Blogger Book Fair: Interview and Giveaway with A. K. Taylor

A. K. Taylor is visiting the blog today with her character Neiko to give books away and introduce you to her Neiko Adventure Series. A. K. has won many awards for her writing, so be sure to enter the giveaways and get her books free!

 Escape from Ancient Egypt

Seeking his revenge on Neiko for exposing him, Francesco banishes Neiko into ancient Egypt just like he did her friends eleven years ago. During her stay there, she unravels the mystery of what happened to her four friends. Now she's faced with a bigger problem--how to get home. After a series of unfortunate events, Neiko is now entangled with Pharaoh Ramesses II. Francesco also comes to make sure their fates are sealed. Can Neiko and her friends beat impossible odds and return to Hawote and back to the present?

Neiko's Five Land Adventure
The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of war and presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to up the ante and break the stalemate into their favor. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and contains a legendary and otherworldly evil within it. After a standoff with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe and in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it, she must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion cobra-companion Quickstrike as they must travel to find the answer and avoid Ramses' allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and escape the evil that seeks to claim her and turn the tables on her enemies?

Interview with Neiko, star of the series:

JV: I hear that you still like to play with toys. Do you have a favorite?

Neiko: Yes, you heard right. I guess you can say it’s like a secret (well not any more) guilty pleasure. There are some people that won’t understand why an 18 year old would still do something like that. If King Tutankhamen can do it so can I, I always say. In some ways, he and I have the getting an important job and title at a young age thing in common. It can play havoc on you a little and your maturity level. People will say: It’s not ‘normal’. Nothing about my life is normal really. People who say that didn’t weren’t six years old in warrior training, nor did they fight their first battles at age eight. It’s not like I can go hang out with friends whenever I want to since our enemies can blend in just as easily as we can, and they are always looking for a chance to ambush so they can take me. I also lost a bit of my childhood because of all that, and being a stressed out teenager can make someone do some interesting things to release that stress and unwind—like the Tut thing I mentioned earlier. You can also say I do things like they do on “The Big Bang Theory” way before that show made it cool. I am a nerd at heart, so sue me. I was a nerd before nerd was cool—yeah, kind of like that country song. I heard someone mention something about the chieftains and my friends ‘condoning’ it. We’re all friends and that’s what friends do—understand. The chieftains find the stuff I talk about interesting and just wonder where it all comes from. They do it for my benefit and health so I can continuing to defend them. I don’t perform my best stressed out or ticked off. Who would?

Yeah, I do have a favorite: my Ramses action figure even after I find out he’s real and really, really scary. I found that toy during a battle where I was holing up in a barn trying to elude capture (not in this story—a prequel). I always knew it was special, but later I find out why it is and that it was not sold in stores or even made on my own planet…

JV: Why do you prefer to conduct your adventures in the woods?

Neiko: Hawote is located in the woods of the US, Canada, and Mexico, and it is a hidden land that coexists with those countries. The woods offer cover, so the land an all its workings stay hidden. Truthfully it’s much harder to hide things in an urban area—too many US (or CA or Mex) authorities. Think about that the next time you go into a rural area and come across a large stretch of forest!

 JV: You play the French Horn. What style of music do you play?

 Neiko: I play just about anything—pretty much what the Band Teacher or the Choir director puts in front of me. I am an awesome sight-reader. Jazz, funk, movie themes, classical, church music, blues, marches. I also do concert and marching band. Yes I do field drill and parades and cantatas. I’ve been known to participate in a professional orchestra and a college summer band a few times. Done honor bands as well!

I seem to like doing everything the hard way, so naturally I chose the most difficult brass instrument known to man.

JV: Where did you get the name Neiko?

Neiko: I got my Indian name when I discovered my hidden and ancient heritage, which is a plus to finding out I was the “Chosen One”. I also learned about the ancient prophecy about the Chosen One that actually cost one of my ancestors—Chief Fierce Wind by name—his life and the displacement of my tribe to the Southeast to where we are living today. They fled the wrath of the evil Aztec emperor-warlord Tezcatlipocacoatl who lived way way before Tenochtitlan was ever built—to give you an idea how long ago that was. My author will get into all that in the next few books and a possible prequel (one of two) to Neiko’s Five Land Adventure. Anyway, my name comes from very ancient (even before Fierce Wind and Tezcatlipocacoatl) Greyhawk that means “Strong One”. It seemed like the perfect fit for me and my calling as the Chosen One.

JV: Your mom doesn't seem to "get it." Have you ever thought about involving her in your play time?

 Neiko: *eye roll* Tell me about it. I don’t think there is any way possible for her to get it—sometimes things seem like they are implanted in if you get my drift. When I get to play with my eight-year-old cousin, I can get away with it a little bit more since I’m entertaining a kid. If I’m lucky, maybe my little sister will be into that when she’s old enough to play with more than passies, teething rings, and Duplo blocks.

Not a bad idea involving her, but I can’t even talk about it with her without her getting all bent outa shape. Getting her to play is a lost cause. My friends and even the chieftains understand better about that than she does.

I will eventually be able to lay them down after going to the Five Lands for REAL. That did wonders in jumpstarting my maturity level, but not so much for my stress level.

JV: What's Raven's deal? Why is he determined to have you in his family?

Neiko: It’s more about his son Bloodhawk more than him. But from Raven’s standpoint, there’s a lot going on with that. One, I have been picked by Bloodhawk and approved by Raven as the perfect candidate to carry on the next generation, if you get my drift. I am both strong and beautiful—suitable qualities for a Crackedskull queen, which will make a suitable child to be a prince—before it’s over with they want to make it children, but the curse put a damper on their plans since I would die in childbirth, and Bloodhawk is picky—he didn’t like any of the girls from his own tribe for starters. Guaranteed a son says the mantra of the curse, and he will have wings, eagle feet and eyes, and really large stature just like them. Plus, my resistance is just a turn-on, and that’s just my luck with those type of guys and ladies’ men.

 Two, from a strategic standpoint it would look good for the Chosen One to be married to his son and future heir to the throne. That would make the Seven Tribes buckle down to his rule and then he can carry on in taking over the entire land of Hawote. Yes the ol’ cliché domination thing. He doesn’t care about taking over the world, just Hawote. He might throw in the resident Outsiders on the North American continent as a freebie, if he got bored--but I would think the Outsiders would notice a full-scale takeover and war and might become a have-to. They would be wondering what is happening with all the Indians all of a sudden? I don’t think the government would sit out and let it pan out, do you?

Even at his great stature--yes nine feet--the US military could take him out with a tank, bazooka, RPG, or something (not even titanium armor could stop that), so he might have to resort to some different strategy and finesse in taking on Outsiders than just storming the wall and public attacks like he does with other Indians.

JV: Do you ever plan to stop having adventures?

Neiko: Nope. Don’t plan on it. I plan on being around for awhile. There will be tons of adventures some day; it’s just a matter of AK getting them published. *sigh* Publishing sure is slow and have to be so careful. If I ever quit, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself and would be bored slap outa my mind! I don’t know if I can do ‘normal’!

About the Author

A.K. Taylor grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.

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  1. Would really like an opportunity to read the new series :)

  2. Enter the giveaway! You may win

  3. Thanks for the awesome giveaway, they sound really good!