Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Tours virtual book tour for Cal Black’s Fantasy Western/Gaslamp Fantasy novel No Land For Heroes! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with two of the main characters of the book, Deputy Midred Berry and Golbert Goldman!
You can find the excerpt below, along with all of the info about the book, the author, links to purchase a copy of No Land For Heroes for yourself, and a chance to win a copy in our giveaway! Also, be sure to take a look at the schedule here or at the bottom of the post and follow along to see the stops from our other awesome hosts!
No Land For Heroes by Cal Black
Series: Legends & Legacies #1
Genre: Fantasy Western/Gaslamp Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: May 10, 2022
Publisher: Bearberry Studio (Self Published)
Mildred Berry is down to her last four bullets…
In a wild west where the only things more dangerous than outlaws are dragons, Deputy Berry is struggling to protect her town and keep her family fed. As a last resort, she robs a train for ammunition only to find that the cargo she needs so badly was owned by war hero Frederic Rousseau.
The same Frederic Rousseau whom she served during the Amelior Civil War. The same Frederic Rousseau she’s been hiding from for the last five years.
Millie knows a secret that could ruin Rousseau’s life, and he’ll stop at nothing to keep her from telling the truth. With her violent past bearing down on the life she’s built for herself, Millie has to decide how far she’ll be willing to go to keep her town safe.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/NoLandForHeroes
Would you mind introducing yourselves to our readers?
Millie: I’m deputy Mildred Berry, from Scorched Bluffs.
Gilbert: Gilbert Goldman here, owner of Goldman National Bank.
Millie: how is it ‘national’ when it’s only in one city?
Gilbert: I dream big.
What music do you listen to?
Millie: I have an old guitar that I play on sometimes and I sing lullabies to get my daughters to sleep, but out on the frontier, the best kind of music is just listening to the world. The sweep of wind through the prairie grass, birdsong in the morning, and cicadas in the summer heat.
Gilbert: Well, personally, I quite like a string quartet. That’s a group of four fiddles, Deputy, but some are big and sound deeper. Those are called violas and cellos.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
Gilbert: A strong cup of coffee in the morning, the day’s paper with financial reports, and a good book to read to my little Sarah. She can’t sleep without a good story at night. What about you, deputy?
Millie: My axes, water, and flint.
Gilbert: I think they were hoping for personal items.
Millie: Those are my personal items. What kind of woman doesn’t have an axe? A woman who’s not going to live very long in the wild, that’s who.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you’d like to have with you?
Gilbert: If you say your axe–
Millie: My axe. It’s a good tool, it lets me chop wood, dig for roots, and kill anyone who tries to take my supplies.
Gilbert: You are a very scary woman.
Millie: Thank you.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Gilbert: That’s unfair. You also hate drunks.
Millie: I’m changing my answer to ‘drunk bankers’.
Gilbert: I can’t argue with that. We’re terrible when we drink, we talk about math.
What do you do in your free time?
Gilbert: Well, I used to go to the men’s club, but these days apparently I go out to the frontier to look for cargo that was already insured. That someone else could find.
Millie: With two girls to feed, there’s never enough free time.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
Millie: Usually my daughter, Rasha. She’s a morning person. Oh wait, you said ‘want’ not ‘makes you get out of bed’.
Gilbert: My own daughter, Sarah. She’s not a morning person, but sleepy cuddles are the best part of my day.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Gilbert: The market is a gamble, but if you understand what the economy needs, then you’re already ahead of half the financiers who never leave their offices.
Millie: That sounds boring. Mine was ‘don’t trust the rich’.
What do you carry in your bag?
Gilbert: A book, funds for any purchases I might need to make, different news papers and financial reports that get delivered every morning to the house.
Gilbert: How many dead animals?
Millie: …two, they’re supper. Why did you look into my bag?
Gilbert: I didn’t. You just seem the type to carry around dead things.
Millie: Dead things that are food. Anyways, they’re just jackalopes.
What’s your favorite animal?
Gilbert: I don’t think they mean ‘to eat’. I think dogs are wonderful companions, they’re so loyal and would make an excellent companion for little Sarah.
Millie: Fyodor, but don’t let him hear that. He’d never let me get over it.
Gilbert: Fyodor is the Sheriff’s dog?
Millie: The big one, yeah. He’s… a good dog.
Gilbert: He is.
What do you think about the others?
Millie: The banker and detective need to leave. They’re annoying and sticking their noses where they don’t belong.
Gilbert: The women in town are so hostile. Normally my charm wins people over but here it just makes things worse. Sweetpea has been lovely, though.
Millie: She’s like that with everyone, don’t start feeling special.
Do you have a favorite saying?
Gilbert: Do I? I don’t know if I do. I call my little Sarah a ‘stormcloud’, I suppose.
Millie: ‘Shoot first, ask questions later.’
Gilbert: That seems counterproductive. The dead can’t answer your questions. Can they?
Millie: I didn’t say shoot them in the head. Take out their knee and then they can’t run away from your questions and they’ll know you’re serious. Two birds, one stone.
What is your favorite holiday?
Gilbert: Midwinter’s celebration of lights. It’s not widely observed this far from the city, but it’s very special to me and my family. A time to appreciate who I have in my life.
Gilbert: No snarky comment?
Millie: No. That sounds nice. I guess… I don’t have a favourite holiday. I forget about most of them, to be honest.
If you could go anywhere in [the book’s world], where would you go and why?
Gilbert: I wouldn’t mind travelling to the Arroyan Empire’s capital archipelago. They don’t allow outsiders to visit, however, but how exciting would it be to be the first human welcomed to the capital islands?
Millie: Scorched Bluffs.
Gilbert: But you already live there.
Millie: Yup. And I like it. It’s usually quiet.
What do you do to relax?
Gilbert: A nice glass of whiskey, or reading to Sarah at night.
Millie: I sit outside at night and watch the stars.
What is your favorite food?
Gilbert: Coffee is a beverage, not food.
Millie: It can be. What’s yours? Some fancy tiny cakes?
Gilbert: Smoked pinkfish, actually.
What is your favorite season?
Millie: You don’t need to correct me, it means the same thing.
Gilbert: I wasn’t correcting you, tsk. So angry. I was merely saying that my favourite season is also autumn.
How would you define happiness?
Gilbert: Security. Knowing you and your family are stable and won’t have to worry about expenses.
What are you passionate about?
Gilbert: She’s going to say ‘coffee’ again.
Millie: No… I… fine. Coffee.
Gilbert smiles, smug.
How do you feel about your government?
Gilbert: They could change some of the financial legislation to help standardize banking practices and interest rates, but otherwise they’re better than the alternative was.
Millie: Long as they leave me alone, I’ll leave them alone.
If you could change one thing about the Amelior Union, what would it be?
Millie: Make it safer for non humans. We deserve as much opportunity and security as much as round ears do.
Gilbert: That. I’ve yet to see a difference in ability between any nonhuman person and a human, given equal opportunity.
Millie: Stop making me like you.
What’s your biggest secret?
Gilbert: Wouldn’t you like to know!
Millie: Next question.
What do you hate?
Millie: Rich assholes.
Gilbert: Low ceilings. I’m over six and a half feet tall. How do orcs manage to get in and out of places where even I have to duck?
Millie: They usually aren’t allowed in those buildings.
Gilbert: Which is also something I hate.
What’s your biggest fear?
Gilbert: Failing my daughter and leaving her penniless and hungry.
Millie is quiet for a moment.
Millie: Disappointing my daughters.
What do you think your best quality is?
Gilbert: My smile. [he grins, Millie rolls her eyes] Actually my financial acumen. I’ve always found math to be quite fascinating, but more so when applied to the real world and economy.
Millie: Ugh, bankers.
Gilbert: Her best quality is that she snores.
Millie: No, it’s not. I mean, I do snore, but I’m good at rolling with the punches. Things don’t always go how you want them to. If you freeze, you die. I’ve learned to adapt in those situations.
How would you describe the world you live in?
Gilbert: Right now? Dusty.
Millie: Crap. But it won’t get better unless we try to make it better.
Gilbert: Well, that’s… remarkably optimistic, deputy. For you, at least.
About the Author
Cal Black is a Canadian writer based in Ontario who enjoys writing about messy people who make an effort to improve their situation. Cal has a short story published, was a semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest, and won a Wattpad Watty award in 2019 for Fantasy. After realising she prefers to write novels instead of short stories, Cal shifted gears and is now writing gaslamp fantasy, cosmic fantasy, and has a bad habit of ‘trying out new genres’ when already full up on projects.
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