The Abencerrraje, finally for epub readers

We’re terribly sorry to have kept you waiting! You’ll be relieved to know that The Abencerraje: A New Translation, which has had such phenomenal success as a Kindle book, is now available for your epub reading pleasure from both your friendly Barnes and Noble and the fine people at Kobo. Endorsed by three arbiters of good taste, this affordable ebook (or paperback) is sure to entertain and maybe edify, too.

To refresh your memory, we present the blurb:

A heartwarming tale of love and friendship in a time when no one could imagine anything but war.

This is a classic story of the exotic landscape of medieval Spain, written about 1551, in a new, easy to read English translation.

Abindarráez is so in love with beautiful Jarifa that when he is taken prisoner by Rodrigo de Narváez, he asks to be freed for only two days so that he can marry her. What happens next shows that love and friendship are stronger than war, even during the final stages of the the Reconquest of Spain.

The translation tries to transmit all the meaning and charm of the original while untangling its complex syntax. Don’t miss the opportunity to read this enchanting book in English!

This edition includes:
• A never-before-published translation of El Abencerraje
• Useful explanatory notes
• A short, original introductory essay

And remember, in the paperback you get both the original Spanish and the new English translation, complete with useful explanatory notes. Thank you for your patience!

Kindle | Kindle España | Nook | Kobo | paperback

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The Poet and the Angular Dragon, Excerpt from The Laughing Princess

For your reading enjoyment, here is the ninth story from Seymour Hamilton’s The Laughing Princess. I’m a writer and this is the single most inspiring story I have ever read.

THE POET AND THE ANGULAR DRAGON

There was a poet who had wandered from city to country to town until he owned a fine stock of memories both happy and sad. He had shipped aboard a leaky boat with a curmudgeonly skipper and had blistered his hands on ropes and fishing lines for months, until he was heartily sick of the sea. At length, he had come to the Village at the foot of the mountains that brooded in purple shadows while the clouds tore to shreds on their peaks.

After the boat had made fast to the stone quay that formed one side of the Village square, the moon rose and the snow on the crags was lit with a ghostly light. Though he had been awake for two days while his vessel was storm-lashed and nigh to overwhelmed by raging water, nonetheless the poet could not sleep. He went ashore and walked among the houses of the Village, where yellow candlelight gilded the windowpanes and silhouetted those within. He heard the murmur of voices and felt a stab of heartsick loneliness for the home to which he could never return, and a longing was upon him to stare into eyes kind enough to see him for himself and accept what they saw.

He passed a tavern, and heard the discordant sounds of revelers far gone in their cups, and he wondered why he should be restless when his fellow mariners sought oblivion in drink, or lay exhausted in salt-wet hammocks aboard their evil-smelling boat. He turned his steps southwards and walked beyond the Castle to where the cliffs drew back from a stony beach silvered by the eerie light of the moon. Shingle scraped under his heels and he drew his jacket tight around him, wishing for he knew not what.

It was not that he had lacked comrades, lovers and good friends, but they were lost along the difficult leagues he had travelled, and now he could revisit them only in memory. There had been a time when he thought to make of his voyaging a never-ending river of poems that would touch the hearts of all who heard them, but now the source of his inspiration had dwindled to a trickle of disjointed words. Whenever he took up his pen or mused over rhymes and rhythms, he was driven to the conclusion that there was no one who would care to hear what he struggled to say.

“There really isn’t much point to it,” he said aloud to the night.

Like all poets, he talked to himself often, but on this occasion when he tried to continue, he could manage only an ironic laugh that threatened to turn into a sob.

He kicked the stones under his feet and stared seaward at the ghost-white crests of breakers as they crashed along the shore. He shivered as he walked along the line left by the receding tide where the waves had tossed up storm-wrack mingled with ruined pieces of men’s handiwork. A broken oar poked up from a tangle of twisted tree roots, and his feet crunched on the fragments of a broken bottle. Ahead of him was a wrecked boat, drifted deep into the shingle by the pounding waves. Its upturned hull was sliced into an enigmatic shape of dark, convoluted shadows. At one moment he saw a huge bird, then a coil of rope stuck with broken spars and masts, then the bony skeleton of a monstrous sea creature.

“It is a statue, created by some sculptor to tease the minds of all who see it,” he muttered to himself. And then, as he knew this could not be, he asked the night, “Is nothing real? Must I choose only among illusions?”

“Can you see the wind?” asked a voice softly. “Or hear the stars?”

The poet stopped and stared about him, for in all his musings he had never been questioned so appropriately.

“Yes I can,” he declared. “At least, there have been times when starlight tingled at the edge of hearing, and the wind was soft enough that I stared at where I held it in the hollow of my hand.”

The poet stepped towards the figure on the boat, that now he saw was a seated woman, her arms folded about her knees.

“You bind words to escape from the knowledge that it is your own mind that shapes your life,” she said.

