One of my favorite things about being a blogger is the community of like-minded individuals, befriended over the years, who support one another in both writing and life. The camaraderie we share when one of us reaches a milestone, writing or otherwise, is lovely to behold. It’s like having your own virtual cheering section.
To that end, I’d like to share the work of fellow writer, Paul Andruss, who I met through my dear friend, author, and publisher Shehanne Moore, or Lady Shey as we lovingly refer to her, as she is the creator of Shehanne Moore’s Smexy Historical Romance blog as well as the engine driving Black Wolf Books publishing.
So rather than waste your time listening to me drone on about it, I’m turning the mic over to Paul who can give you the skinny on what’s happening in his world these days.
Take it away, Paul.
Paul here. I want to share some wonderful news. At least I think it’s wonderful. You may not.
My first novel is published.
Don’t worry I won’t be making the newbie author gaff of launching straight into promoting Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer, published by the exciting new and independent Black Wolf Books and available right now on Amazon.
No Siree, I’m certainly not dumb enough to go banging on about Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer; the first novel in a young adult magical realism trilogy that will, hopefully, appeal to all readers and not just the younger end of the market.
What’s it about, do I hear you say?
Oh, you didn’t say that, did you? You didn’t say anything at all.
Never mind, I’ll tell you anyway.
It’s about fairies.
When 12-year-old Jack Hughes sees a sinister fairy queen kidnap his bother Dan, he knows his parents will never believe him. Nor will the police. Not when he says Dan vanished into thin air. If Jack wants to see Dan again, he has to save him. And not just him. If he ever wants to find Dan, first he must save Thomas the Rhymer from a wicked enemy.
Bravely embarking on a rollercoaster adventure into the dark fairy realm, Jack and friends face monstrous griffins and brooding tapestries with a life of their own, learn to use magic mirrors and travel on ley lines that whip them off faster than sound.
Jack knows even if he returns Thomas the Rhymer to his selfish fairy queen, she might make Jack her prisoner. With the odds stacked against him, can Jack succeed in finding and freeing Dan? Or will he lose his brother forever?
Prefer a different summary?
How about a poem written by Jack?
Jack’s friend Catherine did the calligraphy and illustrations and sent it to the school magazine. It wasn’t published.
Did I say Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer is the first book of The Jack Hughes Trilogy? Sorry if I’m repeating myself; I’m just super excited about this fast-paced, feel-good adventure that introduces the reader to a fairy realm rooted in Celtic myth. Fairies are not sprites or elementals, but real men and women with psychic abilities, struggling as they are overwhelmed by the modern age.
The fairy world is crumbling, destroyed by railways and roads, pylons and power cables. We have light and heat at the flick of a switch; radio, television, telephones, satellites and computers. They think we have all the magic.
With the race dying, fairies steal children, or at least those children who share their genetic heritage …
Amazonian Indians, also on the brink of extinction, steal children from Brazilian towns for much the same reason. Have you ever thought the Elfin may deserve your compassion every bit as much as those poor Amazon tribes?
The fairy world is different to ours. They live a waking dream spun by the Fairy Queen ruling the nest. In his dreams, Jack experiences what his kidnapped brother sees.
How about a little excerpt from Chapter 4 Dream a Little Dream of Me
Lying on a bed covered with a thin blanket, he stared through the high windows at the full moon, watching tiny fairies play in the moonbeams. Hearing the key catch as the door unlocked, he saw his mother enter. At least he hoped it was Mum but was scared it was a trick; like everything was a trick.
Closing his eyes, he listened to her footsteps on the bare cold floor. Gently, he started snoring, hoping she would think him asleep and leave him alone. The thin mattress sagged when she sat next to him. He smelled his mother’s perfume, the one she wore for best.
“I know you’re not asleep, love.”
Cautiously, he opened his eyes. “Mum?”
“Are you better?”
She stroked his forehead.
