Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pieces of Marshall Best's Puzzle

     The inspiration for What Defines Us? came from my thoughts over the years regarding my husband.  In the article below, I share about the pieces that make up the puzzle of Marshall Best.

     Eight years ago, Marshall Best took the plunge into the entrepreneurial world, a world of ups and downs, excitement and disappointment, beginnings and endings, knowns and unknowns.  As a man who believes that God sometimes guides us very specifically, he had felt very certain that starting his own company was the next step God had for him.  Being an entrepreneur is a risky business, one that requires you to pour all that you have into a venture you hope and pray will succeed.  There are stresses involved with being the owner of a company that can’t compare to being an employee of a company.  In a sense, an entrepreneur places their life on the line.  Mankind has a tendency to define themselves based on their successes and failures.  On some of those more disappointing and worrisome days over the last eight years, I began to think of all the things that defined Marshall Best that had nothing to do with owning a company.  We all want to succeed; however, I realized that even if the company didn’t succeed, it was only a small part of the man that I had married.  So below I have listed many of the pieces of the puzzle of Marshall’s life.  They are pieces of a picture that help to answer the question, “Who is Marshall Best?”  We thank God for bringing us through many hard times.  Marshall Best Security is alive and well today and we owe it all to Him.

Marshall W. Best

Third son of four born to Walter and Dona Best in Seattle, Washington
Loved to play toy soldiers as a boy
Had quite the temper when younger
Collector of coins, stamps, soldiers, and toy airplanes
Saver of pennies
Lover of reading from an early age
One of the millions of piano students practicing, practicing, practicing
Grandson of an inventor and business owner
Son of a WWII Flight Instructor
 WWI ace Weir Cook taught his father to fly
Solo flight at the age of 16
Hates coffee and would pay to not go to a basketball game
Graduate of Heritage Christian School, Indianapolis, Indiana
Lover of military history, especially memoirs
Rebuilt three T-16 Universal Carriers from WWII with two of his brothers
One of those brothers restored a Sherman tank
Enjoyed dropping flour bombs on tanks from WWII Stearman biplane with his brother
One of his best days was shooting guns at a local rock quarry, dreaming of the future
Saw the original Star Wars 21 times at the theater (it ran 56 weeks)
Loved and still loves fishing
His mother’s apple pie and rice pudding put a smile on his face
Business graduate from Olivet Nazarene University, Kankakee, Illinois
No stranger to loss and sorrow
A follower of Christ
A man bent toward generosity
Former Vice-president of manufacturing for Best Lock Corporation
Loves hunting for a find at antiques stores
Enjoys a good laugh via The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes
Loved watching Star Trek The Next Generation while eating gingersnaps and drinking Coke out of a bottle (with real sugar and real caffeine!)
One of his favorite places to visit is Brown County, Indiana
Appreciates quality art and sculptures
Collects Best Lock memorabilia and plans a museum in the future
Quiet until you get him talking about something he loves
His wife thinks he’d make a great history professor
A man committed to high principles
Absolutely adores his six children
Married to his wife Tracey for 19 years come March 2013
Is strong for those who are weak
Is thrilled to share Guiamo Chronicles with readers around the world

written by the wife who loves him

What Defines Us

     Years ago while having dinner with a friend, he shared that he hated it when someone asked what he did for a living.  He reasoned that as soon as you tell someone what you do for a living, they judge you.  He said he would rather people ask him what he enjoyed doing with his spare time or what interests he had.  He argued that "what" he did was not "who" he was.  It was a valid point.

   Our occupation is only one hat that we wear.  It may reflect the talents that we have but it is never a full picture of who we are.  So what does define us?  Is it our family?  Many a person has been "branded" for good or bad because of their family associations.  Our family definitely plays a role in who we become; however, it has been shown again and again that our beginning doesn't determine our end.  Many a person has risen higher or fallen lower than their family of origin based on the choices they have made.    Is it our hobbies?  Whether it be computers, gaming, photography, hunting, basketball or another on an endless list, hobbies themselves don't define who we are either.  The people we interact with while engaged in these hobbies mold us and shape us.  Hobbies provide distractions from the daily stresses of life and a way to relax and unwind but they do not define us.

