In book one, Machines of the Little People, we met Ben Harris. Ben has a rare medical condition called Bio-Chemical Electrical Discharge, or B.C.E.D. for short, which is a crippling condition that, in an unchecked state, can become lethal to anyone he touches. Not only that, when he goes around electronics, they go on the fritz. Not exactly a handy affliction to have when operating in a modern world.
When Ben's sister, Kate, passes away, her husband, Roger Keswick, is mysteriously absent from her funeral. Roger in an unparalleled genius and has become known as the Thomas Edison of our time. His work and Kate are Roger's only loves in this world, so it's highly irregular that he'd not show up for his wife's funeral.
It's not until three years later that Ben is pulled back in to Roger's life, only to find that he's moved on. His new wife may be called Jessica, but she's the spitting image of Ben's sister. Ben wonders if his former brother-in-law has a screw loose when Ben insists that there's a large factory under his house run by little people called the Katoy. The screw loosens a bit more when Jessica is found murdered . . . and Roger has disappeared again.
Great start to the series, right? Grab your seat and hold on.
In The Wishing Stone, we're back with Ben Harris. As children, he and Kate had found a river stone one day while camping. Ben says it looks more like a potato than anything else, but that Kate had loved it and became its guardian. To Kate, it became a magic stone, one which she cast numerous wishes upon. To Ben's surprise, more wishes than not came true. But over the years, things get forgotten and lost, as had the wishing stone. But then it suddenly reappears, and when Kate is diagnosed with cancer, a wish is made for her recovery. Kate died later that day.
Fast forward three years and Ben still struggles with his affliction, but Roger has been 'helping'.
Roger works for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (D.A.R.P.A.) and unbeknownst to Ben, has an agenda of his own. Roger's research has propelled Artificial Intelligence . . . memory transfer . . . in living machines to new, unprecedented heights. Ben's bio-electric production is key to the research's success, and Roger has known it for years.
Ben's problem begins to worsen; Roger fits him with inhibitors, making arrangements to take him to Maryland . . . to Warwick . . . a D.A.R.P.A. research facility. Once there, Ben learns his inhibitors are not what he thought at all, but are actually exasperating the problem. His power is growing exponentially. Roger is using him to complete the crowning achievement of his life's work . . . the creation of a robotic copy of his dead wife and Ben's sister, Kate!
The Wishing Stone is another wonderful inclusion in this series. Readers will be pulled back into Ben's story from page one, and will want to read this book in one sitting. Ben's rare affliction is a curious thing, and one can't help but be curious at the extent it controls Ben's life, and what he's willing to do for a cure. Roger seems to have all the answers, and we're drawn into his work with D.A.R.P.A., but we're also drawn into his own personal narcissism. Both characters are drawn so well that the situations in the story become wholly believable. And that's the benchmark of any great story, isn't it -- believability.
Tegon has set the bar high with this series and continues to clear it with each new story. He packs in action and adventure, science and technology, creationism and technological evolution, and even some love and romance. The Wishing Stone is an awesome story and I can't wait to read book three -- The Cordovian Effect! And next time I'm out walking, I'm going to look for my own Wishing Stone.
As always, there's a free book on offer today. All you need to do is comment with your email address to put your name into the draw for an ebook copy of The Wishing Stone. If you can't wait, just click on the link to grab your copy.
And on special offer from Tirgearr Publishing, Tegon's previous book, Machines of the Little People, is available through August for just 99c at Kindle!
• • •
During that last summer, as if in punishment for being happy, Kate was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
The last time we used the wishing stone was at the hospital the morning she died.
On that day, all three of us made a silent wish, certain the others had wished the same. Kate died that afternoon and I never thought about it again. It was the last time I believed in magic, in love or in the existence of God.
Then, after three miserable lonely years, the unthinkable, a second chance . . . Warwick.
A river stone smoothed with time and endless amounts of water, it was really nothing more than a regular rock. We found it on a camping trip to Deep Creek as kids. No more than four or five inches long and a dull tan with black freckles it looked more like a potato than anything else. Kate took it everywhere. She would close her eyes and stroke it three times before making a wish.
It started just before we returned home. She wished for the folks to stop and get us an ice cream for the ride home and they did.
The following week, she wished for a new notebook for school and the next day it appeared in her room. It didn't happen every time, but it did more often than not so it became our wishing stone. As we grew older it became the conduit between us. We would take turns holding it, vowing on our very lives to only speak the truth while it was in our possession, talking for hours before making our wish.
Kate was its guardian, swearing to use it only for good and only when the two of us were together. It became a regular ritual between us. We wished for things large and small, all with equal desire they would come true. Once a week, it gave each of us an opportunity to vent our frustrations and express our desire to make things right with the world.
Slowly, as I grew older, my interest began to wane. My wishes became more trivial and I had less and less time to share with her so I concentrated on making her wishes come true. It made me feel good to secretly fulfill her modest desires. The stone had changed from sharing secret dreams to open communication between us.
Eventually, we gained new obligations, leaving little time for the wishing stone. Kate went off to college and I dropped out. We saw each other at least once a month, until our parents died. She looked after me far more than I did her and the wishing stone became a thing of the past. From that moment to her last, we were joined at the hip.
Two years after our parents' death, on New Year’s Eve, it reappeared. I thought it had been lost long before and was surprised by its return. We spent the night talking, endlessly talking, and it made me feel like I was no longer lost in my grief, no longer alone.
At midnight we made our wish. Hers came true eight months later when she met Roger. I am still waiting, nursing a flicker of similar hope.
For the next twenty years, each year on New Year’s Eve, the wishing stone was passed from hand to hand, first to Kate, then Roger, then me.
During her last summer, as if a punishment for being happy, Kate was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
The last time we used the stone was at the hospital the morning she died.
On that day, all three of us made a silent wish, certain the others had wished for the same. Kate died that afternoon and I never thought about the stone again. It was the last time I believed in magic, in love or the existence of God.
• • •
Married forty-three years to a woman he calls Dearheart, Tegon Maus lives a contented life in a small town of 8,200 in Southern California. By day, Tegon is a successful home remodeling contractor, but his passion is storytelling.
Tegon's progatonists are frequently wedged between a rock and a hard place, but manage to work things out through the story. Like most when pushed into a corner, it only brings out the best in his characters and become the unstoppable force of a reluctant hero. Tegon's signature style is creating characters who are driven and believable, and who strive to find happiness.
Tegon is the author of The Chronicles Of Tucker Littlefield series.
Find Tegon online --
Tegon Maus - http://www.tegonmaus.com
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Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Tegon-Maus/e/B009PFZILW
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Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Maus_Tegon
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|The Wishing Stone|
The Eve Project, book 2
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Machines of the Little People
The Eve Project, book 1
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