GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ The Story Behind the Story: The Princes of Stone and Steel by Sarah Zolton Arthur + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Story Behind the Story: The Princes of Stone and Steel by Sarah Zolton Arthur + giveaway

I bet you’re wondering about what would cause a normally sane person to write a book based on the game rock, paper, scissors. Me too--kidding. I was on vacation with my boys up at Mackinac Island in the Straits of Mackinaw in Michigan. The sun shone bright with a light breeze dancing over the beach. There was the sound of gulls screeching overhead, and that smell of water that only comes off a large body of water. That’s where I wrote what would become chapter 2, or Millicent Merchant 1820s.

So into this story, when my boys began arguing over a toy, I had them rock, paper, scissors it out to decide who got to play with it first. That’s honestly how it came about. No one had done it, based a book on the game, so why didn’t I?

I’ll continue to write my steamy romance but YA PNR and fantasy are where I found my love of writing again. It’s where my heart is at. No matter what I write in the future, I won’t stop.

The name of the land is Roshambo, it’s the lesser-known name of rock, paper, scissors. Sometimes you see it spelled Rochambeau but I changed the spelling because some people had a hard time in those early days pronouncing it.

Since it’s based on rock, paper, scissors those clearly had to be the people of the land. I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to base their civilizations off of major civilizations in our history. Thus, we have the Vrachos, which is Greek for rock, then we have the Forfex which is Latin literally for scissors, and Papyrus people. Papyrus is clearly the ancient Egyptian word for paper.

The role of the flesh in the story came to me because you need people to play it. Hands. Hands covered in… wait for it… flesh! This is the start of a series because, with rock clans, paper clans, and scissor clans, somebody’s always up to something. Plus, there are other major civilizations to pull from that have the potential to cause trouble.

The Princes of Stone and Steel (Roshambo Rising Book 1)
by Sarah Zolton Arthur
July 6, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
She must remember the past to save the future. 

What starts as the abduction of Millie Merchant turns into an awakening of bitter truth. Her life is a lie. Her family a fake. It’s all been part of an elaborate hoax to keep her from her destiny. A destiny that lies in the land of Roshambo.

The lines between fantasy & reality blur as she’s transported to a fantastical realm boarding on extinction. Struggling to make sense of it all, Millie is presented with two princes determined to win her hand. One has her best interest at heart, the other seeks control of the realm. But who can she trust in a world full of strangers?

War is looming. Nightmarish beasts prowl the lands. It falls to Millie to be the salvation of Roshambo. For she alone is the ruler the Outliers have been searching for. The origins of rock, paper, scissors come alive in a tale far more twisted than a simple child’s game.

Korrigan was right. If I played my cards right, I could probably find myself in a lip lock with several men tonight. The question was: Did I want to? I wasn’t exactly in my element here. She sauntered up to the bar in full-on Korrigan mode, swaying her hips seductively, throwing me a wink over her shoulder. Korrigan knew how to work a room.

Me, I stayed close, trying not to make eye contact or any sudden movements.

“Kori. Looking gorgeous as always.” The bartender, one of the highly-tattooed, highly-pierced, leather-and-denim-wearing masses, shot her a sly smile. “What can I get you?”

“Two of my usual,” she answered dryly, looking around everywhere but at him, as if already bored with the conversation.

“Coming right up.” Bartender-man’s tone wasn’t dry, and I got the sense that this was some sort of game the two played on a regular basis. “Who’s your friend there?” He gestured with his chin toward me.

“This is Mils. We work together.”

“Mils.” He smiled that same slick smile my way and handed off my bottle.

“Come on, girl.” She took my hand, leading us straight into the middle of the dancefloor. “Time to have some fun.”

Well, dancing had never been my forte but following Korrigan’s lead, I swayed my hips with my arms lifted in the air. Pretty much whatever move she threw out, I copied. Men pressed up against her backside dancing. Men pressed up against my backside dancing. A different guy than the one currently attempting to grind against me, most likely intoxicated, rather loudly asked my name again.

