Wednesday, November 2, 2022

NBTM Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Beginning of Arrogance by Bryan Cole @GoddessFish

Beginning of Arrogance

by Bryan Cole

GENRE: Fantasy


Paladins are nothing but trouble. Stories about paladins are everywhere, noble warriors riding magic steeds into battle against terrible foes. Champions of their gods. Heroes to everyone, except those who already have everything. Paladins are notorious for upsetting the balance of power, to the detriment of any who don't worship their deity.

So when Krell is called to service by the capricious god of the seas and skies, ReckNor, those with wealth and power can't help but be concerned. ReckNor hasn't called a paladin in years, and his nature is ever-changing and erratic. The fact that Krell is also an uneducated nobody with a stubborn streak as wide as the sea turns their concerns into fear.

All of which matters less than the threat clawing its way from the waves, ready to turn the ocean red with spilled blood…



You’re certain you won’t stay the night?” Petimus asked, hunched over the charter.

Krell shook his head. “It’s a short walk back to Watford, and the council is probably waiting to hear from us quickly. We should be there shortly after sunset.” Petimus nodded, then set his quill aside and picked up a candle. He fished a block of red wax from the case he had brought with him, then held the flame to it over the charter.

When a blob of melted wax had formed, Petimus took a ring from his finger. He ran his thumb over it, muttering to himself several times. Krell could make out the cadence of words of power, but hadn’t the faintest idea what he was doing. Petimus then pressed the ring into the wax, which glowed briefly for a moment.

Petimus stood and looked at the companions, then reached out his hand to each of them in turn.

My thanks, then, for the recovery of our fallen, and for slaying the things that attacked and killed them. The clan-speakers will hear the tale of your deeds. Know you’ve made at least one friend among the dwarves, all of you.” Petimus bowed to them, handed the charter to Orca, then led the way toward the gate.

If you’re setting out now, I doubt you’ll want to wait around any longer. Rain stopped for the time being, but no clue what condition the road — if you can call it that — will be in. May the Forge Father guard your path and the Fire Lord light your way!” Petimus slipped the bar from the gate.

Krell grinned. Olgar had taught him many things about arms and armor, but he had much to learn. In his religious training, Olgar had been exceedingly thorough.

My thanks for the ward of Rold, the Forge Father, and the warmth of Phlogos the Fire Lord’s breath. Your hearth and home were warm and kind, and may Rold reward you for being a gracious host! Until we meet again, Petimus Smithforge, and may ReckNor turn his baleful gaze away from you and your kin!” Petimus stood, staring slack-jawed at Krell, as everyone else filed past.

Interview with Bryan Cole

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

    For the fantasy genre broadly, I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. The Dragonlance Chronicles book series was the first series that showed me the power of fantasy literature. For Beginning of Arrogance specifically, one of the overriding themes is that the consequences of your choices are yours to deal with. Freedom to choose is great, but when you use that freedom poorly, then there’s no one to blame but yourself. I’m keen to show Krell making some terrible choices and being forced to deal with the fallout from his actions.

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

    There are a few aspects of fantasy literature that I don’t feel are emphasized enough. The power and role of the gods seem weirdly muted in most people’s daily lives, which feels wrong to me. With provably real deities that deliver miracles frequently through the use of their priests and, more rarely, paladins, everyday people would reap the benefits of this. Even basic healing spells would have a profound effect on the general health of the population. At the same time, the story is set in the town of Watford, a figurative just pas the end of nowhere little town that does not benefit from the extensive use of magic that other more significant settlements will be shown to have.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    The hardest part was figuring out the consequences of the climax, and how most of our characters would escape. At one point I had written myself into a corner, with no reasonable way for them to escape the decisions. Ensuring the enemies that they face also behaved realistically – none of that horde of ninjas who only attack one at a time nonsense – proved challenging as well. More than a few times everyone was going to die, and I had to rewrite!

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    The characters, more than anything else. Drawing inspiration from myriad friends and incorporating aspects of their personalities into not only the vividness of who they are on the page, but in the unique interactions between them. In particular Chapter 16 is my favorite in the book, not just because of some of the choices made that have pretty immediate consequences, but the interactions that I wrote between Krell and the others.

