Daran Handshaw’s Actaeon Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

Daran Handshaw’s Actaeon Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

“We are born in the shadow of fading memories and fallen dreams, living our days within the decaying bones of an age long gone.”

When the Engineer, Actaeon, arrives at Pyramid in the heart of Redemption, nothing goes according to plan. Mysterious raiders pursue him relentlessly across the shattered remains of the ancient metropolis, and the leaders of his homeland pay no heed to his ambitious ideas. Meanwhile, deep beneath Pyramid, a deadly creature stirs. And, when Actaeon meets a skilled young Knight Arbiter with brilliant blue eyes, he starts down a path he could never have imagined.

The vast, fallen city of the Ancients is home to a new people who face the constant struggle to find resources needed to survive in the dangerous ruins. For the Engineer, however, Redemption is a treasure trove of technology, opportunity, and answers. But his unique skills make him a target for those who would use his talents to achieve their own dreams of power and control.

In his endless quest for the truth, will Actaeon discover the fallen city’s greatest secrets? Or will he share the same fate as the Ancients of whom nothing remains but a whisper?

One thing is certain: in Redemption, everything comes with a cost.

Welcome back everyone.  Darran, welcome back to you as well.  Who’s this gentleman with you today?

  • Actaeon steps forward and leans upon his halberd. “Good day to you, fine lady. I am Actaeon Rellios of Shore. And what, may I ask, is your name?”

Welcome Actaeon. ::Bows politely:: I am known as “K.” or “Pukah” depending who is speaking. I answer to both.

May I inquire where Rellios of Shore is?

  • Actaeon grins. “Well, I am speaking, so you can tell me your preference given that knowledge. And Rellios of Shore is right before you. Rellios is my family’s name, you see. I am from Shore, which lies at the southern edge of Redemption, it is a Hold of the Raedelle Dominion. I grew up there, in the town of Incline. You have not heard of it?”

I am afraid not. I don’t get to get out and travel as much as I wish. Is it hard to get to, Redemption?

  • Actaeon appears intrigued. “Quite fascinating, Lady K. I have not met anyone from outside the city before – at least not anyone that was not trying to kill me. Redemption is the ruined city of the Ancients. On the west it borders the sea and on the east it borders hostile tribal lands. It would be quite difficult and dangerous to make it there from without, I would imagine. Might I ask where you are from?”

A little world called “Earth”. With that much destruction, I am led to believe you are not a native to Earth, are you?

  • “Curious. So you are from a different world? Or perhaps a different location in the same world as I. I have not heard of this Earth, but I should like to know more. Those who live in Redemption arrived through portals that opened up nearly a century ago. Could this ‘Earth’ have been an origination point for those people?”

Possibly. Do your people consider themselves to be human, or is there another term for your race, or species?

  • “We are most certainly human, though for some I am sure that is debatable, ” he says with a chuckle. “As far as I can tell, the vanished Ancients were human as well. Why do you ask? Are you human? Do you know of other races?” He leans forward, eager to know more.

That I do, and I have met others from other worlds who are not human.

You mention portals – that brings up another question for me. Is there magic in your world?

  • Actaeon laughs at that question. “Well, some would call it that. The technology that the Ancients have left behind – the artifacts. Many in Redemption are convinced they are magic. Some worship these artifacts while others seek to destroy them, convinced that they led to the destruction of the Ancients. They are not magic though. Their function has an explanation, though sometimes it is beyond our understanding. It is one of my driving goals in life, to understand more about the truth behind such artifacts.”

We have a few pieces of technology like that here as well.

Actaeon, one last question, then I’ll let you go home. Hypothetically, if you could achieve your heart’s desire, what would it be?

  • “You do, Lady K? I should like to examine them if you can spare any.”

Actaeon takes a long moment to think about the question before replying. “My heart’s desire – such a strange concept that an organ which pushes lifeblood through the body would have a desire. I understand your metaphorical meaning however. My greatest desire has always been to find the answers to many problems. You see, I am an Engineer by trade. I wish to discover the truth behind a great many things: how the artifacts work, how to make them ourselves, how to utilize technology to solve humanity’s problems, why we are here and what happened to the Ancients. If I could achieve one thing, it would be to discover that – to discover what happened to the Ancients. It is the biggest mystery of my world. I am realistic though, and I realize that such a question is unlikely to be answered in my lifetime, if ever. That will not stop me from searching though.”

