Beware Mohawks Bearing Gifts by SA Collins

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my dear Friends, SA Collins newest works. He is an amazing author, so if you like alternate universe with Sci-fi elements you need to check out his new book.

Blurb:

It’s 1847, New York.

William Matthias Hallett is a fashionable dandy of the Manhattan social set. His life is laid out before him: a world of soirees, riches, and luxury. Yet all he wants to do is find an adventure so deliciously wicked that it will satiate his soul for an eternity.

Disguised in a lower-class manner, into the notorious Five Points he goes, seeking that spark of adventure. That is until it greets him in the form of his old schoolmates from Dartmouth College—a pair of Mohawk warriors who will up-end his world and all he knew it to be forever.

Buy it here from NineStar Press

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Excerpt:

Prologue

Wherein we learn of the legend of Skywoman and her twin boys, Spruce and Flint, and how that was just the beginning…

 The Haudenosaunee Territories

As recounted by Tiyanoga to the people

October 21st, 1203

3:12 p.m.

“I speak to you now, the words and the voice of the people. Words that speak of our coming, our creation, and our enduring peace. These are the words of our fathers, our mothers, given to us since time immemorial. Hear now of the sacred warriors, the Tewakenonhnè, and learn what they tell us…”

We, The People, carry the story of Skywoman and of our creation with us. She resonates with us because she is the beginning.

From an early age we hear about her fall from the world of the Skypeople. Spying our world through a hole amongst the roots of the Tree of Life, she grew curious of our watery planet below. Ridiculed by the Skypeople for her curiosity, she was pushed from her world through the hole and fell in a fiery blaze to ours. Seeing her plummeting toward the Earth, geese flew high into the sky to ease her descent to our world. On their wings she watched in wonder as they glided over the vast oceans of the planet.

Knowing she needed a place to land, several aquatic animals scoured the water’s depths to find some soil to put onto a great turtle’s back. When they did, they created our home, Turtle Island. From the moment her feet touched upon the land, she began to seed the plants and create the beginnings of animal life that would populate this new world. They fell from the garments she wore as she walked around, and they took root and thrived in this strange new land.

Enraptured with her staggering creations, she gave birth to twins. The first, a virile strapping boy, she named O’so:ra (Spruce), bringer of all good things in life. Yet, where Spruce possessed a robust body and a healthy glow, his twin, Saweskira (Flint), clawed his way from his mother’s womb into this world sinewy and pallid in color and of ill purpose. One brother a bringer of light, love, empathy, and compassion. The other of darkness, malfeasance, calculated evil, and deception. Even in this, the balance of life must be maintained. The brothers, simply by being, kept that balance.

Would that their differences ended with their outworldly appearances. Our hearts are heavy knowing this is not so. But, as with all things in life, each responds and interacts with the world around them according to their own gifts.

Spruce moved about his world enthralled with every aspect of life his mother gifted them. His keen and sharp mind, coupled with his compassion and deeply profound respect for all the possibilities life afforded him, became the wellspring of his own creations. He demonstrated from childbirth his ability to imbue wondrous things on the island. Expanding upon the flora and fauna his mother started, he freely gave of himself to the world around him.

Flint, however, would toil his days away finding his brother’s marvelous creations. Taking fiendish delight, he perverted them into beings of a darker purpose—bending Spruce’s creation to his conniving will. Under Flint’s maligned hand the common garden snake grew fangs saturated with poison to fill others with its toxic venom.

The boys moved about in a world immersed in brotherly affection laden with sibling competition. The latter trait, however, would come to shake the world to its core.

As their bodies grew in stature, so too did their conflicts. Smaller skirmishes between the twins eventually grew to outright warfare. Ultimately, Spruce found he could no longer bear to ignore the darkness that seemed to pour from his brother’s very soul. Enraged and saddened by his brother’s relentless assault on life, Spruce, bearing the heaviest of hearts, decided to put an end to it.

Thus, the brothers engaged, and an awesome battle ensued—a cataclysmic tussle that continued to rage with little regard for the passage of time. Whether one year or one million years, no one can say, for no one was there to mark its passing. What is known is the twins, in their epic sibling conflict, created the mountainscapes, deep canyons and gorges, as they flung their titanic bodies across Turtle Island, slamming each other into the fertile soil, hardening soft mounds of earth with brilliant fiery gazes that could melt the ground into sharp peaks, reaching heights this world had never known before.

When it seemed the world could no longer bear more of their anger, Spruce finally gained the upper hand and, in his victory, banished Flint to the shadows of life where darkness dwelled and bitterness and anger could make a home in him. There, in the oppressive darkness, Flint’s heart grew black.

Though the battle ended, their sibling war was far from over.

Deep in those darkened places, in the blackest recesses of his banished realm, Flint raged, swearing he would not be gone forever. From those obscured caverns, sitting on an obsidian throne of his own making, he withdrew to lick his wounds and bide his time. For time, that uncontrollable but progressive companion, Flint knew would be ever in his favor. He counted on his brother’s good nature leading Spruce to grow weary of watching for him. Flint felt all but assured he would work his way back to his rightful place to dominate the world his brother denied him. Patience and planning were all he required now.

Slowly, over the millennia, he crept back into everyday life, slithering through the cracks he created, testing his brother’s resolve to keep him at bay. Whenever threatened by Spruce, Flint and his horde would retreat to their shadows, eager to fight another day.

But then Spruce did a thing his brother did not expect. For reasons no one can fathom, Spruce decided his works here were complete. Confident his brother was no longer a threat in this world, he became resolved to take his leave, to simply walk away. What Flint did not know, what he could not have guessed, was that his brother’s gaze turned skyward—he sought life beyond their world. He wanted to return home, to the land of the Skypeople.

Spruce’s final imprint on this land—he created the people of Turtle Island and imbued them with the knowledge to be the world’s custodians, or balance-keepers. By them, the world would be cared for and treasured. They would become the check and balance against Flint and his minions should they rise.

For a time, it appeared to work. But patience was Flint’s greatest weapon. He could wait several millennia if that is what it took to achieve his ultimate goal. So, Flint prodded the people. He poked at their defenses. Never so much as to do them great harm, but to test their strategic maneuvers and resolve.

Weary of smaller engagements, Flint reached into the world, revealing a shrewdness in his offensive tactics, eventually doing great damage to the people, weakening their defenses. Whispers from Flint in men’s ears and in their hearts became commonplace. Meanwhile, Flint’s work continued, maneuvering the people against one another to the brink of oblivion. In this, Flint’s plan began to establish his evil intent: fear, mistrust, and deceit would he plant in men’s hearts.

It worked.

As the infighting waged between the people, they realized they were losing too many of their kind to keep Flint in his place. The Onondaga Faithkeeper, in desperation, appealed to Spruce through prayers and offerings, begging for his assistance, explaining that the people were losing the battle, and all would be lost if he did not intercede on their behalf.

His heartfelt plea fell on deaf ears. For decade after decade, with further losses amongst the people, maddeningly Spruce remained silent—removed from their request. The people who remained, left to guard the planet, stood strong in their resolution to oppose Flint; they just did not possess the means necessary to defeat such a foe and in their weariness, their frustration festered between them, further playing into Flint’s plan.

Under Flint’s influence, the people argued amongst themselves about the correct way to defeat him. Flint saw this as an opportunity and played into this—pooling malcontentedness where he could, nurturing it, cultivating enmity toward their brothers and sisters.

On the eve of a particularly cold and bitter winter night, in the midst of a great battle, the people warring amongst themselves, tearing at one another to the brink of desolation, their prayer, long since forgotten, was finally answered.

He came.

Spruce returned one last time.

He returned to us not as we remembered, but as another great man: Dekanawida—known to us as the Great Peacemaker.

Dekanawida came to a man, a Mohawk man—Aiionwatha—who sat near a lake grieving over the butchering of his entire family during a recent battle. The Peacemaker consoled the man in his all-consuming desolation. Tears that seemed to have no end dried upon Aiionwatha’s face as he spoke to the man, though not because of his words, but of the calming peace emanating from every part of him.

Resolved that the conflict had to end, the Peacemaker implored Aiionwatha to help him bring the people together. Using the analogy of a bundle of arrows, he explained how they needed to get the warring peoples to understand that a single arrow could easily be broken, but combined and of like purpose, they were nearly unbreakable.

