Wednesday, June 5, 2019

August Prather is Not Dead Yet - Danielle Roux -Book Spotlight

August Prather is Not Dead Yet
Danielle Roux
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance

Katherine Garnet is a writer who has never cared much about much, making it awfully difficult to create new content. Despite the fact she has the “edge” of being trans (according to her cis male editor) she is not looking to capitalize on her own personal story. Garnet tries to sneak a peek at her rival, August Prather’s, latest fantasy manuscript about a quest for the elixir of life. While reading, Garnet gets accidentally dragged into a bizarre cross-country road trip that may or may not have a purpose and begins to see parallels in the story of the manuscript and the reality of their journey. Along the way, they encounter a parade of equally troubled individuals, including ghost-hunting priests, a robot magician, a discarded piece of furniture, a runaway teenager, and a Japanese rock star. As Garnet confronts her past, she begins to understand why someone might want to live forever.

Basically, the whole story begins with a battle between the gods and the demons.

     The gods weren’t winning, and the demons weren’t winning and so the gods had an idea on how to tip the scale in their favor. They decided to make the elixir of life which would make them immortal. To make it, however, they needed to enlist the help of the demons. Of course, the demons agreed, thinking that they could steal the elixir first. The way it worked was, they went to the sea of milk, took the serpent god, Naga, and used her as a giant churn. The gods held one side and the demons the other and they stirred the sea of milk until they created the elixir of life, like extra special butter.

     Then Vishnu came down from his mountain or out of the sky, if you like, doesn’t matter, he came down and he took the elixir of life away from the gods and the demons and that was the end of that.

     Of course, Vishnu went back and helped the gods win against the demons and all that was great and splendid for the whole good triumphing over evil theme. But the most interesting part of the story is what is not said. What happened to the elixir of life?
    “That’s why you’ve been looking East,” Alexei was flipping through a book of temples in Burma by some English gentry-type. “It makes sense.”

     “It’s a legend, the story. The man who told it to me, though, he said that every story has some truth to it, otherwise it could not exist. There is no such thing as a total lie. For something to exist, even as an idea, it has to be possible.”

     “You don’t think if it’s real, that the story about the gods and all that… is that true?”

     “Not entirely. There may have been a battle, but it was probably one people versus another. Something was formed by the battle. And whatever that was, it was the key to immortality. In some texts, there was a person, a single person who was in the middle of the battle who could become immortal. And when they couldn’t kill the Immortal the battle was over.”

      “Do you think… the elixir is a person?”

      “Not anymore.”

      They had been working together now intensely for a few weeks. Dmitri read Sanskrit and Hindi, and Alexei read English and French. Together they poured over boxes of letters, field journals, anything and everything that Dmitri had managed to collect. They discussed points of the stories they read, points that directed more towards one area or another.

      “We’ll never find a specific place!” Alexei closed his book and lay down on the bed.

      “Have you been going to prayers and lessons?” Dmitri inquired casually.

      “Yeah, I have. I’m on the right track to getting ordained and everything, don’t worry,” Alexei groaned.

      Dmitri shut his book and sat down on the bed beside him. He lay down next to Alexei, sighing.

     “You don’t have to do this.”

     “Well… what else would I do?” he looked away.    


      “Not really,” Alexei picked up another book, riffling through the pages. “Besides, if we do this… if we find the elixir of life, I’ll have plenty of time to do other things.”

      “I suppose you will.”

     “When will we head East?” Alexei asked, shifting his focus to the map.

     “In a month or so.”

      “Are we going to take a train?”

      “Yes. To Odessa,” Dmitri gave a flighty smile.

      “I’ve never seen Odessa,” he held his knees against his chest.

      “Well, there are many more things that you have never seen that you soon will see, many much more exciting than Odessa.”
     “Like the sea?”

     “The sea, you’ll get tired of it. We’ll be taking a steam ship.”

     “A ship?”

     “Yes, then through deserts and on into India.”

     “Where I’ll see lions and tigers and elephants and monkeys…” his eyes closed a minute, then opened and they were no longer such innocent eyes. “And I can be far, far away from here. As far as I can carry myself.”

Author Bio:
Danielle K. Roux is a writer, teacher, and historian. Her first novel August Prather is Not Dead Yet is currently available in e-book and paperback through Parliament House Press (and soon will be available in hardcover and audio book). Danielle has always loved reading and telling stories – especially stories with adventure, mystery, humor, romance and at least a little bit of spookiness. Not Dead Yet has all this covered, with a story-within-a-story structure and a quest for immortality in the early twentieth century paired with a present-day road trip. There’s a lot of existential crisis and a male/male romance that is sweet and steamy.
Danielle has been writing fiction since she was nine, after getting tired of reading from the perspective of white, straight male characters in fantasy novels. Her first written story involved a group of middle school girls who find necklaces used by a dead witch that give them supernatural powers. It was written in notebooks in purple and green gel pens that are currently housed in a box in her linen closet. She is inspired by travelling to new places and reading about the stories tied to landscapes. She has at least three novels building in her brain (or wherever novels come from) and wishes she was writing them all right now.
Danielle lives with her wife and two orange cats in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has added a lot of young adult fantasy fiction to her bookshelves recently, and regrets nothing. Her dream library would be accessed through a secret door and look something like the library in the animated Disney Beauty and the Beast, although it would also have a cute barista or sentient coffee machine that once was said barista.
When she isn’t writing or thinking about writing, Danielle is building houses in the Sims, listening to podcasts, or taking Buzzfeed quizzes to find out what kind of tree she is based on her hair color. She has recently been watching lots of old BBC period pieces, and some of them are good. She has begun to drink Diet Coke and is worried this might be a real problem. Coffee and tea are still her primary beverages of choice.


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