Introducing the High King’s Will by M.A. Ray

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Today on Paws 4 Thought we’re celebrating the release of a brand new novel by M.A. Ray, The High King’s Will. Want to read a preview? Of course you do!

EXCERPT

The void in the side of his favorite mountain: the yawning hole that led down into the Worm’s cave. Four days ago, and a lifetime. He didn’t know why he’d come when he’d meant to visit Vercingetorix, when it was all so clear in his mind, written in red glow and gold flashes, darkness and fire. Shivering, he hugged himself, rubbing his upper arm. “Wormsbane” seemed so empty compared to that drowning, dragging fear.
He gazed at the cave mouth as he retreated; he wouldn’t put his back to it any more than he would to Beagar. When the night trees swallowed it, he turned and ran with the ancient reptile stench imagined in his nose. He would never forget it.
His desire for something good and clean and pure strengthened, took him down the mountain until he reached a glade. At the edge of it he stopped again, looking out over the grass spattered with the white spots of hallucinogenic moonflowers. And then he stepped over the boundary.
Vercingetorix was there in a twinkling, looming over Eagle in breath-stealing glory. “You were here just yesterday. One might almost think you love me.”
“I do,” Eagle said.
“Nevertheless. You shouldn’t be here.”
“I know it’s late. My father gave me leave.”
“And why have you come?” Vercingetorix stood tall and proud, with an iridescent horn that pierced the dark.
“I’m leaving. Tomorrow. I wanted to say good-bye to you.”
The unicorn tossed his great head, turning a black eye like the depths of night toward Eagle. “Oh, Eagle Eye,” he said. “Nobody says good-bye to me. It simply happens that one day they cannot return.” With a sigh deeper than the ocean, he went on, “It wouldn’t have been long anyhow. You’re much too old for a child’s dream, too far grown for a child’s pleasure. The love I bear for you could never be enough to live on.”
Eagle said nothing. He only feasted his eyes on Vercingetorix, splendid under the moon, for the last time. The unicorn surpassed beauty. So white he dazzled, like fresh snow blazing on a clear night. Thick with muscle, bigger by far and more powerful than any horse of the People, with hooves of brightest gold, and those star-field eyes, huge and lustrous and ancient. He was an old thing. A holy thing, and wise, and frivolous with it.
He whuffed, stirring Eagle’s hair. “Where are you going?”
“I don’t know. Father says— Father says we can’t come back,” he whispered.
“Ah.” The unicorn turned away. “The High King’s will crushes all before it. Fimberevell would be better served by Bearach’s hand, but she has Beagar, who seeks only to rule her. Fare well, Eagle Eye Wormsbane. If you can.”
“I’ll miss you.”
“And I you. More than you can know.” Vercingetorix’s head swung again, and his eye glittered fiercely. “Behave yourself.”
“I always behave.”
“It’s well or badly that’s in question, hmm?”
Eagle smirked.
Laughter danced in the vast field of stars. “Good-bye, Eagle Eye.”
Vercingetorix flashed away into the glade that was bigger than it looked. He was a snowy blaze in high summer before he disappeared into the trees—down a rise, Eagle knew, that was inside a fold of the Real in the glade. The tall grass waved dark, and looked fathoms deep.
He stuck his hands in his pockets and went home.
M.A. Ray is a lover of fairy tales, comic books, classic fantasy, and power metal. I keep my meat shell in Wisconsin these days. I won’t tell you where I hide my heart. I’ve got a husband and two kids, and they’re the only reason I leave Rothganar.
Pick up your copy of The High King’s Will today and check out M.A. Ray’s wonderful array of books on Amazon.
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(banner is by Tiana Clawson and cover by Rachel Bostwick)
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Cover Reveal – Wicked Rescue Mission by Chasity Nicole

Wicked Rescue Mission is the second novel in The Valhaven Island Trilogy. You can find the first book, Wickedly Misunderstood on Amazon.

Blurb:

What do you do when the world is perfect one moment and in shambles the next? When your girlfriend’s kidnapped and taken to Hell by the Devil’s son. All we know is that Ember overheard a conversation between Piper and her father one night before Blade kidnapped her. She left us a message on a crumpled painting that gave us pieces of information. Leaving the eight of us to put it together to save her.

Our only mission is to get her back because our lives mean nothing without her. But, we’re only teenagers with superhuman powers, we don’t have the power to walk between Earth and Hell. So, we turn to the only person we believe we can trust.

That’s when the unthinkable happens and we’re left back at square one. Can we keep fighting and save Ember from her exile? Does someone work out a plan to travel to Hell to save her?

The people we thought we could trust are turning against us in ways we never expected. So now, we must hurry to save Ember before it’s too late.

