The Wedding of Eithne by @MDellertDotCom – Interview by #thetoiboxofwords

Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I’m sharing a special interview with author, Michael E.  Dellert, about his fiction book entitled, The Wedding of Eithne. Enjoy! 

Where did the idea for The Wedding of Eithne come from?

“The Wedding of Eithne” (and my books before it) have their origin in the first complete book that I ever wrote. In rewriting that book, I created a “Cuts” file as a place to dump a lot of back-story and exposition that was superfluous to that story. The “Cuts” file eventually came to some 191 pages of good story ideas in their own right. So in a sense The Wedding of Eithne is the last of a series of “prequels” to a book I’m still polishing for publication.

How did the title of this book come about?

For this book, I wanted a simple functional title that linked well with the last book in the series, since this was a continuation of that story from a new perspective.

I also wanted something that spoke to the particular story question: Will the Lady Eithne actually get married after everything that’s happened in the series to date, and what obstacles will come between her and the final decision to accept or reject the arranged marriage of the title?

What genre is this book and why did you choose to make it so?

“The Wedding of Eithne” is primarily a heroic fantasy novel, like the other works in my Matter of Manred series. The title heroine, Lady Eithne, is of relatively humble origin (being from the lowest rung of the aristocracy, and a bastard branch of her family besides), and has been reluctant for three books now to become an arranged bride, but she’s thrust into making this choice by events beyond her control. I wanted a smaller, intimate, character-driven story that explored questions of fate, free-will, pre-destination, family, and obligation, without the world-shaking overtones of epic fantasy.

What would you say is the overall message or the theme of this book?

I was raised Catholic, and have read a lot of “Chosen One” fantasy fiction over the years, and as a father of daughters, and a feminist-friendly person in general, the question of choice and free-will in relation to romance and religion is important me. So questions about fate, free-will, and the nature of evil feature prominently in the heroine’s development. It’s something of an “Abraham & Isaac” story, told from a female viewpoint, with marriage as the sacrificial altar. So these are the predominant themes in “The Wedding of Eithne.”

Tell me about the experience of writing this book; how long did it take.

Parts of “The Wedding of Eithne” go back fifteen years, and the original draft from which the core of this story emerged was written two years ago in about 90 days. And then this particular book was drafted last year in another 90-ish days, and went through about six months of rewrites before I was happy with the final draft. The process involved many years of researching medieval Irish culture, particularly marriage practices, myths, and legends. I even went to Ireland for a few weeks to immerse myself in the culture.

Tell me about the main storyline within this book.

The Lady Eithne has lived her whole life under a magical prohibition: she may not marry until the portents are favorable, but she’ll always have the right to choose her husband. Now, the portents are favorable, AND they coincide with an ancient prophecy. Eithne is left with little more than a day to decide whether to accept marriage arranged for her. But rival religious and political factions have their own ideas about her wedding plans. How can she avoid becoming a pawn for one side or another, yet still exercise her free right of choice?

Who is the protagonist of this story?

The Lady Eithne is the daughter of a minor aristocratic family, raised in a remote mountain village. Because of her magical prohibition, she aspired to a life beyond the typical fate of being married off as a teenager to the first man who could afford her bride-price. When the years went on, she began to think she’d end up an unmarried “spinster,” and learned about “men’s ways” in order to make an independent life for herself. Now that an arranged marriage has been contracted for her, she has to decide what love really means to her.

Who is the antagonist of this story?

This was actually an interesting problem in writing this novel. The visible antagonist is His Reverence Inloth, a priest who believes that his local religious institutions are corrupt and in need of reform, particularly its marriage practices. He is a native of the milieu, but studied abroad and returned with “foreign ideas” and a mission to make his countrymen “see the light” of the larger religious order. But there are also political opponents and “hidden” antagonists. Inloth’s reformation isn’t all that it seems to be, and not all of his villainous allies are honest and earnest.

What is the major conflict in this story?

As a divorced Catholic, I am myself something of an oxymoron, faced with the question of whether my marriage is actually still valid (no according to the State, but yes according to my Church). So the fundamental question in “The Wedding of Eithne” is whether Eithne really has the free-will to choose her own marriage partner, and what the consequences of that choice might be. She is also faced with the problem of whether her choice (if it is truly free) would be legitimate and valid, given the political and religious conflicts currently dividing her land.

Where and when is this story taking place?

“The Wedding of Eithne” is set in the dark, medieval-style milieu of my Matter of Manred fantasy series. The setting and political culture were influenced by 12th-Century AD Ireland in the decades preceding the Anglo-Norman Conquest, and the religious culture was inspired by hybridizing Irish myths and legends and mystic Pythagorean philosophy with real-life Catholic Church conflicts of the period. Robert E. Howard, Evangeline Walton, CJ Cherryh, and Glen Cook were the primary influences on the writing style, but I could probably spend 100 words just naming authors that have influenced me, there are so many.

Who is your favorite character in this book?

