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historical fiction

Spotlight & $25 GC Giveaway: On the Threshold by M. Laszlo

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on the threshhold

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish PromotionsOne randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $25 Amazon/ gift card.  Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Description of On the Threshold


Obsessed with learning the origins of the cosmos, the actual meaning of life, and the true purpose of civilization, a fine Scotsman named Fingal T. Smyth dedicates himself to the study of Plato’s most extraordinary ideas. Convinced of Plato’s belief that humankind possesses any and all innate knowledge deep within the collective unconscious mind, Fingal soon conducts a series of bold, pioneering occult-science experiments by which to resolve the riddle of the universe once and for all. However, Fingal forgets how violent and perilous the animal impulses that reside in the deepest recesses of the unconscious mind. And when Fingal unleashes a mysterious avatar of his innate knowledge, the entity appears as a burning man and immediately seeks to manipulate innocent and unsuspecting people everywhere into immolating themselves. Now, with little hope of returning the fiery figure into his being, Fingal must capture his nemesis before it destroys the world.


Read an Excerpt of On the Threshold


on the thresholdAutumn, 1907: late one morning, some kind of torrid, invisible beast seemed to wrap itself all around Fingal T. Smyth’s body. Each one of his toes twitching fiercely, he exited the castle and scanned the distant, Scottish Highlands. Go back where you came from. As the entity wrapped itself tighter all about his person, Fingal blinked back his tears. I’m melting, I am. Aye, it’s the heat of fusion.


Gradually, the beast’s heartbeat became audible—each pulsation. At the same time, too, the illusory heat of transformation emitted an odor as of oven-roasted peppercorns dissolving in a cup of burnt coffee.


Over by the gatehouse, Fräulein Wunderwaffe appeared—the little German girl wearing a plain-sewn robe and square-crown bowler. In that moment, she no longer seemed to be a sickly child of seven years: her inscrutable expression resembled that of a wise, indifferent cat.


Perhaps even some kind of lioness. Fingal cringed, and he recalled a fragment of conversation from three weeks earlier.


“She suffers from a most unnatural pathology, an anguished, maniacal obsession with cats,” Doktor Hubertus Pflug had explained. “Ever since the poor girl was a baby, she has always regarded it her fate to one day metamorphose into a glorious panther, for she believes herself to be ein Gestaltwandler. Do you know this word? It means shapeshifter and refers to someone who possesses the power to take the form of anything in nature.”


The heat radiated up and down Fingal’s spine now, and his thoughts turned back to the present. Aye, it’s a change of phase. I’m melting into a chemical compound. Despite all, he greeted the girl and willed himself to flash a grin.


Interview with Author M. Laszlo


What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

In my childhood, my mother always comforted and consoled me whenever the world had me feeling overwhelmed.


How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

The money would probably not get spent. Instead, it would end up in some or other bank account. That way, the money would provide a measure of security. In a sense, that bank account would become roughly equivalent to the security blanket that Linus always carried around with him.


Where do you get your best ideas?

The best ideas come from simply living one’s best life. The catch is that you’ve got to be observant enough and sensitive enough to assimilate the idea when it crosses your path. Here’s another thing that writers ought to remember: if you experience people gawking at or judging or expressing repulsion at someone, that’s an instance where you, the writer, must seek to understand that person receiving all that abuse and negative judgment. The task of understanding the unpopular always leads to great ideas.


What comes first, the plot or characters?

It’s impossible to say. Sometimes plot comes first, and sometimes a character or two comes first. At times, the character and his or her problem come simultaneously. All the more complicated, sometimes a story begins with some other craft element—perhaps a setting, a snippet of dialogue, or a desire to write something that experiments with the movement of time itself. Sometimes, tone itself may precede all. If a writer wishes to write something in a certain loving tone, for example, it could very well be that the appeal of the tone itself serves as the seed for an entire novel. Anything’s possible.


What does your main character do that makes him/her special?

My characters have the power to teach the reader something paramount. This is because my characters want to understand the meaning of things; moreover, my characters want to share what they have learned.


About Author M. Laszlo


on the threshold

Laszlo is an aging recluse who lives in Bath, Ohio. Rumor holds that his pseudonym is a reference to Victor Laszlo, a character in the classic film Casablanca. On the Threshold is his first release with the acclaimed, Australian hybrid house AIA Publishing. Oddly, M. Laszlo insists that his latest work, On the Threshold, does in fact provide the correct answer to the riddle of the universe.

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