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The Camelot Kids cast of characters #2: Maille Rose

The Camelot Kids cast of characters #2: Maille Rose

Maille Rose’s wand is a baseball bat. That probably gives you a pretty good idea of what kind of person she is. She’s quick to jump into a scrap, especially if someone she likes is in danger. But she’s also known for being the only reasonable person in the room — at least that’s what Maille Rose would tell you ;-)

Maille’s past is a mystery for now, but I can tell you that a lot of what makes her so powerful has to do with that crack in her bat. You’ll get a close look at it soon. It’s a violent gash, from a violent time.

Maille Rose and Simon have an awkward introduction to each other. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 6 of The Camelot Kids!
Maille-Pose-Side-HoodThe flight to Glasgow was dull, until someone showed up on the wing.

They’d been in the air for several hours. Simon couldn’t sleep, so he stared out into the night sky. The moon’s glow blanketed the huge jet engine outside row seventeen’s window. In the distance, dim lights flickered into view in the black sheet of night. He guessed it was Glasgow.

The cabin lights popped on when Simon saw movement near the wing’s tip. He squinted and pressed his nose against the window to get a better view.

Was that a person out there?

He glanced around. The passengers were either asleep or getting ready for landing.

A bolt of lightning killed the moonlight. In that moment Simon saw, clear as day, a figure perched on the wing in a long, wind-whipped robe, arms stretched in the air.

The plane shook violently. Shrieks filled the cabin. They fell a few hundred feet in an instant. The pilot pulled out of the dive but the climb was about as scary, especially when another lightning bolt shot past them.

After a moment, the pilot’s voice reassured them, “Sorry for that one, folks. Looks like we dodged a bullet or two there. I’ll have you on the ground before you know it.”Maille Rose pose

By the time they landed, there was nervous laughter, but everyone was ready to run for the exit.

Simon waited for the plane to empty out before he grabbed his bag. He followed the flight staff and searched for someone who might be his ride. Most people were hugging their families or trying to find the baggage claim.

There was only one person standing in the middle of the crowd as if she were waiting for someone. She was a pretty girl, early teens, with red hair and a black cape fastened at the neck with a shiny silver clasp.

She stared right at him.

As people crossed his view, Simon realized she was coming closer. Before he could blink she was standing right in front of him, with a very serious look on her face. The expression conflicted with her hair, which looked as if… as if she’d stuck her finger in a light socket. And were those bugs squashed to her forehead?

“Simon?” He nodded his head. “I’m Maille Rose. I’m here to take you to your uncle’s.”

“Hello,” he said as politely as he could.

Maille’s eyes darted about nervously. Her hair whipped around like branches on a tree, swaying with every movement of her head.

“Is something wrong?” he asked, as he noticed a bug crawling toward her ear. “Oh, um, hey, I think you have some bugs on…”

“No. Of course not. Nothing’s wrong.” She grabbed his hand and led him away. “Do you have much luggage?”

“None. I don’t own much.”

“Oh, too bad. That you don’t own much, that is.” Her grip on his wrist was strong. Too strong. She broke into a jog.

“Uh, why are we running?” he asked. But Maille didn’t answer. She peeked over her shoulder.

“Okay. What’s going on here? Who are you?” Simon stopped short. Maille moved close to him and leaned into his ear to whisper.

“Listen to me, Simon. You’re in danger. We need to get you out of here.”

“Who’s we? What do you mean danger?”

But Maille, if that was her name, saw something that made her eyes go wide.

“Oh, look at that,” she said with a smile, then ducked below the elbows of a gaggle of chattering businessmen and disappeared. Simon couldn’t spot her anywhere. He was going to call out her name when he felt a large hand settle on his shoulder.

“Mr. Sharp?” Simon turned and saw the biggest man he’d ever laid his eyes on. The guy looked like a boxer, with shoulders as wide as a door. He was dressed in old-fashioned chauffeur garb, hat and all. It fit so badly that it was more like a costume than a uniform. Simon made a gesture with his hand that was a cross between a wave hello and erasing a chalk-board. The man smiled and took his carry-on.

“I’m Hector,” he said with a distinct Scottish accent. “I’ll be taking you to yer uncle’s.”

“Then who was…” He stopped himself.

“Sorry?”

“Nothing. Thanks.” Simon stayed a few paces back as Hector carved a path through the crowd. The driver’s stride was long enough to take four steps at a time up a flight of stairs. Simon stole a few glances around on the off chance he’d spot Maille, but no luck. Maybe he’d dreamed her up. Like he’d dreamed that someone was standing on the wing of a plane going 400 miles per hour.