     In high school many of us were judged by the group we hung around with, the way we dressed or the grades we received.  As much as those were characteristics of who we were, they also did not define us.  It has been said that the best employees are not always the ones who had straight A's but the ones who learned how to work hard and struggle to make the grade.  Appearances and first impressions do not always tell the full truth of a person.

     Are we defined by what others say or think of us?  Throughout history many of the greatest authors, composers, inventors, scientists, world changers were laughed at, disregarded and tossed aside.  What if they had decided that what others thought and said of them defined who they were?   Society today would have been robbed of so much that has made the world a better place. 

     Perhaps we are defined by what we say or do.  Thank goodness we are not, for many have made terrible mistakes and said things they wish they could take back.  We all rise at times to heights of accomplishment and at others fall in disappointment or even despair.  We all have the choice, the chance to begin again, to keep on walking, to keep on trying.  Some days we bat 100% and others we strike out every time.  Those days don't define us.

    What defines us is not the parts of the whole, but the sum total of all the parts.  It is not our occupation, our heritage, our hobbies.  It is not what others say of us or even remember us for.  We remember people in history for their accomplishments, their victories and their failures.  These things alone, however, didn't define them.  Like pieces of a puzzle, the decisions we make every day, the paths we choose, the people we emulate, the goals we set, the way we treat others all form a picture that no one person can really see.  It is the picture of our life as a whole that defines us and the picture isn't finished yet.  Choose your pieces wisely.  Make your picture the best, but don't despair when you fall.  The picture isn't finished yet.

Written by Tracey Best

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Gift From Mars - Excerpt from Guiamo

In the excerpt below, we find Guiamo traveling with Gabinius, the blacksmith who has taken him in and is training him.  As they enter the temple, Gabinius reminds Guiamo of the mysterious oracle given concerning Guiamo's relationship to the god Mars.

