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King Mai (The Lost and Founds)

King Mai (The Lost and Founds) [Kindle Edition]

Edmond Manning
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Adopted from Thailand and never one to fit in with the local bubbas, life has been rough around the edges for Mai Kearns, even before he came out of the closet. Now, almost ten years past the torture of high school, Mai still can't catch a break: he and his parents stand to lose their beloved farm.

How will a “King Weekend” help change Mai’s fate? What has narrator Vin Vanbly been up to for the four weeks he’s been sneaking around Mai’s hometown? At the urging of a ransom note from ‘The Lost Kings,’ Mai embarks on an impossible treasure hunt chasing mystic poetry, Fibonacci Hopscotch, ancient prophecy, the letter ‘x,’ and a confounding, penguin-marching army.

The stakes are high: if Mai fails, the Lost Kings will permanently claim him as their own. Finding the treasure may unlock the secret to saving his family farm. But can this angry farmer risk opening his broken heart before the weekend is over? Mai Kearns has 40 hours to get very, very curious in this second installment of The Lost and Founds.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 770 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing (13 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #460,508 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Edmond Manning (1967- ) Edmond Manning has always been fascinated by fiction: how ordinary words could be sculpted into heartfelt emotions, how heartfelt emotions could leave an imprint inside you stronger than the real world.

He finally realized that he didn't have to write like Charles Dickens or Armistead Maupin, two author heroes, and that perhaps his own fiction was juuuuuuust right, because it was his true voice, so he looked around the scrappy word kingdom that he created for himself and shouted, "I'M HOME!"

He is now a writer.

In addition to fiction, Edmond enjoys writing non-fiction on his blog, When not writing, he can be found either picking raspberries in the back yard or eating panang curry in an overstuffed chair upstairs, reading comic books.

Feel free to contact him at

Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
This story felt restrained, contained, and in all good ways. Mai is the personification of that need for restraint, containment. At least in his mind. This is in beautiful contrast to his true need but current inability to be completely free with his heart. Enter: Vin Vanbly.

Mai has a pretty healthy and active BS detector when it comes to Vin, though. This makes for naturally recurring stand-offs, of varying levels. As a result, we get to know more about each of them, what is between them, what is beyond the both of them and how it can all lead to possibly being found.

There is a line in chapter three that boldly displays what Vin himself is looking for, even if he hasn’t quite yet been able to allow himself to try… that we know of. Mai is instrumental in creaking open the doorway to this life’s desire of Vin’s. I too believe in the “big green”.

”I believe in the rich, green love which binds us all. I find myself outside that connection most days, but I recognize it. I appreciate it, and want it for my life!”

This speaks both to what Vin is searching for and the fact that Mai is a good match, a foil, a support for Vin in his endeavor. This story feels it is as much about Vin’s struggles as it is about Mai’s. I love this. It’s a skeptical, humorous, painful, sexy and tender metaphorical and emotional boxing match. There be ducking and weaving, y’all, ducking and weaving. And exploratory examination. And celebratory joy.

It takes heart to write like this, with no barriers between the words and the reader, me. You have to be able to look into the hearts of others, but more importantly, into your own. That’s not always easy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book 18 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved Edmond Manning's first book, King Perry. I loved it so much that although I was really excited about the release of this book, I was a little nervous, too. I think a good first book, especially when it's also the first in a series, puts a huge burden on the author. They set the bar so high it almost seems inevitable that they will fail to follow it up. As a reader, I have come to know that I have to manage my expectations, especially as there is always a selfish part of me that wants more, that wants the next book to be even better.

I can't say that King Mai is better than King Perry. I can say that it's as least as good as King Perry. I can say that I read it with wide eyes, sometimes gasping at Vin Vanbly's audacity, sometimes grinding my teeth in sympathetic frustration with Mai Kearns. I can say that it made me cry and it made me laugh out loud. I can say that even when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. I resisted the temptation to race through it, instead savouring it a little at a time, forcing myself to put it down and do something else while I digested what I had just read.

