For those of you who haven’t gotten your hot little hands on a copy of my latest release, The Wizard’s Gambit, now’s your chance to get it at a discount! From February 22nd to February 25th you can get a kindle copy for 0.99! Then until February 26th the book will be available for $1.99! After that, it goes back up to $2.99, which is still less than the price of a small coffee at Starbucks!
Can’t wait until then?
Follow the link here to the Amazon sales page. Available in both paperback and electronic formats! (BTW, sale applies to both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk)
Already have a copy?
If you already have your copy, not only do you rock, but you can also help me out by spreading the word. I’m still a new author and can use all of the help I can get. I’ll be posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week as well as on Saturday next week on my Twitter, WordPress, and Facebook accounts if you want to share promotional material I’ve already created. I would be eternally grateful.
What is the book about:
Wizard White Beard had a plan, but destiny had something else in mind . . .
After 1,001 years of hostilities among the six—er—seven kingdoms, Wizard White Beard proposes a non-violent alternative to war—a scavenger hunt—to determine the fate of all! The rules are clear: no weapons and no bloodshed. Just clean, honest competition. Simple enough, if only the contestants would follow them. With the fate of the world at stake, it’s up to Mongrel, an orphan with an unconventional upbringing, to intercede. Joined by a hodgepodge group of misfits, including a gentle giant, a magically challenged elf, a feisty female dwarf, and a reluctant wizard’s apprentice, Mongrel just might stand a chance of winning—if he can survive!
A hilarious tale of magic, mayhem, and misadventure that turns the classic fantasy universe on its head. A must-read for anyone who enjoys comedic fantasy.
“Middle Earth meets Rudolph’s The Island of Misfit Toys.”
Hungry for more?
Here’s a snip-it from chapter one to wet your whistle:
In the middle of a magical land stood, in a liberal sense of the word, a kingdom . . . or the ruins of one anyway. It had a wall—on two sides at least—and a castle, for lack of a better word. At the most it had potential. Not that anyone noticed. There, in the dusty remains of the castle’s throne room, Wizard White Beard and his apprentice, Margo, waited in anxious anticipation for the arrival of some very important guests. Well, Wizard White Beard was at least. Margo, it seemed, was quite content to just sit there on the edge of the dais while her mentor paced the length of the room, each impatient step echoing off the walls. All the while he stroked his beard and mumbled to himself, periodically pausing in his tracks to glance at the doorway before resuming his pacing.
Margo followed him with her eyes, the most movement he’d seen out of her all morning. After a while, she said, “Pacing isn’t going to bring them here any faster. You might as well just have a seat . . . unless you’re worried.”
He stopped and faced his apprentice, staring at her under the brim of his conical hat.* She shriveled under his critical gaze. He said, “A wizard, Miss Margo, has nothing to fear. He knows exactly what he’s doing and what needs to be done. It’s everyone else who’s fighting against destiny. If anyone should be worried, it’s them.”
“By them do you mean the leaders of the six kingdoms?” Margo was, of course, referring to the seven or so guests summoned by Wizard White Beard on this particular day for an intervention of sorts. After 1,001 years of war and hostilities among the kingdoms, Wizard White Beard decided he’d had enough. Of course, he hadn’t been entirely up front about the reason for this meeting or who was going to be in attendance either. He figured those details were best glossed over if he wanted anyone to show up at all. He only hoped they wouldn’t be too upset when they realized they’d been bamboozled.
“Six kingdoms?” He stared at his apprentice as though she were a grade-schooler and not a fifth-year apprentice. “Don’t you mean seven kingdoms?”
“No,” she said. “There are only six kingdoms. One of elves, one of dwarves, and four kingdoms of men: north, south, east, and west.” She counted off her fingers. “That only adds up to six. I believe you added one for the ogres by mistake.”
“I made no mistake,” he said indignantly. “There can’t just be six kingdoms, not when there could be seven.* Everyone knows that. Shows what you know.”
“Anyway . . . don’t you think the leaders of the six kingdoms—”
“Fine, seven kingdoms. Whatever. Don’t you think they’re going to be upset when they realize you’ve lured them here under false pretenses?” Margo asked. Her violet eyes bore into him like a termite.*
He managed not to shudder; in fact, he offered her an encouraging smile.
“Trust me, Margo. I’m a Master Wizard.”
Margo returned his gesture, but the smile did not reach her eyes, and it slid away quickly. He did not blame Margo for her unease. This was the first time she’d accompanied him outside of the city walls—the university, even. A “field trip” he’d called it, though it was anything but. A little nervousness was to be expected, even justified. But more likely, it was just her typical melancholy and had nothing to do with nerves.
