The Swamps of Jersey

Tomorrow, Nov. 1, is an awesomely big day. It’s the beginning of National Novel Writing month and I’ll be time-traveling to the Middle Ages to start The Redoubt, Book 4 of my high fantasy series The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam.

The Swamps of Jersey by Michael Stephen DaigleI am totally jazzed but I’m excited also because it’s the launch of The Swamps of Jersey by Michael Stephen Daigle.

I had a chance to read Swamps in advance and I am so glad that now you’ll have a chance to enjoy it also. Folks, when this book becomes a best seller you can say you heard about it here first. But why don’t I let the author himself tell you more? Without further delay, I introduce Michael Stephen Daigle.

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Michael Stephen DaigleGuest Post By Michael Stephen Daigle

My friend Devorah Fox offered me the chance to talk about my novel, The Swamps of Jersey.

I hope you have also read Dee’s fabulous trilogy about the adventures of King Bewilliam, and her fun mystery, “Naked Came the Sharks.”

So, about The Swamps of Jersey:

It was a dark and stormy night.

No, really, it was — and an early morning telephone call yanks Ironton, N.J. police Detective Frank Nagler from the bit of sleep he found in an office chair.

The call sent him into a tropical storm and out to the Old Iron Bog where a body of a headless, handless woman has been found. It is the event which kicks off a long series of actions that tell the tale of Ironton, N.J. and Nagler.

Wrapped in the shell of a police procedural The Swamps of Jersey is a tale of human nature: love, trust, deceit, crime, politics, social change and redemption, and captures the spirit of recent events that have affected the United States over the past few years, all boiled down to the desperate streets of Ironton,  a distressed industrial city where the deserted factories and empty stores reflect the decades-long decline.

The story opens at the end of a weeklong tropical storm that wrecked the city, leaving a scene of flooded streets, collapsed homes, trees and power lines, and shelters filled with displaced residents.

The mayor, Gabriel Richman, scion of one of the city’s leading political families, cannot seem to find the combination of actions that brings economic life back to his city.

Meanwhile, an investigation into a series of letters that claim to show that city funds are being stolen intensifies as information found on computers being replaced in an upgrade, and others damaged in the floods point to a surprise suspect: Nagler’s old girlfriend who disappeared. An old factory suspiciously burns down,  and the murder case brings up concerns that Charlie Adams, the city’s famous serial killer, who Nagler helped jail twenty years before, and who is still in jail, may have fostered a copycat killer.

Nagler’s enduring memory is of his late wife, Martha.  They were childhood sweethearts but she died in her early twenties.  After her death, he withdraws emotionally, hiding, he admits, in his police work.

The story is as much about Nagler’s internal debate, and the debilitating impact of economic failure coupled with political corruption as it is about the crime solving.

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Mike says that  “Swamps” is the first story in a planned series of three Frank Nagler stories which I am glad to hear because I want more Nagle adventures. The Swamps of Jersey will be released  Nov. 1 by Imzadi Publishing, and is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with other formats to follow. For information  on availability, visit www.imzadipublishing.com  or www.michaelstephendaigle.com/

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Trick or treat

Just in time for Halloween, here’s a little short story that I wrote about an emergency run to the hardware store. Or is it?

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Fun with words

Believe it or not, writing is hard work.

Tipsy LitBut there’s no reason it can’t be fun too. If anyone’s having fun, it’s the Tipsy Lit Tribe of writers, editors and reviewers, and I’ve just been inducted. And I didn’t have to walk on hot coals or even get a tattoo.

I’ll be helping to spread the word about new and wonderful stuff to read that Tipsy Lit will publish on Wattpad.

Got some writing that longs to see the light of day but you’re just not quite sure how to go about it? Get in touch with the folks at Tipsy Lit and take advantage of the creativity, guidance and expertise of this spirited (pun intended) group of wordophiles (that’s a neologism for people who love words).

I’m looking forward to reading your stuff and helping to tell the world about it.

 

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Time travel

Masters of Time TravelI’ve submitted a short story for the Masters of Time, A SciFi & Fantasy Time Travel Anthology, due out July 2015.