The Peacemaker knew the words of peace should come from one of their own. Dekanawida stuttered to the point of shaking bodily just trying to convey a single thought—coaxing Aiionwatha to be that voice to the people. At first Aiionwatha was afraid no one would hear him. But Dekanawida assured him the calming and abiding peace that poured from his soul would warm their hearts and they would welcome Aiionwatha’s words.

It was hard work to bring the people together, but under Aiionwatha’s impassioned tongue, and the Peacemaker’s influence, the people began to respond and see the way to the Great Law of Peace.

That was until Aiionwatha and Dekanawida came to the great Onondaga Nation. Here the great chief, Atotarho, was rumored to be the most removed from Aiionwatha’s words. He had heard of Dekanawida and Aiionwatha’s pilgrimage amongst the nations and wanted none of it for his people. As Aiionwatha continued to speak his words of unification and lasting peace, Dekanawida noticed that snakes moved within the hair of the great chief, whispering Flint’s twisted words above anything Aiionwatha and Dekanawida could say or do.

Aiionwatha was resolved to give up when Dekanawida suggested he try one more time. While Aiionwatha spoke, imploring reason, Dekanawida stood behind the great chief, humming a soothing Onondaga tune that relaxed him, and began to comb the snakes from his hair, separating Flint’s influence from Atotarho’s ears. The snakes fell to the ground in cinders and ashes with each combining, leaving twisted singe marks on the ground around him—a testament to Flint’s convoluted maniacal ways. The truth of Aiionwatha’s words could finally be heard, and the unification was complete, uniting the original five nations—Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca—to a common goal and purpose. The Great Law provided a method for other nations to join and the Tuscarora were the first to do so. Like that bundle of arrows, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy became strong.

But Spruce had a higher purpose in mind.

In their slumber, he visited each nation in the guise of Dekanawida. He moved amongst them as they slept, gifting the people with the ability to engage Flint and his twisted beasts. This gift, however, would come in the form of preternatural powers that would manifest themselves in unique and powerful ways. Not every man—or later, woman—would answer its call.

At first, Spruce chose warriors whom he observed showed the most promise; who were sound of heart and character and ultimately would not abuse the powerful sacred knowledge given to them by the Creator through the Peacemaker.

So, the Tewakenonhnè or Guardians, as they came to be known, trained under Spruce’s tutelage in this way. As a warrior moved into his declining years, a new able-bodied young man of good mind and a great heart was called from the village into the Guardianship to learn its sacred knowledge.

Seeing the people had taken up the cause for themselves, Spruce decided to take his final leave from us. He gave us every tool we would need to succeed. The rest, he instructed, was up to us.

As he left, he approached the Faithkeeper of the Mohawk nation, and gave him a special wampum belt. Not of the white and indigo beads we crafted of our own, this belt, silver and shimmering like the ripples of a lake, is the most powerful and sacred of them all.

Gifted with this final tool to assist him in managing the Guardianship, he became the Guardian’s first Central. I say to you now, as that Central, I bear the responsibility of the Guardian’s care, welfare, and their training. I am not their master. I am their caretaker, their counselor, and their elder voice when need arises in the Grand Council for the Guardians to be heard.

“This is the way of the people; this is how the Tewakenonhnè came to be.”

About SA Collins:

SA “Baz” Collins hails from the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives with his husband, and a Somali cat named Zorro. A classically trained singer/actor (under a different name), Baz knows a good yarn when he sees it.

Based on years of his work as an actor, Baz specializes in character study pieces. It is more important for him that the reader comes away with a greater understanding of the characters and the reasons they make the decisions they do, rather than the situations they are in. It is this deep dive into their manners, their experiences and how they process the world around them that make up the body of Mr. Collins’ work.

You can find his works at sacollins.com and as a co-host/producer of the wrotepodcast.com series.

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsacollins

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sacollinsauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacollins.author/

Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/sa2706/

Podcasts and More

Here we are, it’s Wednesday again Scribblers. I hope you are having a great week. This week, I wanted to give a shout out to some of my favorite podcasts. If you don’t listen to podcasts you need to start, they are fun and a great way to keep up with the topics you find most interesting. I also love that they make my commute to the office and back home bearable.

Here is my list of favorite podcasts in no particular order:

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WROTE Podcast: WROTE is a weekly podcast where the hosts Baz and Vance chat with guests about LGBTQ storytelling in all genres and mediums. However, there podcast isn’t just about LGBTQ storytelling, they talk to all kinds of LGBTQ content providers and consumers.

