I will have drawing a week from today, on Friday, April 16, for a copy of The Muse. I have such a high opinion of this book that this one is on me, not the author or the publisher. I really believe it should be read be scads of people, and I hope it will. TO ENTER this drawing: simply leave a comment (with your email address included) on one of the CFRB blogs about The Muse. That includes the whole week at CFRB's main site and all three of my posts. I'll also have posts at Shoutlife and Gather to include.
Here's the blurb I wrote (and was honored to find incuded in the front of the book):
This is an engaging, slightly twisted tale of a trio of aspiring speculative fiction authors who do battle with that most dreaded foe--writer's block. Although this may sound like something to appeal only to authors, that is far from the truth. Fred Warren's deftly-designed characters and well-developed scenes will draw in a variety of readers and carry them along for the ride. I laughed and cried out loud and found myself wishing for certain denouements, most of which were different than the actual outcomes. Reality and fantasy blur then clear in this kaleidoscope of action.
This is a portion of Fred Warren's introduction explaining his book:
This story is about inspiration--its meaning, origins, and purpose. It also explores the idea that there's more than one kind of inspiration, and it's important to understand the source, nature, and ultimate effects of the creative energy we're using.
Creation is perhaps the most human activity of all, for in the act of creating, whether it's producing a work of art, telling a story, building a business, or raising a family, we express in microcosm the nature of the Creator, who gave us life and made us in His image with the intent that we, in our small, clumsy way, attempt the sorts of things He does with perfect excellence.
I didn't start out writing The Muse with the intent of producing a "Christian" novel, though my own faith can't help but emerge somehow in anything I write. References to the spiritual world unseen to human eyes are pure speculation. I know the power of love, loyalty, truth, courage, and self-sacrifice beyond any shadow of doubt, and I am likewise certain that God works purposefully in our lives, for our good, though we often don't recognize His hand except in retrospect.
I enjoyed writing The Muse, and I hope you'll find it interesting, entertaining, and maybe even a little inspiring.
AND NOW for the first chapter:
TARON surveyed the enemy lines, row upon row of grotesque, iron-sinewed goblins rhythmically scraping swords on shields, filling the air with the soul-melting screech of metal carving bone. It was hopeless. The Alliance Army was outnumbered twenty to one in an indefensible position, their escape blocked by the sheer precipices of the Glass Mountains. He sighed. This would be the end. So much blood to be spilled today, for so little purpose.
Siri pulled up beside him, struggling to rein in her spirited chestnut mount. The horse, at least, was eager for battle, but Siri’s face was a picture of despair. She knew the odds, what the outcome must be.
“My Lord, the troops await your orders.”
Taron nodded, raising his sword, Illustrion, on high as he wheeled his destrier about to face the haggard ranks of the Alliance. He opened his mouth to shout the order that would send them all to certain death.
“My Lord?” Siri whispered, “The order?”
Behind them, the goblin army roared and scraped, roared and scraped, roared and scraped.
“My Lord! What is your order?”
The general’s mouth was a gaping cavern from which no sound emerged.
“Aaagh!” Stan shoved himself away from his desk, pounding his head in frustration. It was no use. He’d written himself into a corner... again.
Charity’s voice wafted down the cellar stairs. “Honey, are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he hollered back. “It’s nothing. I’m stuck again. Blasted writer’s block.”
“I thought so. Give it a break. Come upstairs for a while.”
“In a minute.” He rolled his chair back to the desk and tapped the keyboard. The printer whirred and spooled out the current page of Stan’s manuscript. He snatched it up and read the last paragraph, then he read it again. Maybe seeing the words on paper would trigger a new insight that would allow him to move ahead.
No such luck. He wadded the paper into a ball and flung it at the wall, where it bounced off a poster advertising last year’s Renaissance Festival. Across the room, a scruffy little terrier whined softly and leapt from his perch on the futon to retrieve the errant scrap.
“Don’t even think about it, Squick.” The vet bill for the little dumpster-diver’s last digestive misadventure was still a painfully fresh memory. Squick bounced back onto the futon. At least he was obedient, unlike Stan’s imagination. There had to be an original way to get his story past this latest roadblock. He could taste it, smell it, feel it on the edge of his consciousness, mocking him...
“It’s getting cold, Stan!”
Read more about Fred Warren and his work at his website and Splashdown Books.
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