Monday, July 21, 2014

Storytellers Blog Tours Presents : Author A. Yamina Collins of The Last King : Book 1, Episode #1-3

The Last King by A. Yamina Collins

THE LAST KING: BOOK I, EPISODE #1- 3 NOW AVAILABLE

Big image
The Last King has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature.

A modern-day fantasy romance about a young woman innocently caught in a war between two age-old nemesis: God, and immortal beings whose ancestors ate from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in---she's six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being an Elf from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore---she just wants her shattered life to be normal again.

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George's newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people who marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings. Indeed, God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft and for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead's Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead's vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat---they're also their greatest love.
PURCHASE THE FIRST 5 CHAPTERS TODAY:
The Last King ( Book I, Serial #1 ) by A. Yamina Collins



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. 

The Last King
 is her first novel, and it has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. Check out her blog at Yaminatoday.com. or follow her on Twitter.

Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Series 1

Chapter 1
It is doubtful the Master will ever hear of what is about to take place, Markus thinks, standing at the bank of this deserted lake. The branches on the trees around him sway peacefully, and the evening air hums a lullaby.

Markus does not suppose that the Master will hear about this and, really, what difference should it make if he does? It's just an old homeless guy that is going to die: Markus feels no guilt about it, so how could his thoughts give him away?

In a moment, he removes his hand from the old man's mouth because he knows the poor fool is too stunned to scream anyway---people are always speechless when they first see Markus's wings, stretched out as they are, twenty feet on either side of him, and tonight the old man simple blinks and lets spittle hang from the corners of his lips.

Markus does not know his victim's name, but his victim certainly knows it: Johnnie is what they call him, Johnnie Kubrick, and his very soul seems to have unzipped itself from his body and stepped outside of him. He is not just rigid but catatonic, and he longs for this to be some terrible dream he will soon wake up from.

But this is no dream, this is reality: there is a man standing before Johnnie who looks human, yet has glass wings on his back that are yellow and whose edges taper off to a thin, razor like end. The wings make a sound like metal crashing against metal as they flap - it is a harsh sound, a cold sound. And yet the wings themselves do not frighten the old man as much as what is attached to the wings do.

Johnnie's pale lips tremble.

"Wha---what are you?" he finally stutters. He does not mean to ask questions. He means to beg for his life because he does not want to die like this---not in these shabby clothes, near a bed of water where he can easily be disposed. He wants to die in a warm room, with someone who loves him holding his hand; Johnny Kubrick wants to die with dignity, different from the way he lived.

The old man chokes on his tears, wishing he was important again, the sort of man who would be missed in death, and he tries to recall how he ever became the sort of person other people diverted their gaze from on the streets. How had he become nameless, faceless, and useless to the world? When he was a boy, he never imagined the day his red hair, so straight and neat, would be constantly matted against his head.

Johnnie wants his mother here with him, so he could take in the soapy smell that was always on her, and smile at the sight of her emerald green eyes. If Johnnie's mother were still alive she would shield him from this boogeyman, and sing to him, like she did that Christmas morning when the cold of winter snapped at his bones but he happily cradled a shiny new firetruck in his arms.

For a moment, Markus thinks to reply to him, to answer that "what are you?" question that hangs in the air between them. It seems the decent thing to do on a night as beautiful as this one. But what is the point?

Fingering the old man's arm with his left hand, Markus feels for the bones under the skin and swiftly splits the flesh by pushing his thumb into the forearm. Blood trickles down. The old man barely utters a sound, even as Marku plants his lips against the gushing wound.

"My blood," Johnnie tries to explain, shaking his head. "---you shouldn't---" he hopes this might spare his life.

Markus looks at him. "Shhhh," he says, removing a few strands of blond hair that have fallen over his own eyes. "It's not your blood I want anyway."

And how he goes in for the kill.

No one will miss an old drunk, Markus concludes. And the Master will never know.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, A. Yamina Collins. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.



