~~ Who’s ready to win a SIGNED BOOK courtesy of Jeffrey L. Kohanek? ~~
~~ PRIZE ~~
Two schools: One of magic and science, the other focused on military excellence. A dangerous undercurrent flows within both…dark and deadly.
Everson is brilliant, ingenious, and yet, he feels broken. Cursed with a disability, he dreams of nothing more than being useful. Quinn is bold, defiant, and will do anything to protect her brother. When Everson is accepted to an academy of magic and engineering, Quinn enters a school of combat in order to join him in Fallbrandt. However, things within the fabled institutions are not what they seem. Beneath a mantra of good intentions and the objective of a better future, spies and conspiracies lurk.
Quinn finds herself embroiled in a struggle she doesn’t understand, one that has dire consequences as her training shifts from difficult to deadly. Her relentless determination and will to survive might be enough, if she only knew whom she could trust.
Within the other school, Everson learns about a dangerous power known as Chaos. Unable to wield this magic, he instead focuses on melding Chaos with science, dreaming of inventions that would shape the future. Perceptive, imaginative, and curious, his endeavors lead him to a discovery that could change the world…and then he discovers the truth.
(Amazon reviewer) Shelly in Sunny San Diego rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
The characters and action scenes are particularly written, the entire book is well written. Glad this is a series, as I look forward to more adventures with Quinn and Everson and friends. Wonderful is this tale that makes you feel a part of the story, not simply and observer. Try this book and join in the fun!
(Amazon reviewer) Roger & Jean Fauble rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
My third read from author Jeffrey L. Kohanek was amazing, a 294-page thrill-a-minute read, even better than the first two books by him I read! I’ll be reading more from him as soon as I get more!
(Goodreads reviewer) LooseBoots rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
I am always apprehensive when I read a new authors book. With this one I need have no qualms. Brilliant read. Brother and sister join an academy, both schools linked . One for engineering and one warrior. Both have an interesting journey that culminates in an exciting climax that hints at further wondrous adventures. Full of magic, mayhem but all in all it’s an enthralling read. Highly recommended.
(Goodreads reviewer) Angie Watson rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
I loved this book. The concept of magic, engineering and military skills, all having a strong place hooked me from the start. The style of the narrative was interesting, mixing the memories of Quiin & Everson with their interrogations. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so won’t go into details, but if you like epic fantasy, you’ll love this book. I highly recommend it.
For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Simon)I got the bug early. My first literary work, The Magic Skates was picked up by my elementary teacher. I was six. First gold star! That was it. Hooked. The problem that accosted me later was that although writing fiction, especially fantasy, turned out to be my lifelong calling, the realization also struck me that I wasn’t very good at it. So somewhere between age six and fifty-one I broadened my writing abilities. I’ve written about a dozen books but I wouldn’t put any of them ‘out there’. I refer to them as my ‘growth phase’, which is a euphemism for working at sucking less. Mannethorn’s Key was a culmination of over a decade’s worth of work. I’m proud of it. It’s my first work that I feel has earned a place in the literary ether.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Simon)I am not so much cursed by the block as I am the Mull. I am a muller. I write a paragraph, analyze it, read it back, demand that it speaks to me, write a fake following paragraph just to coax it, and then delete it and rewrite it. I never have a block. In fact, at times, I’ll write 10,000 words in a single shot. My issue is that I will then spend four weeks mulling over it.
Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Simon)I love writing epic fantasy. For me, no other genre provides more firepower for my imagination or lets me fully immerse myself while writing. It delivers the palette to create a unique world that doesn’t limit the scope. As George R. R. Martin proved, it can be terribly dark, vulgar, violent and sexual while still world building. Besides, there’s a lot of mutants, vampires, zombies and dystopian futures out there, according the number of scribes chronicling such tales. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the best books produced this decade are in those sub-genres. I have read some brilliant works, and many are far beyond my writing and imaginative abilities. However, I believe there is still a place and a desire from many readers for the epic.
I am also a huge fan of science fiction but I’m not that smart. To write really good sci-fi these days requires, in my humble view, a commanding grasp of physics and science. In fact, many of the best writers in the genre are brilliant physicists. When I’m not writing I’m hiking in the alpine, crooning in the basement while playing my guitars (badly), outside chopping wood, or building very questionable additions onto our house in the Rockies.
