Shawn Michel de Montaigne
I'm a writer, poet, blogger, illustrator, fractalist, and essayist. A wonderer, wanderer, and an unapologetic introvert. I'm old enough not to care how old I am. I'm a romantic and a movie lover; I'm inspired by the epic, the authentic, the inspirational, the numinous, and the luminous. I love classical, rock, swing, 80s, metal, and inspirational. Most of all, I'm blessed.
You can contact me directly or keep up with the latest by visiting ThePiertoForever.webs.com. I look forward to seeing you there!
Where to find Shawn Michel de Montaigne online
(5.00 from 1 review)
Everything is covered by what I can only describe as stifling mundanity. Nothing stands out: the chipping paint on the buildings, their masonry, the pocked and cracked cement, the steaming pipes, even the odor and the din. Nothing matters ... to the point that it becomes overpowering, the omnibanality decaying to consummate, undeniable, pervasive and perfect evil. There's no escaping it, ever.
Melody and the Pier to Forever: Book Two
(5.00 from 1 review)
The road to war lies ahead for the Saeire Insu--and for Melody, her mother, Yaeko, and Elizabeth. Forces both seen and unseen are coming together in a clash that will alter forever the destinies of two worlds. A great king readies his navy, while on the world known as Aquanus, a soul-sucking monster sends his overwhelming forces out to meet him. Life or death hangs in the balance.
The Shadow or the Leaf
Free-verse poetry: love, hate, justice and injustice, skies and shimmering lakes and tears in the night.
For It All
Thirty-six free-verse poems from the author of the beloved young adult fantasy epic Melody and the Pier to Forever.
Sole Survivor: The Story of Kaza of Theseus
(5.00 from 1 review)
Kaza's country, Theseus, is invaded by Necrolius Anaxagorius' Gyssians,
who destroy it utterly. He is the sole survivor. He must somehow make it to a fleet of mutineers fleeing east along the great Pier known as Ae Infinitus, led by the newly crowned Vanerrincourtian king. Kaza has thousands of miles to travel, and mortal danger waits at every turn.
Reflections of Connie: Memories of a Sundered Love
Shawn Michel de Montaigne, author of the beloved epic fantasy Melody and the Pier to Forever, takes a look back at his first love and his fourth-grade school year, 1972-73, both of which changed his life and worldview forever.
(4.60 from 5 reviews)
Strike a match. Hold it to the wick. Romance and magic flare to life in this passionate tale of a young woman on a journey of true love and self-discovery.
Melody and the Pier to Forever: Book One
(4.80 from 10 reviews)
The Pier goes on ... forever.
Epic battles at sea, an undead soul-eating villain, the unbreakable bonds of friendship and love, and the courageous heroes who are called upon to rescue a doomed world ...
This is just a taste of what awaits you in the pages of the epic fantasy saga Melody and the Pier to Forever.
[For young adults and up.]
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Smashwords book reviews by Shawn Michel de Montaigne
- The Reality Plague
on May 04, 2011
As I read this work, I kept thinking of the Borg, that superrace of galactic cogs intent on assimilating whole planets in a neverending effort to "perfect" themselves.
I also thought of The Matrix, one of my all-time favorite movies. This novella and The Matrix play with similar themes: computer-generated dystopia, the control of artificial intelligence over human choices, the abdication of so many--most--to machines and the suburban mundanity of their unlives, and the urge for a small few to break free and to resist. Welch plays with these themes with an expert hand, gives them a twist, and offers through his trained eye the very real and scary possibilities that The Matrix can't: that is, we aren't talking about the distant future here, but today, and now: the technologies are here: perhaps in their infancy, yes; but here they are.
And we should be very wary and even afraid of some of them. Even terrified.
Welch weaves a deep, despairing tactile-deprived sense of humanity into this story, so much so that at many points it's almost too painful to read on. Personally, I'd choose suicide over the "life" offered within these pages; I'd've checked out ages ago. I have no desire to try to save cattle; and I fear that authentic humans--those few who actually think and do and feel *for themselves*--are nearing extinction here, today, in this very real world, smothered under by the bovine indifference of billions. Look around! What do you see? People endlessly texting one another; people with those idiotic phone implants stuck in their heads; Facebook junkies with thousands of false friends; real-time surveillance of everything we do, everything we are. Geo-location software stuck in devices track absolutely everything we do, everywhere we go. And what's funny is this: the great herd of humanity thinks nothing of it!
Consider that while you read this story, and then read Welch's excellent Afterword, where he answers the silly critics of The Reality Plague and, frankly, makes them look even sillier.
I am affected enough by this story to say that a light reading of it will do you no good: consider that your life right now, today, is increasingly ordered and determined by machines. If you can do *that* lightly, then you're already lost. You're already one of the Borg.
An excellent read, this. Download it today and be entertained, be enlightened, and be frightened.
- Sail Beyond Tomorrow
on Aug. 23, 2011
This is a poignant tale of love, romance, and mysticism. Join Susan and Richard, and their respective parents Kathy and Nate as they sail beyond tomorrow! This book contains the depth of character development that is so often lacking in this genre. They aren't flat and two-dimensional; and I felt like I could really connect to them and learn from them.
