Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello. What? You want to ask some questions? (Looks around). All is secure; ask away.
You want to know about myself? I’m Maud of the M’Brannoe, lioness-cadet. A lioness? That’s an officer of the Kell Queen. Special duties, liaison, leading armies, whatever the queen wants. I’m a cadet, yes. Near the end of my training. I was supposed to be Veteran Hala’s second, until she died. But I can do it on my own; don’t you worry. Whatever I must do, I’ll manage. (Ferocious scowl)
What is your role in the story?
My role in this adventure? I’m supposed to keep Basil alive. That’s what they hired me for. And Jurgis. The little guy thinks he’s up to snuff, but he’s just a male, of course. I must protect him. If only he wasn’t always attempting to be like me. (Sigh) He isn’t a Kell warrioress; any one of us would squash him like a bug. Why he keeps on trying is beyond me. One of these days he’ll injure himself.
What? Yes, I’m worried about him. He is beautiful and soft, and I don’t want him hurt. (She growls in her throat). Look, I am in charge of this bunch. Basil may be a mighty warlock, but he’s a green kid, an unworldly stay-at-home. Luckily Yarwan looks after him, but in the end I’m responsible. I am a lioness of Kell, after all.
What is your favorite hobby?
My hobbies? Laying Jurgis doesn’t count? (Grin) I like guns. Pistols, cannon, all that does bang. I’ve got poor Hala’s pistol. It’s a beauty, and deadly! I bet I could blow your head off with it. Well, I like keeping it serviceable. Making my own bullets and stuff. It soothes the mind almost as much as… No, all right. Prude.
What is the challenge you’re trying to overcome during the story?
Challenge… There are so many challenges and it seems they get bigger all the time. Keeping everyone alive. Not failing my duty as a lioness. Getting Jurgis accepted by the clans. Don’t think they will; he’s not a Kell, and a mixed marriage would damage our reputation as warrioresses. No doubt more challenges will come; I’ll face them all.
If you could make one wish, what would it be?
If I could make a wish… Funny; had you asked me before all this, I’d had said glory in battle. Now, I don’t know. I want to be a famous lioness, but I want Jurgis too. I don’t think I can be both. The Kells aren’t ready for such a thing. Perhaps that’s what I should wish, then.
Title: Lioness of Kell
Author: Paul E. Horsman
The lioness Maud is at eighteen already a black powerhouse of brawn. When she is ordered to fetch a young thief from a pirate town, she thinks it an easy task. Until she and Jurgis the thief find themselves running for their lives.
Young warlock Basil sees his life threatened by a summons from the Warlockry Council, to prove his beauty. He knows his lame foot will betray him and escapes on the first ship out of town. On board he meets Yarwan, a handsome midshipman, who awakens feelings he never knew existed.
When the four young people meet, Basil learns of a spell that could repair his foot. Only the spell’s creator, the infamous Black Warlock, disappeared nearly a century ago. As the four decide to go looking for him, they start on a path leading to an old war and unsolved mysteries that will change their world. Or kill them.
Paul E. Horsman (1952) is a Dutch and International Fantasy Author. Born in the sleepy garden village of Bussum, The Netherlands, he now lives in Roosendaal, a town on the Dutch/Belgian border.
He has been a soldier, salesman, scoutmaster and from 1995 a teacher of Dutch As A Second Language to refugees from all over the globe.
Since 2012, he is a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures for both Y.A. and over. His works have been both trade published in The Netherlands, and self-published internationally.
His available titles are:
* The Shadow of the Revenaunt (Rhidauna, Zihaen, Ordelanden) trilogy
* The Shardheld Saga (Shardfall, Runemaster, Shardheld) series
* Lioness of Kell (standalone)