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New release and New pre-order

The Invisible Amateur is out this Friday! If you haven’t pre-ordered the ebook yet you can do so here and make sure that you get yourself a copy as soon as it’s midnight! Only two and a half days to go.

TheFemaleCharmMediumThe fourth book in the Mycroft Holmes Adventures series is also now available to pre-order here and will be released on February 13th next year. Less than three months away!

Here’s a blurb:

Politics is Mycroft’s focus for the moment, but it calls him to Scotland, somewhere very much outside of London. When Sherlock refuses to help and instead enlists Amelia, Mycroft has to decide if his personal amateur is up to the task.

Despite all the scrapes and bruises, Amelia is still willing to learn from the Holmes brothers, but these latest lessons are on a whole new level. Does she have the skills she needs to survive? And is she really prepared for being in the Holmes world?

I’ve also almost finished the first drafts of 5 and 6 in the series and can confirm both will be out next year. Hopefully around early May and mid July respectively.

NaNoWriMo 2015: Update 1

I know I’m only a few days into NaNoWriMo but here’s an update of where I’m at so far.

Somehow in only two days I’ve managed to get about a third of the way into Mycroft 5. Still not a clue what the title is but I’ll probably figure that out soon.

As often happens my character’s keep surprising me and even themselves. Amelia turned out to be claustraphobic and it turns out Mycroft and Sherlock can sort of work together, but there’s evidently some history there I don’t know about yet. Daniels, the chauffeur, is also even more awesome than even Mycroft realised, and I even discovered that Mycroft does have a sense of humour! Who knew!

Research wise I plotted one heck of a route thanks to google maps. One of the most amazing tools as a quick way to be able to explain places. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have access to such a detailed map of pretty much everywhere in the world. Here’s a link for those interested. Yup Russia is involved.

Over the next week I want to get this novella finished so I can take a day off to plot the next one, as I have no idea what happens except for a few series related scenes. It does sorta need its own plot as well. After that we’ll see. I’d like to be about this far into the next one in two weeks time, maybe a little further. It all depends exactly what trouble Amelia gets herself into between now and then!

Eye of Dominion: A Review

This is the second book in the Labyrinth of Labyrinths series by David Staniforth and was gifted to me in exchange for a review. Alloria was the first and I reviewed that book here.

Eye of DominionFirstly, this cover is just epic. Got to be one of my favourites and just adds to the awesomeness of this book.

I really enjoyed Alloria so was fully expecting to like this book as well and I wasn’t disappointed. David Staniforth keeps getting better and better and this is my favourite book by him so far.

The characters were brilliantly consistent with the first book and I was very pleased to see Fluffy was back. I like how a small side plot in book one was taken to fill the mainplot in this one, although I missed all the explorative nature of the first one. This one focused more on relationships and learning over the discovery of new planets, almsot glossing over that but I still enjoyed what I was given.

Plotwise it was very nicely paced, nothing too fast but also nothing too bogged down by description. There were also some great character points of view that added to the story. The previous books lore was also built on really nicely giving the feeling of learning along with Alloria about her powers and the possible things that can happen in her world.

Occasionally the book was a little predictable, although this isn’t always a problem with a book, but at other points it was also brilliantly surprising and there were a few twists and solutions to problems I didn’t see coming.

All in all a really good read and I’ll definitely be wanting to read any more the author writes.

London Belongs to the Alchemist: A Review

This s the fourth book in the Class Heroes series by Stephen Henning and I was given a copy of the ebook in return for my review.

London Belongs to the AlchemistThis book started a little after the third book from the usual protagonists point of view and continued the adventure of Sam, James and Lolly as they try to navigate being teenagers with superpowers. It also introduces some new characters which helps to keep the plot fresh.

As usual with these books there’s plenty of action and the characters are wonderfully consistent. I adore Lolly after book 3 and this story continued to build on the way I felt about her. Definitely think she’s my favourite character now.

Plot wise, I think I still like number 3 the best but this one wasn’t far behind. My only dislike was the book having a bit of a cliffhanger ending. I will have to read the next one as soon as I can get my hands on it.

All in all another great book in the series with more of the good bits of the previous books, just don’t start this one until the next one is out if you can’t stand a cliffhanger.

Flights of Fantasy: New Release

The next anthology from Raptor Retreat Press has been released and it’s only 99p!

Flights of FantasyFlights of Fantasy is pretty obviously a fantasy collection. It is raising money for Ben Cassidy as he is fighting cancer just like Brandon Hale was last year. Being in the US comes with scarily high medical bills so he needs a little help.

In here are fifteen amazing stories by some brilliant authors and it includes the prequel story to my fantasy Winter series, titled The Hope of Winter. And if that doesn’t tempt you enough here’s the amazing blurb:

A winter’s tale of mirth and wonder, flights of fantasy that make the mind ponder. From wizards tales of classic magic told of long ago places, and dragons – oh of dragon’s lore, to a king’s champion whose heart now stirs only for a common lass.

This collection of wintry tales mixes the strange and the macabre, and swirls in a touch of holiday magic. Captured within a globe of dancing mists, these stories take the reader across the worlds of Fairie and alien alike, while Texas-sized dreams fill the void of a lifetime across the fields of hardship. This varied collection touches the heart and fuels the soul to bring these worlds to life, at winter’s edge.

So here’s those buy links: Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Where’s Lolly: A Review

This is the third book in the Class Heroes by Stephen Henning, and I was given a copy of the ebook in exchange for my review.

