Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Keeper of the Black Stones

Title: Keeper of the Black Stones (Stone Ends)
Author: PT McHugh
Publisher: Glass House Press


Awkward in his own skin, shy around girls and worried about anything and everything, Jason Evans is just like a million other teenage boys in high school, with one very large exception: he has been given a gift that allows him to jump through time. A set of stones has fallen into his lap that gives him access to any place - and any time - that he chooses. But along with that gift comes the responsibility of stopping the man who is using those very stones to travel through time and change history for his own purposes. A man who is now holding Jasons grandfather hostage, and threatening the worlds very existence. Jumping through time with his best friend and body guard, Jason must enter the world of Medieval England, learn its customs, navigate unimaginable danger, and help Henry VII win the Battle of Bosworth, in the name of finding his grandfather, rescuing a beautiful girl from the clutches of a corrupt church, and destroying the one man who pledges to turn history inside out.

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About PT McHugh

PT McHugh didn't start out as a storyteller. He was, however, born into a family of that encouraged imagination. He became a fan of history in school and then went to college to become a construction engineer, to build a world of straight lines, angles, and equations.
He was just as surprised as everyone else when he realized that he believed in magic, and might just know the secret of how to jump through time. Since then, he's been researching the possibility and learning everything he can about history. Just in case the opportunity arises.
PT was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Bob, daring to dream of alternate worlds and cheering for his beloved New England Patriots.

Most popular question by adults: “With a wife, two kids, two dogs, and two cats, and a full-time job, how do you find time to write?”

This is a great question, and it’s a perfect of example of turning a negative in one’s life into a positive. I’ve been a chronic insomniac ever since high school. Instead of hitting the pillow and falling asleep, I’d go to bed and stare at the ceiling, worrying about things that in most cases I couldn’t control. Not a good practice, to be sure. But I’m sure a lot of people out there can relate. Sometimes your brain gets going, and just won’t stop. Game over – you’re up for the night, and it’s going to be awful.

Then several years ago, a doctor and friend of mine suggested that instead of thinking of this inability to sleep as a curse, I should treat it as a positive. After all, Benjamin Franklin only got three to four hours of sleep a night, and he seemed to do okay. Maybe it didn’t have to be as bad as I was making it. With those comforting words in mind, I set out to find a hobby. Something I could do quietly at night in the comfort of my own home. Something that wouldn’t keep my family up or damage them in any way. Something that would keep my mind busy and – maybe – be fun at the same time. I couldn’t paint worth a lick, but I always had an over active imagination, and I wanted to do something with it.

So I started writing. A lot of it was bad, and very little of it saw the light of day, but it kept me busy, and it was the beginning of a sometimes beautiful and sometimes terrifying relationship with the written word.

When it comes to Stone Ends and Keeper of the Black Stones, the idea started with the realization that most schools weren’t teaching history anymore. At least not to any serious degree. Reading, writing, and linear Algebra were being treated with more importance, and it rubbed me the wrong way. Now don’t take that wrong– I can certainly see why those things are important, but that didn’t mean I liked it. My daughters didn’t know who Napoleon was, let alone Richard III, and they certainly didn’t understand the impact that our founding fathers had on today’s America. We were slowly losing track of our past, and missing out on some really fantastic stories along the way.

I was fortunate enough to have a father who cared deeply about history, and who enjoyed telling me stories about what happened hundreds of years ago. Those stories had caught me in their spell when I was young, and I became fascinated with the idea of the men and women who created them. What were they like? Why had they made the decisions they made? What if I was in that situation? What would I have done? Would the world we live in today be the same?

From there, it was a quick hop, skip, and jump to forcing Jason into those very situations, and making him – and his friends – decide how they were going to handle it. It allowed me to put myself in those situations, and really live them. Getting to tell kids about history is just icing on the cake.

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