Buy this book, and sail into the lives of people you'll genuinely end up caring about.
- Secrets of Successful Writers
on Feb. 08, 2012
This is a well-researched, easy-to-read ebook that I'd recommend to all aspiring authors. I enjoyed the interviews--especially those with authors who spoke about ebook publishing and marketing to an internet readership.
- The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success
on March 29, 2012
Mr. Coker has written a handy guide to those of us seeking a foothold along the path to ebook publishing success. It's concise, easy to read, and presented in a friendly, affable manner that demystifies much of the processes involved both in publishing an ebook and enjoying some success in the publishing game. Too, there are interesting factoids, graphs, and other forms of data that back up his thesis that today is the right time to become an author.
I cannot in good conscience give a full 5 stars for this ebook, sadly, as I feel very strongly that one of the authors Mr. Coker holds up as a positive example of success is anything but one; said author, I believe (as do many others), "games" the system in ways that does nothing but erode trust between readers and writers (or authors: there is a difference: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=352158648169334). To that end, Mr. Coker's late and brief discussion about defining one's own success falls rather flat and attains a whiff similar to the high school football coach who goes on and on about how everybody is a success if they just believe they are--but then only lets the best players on his team play. The speech reveals the speechmaker at that precise point.
Still, if you can stomach the praise lavished on said author (I almost couldn't, and had to decide if I wanted to press on with the book), you will find yourself illuminated, educated, and entertained.
- Talystasia: A Faerytale for Grown-Ups
on Oct. 18, 2014
HJK Cardinalis’ Talystasia: A Faerytale for Grown-Ups is the telling of a fantastic tale that hits far too close to home in many respects. If you’re seeking escapist fantasy, this novel isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for superbly written character-driven fantasy with familiar settings—castles, streets, shops, and so on—just slightly removed from the ordinary by means of a wall that divides the city of Talystasia, one that seems to possess very malignant powers, then read on.
The story centers principally on four characters: Andreas Telyra, the short-tempered ruler of Talystasia East; one of his slaves, an adolescent girl named Julia; Roselia Loren, the ruler of Talystasia West, put there by the murder of her father and brother by Andreas, and her sudden military commander, a traitorous lieutenant-turned general named Corin Costellic. He’s sudden because, during a battle with Andreas’ forces, he and his team assassinated the entire command in a brutal act designed, ostensibly, to save the military from continued degeneracy and sloth. Roselia (Rose) can’t be sure. Corin’s motives are obscure from the get-go. The problem is, her family’s aren’t. Greedy to the last, filthy with the urge to claim the throne, she has no one she can trust and no one she can turn to. Corin’s protection is all she has.
She has no experience ruling. Scared for her very life, she knows that the ruler across the Wall is bloodthirsty and heartless. Or—that’s what she’s heard her entire life, especially from her father and brother, both of whom die at his hands. But when Talystasia West’s forces break and Andreas’ men flood her half of the city, she is confronted by Andreas himself, who, miraculously, spares her life.
Andreas, for his part, despises his life. He doesn’t want to rule, and never has. But he had no choice. As it turns out, both ruling sides are bound by mysterious metal circlets that “choose” the new ruler and which, literally, bind themselves to their heads. When Rose’s father and brother dies, the circlet that was on her father’s head rolls horribly to her. She has no choice but to put it on, because if she doesn’t, it’ll do it itself.
Andreas has worn his circlet for twenty-two years. And the bloodlust he’s been accused of, and is in fact guilty of, is increasing. His relationship with Julia, his personal slave, has always been precarious: he’s beaten her viciously in the past, but now the beatings are getting out of his control. He knows one day he will kill her, and will probably enjoy it, too. Julia, full of courage and spit, refuses to abandon him, and in fact goes out of her way one night to save him. She sees—or tries to see—good in him, even when he’s brutalizing her. As a character of contradictions, you can’t get more contrast than Julia. Then again, Andreas, her beloved master, seems increasingly torn by his. Something’s going to give, and when it does, death will likely work overtime.
You aren’t going to find wizards and magic spells flying about the place in this work, and that’s a good thing. This place—Talystasia—is just slightly removed from our world. The magic that’s there seems constrained to the circlets and to the Wall, and to the Elders, elemental beings tasked with or integral to the health of the world, which, they tell Andreas, is suffering more and more. We see that magic doesn’t make people better, that sloth and indolence and vapidity are just as common here, just as hateful. No one, for example, questions the anonymous power of the circlets. They’re simply accepted, and power is conferred absolutely to the ones they choose. People are seen for what they are, both here and there: as mooing, subservient, unthinking cattle.
If you want a totally engrossing, thought-provoking, character-driven fantasy, this is your book. It’s dark, and oftentimes it’s very depressing. But there are distinct glimmers of hope in the morass and blood and brutality, and genuine humanity shines out even during the darkest days. You’ll hold to them, as I did, and in so doing find yourself caring deeply about Andreas and Julia, Roselia and Corin.