by Josh Powell
GENRE: Humorous Epic Fantasy
On their way to apprehend a temple thief, Gurken Stonebiter, a templerager of the temple of Durstin Firebeard, and Pellonia, a little, but infuriatingly clever, girl stumble onto a quest to save a town from an evil dragon. The dragon is demanding sacrifices of maidens, and the town is fresh out. Can they discover a way to sate the dragon's bloodlust and save the town?
Along the way, Gurken and Pellonia meet up with Maximina, a half under-elven woman that also happens to be a tad psychic, a ranger with a dash of necromantic ability, a smidgen of samurai training, and just enough time living as a rogue to acquire the ability to sneak up on and stab a foe in the back. Maximina is full of clever ideas on how to gain a tactical advantage over her foes, and on occasion they even work.
During their adventures, Gurken, Pellonia, and Maximina face a snarky unicorn, do battle with a terrible frost giant, contend with a rival adventuring party bent on their utter humiliation, and confront the end of the world in the form of an evil sorcerer and a teeming dragon horde. Can they save the world one more time?
Gurken shot her an impatient look. He raised his axe and growled, “I’d be happy to settle this in a battle to your death.” He furled his brow. “I believe we have some unfinished business to discuss, and your puppies don’t seem to be about to protect you.” He grinned and bent his knees slightly, assuming a fighting stance.
The greenish glow of Maximina’s eyes changed to orange. She scowled at him and reached both of her hands over her shoulders, pulling something off her back and snapping her arms back down in front of her. On each arm she bore a shield ringed with spikes around the edge and covering its face.
“Two spiked shields?” Gurken asked, confused.
“Oh, yeah. Two spiked shields. You will never get through my defense, and though they don’t do much damage, I’ll wear you down.” She shuffled her feet and bobbed back and forth, moving the shields in a defensive pattern. Gurken watched her, following her with his eyes without moving his head, looking for an opening.
“Gurken! Maximina!” Pellonia said. “Stop it this instant. We’ve got to work together.”
They ignored her and began to circle.
“While this has been amusing,” said the unicorn, “I’m going down into the cave. Feel free to follow when you’ve sorted things out.” With that, the unicorn turned and walked down the path. Pellonia followed.
“Yield?” Maximina asked.
“I accept,” Gurken said, lowering his axe.
Maximina lowered her shields. “That’s not what I mea-“ But Gurken had already walked down the path after Pellonia. She hurried after them, shouting, “That’s not what I meant. I wasn’t yielding! I was asking if you yielded. Come back, let’s finish the fight! Please!”
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Josh Powell
He’s an avid, lifelong RPG gamer,
Having played D&D since he was in the third grade. He still owns an original red cover basic dungeons and dragons book, a ton of first edition AD&D books, 2nd edition, 2.5 edition, 3rd edition, and now 5th. Sheesh, that’s a ton of D&D books.
Josh also got into Magic the Gathering when it first came out, and is proud owner of several Sol Rings... no Black Lotus’s though. Shoot.
Oh, LARPing. Josh played in different vampire LARPs for probably a decade.
What does that have to do with writing? Josh has created a lot of characters and it shows in his writing. Dragon Apocalypse is a character driven funny fantasy adventure. While there are laughs on every page, the jokes are woven into a tale of adventure and friendship. Gurken Stonebiter, the berserker dwarf, Pellonia the little girl on the verge of becoming a strong leader, Arthur Gimble, a pedantic wizard and wordsmith, and Maximia Nobility, an under-elf with a passion for learning, must come together and overcome their hilarious differences in order to save a village from the predation of an evil dragon and then the world from an invading force.
Software engineer by day, funny fantasy author by early morning.
Josh does most of his writing in the mornings, before his family wakes up and proffers an irresistible distraction. He’s worked in the Silicon Valley at big name companies and no name startups for fifteen years and began writing as a creative outlet once his children started running about underfoot and drastically reducing the number of game nights and activities. He can write in the morning, when the lack of wakeful people is a blessing instead of a curse (not many takers for gaming at 4am...)
During the day, coffee shops are a favorite venue to write.
Coffee shops provide a great change in scenery and there are no household chores pulling him to take care of them. They also have glorious, stupendous coffee. Mmm, coffee. Usually the chatter of groups of people fade into the background, but for those occasions when some particularly vocal and raucous speaker stands out from the crowd, noise cancelling Fire Engine Red Noise Cancelling Beats headphones fade them out.
He surrounds himself with talented professionals
He’s got an incredible editor, Marta Tanrikulu, who you should definitely use for your own projects, an amazing narrator/voice actor/audio editor/producer Robert Kraft of VoiceKraft for the audiobook edition of The Berserker of the Pedant (a finalist in the Outstanding Production category of the 2015 Voice Arts Awards!), two talented cover designers Alerim and James E. Grant on 99 Designs, to name a few.
The book teaches web developers and software engineers how to program what was, at the time, a relatively new way to write websites. He got his first introduction to the world of publishing through the traditional publisher Manning Publications, a well known publisher of programming books. With that experience in publishing a book under his belt, he’s struck off as his own publisher for his funny fantasy series.
He’s been called the American Terry Pratchett
Which he both vehemently disagrees with and is completely flattered by. Call him that in thirty years when he’s got forty books under his belt and is a perennial bestseller! The comparison comes because funny fantasy is a small genre, not many authors spend time there and Terry Pratchett rules that realm.
He’s running out of things to write about himself.
Seriously, he’s done six things you didn’t know about him so far. And if we’re being honest, we can run through the one more relatively quickly...
His name is Josh Powell.
Who? Yes, you have it exactly. Josh Powell.
He prefers two spaces after a sentence...
Seriously. Were we raised in a barn? Two spaces is what he’s been taught since high school, and now the Twitter generation insists on one space. He does blame Twitter, spaces are a waste of your, quite limited, 140 characters.
and considers the Oxford comma non-negotiable.
The Oxford comma is a must because it clears up otherwise ambiguous language. The Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma, is the one that comes after the second object in a list of three and before the “and.”
Please bring me a pencil, eraser, and paper.
The serial (Oxford) comma is the one immediately following “eraser,” omitting it results in some pretty big, though admittedly hilarious, mistakes in meaning.
Top Stories: World leaders at Mandela tribute, Obama-Castro handshake and same sex marriage date set...
Are Obama and Castro tying the knot? That’s a lovely demonstration of both US/Cuba relations and support of same sex marriage. See what trouble a tiny little curved line can clear up?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
JOSH POWELL, wielder of the Sommerswerd, destroyer of the thread, expeditioner to Barrier Peaks, discoverer of his magic talent, and venturer into the Tomb of Horrors is known for having survived a harrowing adolescence full of danger and fantasy. He's gone on to write The Berserker and the Pedant and Dragon Apocalypse and is currently working on the yet to be named third book in the series.
He also spends some not inconsiderable amount of time wiggling his fingers over a keyboard as a software engineer. He lives with his wife, Marianne, and two amazing children, Liam and Chloe, in sunny California, where winter is, most decidedly, never coming.
Josh Powell will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC