October 24, 2016
Hello Readers! Welcome to our Tour Stop for
The Fourth Piece by E. Ardell!
We have the author on the blog today for a quick Q&A!
Follow the rest of the tour by clicking on the banner above,
and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war…
Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular…so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human—until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option.
In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies—and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.
Book I in the Order’s Last Play series
The Fourth Piece (Order’s Last Play #1)
by E. Ardell
Publication Date: July 18, 2016
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Thank you for having me! I’m very excited to be given this opportunity to talk your ears off!
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
Four brothers. One prophecy. Worlds apart. When your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, 9-1-1 isn’t an option.
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
Well, for this particular book, the story itself has been with me since the sixth grade. I’ve always had the characters, what they were about, their powers, and their dynamics but no straight plot. I’ve played with so many plot ideas and have multiple novels (that will NEVER see the light of day) written about the main characters doing various crazy things.
What inspired the characters and the ideas I knew I wanted to go into the plot of The Fourth Piece?
You’re really making me reach back into the Stone Ages for this information (the 90’s.) It was my love of watching Star Trek Generations, Space Cases, The Secret World of Alex Mack, reading G. Clifton Wisler’s The Mind Trap, L.J. Smith’s Heart of Valor, and all of my favorite little girl shows about kids being chosen and given special powers to save the world: Captain Planet, Rainbow Brite, The Tomorrow People… I can go on. I also have a burning passion for stories that allude to Arthurian Legend, especially the prophecy of his return.
I took elements of just about everything I loved to create the world, the missions of the characters, and then labored over a plot that could contain all of that. I’ve had a lot of awful drafts, and a lot of awful feedback, lol. I shelved the project for years, wrote something totally different, then came back and looked at current real world events and finally came up with a plausible plot, and looked at current YA trends to revamp the writing style. Then, I was off. The Fourth Piece evolved as I wrote it, and the story ended up taking a turn I didn’t expect, but I liked and went with it.
I know that answer was all over the place, but the process of developing this story is complicated and spanned over decades. (Oh man, decades. The 90’s was decades ago.) I’m going to stop this before I start feeling geriatric. In short, I had many inspirations and, as far as I can remember, there was no isolated or singular event that made me think of this particular story.
Tell us about the main character(s).
Devon Ladreth, 17, is your typical pretty boy jock, or rather he wants to be typical. In the world of The Fourth Piece, being too different might make people think you’re an alien or mixed (the term is “vulatto”) and if you’re into X-Men or just keeping up with current events and seeing how people of different ethnicities are being treated in the US right now, you don’t want to be outside of the majority. Devon is too strong to be normal, and heals like Wolverine (albeit slower) and he can’t let anyone find out, not even his family, because they might want to talk about it. Devon doesn’t like to dwell on his differences. He wants to be just as boring and forgettable as his friends. He enjoys playing sports, running and lifting weights because he’s got a lot of pent in anxiety he works through this way. He’s fiercely protective and doesn’t like to see weaker people being picked on, but he’s not so sure he’d step in if that weaker person is an obvious vulatto or an alien out of fear of being labeled a sympathizer or worse. He hates that he’s a coward, but he doesn’t know if he wants to fix it because that would mean he’d have to reveal himself.
Lyle Ladreth, 17, is Devon’s fraternal twin brother and a telempath (both a telepath and an empath) with some telekinetic abilities and a little foresight. His powers are hard on him. He suffers from the crushing thoughts and emotions from the outside world and the effects of that have made him mean and a little apathetic toward people unrelated to him. Before high school, Lyle and Devon were close, and Lyle confided in Devon, sharing his fears about maybe going crazy from all of the noise. Being able to speak freely helped, but then in high school Devon, in his quest to be normal, pulled away from Lyle. Lyle has since isolated himself. He has no desire to make friends, because he sees all people as shallow, and leaves behind a string of girlfriends, because the emotions brought about by romantic interactions are like candy for his brain. Lyle has no driving need to prove himself to anyone, or be anything more than what he currently is… and then the story begins and he’s got to chance his outlook.
Lawrence “Lawrie” Ladreth, is a 16-year-old genius and adrenaline junkie. He loves dirt-biking, skateboarding, tinkering and taking apart machinery, over-clocking computer, and computer programming. He’s a sponge, endlessly curious with a love of learning. He also can’t keep himself out of trouble. Danger excites him. He’s loud, outspoken and his classmates love inviting him out just to see what he’ll do next. He’s got a strange sense of humor and never seems to have a care in the world. Maybe it comes from being the baby of the family with two older brothers who could be viewed as uptight, but he’s the bubbly one. Lawrie has friends in high places who think he has potential to be a great person with lots of influence in the future. Lawrie doesn’t know about all that, but he knows he doesn’t like to see people being treated unfairly. And unlike Devon, who’s too afraid to, and Lyle, who just doesn’t care enough to, Lawrie will try to do something to help, even if it means he gets hurt in the process.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
My favorite quote has to be when one of the brothers, Evan (who’s more of a guest star in this book) say: “Been talking to politicians I see. Yeah, I broke the law. Upon request.”
My favorite part in the book are the scenes that happen after the Kemah Boardwalk incident. That was a major plot-point that came out of nowhere for me. I had a plan, but the characters that emerged after it the incident occurred had their own plans and took the story to a brand new place.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
I had a hard time writing one of Lyle’s scenes, because it is a scene that if, read in the wrong light, can make him out to be a horrible person. I went back and forth on whether the scene should even be included, but in the end, I needed it as a catalyst for his character in future books.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
I’m working on the sequel to The Fourth Piece, titled: The Third Gambit. This one takes place completely off-planet and really gets into what the whole series is about. The Fourth Piece, I feel, was necessary to build the world and the three Earthborn brothers. One reviewer said The Fourth Piece is like a prequel, and it is in a certain way. It lays the groundwork for future stories, but a lot of the time, prequels aren’t totally necessary for comprehension of a story line. The Fourth Piece is necessary.
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!
Once again, thank you for having me! I told you I’d talk your ear off! I hope it wasn’t terribly boring for you, and I’d love to stop by again! Take care!
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