Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Cast of Stones by Patrick W Carr - BLOG TOUR

I would like to welcome Patrick W Carr to the blog today. Below is an excerpt and interview with this awesome author. PLUS a giveaway at the bottom.

Title: A Cast of Stones
Series: The Staff and the Sword #1
Author: Patrick W Carr
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: 1st January 2013
An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love
In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travellers  Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.


The woman took another, slow step toward him, her smile stretching the cuts and bruises on her face. “I don’t care who kills you boy, but do you really want to die by the borale arrow?” She laughed. “Do you relish feeling it rip and tear its way out of your flesh leaving you to die from blood loss, screaming in pain?” She nodded back toward Balina. “The captain has a sword, freshly sharpened. He can make your end quick and painless.”

“Don’t believe her boy,” Merodach said. He pitched his voice to carry over the flood below. “A malus never kills quickly. They feed on pain. Come with me. I can take you to safety.” He took a step.

Errol’s tried in vain to watch everyone. The pounding of his heart merged with the flood waters. He cast the briefest of looks down, fought to keep from sobbing. The roiling depths were too far away to survive a jump.

He was going to die. All that remained was to choose between the arrow, the sword, and the water.

Without turning his back to Merodach or the malus-possessed woman, he climbed the railing.

The three of them inched forward.

“Come, boy.” The woman’s voice crooned. “There’s no need for such a death.” Her voice grew mocking. “Don’t you want to be buried in your faith? Don’t you want the priest to bless your grave?”

“Errol, don’t.” Merodach’s voice cut across the woman’s.

For a moment, something in the assassin’s voice penetrated the fear that clouded his thinking. Could he be telling the truth? If he’d wanted Errol dead, he could have simply fired. It would be impossible to miss at this range, but that would leave Merodach open to counter-attack by the malus and her guard.

He didn't want to die. Errol took a tentative step toward the assassin, tried at once to ignore the arrow aimed at his chest and brace for its impact that would kill him.

An animal-like snarl erupted from behind him. Merodach raised the bow, drew.

He launched himself into space, heard the whine of the borale’s arrow merge with a cry of rage and pain.

The water rushed up at him.


When did you realise you wanted to be a writer and what was the very first thing you ever wrote?
I knew in college that writing was something I wanted to try. I even started a book “The Dreams of Daryn.” But after I got about three chapters into it, I got stuck and gave up. Later when I had children, I actually completed a novel I’d written for them, in which they were the main characters. That was a real breakthrough for me because it was the first full-length novel I’d ever finished.

Is there another author that you aspire to be like? 
Writing-wise there are many because I've read so much that I admire. David Eddings, Stephen R. Donaldson, Tolkien, Lewis, Raymond E. Feist, Guy Kay. It’s actually quite a list.

How do you come up with your characters? Are they based on real people’s characteristics? 
I see their personalities in my head before I see their physical characteristics. That may be a bit backward, but I'm more interested in them for who they are rather than how they look. Often, I'll use a family member or someone I know (or know of) for a physical likeness. Often, they’re a mix of people. 

Who designed your book cover and why did you choose that particular design? 
Bethany House was nice enough to ask for my input on the cover. I’d had this idea rolling around in my head and I asked my nephew, Douglas Dabbs, who is an art teacher at SCAD in Atlanta, to mock up a drawing. He was nice enough to do so. Bethany refined the idea into what people see now. I love it. If you’re an author, it’s a wonderful feeling to love the cover that’s on your book. I've talked to some where that hasn't been the case.

In one sentence, can you tell my readers why they should read your book? 
“A Cast of Stones” is a fun story that can be read multiple times and be enjoyed because of the layers of meaning written into the story.

What’s next after A Cast of Stones and when is it due to be released? 
The next book in the series is called “The Hero’s Lot” and is due to be released this July. I'm supposed to get the galleys in a couple of weeks, so it’s pretty much finished.

What’s one piece of technology you cannot live without? 
At this point, it’s my laptop. I would hate to go back to a typewriter for writing. I don’t have that level of discipline yet.

When you are writing, do you have a set routine that gets you started or just go with the flow? Starbuck’s and coffee work well for me, or if I'm at home, I park at the dining room table and listen to music. That usually does the trick.


Tea, coffee or hot chocolate? I love all three. It’s not unusual for me to have them all in the same day.

Sweet or savoury? Sweet. I’m a sugar freak, which brings me to one of my resolutions.

Cats or dogs? Dogs. We have one named Mel, but I call him Mr. Fruffles. He looks like a throw pillow.

Day or night? Day, but not early morning.

eBooks or paperbacks? Papeerbacks

Favourite all time book? The Belgariad by David Eddings.

About the Author

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.


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