            Six days they traveled to Lugdunum, arriving on the fourteenth day of Quintilis to the sweltering
markets teeming with jostling crowds, rolling carts, vendor stalls manned by shouting merchants and hucksters.  The streets were filled with poor farmers, arrogant priests, destitute beggars in rags, proud nobles, thieves, squawking chickens and busy servants going about their daily work.  Amateur oracles conned the unwary with ecstatic visions mixed with the exotic aromas of smoldering incense.
            Guided by Gabinius, Guiamo and the two servants threaded their way to the center of the crowded market where statues of the gods had been placed around a circular pool of water.  In the center of the pool stood a marble statue of Jupiter Olympus.  All the sculptures were painted in vibrant colors, giving them a most realistic appearance, though the pigeons had left them in need of a cleansing wash.
            Gabinius led them to the east to the entrance of a great temple where they paused to look at the impressive painted carvings on the pedimental triangle above the six-columned portico.
            “We must see this temple to Mars.  Surely you remember the words of the oracle,” stated Gabinius.
            “Of course, I remember,” replied Guiamo.  “You think I am the ‘son of Mars.’ ”
            “Perhaps Mars may speak to you here today,” cautioned Gabinius.
            Gabinius led Guiamo, Sertorius and Ulleria through the bustling crowd and up the twelve steps which spread across the entire front of the temple.  Guiamo guessed the temple to be ten passuum wide.  He walked to the left side of the porch to see more fully the building’s design.  It looked to be a building of marble walls, outside of which was an encirclement of crafted stone colonnades identical to those of the portico at the front, and about fifteen passuum long.
            Gabinius turned to look around the portico and was nearly knocked off balance by a number of priests who ran out shouting excitedly and calling for the augur.  Sertorius saw first what they were agitated about as they pointed toward the sky.  An eagle was soaring serenely overhead.  Guiamo walked back to Gabinius, Ulleria and Sertorius and together they gazed for a while as the great bird floated effortlessly across the city.
            “They get so excited about the calls of birds, which way they are going and if they are accompanied by other birds,” said Sertorius.  “I do not know what to make of it all.”
            “Who are you speaking of?” asked Guiamo, not understanding.
            “The Flamines Martialis, those priests of Mars you saw running past as geese when the fox is about,” Sertorius replied.
            Ulleria became upset with Sertorius’ flippant comments.  “Be respectful, Sertori.  They are men chosen of the gods.”
            “Men chosen by men to serve the gods, you should say.  By the looks of their fat bellies, I should think they wanted this honor simply as a sure means to fill their gullet.  It is a much easier path to riches and good food than honest work,” Sertorius snorted.
            “Sertori!”  Ulleria hissed in dismay.  “For such disrespect, the god will surely strike you down with a bolt of lightning!”
            Sertorius said, “Among so many fat men, I should hope he has good aim,” and he roared in laughter.
            Gabinius laughed quietly behind a hand raised to hide his enjoyment of their spat, but finally choked down his mirth enough to say soothingly, “That’s enough, you two.”
            Guiamo watched the priests pointing out the direction of the eagle’s flight and their frustrated efforts to determine its meaning.  They were clearly disputing among themselves.
            Gabinius said, “The gods speak in many ways.  Our priests seem to know how to interpret them, though I have seen that some of them may disagree to the point of blows.”
            An older priest, senior to the others, came out to see the bird aloft.  Gabinius pointed him out to Guiamo and said, “This one is the augur.  He will ‘take the auspiciis’ and decide the meaning of this event.  This could take some time and I have not the patience to wait.  In the meantime, we should visit the temple.”
            Gabinius led the three into the building through two massive doors.  The silence within the walls was profound, but Guiamo found it wonderfully serene rather than stifling or oppressive.  Guiamo saw a solitary structure in the center, a small building, and before it stood a stone table.  On the table he saw a sword, quite a few coins, and two small statues.
            Gabinius said, “The room you see before you is called the cella.  This is where you will find the image of Mars, the god of war.  The plinth table in front of the cella is where the people are to place their offerings.  People will give money, votive statues, and weapons.”
              Gabinius strode forward to the plinth table and placed a dozen silver denarii upon it, and then motioned for Guiamo to do likewise.  “Place a few coins here,” he said.
            Fumbling for his purse, Guiamo grasped the first three coins he found and placed them upon the table.  To his dismay, he saw they were gold aurei.  He was too self-conscious to exchange them for silver, so left them as they lay.
