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“Love was as absent to me as sunshine on a rainy day, and it would be a long time before the clouds would clear.”

shauna lawless

See that author photo on the left? That’s Shauna Lawless, author of The Words of Kings and Prophets, the second book of her Gael Song trilogy. Despite the emotional wreckage caused by book one, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men, many readers are still unaware of the profound danger of this series. Shauna may seem kind and innocent from her official author photo, but don’t be fooled. She is an ancient enemy of humankind known as the Emerald Empress of Grimdark, possessing an immortality fueled by the eviscerated hearts of her readers. With each new book, the Emerald Empress of Grimdark grows only more powerful.

Shauna lures in unsuspecting readers using advanced author techniques including: Perfect ProseTM, XCeptional WorldbuildingTM, and eMotion MiningTM. Next thing you know, she’s hydrofracking your tear ducts, extracting every last drop of moisture to satisfy her unquenchable thirst for pain and misery. Be warned: In The Words of Kings and Prophets, all of this happens by page six.

Shauna achieves this emotional destruction of the heart while distracting the reader’s brain with purposely unpronounceable names like Fódla, Gormflaith, Aoife, and (worst of all) Brian. For example, according to Shauna’s pronunciation guide, Fódla is pronounced as “Foe-la” using a silent “d.”

To make matters worse, Gormflaith actually has FOUR silent letters. That’s right, four out of ten letters in Gormflaith are there only as window dressing. Which four are silent? Using my professoring skills, the number of possible pronunciations is 10!/(4!6!) = 210, where “!” is pronounced “factorial.” Of these 210 possibilities, Shauna informs us that only “Gorm-la” is correct. Goodbye, fith; I barely knew thee.

In next year’s final installment of the Gael Song trilogy, I’d like to petition Shauna to move all the silent letters to an epilogue under the title “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend.” This epilogue shall constitute 20% of the book. And it will also make the audiobook narrator’s job easier since they can charge for the epilogue but don’t actually have to say anything.

the words of kings and prophetsWhat about “Aoife”? Which of the vowels should be pronounced in the first syllable? No matter which one you pick, you’re wrong. It’s actually pronounced “Ee,” as in “Ee-fa.” In much the same way, the “Shau” in Shauna’s first name is pronounced “Ee,” as in “Ee-vil.”

Speaking of which, how does Shauna Lawless know so much about Ireland circa 1000 A.D.? It’s because she was actually there witnessing the events that are recorded in The Words of Kings and Prophets. You see, Shauna is actually an immortal descendant of a supernatural race of supposedly mythical beings known as Fomorians. She lives among mortal humans, pretending to be one of us while harvesting the tears of her readers.

This is why she never ages. Shauna has been using that same author photo for the past 1,000 years, before photography was even invented.

This is also why my ancestors left Ireland in search of a New World. Back then, Shauna employed an insidious author technique known as “oral storytelling tradition,” where she would extract the tears of her victims amidst the flickering shadows of a nighttime bonfire. Fast forward a little more than a century, and I’m sitting here in Pennsylvania with a first name that DEFINITELY DOES NOT have any silent letters, speaking with my boring American accent, deprived of the Irish lilt of my ancestors that could make reading the O’ section of the phone book seem like poetry.

Oh, and that whole Irish Potato Famine thing. Where were all the potatoes? Buried in Shauna’s backyard, all part of her evil magical schemes.

Returning to The Words of Kings and Prophets, Shauna Lawless has honed her tear-mining skills to a truly terrifying new level. For more than a millennium, the Emerald Empress of Grimdark has refined her storytelling skills to achieve exactly this goal, a perfect tear extraction efficiency in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics. But Shauna doesn’t care about laws, just as she doesn’t care about the number of broken hearts left in her wake.

She is Lawless. And she must be stopped.


the words of kings and prophets

the words of kings and prophets

the words of kings and prophets

the words of kings and prophets

the words of kings and prophets

the words of kings and prophets

the words of kings and prophets

the words of kings and prophets

John Mauro

John Mauro lives in a world of glass amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania. When not indulging in his passion for literature or enjoying time with family, John is training the next generation of materials scientists at Penn State University, where he teaches glass science and materials kinetics. John also loves cooking international cuisine and kayaking the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

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