He remembers then, her previous statement. “You said you have met non-human people from other worlds. I would be delighted to hear about them – both the people and the worlds.”

Actaeon, there are many different worlds, races, and species. Before you return home, see if Darran will take you by a library. In there, you will find many worlds to explore, and information on just about any subject.

For the strange technology, in part it is from those who may not be as advanced in science as others, and in part it may be phenomena we haven’t figured out yet. (Not everything can be made to fit in a test tube, after all.)

Perhaps one, or both of those sources might provide some help in achieving your desire. It can be hard knowing you are trying to solve something that may not be solvable in one lifetime.

Actaeon, thank you so much for letting Darran bring you over to visit.

Darran, thank you again for visiting.

Any last words?

  • Actaeon runs a hand through his hair behind the goggles on his forehead as he listens.

“I will do just that and interrogate this Darran fellow, Lady K. Thank you for your suggestion. As with any endeavor, the success is often questionable. It is our duty in life to try for such lofty goals, for if not us, then who? And if not now, then when? We are the shapers of our own destinies, but the first step is to try. Many times the reward lies in the effort as well as the end.” The Engineer bows his head deeply then and steps back. “You have my thanks, Lady K, for this frank discussion.”

Darran steps forward then. “I hope you’ve enjoyed a sampling of Actaeon. If you’d like to read more about his adventures in the ruined, futuristic city of Redemption as he is drawn into unexpected adventures, romance and politics, look for The Engineer, A Chronicles of Actaeon Story, [out] on Amazon. “

Actaeon stiffens at the words and arches a brow at Darran. “You are going to have to answer quite a few questions, good sir.”

I think I’ll let you two have that discussion, gentlemen.

Actaeon, it was a pleasure to meet you.

Thank you everyone who’s stopped by to visit.  I hope you enjoyed the interview (not sure who was being interviewed here.)  If you’d like to connect with Darran, you can find him on his Facebook Twitteror The Engineer’s Indiegogo site.  

Don’t forget to stop by frequently to see who else has stepped in to Visit with the Pukah.  

Any comments or questions can be left below.  Discussions are always welcome here.

Philipp Kessler’s Malcolm Downing Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

Philipp Kessler’s Malcolm Downing Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

Sandra is a hereditary witch with a very human problem. Her pregnant friend Elaine has moved in with her and they are trying to make a home together. Juggling work and magic is no easy task for her; add to that the emotional ups and downs of her friend and you have a recipe for disaster.

Three months after the events of Backfire, Sandra and Elaine have to face more magical concerns as Malcolm invades their lives. Will his dark influences cause them more heartache?

Waterfall reveals more about Malcolm, his motivations, and how he wound up the kind of jerk he became.

With dark magic, Gods, and ancient creatures bubbling up from the ether, Sandra and Elaine have much more on their plate than trying to figure out how to make their new life work.

Welcome back.  Tonight we’ll be chatting with Malcolm Downing from Waterfall:  New Beginnings Vol. 2.

Philipp, will you introduce us?

  • Hello, this is Malcolm Downing. He’s one of the characters in my Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings series. He’s had a lot to say to me lately, so I thought I’d bring him in to talk to you all, too.

Welcome Malcolm. Thank you for letting Philipp bring you over to visit.

Will you start us off with a little about yourself, and where you’re from?

  • [Hello.]  I’m Malcolm Downing of the Lincoln Downings. My uncle and father run one of the most successful business empires in the Midwest. You could say I come from money. A lot of it.

What business, if I may ask?

  • The Downings are in a lot of businesses. Banking, computer technology, we own properties all over the state of Nebraska and a good bit into Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. We’re expanding into Colorado, but Wyoming isn’t of much interest to us. Like the rest of the country.

Are you from Nebraska, then?

  • Born and raised here. My family hails from New England. They came west in the late 1800’s and bought up a lot of land in Nebraska. A good investment.

If you’re dealing in investments, am I far off the mark thinking you’re under a lot of pressure to deliver results?

  • I let my father and uncle deal with that. Francis and Zachary are the kingpins to the family business. I’ve been out of the loop on most of the decisions up to this point. After college they distanced themselves from me.

Trouble in the family?

  • They thought I had gotten involved with the wrong sort of woman. Someone beneath the family name.

Oh, dear. Is she still in your life?

  • No. I tried calling her today and she hung up on me. Elaine has become quite different of late. Must be Sandra Blackwell’s influence her. The little witch!

That sounds like you’ve got an enemy. Or am I misinterpreting your words?

  • Depends on what you mean. Sandra’s a little miss goody-goody. She comes from an old family, too. Not wealthy, mind you. The Blackwells have had influence on a different arena. Her way is not my way.

That does tend to complicate things. Do you have anyone who’s ways mesh with yours better?

  • Uncle Zachary and my father have been training me since I could walk and talk. To take over a different aspect of the family business. I’m not good with business, I’m rather skilled with magick.

Sounds interesting. How would that work in today’s world with so much disbelief?

  • Pshah! The masses don’t have to believe. What matters is that we believe.

Plausible – as I’ve seen some interesting results from that method.

Changing the subject a bit – can you share anything about your dreams and ambitions?

  • Oh, erhm. I know I won’t be taking over the family’s financial business. That doesn’t matter to me. I’ve got all I need when it comes to money.
    Wow. Did I just say that? Anyway…
    I want to continue moving forward with my training, learn what I can and do what is needed for the Downings to remain at the forefront of everything we are involved with.
  • I can be sentimental, though. A loving wife and children to carry on the name would be very nice. Yes, nice indeed.

I know you said you just had an ugly break up – any other ladies of interest?

  • Not right now, no. Before Elaine left – though she’d say I left her – my mother passed away. I wasn’t able to go to the memorial. I’m … I don’t know. I’m just here right now. Relationships are not easy. If I could, though, I’d get Elaine back.

Forgive me for poking a sore subject. I can be a bit too nosy at times.

One last question for you in a completely different subject. If you could be anything in the world, what would you choose?

  • Nosy, yes. Thank you for not probing further.
  • Hmmm. If I could be anything… Master of my own destiny. But that’s not possible. The Downings have a destiny that has no regard for me.

Malcolm, thank you again for coming over to visit. Best wishes for success in your endeavors.

  • Thank you, thank you. Now, if you don’t mind, Uncle Zachary has plans for me this evening. Good night!

Good night.

Philipp, thank you for making a return trip, and bringing Malcolm with you.  Any last words before you leave?

  • Thank you. It has been a pleasure, as always.
  • Don’t let Malcolm’s remarks about Sandra or Elaine color your perception of them. They are both lovely ladies. Just trying to make a go of things with what life has handed them.

I’ll keep that in mind. ::chuckles:: I’ve seen first hand how “old” money doesn’t like “new” money, and similar with respect and prestige within family lines.

If you enjoyed the interview, and want to get a head start on Malcolm’s tale, head over to Amazon, or Barns and Noble here to pick up a copy of Backfire: Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings Vol. 1 for your self.  

If you’d like to connect with Philipp and stalk… erm… follow his progress on Waterfall, you can find him on Facebook where he posts at least once a day. Either a teaser or an update on what is going on; Patreon where I release a chapter-a-month for my $1 and above patrons out of the sci-fi novel I am working on; and of course Amazon (US Amazon) and Goodreads.

Angelique Anderson’s Quincy Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

Angelique Anderson’s Quincy Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

Wylie Petford suffers extreme tragedy, only to discover that she holds great purpose.
The Dracosinum, a magical device with a key to her heritage, will unlock her future while leaving her love Lord Adrian in the past.
The loss of her closest friendship, the taking over of her home and town by Villainous Lord Ukridge…. is there no good to come from her life?
Now, with the odds against her, she has one chance to become who she is meant to be, escape her shackles and defeat the Lord Jameston.
19th Century London has seen nothing like this – The Lady Dragon is ready to sweep you up in a steampunk world full of corsets, steam-powered gadgets, and dastardly villains.

Welcome back everyone, and welcome back Angelique. Angelique has returned to let us visit with one of her friends.  Angelique, who did you bring with you today for a visit?

  • Someone quite interesting… he’s visiting from London currently, though he said he has to fly back shortly.

Want to introduce him to us? I’ll try not to keep him too long.

  • Quincy the dragon, Wylie etfords ‘conscience’ so to speak from my new book The Dragon Lady.

Welcome Quincy. Thank you for letting Angelique coax you over to this side of the pond for a visit.

  • Quincy, say hello.
  • Hmph… I’d much rather be curled up in my Dracosinum with a hot cup of tea. Alas, this woman hasn’t stopped her incessant ranting since my arrival.

It’s Quincy please do this, and Quincy tell me more about the Dragaleths… A dragon can’t get an ounce of peace.

Uh, oh. That’s not good. What do you enjoy doing when you’re at home?

  • If by home, you mean my Dracosinum… I enjoy watching the Dragaleths attempt to balance the good and evil of this completely chaotic world. Though a long soak in a thimble full of warm oil is quite relaxing on the brass joints.

I also enjoy telling Wylie what to do, poor naive girl hasn’t a clue what she has gotten herself into.

Were you born in a Dracosinum?

  • One could say that, you see… long ago… when evil was great in the world it hurt the gods so deeply that they cried real tears. Those tears fell to the Earth creating one pure white dragon, the Teselym, and one black as night dragon, the Siapheg.

It became clear that though the Siapheg figured out its purpose quite quickly.. the Teselym had a hard time knowing what good to do to balance the Siapheg.

Thus, I was born.. sent here in the Dracosinum to aid the Teselym in its quest to distinguish good against evil.

That sounds ominous. Are Siapheg and Teselym your parents, then?

  • Hmmm… no… more like annoyances and more trouble than they are worth. One might say the gods are my parents…

Can’t fault the Teselym and the Siapheg for what they do, just living out their purpose really… but their human side really can mess things up.

You look like a dragon, so I may be interpreting this wrong… Are the Teselym and Siapheg dragons as well, or are you the only one?

  • I am very much a dragon, full blooded as they come. The Teselym and Siapheg however… they are dragons during the night time hours only. During the day, they inhibit their human hosts and go about like normal everyday folk.

If you ask me, there had to be a better way to do it, the whole human body on the bed at night, while its essence takes dragon form and does its duties at night, is troublesome. Not just for me, but for the human hosts as well.

So I wasn’t completely off – just half way. ::Grins:: Sounds like it. Since you say they cause you trouble, would you call them your enemies?

  • Not at all. the only enemies they really have, are each other. In fact, the Teselym is my personal responsibility. I act as a sort of guide… a moral compass to help the Teselym decide which acts of good are more important, and to help the Teselym refrain from acts of evil that would come naturally to their human side. This time around, the Wylie Petford girl is my current Teselym, and can that blasted girl get on my nerves.
  • Stubborn and demanding! Not at all like her amiable father, with which I was very good friends with.

Do you have any allies to help you out when your Teselym gets out of hand?

  • Well… I suppose the gods could do right away with them… but I’ve never had any real issues.. besides the occasional smart mouthed young woman.. which brings me to my current dilemma. Though, I have to say… she is brave in her own right… she has made some difficult decisions as of late, that I don’t know any other Teselym could have made. Full marks for bravery for that one.

One last question, then I’ll let you head back home. If you could have anything in the world, what would you choose?

  • A way to rid the world of its evil. I have seen too much of it over the centuries.. I suppose it is good that I am not human or all of that would way too heavily on me.

Right, right… back to my Dracosinum for me… until the Dragon hour is over.

I’ll agree with you about getting rid of evil – though there is also the counter argument: If there is no evil, there is not good. Quincy, thank you for coming over to visit. Feel free to drop by any time for a chat (or to get away from your stubborn friend for a bit.)

  • Thank you, pleasure to make your acquaintance… and if you do happen to hear the flutter of dragon wings outside your window. Rest assured that all is right in the world, and we are all doing our job.

I’ll remember that, though the cats may not agree.

Angelique, before I wrap up here, any last words?

  • Ha ha ha ha, fascinating creature isn’t he? He’s currently no bigger than the size of my thumb, but I have seen him grow to be larger than I am. Anyway, thank you so much for having us both… it was a pleasure as always. If you want to get to know Quincy more, he will be starring in The Dragon Lady, releasing May 1, 2017.

I look forward to it. Definitely going to have to devou…. erm… investigate this story!

It was a pleasure having you over again. Thank you so much for returning, and convincing Quincy to come with you.

  • ha ha ha ha!! Thank you so much!! He’s really a gentleman of a dragon, and he’s been the perfect house guest.

Its been great talking to you!

If you enjoyed the interview, and would like to read more about Quincy, head on over to Amazon Here and pick up a copy of Dragon Lady.

Assaph Mehr’s Felix the Fox Stops By To Visit The Pukah

Assaph Mehr’s Felix the Fox Stops By To Visit The Pukah

Murder In Absentia: Togas, Daggers, and Magic (Felix the Fox Book 1) by [Mehr, Assaph]
A young man is found dead in his bed, with a look of extreme agony on his face and strange tattoos all over his body. His distraught senator father suspects foul play, and knows who to call on.
Enter Felix the Fox, a professional investigator. In the business of ferreting out dark information for his clients, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician, but something in between. Drawing on his experience of dealing with the shady elements of society and on his aborted education in the magical arts, Felix dons his toga and sets out to discover the young man’s killers.
Murder In Absentia is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.

Welcome back everyone.  Assaph, welcome back as well.   Who’s this gentleman you’ve got with you this evening?

  • Allow me to introduce you to Felix, the protagonist of Murder In Absentia.
  • Felix: Ave

Welcome Felix. Will you start us out by telling us a little about yourself?

  • I am what you call in your world a private detective. People hire me to resolve their problems – problem that usually have an occult nature.

That sounds ominous. Do you have any cases you can talk about, or is everything hush-hush?

  • Oh, plenty of cases I can talk about. In a way, Assaph is just the scribe for my memoirs.I started to study at the Collegium Incantatorum, but was booted out. In a bizarre twist of fate, I worked for a couple of other detectives. I then took out to work on my own.
    Initially most of my cases were small game. Purloined jewellery, missing persons, cheating spouses were what paid for my bread and fish sauce. I was lucky with the occasional debunking of charlatans, confirmation of ancient scrolls, and even, rarely, a real magical ring. I thought those would be the highlight of my career, until that time I was called upon to help a senator. His son died in what looked like a cult’s dark rite, you see.
    He needed someone who knows what’s what, but that could keep things under wraps and away from the authorities.My career seem to have taken off after that, with word of mouth providing me with more and more high-profile cases.

Sounds like you discovered a way into the dangerous cases. Ever wish you were still working the small change cases still?

  • No, not really. For one, I like not worrying about when and where the next meal is coming from. For another, there were also… personal development associated with the cases. People I’ve met, you see, whose company I very much enjoy.

I stand properly corrected. Yet, that leaves the question – how often do you have to watch over your shoulder in case someone doesn’t like you investigating your current case?

  • That happens. When the case is simple, there is usually not a lot to worry about. Small time crooks have a certain respect to one another.It’s the high profile cases, those with the purple-bordered toga-wearing customers, that cause the most grief. They can get vindictive, and have long memories. Social events – when I am invited to them – can become an interesting exercise in navigation.As for my current case, by which I mean the one Assaph is currently writing down, there were certainly some unseemly developments.

Dare I ask, or is that better left for the papers?

  • That is best left for the eventual publication of the scrolls.
    I’ll only say that I was a bit too cocky, but that I’ve learnt my lesson.

I think we all run into that from time to time – that over confidence.

Speaking of which… what’s the most common reason for a case cracking wide open for solution for you?

  • I wish it was something clever, but most often it is leg work. Miles and miles of my sandals beating the pavement, as I go around the city chasing leads and suspects.
    Then again, there is the occasional spark of inspiration.

Inspiration’s always good.
I know time is a precious commodity, so I won’t keep you much longer. Just a couple of questions.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working a case?

  • Spend the money I made in the last case.

Makes sense. And one for humor – if you could meet anyone in the world, who would you choose?

  • Probably Fortuna. I’d love to have a respectful chat with the goddess, and ask her to please chose someone else.

Oh, dear. Now I really DO need to go find your memoirs.
Felix, thank you for letting Assaph bring you over to visit. I have really enjoyed our chat. Assaph, thank you again for coming back for a return appearance.Any last words?

  • You can find some of my shorter (though not sweeter) cases on my website.
    My first big case you can find published in your world with the title Murder In Absentia.
  • A few short stories involving Felix, mostly from his past prior to Murder In Absentia. To receive notifications about new posts, short stories and news, please click the “Follow” button… egretia.com
  • Thanks Kat for having us both. It was a pleasure talking with you again.

The pleasure’s been mutual Assaph.  Once again, thanks for making the long trip over to visit.

If you’ve enjoyed the meeting Assaph and getting to know his character Felix, you can find out more about the pair on  on Twitter, on Assaph’s website, and on Facebook.

Thank you everyone for stopping by today.  If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments below. Discussions are always welcome. And, don’t forget to come back again to see who else has stopped by to Visit with the Pukah.

In the mean time….

Keep those pages turning!