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The Mountain God of Darkness

Norman Westhoff
Norman Westhoff Author Interview

The Color of Greed is the second book in the Erebus Tales series. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that was different from book one?

The first book, Stone Fever, was conceived as a pure adventure Western, geared to a Young Adult audience, and very much action-driven. In The Color of Greed, I wanted to broaden the stakes, the scope and the timeline. So, for instance, this book takes place over several months, compared to the first one in just over a week. SF was set wholly in Antarctica, except for some flashbacks. CoG jumps between life in an Antarctic village during the long dark season and power centers of the Northern Hemisphere.

I also wanted the protagonist to have to make more difficult choices, and to show the resulting consequences.

Keltyn continues to be an enthralling character. What were some challenges you felt were important for her character development?

The fact that she is Native American (actually, the correct term in Canada, where she is from, is Indigenous Peoples) initially striving to succeed in a white-male-dominated field like industrial science. Then she finds herself rescued from near-death and adopted by a poor family in a nomadic village; her loyalties and goals shift dramatically. (Spoiler alert: even more dramatic challenges to come in the finalé, Gifts of a Dark God, to be published 11/21.)

What are some sources you feel informed this novel’s development?

As a traveler to many foreign countries, including several trips to less-affluent parts of the world, I’ve always been interested in what may be described as “cultural anthropology.” This field compares how different societies deal with similar needs, like food, clothing, and shelter, on to more abstract pursuits like art and religion. For more on that, readers may be interested in an ongoing photo-essay series:

When you throw in the other variable, of how drastic climate change may result in mass forced migrations over hundreds of years, the stage was set for a sci-fi series based on the trope of first contact.

What can readers expect in book three of the Erebus Tales series?

The plot thickens: each of the five point-of-view characters from CoG completes their own narrative arc in this epic finalé that spans two years. Erebus, the mountain god of darkness, will have the final say.

Though mature Y.A. readers will hopefully have been hooked by the first two books, the themes from them are expanded for the benefit of adult readers, and the length is about 20% longer than the first two books.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

In this sequel to Stone Fever, a year has passed since geologist Keltyn SparrowHawk, abandoned in post-glacial Antarctica by her crew-mates from Canada, survived a near-fatal bullet wound. Now, she tries to make a new life with the nomadic tribe that took her in, but clues point to mega-industrialist Sir Oscar Bailey readying a second mission to exploit the iridium treasure by Mt. Erebus. Sure that his plan spells disaster for her tribe, Keltyn must first inspire her Onwei friends Luz and Joaquin, her gaucho lover, and tribal leaders.

Back home, anthropologist Fay Del Canto begins an affair with Harry Ladou, to pry the crew chief away from Bailey’s orbit. She knits together an umbrella group of environmentalists and endangered tribes, until a shadowy faction of eco-terrorists begins to strike across the Bailey empire.

The mogul dispatches his rising star Helmut Gans onto the second mission, and recruits Keltyn’s estranged mentor Russell McCoy to fill her place. Keltyn must take drastic measures to counter him, at the cost of her own freedom.

The Color of Greed: Erebus Tales, Book 2

The Color of Greed: Erebus Tales, Book 2 by [Norman Westhoff]

The characters we came to know and love in Stone Fevre are back in The Color of Greed: Erebus Tales, Book 2 by Norman Westhoff! Keltyn SparrowHawk, the beloved geologist, is trying to make a life for herself with the tribe that took her in a year following the traumatic events of book one. And the capitalistic mastermind, Sir Oscar, is back to his cruel doings and planning another mission for the iridium treasure. Keltyn hears of this and does everything she can to stop him. Can she foil Sir Oscar’s plans? Find out in The Color of Greed.

Norman Westhoff has done it again in the second installment of the Erebus Tales! I may even say he has gotten better at his craft since the first book.

First things first, I want to dive into Westhoff’s improved storytelling skills. The first book in the series was so well written, I didn’t think it could get any better. The story flows easily and I was able to easily understand what was happening in this thrilling adventure story, this is important to me as I just finished another book that was very convoluted so I much appreciate the clarity of Westhoff’s writing.

I mentioned in my first review that there was never a dull moment in the book and it was very easy to read despite the drama and complexity of some of the issues. The same remains true for book two. I felt that chronologically, book 2 does a better job at connecting events and scenes together.

