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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Not exactly a king’s ransom

TODAY’S SPECIAL: The King’s Ransom, Book Two of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, 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. You’ll even be able to get The King’s Redress, which only just came out in July, for 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, 99¢. Just follow the link to The King’s Ransom on http://www.smashwords.com.

Get The King’s Ransom ebook for less than a dollar, 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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Free King Bewilliam

TODAY’S SPECIAL: The King’s Ransom, Book Two of The Bewildering Adventures of King BewilliamFREE. 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. You’ll even be able to get The King’s Redress, which only just came out in July, for 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 BewilliamFREE. Just follow the link to The King’s Ransom on http://www.smashwords.com.

Get The King’s Ransom ebook for FREE, 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. The King is FREE!

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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Five stars for ninety-nine pennies

TODAY’S SPECIAL: The Kindle edition of The King’s Redress, Book Three of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, just 99¢. 

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

The King's Redress by Devorah FoxGet this 5-star  acclaimed novel, ranked in Kindle’s Top 25 Fantasy category, for less than a dollar.

Come join the subjects of King Bewilliam’s realm at a 3-day tournament of knights demonstrating their fighting prowess, capped by a suspenseful elimination joust with a shocking conclusion. Get a taste of the action in my video from the 2014 Minnesota Renaissance Fair, one of the largest festivals of its kind. OK, admittedly it’s a little different from King Bewilliam’s contests but you get the idea. ;-)

Historical Fantasy Book SaleJoin 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 Redress by Devorah FoxTODAY’S SPECIAL: The King’s Redress, Book Three of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, 99¢.

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¢.

 

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Grab the King

TODAY’S SPECIAL: The Kindle edition of The King’s Redress, Book Three of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, just 99¢. 

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

The King's Redress by Devorah FoxGet this 5-star  acclaimed novel, ranked in Kindle’s Top 25 Fantasy category, for less than a dollar.

Historical Fantasy Book SaleJoin 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 Redress by Devorah FoxTODAY’S SPECIAL: The King’s Redress, Book Three of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, 99¢.

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¢.

Remember these wise words:

To attract good fortune, spend a new penny on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.

(Yes, dragons….)

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An embarrassment of riches

Today, The King’s Redress, Book 3 in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, is FREE on the world’s largest Internet company, amazon.com

Markus Book Reviews called it “truly a delightful read.”

The KingAre you tempted? Then grab it for free while you can.

Already a fan of King Bewilliam and don’t know why everyone isn’t reading about his bewildering adventures? Then pass the word. I’m giving away The King‘s Redress Kindle edition. King Bewilliam is FREE on amazon.com, amazon.uk, amazon.ca, etc. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Historical Fantasy Book SaleIt’s all part of our our fabulous FANTASY BOOK SALE which includes bargain pricing on The Gray Tower trilogy by Alesha Escobar, a chance to win a Kindle Fire and yet another raffle for free books and other prizes. Go ahead, enter. The chances are good that you’ll win something special.

And stop in at our party on Facebook. You never know what prizes and surprises we’ll come up with. Half the time we don’t know either until we do it. So don’t miss a minute.

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The big one

You, dear readers, probably don’t know how much we authors are pressured to give away our books.

It’s supposed to get our name out there, we’re told. A giveaway will get the readers “in the door,” so to speak. Once they’ve read the book that they got for free, they will enthralled with our work, happily grab up anything else we’ve written and wait with baited breath for our next release.

OK, let’s see if that works.  Today, The King’s Redress, Book 3 in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, is FREE on the world’s largest Internet company, amazon.com

My research tells me to expect tens of thousands of downloads which will skyrocket the rankings into the stratosphere. Great rankings then are supposed to entice other readers to check out what is clearly a popular book.

Are you tempted? Then grab it for free while you can.

Already a fan of King Bewilliam and don’t know why everyone isn’t reading about bewildering adventures? Then pass the word. King Bewilliam is FREE on amazon. I’m giving away The King‘s Redress Kindle edition. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Historical Fantasy Book SaleIt’s all part of our our fabulous FANTASY BOOK SALE which includes bargain pricing on The Gray Tower trilogy by Alesha Escobar, a chance to win a Kindle Fire and yet another raffle for free books and other prizes.

Plus we’re partying on Facebook. You never know what prizes and surprises we’ll come up with. Half the time we don’t know either until we do it. So don’t miss a minute.

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