Where's LollyI loved the first two books in the series and the plotline in both, but this one is by far the best. Lolly is just perfect in this story and despite being the third in a series it really stands alone well. I definitely think this is my favourite so far.

None of the other major character’s are in this novella, just Lolly, which made me a little wary when first picking up the book. I didn’t like Lolly (with good reason), when reading book 1 and only started to like her a little in book 3, and while I still can’t agree with all her methods I must admit she’s really grown on me and now I’m very eager to read book 4 and see her reunited with the other characters.

In terms of the writing style, Stephen has grown as an author over the series and this one really shines. Well written with a great pace and sense of style.

Can’t wait to read book 4.

The Wonderful World of Print

Recently both Sherdan’s Prophecy and Sherdan’s Legacy were moved over to the 2nd edition, complete with the shiny new covers. I’ve also recently published Sherdan’s Country, the third book in the series, and that has a matching cover to the new editions. While I try to get my books in print fairly soon after the ebook it sometimes takes a little while to sort out the logistics, but we’re finally all there.

2015-01-14 14.12.14As you can see the new set look wonderful together, and I’m really pleased with them. They make me want to work on some further plot ideas for Sherdan’s world just so I can have some more with shiny covers like these. It’s just a shame I can’t think of a really good idea at the moment.

As usual I’m selling signed copies of these myself, so if anyone wants one, drop me a message here in the comments or to my email address under about me and I’ll get back to you with how we can make that work.

Now excuse me while I go back to stroking the shiny.

Release day: Sherdan’s Country

The books is finally available, and if you were one of the people who pre-ordered it then it probably appeared on your devices sometime around midnight.

It seems like it’s been quite a ride with these characters and I’m a little sad to have finished the third book but I’ve always made it a rule not to write sequels just for the sake of sequels so until my brain can figure out what more might happen in Sherdan and Anya’s world that’s the trilogy wrapped up.

Sherdan’s Country concludes the beginnings of Utopia and continues the fast paced action and emotion fuelled politics around the new country and its leader, so if you’ve not grabbed a copy yet and want to find out what happens you can do so at all the major ebook sellers – Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Character Spotlight: Anya

Anya is the secondary/supporting character in the Sherdan series. Somewhere between a third and two fifths of the chapters in the Sherdan world are from her point of view.

Anya is probably the female character of mine I like the least (of the good protagonists anyway). I don’t dislike her, not by a long way, but I don’t get many warm fuzzy moments over her. I do respect her. Life for her in the first two Sherdan books isn’t easy. She gets tortured, imprisoned, almost raped and plenty of other stuff on top.

My biggest problem with her is that she’s religious, and yes I know I’m going to have to explain that. I don’t mean religious as in, believes in God, I mean religious in the sense of someone who believes in God and then acts a certain way because they think they are meant to rather than is actively trying to follow Jesus because of a conviction and emotion or belief in something born from experience. Sort of how we all brush our teeth, because we are told it’s good for us, we do it twice a day. Sometimes I forget to do it and I feel no guilt, I just do it because my parents said I was meant to and for the most part I take their word for it. There’s no engagement on my part.

For the most part Anya is like that. She has been brought up to believe in God and it isn’t until she’s tortured that she starts to work out there’s more to God than just doing what he says. Because of this ‘religious’ attitude to her faith she lacks in the ability to understand Sherdan and his problem with her way of life and the downsides of this form of Christianity.

Thankfully she gets better during the books. There’s still a bunch of stuff she will and won’t do but she starts to get a feel for the concept that she’s on a journey with God and she has a unique purpose she’s meant to work out with Him that involves more than just going to church and being a good girl. She has to think for herself, tackle big things and seriously think about loving someone who’s not got the same faith background as her. In short she has to decide what matters to her and what doesn’t.

While she’s trying to work all this out she sort of screws things up a bit with Sherdan. They love each other and I think that’s fairly obvious from mid book 1 but she’s a bit shocked by it and it presents her with decisions she never thought she would have to make. She also discovers that being a ‘good’ Christian isn’t always black and white. She doesn’t want to allow someone to have sway to potentially tempt her out of her belief system so she isn’t kind to him and then she realises she’s being judgemental, which is wrong as well. It’s tough to find everything you’ve spent your life believing is off centre and not quite know how you’re meant to be treating people.

As a result of these problems she yo-yo’s quite a lot between being nice to him and pushing him away from her. It isn’t until book 2 where she realises it’s not right to shut him out because he doesn’t believe exactly what she does that she starts to allow him the respect he deserves. Although none of this is helped by how controlling he is as she’s well aware she belongs to God not to anyone else.

I think I’ll like her more as the books progress. I’m sort of hoping she mellows out a little, actually learns to trust God and allow Sherdan into her life properly so she can show him the good sides of her faith rather than all the sucky things that an imperfect faith can exhibit. Of course, he also needs to learn to trust her.

Ruler’s Desire: A Review

I was given an ebook copy of this story by the author, David Staniforth in return for my review. I reviewed the first book in the series here.

The book starts almost exactly where the previous one left off and doesn’t give you that much back story so really don’t read these out of order. With that warning done I can say these books are amazing. I think this one was even better than the first and I really liked the first.

The fantasy world is very rich and feels so believable and I love the contrasts between Davran’s home and Ronyn’s. I think I’d have liked this book expanded a little. It glossed over the change in Saurian’s mindset a little I think. Although we were told several days had passed, I think I’d have liked to see more of how he changed, but I still loved how it was done and I didn’t see the link from the backstory coming.

For any fantasy reader these really are great to read. They don’t take long (I read this in one evening without putting it down). I definitely have got to read the next one.