Although we explore a lot of the same themes as book 1, book 2 further elaborates on these themes beautifully. The Erebus Tales series can teach anyone who reads it a valuable lesson on modern society.

The Color of Greed is a riveting Western action adventure novel filled with alluring characters, a vivid setting, and a storyline that takes Keltyn on yet another perilous journey. Something about this story reminds me of The Revenant, with stirring characters on a compelling journey. Or even Michael Crichton’s Dragon Teeth with it’s effortless yet enthralling storytelling. Readers who enjoy a wild western style adventure will surely enjoy this novel.

Pages: 301 | ASIN: B093MGMYKL

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Erebus Tales

Norman Westhoff
Norman Westhoff Author Interview

Stone Fever follows a geologist exploring a defrosted Antarctica when she makes new friends and sets off to find the elusive iris stone. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?

Geography, especially maps, has always been a hobby of mine. I pictured how the effects of continuing climate change might affect human populations, forcing migration toward the poles. These two groups could lose touch with each other and evolve separately.

Keltyn is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

She is a rock nerd with few social skills. She has swallowed her pride for the sake of professional advancement, yet harbors a grudge about how her people, and especially her father, have been treated by white society. When she learns that her boss may want to promote Antarctica for settlement by canadian farmers, she instinctively pictures how this will threaten the locals and hatches an ill-conceived plan to thwart her boss.

What were some themes that were important for you to focus on in this book?

First contact between different cultures; resilience in personal development; the importance of mentors; intergenerational wisdom/memory.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Stone Fever is the first book of the Erebus Tales series. The second book, The Color of Greed, will be out in spring 2021, and the finale, Gifts of a Dark God, next fall.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Radical climate change has reshaped human geography by the 24th century. Canadian geologist Keltyn SparrowHawk flies to Antarctica, searching for the strategic mineral iridium. After her plane crash-lands, she and her crew are discovered by two teens from a local tribe of nomads: orphan would-be gaucho Joaquin Beltran and horsewoman Luz Hogarth, who also seeks the elusive iris stone. Keltyn befriends them both, but now she must reckon with the volcano where the stone lies, the tribe’s hostile leaders, the hidden agenda of her sponsor back home, and rattling skeletons in her closet. Soon she plunges into an ill-conceived gamble that spirals into free-fall. Her two new friends are the only ones who can help, but each must first survive their own ordeals.

Stone Fever

Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book 1 by Norman Westhoff is a captivating adventure story full of inspiring narratives! In the story, we follow Keltyn, a geologist who is exploring a now defrosted Antarctica. Keltyn is trying to find iridium around Mount Erebus, a volcano that the local Onwei tribe has predict will erupt soon! While on her mission, Keltyn makes friends with two teens from the tribe; Luz and Joaquin. While on their adventure, the trio grows, learns, and discovers the ulterior motives of a certain Oscar Bailey! Keltyn must find a way to stop Oscar before it’s too late!

Despite the hardships found within this story, Westhoff has managed to create a heartwarming tale that I could not get enough of! He touched on so many relevant topics, including colonization, global warming, and cultural diversity!

The character development was spectacular and a particular focal point of this novel. We watch Luz grow emotionally from a naïve young girl to a fierce young woman by the end of the novel. I must say, I really enjoyed Luz’s relationship with her mother in this book; it strayed away from the typical nuclear family unit.

The world-building was fantastic! Westhoff took a risk using the real-life issue of global warming as a plot device and world-building tool, but he handled it with grace and elegance. His portrayal of the issue left me with a hopeful outlook, despite it being fiction.

Westhoff’s storytelling abilities are also praiseworthy! He can keep you hooked from page one all the way to page 299; it is incredible! There was never a dull moment; wait until you get to chapter 13; you will not be able to put the book down!

The writing style also captured my attention. It’s simplicity made the story easy to follow and a joy to read. There was never a moment where I had to go back and reread a passage due to intricate text, which can be a common issue amongst indie authors. The chapters where Keltyn was narrating were my favorite!

Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book 1 is a thrilling adventure story that touches on important topics while always entertaining the reader.

Pages: 386 | ASIN: B085YF4RWG

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