It has always been an interest of mine to consider the nuances involved in my encounters with others, those that are nourishing and even those that are more distasteful for some reason. In recent years, my interest has broadened to include encounters with animals, nature, books, movies and now, online conversations with people who I treasure yet may never meet.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Griffins are flying high! Free: THE GRIFFIN'S BOY

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to assist a favorite author in her launch of a FREE promotion, March 1 - 5. Julia Hughes is the author of some of my top-shelf novels yet also, she is an avid supporter of other indie authors. I count it a privilege that Julia has also graced me with an interview.  

Readers met The Rider in Julia Hughes’ extraordinary tale, The Griffin Cryer, yet were left with many unanswered questions as to his past. Book two of the Griffin Rider’s series take us back in time, as Julia reveals the young Rider’s earlier years. In the second thrilling tale of this series, the story is set on Ella Earth, our world’s twin in most respects – except, both evolution and science have taken a different path. On Ella Earth, an elite troop known as the Griffin Riders patrol the spiritual conduits known as ley lines; they separate the two worlds.  

The Rider, whom we learn to be a boy named ‘Neb,’ seeks to find his place amongst those who work with griffins. Instead of attaining a low status position, though, Neb is thrust into challenge after challenge, striving to survive what ends up becoming the adventure of a lifetime.
Neb will risk his life, then his soul and, finally, his heart in a quest to become, ‘The Griffin’s Boy.’

Julia is offering a special promotion of this masterful tale, March 1 through March 5. Download The Griffin’s Boy FREE from Amazon using this universal LINK

Special Bonus Offer: Book one, ‘The Griffin Cryer,” is an award-winning urban fantasy and can be downloaded during the promotion for $.99 (US) or 99p (UK). This highly rated novel has received over 85 reviews, averaging 4.7 stars. Click on this universal LINK to nab a copy of one of my all-time favorite tales!

SYNOPSIS: The Griffin’s Boy is The Rider’s story and is set on Ella-Earth – our world’s twin in an alternative universe. Evolution has taken a different path and mythical beasts exist. Britain remains an island of mists, populated by Celtic tribes and governed by a strict feudal hierarchy. Only noblemen’s sons are recruited into an elite troop known as the Griffin Riders. The best a nameless nobody like Neb can hope for is to become a griffin’s lad. But then his fate becomes entwined with the mischievous grey griffin, Balkind, who everyone knows is trouble….and sure enough, Balkind disgraces himself on recruitment day and is rejected by Griffin Master Romulus. But Neb is determined to change Romulus’s mind. Telling himself and anyone who will listen that Balkind deserves a second chance, Neb steals the beast and flies off on the adventure of a lifetime. He quickly realizes that riding griffins isn’t for the faint-hearted and girls are complicated beings, best treated with respect.

My interview of Julia:

I am an avid reader of Julia’s novels, loving the thrills of adventure in settings that are so vividly described that it feels as if I am there, in the stories themselves. She graciously agreed to answer of few of my questions.

Q: After finishing book one in the series, ‘The Griffin Cryer,’ I fell in love with griffins and have had a series of amazing griffin riding dreams. In ‘The Griffin’s Boy,’ the second tale you’ve created that features a griffin as a central character, there are some extraordinary griffin scenes. How did the idea to use a griffin in a tale come to you, and what is it about griffins that make them special?

A: I've always loved the statues that litter London – griffins are my home town's traditional guardians. I remember reading a story called "The One Eyed Griffin" as a kid, and of course, I wanted a griffin of my own. It's fairly surprising that they don't feature more in fantasy stories. However, that made them even more appealing for me. My ambition is to become an authority on griffins!

In my opinion, Julia, your ambition has been fulfilled. The griffin flying scenes are phenomenal and Balkind's griffin-affectations always make me laugh!

Q: There is a new character in 'The Griffin’s Boy’ that I find to be quite compelling. You’ve been masterful in the way you have scripted Samara; she is cast as somewhat of an enigma and I am curious as to how she will be featured in a third book (hint, hint!). Where did this character spring from?

A: Samara's self-contained and unafraid. She's realized early on that knowledge is power, and has also learned how to charm at will. She's looking pretty dangerous to me – and I've no idea from where she sprung!

NOTE: Take a free peek at this new character! ‘Samara’s Salvation’ is a short story that can be downloaded free on Smashwords or on Julia's site.

Q: I’ve read all of the books in your Celtic Cousins’ Adventure series and the two in the Griffin Rider’s series. Aside from the fantastical roller-coaster rides of adventure those reads have taken me on, an unexpected pleasure is your wonderfully vivid weave into the story of British history, culture and terrain. Which seed for a story comes first: the characters, the essential storyline or a snippet from history, a vision of place?

A: Thank you Dody. :-) I'm very grateful for your kind words. I think I was lucky to grow up surrounded by adults who lived to a great age. It wasn't unusual for three or four generations to live in the same house. You learn old legends, old songs, and then your – or my – mind just goes sleepwalking.

Q: I’m an American reader who can hardly wait for the next book from Julia Hughes to hit the shelf. An unexpected delight for me during my reads is coming upon an arcane, obscure British term (and thank you for expanding my vocabulary!). In keeping with the historical references, are these terms used because they add a unique flair to the tale?

A: I don't consciously set out to use arcane or obscure words. They present themselves and appear to me to sit well on the page – apart from "The Griffin's Boy". In this story, set in a parallel universe because the Norman Conquest never happened, certain French terms don't exist in the English language (beef, pork, etc. spring mainly to mind). At the risk of making dialogue appear stilted, I also imagined that the “old-time” speech would be more formal. It's good to know that you're enjoying the odd ‘odd’ word. J 

Q: I have to ask! I’m hearing whispers that a new DI Crombie story (from the Celtic Cousins’ series) might be in the works. Can you offer a few crumbs of storyline – please?

A: Of course – anything for you Dody! :-) It's really about time that the story of Crombie and The Great Elephant Stampede was told – do you think the world's ready for it though?

Indeed, I am always thirsting for more of DI Crombie, Julia. To me and anyone who asks, he is 'my Crombie!' I’m quite sure that many others agree with me.

A word from Julia: As a Londoner, I’m enchanted by the legend that griffins are the guardians of this ancient city. In my mind, they combine the characteristics of two of our most beloved animal companions: horses and dogs – with an added bonus, of course, as griffins have wings. As anyone who has read The Griffin Cryer knows, if you believe in yourself against all odds, help arrives from (very!) unexpected sources. If you have self-belief, then you have the will to succeed – and you will succeed! So dream big and fly high – the only limits are the ones we place on our imaginations.

Visit Julia on her website by clicking on her photo at the top right of this page.

Follow Julia on Twitter: @tinksaid

Words Unlimited is a wonderful site to visit as it's purpose is to help indie authors launch and promote their work. If you have a promotional event or Back Story for your novel, memoir or short story that you'd like to be featured, it is easy to complete a request. "140 Little Words" is a fun page where authors can tantalize us with fascinating snippets.
Here is the Link.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Dody - for all your encouragement and kindness in helping "The Griffin's Boy" discover his wings. I'm grateful daily for our friendship.