As the music dies, the magician Celwyn is mortally wounded.
Welcome to the May 9th stop on the blog tour for The Raven and the Pig by Lou Kemp with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, more author guest posts & interviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
Book 2, The Raven and the Pig, the Celwyn series.
It is 1865 and an immortal magician, an automat, and a widower from the Sudan travel the globe with the same camaraderie of the team in Caleb Carr’s Alienist series. As they journey around the world, they encounter many things that cannot be explained. When they join Captain Nemo and Jules Verne in their adventures, they find there are many things that will never be explained.
*The details around my series hero.
The main character of my series, Jonas Celwyn, originated in the story In Memory of the Sibylline in the Mystery Writers of America anthology Crimes by Moonlight, edited by Charlaine Harris. His habits, attitudes, and morals were on full display in that story. Later, he was refined in the story The Violins Played before Junstan in another Mystery Writers of America anthology, Odd Partners, edited by Anne Perry. The series was developed from this story along with the title of the prequel.
Celwyn has been alive a long time, and lived in many places until he is either arrested or moves along by his own choice. He thinks nothing of killing someone he thinks is evil, and his own morals drive his actions. When he meets Professor Xiau Kang and Bartholomew, they become inseparable as they find they are irresistible to a variety of enemies. Eventually they engage with Captain Nemo in a new operation that could change the course of history.
* The details of the villain of The Raven and the Pig
Duncan, the cherub-like, smelly, disgusting warlock had to be evil on several levels. Without committing plot-spoilers, let’s say he deserved everything he eventually got, and it took Celwyn and his immortal brother Pelaez working at the same time to destroy him. Pelaez, in Nemo’s opinion, should be considered the real truly loathed character of the series.
About the Book
The Raven and the Pig
Celwyn Book Two
by Lou Kemp
Published 12 November 2021
Genre: Magical Realism
Page Count: 349
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
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.
Captain Nemo had joined them, watching the undersea scene as they passed by dozens more buildings. The glow of the Nautilus’ lamps illuminated the ruins, then dissipated and the inky water enveloped everything. They slowed in front of a procession of grand marble stairs leading upward and a mirroring set of steps led downward to an abyss below.
“The main temple,” Captain Nemo told them as an enormous ivory building materialized out of the dark water. “I’m not sure what that is.”
Kang tried his best to see further into the water, but failed. “I would love to use your diving apparatus to explore this, Captain.”
From beside him, Verne licked his lips and said, “What is all of this?”
Nemo hesitated and looked at the author as though deciding if he should tell him.
Pelaez had joined them, without using the door or walking across the room. He just appeared. After enjoying Bartholomew’s gasp, he had no reservations in describing the scene. “It has to be Atlantis. Nothing else would be this big, or advanced.” He leaned toward the glass. “My, my. Just as I imagined it.” He examined the landscape another moment. “Though, I do not see a great deal of destruction, considering.”
The Professor stared. He didn’t see any bones from human corpses, just from animals. How odd. Pelaez had referred to the sudden disappearance of Atlantis, one minute a thriving metropolis of culture and wonderment, the next, gone, as if it never existed. Where were the people?
Thousands of bubbles erupted from under the ship as they passed over another underground steam vent, this one much larger than the others. As the shadow of the submarine covered the vent, Bartholomew stared into the roiling water and said, “No destruction at all. Do you know what happened here, Captain?”
Nemo’s glance at the author probably included a wish that Celwyn was healthy enough to put a block on what Verne saw and heard. Pelaez might be able to do something similar, but he couldn’t be trusted.
With a shrug, Nemo said, “There are many theories. Plato wrote a great deal about Atlantis, as did Mikonisis.”
“Yet, this looks like neither one,” Bartholomew speculated. “There are differences in what we see here compared to the long-standing descriptions from Plato and others.” He pointed to the building in front of them. “Such as the sculptures depicted on the buildings. I wonder …. that last steam vent was huge. As wide as this ship. I … I think we’re passing over an active volcanic cap ….”
“Perhaps. The field of ruins here is enormous. Doesn’t it seem like this city just sank beneath the waves?” the Professor asked. “However, I see no volcanic ash or sludge on the buildings. Why? The lava would have hardened when it met the water.”
As they talked, the Nautilus had gradually ascended as the seafloor rose, and the reflection from streaks of brighter water painted their faces. Bartholomew pointed to the buildings. “Is it simple? That the sea levels rose, and covered everything?”
Pelaez had watched the last of the buildings and houses go by with a special kind of light behind his disturbing eyes. He asked a question intended to make things even more puzzling.
“Gentlemen, what if they built the city under water in the first place?”
About the Author
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 LouKemp.com. 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.
Lou Kemp will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift 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 via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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