Thomas M. Kane - Author
The Witches of Crannock Dale—Book One of Mara of the League
When an enemy army threatens eleven-year old Mara’s home, she makes up her mind to save her family, one way or another. But when the knights protecting her village arrest her favorite aunt for witchcraft, she discovers that the difference between friend and foe may not be as obvious as she once thought.
This is a story of war and espionage, set in a low fantasy world. It is also about a child getting to know her mother and father in a new way.
Cover painting by Robin M. Birrell. Design by Tallulah van der Made.
Louy Castonguay Blog Tour
I am happy to introduce author Louy Castonguay, author of the Charlie Henson mystery series!
Scroll down for more on Louy's work, and for an opportunity to participate in a giveaway sponsored by Silver Dagger Book Tours!
About Louy Castonguay
I am a double graduate from UMF. My first degree in 1989 was in Community Nutrition, with a minor in chemistry, the better to plot murders. My second degree, in 1994, was for the newly developed BFA in Creative Writing but had to be fluent in a foreign language. I'm Franco American, so aced that.
I have worked at various jobs throughout Central Maine, including shoe shops, egg plants, wool mills, office jobs, finally spending time as a volunteer driver for Community Concepts. Life experiences along the way have given much material for my books.
I am currently hard at work on the series, doing promotional activities and hope to have a web site up soon. I'm also running a blog, Keeper Series, to keep my reader's abreast of my progress. I hope to have the next volume out by April.
My Neighbor's Keeper
Charlie Henson Book 1
by Louy Castonguay
Genre: Cozy Mystery
"My Neighbor’s Keeper," the first in a series, is centered on retired paramedic Mrs. Charlotte Henson, aka Charlie or Mrs. H. She’s sixty years old and a widow. Her husband, a former police officer, was run down by a drunk driver three years before. Charlie befriends shy six-year-old Bert, from next door. One evening, Bert comes to her door, dirty, tattered and crying. His mother won’t wake up and his two younger sisters, he says, are hungry. Charlie runs to the rescue, and ends up embroiled in a murder. Bert’s mother is crumpled at the foot of the cellar stairs. When Charlie realizes she’s under surveillance, she sneaks out the back door and down to the river, where her canoe is kept. She gets out on the river, at night, in a rainstorm, goes upriver and travels to a cabin hidden in the woods in order to buy time to solve the crime. Along her journey, she makes friends, and also gets help from her husband’s niece, Louise.
Charlie Henson Book 2
This Maine mystery tale, "Child’s Keeper," is the second book in the Charlie Henson series. Charlotte, aka Charlie, a retired paramedic, embroils herself in international intrigue when she attempts to help a friend. She discovers that Shirley, the great-granddaughter of her friend Susie, has gone missing, along with her two young daughters. She soon learns Shirley has fled to Canada and travels there to find out what is going on. The oldest daughter, Shawna, is soon in the hands of Canadian authorities, caught in a sinister plot to find Shirley. Charlie locates the daughter, steals a snowmobile, and crosses back into Maine. The situation becomes very complicated when she herself is kidnapped by the very criminals interested in finding Shirley. When she finds herself back in Canada, on the snowmobile trail again, she is able to effect an escape for herself and Shawna. Will help arrive in time, or will the bad guys find her first? In this journey, she gets help from unexpected places and from old friend Ronny Curtis.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Mara of the League revisits the Cold War in a medieval fantasy setting. Writing about that period in this way seemed like an appropriate thing to do, because the Cold War seemed a little fantastical all along.
I’m writing about it through the eyes of a child who is just becoming aware that the knights who claim to be protecting her village may not have her best interests at heart. In that process – in addition to telling a good story – I’m inviting readers to reconsider what actually happened in a time which may not be so far behind us as many people think.
For more detail, see my guest post on David Bridger's blog.
I have written eight scholarly books in the fields of international relations and strategic studies, nineteen books on role-playing games (including supplements for AD&D, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk and Ars Magica) and numerous shorter works. More details coming soon!
Check out my book reviews on Goodreads, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter for news and commentary!
Want to get to know me better? Honored to have been interviewed by Shauna of TweepTattler. Read.
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Research Note: Dragons and Princesses
Currently working on book three of Mara of the League. Since this book includes princesses, I decided it should also include a dragon. Princess-consort Cordelia Aurellius-Maxwell has a pet lizard named Horace. I have been researching what it is like to raise lizards in real life.
It turns out that there is a debate about how domesticated lizards feel about their people. Scientists have traditionally discouraged the idea that animals – and especially reptiles – have emotions. Nevertheless, many lizards and snakes behave in ways which show they recognize human companions. Certain species (e.g. bearded dragons) are visibly affectionate. This suggests reptiles have feelings after all.
Apparently, since there are opposing points of view, some experts have decided to look for middle ground. I have read a number of articles saying that bearded dragons do feel love, but that since they are reptiles, they do not feel it deeply.
This leads me to ask, if we agree reptiles have feelings, who are we to say how deep their feelings are? Feelings, more or less by definition, are meaningful. Reptile feelings feel important to reptiles. Compromises sound reasonable, but they are not always right.
And bearded dragons are really cute!
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I am honored to introduce Peter J. Berman, author of Vengeance of Hope!
Let's start with Vengeance of Hope -- Berman summarizes his plot as follows:
What Silrith Alfwyn does know is that she is heir to the throne of Bennvika. What she doesn’t know is that her peaceful world is about to be turned upside down and torn apart. Battle lines will be drawn, scores will be settled, and history will be made. Once a Princess, always a warrior Queen.
Now for the author -- P.J.Berman grew up in Hertfordshire, England. Since then, after a brief but enjoyable period living in Plymouth, Devon, he has settled in the beautiful Welsh countryside of Carmarthenshire, along with his wife, their baby daughter and their crazy Labrador. Given where he has lived, he’s probably one of the few people to be a fan of both Stevenage Football Club and the Scarlets. When it comes to reading, he is a big fan of both fantasy and historical fiction, with Joe Abercrombie and Simon Scarrow being two particular favorite authors of his.
Facebook Author Page - P.J.Berman Books
Facebook Group - P.J.Berman’s Book Community
Instagram - @pjbermanbooks
Twitter - @pjbermanbooks
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I am honored to introduce Taylor White, whose book Witch's Sorrow appeared in April 2019. White offers a different flavor of fantasy from the one presented in Crannock Dale -- her work takes place in a contemporary European setting, with a modern-day paladin in search of a missing wolf. Learn more or purchase on Amazon.