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The plan: 2015

This is a little later than I hoped but it took some more tweaking to get it straight than I thought. My plan for the year.

I’ve got quite a lot written that needs to be published and a lot of it is already with the editors so I expect there to be quite a flurry of releases this year. I’m hoping I might even manage one per month. The first expected release is a fantasy prequel of mine, The Hope of Winter, within an anthology called Flights of Fantasy. It’s to raise money for another good friend who has been diagnosed with cancer.

The next few releases will be collaborative works, also mostly sci-fi and fantasy. There will be more on those as they get closer. I also have plans for lots of Mycroft Novellas. The second and third are written but I also want to write at least two more this year.

On top of that I’ve got a significant chunk into the sequel to With Proud Humility. I fully intend to finish that this year and then get started on the next one of those, although the last one might not be done in time to publish this year.

With the collaborations and all the Fantasy stuff I have already that’s looking like 10-12 releases. I’m very excited, although I’m aware that’s going to be a lot of hard work. I’m sure it will all be worth it.

Here’s to a productive story filled 2015

Alloria: A Review

This is the first book in a new series by David Staniforth and he gifted me a free copy in return for my review.

Like the Fuel to the Fire series that I’ve also been reviewing of David’s this is fantasy and starts off from the pov of a young girl who has an amulet that open up Labyrinth like portals for her. The younger main character gives quite a young feel to the story but a good sprinkling of adults helps keep it interesting for audiences of all ages.

I loved the storyline and adored the relationship between the main few characters. While I read I often found myself grinning at something that was said or done. Really can’t fault the book. Didn’t notice any typos, didn’t ever feel jarred out of the story and adored the characters.

The plot felt fairly typical fantasy but it didn’t bore me and I wanted to keep reading, in fact I still do. Definitely hoping there will be more of these.

Geek of Legend – The Elvish Screwdriver: A Review

I found this book was written by the same pen name as one of the Konrath challenge books and noticed it was free for a while so I grabbed a copy.

This is a really cute little book that starts with an IT tech’s interview at a new job. He has no idea that the new job involves working for a bunch of clients, not of this normal world.

The story isn’t particularly lengthy but it feels complete, had me laughing aloud and blended the real world tech problems with a world full of fantasy creatures. There were even a few geeky riddles for tech fiends to puzzle over.

All in all I adored the short and think this being written is another reason why ebooks and how the self-publishing world has changed is a good thing. It also turns out that there are more of these, so I’ll definitely be reading on!

Away With The Fairies: A Review

I was given a copy of this story by the author, Jenny Twist, in return for my review.

This isn’t the longest of stories but it is so worth the read. Mostly it’s a portal fantasy and as usual it’s the kids that find out about it, but it gives a wonderful new meaning to the idea of being away with the fairies when day dreaming and I loved the way thhe story progressed and the parents involvement.

On top of enjoying this story as an adult I think this one would be fun to read to some kids, especially with how the fairies are described. Exactly the sort of thing I loved to listen to as a child.

As shorter stories often do, I’ve got a few unanswered questions about the characters and what they know so I’d love to see a sequel that explores it all some more.

Brilliant idea and well told.

Angel of the Sands: Part 6

His boldness at kissing you takes you by surprise. In response you go to slap him, but he catches your wrist before you can imprint your palm across his cheek. His grip tightens around your waist, pinning you still and making you think twice about trying to hit him with the other hand.

His eyes blaze before calming. After a few seconds he chuckles.

“You have fire in you, Angel. He lets you go and strokes your cheek one last time. “One day, perhaps.”

Without another word he leaves you alone in your tent again. This time you know it would be better to sleep and get into the fur covered bed. Only a few seconds later you’re oblivious to the world around you, deep in dreams of home.


The gentle shake from the serving girl of the day before wakes you from your slumber. She has breakfast and gives you a few minutes to eat while she lays your clothes out. As soon as you push the bowls of fruit and oats away from you she hurries over to clean you up and help you dress.

Once you’re wearing one of the dresses you were given the day before, she beckons you to follow her out of the tent. As soon as you step out of the opening you notice the hustle and bustle around you. Almost all the tents are in heaps of material on the ground and many of the warriors you saw the night before are on their horses, preparing to ride off.

A few metres away, resting on several wooden crates is the litter you were carried in. Your servant ushers you over to it and pulls back the light material for you to climb inside. She follows and moves the cushions to prop you in a sitting position. With that done she takes a skin of water and several platters of fruit from a pair of feminine hands outside and arranges them within reach around you.

After smiling and nodding at you she leaves and pulls the material over to cover you from the already fierce sun. Less than a minute later you feel the familiar swaying of your litter being carried along.

The heat combined with the rocking motion makes you feel drowsy and you sleep away most of the morning, eating and drinking in between naps. While the midday sun beats down upon you from on high, you start to grow unpleasantly hot. You consider pushing back the opening to try and create a small breeze but the tribe stops around you and shelters against the sun quickly form while you sit near the edge of your litter and watch.

You’re then escorted by your serving girl and a couple of younger girls you recognise from the evening before and are taken to a small cushioned area shaded by a small oasis of trees. You sit and are helped to get comfortable. Shortly after two of the girls use fronds of leaf to fan you with breeze.

Nearby Khaad Temullgei hands his horses reigns over to another male rider and converses with a small band of men that often linger near him. Before you look away he glances in your direction and notices you staring. Instantly he stops what he was doing and strides over to you. The men follow, many of them staring at you with stony silence.

