Keeper of the Black Stones by PT McHugh

Welcome to Author PT McHugh
PT McHugh didn’t start out as a storyteller. He was, however, born into a family of that encouraged imagination. He became a fan of history in school and then went to college to become a construction engineer, to build a world of straight lines, angles, and equations.
He was just as surprised as everyone else when he realized that he believed in magic, and might just know the secret of how to jump through time. Since then, he’s been researching the possibility and learning everything he can about history. Just in case the opportunity arises.
PT was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Bob, daring to dream of alternate worlds and cheering for his beloved New England Patriots.
His latest book is the YA fantasy/time travel, Keeper of the Stones.

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Guest Post

How to Go From a “Stand Alone” Book to a Series
To be honest, I always wanted to create a series – there are just so many historical events I wanted to visit and write about! I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it all in one book.  The Civil War, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, World War II … there’s just so much to write about and have fun with! And the best way to do that was a sweeping series, so that Jason and I could visit as many time periods as we wanted.
My editor is probably incredibly surprised by this, because she thinks the series was her idea.
Wanting to do a series and actually executing it are two very different things, though. And it all came down to getting through the first book. For one thing, you have to spend a lot of time setting up your story before you can jump into the fun stuff, and all that setup falls into the first book. It’s like when you reading any book – you feel as though you have to get through the first part to understand it, but part of you wants to skip ahead to the meat of the story. And of course once you understand the characters and the basic formula, you can’t wait to go out and buy the second book and jump back into it again.  Writing a book is the same thing. That first book – which was at one point going to be a standalone – now has to lay the foundation for an entire series, and a MUCH bigger plot.
It makes the writing experience somewhat more … complex.
But it also made it more fun. It opened up a world of possibilities – bigger plots, more characters, a badder bad guy … we started by expanding the plot and making it much deeper. Then we added characters. Lots of them. And decided what they’d be doing in the future.  Their personalities got bigger, the plot became more complex, and the stones started to take on a much greater importance.  Jason became someone who could save the world, rather than just a kid who got caught up in one adventure.
And I realized that I wouldn’t have to let go of the characters after one book. Or two. Or six. I get to hold onto them for years, and see exactly how they grow and change and learn.
That’s not something you could do in the scope of one book. It’s something you need a series for. So when my editor says, “What if we get to Book 5 and want to go farther?” I just take a deep breath, smile, and nod. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I know it’s also going to be a great ride.

Keeper of the Black Stones:

Jason Evans, a shy, introverted high school freshman, thought that his mundane life was all there was – girls, golf, physics, and the occasional bully. Until he found out about the secrets his grandfather had been keeping from him … a set of stones that allowed them to jump through time … a maniacal madman who used the stones to shape history to his liking … and Jason’s role as one of the few people in the world who could stop that man.
Against impossible odds, a fourteen-year-old boy must take up his legacy, learn everything he needs to know within one short day, and travel helter skelter into the Middle Ages, to join Henry VII’s fight against Richard III, end the Dark Ages, and stop the man who now holds his grandfather captive. In this romp through history, Jason and his friends must race against time to accomplish not one, but two missions.
Save his grandfather.
And save the world.

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I never thought anything exciting would happen to me. The sky was blue, the football jocks were arrogant, and my best friend was absolutely crazy. To be honest, my life was a little boring. Until things, well, changed.

And then suddenly, I was meeting Anne Frank before she wrote her diary. Consulting with Churchill on political doctrine. Crossing the Potomac with Washington. I even shined Napoleon’s shoes in the streets of Charleroi, once, though it’s not a story I like to tell. I’ve been in too many places to name, and done things I never thought I would do. All in the name of saving history, and saving the world we call home.

I realize that these boasts won’t be taken seriously, but I must remind you that at one time the earth was flat, the atom unbreakable. And the thought of reaching the moon was just as ridiculous as the idea of jumping through time.

I know, because I was there.
My name is Jason Evans. I’m ten days shy of my fifteenth birthday, and this is my story…

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Keeper of the Black Stones
Open to US only
Ends 3/15/13

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