Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Villains in Our Head by Andy Peloquin, Author of Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves, Book 1)


Please welcome Andy Peloquin the blog today!!


The Villains in Our Head


What makes a villain worth reading? Gone are the days when readers are willing to buy into the premise of "pure evil" or someone who does terrible things because it brings them delight to see others suffer. Oh, to be sure, there will always be the sorts of people who enjoy the suffering of others. But that "pure evil" is a trope that has gone out of style.

Instead, the best villains are the ones who are realistic in that they have redeeming qualities. For every evil act, there is the potential for good. Before every despicable, deplorable choice, they stopped, thought about their actions, and made the choice to go down the route toward "evil". In the end, the only thing that separates the "villains" from the "heroes" are the choices. One choice toward dark instead of light, toward selfishness instead of sacrifice, toward desire rather than peace—these are the things that make for villains.

That is a sort of villainy everyone—reader and author alike—can recognize. We've all been in situations where the easy choice is also the wrong one. We can make money at someone else's expense, get what we want by taking from others, or say something to make ourselves look good and put others down. In our modern society, there is a certain amount of self-sacrifice expected of each of us. There is no room for "pure evil"—anyone who always makes the "wrong" choice ends up behind bars.

But we've all been confronted with choices that make us think twice. It would be so much easier to choose the easy, the desirable, or the thing that feels right. The only thing that makes your classic "villain" a villain is that he or she does make the easy choice. They choose the coward's way, the way of power over compassion, the way of violence over peace. These are the kinds of villains people will not only want to read about, but which are much more realistic. They are the villains in our heads—the ones we could all be, but for a single choice!

Vicious, ruthless criminals are made, not born. Child of the Night Guild—an insight into the transformation from innocent child to thief and killer. 
"They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken." 

Viola, a child sold to pay her father's debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves' trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts. 

The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman's rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood. 

What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men? 

Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Scott Lynch, and Brent Weeks will love Queen of Thieves… 

Book Details:

Title: Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves Book 1) 
Author: Andy Peloquin 
Publication Date: Jan 17, 2017 
Pages: 401 
ASIN: B01N1TC3VW
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Read an Excerpt:

Twelve hurried toward the table, his face burning, a storm brewing behind his eyes. His path led him straight at Seven.
She hustled out of the bigger boy's way. Better avoid him when he's like this. No telling what he'll do.
Two, however, ignored Twelve. He remained seated, content to munch at the food spread out before him.
Twelve snarled. "Move."
A memory flitted through Seven's head: a man sat at a table, growling at her to work. She couldn't remember the face, but would never forget the anger.
Two didn't move. He reached for an apple, turned to face Twelve, and took a noisy bite from the fruit. He leaned back against the table, arms folded across his chest.
Twelve's face burned and his fists clenched at his side. "Get out of my way, Two!"
"No." Two returned the angry glare. "You're just another one of us. You don't give commands here."
Twelve swung, a blow aimed at Two's jaw. The taller boy blocked the punch and slammed the apple into Twelve's mouth. Blood mixed with crushed apple pulp and Twelve fell back.
"Go away, Twelve." Two crossed his arms again. "Leave us—"
With a roar, Twelve launched himself at Two's midsection. The taller boy twisted aside, but Twelve's heavy arms wrapped around his waist. Snarling, Twelve heaved Two from his feet and slammed him onto the table.
The impact knocked the breath from Two's lungs and his head struck a cup. He lay there, dazed, as Twelve leapt onto the table. The big boy's boot slammed into Two's ribs. Seven winced at the crack.
Twelve dropped atop Two, his elbow plowing into the boy's face. Blood spurted from Two's nose and lip. He tried to protect his face as Twelve rained down blow after blow. The heavier boy's face twisted into a mask of insane rage, his lips curled back, and spittle flew from his mouth.
"Enough!" Master Velvet seized Twelve by the scruff of his collar and yanked the boy off Two. He threw the heavy tyro to the floor, knelt on his chest, and slapped him hard. "I told you I would not abide any sort of fighting."
Twelve had lost his mind. His eyes were glazed, unfocused, his face red, his fists striking at Master Velvet.
Master Velvet slapped Twelve hard again, twice, three times. The blows cracked across his cheek and rocked the big boy's head. "Lie still, boy, or by the Watcher, I'll beat you so bad the Long Keeper himself won't be able to tell you from a pile of shite!"
Master Velvet's words penetrated the boy's anger-fueled daze. Twelve's fists stopped pumping in the air and his arms dropped. He lay on his back, gasping for air, his teeth still bared in a snarl.
Master Velvet looked over at Two. "You'll live?"
Two wheezed, coughed blood, and mumbled something incoherent.
"Good. Three, Four, Eleven. Get him back to his bunk. I'll be in shortly with something for the injuries."
The three named tyros hurried to help the taller boy and, together, they stumbled from the room.
"Now what to do with you, Twelve?" Master Velvet looked down at the boy beneath him.
He yanked Twelve to his feet and dragged him toward the weapons table.
"It seems my first lesson didn't penetrate your thick skull. Perhaps this will help you to remember!" Seizing the cosh, he laid into the boy, striking the tyro's arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, legs, and head. Twelve cried out and tried to protect himself. "You're a vicious cunt, lad, but there's a time and place for that!"
Master Velvet slammed his fist into the boy's gut, doubling him over. He kicked the back of Twelve's knees. Twelve fell to the floor, weeping and curling into a ball.
He knelt beside the boy, bent low, and whispered something into his ear.
"Yes, Master Velvet," Twelve sobbed.
"I won't be repeating myself, tyro. Unless you want to find out what happens to those who disobey, this is the end of it."
Master Velvet stood, and Seven averted her eyes. She pushed away her bowl of gruel; her appetite had fled.
"Look at him, tyros. Look at him well."
Seven obeyed, her stomach in knots.
Master Velvet stabbed a warning finger at the sobbing figure huddled on the floor. "Let this be a lesson. No fighting amongst each other. If I am forced to say it again, I will not stop at just a beating. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Master Velvet!"
"Good. Now off with you." A look in Master Velvet's eye promised Twelve's suffering had just begun.
Seven hurried from the Menagerie, the other tyros close on her heels. She cast a glance over her shoulder and caught a glint of steel in Master Velvet's hand. Rushing into the room, she climbed onto her bunk and buried her head in her pillow. The thick wool failed to block out Twelve's screams. 

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Meet the Author:

Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious 


I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist--words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I'm also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle--it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!


10 Things You Need to Know About Me:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I'm a head taller than the average person (I'm 6' 6")
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it's self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
A Few of My Favorite Things

Favorite Books: The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs

Favorite Songs: Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I'm an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale

Favorite Movies: 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride

Favorite Comics: Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it

Favorite Foods: Hot Wings, Meat-Lover's Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi

Favorite TV Shows: The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones

Reviews:

"Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark...fantasy addicts will love it!" -- Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates -- http://peterjstory.com/

"The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you." - Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

"From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!" -- Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine

"Oh the carnage! Fantastic bloodthirsty carnage! The fight scenes in this book were fast-paced, detailed and thrilling. I love a good sword fight and there is plenty of that here." -- Ami L. Hart

"One could get lost in this novel for its twisting plots, seemingly endless imagination, dark yet irresistible characters, or the mind-numbing paradox of its simultaneously dark and romantic world. One could follow the long and winding road of the dusky, fierce protagonist and fight tooth and nail not to sympathize with him. One could dance in the dizzying, intricate circles of Peloquin's neo-mythology, or even basque in the black sunlight of a well-crafted gothic novel that both entertains and enlightens." -- Jesse G. Christiansen

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