OOOOOH I got a good one today 🙂 I’ve got some seriously good stuff for you and a really fun giveaway! So, I won’t talk too much and will jump right on in!
Michael F. Stewart
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Non Sequitur Press
Number of pages: 305
Word Count: 85,000
Cover Artist: Martin Stiff of Amazing15
Every five hundred years the phoenix dies.
Samiya, born-into-shadow, is soon to battle her born-into-light brother. Abandoned by their parents, neither wishes to play the preordained role of beast and hero. When their loved ones are taken hostage, they are forced to follow the path laid out in myth, culminating in a battle first fought six thousand years ago in ancient Cairo. A mythic clash where one defeats the other and both become gods.
To break free from their fates, Samiya and her brother must unravel a mystery twisted by cults, greed, and magic. But myth is a powerful force and failure to live up to it may not only destroy their lives but the lives of the ones they love most.
When the phoenix dies, the only certainty is flames.
“Terrific! A successful blend of genres, complex and fascinating characters, and loads of suspense make 24 Bones a must-read.” Nate Kenyon, bestselling author of The Reach, Prime, Bloodstone, and The Bone Factory.
“’24 Bones’ is a winning debut. It’s well-written and well-plotted, studded with drama, action, history and mythology. There’s even a little romance. The conclusion is thrilling with the final outcome of the battle between good and evil held over until the very end…leaving you guessing until that very last page.” SF Crowsnest.
“Mafeesh baksheesh,” David said to the man who waited for a tip in the airport washroom. The caretaker stood in overalls and wrung a rag that drooled gray water onto the linoleum floor. David patted his pockets and then shrugged.
“Hey, baksheesh,” the skinny Egyptian called and followed David out of the washroom.
“It’s not like you held it for me,” David replied.
“David,” Zahara, leaning against an image of the Great Sphinx, said between her teeth. “It’s customary to give him a tip for keeping the washroom clean.”
“I know what’s customary,” he said. “I’m ex-pat. Remember, my real name is Dawid, not David, as the customs agents so diligently noted.”
She rolled her dark eyes, herself easily blending into the range of Egyptian ethnicities striding past. “Okay, Dawid.”
David knew he was being ridiculous; it had been a decade since he’d last set foot in the land of his birth and any desire to be a part of Egyptian society had been burned, prayed, or beaten out of him long before. The revolution sure as hell hadn’t made life easier for a former Coptic Christian.
The janitor frowned and then asked hopefully, “Pyramids?” Pursuing David through the airport concourse, the man handed him a worn brochure that depicted the Giza plateau at sunset and another with a laser show. The pamphlet was limp with mildew.
Zahara’s heels clicked against the floor as she trailed behind, no doubt annoyed that the man tracked David and not her.
David paused and stared at the image. In the brochure, the three pyramids were backlit, black prisms that ascended from Menkaure’s smallest prism on the left, Khafre’s in the middle, to Khufu’s, the Great Pyramid, on the right.
He dimly recalled visiting the plateau once with his father. For him it had almost seemed of religious importance. Staring from below the Great Sphinx’s massive paws and beside the Valley Temple attributed to Khafre with its monolithic pillars, his father had shut his eyes and ignored the jostles of the crowd.
Within the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the King’s Chamber had left an impression on David. It carried a special resonance. Five layers of chambers rose above it, which amplified sound. Or chant, or spell. The purpose of the Great Pyramid, as tomb or as alien spaceship, had been a question of scholars and pyramidologists for centuries. The secret of the Great Pyramid’s use was possibly the world’s most ancient mystery.
Even David couldn’t subscribe to the scholarly consensus that it was a tomb. Why did the Great Pyramid’s chambers carry no adornment despite the ancient Egyptian fascination with resurrection and the necessity of the deceased to read from the Book of the Dead to reach rebirth?
When work gave him some time away on this trip, he’d show Zahara the wonders of Egypt, the pyramids being but one. For now, the true wonder lay in the scanned file in his briefcase.
This book is crazy good! It’s got a lot going on, so hold on for just a little bit and it will be explained better and you’ll catch on, or maybe that was just me and it took me a little bit to figure a few things out, but I was still hooked! There’s a serious battle going on between the rivals and it becomes a fight of good vs evil and the balance between the two in the world. It’s gunna get really deep and really complicated!