What I love about Vance and Baz is how lively the conversations are. You can tell they have fun with their guests. You never know where they conversation will go, but you will have a great time getting there. I can’t tell you how many wonderful new authors I’ve learned about thanks to this podcast. Each podcast is about an hour which is nice.

Find the WROTE Podcast here.

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The WritesCast Network: This podcast is a writing-podcast collective for writers, by writers, with the mission to gather all of your favorite writerly audio on one convenient RSS feed. The Writescast Network started with the R. R. Campbell writescast, which features author, editor, and agent interviews full of writing wisdom from storytellers across the globe. They have expanded to include Biblio Breakdown and Novel Approaches, both of which are more craft-intensive.

R.R. Campbell and his co-host Sione Aeschliman are intelligent and great to listen to, as a writer, I find myself agreeing with a lot of what they share and taking mental notes on how to improve my writing.  As a Reader I love R.R.’s one-on-one conversation with authors, it’s a great way to find out about books and new authors I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. The Writescast Network episodes are about a half hour and the indebt writing conversations on Novel Approach last bout an hour. Both are high quality and very informative.

Find The Writescast Network here.

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GayTalk 2.0: The Ultimate PodCast: Is a group of three friends that come together every Monday to provide listeners with hilarious commentary on all the current events of the week.  The hosts sit around the table with cocktails in hand bringing the latest on art, current events, news, music, and other topics that impact the LGBT community.  The show consists of several segments that are chosen to provide listeners relevant, current, informative content with a funny gay twist. Most topics discussed on the show are those that closely affect the LGBTQ+ community. The hosts don’t shy away from any topic; Sex, politics, alcohol, addiction, fetish, gossip, celebrities, or tragedy. They cover it all.

The banter, oh my goodness the banter. Tom, Chris, and Nick (or Trish) are funny as hell. These guys are great. I may not always agree 100% with them, but if you are looking for conversations on current events that are discussed with a lot of heart (and seriousness when applicable) then you have to check out this podcast. I can’t recommend them enough. This podcast hovers around an hour to an hour and a half and it’s worth every minute.

Find GayTalk2.0 here.

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Queer Words: Conversation with queer-identified authors about their works and lives.

That really sums it up, Wayne Goodman is charming and welcoming to his guest, who are all authors. Wayne will have them answer a few questions and then do a reading from one of their works. It’s another way to find some amazing books and learn about some fantastic authors. The podcast typically goes anywhere from twenty to thirty minutes.

Find Queer Words here.

You really need to check out these amazing podcasts, they are always a wonderful break from your day-to-day.


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As a reminder, this week I have two events coming up. First, Friday (August 16th) at 7 p.m. I’m going to be part of a Meet the Authors event here in San Jose at the Billy DeFrank Center.

I’ll be joined by the amazing J.Scott Coatsworth, the outstanding SA ‘Baz’ Collins, and the brilliant Jeanne Marcella.

Find more information by clicking here.


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Second, this Saturday at 11 a.m. I’ll be live on Facebook with A. F. Stewart for their live stream Between the Pages. We’ll be chatting about my Sci Fi series and my upcoming work. Check out the details here.

A lot is still going on. I hope you check out these podcasts they are all top quality and every entertaining. I learn a lot from each of them and wouldn’t miss a week. Do you have any favorite podcasts? What do you listen to on the drive to and from work? Let me know in the comments below. In the meantime have a great week and see you next time.

June 2019 Writing Updates

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Happy Wednesday Scribblers, this week I wanted to shine the spotlight on some things I’ve been up to. As you know I’ve been focusing a lot on other authors, so today I wanted to share my updates.

It’s been a busy six months. As you all know, I’ve released two new novels. Books 1 and 2 of my A New World series. Contact (book 1) and Conviction (book 2) have done amazingly well and have gotten some outstanding reviews. Both books can be found on Goodreads lists of Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books and Best Science Fiction Books (click here), which is exciting as this is the same list with such incredible works as Dune, 1984, and Brave New World. I’m honored that my novels are even on the same list as these amazing works.

Also, within the past six months I’ve launch a store here on my website (click here) where, for now, if you live here in the United States you can get signed copies of my novels currently out in print (The Calling, Contact, and Conviction). And, until the end of the month you can get 25% off my books by using the promo code: PRIDE19 at check out. It’s a wonderful way for you to support me and to get a signed copy of my books especially if you can’t make it to one of the events I’m attending.

