Monday, January 17, 2022

NBtM Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Raven and the Pig by Lou Kemp @LouKempBooks @GoddessFish


The Raven and the Pig

by Lou Kemp

GENRE: Magical Realism


Synopsis of The Raven and the Pig Book 2

As the music dies, the magician Celwyn is mortally wounded.  His darker, immortal brother Pelaez brings him back, barely, with his magic. The party of protagonists travel on the Nautilus to the Cape Verde Islands and the healer of immortals.  During the journey, Professor Kang and Bartholomew can not tell if Pelaez will keep his brother alive.  Captain Nemo is ready to evict Pelaez forcibly, and keeping Celwyn alive is the only thing that restrains him.

After Celwyn is saved, the healer requests payment for his services. This sends the adventurers to the catacombs in Capuchin where their experience is one they will not forget. Before it is over, several of the protagonists question why it seems everyone from warlocks and vampires to witches, seem to be congregating in their world. Before it is over, some of them become surprising allies, and a few of their allies turn against them.

In part II, work on the new flying machine begins in earnest bringing attention from the Mafioso and a cherub-like warlock called Duncan.  After a final battle with Duncan, the flying machine is destroyed and everyone at their compound is murdered by one of their own.

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Instead of trotting left down the hallway to the cabins, Kang detoured as quietly as possible into the study. As he feared, he found Pelaez standing over Celwyn; he was also sitting at the Captain’s dinner table. The man in front of him was the real one.

Pelaez had Celwyn’s arm in a vise-like grip, his voice too low to hear anything but the menace in it. Kang saw the pain on Celwyn’s face, and his wide-open eyes.

Leave him alone!” Kang cried. “Get away from him!” the automat flew at Pelaez who laughed and backed up, literally into the air. Qing squawked from atop the library shelves.

Celwyn’s face relaxed, and he whispered, “Don’t…let him hurt Qing,” before closing his eyes.

Bartholomew arrived with the Captain close behind. Nemo’s face darkened when he saw the tableau.

What is going on?” he barked as he stalked into the room.

A half-dozen of the crew thudded to a stop behind him.

Like a feather on an air draft, Pelaez drifted to the floor. “Nothing.”

Kang shouted, “He was twisting Jonas’ arm when I came in!”

Bartholomew lowered his head, and took a step toward Pelaez. Of a sudden a wall of flames surrounded him.

Not on my ship ----” Captain Nemo gestured to his crew who drew their side arms.

The flames disappeared and Pelaez executed a short bow. “Please, this is a simple misunderstanding.” He leaned against the sofa, yawning.

No, —it is not,” Kang ground out. Despite the threat of flames or worse, he came within inches of Pelaez, so close he could have smelled his breath. “I know what you want.” He tapped Pelaez’s chest. “In case you need an incentive to leave Jonas alone. You won’t get anything from us if you hurt him. And nothing anyhow: Bartholomew has made half of the flying machine so far, and keeps in it his memory ---- without a written copy. There is nothing to steal.” Kang pointed at his forehead. “I have the rest of it, and we will only give it to Captain Nemo.”

Bartholomew glared at Pelaez.

I am not after your information.” Pelaez’s smile sent a cold hand up Kang’s back.

Yes, you are!” Bartholomew’s outrage rattled the bottles on the bar.

How can you abuse Nemo’s hospitality in this manner?” Kang stomped to the aquatic window and back, sparking with anger. He glanced at the guard Nemo had left in the room as he got to his feet and shook his head, seeming unaware of what had happened.

Nemo still clutched a dinner napkin in his hand. With a wave, he dismissed his crew and eyed Pelaez. In a voice full of menace and certainty, he said, “If you weren’t keeping Mr. Celwyn alive, you would be expendable, Sir.”

Pelaez opened his hands in supplication. “Again, this is a misunderstanding---”

Captain Nemo glared at him.

Bartholomew sighed. “It seems we’re all dependent upon each other.”

Pelaez had no limits on boldness, going from provocateur to questioning them.

What do you receive from this besides the flying machine, Captain?” Pelaez asked, his voice casual, which raised another flag of suspicion in Kang.

I am repaying a debt. And, I too, respect Mr. Celwyn.”

The automat suspected that if they saved Jonas, with Celwyn helping him, Nemo would have no problem dealing with his brother and his malicious magic. Until then, he had to wait. As they filed out of the room to return to the dining room, Pelaez asked Kang, as if it didn’t matter, “How did you know I wasn’t actually with you?”

The automat nearly laughed. Let him wonder.

He would remember to tell both Nemo and Bartholomew later what he’d surmised. Pelaez could disable the Nautilus just as easily as Celwyn, or he could do other things; he was playing with them, pretending to behave. There was something he wanted, and the Professor would bet it had just as much to do with Thales, as the flying machine.

Book Trailer:

Interview with Lou Kemp

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    I was writing a short story for the Mystery Writers of America anthology, Crimes by Moonlight, edited by Charlaine Harris. I wanted something beyond a mystery, but with those elements, and the kernel of the Celwyn series was born.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    I did not have any goals, but my intention was to write a book that came from the idea of Jonas Celwyn and let it write itself as I went. I’m pleased with how things have developed, he has grown to be a more empathetic man and is amazed that he has found friendship in Bartholomew, Kang, and Nemo. He enjoys his role as “Uncle Celwyn” at Tellyhouse with Annabelle and the orphans they rescued. He is tamer, but not tamed.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    Not writing myself into a corner. I do not plot out the plot but let it flow as I write.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    Some of the action scenes, Kang’s reactions to the outlandish things Celwyn does, and the freedom to have a multi-layer story unfold in surprising ways.

    Where there alternate endings you considered?

    No, because each book is a break before the story continues, and does not really end.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    Only the fun of my cats getting between me and my screen while looking up something.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    Mysteries, magical realism, an occasional cozy.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Early work was horror and suspense, later work morphed into a combination of magical realism, mystery and adventure painted with a horrific element as needed.

I’m one of those writers who doesn’t plan ahead, no outlines, no clue, and I sometimes write myself into a corner. Atmospheric music in the background helps. Black by Pearl Jam especially.

More information is available at I'd love to hear from you and what you think of Celwyn, Bartholomew, and Professor Xiau Kang.


2009 The anthology story Sherlock’s Opera appeared in Seattle Noir, edited by Curt Colbert, Akashic Books. Available through Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. Booklist published a favorable review of my contribution to the anthology.

2010 My story, In Memory of the Sibylline, was accepted into the best-selling MWA anthology Crimes by Moonlight, edited by Charlaine Harris. The immortal magician Celwyn makes his first appearance in print.

2018 The story, The Violins Played before Junstan is published in the MWA anthology Odd Partners, edited by Anne Perry. The Celwyn series begins.

Present The full length prequel, The Violins Played before Junstan, to the Celwyn book series is published on Kindle. The companion book, Farm Hall is also published where Pelaez, another immortal magician and Celwyn's brother, makes his first appearance. The remaining books in the series: Music Shall Untune the Sky, The Raven and the Pig, The Pirate Danced and the Automat Died, will be available beginning in August 2021.

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$25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner, a 2nd randomly drawn winner a mug and pen with the book image and a 3rd randomly drawn winner will win a eBook

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt and cover.

Stormy Vixen said...

I enjoyed the interview, video and excerpt and The Raven and the Pig sounds like a great book for me to read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular week!

Sherry said...

Sounds like a great book.

Debbie P said...

This book sounds like a great read.

traciem72 said...

What inspires your book plot ideas?

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