Here’s another take on time travel: stories that won’t be released until 2114. If you could contribute to this project, what would you write?

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Kick back with a Good ebook

Weekend!

Got some free time on your hands? Kick back with a Good eBook.

This site makes it easy for you to find books that might otherwise escape your notice because they’re unique, “Hard-To-Find” eBooks written by “up-and-coming” authors.

These authors range from “quite well known” to “upcoming emerging authors.” Discover new and “fresh” eBooks.

GoodeBooksClearly the site managers have great taste in books because as you can see, all three books in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam high fantasy series are featured, as is the contemporary thriller Naked Came the Sharks. (Do you think Naked Came the Sharks inspired the palm trees in their logo?)

Grab one or grab them all and have a great weekend dodging dragons in the Chalklands or two-legged sharks in the Texas Coastal Bend.

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Does anyone really know what time it is?

I am thrilled to receive an invitation to submit a short story to an upcoming anthology.

The working title for the anthology is Masters of Time: A Scifi & Fantasy Time Travel Anthology

If you could manipulate time, where would you go? When would you go? What do you think you’d discover 100 years from now, or 1,000? Holding the keys to time has been a fascinating subject we like to see played out. Think of your favorite books, TV shows, and films that took you to alternate earths or timelines–that showed you what could be.

This upcoming anthology, Masters of Time, will be a collection of unique scifi and fantasy stories that will introduce you loveable characters (and some not-so-loveable ones), suspenseful plots, and a wicked dose of time travel.

I know, you didn’t think I could write anything shorter than a novel. (Even my grocery lists are epic.) Surprise! Wait until you see what I’ve cooked up.

Creative AlchemyCreative Alchemy, Inc. will be publishing Masters of Time next year.

About Creative Alchemy

Creative Alchemy is a micro-press and author services company that specializes in science fiction and fantasy. They’re dedicated to stunning artwork, addictive stories, and helping authors reach wider audiences through social media. Creative Alchemy was founded by Luis Escobar (a storyboard artist for The Simpsons TV show) and Alesha Escobar (chocoholic and caffeine addict by day, indie author by night).

website: http://www.thecreativealchemy.co

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/creativealchemists

twitter: http://twitter.com/TeamAlchemy3

Stay tuned. I’ll be updating you as we get closer to launch date!

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Land of 10,000 lakes

Part of what pried me away from my desk Labor Day weekend to attend a wedding anniversary party was that this one was golden. Former Port Aransans Alice and Sam Marks were celebrating 50 years of marriage. An event like that doesn’t come around every day.

It didn’t hurt that they recently moved to Duluth, Minnesota and my attendance at their party took me to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. “Minnesota” comes from the Dakota language and means “clear blue water.” Clear blue is right; not a sargassum mat in sight. Virtually every road in the state wends its way around some body of water. My route from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport to Roseville where the party was held took me across the Mississippi River

Alice and Sam Marks's 50th anniversay partyYou would expect “gold” would be the motif for a Golden Anniversary party but Alice and Sam are unexpected people. The theme wasn’t gold but white, as in White Castle, as in hamburgers. Quite a few people are fans of this iconic fast food sandwich known as a “slider.” A family run company, White Castle has been in business since 1921. It was the first hamburger chain to sell a million burgers and the first to sell a billion. The Marks’s party was decorated with blue and white balloons, napkins and plates, and the menu featured the small square sandwiches. Yes, Alice and Sam are partial to the food but their connection to White Castle goes deeper. Alice is in the White Castle Cravers Hall of Fame. A writer, Alice submitted a winning essay to their 2013 contest. She and Sam were flown to corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio for the induction and were feted all weekend. Follow the link to the Island Moon story that I wrote about it and you can also read Alice’s essay.

2014 MN Renaissance FairAs if that wasn’t enough of a treat, Alice and Sam escorted me to the Minneapolis Renaissance Fair. The 2014 season is this festival’s 44th year. Originally rather informal, with tents and booths on 22 acres in Jonathan, MN, the festival now occupies a permanent site in Shakopee. It has grown to be one of the largest festivals of its type with an annual attendance of 300,000 people. Quite a few of those guests come in costume. Some wear authentic 16th century outfits, others come dressed as pirates, fairies, or gypsies. It’s hard to distinguish the visitors from the street performers.