The Last King has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature.
A modern-day fantasy romance about a young woman innocently caught in a war between two age-old nemesis: God, and immortal beings whose ancestors ate from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

PURCHASE THE FIRST 5 CHAPTERS TODAY:
The Last King ( Book I ) by A. Yamina Collins
Science Fiction, African-American, Romance, Religious
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B00HJZVMJW



Meet the Author
A. Yamina Collins
 is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. She has written for publications such as New York Resident magazine, Our Town and the Manhattan Spirit. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. The Last King is her first novel. Follow Yamina's Blog for more news: http://www.yaminatoday.com

Big image

Intimate Conversation with A. Yamina Collins




First of all, congratulations on your book, The Last King, being a top 100 bestseller on Amazon!
Thank you. It’s actually been in the Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Women's Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. I am very excited about it, especially since the book hasn't even been fully released, yet.


You're releasing The Last King in episodes, right?
Right. Amazon has requested that I call the episodes volumes. So I am about to release volume (episode) 4 next. 


Tell me about that process. Why release the book in pieces?
Well, actually I'm taking something old and try to make it new again. In the 19th century, authors like Charles Dickens and Alexander Dumas would release segments from their upcoming books in periodicals on a monthly or weekly basis. It sort of helped to build readership and helped them connect to their audiences. And that’s exactly what I want to do. In fact, in some cases, those 19th century writers would slowly release a book over a period of more than two years! My time frame is about a year and a half. And of course, I am doing it digitally. This is the first book in The Last King trilogy and it will be chopped up into about 14 volumes (episodes). Each episode is made up of five chapters.


So what is The Last King about?
It tells the story of a young woman named Emmy Hughes who, in modern times, innocently finds herself caught in the midst of a game of wits between two rivals - God, and these immortal beings called Edenites whose ancestors marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life.

God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft and for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" of immortality and kill the Edenite off.

It turns out that Emmy discovers that she is a the Glitch of a rather imposing Edenite named Gilead Knightly. Now he has to get rid of her before she “wakes up” and gets rid of him.

Problem is, Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat, but also their greatest love. And so the game begins.


Wow. Okay. That covers a lot of territory. Now your book is not typical of what one thinks of when they hear the words Fantasy Romance, is It?
No. It's a fantasy book that takes place in present day New York, well upstate New York that is. It’s a fantasy world full of cars, cell-phones and modern contraptions. But it’s still a fantasy world.


And the book covers several genres at once?
Yes. The book is classified under Science-Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Women's fiction, Religion and African-American literature. By the time the second book in the trilogy comes out, I am really going to have to throw in History as a category, too. Ha ha. I wish I could tailor it down to less genres, but it's an epic book and that’s just how it’s going to be.


Do you think all those genres will deter readers?
I hope not. In fact, I am hoping that audiences are looking for something new and different. So why not go for a book that has it's feet in a myriad of categories? Of course, it will be up to the readers to decide if I've done a good job of balance with all the genres. We shall see.


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Oh, yes. I was nine-years old, standing in my grandmother's living room when I had a clear epiphany that I was going to be a writer someday. And I remember reading books like The Bluest Eye, The Turn of the Screw and To Kill a Mockingbird and thinking how stunning it was that those stories could move my soul. That's what I want to be able to do as a writer - to move people with my words.


What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
Well, I must admit that, as a writer, I have always dreamed of of writing The Great American Novel. Is that a bad thing to confess? I don’t know. It's a lofty dream, but it is a dream that inspires me to want to be excellent. I guess you could say my ultimate goals, however, are to educate and inspire. 


Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
Absolutely. For example, I intentionally do not have my character's curse or take God's name in vain. I chose not to cross that line even though my main character hates God and is angry with him. I believe, as a Christian, I am not called to do those things, even in literature. So I have had to be real creative in how my characters vent their frustrations. I also could not help but bring God into the story. He is literally the One behind this intriguing game that Gilead and Emmy must play with one another. I know for some people these are not always topics they want to read about it, but I’ve tried to put it in a unique format.


Since the book takes place in New York, do we get to see a magical world in this modern-day tale?
Of course! How could I not add in some sword fighting, mind telepathy, wings, and animals who can fly? Just the sort of thing you expect to happen to a young woman who works in Brooklyn.


