavours such as chocolate, strawberry, lime etc. On a side note, I had a friend visit the U.S after I wrote Shades of Sepia. He was waiting at a dentist and was offered tea with creamer. His reaction was the same as Ben’s.

With the Sleepless City being a series, and contemporary, I’ve been able to explore a lot more of the differences between here and the U.S than in other stories, through Ben’s reactions and speech. Although we all speak English we have different names for different things eg garbage/rubbish, sidewalk/footpath. Ben’s use of slang often leads to questions too, especially when he refers to something as ‘sweet as’. There isn’t a word missing—the point of it is that there is no comparison. We also refer to something as ‘cold as’, ‘hot as’ etc.

In book three of the series, Family and Reflection, Ben’s friend, Ange, comes to visit. I had several betas (non-Kiwis) who asked me if her saying she was going to find a ‘park’ was a typo and whether it should be a parking spot. Neither of my Kiwi betas commented at all, as that’s what we say here, and how Ange, a Kiwi, would say it. It’s the little things that show our origins.

I’m looking forward to setting my new series Outliers in Wellington—once I’ve finished my current series. Ben and his vampire partner, Simon, will also be visiting Wellington, and interacting with some of those characters, in book three of the spin off series Opus: Tales of

the Sleepless City. After all, Ben’s had fun trying to adjust to a culture that isn’t his own so it’s only fair that his partner gets to do the same in reverse.

Down Under Showcase – Day 3 Fun Facts, Contest Details, and author Anne Barwell




Here we are at Day 3 and our Down Under author today is Anne Barwell.

Make sure you visit her page to learn all about her and her books.  Enter her giveaway and don’t forget to hunt for the Scavenger word or phrase somewhere in the post and enter Bottom Drawer Publication’s contest here.

Australia Fun Fact:

Didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu):man playing didgeridoo
The didjeridu is a musical instrument designed by Aboriginal Australians. It is traditionally made from a branch of hollow tree. A didjeridu is played by blowing into one. Didjeridoo is Australia official musical instrument.




New Zealand Fun Fact:

Hector's DolphinThe Hector’s Dolphin, the world’s smallest marine dolphin, which grows to a maximum length of 1.5 metres, is found nowhere else in the world but in New Zealand waters.