On Tour with The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens (guest post, excerpt and giveaway)

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The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic
by F.T. Lukens

Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press

Purchase Links:

Interlude Press |  AmazonBarnes & NobleApple  | Target |  Kobo  | Smashwords |  Book Depository | Indiebound 

 

 

Hi everyone! This is F.T. Lukens, author of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, and today I would like to talk about my upcoming release and highlight the roles of two of my favorite supporting characters in the novel.

The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic is a young adult urban fantasy novel that features Bridger, a bisexual protagonist who is struggling with changes in his life that come with being a senior in high school. Bridger is also struggling with decisions around his crush, Leo, and if he wants to be in a relationship and subsequently come out to his friends and family. Amid his romantic drama, Bridger also finds a job working as an assistant to an intermediary between the human world and the world of myth.

Accompanying Bridger on this journey is his best friend, Astrid. Astrid is also a senior and she’s a field hockey star. She’s described as being almost as tall as Bridger, athletic, and muscular. Astrid was one of the last characters I created, but she is easily one of my favorites. I wanted to give Bridger a best friend to comfort him when needed, but also to call him out. Astrid does both throughout the book. (Bridger refers to Astrid as the Bucky to his Captain America.) But Astrid isn’t just defined through her relationship with Bridger.  She has her own life and her own needs. She has a group of friends outside of Bridger and she has goals and dreams that don’t include him. Through Astrid, I wanted to show two things. One is that teenagers of the opposite sex can have close relationships with each other that aren’t romantic in nature. They are platonic best friends and that friendship runs very deep, to the point that Bridger confides in Astrid things he doesn’t tell others. And two, that being best friends doesn’t mean that things are always perfect in the relationship. Just as any other relationship, friendship has its ups and downs. And being a best friend means being honest and telling the other person what you need from the relationship to ensure its equal, fair, and no one feels taken advantage of.

Also on this journey with Bridger is Pavel Chudinov—his employer and mentor. Pavel is tragically dressed and a few decades behind on pop culture. He’s bookish, claims he’s bad at comforting people in distress (he’s not), and is just an all-around good guy. He spends his time immersed in folklore and myths and helping cryptids navigate the human world to stay hidden. His relationship with Bridger was one of my favorites to write. At first, Pavel resents that he even needs Bridger as an assistant, but warms to Bridger over the course of their adventures. Pavel is the adult that accepts Bridger’s sexuality first. He’s the one who assures Bridger that he is loved and wanted by his friends and family after a nasty run in with a malicious myth. His response to Bridger’s fears about coming out and losing people close to him is the reason Bridger is able to tell the other important adult in his life—his mom. Bridger remarks that he’d heard that it was okay to be different from tv and media, but being accepted by an adult he trusts was wholly different and life changing. Bridger needed that acceptance to be more confident in himself and his decisions.

Astrid and Pavel are just two of the supporting characters in The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic. There are also meddlesome pixies, a lesbian werewolf, a charming hero, and a rampaging unicorn. I hope readers enjoy these characters as much as I enjoyed creating them.

 

Summary

Desperate to pay for college, Bridger Whitt is willing to overlook the peculiarities of his new job—entering via the roof, the weird stacks of old books and even older scrolls, the seemingly incorporeal voices he hears from time to time—but it’s pretty hard to ignore being pulled under Lake Michigan by… mermaids? Worse yet, this happens in front of his new crush, Leo, the dreamy football star who just moved to town.

Fantastic.

When he discovers his eccentric employer Pavel Chudinov is an intermediary between the human world and its myths, Bridger is plunged into a world of pixies, werewolves, and Sasquatch. The realm of myths and magic is growing increasingly unstable, and it is up to Bridger to ascertain the cause of the chaos, eliminate the problem, and help his boss keep the real world from finding the world of myths.