Jet lag. Yeah. Jet lag.

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The Camelot Kids cast of characters #1: Simon Sharp

The Camelot Kids cast of characters #1: Simon Sharp

We’ll be taking a peek at the characters of The Camelot Kids over the next several weeks. Ian Greenlee is doing a spectacular job of yanking the Fantasy series cast out of their comfortable nests in my head.

Today’s peek is at the main character, Simon.

If you ask Simon Sharp how his parents died, the 14-year-old New Yorker will tell you King Arthur killed them. Obsessed with Camelot, the two scholars perished in a plane crash en route to an archaeological dig in England.

Simon spends two awful years in an orphanage before his uncle surfaces. He offers Simon residence at a creepy mansion in Scotland where every shadow hides a surprise— including a girl, Maille Rose, who flickers in and out of view like a ghost. Maille warns Simon he’s in danger and, oh yes, he’s a descendant of King Arthur’s powerful knight, Lancelot.

Simon Sharp of The Camelot KidsSimon Sharp slides across a car in The Camelot Kids

Uh. What?

That’s Simon’s response too.

But she’s right about the danger. Simon’s life becomes a battle for survival when his teacher is killed in front of him. Accused of murder, Simon escapes into the wilderness…

… where he gets kidnapped by a drunk troll. At this point, Simon’s tired of surprises. Which is too bad because then he’s saved by a 7-foot elderly man claiming to be Merlin. Maille Rose, Merlin’s apprentice, arrives swinging her bat-wand and leads them to a hidden castle. This, she says, is New Camelot.

Packed with surprises, The Camelot Kids is a fresh take on the beloved myth.

Come back for more peeks later this week.

Who’s up next?

Maille Rose! Check out Merlin’s first apprentice in 978 years. She’s tough, smart and has attitude coming out of her wand (which happens to be a baseball bat)…

 

Here’s the latest peek at art from The Camelot Kids: Part Two…Rukkush!

Here’s the latest peek at art from The Camelot Kids: Part Two…Rukkush!

Rukkush! The former apprentice to Merlin makes his debut in The Camelot Kids: Part Two. Ian Greenlee, the artist for the book’s interiors, tweeted this little peek at a new piece that shows the elf’s sinister grin.

And those fingernails!

I suppose that’s what you get when you’re stuck in a room for a thousand years with no nail clippers.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Camelot Kids: Part One on Amazon. The ebook is only  a buck and it might just make you see Camelot in a brand new light!

Rukkush from The Camelot Kids

The Camelot Kids: Part Two…Here we go!

The Camelot Kids: Part Two…Here we go!

The Camelot Kids: Part One is on Amazon and invading Kindles across the globe! I love those sales in India, the UK and Germany ;-)

But there’s no time to rest. Ian, Nathan and I are on to Part Two (while Ray Buetens of Slub Designs works on the softcover, due in December)

The Camelot Kids: Part Two is where the big stuff starts to happen. You’ve met Simon, Maille, Merlin, Uncle Victor, Hector and Red. Next up is a pair of young knights-in-training named Josh and Russ, who will ease the transition into New Camelot for Simon. You’ll also meet Dergh who plays a major role in the story, especially in the latter part of the tale.

And finally, there’s Rukkush.

Rukkush

He’s a bad guy, no doubt. But how bad is he? What is he up to? And how will his shenanigans change Simon’s life forever?

In the coming days, I’ll share some peeks at the work Nathan and Ian are delivering. Look out for The Camelot Kids: Part Two eBook on Amazon September 30th, 2014!

 

The Camelot Kids softcover is on sale now!

The Camelot Kids softcover is on sale now!

Final-Cover-Medium-Size

My nights were Merlin. My days were Simon.

Meetings at work were doodles — what did the characters look like? What made Excalibur special?

Plot twists popped out of a martini. Oh yeah, one crucial theme sparked from a spicy chicken wing during Date Night in SoHo.

About 1000 pages were written right after Jack was born. I read the first draft in the middle of a forest and decided it was inspiring and horrible. Robin talked me off that cliff.

I hope you enjoy Simon’s butting heads with Merlin. I hope Maille Rose (pronounced Molly Rose) becomes a favorite of yours too. Oh, and I hope the ending leaves you wanting more. Because I want to write much more.

The Camelot Kids has been a part of my life for almost nine years. It was mine. Now it’s yours.