a signed book up for grabs

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Hear ye, hear ye…

(Or, is it here ye, here ye?  I can never remember.  Really, as Jester of the Kingdom I should know these things… but, it’s not like they hand out a owner’s manual when you find yourself running a kingdom.  I’m having to make all this up as I go along.)

Anyway…

The time has come, once again, for a contest… an official Matticus Kingdom contest… the kind where you all compete in some sort of game and the winner gets a book… a signed book…  a signed book delivered to their mailbox or front door, and all I ask in return is you leave a fair and accurate review of the book on Amazon once you’ve read it.  That seems straightforward, right?  And well worth it when you get the fun of playing the game, the book delivered for free, and the emotional rollercoaster of reading the stories within…  Right?  Right!

Okay!

Here we go.

The book in question is none other than The Seven Sceptres… the recently published fantasy anthology that includes stories from myself, Revis, Arden and Ethan, good authors all.

The prize in question is none other than a signed (by myself) copy of The Seven Sceptres delivered free of charge to the winner of the game.

The game in question:  Link Party!!  Share this post across any and all platforms, linking to it as you can or leaving a comment here on where it was shared so I can go and find it, and whoever shares it the most times over the next three days is the winner!  (I will friend or like or follow or whatever anyone who plays along on any of the platforms I already use as another thank you for playing and sharing.)

Then get the book.  Read the book.  Review the book!

Simple, yes?  Fun, yes?  What are you waiting for!!

This is likely the first of a couple of these types of games.  I have several books that I’m hoping to exchange for reviews.  So, don’t fret if you play along and don’t win this one.  Play along now and then play along again.

 Thank you, as always, for the support!

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more writing opportunities

As I mentioned in my last post, where I talked about the open call for submissions to the fathers’ words to their children charitable project (which you still have time to be a part of), that crazy awesome little publishing company, Silver Star Labs, is also going to be doing two more anthologies for charity.

We (the wonderful blogging authors and authoring bloggers at SSL) are now also accepting submissions for a Letters of Loss anthology.  We’ve all experienced loss and we’ve all learned that there is no one right way to say goodbye, move on, hang on, mourn, remember, cherish, … all of it.  100% of the proceeds from the book will go to a charity that focuses on helping people with their grief.  For full details and to submit, CLICK HERE.

And, we are now also accepting submissions for a Letters from Pets anthology.  We fully expect this one to have a lighter spirit than the other two anthologies, but that certainly doesn’t mean your poem, prose, or other art can’t be serious.  What would your pet say to you?  You know you’ve thought about it before and now is your chance to write it out and have it included in a published work.  All proceeds from this book will go to a charity that works on the care and safety of animals.  For full details and to submit, CLICK HERE.

That’s three different chances to get your name associated with a published book.  That’s three different chances to help get some money to a worthy charity, to help with a good cause.  That’s three different projects you can do.  There’s no limit.  Do one, two, or all three.  We’d love to see your words and include them in the final publication.

As always, I’m (and we are) here to help.  Questions, comments, concerns?  Let me know.  Let’s do this thing!  Let’s make some great books!

okay, one last time… at least for now

Hey there….

Have you seen this around the kingdom a bit lately?  This brilliant cover?  These wonderful authors?  Have you purchased a copy for yourself?  For your loves?  For your neighbors?  For you old roommate’s, third cousin’s, ex-mother-in-law’s, retired hairdresser?

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Image shows the cover of the completely captivating new anthology, The Seven Sceptres, written by the talented quartet of authors: Michael Hansen, Matthew Blashill, Arden Ruth and Ethan Stein.

Good.  Glad to hear it.  I knew I could count on you, my wonderful, faithful kingdomites.

Making the rounds in the author interviews, Arden has submitted her answers to my silly questions:

Q: What did you enjoy most about the story(stories) you wrote for this anthology?
A: Surprisingly, I loved the challenge of it the most. Having to go off an idea that was not my own from the start was very difficult at first, but I found it exciting to jump into a world that had already been built, and I found I was still able to bend and shape it into my own vision. Also, knowing all these stories had to weave together as seamlessly as possible was a scary undertaking, but I must say that I’m pretty proud at how well we pulled it off. It was a lot of fun to work with these guys!
Q: What else have you written that fans of your story (stories) can read?
A: You can find my digital portfolio at my website, though it tends to collect dust nowadays as I work on a bigger project behind the scenes (more on that below!). I was also a finalist in Fiction War’s spring edition in 2017. My story will be published in Issue #3 later this year.
Q: What is your quest?
A: Honestly, if I’m able to sit down and put some words to the page each day, then I consider my personal quest fulfilled. Life tries very hard to get in the way, but I make sure my butt is in the chair at least thirty minutes of every day. No excuses.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Purple!
Q: And what else are you currently working on that you hope to publish?
A: Currently, I am working on the first novel of my Hybrid trilogy, where I am neck-deep in edits and the killing of darlings. If all goes to plan, I’ll have it cleaned up and out for queries later this year.
……
And now, without further teasing or adieu, here is what some of you have patiently be waiting for! I’m going to have a handful of the books available to purchase a signed copy…  All you have to do is clink on this link:
then send me $20, who you want the signature made out to, and the address to send the book to, and I will ship it as quickly as I can.  (As I don’t actually have the book to sign and ship yet, that may take a little bit, but what’s a few days here and there among friends, am I right?!)

