Welcome to the November 30th stop on the blog tour for Welcome to Harmony by Dan O’Mahony, organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for excerpt spotlights, a top ten list, an interview, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.) I asked Dan about the setting and he delivered, so let’s hand it over to Dan for the guest post section and then I’ll be back at the end with more information and the book, the author, and that giveaway, and I’ll see you guys on social media later today promoting this book!
Tell Us About Harmony
Harmony, in Northern California, was originally known as Crooked Hollow. It started as a boomtown during the Gold Rush in 1849. As gold came in, it grew from a tent city to an actual town. With so much wealth and very little law enforcement, corruption became rampant. At the root of it all was a group of evil mages, the Maleficia. In addition to controlling the souls of the citizens and miners, they sought to control a megalithic structure located deep within the forest. It was a great power source, a spot where several ley lines converged in a spiral.
It was protected by nature spirits led by a powerful fae named Arduinna, but by 1852 her power had begun to wane. She sent out a distress call that was heard by a young man named Antoine who had just arrived in California. Antoine came from a long line of Beneficia, noble mages who used their abilities to benefit others.
When his father passed, Antoine’s older brother took control of the family estate and its holdings in New York. Antoine then left for California to make his fortune. He received Arduinna’s message and agreed to help. He found allies, with supernatural abilities, amongst the townspeople and miners. Together, along with Arduinna and other nature spirits, they were able to drive out the Maleficia and went on to make sure they stayed gone.
Antoine and his allies became rich with gold, and he built an estate that included the megalith, where they conducted their sabbats. Many mages and other supernaturals were drawn to the town, which had now been renamed Harmony, in order to celebrate the area’s return to order as well as to highlight the need for continued balance. Over the years, Harmony became home to a number of mages and other supernatural beings, who were attracted to the energy of the megalith. They continue to live hidden from the normal humans who also came to inhabit the town.
Welcome to Harmony, along with Gwen Gladstone, Bloodline, and the other follow-up books I have planned, take place in the 21st century and center on a group of ‘tweens with different supernatural abilities and origins. One of them is a descendant of Antoine’s descendant.
These kids are at the age when they are starting to discover who they are. They will face typical problems of adolescence, like bullying and first crushes, while learning to master their gifts and face supernatural threats. Luckily, they have each other to rely on as well as strong supportive role models to mentor them. In future books, the kids will get to explore the supernatural world outside of Harmony and how their hometown is connected to all of it.
It has been a fun, immersive experience creating Harmony and its citizens, especially Dillon and his friends. There is a little piece of me in each of them. I started it all by creating the characters and their backstories with the idea that the more real they felt to me, the more real they would feel to my readers. As I did this, potential conflicts between the different characters arose along with scenarios and emotional arcs. Before I knew it, an entire world blossomed within my imagination. I look forward to making future “visits” to Harmony and to spend time with Dillon and his friends and watching them grow into young adults. I hope all of you will join me on this journey.
About the Book
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Welcome to Harmony
Horror in Harmony Book One
By Dan O’Mahony
Published September 2020
(First published 2013)
by Magic Cat Books
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Page Count: 40
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Everyone deserves a place to call home.
Welcome to Harmony.
Like all thirteen-year-olds, Dillon just wants to fit in, but being a werewolf makes that an even greater challenge than normal. After almost being discovered by some neighbors in their old neighborhood, Dillon’s parents move all the way to Harmony, in Northern California, hoping to protect their son and keep his condition a secret, no matter how ashamed it might make Dillon feel. However, it turns out Dillon might have caught a break when he learns he is not the only supernatural being in Harmony. Some readily embrace him, while others view him as a threat.
The greatest danger Dillon has to face though is his parents discovering the truth about Harmony. They are already disappointed in having a werewolf for a son. Learning that other supernaturals exist in Harmony could cause them to run again, even though Dillon not only fits in with the folks in Harmony but has been able to flourish there as well.
So far, so good. The house was quiet. I was going to make it. I started up the stairs, but before I reached the top Mom and Dad stepped into view. Dad frowned, his arms crossed. Mom looked like she was trying not to cry.
I stood there for a moment then sighed and sort of slumped. What else could I do? Just looking at me, they could tell I’d been out. My t-shirt and shorts were filthy, and I was covered with sweat and dirt.
“Dillon, how could you?” said Mom. “After what happened in L.A.?”
I bowed my head. Only Mom could make me feel this guilty.
“Are you checking up on me now while I sleep?” I asked.
“Apparently, it was a good thing we did,” said Dad. “You promised us, Dillon. You said the next time you felt the Change coming, you would tell us.”
“I know.” I stared at the floor. “I’m sorry. I just couldn’t stand the idea of being locked up in the basement all night.”
“You think we want to do that?” asked Dad. He and Mom hurried down the stairs. “It’s for your own good. You could get hurt or you could hurt someone. Like in L.A.”
“Why do you always have to bring that up? I didn’t actually hurt anyone!”
“But you came close,” said Mom. “And all those people saw you, Dillon.”
“I still think they’d never have found out it was me.”
“We can’t run that risk,” said Dad almost yelling. “That’s why we moved out here in the first place. And you promised you would cooperate.”
“I’m sorry. I wanted to come get you and Mom – it’s just – the smells of the forest, they were so strong – I couldn’t help it.”
“Well, you’re just going to have to try harder then,” said Dad.
I fumed. My right hand clenched into a fist. I kept it at my side. Try harder. That was easy for him to say. Dad stepped beside me. He’d calmed down a bit.
“Look, son, I know this is difficult –” he started.
“You have no idea what this is like,” I said, raising my voice, cutting him off.
Dad backed away startled. He glanced at Mom.
“You’re right, Dillon,” she said. “We have no clue what you’re going through.” Her voice cracked. “But we’re trying, son. We’re doing the best we can to help you deal with this.” She sniffed and dabbed at her eyes.
Jeez, I hated it when she cried. It was so unfair.
Dad rested a hand on my shoulder. He looked really tired. He and Mom had probably been up all night since they discovered I was gone.
“Why don’t you go clean up?” he said. “We’ll talk about this later.”
I slipped past Mom and Dad without saying a word. I had to admit I felt sorry for them. I still remembered the day they told me I was adopted, how they tried to have their own child for years but couldn’t. I was supposed to be their “little miracle.”
Too bad I was a burden from the start. Always acting up in class, being too aggressive with the other kids. I got diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder and was put on a ton of meds. Mom and Dad thought all their problems were solved.
Then I started to Change.
I knew Mom and Dad were trying to deal with this the best they could. I mean, it wasn’t like there were books they could read or a support group to join. The three of us were learning about “my condition,” as they liked to call it, as we went along.
For starters, we found out movies and TV had it all wrong. I had no problem with silver, and my Changes happened whenever, not just during the full moon. Then there was the big one. I wasn’t bitten or scratched by another werewolf.
As far as we could tell, I was born one.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
Dan O’Mahony has been a lifelong fan of the fantasy genre. It is the home of dreamers and outsiders who do not feel quite at home in the “normal world” but know, deep down, that they are heroes at heart destined for epic adventures and great deeds.
He currently resides near Chandler, Arizona but spends much of his time exploring new worlds and associating with unique characters. When not engaging in his routine flights of fancy, he teaches elementary and junior high students, hoping to inspire within them a love of reading and writing.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Welcome to Harmony. Three winners will each win a reader’s kit. This reader’s kit contains a signed copy of Welcome to Harmony, a customized bookmark, customized mug, and a customized book light. Open International.
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