Speaking of events, two weeks ago I was at SacPride. It was a very windy, but fun event and I got to meet a lot of folks and connect with readers and fans. I had a blast.  A big thanks to QSAC for the invite. Check out the photos here.

Not only have I been attending events, but I’ve been featured in the media; Outlook Video, Wrote Podcast, Divine Magazine, and The Writescast Network and that’s only since January 2019. To see all my media interviews click here.

Coming up next on the engagement front, me and three other area authors will be at the Billy DeFrank Center (click here) on August 16th talking about LGBTQIA writing and what our experiences have been in the writing community. It should be a great conversation so if you’re in the area I hope you can come by. Also, we will sell our books, with a portion of the proceeds going to the DeFrank Center to support their mission and their work in the LGBTQIA Community. You can find more info here.

On the writing front, I’ve finally finished all my edits for book 3 (Conspiracy) of my A New World series and the book is off to the publishers for them to pick up (keep your fingers crossed).

Also, in my writing world. I’m wrapping up the edits for T.A.D.-The Angel of Death so you can look for that novel coming out in the Fall 2019. To find out more about my newest novel click here.

One final writing update is that The Called (book 2 of my The Calling series) is finally getting wrapped up. I should finish the first draft in the next few weeks, which means from there it goes into the editing process. I know a lot of you have been patiently waiting, so I’m looking forward to getting this book out to you hopefully in 2020 or early 2021.

Well Scribblers that is all I have for you this week. Remember, if you have questions for me leave them in the comments below or you can email me at info@mdneu.com Don’t forget to show your love by liking and sharing this blog post with other readers. In the meantime have a great week and see you next time.

Countdown to Contact

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. Can you believe that there are only five days until my aliens (the Nentraee) land in their debut novel A New World-Contact. Do you want to learn about their clans? What about getting a handle on their language? Click here for the nentraee clan info and here for the nentraee language info. I have been working on this novel and this series for more years then I care to admit. The idea for A New World-Contact started as a family drama back when I was twenty-five and has morphed into what will be release on January 21, 2019. It should be epic.

As part of my launch festivities over the next several weeks I will be doing various blog tours, interviews, and appearances. Here is a schedule of what has been confirmed as of this posting:

On Saturday January 26, 2019 I will take over QueerRomance Ink’s Facebook page (find it here) come hang out from 10am – noon (PST). So, if you’re around please check in, say hello, and stay for a while. I’ll answer questions about the novel, the series, and the characters. I’m looking forward to chatting with folks and, of course, there will be giveaways to be won.

Beginning Monday January 28, 2019 and ending on Friday February 1, 2019 I will stop by a new Blog each day and share info about A New World-Contact and the characters that live in that universe. Here is the schedule and where to find blogs and me:

January 21, 2019 – MM Good Book Reviews find them here.

January 29, 2019 – Love Bytes Reviews find them here.

January 30, 2019 – The Blogger Girls find them here.

January 31, 2019 – Queer Sci Fi find them here.

February 1, 2019 – Bayou Book Junkie find them here.

Early February I will, again, be a guest on OutLook Video. I’m thrilled to have been invited back and I’m looking forward to sharing more about A New World-Contact with them and you. Find OutLook Video here and the backlog of episodes here on CreaTV.

On February 8, 2019 I will be over with Vance and Baz on the WROTE Podcast. Those guys are amazing and you never know what we’ll be talking about, so don’t miss it. Here is where you can find WROTE Podcast.

February 21, 2019 will be the official launch party for A New World-Contact. As with last years launch of The Calling this event will be held in downtown San Jose at the Axis Building, Lobby Lounge (38 N. Almaden Blvd., San Jose CA) from 6pm – 9pm. If you will be in the area drop by, it should be a lot of fun. I will have books for sale and I’ll be signing them of course. Who knows maybe there will be a few special announcements. For more information on the launch party please check out my Facebook Page here.

You can still preorder A New World-Contact from my publisher NineStar Press here and you will get it three days early (January 18, 2019).

Well Scribblers there is a lot happening over the next month and beyond. Until next time have a great week. If you have questions or would like more info about any of the events I have planned please let me know in the comments below.