Vicious, ruthless criminals are made, not born. Child of the Night Guild—an insight into the transformation from innocent child to thief and killer.
Title: Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves Book 1)
Author: Andy Peloquin
Publication Date: Jan 17, 2017
Digital Price: 2.99
Viola, a child sold to pay her father's debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves' trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.
The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman's rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.
What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?
Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Scott Lynch, and Brent Weeks will love Queen of Thieves…
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"Are you sure you're doing it right, Seven?"
Seven scrunched her face, concentrating hard. "I'm doing it just like he showed us, Three. See?" She attempted to snatch the purse.
Three patted the oversized waistcoat Master Velvet had given him.
"I could still feel it. So you're doing something wrong."
Frustration mounting, Seven tried again, doing exactly as Master Velvet had taught them. Walk toward the mark. Bump into him. Dip two fingers into his pocket to hook the purse. Apologize to the mark and touch him with my free hand. Hide the purse in my palm and hurry away.
He shook his head. "That time, too. I can feel you pulling the purse out when you move away. Maybe you need to do it faster."
"I can't do it faster, Three. Not yet, at least." Seven clenched her fists in frustration.
He held up a hand. "It's okay, Seven. Give it time. You'll get it."
"Here." She threw him the bulging, cloth-stuffed purse. "Let me try again." Even as she tugged the purse free, the look on Three's face told her she'd failed.
Her friend shrugged. "Still felt it."
Seven ground her teeth. Master Velvet said this is supposed to be easy. So why can't I get it right?
Three tugged the vest over his head. "Let's give the bump a break for a moment." He pulled a dun-colored cloak around his shoulders. "What say we give the snatch a try?"
Seven nodded. The snatch required timing and dexterity, but she'd grown adept at it. She walked toward Three, brushed against his cloak, and lifted the purse from the hidden pocket, all without breaking stride.
Three's eyes widened. "Damn, Seven. I didn't feel a thing!"
She beamed. "Well, at least there's one thing I'm good at."
Master Velvet strode up behind her and took her small, muddy hands. "You've got good finger-work, tyro." He ran his calloused hands over her fingers. "They're quick and nimble. With the right training, you could become quite the purse collector."
"Thank you, Master Velvet." She flushed at his praise. It was the first full compliment she'd ever heard pass his lips.
"Keep it up, Seven. Three." With a nod, he moved to the next pair of tyros.
Three slapped her on the shoulder. "Look at that! You're getting there."
"Yeah. Now if only I could get the bump down properly." She held out her arms. "Here, give me the vest and cloak. You've got to practice, too."
As Three passed her the clothing, Twelve's shout echoed through the Menagerie. "Damn it! You're doing it wrong, you stupid sack of shite."
Two met Twelve's glare without a trace of fear. "How in the Keeper's name can I be doing it wrong, Twelve?" Two was taller than Twelve, though not as broad. "I'm standing here in this vest. You’re supposed to be pulling the damned purse."
"Well…" Twelve faltered, his face reddening. With a snarl, he threw the purse in Two's face and stormed off.
Three snorted. "Looks like he's not doing much better than you are, Seven."
Seven glared at her friend. "That's not saying much for me, you know. With those fat sausage fingers, he can barely fit his hands in the pocket."
"There you go." He gave her a broad grin. "You've got the advantage, at least over him. Just give it time and you'll get better at it."
She rolled her eyes. "Well, let's see how good you are."
"I'll bet you a peach I can do the bump better than you."
"Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark...fantasy addicts will love it!" -- Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates -- http://peterjstory.com/
"From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!" -- Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine.
Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle--it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!
10 Things You Need to Know About Me:
- Hot wings, ALWAYS!
- I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
- I'm a head taller than the average person (I'm 6' 6")
- Marvel > DC
- I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
- Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
- Aliens are real, but it's self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
- Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
- I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
- I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
A Few of My Favorite Things
- Favorite Books: The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs
- Favorite Songs: Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I'm an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale
- Favorite Movies: 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride
- Favorite Comics: Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it
- Favorite Foods: Hot Wings, Meat-Lover's Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi
- Favorite TV Shows: The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones
I asked Andy how he starts a new writing project.
There are few things more terrifying to a writer than a blank page. Even worse is when you're staring at a blank page after finishing a novel or series you KNOW was crafted with all your skill. You've established high expectations from your previous work, so how the heck are you expected to do it all over again?
Starting new writing projects (be it a new short story, novella, novel, or book series) can be pretty intimidating if you let yourself think about it. My approach to starting new projects has worked well for me thus far, so it may be worth trying:
Step 1: Don't worry. Yes, you may be totally blank, but that doesn't mean anything. It just means your mind is an empty cup ready to be filled with ideas.
Step 2: Give yourself one week. That's all the time I take between projects. During that week, I don't write a single word. Instead, I allow my mind to wander through all my ideas. I think about what of my previously recorded ideas (we all have them) intrigue me the most. I'll usually settle on an idea before the end of the second day.
Step 3: Distract yourself. DON'T watch a lot of TV, movies, or play video games, but do spend time reading, exercising, walking, driving, and engaging in activities that occupy your mind but allow your mind to wander. The idea is that you take your mind off your worries about not having a story. Your subconscious will work at the problem until it presents you with the hints or threads of your new story. The more you think about and tug at those threads, the more the story develops.
Step 4: Write it all down. Anything that pops into your mind—be it a single word, a sentence, a phrase, or a subplot--write it down. Carry a notebook or device with you so you can record your ideas no matter where you are. Use a Dictaphone or voice-to-text app on your phone/tablet. The more you write down, the more you can see where the story is going.
Step 5: Come up with a theme. Every story has a theme. For example, the theme of Child of the Night Guild is "How is an innocent child transformed into a ruthless thief and killer?" That was the story I knew I wanted to tell before I ever sat down to write it. With that end goal in mind, it was easier to come up with the subplots between the beginning and end.
Step 6: Know where the story starts. You should always start "in media res", or in the middle of the action. You don't have to introduce your character before throwing them in the deep end. Instead, throw the character in the deep end first and use their reactions to the problems to introduce the reader to them. Have at least the first chapter or two mapped out before you sit down.
Step 7: Add to the outline. Every time you write, you're going to come up with new elements to add to the outline and story. Your mind will continue to work at the story even when you're concentrated on other tasks. The best way to avoid writer's block is to know what comes next. The more you think about what comes next, the more the book will lay itself out in your mind. You'll figure out the stepping stones that lead you to your ending well before you need to write it.
This is my personal approach to new projects. I have no end of ideas I can use to craft stories, so I just go with whichever my gut tells me is the one I want to write about next. This process of letting the ideas percolate in my subconscious has never failed me yet. I always end up with a clear outline of the story (not scene by scene or chapter by chapter, but important plot element by element), and thus have never struggled with writer's block.