“I just don’t see how you expect them to go along with this.”
“I don’t,” he said. “That’s why we’re here.”
“To do what exactly?”
“To fulfill our roles as wizards.”
“Which is what specifically?”
He thought for a moment and said, “Well, according to The Complete Dullard’s Guide to Wizardry, which you have yet to read, the role of a wizard is to ensure that all predetermined or inevitable courses of events are fulfilled as prophesized.”
It was clear by her vacant expression a simpler explanation was in order. He cleared his throat and tried again.
“Consider these events: the crowning of a king, the dethroning of a dark lord, and the invention of the fish taco; what do they all have in common?”
“. . . Nothing.”
“Wrong! All of these events occurred, by will of destiny, with the help of a wizard. You see, wizards orchestrate all great happenings in this universe so things turn out exactly as they should. That is the role of a wizard. Does that make sense to you?”
“I think so,” said Margo, but her tone was uncertain. “I just don’t see how it’s possible to shape a deterministic universe governed by fate. I mean, if a course of events was meant to play out, wouldn’t they do so with or without the aid of a wizard?”
“Yes—er—no—er—oh, just look it up in The Complete Dullard’s Guide to Wizardry next time you’re in the library!”
“All right, all right. Don’t get your hat all bent out of shape.”
And now she was having a go at the hat. He doubted, as much as she mocked the hat, she even wanted one of her own.
“So why are we here, anyway?”
Finally, a new topic. “Ah, the age-old question that every person—”
“No, Wizard White Beard,” Margo cut him off. “I mean why are we here in this decrepit, old throne room?”
“Oh, right.” He cleared his throat. Even he had to admit the dusty old room didn’t inspire awe. But, according to record, it had once served as a meeting place for the great kings and queens of the seven kingdoms. Now only dust gathered here, apart from rats and spiders. A few birds built nests in the decorative beams above. Cracks climbed the walls like vines, and plaster crumbled to the floor. The rest of the castle was no better for wear and neither were the surrounding buildings for that matter. In fact, the whole city had fallen to ruin. A shame, Wizard White Beard thought, since so many hands had aided in its construction. Now it lay in ruins, much like the alliance among those who had built it.
He smirked. “I thought it fitting, considering this city used to be the great capitol and cultural hub of the six—er—seven kingdoms. That is, until everything turned sour. Also, this is the only place that has the sufficient space to host such a meeting and doesn’t require a reservation. Not to mention I saved a small fortune not having to rent out a conference room. Those can be rather pricey—”
“So, what broke up the alliance?” she asked him, pulling his derailed train of thought back on track. Her own attention wandered to the empty throne atop the raised dais. “Was there a fight for power or an argument over magical jewelry?”
“That’s just it! No one remembers. Yet after 1,001 years, they’re still fighting it out like cats and dogs, the fools.” He snorted. “This intervention was a long time coming.”
Margo was quiet before she scrounged up the courage to ask, “Are you sure this plan is going to work?”
“Of course I’m sure,” he said, heat rising to his cheeks. “How many times do I have to tell you before you’ll trust me?”
“Once or twice more might help.”
The nerve of that girl, baiting him when there were serious matters at hand. And if she had reservations about his plan, why had she waited so long to speak up? Sometimes he wished he’d never taken her on as his apprentice. Now was one of those times.
“Who’s the Master Wizard here, you or me?” He loomed over her like a foot over an ant, threatening to come down.
“Whatever.” She sighed, closing the hair in front of her face like a curtain, shutting her mentor out. “When your plan fails, don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.”
Although they were mumbled, the words were as clear as day—well, not day, really—water more like, though not the water back in the city. It was more of a murky brown color. But anyway, her words stung. If ever he questioned his apprentice’s faith in him, it was now. Though he couldn’t honestly think of a time when she’d ever trusted him. Now would be a convenient time for her to start.
* Upon the completion of wizard training, a wizard receives not only their hat and celestial robes but a moniker relating to the color of their beard—or fake beard for those incapable of growing their own (e.g. women and prepubescent teenage boys).
* All things—kingdoms, heavens, and hells—must come in sevens; it’s an unspoken rule in most fantasy realms.
* Violet-eyed people are invariably special, prone to possessing strange or mysterious talents. Those with black or red eyes, however, are always evil.
I hope you enjoyed the sample, if you have not already read the entire book. I hope you enjoy your visit to the six—er—seven kingdoms.