He stepped towards her outstretched hand, then blinked and looked again. Lit by a light that was not of the moon, he saw eyes whose slit pupils watched him steadily, and he knew that he spoke to a Dragon. Such was his loneliness that he was not capable of fear. Instead, he was captivated, and saw beauty in the gentle curve of its mouth and the soft gleam of its eyes. He felt a bond between his humanity and the inhuman creature, and both his intelligence and his feelings were convinced of its gentle and kindly interest in him.

“All that opposes you is only as real as you imagine it,” said the Dragon.

The poet knew that the Dragon spoke of more than the moment, and he was moved to admit his deepest sorrow and the cause of his midnight quest.

“I would know that I was heard by someone who cares whether I live or die,” he said. “I wish affirmation that what I write may touch another’s mind.”

“Has there been no such moment for you in your life?” asked the Dragon, like a lover in whom there is no jealousy.

“Once,” said the poet. “But she is far away, and I do not know whether she even thinks of me.”

“Then you have touched another’s life, and you have no reason for despair.”

“I could be wrong,” he said.

“True,” replied the Dragon. “But that thought brings no hope, so set it aside.”

And the poet sighed as if he had put down a heavy burden. Clouds sailed across the moon, and in the darkness he fixed his gaze on the Dragon’s glowing eyes.

“Who can I thank for these good thoughts?” he asked.

A laugh like the chime of high, distant bells mingled with the sounds of the sea.

“I am she who is not as are my kinfolk, for I am further from eternal and closer to mortals than they. I speak only to poets, dancers, men and women whose lives are not complete without the tones, shapes and words that they themselves have wrought. I live by their thought as they by their arts, though I offer them only those songs, dances, forms and words that can be shared with the fewest of the few.”

“But what are you called?”

“The other Dragons speak of me as The Angular One,” said the Dragon, and there was sorrow in her voice. “For among my fellows I am no better understood than are you.”

“Then tell me your name, oh Dragon,” insisted the poet, “that I may reverence you in my poems. Because you are beautiful, and wisdom is in your words.”

Again there was musical laughter to join with the night sounds of wind and wave.

“You are a persistent one, Poet,” said the Dragon, and her voice was soft as a woman well pleased. “You know full well how to flatter.”

“I do not deny it,” said the poet. “But you can see my thoughts and know that I speak truth. My world is words, and I must have them in my head to know that I exist. Do not torture me with your silence, for I would repeat your name and know that both of us are real.”

“Then I will whisper, for none has heard it for so many of your generations that I have almost forgotten how it is pronounced.”

And the Dragon bent her head towards the man, and the poet heard the name Kaiwheil Bhagmani-ji, and was content. The harmony of shared compassion filled his soul, and he pressed his palms together in token of his thanks. He could find no words to thank her, so he closed his eyes to savor the syllables he had heard.

When he looked again, the beach was white with moonlight, and he faced an upturned boat. He tipped back his head and saw a shape sharp as knives and soft as a woman’s lips scudding down the night wind. And the poet smiled, because he knew he would hold the moment precious, and that he would continue to search the world for the stuff of which his poems were made.

* * *

The Dragon drew its sea green wings in a little closer around the two children, and they looked out under the massive arch of leathery scales towards the little bay, now shimmering in the late afternoon sunlight. The shadow of the cliffs was almost to where the Dragon’s tail lay in serpentine coils on the beach.

“I hope some day I’ll be able to meet Kaiwheil Bhagmani-ji,” said Daniel softly. “I’d like to tell stories and write poems.”

“I thought you wanted to be a warrior,” said the Dragon.

Daniel gave his head a little shake.

“Wizard, solemn son, thief,” counted Petra. “And Ryll. She wasn’t very nice. Do the men get all the luck?”

“I wouldn’t call Barrin lucky,” said Daniel. “And the Princess sounded to me as if she was going to have a good life.”

“Very well,” said the Dragon. “Since you have very cleverly avoided wishing for a story about a woman, Petra, I will tell you about two women.”

And the Dragon told the story of The Witch and the Tavern Wench.

The Laughing Princess is available in Kindle, Nook, Kobo and paperback and as a free podcast at SeymourHamilton.com. Una edición en español se hará disponible en otoño.

The Laughing Princess, New for Fairy Tale Lovers This Summer

Açedrex is proud to announce the publication of a new book unlike any we’ve done before. In fact, I’m not sure there are any books similar to it on the market at all.

For any of you who read the wonderful Astreya Trilogy and wondered whether Seymour Hamilton has anything else up his sleeve, your question is answered! The Laughing Princess is a collection of stories or fables, all concerning dragons and the powers they still wield in our jaded world. One dragon in particular tells all the stories to a pair of siblings on holiday in a seacoast town that is much more special than they realize:

Petra and Daniel have little use for the quaint fishing Village their parents have forced them to visit on holiday. They don’t know that this Village has a legacy of Dragons. Much more fun than exploring museums or picturesque ruins, a small stone on a lonely beach offers them the chance to perform magic, match wits with elementals, steal hearts, go to war, write poetry, escape from a pirate, and sail The Laughing Princess. Their dull, rainy world will never be the same.

The stories themselves range from meditative to epic, with melancholy musings on love and one’s purpose in life as well as violent battles and the searing char of a dragon’s breath. If you’d like to read something new that nonetheless feels like a half-remembered fireside chat, this is the book for you.