THE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR MEDIATING

MYTHS & MAGIC ~ EXCERPT

* * *

Leo laughed. He had trudged out to where a few of the braver football players and cheerleaders bobbed in the water. Leo turned and spread out his arms and fell backward, disappearing under the water before emerging, sputtering, with his dark hair plastered to his head.

“It’s not that bad!”

“Are you kidding? I’m turning blue.”

Leo circled back and splashed Bridger. Then he swam away, laughing as he kicked enthusiastically and doused Bridger with lake water.

Bridger wiped the droplets from his face. “Oh, I see how it is. Splashing then running. Very brave there, Leo.”

Leo stood in the water to his shoulders and beckoned to Bridger with a sly smile. “I’m right here. Why don’t you come get me?”

That was flirting. Wasn’t it? That had to be flirting. Right?

“Oh,” Bridger said flushing, warming internally at the thought of Leo flirting with him. “It is on. It is so on.”

He waded in until the water was at his chest and pushed off from the bottom. He swam after Leo and splashed and laughed. The rest of the group in the water were dunking each other, and the football players were throwing a few of the lighter girls and guys around, creating froth and waves.

Bridger and Leo circled each other, splashing and diving. A beach ball landed nearby and Leo grabbed it and flung it in Bridger’s direction. It plopped near Bridger’s outstretched arm.

“What kind of pass was that?” Bridger said, gliding toward the ball. “I thought you played football?”

Leo laughed. “I’m not the quarterback. I just catch and run.”

Bridger hit the ball back. “Good to know. I’ll lower my expectations.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re funny?”

“Yes,” Bridger said. “Usually accompanied by crossed arms and a frown, though. Not many people appreciate my kind of humor.”

“I do. It suits you.”

Bridger blushed to his hairline, and it wasn’t from the sun beating down on them. They hit the ball back and forth before Bridger sent it sailing into a group of the others. A girl squealed.

“Sorry!” Bridger called.

Then there was a panicked shriek. Leo looked over his shoulder and called to his friends.

Bridger felt something brush his leg. He flinched and kicked away, startled. He looked down in the water and realized he was surrounded by lake weed, dark and light green blending together in a swirl. Long tendrils of it undulated around his legs.

His heart caught in his throat, and he shuddered. Who knows what could’ve touched him. Ugh. Creepy. Another weed swiped along his waist, and he violently brushed it off. He started to move away, to untangle himself from the slimy vines.

Bridger looked up to find Leo with the big group. The commotion reached a crescendo, and Bridger realized it was no longer playful yells, but turmoil and fear.

“There’s something in the water!”

* * *

Connect with author F.T. Lukens at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

About the Author

F.T. Lukens is an author of Young Adult fiction who got her start by placing second out of ten thousand entries in a fan-community writing contest. A sci-fi enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Trek and Firefly and is a longtime member of her college’s science-fiction club. She holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and three cats. Her first two novels in the Broken Moon series, The Star Host and Ghosts & Ashes, were published by Duet Books.

Giveaway

Book Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Rues & Regulations // Five winners receive the multi-format eBook

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INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR: Ghosts & Ashes (Broken Moon #2) by F.T. Lukens (author interview, special excerpt and giveaway)

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Ghosts & Ashes (Broken Moon #2) by F.T. Lukens
I
nterlude Press
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Available for Sale at

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Other Purchase LinksGoogle | Book Depository | Indiebound

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have F.T. Lukens here today to talk about her  latest novel, Ghost & Ashes.  Welcome, F.T., thank you for stopping by on your tour today. Hi FT, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

  • Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?

I’m such a sucker for a pretty cover. It’s not the sole reason I buy a book, but I do love a nice cover. I’m very lucky to have the beautiful covers I’ve had for my Broken Moon Series.

It also helps if the book is in my genre of choice. A good blurb that’s interesting can get me too.

Probably needless to say but I do end up purchasing a lot of books.

