New Release: Angus MacBain And The Island Of Sleeping Kings by Angela Townsend

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Angus MacBain is unaware that his ancestral roots hail from an ancient sect of Scottish kings. When his dying grandfather gives him a dragon pendant, thirteen-year-old Angus learns of a legacy that will take him across an ocean to the island of Iona and thrust him into a heritage he did not know he had. He soon discovers that his mother, whom he had believed dead, is really a seal fairy, in hiding from a dangerous enemy. To save her, Angus must undergo a perilous journey of destiny and power to battle an evil Dacian knight and those who serve him. With only his family shield and the advice of a wizened vampire hunter to protect him, Angus must navigate dangerous terrain and dark enemies, in a land where the past and the present mingle, and sleeping kings wake.

Excerpt:

THE COMPANY OF KINGS
New York City, 2013

Gloomy shadows crept across the tired oak floor, stealing what little light peered in through a set of stained glass windows. A dying fire crackled in the corner, its golden embers fading as quickly as the old man who lay near it.
Angus MacBain stood at the foot of his grandfather’s four-poster bed, his hope slipping away with every rattling exhale from the old man’s lungs. Cocooned in a series of heavy plaid blankets bearing the family tartan, Duncan MacBain struggled to free a withered hand. He motioned for his grandson to come closer. Angus took a few stumbling steps, sank to his knees and grasped the thin hand in his.
Duncan raised his head from the pillow. His eyes seemed to glow in the dimness of the bedroom. Gnarled fingers pressed something hard and bulky into Angus’ palm, then closed his hand around it and squeezed. The object cut into the boy’s flesh, but he didn’t try to pull away.
“You’re thirteen now, almost a man. You’ve got to be brave. Remember, you’re a MacBain.” The old man inhaled another ragged breath. “The arrangements have already been made. There will be no funeral. I’m sending you to Scotland—to Iona. You must leave now.” His grandfather’s steely eyes pinned Angus to the floor. “Strange things will happen—things that—just be careful, lad.”

“No, I won’t go. Not without you.” He buried his head in his grandfather’s chest. Angus’ throat constricted like a drawstring jerked tight. Tears sprang to his eyes.
“Don’t cry for me, laddie. I’ll be in the company of kings.”
With that, Duncan MacBain heaved his final breath.
Angus squeezed his eyes shut. After a weary moment, he opened them to gaze at his grandfather’s motionless body. With the tension removed from the old Scotsman’s features, he looked relaxed, at peace. Even so, a bitter rush of sadness swept through Angus and the hole in his heart his grandfather had filled when his parents died, now returned. Angus’ chest tightened. Every breath seemed to take more effort than it was worth.
The palm of his hand throbbed. He unclenched his fist and examined an amulet attached to a heavy chain. It looked old, perhaps even ancient, with a silver long-tailed dragon clutching a purple thistle in its talons. Words scribed in a foreign language glistened on its wings.
His father had worn a dragon amulet. Angus frowned trying to remember what it looked like. Did it also have a thistle? Could it be the same one? He’d been so young when his father died, he couldn’t remember. He slipped it around his neck, the amulet warm against his chest.
“I’ll take care of it,” Angus whispered. “I promise.”
Angus made his way down the narrow hallway to Grandfather’s study. An antique clock ticked solemnly on the mantel. Without grandfather, the room seemed so different. Barren. Unfriendly. Cold. He fell into a cushy gray recliner that always reminded him of elephant skin and let it swallow him. Maybe if he just closed his eyes for a few moments, he’d wake up and it would have all been some kind of terrible dream. But no matter how he tried he couldn’t keep his eyes shut.
His gaze traveled over the towering bookcases lining the walls, filled with ancient volumes bound by his grandfather’s hands. Silent rows of books stared back at him, like leather corpses resting in their tombs. On a nearby workbench, marbled scraps of leather, paste, and a rounding hammer gathered around a dusty press.
Angus’ throat burned. He’d never be his grandfather’s apprentice again, never help him repair old books about castles, dragons and other tales.
Now he had no one, except Grandfather’s nurse, Vera. Even though she was very nice, he barely knew her.
Angus shuffled down the hallway to his lonely room and packed his things. He made sure he had his games and the favorite collection of vampire tales his grandfather had bound for him. He flopped onto his twin bed and glanced at his watch. Angus’ heart twisted. Very soon, Nurse Vera would take him to the airport and he’d fly to a strange place he’d only heard stories about.
Angus scanned his bedroom for the last time, memorizing every detail so he’d never forget. Bare spots on the wall stared back at him, places where his Dracula posters once hung. In a fit of misery, he’d torn them down and ripped them to shreds.
There was no such thing as vampires and other magical creatures. Life wasn’t about fairy tales, only heartache, despair and death.
Angus narrowed his eyes. If only death were a living thing—he’d destroy it. Make it suffer for ripping away all the people in his life that had loved him. Rage and frustration twisted inside of him.
Angus grabbed an antique sword hanging on his bedroom wall and stabbed it into the center of his mattress. Sparks flew from the bed. Celtic swirls carved into the handle of the sword started to spin. A banging sound hammered into his head like being trapped in a giant bell. He fell to his knees covering his ears. The noise died down and a voice broke into his head.
“Are you all right, Dear?”
Angus uncovered his ears and peered up at Nurse Vera. She never called him by name just, “Dear.” Nurse Vera glanced at her watch. “I’ll help you pack your things then it’s off to the airport with you.” Nurse Vera placed a hand on Angus’ forehead. “You look so tired and it’s such a long flight. Promise me you’ll try to get some rest on the plane, Dear.”
Angus nodded. He waited for Nurse Vera to see the sword and scold him for messing with something so dangerous, but she just stood there, her eyes filled with concern. Angus glanced at the bed to look at the sword—but the sword was gone.

 

Purchase at Amazon!

Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places.angela Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.

Angela’s first novel, Amarok, was published through Spencer Hill Press in 2012. Her newest novel, Angus MacBain and The Island of Sleeping Kings, was signed for publication with Clean Teen Publishing in 2013.

Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.

Visit Angela at http://angelatownsendbooks.blogspot.com/

First Chapter Review: Beware of the White by Kai Strand

TC&TBC

Author Kai Strand is on a virtual book tour to promote her new middle grade novel, Beware of the White. She submitted the first chapter of this book for review.

Beware of the White Final

BLURB: As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Nature’s Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.

The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.

With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

COVER: I like the details: the city in the background, the arm sticking out of what looks like wreckage, the spooky-looking dude behind the girl, and how the girl stares right at you. I also like the selected font with the big, bold letters.

FIRST CHAPTER: Just past Terra’s twelfth birthday, her entire life changes. She learns of her destiny as a Nature’s Spirit and is introduced to the underground city of Concord. With Hermie, an elf-like creature as her Introguide, she must learn her reason for being in Concord and all about those she is there to help.

KEEP READING: I’ll be the first to admit fantasy isn’t my preferred genre. I enjoy books about the real world. But Strand has created an interesting world we get a glimpse into within the first chapter of this novel. Smartly dropping the reader immediately into the action, Strand is quick to set up Terra’s conflict: she’s not your ordinary twelve-year-old and her mother never told her that. Suddenly, Terra is reading the signs she didn’t know existed behind her mother’s behavior. And though we don’t see any resentment on Terra’s part in this chapter–it’s more like an acceptance of her potential role in the underworld–the reader can’t help wonder if as the story proceeds Terra gets angry at her mother for not preparing her for this.  I like how Strand also gives the reader a quick rundown of Concord through Hermie’s eyes as he tells Terra more about the city. This is well done, and leaves the reader with a good picture of Terra’s new surroundings.

I’m definitely intrigued and want to keep going. First, I want to see how this new revelation impacts Terra’s relationship with her mother. But I also want to know what kind of dangers lie ahead for Terra.

Pages 246
ISBN 978-1-77127-320-6
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (May 16, 2013)
Language: English
ASIN: B00CTQ02FG

The author submitted the first chapter of this book for review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Traegonia the Ember Rune by K. S. Krueger

Welcome to The World of Traegonia where two young Traegons turn one boy’s ordinary world into something truly extraordinary. Where trees are homes, hawks are transportation, fairies exist and the creatures of the forests have their own stories to tell. Open yourself to possibility that just beyond the forest tree line a very different reality exists. 

Traegonia the Ember Rune, the second book in the Traegonia series, continues the adventures of a young boy and a community of, mystical creatures of the forest known as, Traegons. These sixteen inch tall forest dwelling creatures, that resemble a cross between a troll and a wingless dragon, are wise and inquisitive. Although, they may appear scary at first they are actually quite kind and civilized. When Dino is faced with leaving, Karia and Juna, his two young Traegon friends behind when his parents decide to go on vacation, he decides to smuggle them on board a plane to California. His family vacation turns into an adventure of a lifetime when they meet two young girls and a bold and a bit wild young Traegon named Fletch. This Northern California Mountain holds danger, mystery and a path of learning for each of these new friends.  Faced with forces of nature, a rogue cougar and the evolution of their own journeys, the group of unlikely friends must believe in themselves and each other to uncover the meaning of the Ember Rune and get off the mountain safely. New friendships are made, old ones revealed and a new community of Traegons is introduced.  Join Dino, Karia and Juna on this second exciting adventure and decide for yourself…. Do they exist?        

Do you Believe?

Read an excerpt!

Prologue 

Sometimes there are moments in our lives that can take us from an ordinary existence and propel us into an extraordinary series of events that will alter our lives forever. This is my story of one of those moments. Many years ago, I was just an average, ordinary kid. I had a best friend from school named Quinn. I lived in an average, ordinary, rural Midwest town with my mom and dad. My life was pretty ordinary, too, until I met Karia and Juna. They were not your average, ordinary friends; they are Traegons—young at the time like I was, and brother and sister to each other.    

Traegons are mystical creatures of the forest. The first time I saw them, I thought they resembled what I would imagine a cross between a troll and a wingless dragon might look like. Some might say Traegons are strange looking, maybe even fearsome. I guess I might have thought that, too, at first, but now that I have gotten to know them, to me they are nothing short of awesome. They are small, only about a foot and a half to two foot tall when they are full grown. They walk upright like us, but their skin is not at all like ours. It is light brown and looks somewhat like the bark of a tree. Some have many lines with deep grooves, while others are more like that of a smooth young tree. Their knuckles look a little like raised, round knots. The males have a long muzzle with a square jaw and a single, long, fang-like dark tooth that protrudes upward, from one side of their bottom jaw. They have pointed ears that stand up, curving slightly forward. Some, like Juna, have wavy white hair, and others have none. They have large hands with only three fingers and an opposable thumb. They also have broad feet with three toes. The females have much softer-looking faces, still long but with more of a pointed muzzle. Their ears are also large but lie down at the sides of their heads. They have feathers for hair, and their hands are slightly smaller than the males’, but with long, slender fingers. 

Their clothing looks to be handmade. It is natural in color, so they are able to blend into their surroundings rather easily. They wear pouches, jewelry, and other embellishments, many of which they make themselves from found items or trade for with others within their community. They are skilled and civilized. Some might even say they are more civilized than we humans are, or at least some of us. They live at peace with the Earth, each other, and all of nature. They have families just like humans do, with a mother, father, and children. They are hunters, gatherers, carpenters, artisans, herbalists, and inventors. They live in trees, underground, or anywhere they can hide and remain undiscovered. They are incredible creatures, and since I have a gift for drawing, I have filled journals with sketches of them over the years. I started the first journal on the very first day I met them. Of course I have kept all of it hidden—the journals and the Traegons—and I only share this with you now because they have given me permission to tell our story. 

There are Traegon villages out there, everywhere. I have only seen Karia and Juna’s village on a few occasions, and it was only when I was taken there by Karia through a process they call summoning. These incredible creatures do not make themselves known to everyone, so I consider myself lucky that I was one of the chosen ones. 

