Today’s sample comes from Brendan Caroll, who writes fantasy with a hint of the paranormal. This is way outside my personal box for reading so I’m as intrigued as anyone else to check out his book. I haven’t even read the Harry Potter books yet, for heaven’s sake .
Here then is *our* sample for today *g*
Greetings One and All! My name is Brendan Carroll and I love to write. Even more so, I love to have my writing read for what good is a writer without a reader? I’ve been writing since high school though I never thought to save any of my work from ‘way back then’. I had a good friend that rode the school bus with me who loved to read my English papers. I remember quite distinctly that he told me I’d be rich and famous someday. That day hasn’t come, but it is a lot closer now than it was a few years ago. The advent of eBook self-publishing has turned my frown into a smile and I am actually earning money.
A little background might be a necessary bore at this point. I was born and raised in Southeast Texas where the big pines grow and the undergrowth is so thick, it’s almost impossible to take a stroll through the woods. (That could be why the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was thought to be extinct until someone spotted it in the thickets!) Of course, that did not stop us from romping through the woods, playing cowboys and Indians, spies and espionage and army. In other words, I grew up outdoors more or less. My idea of having a good time back then was going off in the woods and shooting something. Times have certainly changed. I still live in the country, but most of the kids in my neighborhood are rarely ever seen. They are all indoors by the AC vent and so am I!
Personally, I love reading and have owned three Kindles. I usually read reference books, researching material for my NYT #1 Bestseller that I am sure I will write some day. I also study quantum theory, astronomy, zoology, geology, paleontology and archaeology in my spare time. I’m a scientist at heart and have always thought I missed my calling because I’m bad with numbers.
At any rate, when I grew older, I spent more time reading and writing than running and playing. My heart turned toward creating new adventures on paper. I wanted to write something new and unusual so I picked one of the oldest topics of interest in the world to write about: Templar Knights.
I have been interested in medieval history, battles and dragons for as long as I remember and just before an elderly uncle of mine passed away, he gave him his collection of books because he knew I was interested in books, reading them and writing them. The books sat in a corner in a box for a long time. Then one day I took one out and started reading. Only then did I discover that my uncle had given me his Masonic Library!
I read the books with renewed interest and when I ran across an encyclopedia of degrees and titles, my imagination took over and the Assassin Chronicles was born.
Currently, I have 23 of 28 novels in the Assassin Chronicles uploaded to Amazon Kindle. I also have a stand-alone novel called Tempo Rubato that is a tribute to my favorite classical musician/composer: Wolfgang Mozart.
The Assassin Chronicles is considered fantasy in the main, but could also be listed under paranormal.
The Red Cross of Gold I:. the Knight of Death
Blurb: The Knight of Death chronicles the adventures of a semi-immortal Templar Knight who is a member of the ruling council of the only remaining Order of the Poor Knights of Solomon’s Temple. He is the alchemist/assassin for the Order and keeps the Order in business by providing gold in his laboratory in Scotland. Whenever an assassin is needed, he takes on those duties as well.
The novel starts out with a simple mission to either return or eliminate a defector. He must find an apprentice named Anthony and bring him back to the Order dead or alive. Unfortunately, the Knight of Death runs afoul of a woman with a plan to steal the mystery of immortality from the Order. She believes that he knows the secret and plans on making him confess it, one way or another.
If this is not trouble enough, he loses his memory temporarily and falls in love, something strictly forbidden by the Rules of the Oder. As the story progresses, he not only has to try to remember and fulfill his original mission, he has to avoid losing his head to his own Brothers of the Order as they come after him.
Here is an excerpt from Book I:. The Knight of Death
“I don’t understand any of this,” he said when he had regained his voice. “Don’t you realize that keeping me here is a crime? You can’t just hold me here against my will indefinitely. Do you intend to murder me?”
“I don’t think that will be necessary,” she laughed. “All you have to do is give me what I want and you can be on your way. The sooner, the better. I don’t like what you stand for, but like I said, I had expected some grizzled old bastard with a stinky beard and a bald head.”
“I’m sorry I disappointed you,” he shrugged.
“I’m not disappointed at all. I just expected you to look older,” she said. “But you’re not really my type if I was interested. I prefer men who are more intellectual, stylish, a bit smaller and blond. I like blonds. Men and women. What does d’Brouchart look like? I haven’t been able to get much information about him personally.”
“If you didn’t even know what I looked like, how do you know you got the right man?” He ignored her question. The image of a large, middle-aged, balding, red-haired man sitting in a high-backed chair loomed in his mind. Not the same man he had visualized earlier when she had mentioned the title Grand Master.
“We’ve been through this,” she sighed. “I knew you were coming. Anthony told me. He said you would come from the east in a black car. That you wear the red cross and the symbol of the alchemist just like he said. And he said you would have his head on a platter just like John the Baptist.”
Mark Andrew chuckled at these descriptions which sounded like something one would hear from a Gypsy fortune teller, but the mention of St. John caused him to cringe. Blasphemy.
“You think it is funny? The poor boy was scared to death of you. He called you the Knight of Death. Chevalier du Morte. The Prince of the Grave. He said you would bring the flaming sword and cut off his head.”
“Who the hell is Anthony?!” He continued to laugh. Her descriptions were laughable, yet he wondered.
“I have your sword, Sir Ramsay,” she said quietly and her face took on another, more sinister expression. “It was in that your black car that you drove here from DFW. You came here from the east.”
“I don’t believe you. My name is John,” he said simply. “I don’t know what your game is, lady, but you’ve got the wrong man.”
“I don’t think so,” she smiled knowingly. “You were in a black car, you came from the east, you wear the rings, you had the sword. You venerate the name of St. John. Your denials are useless. There is only one point yet to prove out.” She narrowed her eyes. “Poor Anthony. I thought he was immortal.” Cecile toyed with the spoon in the empty pudding dish.
“What happened to poor Anthony?” Mark asked with some reticence.
“Why? Do you still want his head? I’m afraid you missed him. He’s gone.”
“Just like that? Gone?” He snapped his fingers. “And I was so close.”
For a full list of Brendan’s books, check his blog
And find him on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrendanCarrollRCG