author interview and book excerpt

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Image shows the cover of The Seven Sceptres, the greatest book ever written by Michael Hansen, Matthew Blashil, Arden Ruth and Ethan Stein.  (Yes, the comma was left out intentionally.)

But, not in that order…

Here is an excerpt from The Seven Sceptres (available now (sort of) via Amazon: Paperback: CLICK HERE and Kindle: CLICK HERE), as promised:

“Hebon,” he prayed to the god of plants and earth, “thank you for this soil and this seed. Please bless them both so the resultant crop can nourish my body.”

Though completely devoted to Sarturn, the god of magic, Allent understood and appreciated the works of the other gods as well. They all had important roles in the smooth functioning of the world, and he honored them when necessary. With the first steps towards the seed’s life completed, Allent sat back on his haunches and waited for the warmth of the sun to seep through the heavy cloak.

A shadow, however, broke him from his reverie, and the magician scanned for the source. It stood only a few feet away but was directly in line with the sun and therefore all Allent could decipher was that the creature was very large. A bit of fear crept into the magician’s morning solace as the creature took a step forward. Allent saw brown shading in the beast’s fur. Normally, a bear wouldn’t wander this high up the mountain because there was no food for it, and that likely meant the creature slowly approaching him wasn’t going to behave like a normal bear.

Without any other recourse, Allent rose to his feet and raised his arms above his head to make himself appear larger than he was. He shouted as he stood, “Get out of here!” These actions would have frightened most creatures away but had no effect on the one advancing closer. Allent opened his mouth to yell again, while simultaneously hoping he had refilled his magical reserves enough to successfully cast a spell if it became necessary, but before he said anything further the monster stepped forward enough to be seen clearly beneath the glare of the sun.

It was enormous. He had been correct in assuming it was a bear, but hadn’t factored in that he was only seeing a small part of the massive creature. Huge paws with razor sharp claws tore into the hard mountain soil, and then the beast pounded the ground in a territorial show of rage and dominance. An unnatural growl echoed off the steep mountain walls, and that is when Allent noticed the creature’s head. It had the body of a bear, but its head was dwarven.

The beast didn’t give Allent any additional time to process what he was seeing as it rushed forward. The magician held his calm and focused solely on the intricate hand symbols and words of the sleep spell he had in mind. He felt the magic pulse within his blood, and he was relieved that the spell was going to work. He thrust his hands forward and pointed at the beast.

Great stuff, right?  That’s from the story I wrote: Allent’s Quest.  I also co-wrote another of the seven stories in the anthology with Revis.  Perhaps I’ll share a segment from that story next time.

Speaking of Revis, I asked the other authors some silly questions and here are his replies:

Q: What did you enjoy most about the story(stories) you wrote for this anthology?
A: Exploring the new characters. There’s one in particular in this anthology that I really enjoyed writing. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which one it is.
Q: What else have you written that fans of your story (stories) can read?
A: The Erratic Sun, co-authored by the same man who is pestering me with these questions. 
Q: What is your quest?
A: I’m striving to find the elusive creature known as “full-night’s sleep”.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Scarlet and gray.
Q: And what else are you currently working on that you hope to publish?
A: I have a solo novel that is in the editing stages. I also have a short story that I’m currently writing that I hope to put out there.
Okay, be truthful, how many of you expect that final question to be something different?  Something about a swallow and their average airspeed, perhaps?
That’s it for this time.  Next time?  Yes, there will be a next time!  And what should you expect?  More silliness of course.  And maybe another set of answers to the interview questions.  And maybe another excerpt from the book.  And maybe that elusive info on ordering a signed (by me) copy of the new book.
As always, thank you for reading!
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The Seven Sceptres

It’s been a busy and weird kind of week, and isn’t it interesting how those go together as often as they do.

So far this week, I’ve learned that in some circles “3 – 5 business days” can actually mean less than 8 hours… and, I’ve learned that “3 – 5 business days” can also actually mean more than a month.  See, being a fan of words and definitions, I have a problem with that…  But, when enough people accept something for the way it is, I know I have to cool my frustration and just let it be…  Don’t I?

And, during this weird and busy week, I’ve also learned that I can survive on far less sleep than I normally do – and, let’s face it, I don’t usually get that much sleep to begin with – as I pushed my bed time back each night to work, work, work… on a certain book, book, book.

A new one…

This one:

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Image shows the cover for the anthology “The Seven Sceptres” by Michael Hansen, Matthew Blashill, Arden Ruth, and Ethan Stein.  The cover was done by CardCastles and depicts seven spheres that represent the various gods within the stories.