I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Simon)They do now! It’s funny. I’m the reverse of that, I guess. I’ve played the corporate game. I was a newspaper publisher and, for a while groomed for upper management with all the ‘perks’. I walked away. It was killing me both spiritually and physically. I’m a fortunate man because I had the choice to do so but it’s been a struggle nevertheless. I am both a musician and writer. That’s what I put ‘out there’. Yeah, I picked some real winner careers for making the big bucks but it is what I love. Friends and family have been incredibly supportive and believe in what I’m doing. (Kam) I’m thrilled you have a solid support team behind you.
Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Simon)Yeah, I’m with you on that one. There are so many amazing writers. However, I have my all-time favorites, no doubt. Stephen R. Donaldson was a genius with the Thomas Covenant series, really launching the dark, introspective side of fantasy. David Eddings has been a huge influence. Tolkien, well – we can just leave it there. Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb, Raymond Feist, Isaac Asimov, Piers Anthony, and I quite liked the Runelord series by David Farland. The first books of Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind were stellar but then I just got bogged down – or they did. Still, they impacted my own writing, no doubt, even if it was just to remind me to treat the reader with respect and keep the story moving.
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(Simon)Wow. That’s a tough one. I would have to say the Belgariad series by David Eddings would make my dream list. However, it is so painful to watch great books get butchered by the movie industry. The first three LOTR’s were done reasonably well. I won’t talk about the Hobbit. Let’s not speak of Eragon. If it was done right, with a great screenwriter, it would top those that have preceded it. The most unsung face for a wizard has to be Tommy Lee Jones. He would make a perfect Belgarath! Maybe Mr. Ratcliffe could launch a new career as Garion?? (Kam) Eragon, I actually loved the movie. Never read the book but the movie wasn’t half-bad.
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Simon)Ha! No, let’s be open and avoid any covert ops. I have two buns in the oven. The first, of course, is the sequel to Mannethorn’s Key, called Outworlder. I have the full plot of the trilogy laid out and have penned about a third of Book Two already. It’s slated for a winter, 2018 release. My other project is one that I am quite excited about, an urban fantasy entitled Gaia’s Assassin. It’s dark, a bit dystopian, but I feel it’s quite unique from the work we’re seeing in the genre. (Kam) Can’t wait to check them out!
Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Simon)Mannethorn’s Key is my debut work. You can find it on Smashwords, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and in many fine bookstores. The book is out in both ebook and paperback editions.
Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Simon)Remember the internet when the vision was about freedom and access? I know – I’m dating myself – but we are at that point again with literature. At our doorstep is the opportunity for a diverse voice unlike any time in our history. For the first time, you, the reader can access independent bloggers, reviewers and authors in a way that was unfathomable a decade ago. Keep it that way. Support new authors. Write a review, and buy your books from alternatives that support a free and open marketplace of ideas, not a monopoly that ends them. Sure, we don’t all have the marketing and editing resources of the big boys, but that’s why we have sites like this to help you discover the gems. Thank you for supporting indies like me, along with independent blog and review sites. There. That’s my plug. Thank you for reading! (Kam) And thank you for giving me and our lovely visitors the chance to get to know you a wee bit better. Also, I appreciate the opportunity to host you and this amazing, generous giveaway. FYI: Any reader would be lucky to have Mannethorn’s Key so, if you want to add this epic fantasy novel to your library, stick around for more details!
Ladies and Gents, I hope you enjoyed my interview with Simon Lindley. Now lets discuss the giveaway!
Prize up for grabs — A KINDLE COPY of the Mannethorn’s Key: Book One of the Key of Life Trilogy.
To enter the contest – Leave us a comment below. Say howdy, leave a smile/heart, or ask a question.
One entry per person. International residents are welcomed to enter, too!
The contest will end Friday at 11:59 p.m., central time. On Saturday, I will select a winner, post their name on a comment, and be in contact with him or her SO……. have your settings open to receive messages or follow the comment thread and be ready to give me or Simon your kindle email address.
Thank you and Good luck.
~~ PRIZE! ~~
TWO WORLDS. TWO SPIRITS. ONE POWER.