            A priest had been watching the four to be sure that none of the gifts given by others earlier in the day were being stolen. As Guiamo’s hand revealed the three gold coins, the priest walked briskly over.  He smiled greedily and said, “You are most generous to the great god.  Mars shall surely smile on you today.”
            Gabinius took Guiamo alone with him into the cella where the image of Mars was placed.  It was carved of wood and painted in vibrant colors.  He stood naked with one foot upon a fallen enemy, holding a spear triumphantly in his outstretched arm.  He carried a shield and wore a bronze helmet in the style of Corinth.
            Gabinius stood respectfully and bowed with his right hand on his heart and the left lifted up in supplication.  He quietly offered up a prayer of protection for them all during their trip.  Guiamo felt out of place and hesitated from offering up his own prayer.  Gabinius saw his embarrassment, and without comment, led him back out of the cella.
            Gabinius took the three around the perimeter wall of the temple, showing them the beautiful stone carvings of the heroes of old battling the classical enemies of Rome.  He explained each of the battles to Guiamo who was completely captivated, and listened with rapt attention.  Sertorius knew the stories well, so lingered behind with Ulleria who clearly had no interest in history whatsoever.
            When they came to the back of the temple, a very old man with a wooden staff exited the adytum, a small chamber behind the cella.  Gabinius recognized his garments and hat.  “That old man is the pontifices.  He is the chief priest in this temple to Mars,” he said to Guiamo.
            The pontifices glanced at the four visitors and then paused as he looked intently at Guiamo.  Gabinius found it a little unsettling and kept them walking to the far wall where he continued his history lessons.  He noticed that as they slowly made their way to the entrance, the pontifices kept staring curiously at the boy.
            As they exited the building, Guiamo lingered behind to look again at the cella.  Gabinius, Sertorius and Ulleria had nearly crossed the portico to the steps when Guiamo finally stepped out of the temple into the sunlight.
            Just at that moment, the eagle swooped down out of the southeastern sky and lighted upon the uppermost branch of an ancient tree just to the side of the forum.  The brilliant sunlight shining on the eagle cast a shadow directly onto the temple doorway just as Guiamo stepped forward through it.  As Guiamo emerged, the eagle spread its wings and screamed into the morning air.
            While the flamines yelled eagerly about the eagle landing so closely, the augur alone knew what to look for.  He turned quickly to see where the shadow was cast, and saw Guiamo in the doorway.  The augur shouted loudly to the flamines and pointed at Guiamo.  The priests ran to surround the boy.
            Gabinius saw the rush and hurried back to the temple doorway to secure Guiamo from the crowding rush of the younger priests who were overly eager to please the augur.
            The boy was confused by the sudden crush of shouting priestly bodies, but Guiamo calmly stood his ground.  He realized that he was not being attacked, and was being treated more as a great prize.
            Gabinius elbowed his way into the tight circle of triumphant flamines and boldly pushed them back into a larger circle.  “Hold, I say!” he roared, and the flamines fell silent.  “Why detain you this boy unjustly?”
            The augur gently pressed his way through the excited young priests and motioned for all to remain silent.  Ignoring Gabinius’ commanding stance, he looked first at Guiamo.  Then he spoke gently to all.  “Today I have seen a most auspicious sight, of such import that few have been so urgently counseled by the gods.  We must take this boy inside to see the pontifices.”
            Once Gabinius saw that Guiamo was not in danger, he conceded to the wishes of the augur.
            The boisterous crowd moved into the temple hall where the pontifices was already hurrying to the disturbance at the doorway.
            The augur hurried forward to greet the pontifices.  Breathless with excitement, he said, “A great sign has been given this day about this boy!”
            “Tell me what you saw and divine its meaning,” commanded the pontifices.
            “I saw a great eagle circling the city.  It descended and landed in a tree.  At that moment, it cast its shadow upon the temple doorway just as this boy emerged.  The eagle screamed and spread its wings,” said the augur excitedly.
            “A great sign it is, indeed,” said the pontifices.  “What is its full meaning?”
            The augur took a breath to calm himself and said, “The meaning is manyfold.  The sign being an eagle shows the boy to become a great warrior.  Its flight from the southeast tells that the boy will travel to the northwest.  The eagle settling into a tree tells me that the boy will settle in that land.  The shadow cast on the doorway to the temple shows me that he has the guidance of Mars.  With spreading wings, the war god will enlarge his lands, and the screaming voice tells me of triumphant victory.  This is the meaning of the portent.”
            The pontifices looked down at Guiamo and said, “He does not look like much, does he?”
            Several of the flamines laughed a little too loudly.