King Mai is set a few years before King Perry. The Vin Vanbly we meet is less experienced and, although he hides them well from Mai, we are allowed to see his doubts, the little mistakes he makes. Vin is still an enigma; we get very little of his background until the very end of the book, when he tells Mai a heart-wrenching tale to illustrate why the world needs a King of Curiosity. Mai is a very different protagonist to Perry. He's full of anger and sees adversity everywhere, even when it doesn't exist. Mai is a man under siege.

Mai struggled so much with everything that Vin asked of him.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 15 Aug 2013
By Sunettie - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Another amazing book by this author. I've read so many books and none have spurred me to write a review before. I just feel like these books need to be more well known.

There are so many novels out there where the story is so formulaic. I know that every time I near the 80% mark in my Kindle that I'm nearing the point of the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING or the BIG EXTERNAL EVENT that tears a couple apart. I know it's necessary because I'll probably hate the book even more if it doesn't have the character arc (that which I hate is what I love... I know, it's a paradox (with an X no less. ;)) but still...

Anyways, this book (and King Perry) blew my mind. So many things were unexpected and I immediately needed to go back and re-read parts of both books within hours of finishing each. I'll probably need to read both books multiple times to even capture all the things I missed during the first read. (Like the John Deere hat showing up in the King Perry book).

Please read these novels. If you're looking for something different, something that will bring you to tears, that will crush you and then build you back up, then take a chance on VV and his King Weekends.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful second book in a unique series 15 July 2013
By K - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The first book in this series, "King Perry", took me by surprise in a completely delightful way. "The Lost and Founds" is projected to be a six-book-series, an episodic journey of discovery as we find out who the enigmatic narrator, Vin Vanbly, really is. The author has promised us a romance for Vin himself at the end, with the sixth book. In the first five books this amazingly talented writer leads us in steps along that journey, as Vin interacts with men who are not destined to be his one true love, but who, in the time they spend together, will be changed and will change him in fascinating and unpredictable ways.

In "King Perry", Vin began that process of revelation, in a fun-house mirror way. We got hints and glimpses, distorted around the laugh-out-loud fun of Alcatraz security and ducks, and the emotional moments of lost fathers and Lost Kings. The book was like an amusement ride in the best of parks, totally unexpected with surprises and emotions tumbling over one another. One of my favorites of last year - I've read it three times.

"King Mai" is a different book, and that's perfect, because the startled wonder of "King Perry" couldn't be sustained through six books. There needs to be something different happening, and in this one, warmer and deeper emotions came into play.

Mai is a stronger character than Perry, and a more interesting one. His small-town life with its prejudices and friends, its wealth in land and poverty in dollars, drew me in from the start. Mai is a man struggling against the odds, and I urgently wanted him to succeed. And Vin's interaction with him was different too - more emotional, sexier, less certain, and more intense than with Perry in the previous book. This book is actually set earlier, and we see a Vin who is slightly less well-prepared, less sure of his methods. The secondary characters also mattered more, both to Mai and to me as a reader. There are sweeter moments than in "King Perry", and I cared more about Mai's life as the story ended. And there is a tantalizing hint of the magical in this book. Are there really Lost and Found Kings?

And yeah, I know this is release day for King Mai, but I want the next one... soon, please? Vin has shown us vulnerability and hurt in this book, and some deeper hints about his childhood and the abuses that shaped the mysterious man he is today. I'm becoming attached to him in a way I was not after the first book. I want to know more.

In the short term, I'll settle for the sweet epilogue given to Mai, and for the tantalizing first three chapters of Book Six that are on the author's website. Yes - Mr. Manning is giving us Book Six a bit at a time, interwoven in sections with the first five. The start is promising, with a hint of who Vin's own love may turn out to be. The process is unexpected, but that's one of the things I love most about this series and this writer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost no more! 11 Aug 2013
By Jo Broshar - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished King Mai this morning and it made me weep. If I had a brother, and he was a lost king, I would want someone like Vin to help him be found. The writing was outstanding and I am sorry it had to end so soon. I am anxious to know more about Vin, the lost ones and how they ultimately get found. Thanks Edmond........I appreciate a really good story and you never disappoint!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and brilliant. 7 Aug 2013
By Heather K - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I think Edmond Manning is a genius.