another shameless plug, this time with more of the awesome

Here is the start to the story Ivella, co-written by Revis and myself:

Ivella placed her hands in the warm soil and rejoiced in the abundance of nutrients that would help her crops grow strong and bountiful. Clumps of earth separated between her fingers to fall back to the ground, and she smiled as the heavy aroma of life reached her nose. There was much work to be done, but she believed in her land, in the traditions that had been passed down to her, and in her god.
Faith had always come easy to her, though. She’d been raised with large doses of realism in the hardships of being a farmer and even larger doses of worship of Hebon, the God of Plants and Earth. Ivella’s family never wavered in their trust of their god even when things stacked up to make it seem like they had been abandoned. They always carried on, with songs on their lips and the sun warming their backs, and got their hands back in the dirt to start over. Since it was all she had ever known, Ivella never had reason to question their way of life.
Even the Day of Chaos didn’t change that. The chaos beasts, twisted monstrosities of Accura’s imagination, crossed her family’s farm and destroyed everything in their path: crops, fences, the house, and her family. Ivella missed the massacre and carnage because she’d been on an errand to a neighboring farm that was spared. Some said it was luck, but Ivella felt it must have been divine intervention that had kept her alive when the rest of her family had perished. It was the only explanation.
When she returned home to the destruction, saw what was left, and then pieced together what had happened, Ivella went to work even as she shed her tears. Between sobs, she whispered prayers that her family would find peace on a wide open land with endless rows of golden crops ready for harvesting. Graves were dug in the family plot behind the house, and her mother, father, and younger brother were wrapped with care and placed gently into the earth they had all loved. Then Ivella sang prayers of praise to Hebon that she had been saved and she still had land to work as she cleared the rent and tattered crops to let the ground heal. She managed to salvage some here and there and set them aside to barter with neighbors for what she would need to continue on as she knew her family would want.
Over the days that followed, the fences were mended, and the buildings were patched up as best she could. She was a farmer, though, and would eventually need help from others to get them situated correctly before the winter storms sent temperatures plummeting. The crops she was sure Hebon had saved from the wrath of the beasts would be used in trade for those purposes. In every spare moment, when she wasn’t working, eating, or resting up to continue on with the hardships of putting the farm back together, she sent her prayers on with clear voice and a true heart.

Oh, if you wonder what I’m talking about… this is, of course, from my newest publication, an anthology, The Seven Sceptres (available now via Amazon: Paperback: CLICK HERE and Kindle: CLICK HERE):

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The image shows the magnificent cover of The Seven Sceptres, a fantasy anthology with stories by: Michael Hansen, Matthew Blashil, Arden Ruth, and Ethan Stein.  Have you bought your copy yet?

And here are my own answers to the silly author interview questions I asked:

Q: What did you enjoy most about the story(stories) you wrote for this anthology?
A: There is a theme, regarding power, that I got to begin to explore in both of the stories I was a part of.  Do we give power to the right people?  Would the meek or the learned really be better with it than others?  It was interesting to me to see what these characters did with it.
Q: What else have you written that fans of your story (stories) can read?
A: The Erratic Sun, co-authored by Revis, but you already knew that.  You’ve been paying attention.  I also have a story in another anthology, Fauxpocalypse.
Q: What is your quest?
A: Life? Adventure? All that jazz? Though, not actually jazz.  I’m more of a classic rock kind of guy.  I guess, adventure is the right answer.  I seek it.  It seeks me.  Round and round we go.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Blue.  Which shade depends on the time of day.
Q: And what else are you currently working on that you hope to publish?
A: Ack.  So many things.  I have two very different fantasy novels in the works.  One is about a family that goes on an adventure, surprise surprise, and the other is about a magician who sort of loses his way.  One is in editing.  The other is still a few thousand words shy of being done.  I also have submitted work for a couple other projects that are outstanding but may be coming this year…  And, I have another story I wrote a couple years ago that needs a minor rewrite and some editing and then it should be good to go as well.  So, lots?  I don’t know.  There are days when it seems like a lot.
I know I keep teasing that there will be details about ordering signed copies of the new book… and, well, you are just going to keep having to be patient.  I’ve ordered some, and I want to have them in hand so I can ship them out to you as soon as your orders for them come in.  So…  soon?  Yes, soon.  You can continue to be patient, right?  Perfect.  I knew I could count on you.
And to wrap up this post, go give these people a look, a read, a follow:

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!