            “But then, Mars himself was once just a boy,” said the pontifices, annoyed with the fawning priests.
            The laughing abruptly stopped.
            He looked back to the augur and said, “During my meditation and prayers early this morning in the cella, the image of Mars seemed to come to life, and the face of Mars turned to speak to me as man to man.  He told me that a great one was coming to carry his strength to a new land. 
            “He said to me, ‘Place my sacred spear into the hands of the great one.’
            “I asked of him, ‘Surely it must be kept here safely for all ages!’ 
             “ ‘Nay,’ said he.  ‘Only for a season have I placed it into thy keeping.’
            The flamines murmured unhappily at the words of the elderly pontifices, and it was clear that they believed his mind had fallen into dotage.  The augur became frustrated that the flamines were so clearly motivated by greed, and most did not have not a truly devout mind.  Without the sacred spear to draw gifts to the temple, the flamines knew the supply of money would dwindle precipitously.
            “ ‘How shall I know the great one?’ I asked. 
            “ ‘The augur shall name him even yet today,’ he replied, ‘but say nothing to anyone until he is revealed.  By this sign you will know him.  He shall be the least to come into my holy temple, yet his offering shall be the greatest.’
            “I see now that this boy is the one spoken of by Mars.” 
            Turning to Guiamo, he spoke with command, “Come with me.” 
            The pontifices put his arm upon Guiamo’s shoulder to direct him, and they walked directly to the cella.  After signaling that the other priests were to remain outside the cella, the two walked up to the image of Mars.  Without fanfare, the pontifices reached up and grasped the spear.  It came easily out of the painted wooden hands, and the pontifices said to Guiamo, “I do not understand the reasoning of my god Mars, but I certainly obey him.”  He put the sacred spear into Guiamo’s hands and released it with only the faintest hesitation, but still with trembling fingers.
            “This sacred spear is the very spear that Mars invented when living among us as a mortal in ages long past.  This is the spear for which he was honored with godhood.  What most people do not know is that Mars crafted his powers into the bronze spear point.  If he shouted “ibur” it would hit whatever he threw it at, and if he cried “athibar” it would always return to his grasp.
            “I know not your destiny, but Mars sees much.  I see you shall have need of his spear to survive your ordeals to come.  The spear’s name is Lúin.  He has a twin named Assal with the same powers, but he is lost in the mist of time."
            Guiamo asked, “How did this temple in so remote a location come to have such a great treasure?”
            The pontifices replied, “Some generations ago, it was stolen from a greater temple in Rome by the command of a corrupt pontifices.  Even today, they do not know they have a replacement.  The flamines and augur here know its worth, but not its powers.  Only the pontifices is allowed to know its full story.  Since you are taking the spear of Mars with you, I shall have to quickly put a replacement in the image’s hands so that the masses will not know.”
            Concerned he was hearing only bits of a critically important discussion, Gabinius stepped forward silently into the cella to stand beside Guiamo.  “Your gift confirms, and yet deepens, the mystery of the oracle sent to me from Nicaea.”
            “Speak to me of the oracle,” asked the pontifices.
            Gabinius quoted the oracle to the elderly pontifices who listened intently.
The pontifices replied, “Great destiny awaits this boy.  He is covered by the guiding hand of Mars.  Remember this,” he advised, “someone will surely try to steal Lúin.  If they should succeed, remember to call “athibar” and he will return to you.”
            The three walked quietly out of the cella to the anxious flamines.  The pontifices commanded all the priests to stay within the temple hall so Guiamo could leave without attracting too much attention.  The pontifices announced, “The will of Mars is that this spear be given to the boy.  We are all bound by a vow of eternal silence on this matter.  Whosoever objects must say so now.”
            His challenge was met with silence, for all knew an objection would result in expulsion from the order of priests.
            Turning to Guiamo he asked, “Before you go, tell me, then, your name.”
            Guiamo answered, “Guiamo Durmius Stolo.”
            “Then go with peace, Durmi, for surely the strife of battle awaits you in years to come,” the pontifices said in parting.
            Gabinius put his arm around Guiamo and led him out of the temple hall.  Guiamo felt very self-conscious and small carrying such a valued treasure, but walked with confident steps knowing it truly was meant for him.
            As they exited the temple, Sertorius and Ulleria quickly found them. 
            “What happened in there?” Sertorius asked curiously.
            Gabinius replied, “Nothing of consequence.  It seems Guiamo gave such a large offering that they generously gave him this old spear in return.” Gabinius winked at Guiamo, while Sertorius looked at Guiamo suspiciously.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Next Step