He sat up, throwing himself into her arms, “How did you find me?”
Even as he spoke, he knew this was not his mother. She would never find him here.
“My lovely, Dan.”
Jack was shocked hearing her call him Dan. This was no dream. He saw what Dan saw, locked in his prison hundreds of miles away.
Whoever was pretending to be his mother sensed his doubt. Her voice slipped to no more than a pale imitation. “I am what you remember. If you see me, hear me, feel my touch. What is the difference?”
“It is different. Just is, that’s all.” Jack heard Dan shout.
“I can give her back. She will never change; never grow old or ill, never busy. Everything the same. Always.”
“Liar. It’s not the same.”
You tell her, Dan, thought Jack.
“It is if you want.”
Sadness weighed down her voice. Hugging him fiercely, she stroked his hair. There was a terrible heat burning in her. She kissed him on the mouth, hot dry lips tasting of chocolate. Disgusted, he pulled away.
“You’re not my mum.”
She was gone. Only her silver voice remained, hung with echoes of mournful bells, as she complained, “I only want to love and be loved in return.”
If you liked that, you can discover more of the fairy world in the 2nd book of the series, Jack Hughes and the Daughters of Albion.
When the most powerful Fairy Queen in Britain dies, the spectral Daughters of Albion appear at her carnival funeral. The fairies fear their appearance is the death knell of their world. Jack and his friends set out to save the fairy world. They do not get far before disaster strikes.
Before the book reaches its explosive climax at Stonehenge, you will witness the summoning of archangels, learn the ancient shamanic secret of mind transference, and even meet a werewolf!
In Jack Hughes and the Thirteenth Treasure, the final book of the series, Jack and friends search for the legendary Thirteenth Treasure.
But how can anyone find the Thirteenth Treasure when nobody knows where it, what it is, or if it even exists? If all they have are fragments of legend, how will they know the Thirteenth Treasure even if they find it?
So that’s it really. One book down, two to write. No biggee.
All that remains is to ask who is Paul Andruss?
No really. Who is Paul Andruss?
Oh, It’s me. I remember. Dear God, it’s terrifying when that happens.
I was born and raised in Liverpool, where the city’s legendary Scouse wit and dogged stoicism left a mark, or some might say, scars.
I dropped out of college at 17, keen to get out into the world. A year later I was taking exams at Night School, while working in the local Tax Office. On the grounds that anything was better than work, I applied to study Psychology at Liverpool University. Considering my grades (just plumb lazy) no one was more surprised than me when they accepted my application.
After graduation, I worked near the romantic Lake District, so beloved of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. No, not Harry’s mum. Peter Rabbit’s. Then in Manchester and London before moving to Bodrum in Turkey.
To finance a passion for exploring the heartland of the Ancient Greek Empire, I wrote short travel articles for local tourists, focusing on the history and myths of the ruined cities and temples. I began illustrating the pieces, using Photoshop because it let me remove power lines and the odd Esso sign from photographs of ancient sites.
After returning to the U.K. I started focusing on writing and illustration. Last year I was lucky enough to get signed by an exciting new, independent Scottish publisher called Black Wolf Books. In the next two years Black Wolf will release the Jack Hughes Trilogy, Finn MacCool, a book of short stories and a couple of novellas.
If you enjoyed learning about Jack Hughes and Thomas the Rhymer, or even if you didn’t, don’t forget to visit http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/
Explore the story of Thomas the Rhymer. http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/story-of-the-book.php
Download posters http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/art-gallery.php
Read pre-release reviews http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/thomas-the-rhymer.php
And listen to music written for the book by classical composer Patrick Hartnett http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/music.php
Yes, he loved the book that much.
And who knows …
So might you.
So that’s all from Paul today, but check back later for a bit of the odds and sods from the mind of Paul Andruss. In the interim, if you’re state-side, have a safe and acceptably socially distanced Memorial Day weekend.
pam lazos 5.23.20