    Were there alternate endings you considered?

    I had a whole series of end-points on how the relationship with the primary antagonists and the town of Watford would end up. From ideas where the anger the antagonists feel over how Watford uses (or misuses) the ocean, to concepts like overpopulation and the violent expansion that can result from that scenario. In the end, I stuck with the original arc, almost none of which is revealed in book 1!

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

    I’m a classic introvert, so most of my research involved articles and media research, as opposed to interviewing. The people who probably helped me most during the lead up to me beginning to write would be Bryce and John. Bryce for helping me realize that I could put words to paper and have a great story, and John for really helping my tie the narrative threads together.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    I’m an avid reader, and read almost any subject from true crime, to historical fiction, to actual history, to fantasy, to science fiction, to spy thrillers, to, well, almost anything. I say almost because I am not a fan of the horror genre. In a lot of ways, the idea of reading or watching terrible things happening to people and being scared the whole time about it makes no sense to me. Plus, I’m scared the whole time and I don’t like that feeling! I always come back to science fiction and fantasy as my two most preferred genres.


Bryan Cole is the author of the Paladin’s Journey series. New to the writing world, he spent years working in the enterprise software space, focused on quality assurance and delivery of software applications. Which is weird, because that has nothing to do with writing fiction.

For that, we need to go back – way back – to his first experience with Dungeons & Dragons. His friend Chris brought over the box set for Myth Drannor, eager to play. Together, they realized they had no idea what they were doing, because neither of them owned a copy of the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, or the Monster Manual.

From those incredibly awkward beginnings, a lifelong passion for epic science fiction and high fantasy adventure was born. Everything from his grade 4 teacher letting him stay after school to play a video game where you were the wizard on a quest, defeating monsters by answering math problems, to some truly memorable movies like Willow that showed him a world bigger and more exciting than the real one.

Of course, Star Wars and Star Trek have had a major influence on him. Want to get in good with Bryan? Lead with a Star Wars meme. From one of the good movies. Otherwise, your plan will backfire.

Bryan is also an avid gamer, and enjoys video games, board games, and tabletop roleplaying games.

These days, he lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter, and his adorable cat.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bryan is an avid reader, and has loved the fantasy genre since he was a child. His love of stories of mighty knights, terrible dragons, and noble steeds has inspired him for decades.





$15 Amazon/BN GC 

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


Bryan Cole said...

Thank you to Avid Reader for hosting me on my blog tour. I hope everyone enjoys reading Beginning of Arrogance as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And a big shout out to Bryce and John, who helped the most in making this book a reality!

Stormy Vixen said...

I enjoyed reading the interview and getting to know a little about you, Bryan, I also enjoyed the excerpt and Beginning of Arrogance sounds like a thrilling fantasy read!

Thanks for sharing it with me and have a splendid day!

Sherry said...

I love the cover and think the book sounds interesting.

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing your interview, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work ad I am looking forward to reading Beginning of Arrogance. Which is your favorite type of character to read or write about, the flawed hero or a complex villain who possesses a redeeming quality or two?

Nina Lewis said...

Loved the excerpt. And thanks for the interview. That cover is so cool! :)

xjanelx78 said...

Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

xjanelx78 said...

What's your favorite part of fall?

xjanelx78 said...

Do you plan to only write in this genre?

marisela zuniga said...

I also love reading true crime. Your book sounds great

xjanelx78 said...

Is there a season you tend to write more in?

xjanelx78 said...

Do you have a favorite book?

xjanelx78 said...

Do you have any plans for Thanksgiving?

xjanelx78 said...

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

xjanelx78 said...

What is your favorite holiday?

xjanelx78 said...

What is your favorite part of fall?

xjanelx78 said...

What inspires your writing?

xjanelx78 said...

Do you travel for the holidays?

xjanelx78 said...

Who is your favorite author?

xjanelx78 said...

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

xjanelx78 said...

Do you plan to release another book this year?

xjanelx78 said...

What is your favorite genre to read when you're not writing?

xjanelx78 said...

What was your favorite book that you've read this year?

xjanelx78 said...

Have a wonderful weekend!