Monday, September 10, 2012

When the Lights Go Out by Max Elliot Anderson

About the Author: 
Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a struggling reader. After surveying the market, he sensed the need for action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 - 13, especially boys.

Using his extensive experience in the production of dramatic motion pictures, videos, and television commercials, Mr. Anderson brings that same visual excitement and heart-pounding action to his stories. Each book has different characters, setting, and plot.

Several books are published, with an additional twenty-nine manuscripts completed. Young readers have reported that reading one of his books is like actually being in and exciting movie.

Back Cover Blurb:

Peyton Aldrich's father is an Army colonel, who specializes in Army intelligence. His work is always top secret, which means he can't even discuss it with his own son. Nevertheless, Peyton idolized his father, who believes that after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe.

Now, Peyton, along with his family, find themselves stationed at a new army base, in the middle of nowhere. After his arrival, Peyton finds two friends, Gill and Dave. Together they decide to train like Rangers, and search for some kind of mission to accomplish on their own. Little did they know that a mission was about to put the boys right in the crosshairs of a dangerous terrorist plot, when a secret weapon would be delivered to the base on its way across the country.

Will the terrorists find out who is trying to expose their evil plan? Will the boys be able to stop them? And what will happen to Peyton's father when the general finds out what the boys did? When the Lights Go Out is a story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget 9/11.

       Genre: Middle Grade Fiction for readers 8 and up

Book Trailer:

Chapter 1

   The one thing that Peyton Aldrich hated most, besides being home alone, was being home alone during a thunderstorm. And this was one of those nights. He’d watched the night sky for the past twenty minutes, or so, and it was clear that this storm was headed right for his house. It had gotten so dark out that he turned on every light in his room. He made sure the three-way lights were all turned on high, and he cranked his radio up loud so he could listen for any weather bulletins.
   Then, from out of nowhere, a nuclear sized blast lit up the entire sky around the military base where he lived. It went off like a giant camera flash, followed by total darkness.
   “Great,” Peyton sighed. “The power’s out, and me here all by myself.” He inched himself out of his room and began to feel his way down the hall. That’s when he was sure he heard someone rummaging around in the kitchen. His heart began pounding almost as loud as the thunder that shook his small house.
   My parents are both gone, he thought. Now what am I supposed to do? Still he continued down the hallway. Each new flash of lightening gave off enough light for him to see his next few steps. Finally, he stopped at the edge of the doorway into the kitchen. Another burst of light revealed a broom leaning against the wall. His trembling hand reached out for it as the stranger in the kitchen dropped something to the floor. That sound nearly caused him to drop the broom, but he managed to grab it again, with both hands this time. He raised it up, placed it in front of him like a weapon, and positioned himself to turn the corner.
   Just then, an eerie light burst from the room. Peyton decided it was now or never. He took an extra tight grip on the broom handle and prepared to make his move. As he stormed around the corner, he let out a blood-chilling cry, “Yaaahhh!”
   He heard a scream, the light went out, and something hit the floor. But, the scream sounded a little bit like…
   “Mom?” he called out as he skidded to a stop, just before crashing onto the kitchen table.
   Someone gasped on the other side of the counter. “Is…is that you, Peyton?”
   He dropped the broom and felt his way around the counter. Another lightning bolt revealed that his mother had fallen to the floor and now she was trying to catch her breath. He rushed to her and dropped to his knees. “You all right?”
   In a low voice she answered, “Don’t you ever do something like that to me again.”
   “To you? What about me?” His mother sat up. “Well, I thought you might still be out with friends or something. I had no idea you were in the house.”
   He laughed. “You coulda called out my name. You know, something like, ‘Peyton I’m home,’ just in case.”
   “I’ll try to remember that next time. Now help me up.”
   Peyton took his mother by the arm and they stood up together. His bare foot bumped against something so he reached down, brought it up, and set it on the counter. “Here’s your candle, Mom.”
   “Thank you. Now, if I can just find the matches.”
   Peyton laughed again. “Feels like hundreds of them under my feet.” He dropped to the floor again, and felt around until he found a few wooden matches and the box. During another lightning round, he handed everything to his mother.
   She struck one of the matches, re-lit the candle, and took a deep breath as candlelight again filled the room. “There, that’s much better. I always like light more than the darkness.”
   “Me too,” Peyton answered.
   Just then they heard a loud sound at the back door. “I hope that’s just the wind,” Peyton said as his voice quivered slightly.
   “Me too,” his mother said with a gulp.

Purchase the book at:


MAX ELLIOT ANDERSON is giving away a copy of WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUTThe giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to reading the book, "When the Light's go out" and then passing it on to my church library.

Teela said...

Oh, I would love,love, love to read Max E. Anderson's book WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT! And IF I am chosen, would pass it on to a boy that has aspergers but LOVES to read. This book looks like such a great story for a 13 yr. old boy! (and a ? yr old grandmother!)
Mr. Anderson, please keep churning these out for us! Blessings,

Anonymous said...

you are a breath of fresh air!! I have 3 boys that need something decent to read. One is going through the Hardy Boys for the 3rd time! One doesn't like reading but if I read the first chapter out loud, it intrigues enough to keep him going :) and the third son like American Chillers (and I don't like them!) Would love a free book but will be buying some too!
~Elizabeth N

Carol Ann said...

Max, the video is fabulous. I'm going to get the book for my grandsons. Thanks for being sharing your time with us here at The Barn Door Bookloft.

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