“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
– Mark Twain
Here is the next stop in my DON’T BUY MY BOOK! Blog Tour. Hey, don’t blame me. Lee let me in.
Seriously, thank her for her generosity and kindness by commenting at the bottom of this post, will you?
We live life with no sure light but that which we carry within us. We sail into the darkness with an uncertain map made of the perishable paper of our flawed perceptions.
“When you have made a mistake, think not: ‘This is misfortune’ think rather: ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune.’”
- Marcus Aurelius
In the cursed Samuel McCord, I wanted to make, not a hero, not even a protagonist, but merely a man who finds himself with terrible “gifts” and a propensity to screw up when he wants to do right.
A lot like each one of us, right?
How many times have you gambled on forgiveness and been bitten by the act?
But when Samuel spares a coven of dragons and gives them a renewed chance at life, he sets into motion consequences that will trigger the terrible San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
How can he live with that?
How do any of us live with the consequences of well-intentioned acts gone terribly awry?
Bram Stoker has Dracula say: “We learn from failure, not from success.”
But at what cost?
Samuel rescues a British girl from rape. Being with him will be a death sentence so he leaves her with friends on rough Parisian streets.
Decades later, he runs into her again: the famous courtesan Cora Pearl
From the 1836 Sidhe kidnapping of Princess Victoria to a 1867 encounter with the Chinese Celestial Dragon, Qing Long to his Red Wedding beneath the Rouen Cathedral and betrayal by the werewolves of Paris to contesting with brutal Paris Surgeons in the Hotel Dieu …
Samuel strives to do the right thing and mostly fails epically … much to the delight of Samuel Clemens and the dismay of 11 year old Nicola Tesla.
Samuel is standing atop the dirigible, that is really a star-craft, holding up the Xanadu, considering if he should just step off into the stormy ocean far below.
It would be but fitting punishment for screwing up royally, dooming San Francisco to the revenge of the celestial dragon, Qing Long. Rind, the Angel of Death, whose blood flows through his veins, appears behind him:
No. I wouldn’t give my enemies the satisfaction of self-destruction. Besides, Meilori would think I had believed she deserted me.
A voice of icicles murmured behind me. I should not have been able to hear it what with the howling winds shrieking all about me. But you always hear Death’s voice no matter your circumstances.
“Eternity is a long time to brood over what you should not have done.”
I turned around, the gale force winds threatening to blow me off the dirigible despite my resolve to stand my ground. The storms in my life always had that effect on me. Rind, the Angel of Death, was in an odd costume.
Rind, the name she asked me to call her, was clothed in a black uniform that I had never seen before. In a time when it was scandalous to show a bit of ankle, the skirt was just above the knee. The tunic was tight with collars studded with silver bent-arm crosses. The tunic’s buttons were silver skulls. On her right sleeve was a red band in whose center was a circle of white blazing with another black bent-arm cross. I had seen that symbol in India.
The Sanskrit word for it was svastika. It meant “Lucky.” Rind had a dark sense of humor. But then, again, she was the Angel of Death after all.
It was downright chilling to see that the hurricane winds didn’t even muss a single strand of her long silver hair which matched the color of my own that was flying like a mane of a winged stallion.
I spoke to her with the assurance that she would hear me. Death might not grant your pleas, mind you. But she heard them all the same.
“Suicide is running from your mistakes. A man cleans the mess he makes, Rind. I aim to go to San Francisco a few years from now after Qing Long has a chance to cool down some. I’ll clean up this mess then.”
“And if you cannot?”
I shrugged, “Then, I will try to learn from this mistake to become a better man and go on to ease the suffering this mistake has caused in any way I can.”
“How Marcus Aurelius of you, Samuel.”
“I’ll try to be a mite better and not get poisoned.”
“That was not how he died.”
“Well, being Death, you would know.”
Despite the name of my tour, would you consider buying my book? It is but 99 cents, has a free short story at the end, and a Readers’ Discussion Section at the back for book clubs.
Write an honest review for it and get a free Neil Gaiman audio book! How cool is that?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roland Yeomans was born in Detroit, Michigan. But his last memories of that city are hub-caps and kneecaps since, at the age of seven, he followed the free food when his parents moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. The hitch-hiking after their speeding car from state to state was a real adventure. Once in Louisiana, Roland learned strange new ways of pronouncing David and Richard when they were last names. And it was not a pleasant sight when he pronounced Comeaux for the first time.
He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Psychology. He has been a teacher, counselor, book store owner, and even a pirate since he once worked at a tax preparation firm.
So far he has written thirty-four books. You can find Roland at his web page: www.rolandyeomans.blogspot.com or at his private table in Meilori’s. The web page is safer to visit. But if you insist on visiting Meilori’s, bring a friend who runs slower than you.
And there's Roland! Doing what Roland does best. Spinning wild and captivating tales. Don't buy this book. Buy all of them!
My Quote of the Week: "Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining." Anne Lamott