This beautiful book, that has been compiled with all the guile, wit and love of Revis, Arden, Ethan, myself and CardCastles too, was supposed to become available on Tuesday, February 20th…  This is the part where we get back to the various definitions of “3 – 5 days” and how the book has actually already been released and is ready to purchase…

So, just to be silly, you could wait to order it until Tuesday, or you could be even sillier and order it now…

Paperback: CLICK HERE

Kindle: CLICK HERE

For those of you who actually want to know what the book is about before purchasing it and supporting several wonderful and deserving writers, here is the synopsis:

Accura, the goddess of chaos, has begun to unleash her newest plot to send Cetros spiraling into turmoil. Once her brother and sister gods and goddesses learn of her scheme, most bring forth their champions to try and restore order while the others attempt to take advantage of the situation for their own purposes. Will their lack of a cohesive plan only serve to further Accura’s cause and doom Cetros to be forever ruled by chaos? Or will the champions succeed in their quests and allow their world to regain some semblance of normalcy?

This anthology includes seven stories, one for each of the gods and goddesses of Cetros: Chaos, Magic, Death, Plants and Earth, Animals, the Seas, and Weather.

Sounds amazing right?  I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is amazing.  And, while you may think I’m biased, and you may be right about that, please do not let that influence your purchasing decision.  Thank you, in advance, for your support.  You faithful kingdomites surely do know how to make a Jester feel special.

I will continue to plug the new book over the coming days.  There will be info on purchasing signed copies.  There will be snippets from my contributions to the anthology.  There will be links and shenanigans.  So, stick around.  Leave a comment.  Buy a book.  And we’ll all have a grand time.

Versus: Worst Film Adaptation (Novel)

Normally, I do my Versus posts on my blog, but since I posed the question here in the Kingdom, I figured I should stay here to play out the battle for everyone. I asked you all what you thought the worst film was that was adapted from a novel. You answered. So, here we go!

merv –  The lovely bones. The characters just seem different

GMan – Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. They managed to turn imagination into silly nonsense.

ksbeth – ‘my sister’s keeper’ because they changed the stunning dramatic twist at the end in the film . totally ruined the story.

djmatticus – Dragons of Autumn Twilight….
The movie, if you can even call it that, glosses over more important parts of the book than I can count and the animation is so terrible, both poorly drawn and doesn’t flow together, that it detracts even further from what is one of the greatest fantasy stories ever written

1jaded1 – The Amityville Horror. I was fourth in line to read it in Grade 5. I read the book when I was 10 years old. The cover freaked me out. The book cover had a house with eyes and flies. The red glowing eyes were creepy but what happened with Kathy being possessed and levitated by an elderly woman made my skin crawl. Mom told me she would not feel sorry if I had nightmares. Then came the movies. Yes, both of them.
I saw the first release in the early 80s. The music was the creepiest element of the movie. The movie itself focused mostly on George. Disappointing.
The remake was worse. It focused on the gore and left elements critical to the creep factor out. For crying out loud, the remake did not even have a pig. I’m glad I rented it. I would have left the theater fuming.

And mine, which is the same as what I know my brother would pick, but he decided not to say anything….

Timeline by Michael Crichton. Too many changes. Bad changes. Bad casting decisions. Just an overall horrible experience after the book is one of the greatest ever.

There’s your choices everyone. I’m going to put a poll underneath all of this. In two weeks, we’ll come back and see what film everyone voted for!

*cough cough*

So… it’s been a while since I’ve been here with any sort of regularity.  I guess I should get a broom out and take care of some cobwebs (safely transporting the spiders outside first, of course) and maybe do some dusting.

Ugh.  Dusting.  Really?  It’s the worst.

You might be seeing a bit more of me this year…  I don’t want to promise and than not deliver, hence the “might,” but I should have a lot of good news to share throughout the year.

And that starts now.

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This is a picture of fireworks, which has nothing to do with this post but fireworks!

Revis, Arden, Ethan and I have a book coming out soon… very soon…  Tuesday of next week or so…  Yes, I’m just teasing you for now, no specifics, no details, just an anthology of fantasy stories related to a world you may or may not be familiar with already.

So, there’s that bit of awesome…

What?  You want more?

Okay, okay… here’s some words for you:

New book!  New book!  New book!!

What?!  Not the words you were hoping for?  Be patient my faithful kingdomites, and you shall be rewarded…  A cover reveal?  Some tantalizing quotes from the various stories?  An author interview?  Okay, maybe not that one, but we shall see.  Indeed, we shall see!

Don’t Forget

If you haven’t already added your choice into the comments of my last post, don’t forget to do it soon. Submissions must be in by midnight tomorrow (although that will depend entirely on how lazy I want to be).

I know which one my brother will pick. He just needs to get his butt over to the post so he can actually put it down.