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Released: April 2016
ISBN: 9781310986819
ASIN: B01C5Q899U
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THE GIFT
Series: The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield, #1
Author: Tegon Maus
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $3.99

Tucker Littlefield is a liar, a thief, a con-man. In an attempt to take advantage of a party thrown by the King, he becomes involved in the kidnapping of the King’s niece, Elizabeth. Injured, he is saved by a shaman who turns Tucker into a Soul Bearer who is enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead.

"I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.”

 

Excerpt
Transformed by a primitive magic beyond a civilized man’s understanding, I was given a horrible gift that no man should possess… It held me, twisted me, turning me at its bidding. I was enslaved by its power, compelled to devour the souls of the dead until I became the monster of my fears. I have seen things I wish never to see again. I have done things of which I wish never to speak. Yet I must if I am to find the answers to fulfill my hope.

I have walked upon blue ribbons of molten stone to peer into the depth of a man’s soul.

I watched as a promise made at birth brought my friend Enon to sacrifice everything to become whole again – all in an effort to save the life of his child.

I have cried without shame for the loss of all I hold dear and for fear that the future will hold more than I can bear.

I am Tucker Littlefield. Know all that I say now is true-spoken.

* * *

I pushed hard at the large wooden door. It swung open with a well-worn groan. Stepping inside, I drew a deep breath, my lungs filling with the pungent smells of wood smoke and ale, which hung in the air of all good taverns. Massive beams, rooted in the floor, rose high into the rafters, spreading their branches like outstretched arms and holding the roof as high as any basilica. The broad tables, wooden chairs, and wide plank floor, all scuffed with years of use, were like old friends to me.

“Evening, sir, I’m so happy to see you.”

“And I you, Toby,” I said, hanging up my coat.

“How is your wife this fine night?”

“It isn’t polite to ask about the welfare of the Devil in a house of worship,” I said sternly.

“Sorry, sir. I meant no offense,” he said wryly, just like always.

At fourteen, he played the game well.

“None taken, my boy, none taken,” I said, patting him on the shoulder before I headed to my usual table. “Now then, my young friend, big fish? Little fish? How large a net do we cast tonight?”

“A large one, to be sure. There are people here from seven townships for the telling,” he said with his usual enthusiasm.

“Seven, you say?” I asked playfully, secretly happy for the news.

“Aye, sir, seven,” he beamed.

“Alright then, a large one it is. Now go tell your father I’m here,” I said, pulling the chair out to make myself comfortable. On the table, a folded piece of paper with my name, Tucker Littlefield, written in bold red letters, held my place.

Shortly, the sound of heavy footsteps pounded their way out of the kitchen to greet me.

“Tucker,” Jack’s voice boomed before he reached my table.

“Jack,” I said, standing, offering my hand.

“Where’s the Devil hiding this night? Not far behind, I’ll wager,” he said, pumping my arm vigorously.

“Upon my very coattails, my friend, always but a few steps behind,” I joked.

“Well, let’s hope she doesn’t find you until after the telling,” he said, slapping me hard on the back.

“Toby said there are some from as far away as seven townships,” I said weakly.

“A few. Maybe one or two a little farther.”

“Well, we’ll see then, won’t we?”

“Who knows, my friend, maybe one of them will have news.”

“Stranger things, I suppose,” I said.

“Only good things tonight, huh? At least until the Devil catches you here,” he said, trying to change my mood.

I nodded in agreement. My mind spun with the thought.

“Something to eat?” he asked.

“Sure, a little something,” I replied.

“Big fish, little fish,” he said with a weak smile and returned to the kitchen.

“Big fish, little fish,” I called after him.

What the reviewers are saying
Thoroughly Enjoyable Read
My longtime listeners know that I love Maus' novels. Maus is a gifted storyteller, a balls-out storyteller who never forgets that his job is to entertain his readers. Let's hit the highlights: 1. The characters, always a strength in Maus' work, are fantastic. They are fun, they are vibrant, they are alive. They are quirky, but never so much so that they lose humanity as a result . . . 2. The plot is always moving forward. Something is always happening, and it is always advancing the story. Other authors could learn a thing or two from Maus. I'm talking to you, Georgie-boy (George RR Martin) . . . 3. The dialogue sparkles throughout. Maus clearly enjoyed writing for these characters, and even the walk-on, walk-off characters are given lines that are enjoyable to read . . . 4. Most of all is the way the novel comes together. Put simply, it's fun. It's a terrific package that is a thoroughly enjoyable way of spending a few hours . . . I thoroughly enjoyed The Gift and strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a solid read. ~ Jonathan, Amazon

• • •

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. I got so caught up in the story I lost complete track of time and was almost late for work one morning. Tucker Littlefield is a classic lazy scoundrel who, when push comes to shove, has a heart of gold and more tenacity than I think he considered himself as having. When the King’s niece is kidnapped right under his nose, Tucker becomes the hero of the hour and rides off to save the day. When the Jonda medicine woman makes Tucker Soul-Bearer for defending the life of Enon, things get out of hand quickly. This story has humor, magic, fighting, and love: everything a good high fantasy story should have. Don’t hesitate and grab your copy of The Gift: The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield today. ~ Andrew M Ferrell, blogger

• • •

...fun and an easy read. It was a quick read and even though there was a lot going on it was easy to follow. The writing style was wonderfully done and I really enjoyed this book more than I had thought I would. The characters were interesting. I hope Tucker has more adventures so I can learn more about this world! I do recommend this for those need a good and quick fantasy. It was certainly a fun, refreshing, and creative ride! ~ Carole Szymanski, Amazon

• • •

It is like the book is written in 'sense-surround', where Mr. Maus's writing allows us to see, hear, smell, taste and touch the action. This makes a book very very exciting for me! It's like the difference between watching (or weaker still, writing about) the action instead of riding or participating. We get to participate in the story and it is FUN! Tucker Littlefield reminds me of Philippe Gaston (Matthew Broderick's) in Ladyhawke. In each story a young man of questionable ethics gets drawn into a noble crusade. His character definitely grew, stretched (and nearly died) during the course of pursuing his charge to rescue Elizabeth. He forms alliances with the Jonda and shows himself to be more brave than he thought possible. If you liked Ladyhawke, or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or LOTR, or movies of that nature, you will enjoy The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment of this wonderful series. I have not been this excited about a YA adventure/fantasy series in a long time! ~ LuAnn Braley, Back Porchervations

• • •

 

Very vivid Fantasy
My Goodness!! I had to wait a couple days after reading this before I could write a review—I knew it was a well written book but it surprised me so I had to think about it...Now that I have had a day to think about it I really did enjoy the book. I recommend this book for anyone that likes fantasy and violence. S Jackson, Amazon and Writers on the Air

• • •

I cannot praise this book enough
"Magical, is the first word, which came to my mind when I finished this story. Right from the very first page, I found myself totally captivated by Tucker's storytelling of this wonderful adventure. Tucker Littlefield is an amazing character...I cannot praise this book enough; it truly deserves to become a classic, the stuff of legends..." ~ Phaedra Seabolt, Books, Books, and More Books

• • •

Fun and an easy read
It was a quick read and even though there was a lot going on it was easy to follow...The writing style was wonderfully done and I really enjoyed this book more than I had thought I would. The characters were interesting. I hope Tucker has more adventures so I can learn more about this world! I do recommend this for those need a good and quick fantasy. It was certainly a fun, refreshing, and creative ride! ~ Carole Rae's Ramblings

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