Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Edmond Manning for stopping by today.
Title: King John (The Lost and Founds #4)
Author: Edmond Manning
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Gay Fiction
English attorney Alistair Robertson can’t quite believe an astonishing tale of kingship and transformation he hears at Burning Man, the annual counter-culture art festival in the Black Rock desert. Who are the Found Kings? Is “being kinged” as magical as it sounds?
Determined to find the mysterious garage mechanic named Vin who helps men “remember who they were always meant to be,” Alistair catches his quarry amid the extravagant sculptures, fire worshipers, mutant cars, and lavish costumes. After searching for three years, he’ll finally get to ask the question burning inside him: “Will you king me?”
Wandering together through the desert, Vin Vanbly and Alistair explore Burning Man’s gifting culture and exotic traditions, where they meet the best and worst of their fellow burners. Alistair’s overconfidence in Vin’s manipulative power collides with Vin’s obsessive need to save a sixteen-year-old runaway from a nightmarish fate, and the two men spiral into uncontrollable, explosive directions.
In this fourth adventure of The Lost and Founds, beneath the sweltering summer sun and the six billion midnight
Dead Author Reviews
I consider myself lucky that the garage where I get my oil changed happens to employ an on-site psychic who does readings while you wait. Madam JoJo feels the psychic energy is more conducive around power tools, and I know she’s legit because during every single reading she predicts the oil change guys are going to come in and tell me my filter needs to be changed. You know what? It happens. Every. Single. Time.
I recently asked Madam JoJo to contact the spirit world and ask some long-deceased authors—beloved heroes of mine—to read my fiction. With my latest release, King John, approaching publication, I desperately wanted a blurb from someone highly respected. She assured me getting dead authors to read is not a problem. Eternity gets boring, and they do like to judge (they are authors, after all), so she lined up some big names. Some of them even read the whole series!
Thank you, Madam JoJo. And yes, I will switch to the heavier oil for winter. Thank you for asking.
This is what passes as a romance these days? Goodness. I deduct one star for the lack of commentary on inherited gender roles in patriarchal, industrial society. Very disappointing. I deduct another star for the stark refusal to address property rights for women. I deduct another star for the complete absence of acerbic witticisms about buffoon clergy. Again I ask, what was the point of writing a romance-oriented novel if not to make social commentary on the issues of the day? Why would you not use your pen to attack the church, good Sir?
I deduct another star for setting King John in the outer ring of Hell. Clearly, this “Burning Man” is not a real place, nor could it ever be, so why set a romance there? Still, I fear I must add one star for the author’s in-depth interpretation of Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is the only possible way he could conceive of a barren wasteland populated by drunken children, “mutant vehicles,” and a humiliating excrement torture chamber known as a “porta potty.” Milton would appreciate this version of Hell. I did not.
I add one star for the male sodomy. Much as it pains me to admit, I would like to have read more of this. I deduct yet another star for the lack of imagery associated with this buggery.
In short, I award this book two stars, though I have no idea if I am to deliver these stars myself or the people of this brave new world deliver them on my behalf.
When I was nineteen and a steamboatman, those of us with official duties would puff up our chests when we thought someone on shore noticed us, and those of us without official duties would pretend to have some. Life was about impressing the people on those muddy, snake-infested banks, the old coots in their sixties, rubbing their gums, remembering their teeth. We nodded gravely at the young’uns, the families who gathered to watch us pass. Back then it mattered when a large wooden paddleboat came easing by—graceful as you please—for several reasons. She was probably the most beautiful hand-built creation these folks would ever see in their lifetimes, and to witness her grandeur was something you could tell your kids. Also, an inexperienced boatswain might run her aground in shallow water, and you’d want to be near in case she tipped, so you could wade into the Mississippi and grab your take.
You may ask what this tale has to do with those Lost and Founds books.
I was so disgusted by the filthy lot of them I decided a better review would be me reminiscing on my youth. I used to think Bret Harte was a limp-wristed excuse of a bum chum, but at least his narrators kept their damn members enshrined in their breeches. Satan’s blessings, I couldn’t believe I had to read about such wretched degenerates, the way they humped and bumped around San Francisco. What is bear walking? Have I gone utterly insane in death? I’ve made my views on religion quite clear, but during that cornfield sex in King Mai, even I was hoping an uptight, midwestern reverend would show up and insist on a cessation to that unnatural farm copulation.