Taggart is your first main character who was originally on Team Good, but he wants to show others that there can be more than one belief system and religions. Samiya was literally forced to be Team Evil, and she has a very scary, cruel upbringing. These two have such different backgrounds, regardless of being born in the same place. There’s a TON of side characters, which I loved of course. I will also say that not everything is as it seems and something nature vs nurture really does come into play 🙂
The plot is one of a kind. It was written so wonderfully, with a ton of genres to catch everyone’s attention. Lots of action and history and mythology, enough suspense and thrill that you’ll be on the edge of your seat, with supernatural aspects and amazing plot twists! And the world building is just captivating! It’s fast paced, but not without it’s wonderful story-telling. I will say this, if you are easily offended by different types of religious beliefs and cultures, maybe be a little careful. This is a fictional story, but there are some serious religious things going on, but not the preaching throw it in your face kind. Just trust me, READ IT!! It’s pretty phenomenal! 🙂 Like 5 PAWS Phenomenal 🙂 GO GET IT ALREADY!
WELCOME!! First, tell me a little about your book….
24 Bones is a sweeping yet short epic about the resurgence of Egyptian gods in the 21st century. It takes place in modern Egypt, post revolution and will draw the reader from the desert near Nag Hammadi, to the underground maze of Krokodilopolis, the pyramids, and Coptic Cairo.
The premise is based on a great deal of research. In myth, every five hundred years the phoenix returns. The year has arrived and so have the gods. All that’s left is to determine who they are and which will rule for the next five hundred years …
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
Like many authors, my interest in writing originated with reading. Entering, disappearing really, into the worlds of Terry Brooks, Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, Melanie Rawn, Weis and Hickman, Koontz, Piers Anthony, Feist, Eddings, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Stephen King. It filled so many of days with adventure. And it was inspiring too. I wanted to create these worlds and stories ever since.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
To some extent I think what we write is autobiographical. I, of course, am the Wedjat, the reincarnation of the god Horus and will soon rule the world! Just kidding, I more likely the mythic Beast, Seth, what Muslims call Najjal.
How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
Usually it just happens. The plot comes together. I raise my scissors and snip the character’s thread like fate from the web of her skein.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
I look up to those who have written across a spectrum like Jonathan Maberry or Neil Gaiman. Comics, Hollywood, horror, fantasy, young adult, adult, and successful all around. These authors are fully committed to extending their craft and range.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
24 Bones has a large cast. I’ve wrestled with having so many view points. The reality is that it could have been two books, but then it would have lost momentum. The pacing would have been too slow, I think. How do you write a short epic? So the answer is, I’m not sure yet. I can only hope it works for readers.
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Martin Stiff of Amazing15 designed the cover and I can’t say enough about it. I love it. Yes, I had input, showing covers of other novels I liked, explaining the concept of the Aten, the sundisc that the Shemsu Hor in the novel use as a weapon and which features prominently on the cover. It was important that the cover both speak of an ancient mythology, fantasy, and modern day. I think Martin nailed it.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
I learn a great deal. I’m fascinated by mythology and 24 Bones was a way of exploring the origins of many mythologies. I also traveled to Egypt and, yes, I actually lay in the Great Pyramid’s sarcophagus and chanted. An amazing experience.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please come connect and chat with me on Twitter, or Goodreads or my blog, I love to hear from fellow readers and writers!
Thanks a TON for stopping by and being so cool with that awesome interview 🙂
About the Author:
After crewing ships in the Antarctic and the Baltic Sea and some fun in venture capital, Michael anchored himself (happily) to a marriage and a boatload of kids. Now he injects his adventurous spirit into his writing with brief respites for research into the jungles of Sumatra and Guatemala, the ruins of Egypt and Tik’al, paddling the Zambezi and diving whatever cave or ocean reef will have him. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and SF Canada, and the author of the Assured Destruction series, 24 Bones, The Sand Dragon, Hurakan, Ruination and several award winning graphic novels for young adults.
Actually, it’s two 🙂 I am offering TWO ebook copies of 24 Bones! If you’d like to read 24 Bones, then leave me a nice comment below and I’ll pick a winner 🙂
Good luck!! Happy reading! And later gators 🙂