Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Gateway to the Past by Andy Peloquin (The Last Bucelarii Book 3) with Special Post & Excerpt!

By Andy Peloquin

The Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis, has a purpose: protect Hailen, the boy he rescued from a demon in Malandria.

He joins a caravan in the hope of safe passage across the Advanat Desert. Yet he cannot outrun his enemies: the Illusionist Cleric on a holy mission to capture him, the bloodthirsty raiders out for blood and gold, and the Abiarazi, demons who masquerade as humans.

Every step north reveals who he was before becoming the Hunter, unlocking the truth about the woman who haunts his memories.

Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…

 Gateway to the Past by Andy Peloquin 
(The Last Bucelarii Book 3) 
He is the Hunter, a legendary assassin with a past that is bloody, brutal and has left him as a target by his enemies. He is tormented by the fact that no matter his intent or that he fought for good, he left a trail of death in his wake, and that blood weighs on his conscience. What he needs is a mission of good and he has found it in the form of a young boy he rescued from a demon. Now he is determined to keep Hailen safe as they travel with a caravan across the desert. 

All young Hailen sees is a hero, a man to lean on, look up to, but he is pushed away as the Hunter feels unworthy and unsafe to be around the boy. With his inner demon constantly hounding him, the Hunter knows there is something about the boy that brings him peace. Can the Hunter keep Hailen safe from his enemies or will he be tricked into entrusting his charge into the wrong hands? 

As his memory begins to return in snippets and flashes, the Hunter is more determined than ever to find his redemption in the eyes of a young child. Andy Peloquin’s latest brilliant fantasy takes us even deeper into the mind and inner turmoil of the Hunter and his demon as they war for supremacy. Follow the journey our unlikely hero takes as the doors are opened to the GATEWAY TO THE PAST as he struggles to become the man his heart craves, remember the man he once was and to protect the boy who awakened his emotions. 

You may need a tissue or two, find a chuckle or two and cringe at the action scenes just a little as, once again, Andy Peloquin opens his heart and his imagination to readers who demand great fantasy with the depth to make us a part of the story.

My VERY Good Excuse to Nap: I Need to Create

I don't know about you, but I often find myself exhausted in the middle of the day. After a morning of work (copywriting, blogging, etc.), working out, and cooking for my family, I can't stop myself from yawning. It's too late in the day for a coffee, so I have no choice but to close my eyes for a power nap.

Make no mistake: power naps have been proven to offer a wide range of benefits, including increased energy levels and improved access to memories. But even so, I always felt it was a waste of time to lie down and rest, even for just 20 minutes. After all, I only get to write in the afternoon, so I should be making the most use of the time I have, right?

Then I found an article posted by UC San Diego that talked about how REM sleep helps to enhance our problem-solving skills. Specifically, it helps us to solve new problems. NREM and REM sleep can help us solve familiar problems, the ones our brain has been working on. But when it comes to NEW problems, only REM sleep can help.

I don't know about you, but I find that each chapter and scene I write presents a new problem. I have to find a new and creative way to present a situation, setting, conflict, problem, interaction, or relationship. Each scene pushes me to be a better writer by presenting its new and unique difficulties.

Reading this article helped me to realize that a short nap is the best way to improve my creative thinking and problem-solving skills—specifically solving the new problems I face every time I sit down to write. Instead of feeling guilty about closing my eyes, I can BENEFIT from it.

Yes, I still have a hard time allowing myself to rest when I feel I should be working. It's hard to shut off my brain long enough to get that 20-minute power nap, much less let my body get into REM sleep by taking a 30 or 40-minute nap. But every time I do, I feel so much better. My body and mind are renewed, and I approach the chapter or scene with a fresh perspective. The scenes are much easier to write because my problem-solving brainpower has been "refilled" by the nap.

