July 14

Excerpt: Benji’s Portal

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Benji’s Portal tells the story of an ten-year-old boy who discovers a portal that allows him to travel anywhere in the universe.  Benji Haight and his family recently moved from the city to a small town, and Benji isn’t fitting in well at his school.  The kids tease him on the bus, and his only friend is another social outcast who lives nearby.

Benji’s life changes when he discovers an old homestead behind their house.  The homestead includes a well, and when Benji looks into it, a mass of swirling stars rises from it.

“So tell me about your day!” Dad suggested,

“Yes, tell him about the kids on the bus,” his mother prompted.

“Okay,” Benji said, reluctantly.  “These kids were teasing me about my name.  They were chanting, ‘We hate Haight.’  But it was only about a dozen of the older kids, so I just ignored them.  Then at school, I kicked a double at kickball, and Tommy said I was really good at kickball!”

“That’s wonderful,” his dad said.  “What else did you do today?”

“I went tiger hunting,” Benji began.  “Then I found a pond, and I was hunting alligators.  I found an old fireplace, where people used to cook alligators.  Then I found an old bottle, and I was going to bring it back to show you, but I forgot because of the stars.”

“The stars?” his mom asked.

“Yeah!” Benji continued, excitedly.  “There was a well near the pond, and it was full of water.  And I looked into the water and all these stars came up from the bottom.  They looked like the Milky Way, and they were just swirling right there in front of me!  It was really cool.”

“Hmm,” his dad said.  “And this happened while you were hunting alligators?”

“Well, yes,” Benji said.  “I mean, I was pretending to hunt alligators.  Everyone knows there aren’t any alligators around here.  Or tigers either.”

“But there were stars in this well?” his dad asked.

“Yes, Dad,” Benji confirmed.  “I can show you if you want.  I’d like to take you there.”

Benji’s mom gave his dad a knowing look, and then turned to Benji.

“You know, Benji,” she said, “wells can be dangerous.  If you were to fall in, you would drown.  I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go back there without one of us with you.”

“Mom,” Benji protested, “I’m not going to fall in.  Besides, even if I did, which I won’t, I can swim, remember?”

“But no one would know where you were,” she said.  “We wouldn’t be able to come help you.”

“Your mom is right,” his dad said.  “It’s best that you stay away from that well.  Maybe one day you can take me there and show me what it looks like.  But until then, play somewhere else, okay?”

“Okay,” Benji said, sadly.  “I’ll stay away from the well.”

Of course, Benji doesn’t stay away.  He soon discovers that the well is a portal, and that he’s the only one he knows who can operate it.  Thus begins as series of adventures on alien worlds.  But the old homestead also has ties to their family that none of them yet realizes.  Benji’s ancestors were driven out of town because the residents feared they were witches.  And they’re pretty sure that Benji and his family are witches, too.

Benji’s Portal is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

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June 10

Free Book and a Chance to Win an Amazon Gift Card!

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Benji’s Portal is free on Kindle from June 10 through June 14!  Download it today!

Want to win an Amazon gift card?  Just post a review of Benji’s Portal on Amazon between June 10 and July 10.  One reviewer will receive a $25 Amazon gift card, and three reviewers will receive a $10 gift card!

If you post a review, please be sure to send me your email address so I can contact the winners.  Reviews will be chosen at random.  Prizes limited to one per review, and will be sent by July 31.

Send your email address to dj (at) djmitchellauthor.com. Or use this contact form. (Be sure to give me your Amazon handle in the comments so I can match email addresses to the winning reviews.)





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June 9

Progress!

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When I read the first draft of Benji’s Portal to my wife and son, they demanded a sequel.  So did my proofreaders, Kim and Candy.  The story demands it, really.  I had a vague idea for the next one, but wasn’t able to come up with a plot line.

After weeks of pondering, I think I finally have a plot!  As of today, the second book in the Travelers series is officially underway.  It’s called Madarach’s Secret, and it’s set two years later.  I’m not ready to divulge too many details yet, but Benji, Lisa, and Madarach come to the aid of the kids on the planet Zeblack.

Now comes the writing!

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June 3

Benji’s Portal

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I wrote Benji’s Portal for my ten-year-old son.  He loved it!  So did my wife, my mother-in-law, and two adult friends.

Benji Haight comes from a gifted family. His parents intuitively know things, and his sister Lisa can sometimes read minds. Benji doesn’t seem to have a gift. But when he discovers an ancient well near their new home, he finds it is a portal to the universe that only he can access. As Benji and Lisa begin to explore, they make friends across the galaxy. They also uncover a family mystery: Are they related to a boy that used the portal a century earlier? Was the boy’s death an accident, or the result of a family feud as old as the town they live in? As the centuries-old feud threatens tragedy once again, Benji and Lisa turn to their parents for help, and exploration becomes a family adventure.

Benji’s Portal is now available in paperback on CreateSpace and Amazon, and in ebook on Smashwords and Kindle.  It’s been approved for wider distribution, and should be on other retailers soon.

P.S. Everyone is asking for a sequel, and I plan to oblige.

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