At the end of an age, a Bearer wielded the Key of Life and ended Dragon’s Rule. Such powers and heroes, long dead or lost, must again be raised and found…
Algarth Willowbrow is about to gamble everything. His once-powerful Order is in ruins, and he faces an unwinnable battle to save his life and his people. In a last, desperate attempt, he lures his arch nemesis deep within his keep, hoping to utilize him and reclaim a long-hidden magic, powerful enough to save the world – or destroy it.
Bartholomew Waxman, former derivatives broker extraordinaire has gambled everything – and lost. Bankrupt, unemployed and divorced, his only hope for salvation is to try and rebuild his self-inflicted shattered life. But at his first job interview, he is grabbed by a spell and thrust into the netherworld of Between. There, he is groomed to wield a power so vast that it will decide a world’s fate.
The land’s only hope is the reluctant and unprepared Bartholomew, the wizard Algarth whose powers are gravely in doubt – and the Key of Life, with its true power hidden from all.
Delve into the beginnings of a vast fantasy epic that embraces a man, a wizard and a world seeking redemption.
The wind picked up with a sudden, icy bite. He smiled and ended his melody. The gust had not originated from the waning heat of the departed sun or the hills beyond. It was born from a Seether landing on the road ahead.
Behind three of the wolf boars who had taken position directly in front of the cart’s path, dust and gravel churned up from the flaps of massive, leathery wings. The stranger saw nothing but the black silhouette of a two-legged beast towering twice the traveler’s height. It blotted out the early stars; the only discerning features were its yellow phantom eyes, now assessing its prey.
The Seether spoke, snakelike, assuring its hunters, “Itsss a wizzard! It bearsss the mark. But itsss magic iss ussselesss. Rip it to piecesss!”
The wolf boars were ecstatic. A meal was coming sooner than expected, but only the three who stood ahead of him on Ferryman’s Way advanced.
The wizard stood silent with eyes focused on the road ahead, as if his enemies were invisible.
Slowly, cautiously, the entire pack tightened its noose. The three forward gained courage as they sensed no meaningful defense from their prey, saliva dripping from their muzzles.
The stranger remained motionless, the only tension was in his fingers, taut about his staff, knuckles white.
“Ghaawww!” The wolf boars attacked, lunging for the quick kill, one for the stranger’s neck, the other for the legs, with the last to rip open his abdomen and feast on his guts.
The wizard’s arms rose just as the wolf boars leapt – and the air cracked.
A soundless percussion reverberated out from the crowd of odd company on Ferryman’s Way. The attackers momentarily hovered in the air, frozen in the eerie wave of dark power. The remaining wolf boars looked on in confusion and fear, but they too were frozen in the vile energy. The ground underfoot and surrounding fields along the roadway trembled, and the boulders in the fields glowed with a fiery tinge as if ignited to life.
A second passed, and the night awoke anew, the spell over. Three wolf boars lay dead only inches from the traveler’s bare feet; their bodies twitching and bellies split open, blood spilling from their wounds in great black pools, reflecting the resplendent stars above.
“By the Grail! He wieldsss the Han! He isss one of usss!”
The traveler under the cowl grasped the staff and the harness of his wagon but remained ominously silent.
“My lord, forgive uzzz. Why hide your Order?”
The stranger spoke. “I answer to no subordinate. Am I your Lord, Seether?”
“You wield the Han, my Lord. Yesss,” it replied.
“Good. Then answer me this. Are you the Seether of the conquered Plains, keeper of the Map of Ismantrutna?”
“Yesss, Lord. Do you ssseek the power over the Zzzhin puppetsss? It showzz uzzz all the ancient HanZzzhinSsshasss. I keep it ssssafe.” From a pouch strapped to the creature’s barreled chest it produced a scroll in its clawed grasp.
“How is it that you approach an unknown enemy carrying such a valuable relic and take no precautions to ensure your master’s property remains safe?”
“I. I –”
“Just as I suspected. Mindless beast. Must we Mil-HanFanthas and the Hanlord do everything ourselves? Give it to me.”
“I will take you to it, Massster. I am the keeper of the map.”
“Have you permisssion from Hanlord Grailborn to take the Map from me, my Lord?”
The stranger paused. “Here is my permission.”