If you feel the urge to take a short nap in the middle of your work day or before sitting down to write, DO IT! It's good for your health and creativity. In the long run, it can help you to be a better, more creative writer and find new, unique ways to solve the problems presented by the stories you want to tell. 
A sound reached his ears: the low growl of a beast of prey. It came from somewhere off to his right, behind a small stand of rocks a few dozen paces back from the camp. He sniffed the air and immediately his senses were on full alert. The scent of predator met his nostrils: raw meat, blood, and the pungent odor the beast used to mark its territory. It mixed with another aroma, one he recognized. Scorched hair. Red-hot metal. Sweat-stained leather.
The Hunter reached for his sword and cursed to find it missing. He'd left belt and blade hanging over the horn of his saddle. Only Soulhunger remained, the blade strapped in its sheath at the small of his back.
It will have to do.
He hobbled toward the outcropping of rocks as quickly as his injured knee allowed. The growling grew in intensity, accompanied a moment later by a loud, unmistakable grunt.
A new scent entered the melange, similar to the first, but distinct in its pungent odor.
Damn it! Two of whatever the accursed things are.
Ignoring the ache in his leg, he lurched forward into a run. Soulhunger slipped from its sheath with a ring of steel on leather. The dagger whispered in his mind, eager to feed. Man or beast, the blade didn't care; it craved blood, regardless of its provenance.
The Hunter raced around the pile of rocks, Soulhunger held at the ready. Graden lay on the ground, struggling with a massive shape so black it seemed a void in the evening gloom. Eyes of a horrible yellow burned above long fangs that shone in the darkness, and the creature's lithe muscles rippled beneath midnight feline fur. Graden's massive arms bulged as he struggled to keep the beast's raking claws away from his face. The battle was not going well.
To make things worse, another pair of amber eyes burned in the darkness beyond. The form moved like lightning, slipping through the night with all the stealth of a shadow. The burning orbs latched onto the Hunter and, for one heart-wrenching moment, stopped him in his tracks. Snarling, the beast crouched and leapt.
The Hunter had only a moment to raise Soulhunger before an immense weight slammed into him, knocking him to the ground. Its warm, fetid breath reeked of blood and rotting meat. Drool dripped from the massive cat's jaws and soaked his face. He grunted as the beast's claws carved deep furrows across his chest, shoulders, and face. Blinded by his own blood, he struck out with Soulhunger and sliced through fur and flesh.
The beast howled and swiped at the Hunter with an enormous paw, laying open the arm he threw up to stop the claws from tearing out his eyes. Acting on instinct, he thrust Soulhunger upward. Hot blood gushed over his arm as Soulhunger's razor edge drove through flesh, bone, and cartilage inside the massive creature's gaping jaws.
The beast swiped at him, but the attacks grew weak. The Hunter, staring into the burning yellow eyes, saw primal fear fill its gaze. He forced the blade further, seeking the soft mass of the beast's brain.
The greatcat lashed out weakly with its massive paw, almost as if by reflex. With one final shudder, it slumped atop him and lay still, its immense bulk pinning him to the ground. Gore soaked through his clothing, assailing his nostrils with the scent of fresh blood. His face, chest, and arm throbbed where the raking claws had laid open flesh.
A stifled grunt of pain met his ears. Graden still wrestled the other beast, and the raking claws and long, razor-sharp fangs drew closer to ripping out the big man's throat with every heartbeat.
He can't survive much longer.
The creature had to weigh nearly as much as a horse, and every muscle in the Hunter's body strained as he heaved. Slowly, the enormous bulk shifted, lifted, and fell aside. Ignoring the burning slash marks on his upper body and face, he rolled to his feet and lurched toward Graden. He raised Soulhunger, its grip slick with dark blood, and slammed it into the creature's head.
The midnight cat barked in pain, but the blade's keen edge cut off its cries. The beast slumped, lifeless, and the Hunter shoved its bulk to the side. The effort sapped his last reserves of strength. He fell to his knees, panting, gasping for breath. Graden lay before him, clearly too exhausted to move.
'Kill him,' purred the voice in his head. 'Take his life force and let it fuel you. You're far away from camp. Everyone will think it was the beasts. Just like Udell.'
Soulhunger pulsed in his hands, lusted for blood.
Haven't you taken enough lives today? These two creatures died…
'Beasts! Insensate animals! We demand the blood of humans!' The demon's snarls set his head pounding with such ferocity that he nearly cried out.
No. The Hunter clenched his jaw and squeezed his eyes shut. Not this man.
'Why not? What is he…'
Because I say so. He fought to push the voices back. You will have your prey, soon enough. But not him.

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