The 16th century is quite a bit later than the medieval setting of my literary fantasy series featuring King Bewilliam but what’s a few hundred years between friends? Strict adherence to historical accuracy was clearly not a big issue, as the pizza, ice cream, and taco salad in the food court attested. I found the prime rib sandwich that I had to be quite tasty and my hosts enjoyed their bread bowl soup.

Hundreds of vendors are on hand offering everything from costumes and candles to chain mail, swords and leatherwork. Many of the artisans offered demonstrations, including glass blowing, painting, pottery, spinning and book binding. One could spend an entire day taking in the craft demonstrations but there was even more entertainment, and it was nonstop. It began outside the main gate where a fellow in a kilt animatedly pointed the way to the box office or offered to spare you the trek by selling tickets for 50 bucks. We took in part of a humor stage act put on by Puke and Snot, marking three decades of MRF performances, and the juggling/knife throwing Danger Committee. The entertainment included story telling, musical groups, and street acts. Everyone who works the fair gets into the act, from the animal wranglers at the petting zoo to the pickle vendors, and they are “on” 24/7. (As a teenager, present-day singing star Jason Mraz got a taste for show-business by playing the role of a pickle boy for several seasons.)

2014 MN Renaissance Fair joustingOf course there’s jousting. Having done some research into jousting for my latest novel, The King’s Redress, I was surprised to see women jousting. Jousting began in 1066 as a way for knights to practice their horsemanship and show off their skills with the lance. It later became a way to settle judicial disputes. Female knights weren’t unheard of in the middle ages but they were rare and they didn’t normally joust. In later years, jousting became a test of physical strength for both the horse as well as the knight. It is now a popular event at Renaissance Fairs across the country and the jousts that I saw at the MRF were impressive to watch with one participant providing running commentary the entire time that he jousted. Check out videos on my YouTube page .

If this puts you in a medieval mood and you’d like to stay there, I invite you to explore the bewildering fantasy world of my King Bewilliam novels.

Follow the link to find more information about The White Castle Hall of Fame visit and  information about the Minnesota Renaissance Fair. I’ll see you there.

 

 

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What’s it worth to you?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Name your price for The Lost King and The King’s Ransom. Just follow the link to this high fantasy series on http://www.smashwords.com.

Name your price. You decide what you’d like to spend for hours of reading enjoyment.

Robin, the dragon-slaying King Bewilliam, struggles through his bewildering adventures, overcoming one challenge after another.

Back to School Fantasy Book EventIt’s all part of the month-long FANTASY BOOK EVENT hosted by me and author Alesha Escobar. Throughout the event there will be days when you can get The Lost King or The King’s Ransom at a discount or even FREE. From now until Sept. 15 I’ll reveal a different deal every day so watch this space. There will be other giveaways, prizes and surprises so don’t miss a day.

The Lost King and The King's RansomTODAY’S SPECIAL: Name your price for The Lost King and The King’s Ransom. Just follow the link to this high fantasy series on http://www.smashwords.com.

Get these e-books  in whatever format suits your e-reader whether it’s a Kindle, Nook, SONY, Kobo, or Apple. You can even download the book in PDF or RTF format for reading on a computer. Got questions about delivering your downloaded books to your device? You’ll find How To’s in the smashwords FAQ. Or, leave me a comment and I’ll help.

King Bewilliam battles dragons, sea monsters and covetous kings as well as the more familiar demons of divorce, career displacement and betrayal in a medieval fantasy world that feels comfortably real. Name your price. You decide the value of these suspenseful stories.

Spread the word. It’s a great opportunity to round out your King Bewilliam collection!

And don’t miss out on a chance to get acquainted with Alesha’s gripping The Gray Tower trilogy. She’ll have specials all month. Today, The Tower’s Alchemist is FREE and Dark Rift & Circadian Circle are both 99 cents.

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This king can be bought, cheaply

TODAY’S SPECIAL: The King’s Ransom, Book Two of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, $1.99. Just follow the link to The King’s Ransom on http://www.smashwords.com.