He raised his arms, staff held high overhead, and to the dismay of the remaining pack, the wizard let loose the dark Han magic upon the night once more. With a look of satisfaction, the wizard forever released the wide-eyed Seether and his wolf boars of their duties.
You might recall, back on January 7th, Jeffrey was here giving away a signed print copy ofThe Buried Symbol. He was so overwhelmed by your support, he asked for a return engagement so he could present The Emblem Throneand once again offer ONE LUCKY WINNER a FREE COPY of The Buried Symbol. This time for your kindle !
He just knows (like me) that once you embark on this journey with Brock, you’ll be eager to ride shotgun on his next adventure, The Emblem Throne. Which will include friends he made from the Ministry and, of course, Tip. Plus, we shall meet many new faces.
First though, lets take a peek at The Emblem Thronebefore you leave us a comment and/or question. Reminder, your feedback makes you eligible to WIN The Buried Symbol so, don’t be shy, drop us a line!
(Contest runs from now until January 28th, midnight – central time. Winner is selected January 29th and his or her name will be posted on a comment below! BTW: No matter where you call home, you may enter. So enter, my fellow bookworms!!)
As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.
Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Many characters we met in book one,The Buried Symbol, are back and ready to assist Brock in his mission to save the world. Along the way, we meet several of their family members and begin to understand why they joined the Ministry. Cameron has two jealous older brothers. Ashland has an evil uncle but the sweetest and most loving parents. Benny, his father is a sweetheart and now sporting a wheelchair thanks to Benny’s ingenuity. As for Parker, his father made the biggest impression of all but I won’t disclose more. (No spoilers)
Along with meeting the kinfolk, the group encounters mystical beings. Wraith: A bacabra, big dog but 3-4 times larger than your normal thought of canine, whom became a great ally. Also, they battled a horde of banshees.
Ten feet tall, red eyes, and sharp talons — These creatures are the things of nightmares. And unfortunately, the battle with them brought upon more than one death. However, not everything was a loss. Love did bloom despite the bleak future ahead. And with the end of the book came…… a promising start to book three, An Empire in Runes: releasing in Spring of 2017. I’ll be on the look-out for it and I’m sure you’ll be too.
Book III, An Empire in Runes, is set to release in Spring of 2017, widening the story’s scope, further expanding the cast of characters, and uncovering the depths of the conspiracy that lies within the Ministry. Find out how this epic adventure ends, for the world will be a much different place at the conclusion of the trilogy.
We are a week into the the new year and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a FREE PRINT BOOK OFFER courtesy of Jeffrey L. Kohanek. If you haven’t heard of him or his science fiction creations, then let me proudly introduce to you The Buried Symbol, book one in The Runes of Issalia series.
After you read the book summary and my thoughts on it, please leave us a comment or question because your feedback makes you eligible toWIN THIS SIGNED BOOK.
(Contest is open to anyone residing in the United States. It also runs from now until January 8th, midnight – central time. Winner is selected January 9th and his or her name will be posted on a comment below!)
~~ CHECK OUT THE PRIZE ~~
Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…
Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to a life below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.
As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.
Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, growing into a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
No matter your race/religion/gender/nationality, at one point in time you’ll do something to improve the quality of your life. Maybe it’ll involve going to college, switching jobs, or your address. No matter the how, it’ll occur and you have a 50/50 chance your decision was for the better. Brock took steps to improve his station and he brought his friend Tip along for the ride.
Tip didn’t have a rune placed on his head, he wasn’t off to the Ministry academy, but he was content remaining an Unchosen because he had a roof over his head, food in belly, a bed, and a wonderful woman whom he loved dearly.
Brock, on the other hand, felt he was meant for more and his assumptions proved true. He turned out to be a great and powerful student. He was able to harness the power of the Order and Chaos. Not an easy feat. Like his best bud, Tip, he found love — Ashland, a great healer.
~~Other notable characters~~
Cameron (Cam): tough on the outside but gentle on the inside.
Benny: the inventor who brought life to all his scenes.
Corbin: He reminded me of Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter series. Both characters you’ll love hating. 😈
~~ Favorite scenes~~
1.) The boys trying out the Hedgewick Roller (bike). As a mother who’s just watched her daughter learn to ride a 2-wheeler this summer, I had to laugh at their attempt to ride the crazy contraption. Pure hilarity!