Honestly, there is no other explanation. How does he come up with these fantastical, hilarious, heartbreaking, complicated stories that come together so perfectly in the end? HOW!? That or magic. He possibly sold his soul to make this story work out so beautifully. And it really did. It was an amazing story.

This book reminds me a lot of Melina Marchetta's writing in that little details that don't seem important, weave together to become this huge, cosmic masterpiece. Edmond Manning has a true way with words. I liked this book even more than "King Perry", which came before it (which I recommend you read before you read this one).

How can I describe this book? It is like a fairytale that combines erotica, humor, poignancy, mystery and adventure. Like with the first, I had no idea what was going to happen next. However, in this book (because I knew that I was going to be clueless going into it), I just sat back and enjoyed the journey.

I think I also liked Mai better than Perry. Mai was one feisty bastard. He was hurt and had all of these walls up and it took a lot of effort on Vin's part to break him down. Mai was so interesting and strong. I loved him and felt like I knew him well. Vin... don't even get me started on Vin. I don't think I have ever been so curious about a character in my life. Edmond Manning inserts these little snippets that give us tiny hints about Vin's past. I was like a little chipmunk, collecting and storing facts to try to piece together the mystery that is Vin. He is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. I need to know more about him. I want his story. Like now. Please, don't make me beg Mr. Manning.

What really sold me on this one was that as emotional and difficult this book could be at times, it was simultaneously hilarious. Like so freaking witty. For example, Mai and Vin have this easy banter between them that involves calling each other "Mary" and "Mare" like from Mary Tyler Moore. The inserts of Mare/Mary were so perfect.

"Now that is one helluva man's kiss."
"Thanks, Mare," he says softly.
"Ewwwww." I push him away. "Not while kissing."

Lots of other moments were so funny in a you-had-to-be-there kind of way. But they broke up the book when it got to be too confusing or too intense. And this book was intense. The reader is incredibly connected to Vin and Mai and personally invested in their stories.

This series has limitless possibilities. Will the experience of reading about a "King's Weekend" ever get old? Maybe. But I'm confident that Edmond Manning will find new and brilliant ways to keep this series interesting. He is just that good.

**Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart of Gold 24 July 2013
By Ann E. Byassee - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is difficult to know what to say about a book like King Mai. A summary of the plot tells you very little of what the book is really about. And the theme of the novel is simple... and so not. Think of an ear of corn with hundreds of leaves. Each leaf has to be peeled back deliberately and with care in order to reach the gold at its heart.

You don't have to read King Perry first to enjoy King Mai. (Read it anyway!) This story takes place before King Perry. The narrator, Vin Vanbly, is less assured in his efforts to "King" Mai Kearns (you must read the novel to learn what that means), but his efforts are every bit as heartfelt, and in the difficulties he encounters are clues to the man himself. Vin is a character who is wrapped in enigma, and his journey is as engaging as that of Mai or Perry. Ultimately, it will probably be the most important journey in the series, the one that encompasses them all. At least, that is my hope, because I care more and more deeply for this amazing man.

Of course, Mai is Vin's focus in this novel, and Mai is a wonderful character. He is at once the ultimate outsider and the ultimate insider in the Midwestern landscape he occupies. By the end of the novel, you know him, and if you know him, you can't help but love him. He is as tough and raw as the land and as beautiful as, well, a butterfly tree.

The landscape itself is an important character in the novel, as much as any of the wonderful cast of supporting characters, and the author will have you seeing, hearing, and smelling the cornfields right along with Vin and Mai. And I said this of King Perry and say it again here, this author has the deftest touch with metaphors of any writer I have ever read. Sometimes, I found myself reading one over and over just out of sheer delight.

I cannot recommend this novel, and its predecessor, strongly enough. It is not just a book to read; it is an experience, one to be absorbed slowly and deliberately with all senses and emotions engaged. It is a koan. And the koan is "we are all destined for spring."
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