Although I love Lady Eithne and her betrothed, two minor characters who first appeared in my second book recur here: Adarc and Corentin. The first is essentially a fourteen-year-old seminary student, acting as a guide and interpreter for the second, a foreign merchant’s apprentice “studying the market” for his trading company. I love them because they have such divergent world-views, the spiritual versus the commercial. In a way, they represent the warring halves of my own soul, the writer (an act of faith) and the publisher (with all my American capitalist commercialism).

Are there elements of your personality or life experiences in this book?

I’ve already mentioned a few of the elements of my own life and personality that have wormed their way into “The Wedding of Eithne,” like my Irish Catholic upbringing, my divorce, and my daughters. I think any writer worth his salt tells very personal–and sometimes uncomfortable–stories. I’ve certainly taken my own fears of failure and success, and my reluctance to disappoint, and weaved these into the characters. I’ve also drawn on my own family history in developing these characters, though it wouldn’t be appropriate to name names, considering how much the characters have diverged from their inspirations.

What is one thing from this book you wish was real or could happen to you?

I suppose the whole book is an act of wish-fulfillment in one way or another. I wish I could find the sort of love that the characters in “The Wedding of Eithne” are looking for, a partner that isn’t just obligated to be a part of my life, as a consequence of chance and circumstance, but who really wants to be there. Someone I can believe in and encourage, and who believes in and supports the person I am and want to become as well.

What is something you wish wasn’t real and hope doesn’t happen to you?

I most certainly never want to be attacked by giant bats, spiders, or snakes!

Let’s say your book is being turned into a feature-length film; quick- cast the main two characters and pick a theme song or score.

Two songs come to mind: “When Will We Be Married” by the Waterboys and “Short-Change Hero by The Heavy. As for casting the film, I’ll have to say Keira Knightley from her roles in “King Arthur” and “Domino,” and F. Murray Abraham as the villain Inloth.

Do you have any special plans for this book in the near or far future?

This book closes out what I call “The Eowain Cycle” of my Matter of Manred Saga, setting up the background for the story in my next major book. But one thing I’d like to do with “The Wedding of Eithne” is create an omnibus edition that combines it with the previous three books in the series. I’d also like to create hardcover editions of my books. Several readers have already asked about it. Like many writers, I’m a total narcissist, so I wouldn’t mind having such a thing on my own shelves, something that will really last the ages.

Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. To Pre-order your copy of The Wedding of Eithne (March 28th release), please visit the links provided.

AMAZON | Author Direct links: EBOOK | signed PAPERBACK

This has been a

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Toi Reads “We Are Jardin” #wip #sample #fantasy

For anyone interested, I’m updating the free short story that comes with my email list sign-up. I’m offering a story that’s only been offered previously in an sci-fi anthology; you can have Clepher’s Heart free when you join my email list.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Yay! The Gryphon Series #ColoringBook is here! We can all #relax now and color.

Title: The Gryphon Series Coloring Book
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Cover Designer: Broken Arrow Designs
Illustrators: Crystal Ord and Robert Immings
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: 
Journey into the fantastical world of The Gryphon Series, written by Stacey Rourke, with original artwork that brings to life pivotal moments from the beloved Young Adult series!
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
 –
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
 –
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
 –
Buy Links to the Series:
#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Conduit (FREE): http://amzn.to/2acPikz
Descent (Novella): http://amzn.to/2eYdx6V
The Gryphon Series Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/2kimDPX

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Gryphon Series #ColoringBook, Cover Reveal! :D Yay! #fantasy

Title: The Gryphon Series Coloring Book
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Cover Designer: Broken Arrow Designs
Illustrators: Crystal Ord and Robert Immings
Expected Release Date: Feb. 2nd, 2017
Blurb:
Journey into the fantastical world of The Gryphon Series, written by Stacey Rourke, with original artwork that brings to life pivotal moments from the beloved Young Adult series!

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
 –
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award-winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
 –
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
 –
Buy Links to the Series: #Free with #KindleUnlimited
Conduit (FREE): http://amzn.to/2acPikz
Descent (Novella): http://amzn.to/2eYdx6V
The Gryphon Series Coloring Book: Coming Soon

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Neil Gaiman Spotlight, Blog Tour, and #Giveaway!

Dog Eared Publicity is pleased to bring you Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS, ANANSI BOYS, STARDUST and NEVERWHERE  virtual book tour November 7 – December 2!

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I am unable to post a review for American Gods today. I promise, as soon as I’m able I will. For those interested, here are the reviews I posted some time ago for Stardust and Good Omens. I hope you enjoy them…

And for today, I give you a special spotlight of the man who needs no introduction, author Neil Gaiman.

neil-gaiman-ap
Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and MirrorsFragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.Visit his website at http://www.neilgaiman.com

Twitter | Facebook

And now, the books. Oooo, so pretty. 😀

What I’m currently anticipating.



Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman

Release Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover
Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text. A modern masterpiece from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman.

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Washington Post) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is the story of Shadow—released from prison just days after his wife and best friend are killed in an accident—who gets recruited to be bodyguard, driver, and errand boy for the enigmatic trickster, Mr. Wednesday. So begins Shadow’s dark and strange road trip, one that introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. For, beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.
“Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative….American Gods is strewn with secrets and magical visions.”—USA Today


“Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive.”—George R. R. Martin

 

barnes-and-noble

 

Next on the TBR list.



Title: Anansi Boys
Author: Neil Gaiman

Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover
In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Neil Gaiman returns to the territory of his masterpiece, American Gods, to once again probe the dark recesses of the soul.
God is dead. Meet the kids.

Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother. Now brother Spider is on his doorstep—about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting . . . and a lot more dangerous.


“Thrilling, spooky, and wondrous.”Denver Post

“Awesomely inventive.… When you take the free-fall plunge into a Neil Gaiman book, anything can happen and anything invariably does.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Delightful, funny and affecting…. A tall tale to end all tall tales.”

Washington Post Book World

 

barnes-and-noble

Read it, Enjoyed it! 😉



Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman

Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover

Now a major motion picture—this charming fairy tale by the #1 New York Timesbestselling author, weaves a magical story set long ago in the tiny English village of Wall, a place where things are not quite what they seem.
Go and catch a falling star . . .

Tristran Thorn promises to bring back a fallen star for his beloved, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester—and crosses the wall that divides his English country town from another, more dangerous world of lords and witches, all of them in search of the star. Rich with adventure and magic, Stardust is one of master storyteller Neil Gaiman’s most beloved tales.
“Eminently readable—a charming piece of work.”
Washington Post Book World



“Beautiful, memorable . . . A book full of marvels.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

barnes-and-noble

 

Excited about this one.



Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman

Release Date: November 29, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover
National BestsellerSelected as one of NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All TimeThe #1 New York Times bestselling author’s ultimate edition of his wildly successful first novel featuring his “preferred text”—and including his new Neverwhere tale, “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back.”

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.“A fantastic story that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares” (San Diego Union-Tribune), Neil Gaiman’s first solo novel has become a touchstone of urban fantasy, and a perennial favorite of readers everywhere.“Delightful … inventively horrific.”

USA Today

 

barnes-and-noble

 

William Morrow is giving away a (5) sets of American Gods, Anansi Boys, Neverwhere and Stardust!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Five winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one set of all 4 books
  • This giveaway ends midnight December 2.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on December 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour here:

 Monday, November 7 – American Gods reviewed at The Toibox of Words 🙁
Tuesday, November 8 – Stardust featured at Zach’s YA Reviews
Wednesday, November 9 – American Gods reviewed at Bound 4 Escape
Thursday, November 10 – Neverwhere reviewed at BookStopCorner
Friday, November 11 – Neverwhere reviewed at Dreaming Big
________
 Monday, November 14 – American Gods featured at Waiting on Sunday to Drown
American Gods featured at I Smell Sheep
Stardust reviewed at Reading Reality
Neverwhere reviewed at 100 Pages a Day
Neverwhere reviewed at Svetlana Reads and Views
Tuesday, November 15 – American Gods reviewed at Hopelessly Devoted Bibiophile
Anansi Boys reviewed at Dreaming Big
Wednesday, November 16 – American Gods reviewed at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Stardust reviewed at Bound 4 Escape
Neverwhere reviewed at Alexia’s Books and Such
Thursday, November 17 – American Gods reviewed at Fascinating Quest
Friday, November 18 – American Gods reviewed at ABookGeek
________
 Monday, November 21 – Stardust reviewed at Laura’s Interests
Stardust featured at I Smell Sheep
Anansi Boys reviewed at Chapter by Chapter
Neverwhere reviewed at Cover2Cover
Neverwhere reviewed at RhiReading
Tuesday, November 22 – American Gods reviewed at Zach’s YA Reviews
Anansi Boys reviewed at Bound 4 Escape
Anansi Boys reviewed at Svetlana Reads and Views
Wednesday, November 23 – Stardust reviewed at Dreaming Big
Thursday, November 24 – Stardust reviewed at Fascinating Quest
Neverwhere reviewed at Laura’s Interests
Friday, November 25 – Stardust reviewed at RhiReading
________
Monday, November 28 – American Gods reviewed at Bookish Things and More
Stardust reviewed at Cover2Cover
Anansi Boys reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
Tuesday, November 29 – Stardust reviewed at 100 Pages a Day
Stardust reviewed at Freda’s Voice
Stardust reviewed at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Neverwhere reviewed at A Room Without Books is Empty
Neverwhere reviewed at Live Love Books Blog
Neverwhere reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
Wednesday, November 30 – American Gods reviewed at Dreaming Big
American Gods reviewed at RhiReading
Stardust reviewed at A Room Without Books is Empty
Anansi Boys reviewed at Fascinating Quest
Neverwhere reviewed at Bound 4 Escape
Anansi Boys reviewed at Live Love Books Blog
Thursday, December 1 – American Gods reviewed at Live Love Books Blog
American Gods reviewed at A Room Without Books is Empty
Anansi Boys reviewed at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Anansi Boys featured at RhiReading
Neverwhere reviewed at Worth Getting In Bed For
American Gods reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
Stardust reviewed at Live Love Books
Friday, December 2 – American Gods reviewed at Cover to Cover
American Gods reviewed at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Stardust featured at Romantic Reads and Such
Neverwhere reviewed at Fascinating Quest
________