        Anyone knows that when you face a long and difficult trial or journey, the key to moving on is to put one foot in front of the other and take the next step.  Some steps in the journey are painful, even fearful.  Others are just mundane, ordinary, monotonous.  There are times on the journey, however, when joy peeks through with hope of what may come.  Today was one of those days for Marshall Best.  After working diligently for the past five years, he was able to hold the first four books in the Guiamo series in his hands.

       Some may say big deal, many authors have done this before.  Yes, they have.  I would venture to say that every one of them, at least earlier in their writing career, celebrated when they saw their "baby" for the first time.  Writing at its best should be a work of love.  When we love what we are writing about we pour our hearts into it and the words flow like water.  Marshall has done just that with the Guiamo series.  That's not to say that he's never had times where he had writer's block or wasn't sure where to take the story line next. Any writer will have times of frustration; however, Marshall LOVES writing this series.  He is thrilled when the pieces of his story fall neatly in line with real history or peoples.  He enjoys doing the research needed to make his story as authentic as it can be.  He loves bringing legends to life.  And so today we celebrate the arrival of his "new babies".  They aren't all grown up yet....they still need some polishing....but soon they will be ready for others to hold in their hands.

                                       Congratulations Marshall!

Marshall with two of his sons and his new "babies".
The main character in his books, Guiamo, was modeled after his 15 year old son on the right who has had an inventive spirit since he was very young.

   The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo

     Inis Emain Ablach

Part of Marshall's library, the nice looking part.  Many others are stacked in the basement.  Notice the binders at the bottom left.  These are all his research information on genealogies, maps, tribes, etc... of Rome, Gaul, England, Scotland and Ireland.  In the upper right is his Loeb Classical Library which he draws from for his quotes at the beginning of each chapter and forms the basis for much of the storyline.  He has read every one.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A ring of great power....not from Mordor

As the lighting blazed in a dancing, arcing column to the sky, a voice deep and powerful as thunder said, “My son, today my powers are bestowed upon you.”

One of the most vivid scenes in Guiamo is where the god Lugus bestows special powers upon you read it you can almost see the scene as it would play out in a movie....the excerpt is below.  This scene finds Guiamo with his druid teacher Susama.