  • What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

This is a tricky question. I think romance can mean the whole sweep- someone-off-their-feet thing. But I tend to think of it as person meeting another person where they are and going from there. I think that’s romantic. But I love slow-burn romances and pining and those kinds of tropes.

  • What are your current projects?

I’m happily working on several different projects right now. This current book, Ghosts & Ashes, is the second of a trilogy. I’m busy plotting out the third and final installment. I also just finished another YA book about myths and cryptids. I’m also hoping to write a steampunk fantasy novel this year as well. It’s a lot to squeeze in.

  • What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

It’s the motivation. I’m a driven person. I recently had to take a strengths finding test for my day job and my top was called “Achiever.” Which basically means I’m here to get things done. But sometimes, after working a full day, and tending to three kids, and putting everyone to bed and I’m sitting at the keyboard and I’m drained… Those nights are difficult. But I surround myself with people who will push me. I have friends who will send me emails asking me if I’ve made my goals. And I have a goal tracking spreadsheet that keeps me on track.

  • Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I don’t know if this is ‘surprising’ but it’s funny/sweet. My penname is of course, not my real name. But it is a combination of an inside joke plus the name of the person who nicknamed me FT. The name ‘Lukens’ is the last name of a friend of mine who passed away. She loved nicknaming people and she loved to joke around. The FT part is the joke that I share with her and a few others and the Lukens in her last name. When I was coming up with the penname, I thought of her, and I knew she would’ve loved it. I’m sure where she is that she’s smiling and probably laughing at me. 😉

GHOSTS & ASHES ~ Summary

Three months have passed since the events of The Star Host, and Ren is living aboard the Star Stream under the watchful eyes of the Phoenix Corps. Plagued by vivid nightmares that ravage the ship in his sleep, he struggles to prove he isn’t a threat and fears he has traded one captor for another. His relationship with Asher, whose efforts to balance his personal loyalty to Ren with his professional duties to the Corps are failing, fractures.

Adrift without an anchor, Ren must return to his home planet of Erden if he has any chance of reversing his dangerous descent into madness. There, he hopes search for his missing brother and salvage his relationship with Asher. What he nds is knowledge that puts everyone’s allegiance to the test.

GHOSTS & ASHES ~ EXCERPT

“There you are!” Asher said, striding toward him, wrapping him in an embrace. “Stars, you’re freezing.” Asher rubbed Ren’s arms; his palms swept over the chilled skin. “Where have you been? You left and never came back. Jakob and I have been looking all over for you.”

Ren pitched forward, planted his face in Asher’s chest, and shook. The terror at being taken again mixed with the crushing truths from his parents overwhelmed him.

“Hey, hey, you’re okay.” Asher pulled Ren close. “What happened? Was it a dream? Sleepwalking?”

Ren stilled. Pressed close to Asher’s body, it would be easy to give into the urge to tell him everything, to spill the truth about what his parents had said about the Corps and the star hosts and the history his life was mired in. But his mother’s words lingered in the back of his mind, and Ren remembered how Asher had sided with VanMeerten so many times since the debacle on the drift. Asher was Phoenix Corps, through and through. His allegiance was split, torn between Ren and his duty as a soldier. And how much did he know? Was Asher aware that the first mission of the Corps was to hunt down the scattered remnants of the star hosts? Or did he only know what he had been told, like the rest of them?

* * *

Ren poured his power outward. The force field created a partial wall between the captives and the Corps. The comms shrieked. The pulse guns spat electricity, came alive in the hands of those who wielded them, and sparked and sputtered, shocking the Corpsmen with forks and tangles of electricity. They fell, writhing on the ground, even Zag. Ren vibrated with their screams, tasted the burn of skin and hair, but it wasn’t enough.

They had destroyed his home. They had made it so Ren could never return to what he was before. They had scared Ezzy, who was only a girl with a crush, who wanted to prove herself capable in a warzone when she should’ve been learning at school, playing in the woods, swimming in the lake, or blushing around boys. They had threatened them, frightened them, and they would burn, as Ren did, blaze in misery and despair, and thrash in pain until their veins blackened and peeled like wires, until their bones glowed like circuits.

