Bones, Crowns and Gaman (AXP2): Bones

Photo Sep 16, 11 42 31 PMIn the great Hall of Records, in the capital city of Largess, a possum by the name of Morton Slumber is listed as missing at sea and presumed dead. The poor soul was aboard the merchant vessel Lilly of the Seas when she went missing and presumed sunk.

Death touches us all, some more than others. For most, death comes only once and with finality. For the rest, death takes us a little bit at a time, visit after visit, leaving us weaker and weaker until the end finally arrives. We learn to fear and respect death, some just come to accept the inevitability of its nature, but for Morton Slumber death represented life and livelihood.

The Slumber family was known throughout the Empire and around the globe even before the Empire came to be. For nine generations the gifted possums worked in service to death, its circumstances, and the memorializing of those who have passed. They assisted the living by providing them with dramatic and elaborate places to mourn their loved ones.

Since time immemorial, monarchs and heads of state have sought a Slumber designed and built mausoleum for their final resting place. The Slumbers’ were all masters of their craft, but Morton Slumber truly had a gift for death’s design.

On the night he went missing, Morton was returning from completing the installation of his memorial for those lost in the aftermath of the Battle of Bourne. The possum had been asleep down below when he thought he heard a woman’s voice calling to him. Still in his night clothes, he went up on deck and found nothing. Not even the moon. At the railing he caught the silhouette of a ship against the black star studded sky. Multiple flashes of blinding bursts of light followed as the dark specter fired her guns.

The second time the possum woke that night he was thrashing about in the water. Morton Slumber could not swim. He could see the Lilly was ablaze and going down quickly. There were dozens of other creatures struggling in the water. There was nothing around him to grab on to and no one near enough to save him. Death comes for everyone. Morton knew that. As he began to slip beneath the waves, he took one final breath and for the first time in his life he imagined his own mausoleum at the bottom of the sea.

The almost dead possum was snatched from the water and sent flying through the air. A lion on a rope had swung over him, plucked him from death’s door, and then deposited him at an even worse place. On the deck of the ghost ship Revenge a hood was thrown over his head. In the darkness Morton found a fist that struck him into unconsciousness.

The missing possum was the only survivor taken from the water the night Lilly of the Seas was sunk. One hundred and eighty-nine souls were lost in the encounter in order to secure the services of the famous Morton Slumber for what would be his last and most private client. The time had come for Benjamin Nightthorn to entomb his long dead family.

The possum met with the Captain only once before the work began and once after it was completed. The first time was upon his arrival to his new island home. Nightthorn was tall, thin, and imposing. His presence was dramatic, commanding, and most direct.

The pirate crow stood before Morton.

“Make my family fly again.”

That was all he said.

Morton watched as the somber captain walked away in a gate so natural and precise that he seemed to glide across the rocky ground. The lion that pulled him from the ocean grabbed Morton by the shoulder and spun him around.

“Welcome to the Island of Bones.”

The lion snarled.

“From which there is no escape.”

He coldly emphasized with a smile.

Photo Nov 24, 11 05 21 PMBones, Crowns and Gaman is the second novella in the Adventures of the X Pirates series. Amazon readers have already made both A Murder of Crows, the prolog to these tales, and The Demise of Foxy Jack the first adventure Amazon best sellers in both the Fantasy and Action Adventure categories.

This installment will tell us how a murderous villain established his secret island base and began spreading his agenda of terror. How a young Queen came to power while those around her plotted against the throne and the ruling family. There’s a masked soothsayer with dire warnings, a mysterious foreign lover with plans of her own, a master architect of death’s design, and a hero who wakes on a rowboat far out at sea with no recollection as to how he got there.

Bones, Crowns and Gaman returns you to an all animal world full of epic pirate fantasy, where nothing is what it seems, and everything is suspect. A world where both heroes and villains have a tortured past and every twist and turn tests their resolve. This is a tale of power and politics, questioned faith and questionable motives, and it’s your next port of call in the Adventures of the X Pirates.

”Bones, Crowns and Gaman is full of drama, love, lust, mystery, intrigue, betrayal, and political mischief. I’m hesitant to say any more without spoiling the plot but I’ve now read all three of these novellas and each one gets better and better. I love how the characters keep growing and the world keeps expanding. The Adventures of the X Pirates series is just like Game of Thrones but with an all animal cast. I highly recommend these books to anyone looking for a grand adventure.” – Amazon Reader

Bones, Crowns and Gaman debuted in the Top Five on the Amazon bestseller lists for both Fantasy and Action Adventure. To date the Adventures of the X Pirates series has earned 32 Amazon and Goodreads ★★★★★ reviews from readers, reviewers, teachers, authors, and bloggers.

Bones, Crowns and Gaman is available on Amazon.

Edward MedinaEdward Medina is an Amazon KDP bestselling author of high fantasy, dark horror, and epic adventure books, short stories, and poems. To date his combined works have earned over one hundred and fifty Amazon and Goodreads five star reviews from readers, reviewers, bloggers, teachers and fellow authors.

He is a native New Yorker who over time has built a significant and multifaceted career. He has been a producer, director, and writer for both digital media and the New York Off and Off – Off Broadway stages. He also had the honor and the privilege to work for the late great Jim Henson creator of the Muppets.

Edward founded a successful independent production company dedicated to family entertainment and children’s causes. He also established a multimedia company in order to assist nonprofits achieve their own cause related goals. He went on to become a theme park designer. For fun he became a steam train engineer and has been since childhood a sometime magician.

Currently Edward is a critic and feature entertainment columnist covering Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, Clubs and Cabarets for TheaterScene and The Fire Island Sun. He also maintains his love of theatrical production by continuing to create new works for both stage and screen. And his dream of building a fully realized world of fantasy on tropical shores is still very much alive and well.

If you’d like more detailed information on Edward’s work, visit his LinkedIn profile or his website. You can also explore his books, follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook, and subscribe to his blog on WordPress.

Edward Medina is proud to be a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Horror Writers Association.

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