The first year that I met them, their village, which is located somewhere in a forest near where my family often went for picnics and weekend fishing trips, was nearly destroyed by an unscrupulous developer. He wanted to bulldoze the forest, all of it, for his own selfish reasons. We came to learn of an old Traegon prophecy which is why we were brought together. I believe it was fate, really. That was when my ordinary world became extraordinary because we realized then that we can do anything we put our hearts and minds to. We just have to believe in ourselves, in each other, and in what we wish to accomplish. 

That was just the beginning of many adventures we would have. Since then, we have become great friends. Herein is the tale of another of our amazing adventures. You may or may not believe my story, but that’s okay. Just open your mind to the possibility and decide for yourself…

Read the reviews!

As soon as you start this novel you are in the middle of action. An old Traegonia prophecy that had brought the protagonists together was the beginning of an adventurous life for them in the process of which they learned many things in life together. There is a sweet mention of a game Track 20 which was innovatively created as a combination of hide-and-seek and Marco Polo. The game to me appears to be an initiative by the two different species to make a step forward to come closer to each other. This had been the very code of success for them in the first novel in this series. 

Every impending event in the story is foretold or sensed by someone or the other and that keeps the adventure alive in this novel. The blazing fires which scared Karia in her dreams did have a link to the looming fate that the Traegons and Dino had to face together. The cute little explanations of what California, mountains and planes are to someone who has never seen them in their life will keep the young ones pepping with curiosity. 

Oracle Blastar’s role is as always an interesting one, unveiling old mysteries and giving way to the new ones. The way he sits for a deep thought is quite amusing as karia and Juna always think that he has gone off to sleep. Such tit bits make the tale humorous and enticing. This series also has some interesting adventure on the cliffs and some tight gripping moments. 

The second series is refreshing and has lots of action and moments. The pace is really good and there no dull moments. The characters are always up on their sleeves for something or the other. A good read for the teenagers and grown-ups who are still kids. Loads of fun and activities packed with this novel, so get your kids reading…”

–Sweta, Bookreviews for Booklovers by Booklovers

“The characters have such good friendships and connect…K.S. Krueger can alwayg bring extraordinary adventure.”

–YA Books All The Way!

Although her background has been in business, K.S. Krueger has always loved to write. She has written poetry and several children’s stories originally for her eldest daughter. Kim enjoys the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of her imagination and finds herself submerged in the worlds she creates. Imagination has never been in short supply ever since she was a child. 

Because her Traegonia series rides a fine line between fantasy and reality, it calls each reader to decide for themselves if they BELIEVE!  Kim has always believed that when you find something you truly love to do, even if you think it is just a dream, find your passion, the gift that is within you, believe in yourself and follow that dream. “Let yourself be open to the possibilities that await. You never know where they might take you.” 

Kim is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She is a writer, businesswoman, Reiki practitioner and spiritual person. She loves animals, nature and kids. Kim has lived in the Suburbs of Chicago all her life. She is creative and always tries to foster creativity in her own children as well as in others. You can visit Kim’s website at www.WorldOfTraegonia.com.

 

Interview with K.S. Krueger, Author of the Traegonia Series

Thank you for joining us today, Kim Krueger. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Thanks for having me, I am a wife and mom, I have three daughters ages 9, 11 and 21. We also have a dog, a cat, a love bird and a bunny rabbit. They all keep me very busy. 

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

When my oldest daughter was 3 she had an allergic reaction to some medicine. I was at the time a single mom and stayed alone with her all night long in the hospital, sleeping very little. When she finally fell asleep I went into the quiet empty hallway with a pad of paper and started writing a story about a princess and a flower and have been writing stories and poetry ever since. 

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I think the types of stories I write just choose me. I didn’t set out to write children’s stories and actually have other projects that are not geared toward children. It just seemed to work out that way; probably because I have children and in many ways they inspire me. 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

No, I think writing is a creative outlet and when you let the stories flow and develop, any number of wonderful ideas can surface from that creative place within all of us.  

