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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

GUEST BLOG: When Fantasy Meets Reality: Looking at the World Through 4 Dimensional Glasses by Erika Lewis (Game of Shadows)

Have you ever wanted to see the world differently? We all would love to do that at some point. That is exactly what our guest blogger for today explores – seeing the world through 4D glasses when fantasy meets reality.

Fantasy Book Critic is excited to welcome Erika Lewis to guest blog. Erika is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Game of Shadows. Game of Shadows comes out February 28, 2017 and is published by Tor Books.

Summary of Game of Shadows

Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he's ever seen. He's assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

Please welcome Erika Lewis to our blog! A huge thank you to Erika and Tor for arranging this blog stop! 


When Fantasy meets Reality: Looking at the World through 4 Dimensional Glasses by Erika Lewis

Have you ever strolled through a zoo, wondering how many of the sleeping animals were really shape-shifting aliens just trying to get a little shuteye? Or leaped over a gutter not wanting to fall into the drainage system underneath the city, but you know the truth. It leads to an underground world where you’ll be dragged into the service of a militant gremlin for his personal pleasure.

That’s what I like to call looking at the world through 4-D glasses. My favorite stories bend the real world into something different, magical and exciting, and dark and twisted. C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with a doorway that leads to a strange and wondrous land called Narnia. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe where wizards and witches’ magic life intersects with the muggle world on a daily basis. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter novels where a battle between pantheons, and their unique offspring, rages throughout history, and into present day New Orleans (at least in the first book.) All brilliant authors who imagined the streets outside their doorsteps with the same quirky houses, and nosey neighbors, in the same towns with the traditional markets and clothing stores, but they saw something else. They saw soul-sucking vampires who roamed the streets at night, witches and warlocks living and working side by side with humans who had no idea magic even exists, or a door inside a wardrobe that would take you to an entirely different land.

I loved these books. Books that force me to examine my own world in a new way, to wonder if the impossible was possible in my own backyard. It all began with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My love for sugar led to a fixation on finding a way to get to the chocolate factory through my own house. Let me preface this by saying that I was seven. I told my friends who were sleeping over that the downstairs bathroom’s shower was a secret elevator into the factory. Yeah. I had a very active imagination. But, here’s the catch, it only worked at the stroke of midnight. Months of trying, we could never manage to keep our eyes open after eleven. I never got to bathe in the chocolate river, or drink soda that let me float to the ceiling.

During my college years, I spent a semester living in London, but traveled to Ireland almost every weekend. With little money for flights, a group of friends and I would hop on a train for Liverpool as soon as classes let out. We’d stop there for an hour because they had COLD beer on tap! Don’t laugh. It was hard to come by in England at that time. Then, we’d get the ferry from Liverpool to Dublin. I don’t recommend this as a travel plan unless you have a very strong stomach. Rough seas lead to intense seasickness, especially post beer. Flying is much easier.

Renting the cheapest car we could find, we’d pile in, with my friend Faith and I usually in the backseat, the peanut gallery they called us, and we’d give directions. But we never had a map. When we came to a roundabout or a fork in the road, we’d just pick a direction. Usually not the same one… thus the nickname.

One day, as fate took a hand, we ended up in County Meath, at the Hill of Tara, the Celtic seat of power. An hour following a loquacious guide with tales of high kings, magical Druids, and a mother goddess, and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to bring them in to the real world, into my world and yours, but how?

Game of Shadows. When Ethan Makkai, a kid from Venice, California, whispered in my ear, I knew I had a sarcastically funny, relentlessly tormented, reluctant hero. And who better to push Ethan every step of the way than a strong-willed, kickass young woman from Tara with magical powers she never knew she had until he comes into her life. Sounds like a match made in the Otherworld, right? Ethan couldn’t agree less the first time he meets her, since she’s gleefully attempting to remove his head.

But, this 4-D world starts off in Los Angeles where Ethan lives with his mother. Not sure about where you live, but L.A. is filled with loudly screeching, hungry crows. They straddle the wires that run through the alleys behind houses, prepared to dive-bomb for their lunch. But you see, in Ethan’s neighborhood, those crows are actually spies waiting to dive-bomb him, once they find him alone. And they’re not alone in spying on Ethan either.

Not unlike the elevator I wanted to take to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, Ethan travels to Tara through a portal that reminds me of my time on that rocking ferry to Ireland, only much, much worse. And on the other side of that gateway, he finds a world that both excites and terrifies him…

So, the next time you’re walking down the same old boring street, bring a notebook. Take out your phone and take some pictures. Is there something you never noticed before? Are you afraid to touch it? Go on. Do it. Push the tiny grate open. I double-dog-dare you…

ERIKA LEWIS graduated from Vanderbilt University, and went on to earn an Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing from Stony Brook University. She has had a successful career in television production for the past fifteen years, working with Sony (V.I.PStrong Medicine), with Fireworks Television (La Femme NikitaAndromedaMutant XStrange Days at Blake Holsey High), with Fox (On Air with Ryan SeacrestAmbush Makeover) and with G4 (Attack of the ShowX-Play). Erika is the author of The 49th Key, currently running in Heavy Metal Magazine, with the trade out soon, and the recently released Firebrand with Legendary Comics. Game of Shadows is Erika’s debut novel. Find out more at:


Unknown said...

Can't wait to get my copy of Game Of Shadows. It sounds amazing from what I've read. I've also read and have The 49th Key which was amazing and easy to read and I'm currently reading FireBrand that also as well written and readable. And from what I've read of the book here it's going to even better. I have mild dyslexia and only an 9th grade education so it's hard for me to get into a book but with Erika's writing and imagination make it's lots easier for me too read and stay interested in the story. If you haven't read any of Erika's other writings you are missing out. I will highly recommend you read all her stuff you will not be disappointed! Thank You Erika I truly love everything so far and can't wait for more!

Lyn Flanery


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