            Guiamo brought Susama to the sacred grove atop the high hill near Gobedbiacum.  Guiamo noticed that while the cold weather carried a wind, it was not strong enough to move the limbs of the trees which swayed dramatically along their way.
            Susama noticed the activity of the trees, too, and observed, “Lugus eagerly awaits your arrival.”  They trudged along watching the branches moving energetically around them.  Guiamo pointed out that the trees a short distance farther were nearly still.
            Susama asked, “Durmi, did you bring the unformed gold?”
            He reached into his bulla praetexta pouch and pulled out a lump of gold.
            “Oh, Durmi, that is far too much,” Susama said in a kindly tone.
            Guiamo was not bothered.  He replied, “I thought Lugus would take what he needed and leave me the rest.  I just did not want to have an insufficient amount.”
            “No harm is done, Durmi.  It will be so,” said Susama.
            “Do you really think Lugus will craft a ring for me today?”  Guiamo asked.  “I have studied for such a short time.”
            “From what I have seen of the oracles and augures, you may not have a full nineteen years before your life as a great warrior is to begin.  Malleolus and I suspect it will begin when you are in your mid-twenties when your strength is at its greatest.  That would give you about ten years to prepare and mature,” Susama said.
            Before long, they entered the sacred oak grove and the trees moved even more violently about.  As before, Guiamo saw movement flickering just beyond his peripheral sight.  Susama brought him into the center of the clearing and sat him on the ground.  Guiamo saw her nervousness and realized she felt inadequate to her responsibility that day.
            Susama gathered an armful of oak leaves and placed them in a wide circle one passus in front of Guiamo.  Then, sitting beside him, she began to call in the ancient language, “Lugus dithmero-mil! Lugus dithmero-mil!
            As she completed the word of Summons, from out of a clearing sky, a massive lightning bolt struck the ground in the center of the oak leaf circle.  Rather than dissipate in an instant, it continued to blast the ground and, twisting, sent out tendrils of brilliant fire.  Overwhelmed by the power of the sustained lightning bolt, Susama fell back in alarm, and Guiamo shielded his eyes with his arm. 
            As the lighting blazed in a dancing, arcing column to the sky, a voice deep and powerful as thunder said, “My son, today my powers are bestowed upon you.”
            Guiamo blinked his eyes at the words and was awestruck.  The blaze of lightning continued to dance with power in the circle of oak leaves and Susama sat forward to kneel before the raging light.  Around them the oak trees bent and swirled as from blasts of wind from a raging storm.
            Lugus’ roaring voice continued, “I have seen your heart’s desire to speak to nature, to converse with the animals.  Today, I shall give you the power to speak to my servants of war and to know the truth always.  I cannot give you the ability to speak to all creatures, for only those who serve me in war do I command.  Know this: the ancient tongue only shall they understand.
            “Hound and hawk will understand your words.  Caution is needed, for they shall obey only as they see fit.  Their reply will be of limited understanding and they shall use but simple words.
            “Horse, donkey and ox you shall speak to, and they will understand and blindly obey, but they have not the gift of speaking.
            “Serpent is the healer of wounds but is a speaker of both truth and deceit.  With him you will be able to converse as man to man, but you will be unable to command him.  I shall give you the power of Discernment which shall bind his deceit and force the serpent’s speech to the truth if he dares to speak.
            “Bring forth the gold.”
            Guiamo removed the lump of gold from his bulla praetexta pouch and held it out with an open palm toward the light.  With a blinding flash, a thin tendril of light streaked out and snatched the gold from his hand.
            The lightning bolt intensified and then with a crash of thunder disappeared from sight.  Susama gasped in surprise and looked around, realizing that the surrounding oaks had gone suddenly still, and he knew that the god had departed.  Guiamo looked at the blackened ground within the circle of oak leaves which lay undisturbed.  At its center lay a ring of cunning design.  Guiamo stood and walked forward into the circle. 
            He reached down carefully and picked up the ring.  It was a serpent ring, but different from the two he had seen before.  Rather than being a single loop with the serpent swallowing his tail, this was designed as two parallel loops set half a finger’s width apart.  At the center apex was the serpent’s head swallowing its tail.
            The serpent ran diagonally across the top of the finger and then turned to wrap around the finger.  As the loop came up the opposite side, it bent diagonally again to pass beneath the snake’s head.  It then wrapped again as a second loop around the finger.  Rising on the other side, it then bent its tail to enter the serpent’s opened mouth.
            “Place it on your finger!  Quickly!” whispered Susama.  “Or it shall dissolve again.”
            Hearing her words of alarm, Guiamo slipped in onto the index finger of his right hand.  It was a perfect fit.  He turned to hold his hand up so Susama could see the double ring. 
            “I have never seen a ring of such design!” she exclaimed.  “Its powers must be unique to you alone.  Bless Lugus!  He has given you tremendous power.  You must wear it always, but never reveal its source.”  Overjoyed and with great enthusiasm, she said, “We must soon begin to discover its secrets.”

Thanks for taking time to read a part of Guiamo.
  If you enjoyed it, download Guiamo from Amazon for only $2.99.  
It's Marshall's way of helping you get started on the adventure.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Guiamo e-book....Now $2.99

Deciding where to price your new arrival into the world of books is not always an easy decision....especially after toiling for so long and working so hard.  Obviously we all want to see some return from our work but we also need to make it a good bargain for those who want to read it.  Guiamo Chronicles received the tweet below in response to the covers for the books with the advice to change the price of the first book to $2.99.  Being new to the industry, the decision has been made to do just that.  Hopefully more will take a chance on a new book....I don't think you will be disappointed.  Please spread the word to the e-reader community and happy reading.

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