GOLD TRAP by Lilly Maytree

I simply wanted to step out of my ordinary life and find the Divine Appointment God had planned for me. I’d read about Mary Kinglsey, and it occurred to me that if I truly wanted to share an historical biography with my students, hers was it. So (with much trepidation) I booked the cheapest tour I could find to visit the Dark Continent of Africa. Who knew I’d meet a psychic named Vidalia (after the onion?) — not that I should have been surprised (after all, Bremen Tours specialized in “Voodoo relics of the Dark Continent,” or so it was emblazoned on their carry-alls, one of which I owned). 


But life got really strange when I met a mad (or was he drunk?) professor, a dashing prince (or possibly, the villain), a village headman (the warrior king? Or the prince of thieves?) and a witchdoctor who was neither witch nor doctor, but rather the sinister embodiment of a charlatan who preyed on tourists…and let’s not forget the man who started the whole mess—an embezzler-turned-kidnapper…of me! And that’s not to mention floating down a river full of crocodiles, two boys who wanted to hold me for ransom, an earthquake, a cave-in, the leopard in my bed, and a pink hippopotamus. In the end, my Divine Appointment from God held mystery, excitement and a whole lot more. Enjoy my adventure, Dear Reader, because I did!

About Lilly: Lilly Maytree has many homes. Sometimes she lives in her cabin in the woods in Alaska, sometimes in a sailboat on the ocean, and occasionally in a tent when she is exploring wilderness places. It has even been said that she time-travels, but that is probably just a rumor. You can get in touch with her through her web site at http://www.lillymaytree.com. It might take a few days if she is adventuring far away… but she always comes back sooner or later. She loves hearing from readers!

Who is Lilly Maytree?
What does a normal workday look like for you, Lilly? 
I like to begin working sometime around ten in the morning. I have a beautiful little study with a comfortable chair, and I am surrounded by bookcases on nearly every wall. All of my favorite books are there. A lot of this first part of the day is business, or research related. I love research, I find it to be an exciting treasure-trove of unusual ideas. I update web pages and write articles… anything that’s dictated by my calendar.

At sometime around five, I take a dinner break. I love to cook, so it’s a social and unwinding time for me. Then I enjoy the evening with my husband, and we might take a walk, read, or watch a movie. But somewhere around ten, I return to my study to work on my current project. This is my real writing time, when all is quiet and there are no interruptions. I’m usually busy until about two, and afterward do a little visiting with my friends on the other side of the world who are in different time zones.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A plotter, for sure. I absolutely love developing plots. I even like outlines, but don’t tell anybody. That isn’t to say things never take an unexpected turn, because they often do. But I tend to work in layers, making multiple passes over the manuscript to flesh out characters and sharpen the setting. Even so, there are times when I’ll have to wait and let things percolate about something that eluded me. When that happens, I leave a “placeholder” in that spot until it comes to me. I have learned to be patient about that, because it always does.

What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not writing? Least favorite?
Adventuring is what I like best. My husband and I travel at least three months out of the year (oh, but I take my work with me, even when we’re on boats), so there is always something interesting to explore. We tend to gravitate toward wilderness places, rather than cities, and that’s very refreshing.

My least favorite thing is getting stuck somewhere, or into a bit of a scrape because we got too far off the beaten path. But that’s all part of the adventure. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade those experiences for a million dollars, because I always learn something. Of course, I wouldn’t give a nickel to go through them, again, either.

If you had a Friday night all to yourself, what would you do?
Listen to good music and work out my “plot knots.” I find music and solitude to be very good for that.

Where can readers find your books?
Links to where readers can find my books are over at http://www.LillyMaytree.com/books.html. You can also connect up with my blog from there, as well as take a peek into my study, which I fill up with interesting curiosities and bits and pieces of unusual research I have done during the writing of my latest book. There’s a recipe for African Peanut Stew over there right now, too, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Along with a slideshow of some pictures I used as visual inspiration for GOLD TRAP.

Thank you for having me over for a visit, today, Dora, I so enjoy meeting new friends. Because I find it to be a rather amazing thing that even though “There are so many kinds of voices in the world… none of them is without significance.” (that’s a Lilly paraphrase for Romans 14:10)

Thank you, Lilly, for visiting today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you! Congrats on the release of Gold Trap.

Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One, By: Michael Duncan

“If history is written by the victorious, what if the victors lied?”

A stolen text…When the Book of Aleth is stolen, Aaron, captain of the Royal Guard, is ordered by Emperor Therion to reclaim the ancient tome. The mission thrusts Aaron into a world he’s never known–a world of elves and dwarves, races long thought extinct; a world where everything he has known and believed is a lie.
A secret past… Forced to challenge his long-held beliefs, Aaron and his companions, two soldiers of the Royal Guard and two men of the Dwarvish kingdom of Brekken-Dahl, set out on a quest to recover the Book. Aaron resolves to discover the truth, and rescue the empire he is sworn to protect.



To Purchase a copy, go to: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/shadows-book-of-aleth-part-one. It is also available at multiple online retailers such as AmazonBarnes and Noble as well as Christian Book Distributors (CBD) in both print and e-book formats (i.e. Kindle and Nook).

About the author:  Michael has spent over 20 years preaching and teaching God’s Word. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Rev. Duncan entered into public ministry and has served in four churches. He now resides in Washington State with his wife and three children and serves as pastor. When Michael is not preaching or teaching God’s word, he spends time writing. Shadows is his first novel. He is an apprentice-level alumnus of the Christian Writer’s Guild. Michael is also a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and serves as a board member and a critique group facilitator. Given the opportunity, he also enjoys time on the golf course.

