It’s practically the end of the month and I have just squeaked in my fourth book by a New Zealand author, which means I have reached my NZ Book Month reading target! Released in print only last week, the final book on my list is a high fantasy tale called Guardians of the Shimmer: DreamTime and is the first of a new trilogy by Tauranga writer Garth Lawless.  Garth works in computers, but he’s not your typical office worker: I once saw him out and about in Tauranga dressed in a cape. So definitely someone with an penchant for fantasy! I wonder if he spends a lot of time daydreaming?Guardians of the Shimmer -1- DreamTime final Front Cover

In any case, Garth tells me that releasing Guardians of the Shimmer has been a dream of his, and the enthusiastic reaction he has received from readers has been a dream too. Garth says, “I was inspired to write from all the reading I had been doing and thinking ‘I’ve got a story to tell that I’d like others to read, too.’ And I like writing for the 10-14 age group as they have really have great imaginations. And they like adventure, excitement and action in their stories, just like the ones I like to read.” Garth’s story includes all of those things. It’s a young adult novel featuring Cole and Lily Fletcher, a couple of Kiwi kids who are on their way home from a camping trip with their parents when an accident catapults them into DreamTime, the place where people’s dreams exist. As if that isn’t enough of a shock, they then discover that their parents are part of the Blue Ghost, long time Guardians of the shimmery barrier that separates reality from dreams. The Guardians serve to protect sleepers, ensuring that they return safely to their RealTime selves. The only problem is the VELI, dark and sinister monsters of nightmare, who are no longer prepared to dwell in the shadows. Well, that, and the fact that nobody seems to want to tell Cole and Lily what’s going on! An atmospheric story which hurtles along, this is a wonderful debut and a great read for fans of fantasy. Why not ask your librarian to reserve you a copy?

And if you haven’t made your four target books yet, there are still a couple of days left in March and the Easter break is here, so it’s not too late to get cracking. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you extending your NZ Book Month reading into April and beyond; there are so many great Kiwi writers to choose from.

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