“Mils,” Kori answered just as loudly right as the music died to start a slow song. When I turned around to see who had asked my name, it didn’t matter once I saw him walking my way. I’d never seen such a stunningly handsome man before in my life. My mouth went dry and my feet forgot how to work. A zing of electric excitement trilled down my spine when we locked eyes. Holy-ever-loving-moly. Did I say my mouth went dry? Because it did and I became momentarily stupid.

Short, spiky blond hair the color of rose gold. Even through the haze of smoke, his eyes shone just short of glistening this startling silver-gray, reminding me of brushed aluminum. Majestically high, slightly rounded cheekbones and straight nose. Tall and toned, his sculpted biceps pushed the boundaries of the black T-shirt fabric’s stretch. In short, he appeared before me, the epitome of my ideal male perfection. Like a dream, he kept walking until we stood face to face, not moving.

“Mils?” he whispered, running a finger lightly up the length of my arm, spiking the tiny hairs along with my blood pressure. I was lucky to get my head to nod. Why he’d be paying me a lick of attention when Korrigan stood mere inches from us dumbfounded me.

“D-Do you have a name?” Great. Stuttering now. My embarrassment quickly waned, though, as a look flashed in his eyes when I asked his name. Disappointment, maybe?

“You can call me ‘Steele.’” Steele. His voice deep and smooth, but almost metallic at the fringes. I had the feeling that maybe I should have known him, possibly a local celebrity.

“Nice to meet you, Steele.”

“Nice to meet you, Mils.” Humorlessly, he laughed at the way he said my name and pulled on the hem of my leather vest until no space remained between us.

On any normal day, I’d have been put off by being laughed at. Today, however, was no normal day, and I found myself too mesmerized by the man to care.

Then, with his hands low on my hips, he swayed us slowly.

The moment might have been calm, but someone forgot to inform my heart because the way I felt it pounding in my chest, it must have thought we were slam dancing. Steele rested his forehead down in the crook of my neck. The whole experience felt glorious until his lips brushed my skin. He trailed his finger up and down my arm as he pressed his lips to the pulse on my neck. I stilled in his arms.

“Mils? What’s wrong?” Those eyes captured me, pulled me into them with the gravitational force of a black hole.

“I’ve never been… That is…” I released a long breath before continuing. “No one has ever kissed me before.”

There. That flash of disappointment in his eyes again.

“Then let me be your first.” Steele brought his mouth up so close to mine, his glorious scent, some mixture of fruity and minty, filled my nose. I closed my eyes as he closed the minute gap, brushing his lips softly at first against mine. His breath hitched. My breath hitched. And then he pressed deeper, not hurried, but like he cared about this kiss. The electric trill spread from my spine to all my extremities—arms and legs and fingers and feet.

When he pulled back, it took me a moment to collect myself. I wanted to scold him for doing so. I wanted him to kiss me and keep on kissing me until neither of us could stand any longer. Or until the bar closed and they kicked us out where we would have to go somewhere else to keep on kissing.

He began to sway our bodies again, and it didn’t matter that the song had switched back to fast, heavy and hard-hitting. Our dance felt intimate, as if he and I alone danced in this room full of people. My reaction to this stranger confused me yet felt as natural as laughing at the same time.

“Will you remember tonight?” He spoke softly into my ear. A curious question.

“Of course, I’ll remember tonight. I don’t think I could ever forget you.”

About the Author:
Sarah Zolton Arthur is a USA TODAY Bestselling author of Adult Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Rom-Com, LBGTQ+, and PNR author who recently decided to dip her toes in the world of YA Fantasy. She spends her days embracing the weirdly wonderful parts of life with her two kooky sons while pretending to be a responsible adult. And there is plenty of the weird and wonderful to go around with her older son being autistic and the younger being a plain ol' wisecracker.

She resides in Michigan, where the winters bring cold, and the summers bring construction. The roads might have potholes, but the beaches are amazing.

Above all else, she lives by these rules. Call them Sarah's life edicts: In Sarah's world all books have kissing and end in some form of HEA. Because really, what more do you need in life?

$25 Amazon Giftcard, a Princes of Stone and Steel notebook and a premium 22oz. insulated water bottle with logo
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I like the crown. Sounds like a read I'd enjoy.

  2. I really like the different textures of the cover.

  3. I like the way the cover was done with texture.

  4. Very nice cover. Also like the description of your book. Thanks.