Robin, the dragon-slaying King Bewilliam, struggles through his bewildering adventures, overcoming one challenge after another.

But this month the lost king is free. Yes, FREE.

Back to School Fantasy Book EventJoin me and author Alesha Escobar all month for our FANTASY BOOK EVENT. Throughout the event there will be days when you can get The Lost King or The King’s Ransom at a discount or even FREE. From now until Sept. 15 I’ll reveal a different deal every day so watch this space. There will be other giveaways, prizes and surprises so don’t miss a day.

 

The King's RansomTODAY’S SPECIAL: The King’s Ransom, Book Two of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, $1.99. Just follow the link to The King’s Ransom on http://www.smashwords.com.

Get The King’s Ransom e-book in whatever format suits your e-reader whether it’s a Kindle, Nook, SONY, Kobo, or Apple. You can even download the book in PDF or RTF format for reading on a computer. Got questions about delivering your downloaded books to your device? You’ll find How To’s in the smashwords FAQ. Or, leave me a comment and I’ll help.

Finalist for IndieAuthorland’s top Self-Published Fantasy Books Worth Reading (2013/14), this tale finds King Bewilliam, hero of The Lost King, at sea both literally and figuratively battling dragons and sea monsters as well as contemporary monsters like parenting, divorce and authority.

Spread the word. It’s a great opportunity to round out your King Bewilliam collection!

And don’t miss out on a chance to get acquainted with Alesha’s gripping The Gray Tower trilogy. She’ll have specials all month. Today, The Tower’s Alchemist is FREE and Dark Rift & Circadian Circle are both 99 cents.

Admit it. It’s FANTASTIC.

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The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky

The Daughter of the Sea and the SkyAuthor David Litwack is touring in support of his speculative fiction novel, Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, published May, 2014.

After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light-two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean. Children of the Republic, Helena and Jason were inseparable in their youth, until fate sent them down different paths. Grief and duty sidetracked Helena’s plans, and Jason came to detest the hollowness of his ambitions.

These two damaged souls are reunited when a tiny boat from the Blessed Lands crashes onto the rocks near Helena’s home after an impossible journey across the forbidden ocean. On board is a single passenger, a nine-year-old girl named Kailani, who calls herself The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. A new and perilous purpose binds Jason and Helena together again, as they vow to protect the lost innocent from the wrath of the authorities, no matter the risk to their future and freedom.

But is the mysterious child simply a troubled little girl longing to return home? Or is she a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of a godless Republic, as the outlaw leader of an illegal religious sect would have them believe? Whatever the answer, it will change them all forever… and perhaps their world as well.

I read it and found it to be, in a word, sweet. David Litwack paints a picture of two civilizations guided by polar opposite philosophies living side-by-side in a tenuous negotiated peace after years of war. That peace is threatened when a young girl from the land of spirit appears unexpectedly in the land of reason. Her motives for leaving her homeland are a mystery until the very end.

Kailani doesn’t ask for asylum but she also won’t explain why she ran away from home, crossing an ocean alone in a tiny boat to do so. Meanwhile her disappearance from the Blessed Land presents a dilemma for its officials and her mere presence unnerves her hosts in the land of the Soulless. While little Kailani pursues her own agenda she becomes a cause celebre for both sides as they each need to arrive at an outcome that will support their position.

It’s an international incident but it’s depicted through the changes in the lives of those close to Kailani: the couple who rescued her, the people who become her advocates, the government officials of both lands who have a personal stake in the resolution. It’s a macro crisis couched in micro experiences. Despite all the upheaval, the tale is gently told, with little violence or bloodshed.

Neither literature nor life need major conflict to be interesting, but it helps, especially in fiction. I was surprised to discover that I would have liked a little more drama, especially since I so enjoyed David Litwack’s Along the Watchtower which I found to be more gripping and intense. This was a much cozier story.

Want a copy for yourself? Just click on any of the following links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | iBooks | Kobo

David LitwackAbout Author David Litwack

The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned. His novels include: There Comes a Prophet, Along the Watchtower, and the newly released The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky.

David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

Find David online at:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Newsletter

 

Masquerade Book Tours

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