What does “challenge” mean to you? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Challenge means not writing the same kind of stories I tend to see in African-American literature; specifically, I decided to write a different sort of black male character, one who had, in my opinion, a real inner life and one who was not a stereotype. I wanted to see a man like Gilead Knightly be a master and king, and I wanted to abandon any concept of black male bashing. This is not to say that Gilead does not have some major character flaws, because he does. But he is not a black male archetype.

It was also a psychological challenge to write the dark-colored girl as the beautiful love interest. You would think that as a black woman that would have been easy for me to do. Not so. A history of literature had conditioned me to think otherwise - or at least to give her light skin with straight hair. But I abandoned that model altogether because it's been played out and I believe that it harms black women's self-esteem.


Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Ultimately, I hope readers get to enjoy a good story. Period. The Last King takes place in this narrow world that Gilead inhabits with his family and Emmy, in a sense, steps into. And I wanted to take readers along for that ride and help them begin to view African-American characters outside of the usual stereotypes we are too often placed into. Please, no more mammies and Sapphires and Jezebels and brutes and minstrels with an updated face. I want readers to dream bigger. 


What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
Ha, ha. Okay, I must admit that, as a writer, I dreams of writing The Great American Novel. Yes, I admit it. It's a lofty dream, but it is a dream that inspires to want to be excellent, and not just run of the mill.

My other goals are to educate and inspire. Like I said in an earlier question, I intentionally created a dark-skinned girl as the love interest to a black man because I wanted to combat the same old-same old notion of what beauty is; and I wanted to combat the increasingly odd assumption that black love is a bad thing, or an unrealistic thing. Yes, I've been wanting to see more of such books. So I thought to myself 'Well, I'll start to be the change I want to see, I guess."


How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books?
I think they are both wonderful. Even as the world begins to discover the ease and accessibility of ebooks, I think print books will never go out of style. There is just something special about holding a print book in your hand and smelling those pages, and it can't be duplicated with an e-book.


Do you think book sales are the only indicator of your success as a writer?
Ha ha. Books sales are an indicator of whether a writer can quit her day job or not. So who doesn't appreciate book sales? But I also think a larger indicator of success might be how much a writer influences other authors.


What are the most important responsibilities of a published author?
I feel, in particular, that for African-American authors we need to do more than just entertain. Our readers need inspiration. They need to know they can be and do great things. I think it's our responsibility to rewrite the images that 400 years of black inferiority/white superiority have fed us.


A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another. Finish this sentence - “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers: flip the script; offer a new story about you that has not been written before. Yes, you can talk about the bad things, but always let the good outshine the bad, so that there will be an abundance of great stories about our people - so that generations down the line can aspire to heights of greatness! I admit I am a bit of dreamer, but what can I say?


How may our readers follow you online? 
Readers can follow me at my blog, Yaminatoday.com or they can purchase my books online at places like Amazon.


The Last King: Book I - Series 1

Author A. Yamina Collins
Big image

The Last King - Christian Literature in a Fantasy/Romance World


If you're a lover of Christian books, you might be used to urban tales of trouble from the pulpit, or romances dealing with topics about lost loves, grace and redemption.
What you might not be prepared for is a sort of Dante's Inferno epic trilogy, about a cosmic chess game of wits between immortal beings called Edenites whose ancestors ate from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, and the being whom they consider to be their greatest nemesis - God Himself.

Covering several different genres of literature, A Yamina Collins' Fantasy Romance, The Last King, follows the trail of a young woman named Emmy Hughes, who, in modern times, innocently finds herself caught in the midst of a game of wits between these two rivals. 

In the book, God considers these immortals possession of immortality to be theft. And for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" of immortality and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is a the Glitch an imposing Edenite named Gilead Knightly, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead's vengeance: he must get rid of her before she “wakes up” and gets rid of him.

That’s easier said than done, however, because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat, but they're also their greatest love. 

The book has already made been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller List in no less than four separate genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Christian Women’s Literature
Women's Fiction Literature.

Told in fifty-page volumes to be released over the course of the next year and a half (the first volume was released in December, 2013) the book is a trilogy, and it is pack with enough drama and suspense, so far, to keep readers engaged for the long haul.

Yes, at the at its heart is a love story, but one that spans the cosmos, traces itself through history, and will leave your heart pounding in the arms of modern day New York.