If I’d known I’d be reading such horrors in the afterlife, I would have worked a bit harder to stay alive. Worse yet was Charles Dickens’s whispering over my shoulder, “Have you reached chapter twelve, yet? Have you reached the part where they’re on the pirate ship?” English bastard kept trying to show off how fast he can read.
First, let me say what a glorious and magnanimous honor it is to be presented with such fine representations of modern literature, such ribald and tummy-tickling delights to the ear, such melodious harmonies of—what? I’m not being paid by the word?
Well, then. How to summarize my utter distaste at this vulgar, unfortunate word pile?
It was the worst of times.
Zero shining stars.
I read your Butterfly King. I was grateful to see a strong black man take center stage, but who writes a novel set in New York and never once sets foot in a jazz club? Unpardonable. Low class. You wasted your time in the most fabulous city in the world. One lonely, G-flat star.
I liked that the narration approached poetry. Of course, it was awful poetry, like a wild boar attempting to caress the delicate strands of a spider’s web, but at least the author approached it. Also, I was disappointed nobody died.
Two and a half stars.
If my beleaguered understanding is correct, you lucky sodomites now have rights: you’re not publicly tried, jailed, and murdered, the church cannot seize your property and disgrace your name—you can even marry someone of your same sex—and yet this is how you spend your time, writing this boorish drivel? Oh, misguided, idiotic darlings. This present-day age of wonders is wasted on a generation of slobbering muttonheads who couldn’t piece together an authentic Victorian sentence if it were, in fact, a child’s wooden puzzle with only two interlocking pieces.
If I were Vin Vanbly, I would sit the chap down in an overstuffed leather chair, and over a mint-green absinth, I would seduce him with scarlet-tinged words, with pleasures to the ear he could never unhear, and conduct this whole kinging business in a genteel supper club with distinguished men’s mutterings concealing our naughty innuendos. But, angel lambs, why on earth would I try? I fail to see the bargain in this kinging arrangement. All this effort for what? If this is the exertion required to “blow the grounsils” in your time, truly, I lived in the good old days.
Let’s examine the four male subjects of these novels. A dour financier, a gritty peasant farmer, a New York City business person—whose life’s work is so uninteresting his very profession isn’t mentioned—and a shady barrister? Goodness, if I had Vin Vanbly’s appalling taste in men, I’d hate my life, too. Why not seduce a young, apple-cheeked youth? A tender eighteen-year-old virgin barely plucked from his mother’s breast and still unversed in the pleasures of men? This would be a conquest worth writing about. I can’t imagine there’s much bragging rights in undressing a goaty barrister at a sand festival, but this is your America, and you people insisted on running it, so you had best keep it.
You wish me to assign a star value to these paragraphs? One through five stars? Oh my, how very, very provincial. Tell me, will you wrap this review in newspaper and bray your wares from your cobblestone cart like a bleating sheep? Is this what the world has come to, ranking words using stars from the night sky?
I think I’m rather grateful to be dead after all.
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About the Author
EDMOND MANNING has always been fascinated by fiction: how ordinary words could be sculpted into heartfelt emotions, how heartfelt emotions could leave an imprint inside you stronger than the real world. Mr. Manning never felt worthy to seek publication until recently, when he accidentally stumbled into his own writer’s voice that fit perfectly, like his favorite skull-print fuzzy jammies. He finally realized that he didn’t have to write like Charles Dickens or Armistead Maupin— two author heroes— and that perhaps his own fiction was juuuuuuust right, because it was his true voice, so he looked around the scrappy word kingdom that he created for himself and shouted, “I’M HOME!” He is now a writer.
In addition to fiction, Edmond enjoys writing nonfiction on his blog, http://www.edmondmanning.com. When not writing, he can be found either picking raspberries in the back yard or eating panang curry in an overstuffed chair upstairs, reading comic books.
Feel free to contact him at email@example.com.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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