2.) Couple years back, my son was assigned the talk of creating a working catapult. It was a happy moment when he finally got the marshmallow to soar across the garage. If I recall, he got an A on the assignment! Thanks for triggering the memory, Jeffrey!
Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.
Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.
Candy is dandy but you know what’s a really great Halloween treat?
Comics, baseballs and caps, cups, pins, and many more miscellaneous comic swag.
There’s so many goodies up for grabs, I am giving away two prize packages.
Before I go over the Halloween Comic Contest rules though, lets take a look at the prizes.
~~ Prize Box A ~~
Bizarro by Corson, Duarte, and Pantazis
Batman Absolution by DeMatteis and Ashmore
The Shadow Seven Deadly Finns, by Helfer and Baker
The Shadow Harold Goes To Washington, by Helfer, Rogers, and Baker
The New 52 Futures End Justice League Dark
Harley Quinn Power Girl by Conner, Palmiotti, Gray, Roux, Fernandez, Flaviano, Moritat, and Mounts
Batman Europa 3 by Casali, Azzarello, Camuncoli, and Latorre
Batman Europa 4 by Casali, Azzarello, Camuncoli, and Parel
The Batman Adventures Mad Love The Deluxe Edition by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm
Harley Quinn Earring / Wonder Woman Knee High Socks / Green Lantern Suspenders
Batman Cup / Batman Ice Cube Tray / Joker Bottle Opener
Harley Quinn Pin #1 / Harley Quinn Pin #2 /Killer Croc Pin to name a few!
Batman Can Hugger / Superman Can Hugger / Wonder Woman Can Hugger
Joker Air Freshener / Harley Quinn Air Freshener /2 Wonder Woman Air Fresheners
Suicide Squad Temp Tattoos / Harley Quinn Magnet
Harley Quinn Decal / Justice League Green Lantern Decal
Suicide Squad Lanyard / DeathStroke Lanyard
Green Lantern Baseball
~~ Prize Box B ~~
Squadron Sinister #1
Cable and Xforce
Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-man, Is this the end of Cloak and Dagger .. ?!
Future Imperfect #3
BattleWorld Secret Wars Journal #1
The Pulse #10
Secret Wars #1
SuperPro Special Edition, From Football Hero to Superhero!
Thunderbolts Caged Angels Part 3
Hellstorm Of Lies, Heaven won’t have him … Hell Fears to let him in …
Ultimate Fantastic Four Issue 48
Vampire Tales, Volume 1
1602 Part Eight
Groot Baseball Cap / Spiderman Baseball Cap / Thor Men Crew Socks
Thor Sticker / Thor KeyChain / Thor Pin / Year One Marvel Pin to name a few!
Year One Marvel Collector Corps Patch / Marvel Collector Corps Spiderman Patch
Yellowjacket POP! Figurine / Doctor Strange POP! Figurine / Hot Wheels Spiderman Car
Avengers Cup with Lid and Straw
Spiderman, Captain America, Hulk, and Iron Man Stickers
Deadpool Mouse Pad / Spiderman Keyring / Hydra Keychain
Marvel Villain Wallet
Before you continue reading, I need to state this contest is only open to anyone in the Continental United States. Sorry to those whom this eliminates but, with the shipping costs coming out of my own pocket, I had to put restrictions on this event. Again, my apologies.
To enter the contest, all you have to do is answer one of the two questions below. Also, make sure you include the words “DC” or “MARVEL” in your answer so I know which prize box you are vying for.
Question 1: What’s your favorite sweet treat?
(Example of an entry: Twix, Marvel or Kit Kat, DC)
Question 2: Which comic character would you love to come trick or treating at your door?
(Example of an entry: Gambit, Marvel or The Flash, DC)
Reminder: You are only eligible to WIN ONE PRIZE so please pick ONE comic brand you’d like to WIN when you submit your answer below. Contest will run until midnight, October 31st (central time). On November 1st, (about 6am, central time), I will post the winner’s name on a comment so please come back to see if you won. Be prepared to supply a shipping address because without it, the gift will be forfeited and YOU don’t want that. Right?