The cover features the dragon sculpture that inspired the first story Hamilton wrote, about a tremendous mountain which is really a dragon and the mere mortal who disturbs his slumber.

New for Açedrex, this book will also be available as an audio download. You can read more about and by Seymour Hamilton by going to SeymourHamilton.com. There, you’ll find links to downloads of free podcasts of The Laughing Princess read by the author.

The ebook editions are available for only 99 cents now, but get it quickly! The price will increase this Friday night!

Kindle | Kindle UK | Nook | Kobo

Kindle in Europe: DE | FR | ES | IT

The paperback is available at Amazon and anywhere else fine books are sold. Request it from your library or local bookstore!

Una edición en español se hará disponible este otoño.

Building Utopia Out of Dystopia, New from Marie Danielle Frankson

Popular Açedrex author Marie Danielle Frankson returns with her new novel, a departure from her previous ones because it’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi.

Imagine going about your daily life when, in the blink of an eye, everything changes. One moment, you’re writing an essay in the campus library, then the next you’re thrust into an intergalactic battle between good versus evil. Emily and Ryan, a twenty-something Christian couple, find themselves in such a position. Will the two join the forces of good and help defend their home planet? Will the hectic times force the two apart emotionally and physically? Will the two find the utopia they so desperately seek? In this apocalyptic world where nothing is certain, anything is possible if one is desperate enough.

This book contains adult situations and language. It also presents serious reflections on God’s intentions for humankind relevant to today’s Christians.

For its debut on Kindle and Nook, get it for a very low price (the lowest allowed, in fact!) — quick, before it goes up on July 14!

Kindle | Kindle UK | Nook | Kobo

Also available in paperback.

The Abencerraje Now a Top 20 Bestseller

The free promotion for the Kindle edition of The Abencerraje: A New Translation was a raging success. The book has garnered the honor of becoming an Amazon top 20 bestseller in literary fiction. It’s well reviewed, but the paperback version is coming soon and we’ll need more quotes for the back cover. Please get your review up on Amazon before Friday, July 6 for full consideration.

Amazon Prime members can still borrow the book for free! Please, Amazon prime members, wherever you are, borrow this book for free and help out a struggling American hardworking publisher. I will be forever grateful.

And, if you missed the free promotion, never fear! You can still get this enchanting book for only 99 cents! Act fast, however! In a desperate bid to recoup costs after the promotion, we find ourselves with no other choice: the price will go up drastically on July 7. Thank you for your support.

Many other wonderful books in both English and Spanish are coming your way from Açedrex soon…

Love and Friendship in Times of War

This translation has been in the works for an entire year, in spite of its short length. We’re proud to present it to you in Kindle now, with a dual language paperback soon to follow and epub versions later this year.

Please see the first book trailer here.

A heartwarming tale of love and friendship in a time when no one could imagine anything but war.

This is a classic story of the exotic landscape of medieval Spain, written about 1551, in a new, easy to read English translation. Abindarráez is so in love with beautiful Jarifa that when he is taken prisoner by Rodrigo de Narváez, he asks to be freed for only two days so that he can marry her. What happens next shows that love and friendship are stronger than war, even during the final stages of the the Reconquest of Spain.

This edition includes:
• A never-before-published translation of El Abencerraje
• Useful explanatory notes
• A short, original introductory essay

The translation tries to transmit all the meaning and charm of the original while untangling its complex syntax. Don’t miss the opportunity to read this enchanting book in English!

Endorsed by Independent Judge of Niceness Stanley Coombs.

This book is participating in the Kindle Select promotions, so please borrow it. It’s no cost to you! It will also become free to everyone on selected days during the next three months, so watch for those announcements.

Otherwise, get it at the most reasonable price possible any time: Kindle | Kindle UK | Kindle España | Kindle Deutschland | Kindle France | Kindle Italia

¡Gran Anuncio! Big Announcement! Kobo!

¡Por fin! ¡Todos nuestros libros ahora están disponibles de Kobo! Nuestra página de Libros ahora tiene un vínculo activo para cada libro para puedas ver el libro que deseas directamente en el sitio de Kobo.

¿Sabías que cuando compras un libro de Kobo, usted puede usarlo en cualquier aparato de e-lectura que usa el formato de epub? ¡Es decir, todo el mundo menos  Amazon Kindle! Usted no tiene que poseer ningún dispositivo de Kobo para usar estos maravillosos libros. Pero los aparatos de Kobo son los más amados por los usuarios alrededor del mundo. ¿Por qué no querrías uno?

At last! All of our titles are now available from Kobo e-books! Our Titles page now has a live link to each book so you can go directly to the Kobo site.

Did you know that when you buy a Kobo book, you can use it on any e-reading device that uses the epub format? That’s everybody but Amazon Kindle! You don’t have to own any Kobo-branded device or app to use these wonderful books. That said, Kobo-branded devices are some of the most beloved by users around the world, so why wouldn’t you want one?

 

Happy Leap Year Day!    ¡Feliz Bisiesto!