OK. Now let’s take a peek into the personal side of Michael Duncan…

What does a normal workday look like for you?
I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a “normal” workday. I get up with my wife at 6:30am so that we can have coffee and devotions in the morning. She is a teacher at the local elementary school and so when she’s out the door I get the kids up. We home-school our children (ages 12, 13 & 17) and I spend the better part of the morning planning and teaching the kids. As a pastor, I spend a significant amount of time working on the various studies and messages that I bring to my church. So the second half of the day is preparing and planning the various services that we have. Along with that, I try to call my church members, pray with them and counsel with them as they grow in the grace of Christ. Because my wife works fulltime, I take care of many of the “household” duties (i.e. laundry, cleaning, etc. though the kids are very good at pitching) and now that winter is coming on, I have to make sure that we are stocked up with enough firewood.

My wife is home around 5pm, and, unless we have an evening meeting for church, we will sit down and relax or take a walk in the garden just to “unwind” the day. Then its dinner, evening prayers, and the kids are off to bed. Patty and I will spend the final hour of her day talking with each other or watching a little television. She’s in bed by 10pm and that’s when I will take the time to write. I usually will work until 12:30am or 1am, and then I collapse and wake up the next day to start it again.

However, there are times when my schedule gets all jumbled around and we will do some home-schooling in the evenings if I have a morning meeting to go to or a counseling session for one of my church members. Then, again, I may write while the kids study during the day. I try to get about 1000 words a day written, though I don’t beat myself if I don’t make it. Sometimes it’s less than a hundred words, sometimes I’ve written entire chapters in one setting. I delightfully live in a state of controlled chaos (as my desk can attest) and trust that those moments that seem like interruptions to the day often become Divine encounters along the way.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Hmmm… That is an interesting question. If I understand what you mean, do I plot out in advance or do I fly by the seat of my pants, I’d have to say a little of both. I will drive a singular thread of the story through plotting, but the scenes unfold in my imagination as I write them. For example, in The Lord of the Rings, the singular thread is: there is a ring, it’s evil and it must be destroyed. Everything else hangs upon that singular thread, but to read Tolkien’s writings about writing, he didn’t know how it would all play out until it found its way on paper. For my first book series, the singular thread is: there is a book that can save the nation and the book is lost. So, with that, I tied my main character to its discovery and then sent him into his world to find it.

Often, I’m not sure what will take place until I arrive at the scene with my main characters. I love the excitement of being able to watch in my “mind’s eye” the world unfold before me as I type it. One of the first things I do, however, is to draw a rough map of the world that my characters live in so that I have a place to start. I’ve found it to be a great advantage to know the layout of the world before I try to write about it.

What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not writing? (I see golf mentioned in your bio.) Least favorite?
Yes, golf is a favorite of mine. There was a time when I had thought about trying my hand at becoming a professional golfer, but those days are behind me now. I still love to get out on the links and stripe a ball 300 yards down the fairway. I am huge movie fan, and we will do “pizza-and-a-movie” nights at our house. I love redemptive movies and movies that have an adventurous bent. I love to be on the water. I grew up on Puget Sound in Washington and I love to take long ferry rides to the various sundry islands. My wife and I enjoy walks together and will stroll around our little mountain community. Games are a staple in our house and we will enjoy a heated game of Nintendo bowling or a board game of 221B Baker Street (If you don’t know what that is: it is a “Clue” type game that involves Sherlock Holmes).

Perhaps my least favorite thing to do is yard work! I hate pulling weeds and flower beds are just a waste of good grass space. I will try to avoid yard work with all diligence. I also hate working on cars. Yes, I know that it’s un-American for any man to hate working on cars, but I have never developed an affinity for getting my hands covered in grease and my knuckles bloodied with every thwack of the wrench. Don’t mistake animosity, however, with lack of ability. I’ve done those dreaded duties and though bruised and battered for my efforts, I came out victorious.

If you had a Friday night all to yourself, what would you do?
Can I have my wife with me? If I can, then we’re off to dinner and a play. We love to take in a live-action play rather than a movie. But, if a movie is all that’s available, then we will take in a movie. But I love to have Friday nights with her. Now, if I can’t have my wife with me, and am truly all to myself, then it is spent writing. I’m working on several manuscripts at once—some fiction, some non-fiction. I love to study the Scriptures, and will pour myself into the text of God. If I was truly all by myself on a Friday night, I might try to catch a local church event or simply enjoy reading through one of many books I’ve not delved into yet. If I had the opportunity, I would preach somewhere – but then I wouldn’t be all by myself.

The things that I love to do are preaching/teaching God’s word, writing and golfing. The people that I love to “hang” with are my wife, my kids and my church. If my Friday night involved any of these activities or people, I would call it an enjoyable night.

Do you have a website, blog, etc.?
Yes, I have both a website and a blog. My website is: http://www.michael-duncan.net and my blog is: http://michaelduncan.authorweblog.com.


Thank you, Michael, for visiting today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you! Congrats on the release of Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One.

Congrats to Pelican Book Group!

On October 1st, Pelican Book Group celebrated the 2nd anniversary of acquiring White Rose Publishing and their debut of Harbourlight Books, a Christian fiction imprint. To celebrate the launch, Harbourlight released not one, but four new books:

Bahama Breeze, a light-hearted action adventure, by Eddie Jones
Gold Trap, a fun adventure, by Lilly Maytree
Murder in Hum Harbour, a cozy mystery, by Jayne E. Self
Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One, an allegorical fantasyby Michael Duncan

Check out these exciting titles by clicking here. Friday I’ll be highlighting Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One, so make sure you stop back by!

But, wait! That’s not all. Check out their showcase of Holiday Extravaganza titles for $1 available from December 1st to Christmas Eve. Yowzee! That’s enough books to last my holiday season. What about you?