Release Date: December 7th, 2015

Release Event on Facebook

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Read my interview with Chasity Nicole here.

Puzzler’s Wednesday – Neville Fogarty

Over on my puzzle blog – it’s Puzzler’s Wednesday with Neville Fogarty.

Paws 4 Puzzles

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Welcome back – after a brief hiatus we return this week to our Puzzler’s Wednesday series with all-round puzzler, Neville Fogarty.

  1. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

I’m a Ph.D. student studying mathematics at the University of Kentucky.

  1. When did you start solving and making puzzles?

My mom taught me how to solve crossword puzzles the summer after my first year of college. I started trying to make crosswords during my sophomore year, and sold my first puzzle to the Los Angeles Times the following summer. I started in on solving cryptics a year or two later; I remember working on a book of cryptics before choir practice during my senior year.

  1. What is your favorite kind of puzzle to solve/create?

One of my favorite types of puzzles to solve is a variety puzzle called Some Assembly Required; it combines a crossword with a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve written…

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Author Interview – Debbie Manber Kupfer

I was interviewed on Leticia Toraci’s blog. Leticia is one of our Sins of the Future authors.

My Writer's Journey

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Debbie Manber Kupfer is the author of the P.A.W.S. series.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?
Stories surrounding the Partnership of Animagi, Werewolves and Shapeshifters!

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?
Ever since I read the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, I’ve been fascinated by animagi, but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how Sirius and James turned themselves into animals. What it felt like? What were the spells involved? Those thoughts led me to the creation of P.A.W.S. and today as I write the third book of the series, Maze of Shadows, I delve even deeper into the mythology of all kinds of shapeshifters.

Which authors have influenced you?
Well obviously JK Rowling, but also Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Cornelia Funke are high up on the list.

Which are your favorite literary genres?
Mostly fantasy, but…

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Chasing Rabbits with Steven M. Thomas

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Today on Paws 4 Thought it’s my pleasure to welcome local mystery writer, Steven M. Thomas. Steven recently released the first in his series, Chase the Rabbit, and will be attending the annual local author showcase at the Spencer Road library in St. Charles next Thursday evening along with me and a host of other local authors. We hope to see some of you there, but in the meantime, here’s Steven:

Tell us about your book, Steven.

It is an action adventure mystery set in 1932 Hollywood. And it has a lot of comedy to it.

Can you give us a synopsis of the story?

A wise-cracking free-lance writer named Bay gets caught up in tragedy and fame. The book is as much about the pitfalls of power and fame as it is anything else. It just happens to take place when people like Jean Harlow and Bela Lugosi were the hot tickets of the day. I can’t tell you much else without giving it away. It moves quickly and has a lot of twists and turns. And no one will ever guess the ending, that’s for sure. My intent was to have the reader think “Wow!” when they come to the end.

What was your inspiration for the book?

A writer friend of mine, Cleve Sylcox, gave me a 500 word story assignment to write a piece on “flirty women.” Out of that, I knew I had a character I had to continue with. So a 500 word story turned into five books. I picked a year, 1932, and started doing research. I used a fair amount of actual events of that time and people who were famous then. People like Bela Lugosi, Jean Harlow, Charlie Chaplin, Howard Hughes, William Randolph Hearst, etc. Then I twisted these people and events into a roller coaster story. It is written for people who have ADD. I thought, if I can hold their attention, then I am doing a good job of keeping things moving. The story moves along pretty quickly. The book takes place in twenty-one days and a heck of a lot happens in those three weeks. And again, if the ending doesn’t blow you away, then I haven’t done my job. But I think I did my job quite well.

What about the other books in the series? This is a continuation?

Yes. And things get even crazier in the subsequent books. I set out to write a series from the beginning. You can read them out of order or as a standalone book, but it will make much more sense and be more entertaining if you read them in order.

How many books are in the series?

Five so far but I have an idea for a sixth book. I was going to stop at five, but as long as I am enjoying writing them and people are reading them, why not write another?

Anything else you would like to share about your book?

I’ll be giving the damned thing away for free. You can’t be much more sharing than that. The idea is, if you like it, you will buy the others. I can see this as becoming a popular series, if it gets enough exposure. Which is the trick. I already have the audiobook done. The great JoBe Cerny narrated it, along with Julia Farmer. They did different voices for each character, almost like an old radio show. It’s amazing! And the logical next step would be a movie.

It all sounds very promising. Any parting words?

I wrote an interview with the main character, Bay. I will let him speak for himself. He’s done a damned good job so far. I am just the author.

Interview with Bay 1934

Conducted by Roger Walters, book reviewer for The New York Times

Roger: Your books have caused quite a stir among some critics. I thought we should address that first. They say you inflate details, blow things out of proportion so to say, just to sell your books. Would you like to address that?

Bay: They are calling me a liar. Critics are idiots who can’t sell books. I can’t be bothered with idiots.

Roger: So everything you’ve written is true?

Bay: It depends on your definition of truth. I thought I knew why The Graf went down.  So for me, that was the truth.

Roger: Do you still maintain that the chancellor of Germany, Adolph Hitler had something to do with it?

Bay: Absolutely.

Roger: It’s widely believed that you made that up to sell books.

Bay: I wish I could take credit for being so creative. Hitler is a dangerous man. Mark my words.

Roger: Your work in Hollywood movies has been highly publicized. Some people think you took advantage of becoming famous from the Graf Disaster to carve out a career in motion pictures. How do you respond to that?

Bay: I would say they are right.

Roger: Your book about the Hollywood Murders became your best seller to date. What can you tell us now that was not included in the book?

Bay: Nothing.

Roger: I’m going to throw out some names, and I’d like you to respond with the first thing that comes to mind. Okay?

Bay: Shoot.

Roger: Groucho Marx.

Bay: He’s like a fine clock. Groucho is constantly funny. Even if it’s just he and I in the room together. One of the brightest minds of our times.

Roger: How is he like a clock?

Bay: The timing is perfect.

Roger: Bela Lugosi.

Bay: Friend and mentor. I look up to him in every way. He is misunderstood because of Dracula and his other roles. The truth is, Lugosi is the nicest man I’ve ever met.

Roger: You stayed at his house for some time, didn’t you?

Bay: He took me in when I had no place else to go. I wrote the Graf book at his place, in his library.

Roger: William Randolph Hearst.

Bay: That’s a tough nut to crack. There are so many sides to Hearst. Sometimes I think I know him well, but other times, I don’t know him at all. He is a genius though. He’s always three steps ahead of everyone else in the room.

Roger: But you are friends with him, aren’t you?

Bay: I guess you could say that. We are, after all, Grafers.

Roger: Which leads me to the question about your raising money for The Alma Rubens Foundation. How did that all come about?

Bay: It was just an idea I had. The studios don’t take care of their stars after they stop working. I thought someone should.

Roger: And you managed to get a lot of major stars behind you. Was that a difficult task?

Bay: No.

Roger: Back to the names. James Cagney.

Bay: I didn’t like him at first, but eventually he warmed up to me.

Roger: Jean Harlow.

Bay: She can out-drive anyone in Hollywood. Very intelligent girl. And a dear friend.

Roger: Some people say you are more than friends.

Bay: That’s just the sort of thing some people would say.

Roger: Joan Crawford.

Bay: I don’t really know her that well.

Roger: But she was on the Graf. She is a Grafer.

Bay: Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t all that close.

Roger: Howard Hughes.

Bay: I think of him as a pilot. That is what he does best.

Roger: Besides the people we’ve already mentioned, who do you most admire in Hollywood, and why?

Bay: You mean besides Bela Lugosi?

Roger: Yes, besides Lugosi, Jean Harlow and the others.

Bay: No one.

Roger: But you must have something good to say about someone.

Bay: There is a waitress I know named Rita. She is very good.

Roger: What is next for Gretch Bayonne. Do you have any plans?

Bay: I have a few movie roles lined up. Other than that, I don’t have any long range plans.

Roger: Any new books on the horizon?

Bay: No.

Roger: But you said that before, and lo and behold, you came out with another book.

Bay: I was lying then.

Roger: Then how do we know you aren’t lying now?

Bay: That’s the beauty of it. You don’t.

Pick up a copy of Chase the Rabbit today on Amazon.

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And the story continues with book 2 – Rabbits Never Die.

Connect with Steven on Facebook.

Suspension of Disbelief

How much can you believe?

YA Author Rendezvous

How far will a reader stretch their imaginationWritten By

Jeffrey Collyer

For most of us, the suspension of our disbelief is quite natural when we’re reading works of fiction. That’s not necessarily true for all genres and all books, of course, but certainly within the fictional world I inhabit, it is. And for a large number of YA books it’s certainly true.

Whether it’s paranormal, urban fantasy, dystopian, or my own genre of traditional fantasy, there are core elements of the story that revolve around things we just wouldn’t believe in ‘real life’. After all, whether it be dragons or powerful magic; whether the story includes traditional dwarves and elves or whether it tells of more original strange races; these are all the stuff of imagination. We don’t expect to see trolls walking down the local shopping centre, but we’re quite happy to belief they’re real on the written page.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve always…

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