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

My favorite part of writing whether it is for young people or the young at heart is the impact the stories have. When someone is touched by something I have written, or when someone who doesn’t like to read, is moved to pick up the book, because they saw the sculptures of the characters, or someone is inspired by the books, these are the moments that feed my soul and bring joy to my heart. 

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

My latest book, Traegonia the Ember Rune, is the continuing adventures of a young boy from the Midwest. But first let me tell you about book one. Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy is about Dino, an average boy from the Midwest, who has a fateful encounter with two young Traegons, in a local forest. Traegons are sixteen inch tall forest dwelling creatures that resemble a cross between a troll and a wingless dragon. Looking beyond outward appearances, Dino chooses to find out more about them and discovers friendship in this most unlikely meeting. When the home of the Traegons, becomes threatened by an unscrupulous developer, Dino and his new friends Karia and Juna, must work together to stop the destruction that looms. An ancient Traegonian Prophecy is revealed and the three friends find that their friendship is the key that sets the prophecy in motion. Follow them as the adventure unfolds and the World of Traegonia is unveiled.

In Traegonia the Ember Rune, when Dino is faced with leaving, Karia and Juna, his two young Traegon friends, behind when his parents decide to take a vacation, the three devise a plan to smuggle Karia and Juna on board a plane to California. His family vacation turns into an adventure of a lifetime when they meet two young girls and a bold and a bit wild young Traegon named Fletch. This Northern California Mountain holds danger, mystery and a path of learning for each of these new friends.  Faced with forces of nature, a rogue cougar and the evolution of their own journeys, the group of unlikely friends must believe in themselves and each other to uncover the meaning of the Ember Rune and get off the mountain safely. New friendships are made, old ones are revealed and a new community of Traegons is introduced.

What inspired you to write it?

I was inspired to write the Traegonia series when a friend and former neighbor, Dino C. Crisanti, created a couple of the sculptures that would become Traegons. My husband went next door to help Dino move a piece of furniture and happened to see one of the creature sculptures. He thought they were so cool that he called me over to see them as well. The three of us talked about how cool it would be to give them a world and a life and since I loved to write the task was mine. I tell people all the time that inspiration can come from anywhere; you just have to be open to the possibilities.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Both Traegonia the Sunbow Prophecy and Traegonia the Ember Rune are available through our website www.WorldofTraegonia.com, where you can also view the incredible sculptures of some of the characters. The books are also available through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. You can also request the books at your local book store where they can order it for you as well.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

As I have already mentioned we have a full website with a market place to purchase the books, t-shirts and other really neat items. You can check out the meet the characters page to view the sculptures and the characters bios. We also have a contest page where we post writing contests and other creative contests. We have a curriculum available for teachers and educators to download for free if they would like to use the books in their classroom. If you would like to see additional pictures from some of the events we have attended and those we will be attending, you can follow us on our Facebook page at World of Traegonia.

What is up next for you?

We are currently working on the third book in the series, which is yet to be titled, but I can give you a little sneak peek into what is coming. In book three, Dino, Karia and Juna head to New York, where small groups of rogue Traegons have taken up residence within the city. I could go on but I won’t you’ll just have to wait until it is done. There are also 10 illustrations in the first book and as requested by our readers, ‘more pictures’, there are 20 illustrations in the second book. We will have at least that many in book 3. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Oh, yes I do, I almost forgot to tell you about our sightings page. On our website at www.worldoftraegonia.com we have a page where you can view a book trailer for The Sunbow Prophecy as well as other sightings and investigations. Because Traegons live anywhere there is earth, trees and places where they can hide and remain undiscovered, they are all over the world and sometimes closer than you might think. So the next time you are walking through the park or your local forest and you hear a noise in the brush, look carefully, because as my 9year old says, “It’s not always a squirrel mom!” Take a look and decide for yourself…Do they Exist?

Do you Believe?

Thank you for spending time with us today, Kim. We wish you much success.

Thank you, and always Believe!