Today I’m going to introduce you to Stone of Matter – the first book in the Litiguh series by B. L. Barkey. There are all sorts of goodies in this post – an author interview, an excerpt from the book and an Amazon gift card giveaway – but first: a little bit about the book.
Publication date: April 10, 2019
Themes and genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, magic
Ammon and his brother dream of becoming Guardians for their hidden home called Cephas Island. Under the watchful eyes of Levitians and Stone-wielders, ventures, choices, trials, and darkness carry Ammon ever closer toward his mortal destiny. As he continues to unlock his physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities, darkness builds momentum throughout the world.
Spiritual titans wage war over the Creation Stones, seeking the final hidden Stone of Matter, and revealing glimpses of the Greater War that affects them all. As balance shifts between light and darkness, dreams weave through Ammon’s mind, guiding him towards foreign paths. After imagining a life spent with his family and friends, he must choose which paths he will tread. Yet one thing remains clear. The world of Proelum, and life as they know it, is about to change. Perhaps for the last time.
The brothers realized the massive shapes were not mythical sea monsters, but wooden ships with billowing sails. There were twelve of them. Foreign ships approaching rapidly from the west, releasing a hellfire of metal upon the Isle. Ammon had heard stories of pirates before that day. It had all seemed like fantasy before then, though incomparable to leviathans.
He felt a flood of new questions pour into his mind, all concerning the outside world. The first of which was, Why would they hurt us?
After several more blasts, there was still no reaction from the Temple. The white structure was ghostly as sand, and flowers fell around it. Dust and strange shouts drifted about, illuminated by the rays of the setting Sun. The brothers couldn’t believe the mysticism before them. It was like a scene from Ammon’s often-vivid dreams.
As the wreckage ensued and the ships drew ever closer, it became clear to the brothers that they were in real, mortal danger. The entire Isle was in shambles as projectiles continued striking the Temple. Everything seemed ablaze as sunrays lit the scene on fire. All was hazy and red like crimson clouds. All while the Temple stood still.
Finally, the Temple doors fell open. The brothers whimpered with relief. Two lines of Guardians appeared from the bright void, marching out with white robes and blank faces. There was a fluid motion to their step, lacking all impatience. Ammon looked at Mikael as a sideways smile grew on both their faces.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Ammon said, turning back towards the violence. The two lines of Guardians were parallel to each other and to the beach, facing the approaching threat. Metals pummeled the sand around them, launching fragments into the air. The Guardians remained untouched.
A great dust storm stirred up, obscuring all shapes into dark-brown shadows. The Guardians stood still as the dust cloud thickened, while the blasts from impacts grew louder.
“What are they waiting for?” Mikael mumbled, tears of anticipation in his eyes. I don’t know, Ammon thought to himself. I don’t know…
Where you can buy the book:
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Author Interview with B.L. Barkey
Q1: Tell us a little about B.L. Barkey?
I was raised with a wonderful family that loved me, though they didn’t quite understand me. My passion for stories has been with me pretty much since birth (aka. Nerd for life). Growing up, I loved drawing, reading, skateboarding, rock ‘n’ roll, and Toonami (all 90s kids will understand, this is where you found Yu-Yu Hakusho and Dragon Ball Z before the Internet). Since then, I have gotten my Masters in Water Engineering, ran several marathons, completed a full Ironman race, raised two beautiful dogs, worked for an engineering firm, and of course, written the book I’ve always wanted to write. I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado, and I will most likely move back there someday.
Q2: How did you come up with the idea for Stone of Matter?
This book was actually written simultaneously with Book II. I wrote it straight-through, after which I separated the two and shaped Book I into its own. From there, it has really taken shape as a world of its own, telling its own story, while leading into Book II.
As far as inspiration, it all came to me at once under the title of Litiguh. Once I thought of the name “Litiguh” for the series, the rest started falling into place, piece by piece. Things have shifted slightly over the years, though much of the core of Litiguh remains the same. I truly love the world and enjoy writing the stories. I hope people will enjoy reading them.
Q3: Did you think of The Legend of Litiguh as a whole or did that come after you started writing Stone of Matter?
I thought of it as a whole. I knew it would be a series, maybe three books. But as I kept piecing it together since 2009, I believe it has become what it needs to become, which is most likely going to be three trilogies. So nine books.
Q4: Who or what was your inspiration for your characters?
I would say some characters are based on different mindsets within myself, which are then recorded in ink, and allowed to take on a life for themselves. From there, they begin to surprise even me.
Others are based rather closely to real people I know. Never the names, of course, but the personalities and effects they had on me in life. I try to capture more of the impact they had on me than their physical appearances.
Q5: What are your hopes for this series? How many books do you plan to have?
From the beginning, it started out as three books. Now, it will be nine. Three trilogies. My goal is for each book to stand alone with its own story, while keeping intrigue for the greater mysteries threaded throughout. Every book is sketched out, the first two are written, and the third is a chimera of ideas waiting to be sewn together.
Q6: Have you always wanted to be an author?
No, not really. When I look back, my favorite thing in the world has always been stories. Books, songs, movies, video games. Anything with an unforgettable story has always left me happy and wondering.
One day, while I was reading, I remember thinking, “Wow, I can’t imagine writing an entire book.” I still feel the same way. I’ve just learned to take daunting tasks one step at a time. In the end, writing Stone of Matter was 90% fun, 10% hard work. I’d say that’s worth it.
Q7: Whose writing inspires you the most?
In general, probably C.S. Lewis. His fictional spinning of spiritual topics brings lots of peace to my heart. I also enjoy the honesty and originality in Stephen King’s work.
Q8: Aside from Stone of Matter, what is one book you would recommend to readers?
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, hands-down. With the addition of its sequel, A Wise Man’s Fear. And I apologize ahead of time, for you will be addicted, and the third book of the trilogy has yet to be released. But it’s so worth it.
Q9: Do you have any words of wisdom to anyone that might want to be a writer?
Never stop reading or growing.
Find B.L. Barkey here: