The Last King 
by A. Yamina Collins

 

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Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in---she's six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being an Elf from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore---she just wants her shattered life to be normal again. 

Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George's newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people who marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.

But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings. Indeed, God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft and for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" and kill them off.

When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead's Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead's vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.

Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat---they're also their greatest love.


Available for download now:  The Last King: Book 1, Volume #4 
 http://www.amazon.com/Last-King-Book-Yamina-Collins-ebook/dp/B00M9AU9QE 
In episode #4 Emmy accepts an invitation to the home of Gilead and Markus - and when she enters their home, a whole new world of wonder opens up to her.


 

 


 

Excerpt The Last King: Book I - Series 1

Chapter 1


It is doubtful the Master will ever hear of what is about to take place, Markus thinks, standing at the bank of this deserted lake. The branches on the trees around him sway peacefully, and the evening air hums a lullaby.

Markus does not suppose that the Master will hear about this and, really, what difference should it make if he does? It's just an old homeless guy that is going to die: Markus feels no guilt about it, so how could his thoughts give him away? 

In a moment, he removes his hand from the old man's mouth because he knows the poor fool is too stunned to scream anyway---people are always speechless when they first see Markus's wings, stretched out as they are, twenty feet on either side of him, and tonight the old man simple blinks and lets spittle hang from the corners of his lips.

Markus does not know his victim's name, but his victim certainly knows it: Johnnie is what they call him, Johnnie Kubrick, and his very soul seems to have unzipped itself from his body and stepped outside of him. He is not just rigid but catatonic, and he longs for this to be some terrible dream he will soon wake up from. 

But this is no dream, this is reality: there is a man standing before Johnnie who looks human, yet has glass wings on his back that are yellow and whose edges taper off to a thin, razor like end. The wings make a sound like metal crashing against metal as they flap - it is a harsh sound, a cold sound. And yet the wings themselves do not frighten the old man as much as what is attached to the wings do. 

Johnnie's pale lips tremble.

"Wha---what are you?" he finally stutters. He does not mean to ask questions. He means to beg for his life because he does not want to die like this---not in these shabby clothes, near a bed of water where he can easily be disposed. He wants to die in a warm room, with someone who loves him holding his hand; Johnny Kubrick wants to die with dignity, different from the way he lived. 

The old man chokes on his tears, wishing he was important again, the sort of man who would be missed in death, and he tries to recall how he ever became the sort of person other people diverted their gaze from on the streets. How had he become nameless, faceless, and useless to the world? When he was a boy, he never imagined the day his red hair, so straight and neat, would be constantly matted against his head.

Johnnie wants his mother here with him, so he could take in the soapy smell that was always on her, and smile at the sight of her emerald green eyes. If Johnnie's mother were still alive she would shield him from this boogeyman, and sing to him, like she did that Christmas morning when the cold of winter snapped at his bones but he happily cradled a shiny new firetruck in his arms.

For a moment, Markus thinks to reply to him, to answer that "what are you?" question that hangs in the air between them. It seems the decent thing to do on a night as beautiful as this one. But what is the point? 

Fingering the old man's arm with his left hand, Markus feels for the bones under the skin and swiftly splits the flesh by pushing his thumb into the forearm. Blood trickles down. The old man barely utters a sound, even as Marku plants his lips against the gushing wound.

"My blood," Johnnie tries to explain, shaking his head. "---you shouldn't---" he hopes this might spare his life.

Markus looks at him. "Shhhh," he says, removing a few strands of blond hair that have fallen over his own eyes. "It's not your blood I want anyway." 

And how he goes in for the kill. 

No one will miss an old drunk, Markus concludes. And the Master will never know.


( Continued... )

© 2014 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, A. Yamina Collins. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.



The Last King: Book I - Series 1
Published by author A. Yamina Collins



Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature
Follow Yamina's Blog for more news: 
http://www.yaminatoday.com 



 

 


The Last King - A Serial Novel for the 21st Century

 

 

Most of us are used to reading our books as one whole, finished product, and not in episodes or volumes - like you get with one of your favorite television series.  Yet that is exactly what is in store for you when you read A. Yamina Collins’ new fantasy/romance novel, The Last King.   But don't let this deter you from reading it.  Covering several genres of literature, The Last King follows the trail of a young woman, Emmy Hughes, who, in modern times finds herself innocently caught in the midst of a game of wits between two age-old rivals - God, and immortal beings whose ancestors marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life.

God, however, has long since considered the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft, and so for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" of immortality and kill the Edenite off.  Unfortunately, Emmy Hughes discovers that she is the Glitch of a rather imposing Edenite named Gilead Knightly. Now he must get rid of her before she “wakes up” and gets rid of him.  Yet, there is catch. Killing her is not so easy, because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat, but also their greatest love.

The book is told in 50 page volumes, to be released over the course of the next year and a half (the first volume was released in December, 2013), and it is a trilogy, with enough drama and action, so far, to keep readers engaged for the long haul.  The book has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller List in no less than four separate genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Christian Women’s Literature and Women’s Fiction Literature.

We briefly spoke with the author about why she decided to release the book in this way, and here is what she had to say about it.
 

So what was the reasoning behind releasing The Last King in this format?

Well, actually, years ago, it was the print novel that was being serialized, and no less than Charles Dickens helped to establish the format with the release of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers back in 1836. So I wanted to try that for a modern, digital book.
 

But you’re releasing it over a period of a year and half, right? Why so long?

Yes. In fact, the first three volumes (episodes) are out right now and volume 4 will probably be released by the time this interview is published. As for the length of the release, in the old days, some authors would release their books in weekly and monthly magazines, and often in as many as twenty monthly installments!
 

But this is a new day and age. Do you think audiences will keep up, or even remember the book when they have to wait for volumes, or, episodes, over such a long time?

I am banking on the idea that readers can handle it. If you love a story, you stick with it. Now, it’s true that these days audiences seem to have the attention span of two-year olds, myself included, ha ha, but it should not be assumed that there is absolutely no consumers for the serialized format.

In fact, one could make the argument that series books such as Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games, are themselves episodes told in larger, lump sum quantities (seven novels for Potter and three for Twilight and Hunger Games respectively).


What are some of the benefits of serializing a book today?

For starters, serialized formats can help build up readership for unknown authors, and help create greater interaction between an author and his or her audience.

Another advantage is that stand-alone books might remain invisible in a sea of books, but with a serialized novel one gets the same strange title sprinkled throughout the charts together. In other words, ten entries of a book title are better for that book's chart hopes then just a single entry!
 

Well, we can't wait to see how serialization will change and grow throughout the next coming years.

Me, too. It's a totally new way for authors to think about publishing - even though it's also a very old idea.
 

Best of luck to you and The Last King.


PURCHASE THE FIRST 5 CHAPTERS TODAY:

The Last King ( Book I ) by A. Yamina Collins

Science Fiction, African-American, Romance, Religious

Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B00HJZVMJW


Meet the Author 
A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan.  The Last King is her first novel, and it has already been in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller’s list in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Women’s Fiction Literature and Christian Women’s Literature. Check out her blog at Yaminatoday.com.  or  follow her on  Twitter.

 

 

 


The Last King, Book I: Episode #1-5  is now available!

 

The Last King, Book I by A. Yamina Collins is an 11-part serial novel.

Greetings!
First, I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who joined in Gilead and Emmy's adventures by reading episode # 1 of
The Last King. And a huge thanks to all the readers who helped make The Last King number one on Amazon for a few days in African American literature, historical fantasy, and African-American romance.

I am so excited to have you all along with me on this journey - a journey that's going to take place during the course of three books.



Best,

A. Yamina Collins

 

The Last King: Book I  by A. Yamina Collins 

See The Entire Series:  http://www.amazon.com/A.-Yamina-Collins/e/B008KF2XZM

 

 

 

 



Intimate Conversation with A. Yamina Collins

 

 


BPM: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I recall how and where. I was nine-years old, standing in my grandmother's living room when I had a clear epiphany that I was going to be a writer someday. As for the how, I remember reading books like The Bluest Eye, The Turn of the Screw and To Kill a Mockingbird and thinking how stunning it was that those stories could move my soul. That's what I want to be able to do as a writer; to move people with my words.

BPM: What does “challenge” mean to you? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Challenge means not writing the same kind of stories I tend to see in African-American literature; specifically, I decided to write a different sort of black male character, one who had, in my opinion, a real inner life and one who was not a stereotype. I wanted to see a man like Gilead Knightly be a king, and I wanted to abandon any concept of black male bashing. This is not to say that Gilead does not have some major character flaws, because he does. But he is not a black male archetype. 

It was also a psychological challenge to write the dark-colored girl as the beautiful love interest. You would think that as a black woman that would have been easy for me to do. Not so. A history of literature had conditioned me to think otherwise - or at least to give her light skin with straight hair. But I abandoned that model altogether because it's been played out and I believe that it harms black women's self-esteem.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. What makes each one special? Do you have any favorites?

The Last King is about a line of people who cannot die because their ancestors marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the tree of life. God, however, considers this act, and the subsequent immortality that came with it, to be theft. He wants their immortality returned and he deals with their transgression by playing a cosmic sort of chess game with them - each individual Edenite has a Glitch that's meant just for them. A Glitch is a human who acts as an agent to retrieve the stolen property of immortality and kill off the Edenite. But all The Edenite has to do in return is kill his or her Glitch, and the game is over. But there is a conflict: and Edenite's Glitch is also their greatest love. Emmy, my female protagonist, is the Glitch for Gilead Knightly, the male protagonist.

But of all the two, is definitely my favorite. I love his complexity; in so many ways he is a torn man - he is in love yet hates that he is in love; he is a protector and as well as the man whom Emmy should fear. He is the antagonist and the protagonist both at the same time. He is, to me, a man of great contradictions, and I love that about him. 

BPM: What drew you to tackle the questions or topics in The Last King?
I, personally, have gotten tired of either reading slave narratives (though they do have their place in our world, so this is not to put them down - we do need them) ghetto lit stories, stories about bad black women and no-account black men. Yeah, I just got exhausted of it. I wanted to see black love written about , but one that jumped outside of the prisms of what we are used to hearing and seeing. And I wanted to address it from a fantasy perspective. I dig the world of fantasy. I think it can be fun and your characters get to be larger than life. And Gilead Knightly is definitely larger than life. I mean, the man keeps panthers with him in his bedroom, for crying out loud!

BPM: Does your faith or education inspire your writing?
Absolutely. For example, I intentionally do not have my character's curse or take God's name in vain. I chose not to cross that line even though my main character hates God and is angry with him. I believe, as a Christian, I am not called to do those things, even in literature. So I have had to be real creative in how my characters vent their frustrations. I also could not help but bring God into the story. He is literally the One behind this cosmic chess game that Gilead and Emmy must play with one another. 

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Ultimately, I hope readers get to enjoy a good story. Period. The Last King takes place in this narrow world that Gilead inhabits with his family and Emmy, in a sense, steps into. And I wanted to take readers along for that ride and help them begin to view African-American characters outside of the usual stereotypes we are too often placed into. Please, no more mammies and Sapphires and Jezebels and brutes and minstrels with an updated face. I want readers to dream bigger. 

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire?
Ha, ha. Okay, I must admit that, as a writer, I dreams of writing The Great American Novel. Yes, I admit it. It's a lofty dream, but it is a dream that inspires to want to be excellent, and not just run of the mill. 

My other goals are to educate and inspire. Like I said in an earlier question, I intentionally created a dark-skinned girl as the love interest to a black man because I wanted to combat the same old-same old notion of what beauty is; and I wanted to combat the increasingly odd assumption that black love is a bad thing, or an unrealistic thing. Yes, I've been wanting to see more of such books. So I thought to myself 'Well, I'll start to be the change I want to see, I guess."

BPM: How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books?
I think they are both wonderful. Even as the world begins to discover the ease and accessibility of ebooks, I think print books will never go out of style. There is just something special about holding a print book in your hand and smelling those pages, and it can't be duplicated with an e-book.

 

 

BPM: Do you think book sales are the only indicator of your success as a writer?
Ha ha. Books sales are an indicator of whether a writer can quit her day job or not. So who doesn't appreciate book sales? But I also think a larger indicator of success might be how much a writer influences other authors. 

BPM: What are the most important responsibilities of a published author?
I feel, in particular, that for African-American authors we need to do more than just entertain. Our readers need inspiration. They need to know they can be and do great things. I think it's our responsibility to rewrite the images that 400 years of black inferiority/white superiority have fed us.

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another. Finish this sentence - “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers: flip the script; offer a new story about you that has not been written before. Yes, you can talk about the bad things, but always let the good outshine the bad, so that there will be an abundance of great stories about our people - so that generations down the line can aspire to heights of greatness! I admit I am a bit of dreamer, but what can I say?

BPM: What can we expect to see/read from you during the next stage of your career? Any series or new characters?
The Last King is a two part book series. The first book will come out starting this December in 2013, and subsequent chapters will be released each month until December of next year. Readers can either purchase each release for .99 cents, or join the Amazon kindles series, and for 2.99 they will receive all eleven parts as they are released. After that, I begin work on Book II of The Last King. Yes, I do have other novels in the works - quite fun books they are - but I have to keep quiet on future projects. I am not giving my plots away. 



BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online? 
Readers can follow me at my blog, Yaminatoday.com or they can purchase my books online at places like Amazon. 


The Last King: Book I - Series 1
Author A. Yamina Collins
Science Fiction, African-American, Romance, Religious
Follow Yamina's Blog for more news:  
http://www.yaminatoday.com 


 

 

 

 

 

 


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