The power flowed from him in a torrent, and he pushed it, and pushed it. He ensured those responsible were filled until they burst, until their souls were scorched out of them, until their humanity had crumbled to dust as his had.

* * *

Ren sighed. Asher wanted to talk, and Ren’s insides ached with a fierce loneliness he hadn’t experienced since the first night in the cell of the Baron’s citadel. He didn’t want Asher’s words or his pity. And he didn’t want to relive the details of the nightmare, which had sent him twisting in his sheets and crawling across the floor. The sense memories clung to him, like cobwebs whose phantom threads, fluttery and strange and stubborn, brushed against his skin. The strands were infinite; they touched the deep places of Ren’s consciousness and burrowed down to his marrow to pull out the things that terrified him most.

He didn’t want to share the nightmare, but Asher’s flat countenance and sure gaze couldn’t hide his worry. It flashed in his eyes and ran in shaky tremors down the length of his crossed arms, as if he hugged himself to keep in his concerns and not as a defense to reflect whatever Ren had to throw at him.

Ren bent his knees, propped his arm up, and allowed his fingertips to dangle. Sweat flattened his hair against his temples. He regarded Asher coolly as Asher sat on the edge of Ren’s bunk.

“Do you remember when we went dancing?”

Asher blinked at the non-sequitur. “On Mykonos?”

Rowan had taken them dancing in a place with loud music and rotating lights. The beat had vibrated through Ren’s boots. “I had never been dancing like that before.”

Asher raised an eyebrow. “You weren’t bad. Well, not as bad as Jakob.”

“I liked the slow dance.” Asher had grabbed Ren in his arms and pulled him to the dance floor. They’d laughed and moved and all Ren’s worries had dissolved in happiness and the rhythm of the music. “I liked being with you. With the crew. I miss that.”

“We’re here now, Ren.”

He shook his head. “No. You’re not. It’s different now.”

“It doesn’t have to be.”

Ren looked away.

“Ren, you’re not okay,” he said flatly.

“No. I’m not, but I didn’t feel like broadcasting it.”

“It’s a little late for that,” Asher said softly. Ren’s stomach twisted. Asher had all but confirmed his latest nightmare had played on the vid screens. The crew had seen what Ren couldn’t remember, didn’t want to remember. “You’re getting worse. And they know it.”

Ren twisted his lips. “I’m aware the crew already knows. Pen can’t lie for anything.”

“Not them. The Corps.”

Ren rested his head on his knees. “You told her. You threw me to the wolves.”

“I had to.”

“Why? Do you want me to leave? Be locked away?”

“Stars, Ren. You know I don’t want that.”

“I don’t know what you want, to be honest. I don’t understand why you hold allegiance to them at all.”

“Because I have to. I promised five years.”

“You and your promises,” Ren said bitterly. That was loyalty Ren couldn’t understand, not after what the Corps had done to Asher, not after having left him for a year to rot in a cell on what they called a backwater planet. But Ren was beginning to realize there were things he would never understand and maybe wasn’t meant to.

“And I promised I’d keep you safe. Any way I could. This is the only way. Don’t you understand that?”

Ren felt the slight touch of Asher’s fingertips across the back of his hand. His star sparked and sought out the mechanism in Asher’s shoulder instinctually.

Asher shivered.

“There’s a fine line between safety and captivity.”

* * *

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

About the Author

F.T. Lukens is an author of Young Adult ction who got her start by placing second out of ten thousand entries in a fan community writing contest. A sci- enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Trek and Fire y and is a longtime member of her college’s science- fiction club. She holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and three cats.

Her 1st novel in the Broken Moon series, The Star Host, was published by Duet Books in 2016.

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

Giveaway

Book Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Ghosts & Ashes // Five winners receive the multi-format eBook.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js