As Temullgei gets closer you have to tilt your head back further and further to look up at his face and the sun almost blinds you, forcing you to squint.

“I hope you are comfortable, Angel.” Temullgei says as he sits beside you.

As if dismissed the rest of the men relax and find places to sit around you. Other women and girls rush up to fan them as well. When you turn back to the Khaad you realise he has been staring at you.

“These men are my battle brothers. We have fought together many times and they would die for me. They will protect you as well,” he explains before you can ask. For some reason you don’t feel particularly comforted. A chill runs up your spine despite the sweat on your skin.

He ignores your reaction and leans back beside you, supported by the cushions. You remain upright, watching the slow movements of the people around you.

“Sleep, Angel. It is best in this heat.”

“I have slept too much,” you reply, “All night and most of the morning. I am wide awake now.” He chuckles and you look at him with an eyebrow raised, wondering what amuses him.

“Perhaps you would feel tired now if you had accepted my offer last night.”

As the meaning of his words dawn on you a blush creeps into your cheeks. He laughs more.

“Relax, Angel. I may be the first to take an interest in you but I will not be the last. It is often the way of our people, but I will sleep now, even if you will not. Perhaps you will watch over me and bring me pleasant dreams.”

After giving you a smile, he settles back against the cushions and closes his eyes.

What do you do?

Get up and explore.

Stay and watch over him.

Ask him questions about his people.

Kiss him.

This story is entirely free to the reader and will continue to be throughout, but as you might have gathered from the website around this I make my living from writing fiction. This post is just under 1000 words long and took me a few hours to write and polish. Although it’s definitely not a must, if you enjoyed this and want to say thank you in a monetary fashion please consider becoming a patron of mine at Patreon (a lot like kickstarter but more of a pledge per episode/installment sort of thing). You can also say thank you by sharing this with friends who might enjoy it or dropping me a message here or through my email address.


Book Cover Cubes

I’ve just had the most amazing fan make the most amazing tribute/present for me ever. A design for a book cover cube.

Doesn’t it look amazing! Not only is it a really lovely thing for someone to make for me, it’s exactly the sort of thing that appeals to my brain. I used to be the kid who spent ages putting together models made out of this sort of thing and had a lot of fun Sunday afternoon making up another from the extra sheet I was given.

I’m also going to get a pdf of the design via email so I should be able to make more of these gorgeous things and this awesome fan doesn’t seem to be too opposed to the idea of making different designs as I get more covers and creating cubes with genre themes or series books on them.

I have a feeling lots of them together is going to look amazing, even two looks better than one and I’m super excited about having them as extras when people buy books off me etc. I think they need to have something inside them though. Any suggestions (other than chocolate, cause let’s face it everything is better with chocolate)? And who wants one?

Character Spotlight: Ishtar

This lovely elf features in For Such a Time as This, one of my not so short fantasy shorts. It’s the third tale of Ethanar and although she seems like a very inconsequential elf, she’s actually a very important person in a line of elves and monarchs who shape the entire world through the ages. My favourite book in the Bible, Esther, inspired her and some of her tale.

Ishtar doesn’t think too much of herself. She starts off as a slave and is mostly just getting on with her life and trying to do a good job. She’s not unhappy but you wouldn’t really call her happy either. Most importantly she’s obedient and worked out at an early age that if she does as she’s asked, doesn’t complain to much and is polite to those around her she can get through life without too much fuss and attention being brought to her. Of course this is made easier by her owner being someone easy to work for but she still gives him no reason to be unsatisfied.

Her story is pretty much about life and the way it occassionally decides it’s had enough of things the way they are and throws a curve ball to see how you respond. That’s exactly what life does to her. It plants an idea in her owners head and events continue to transpire and attentions continue to be drawn her way until her obedience and aquisence leads her to the King and her new life.

Sometimes life just puts you in the right place at the right time, and coupled with the right attitude, magic happens.

Three For All, And All For Free

Yup, that’s right there’s three freebies you can pick up that I want to tell you about (actually there’s four but End of the Road has been free for a while now).

The first is only free for a few days. Sherdan’s Prophecy in kindle format is available free on all good Amazon sites until close of day Sunday. If you’ve not yet tried my sci-fi, it’s a good start to the genre and quite different to my historical novels, although there’s plenty of action still.

Also free of mine and in need of some help making it free on amazon is Wandering to Belong on Smashwords, Apple, Nook and many other places. If people would like to see it free on Amazon they should report the Apple link to them under there report a lower price section. This is another great introduction to my fantasy genre and all the tales I’ve got written in the same world.

Finally, my most recent release is a sci-fi story set in space and is one of the stories featured in the Kiss anthology, also currently going through the process of being price-matched, but you can grab a free copy on Smashwords. My story is the last one in the anthology but don’t just skip to the end. There’s a lot of great stories in there from some authors I love.

Ashes in the Fall: A Review

This fantasy novel was gifted to me by the author Christopher Martinez in exchange for my review.

I want to start off by saying that I really love this cover. It’s professional and really works with the topic of the story. It’s got a slightly older fantasy cover feel to it but those are still my favourite so I’d definitely have taken a further look at this story thanks to the cover.

I also liked the majority of the characters. I felt a few could do with more depth but the lack of information I wanted was more related to the style than a character problem specifically. I definitely cared about the majority of the people and what happened to them, especially Danario. I did feel the princess fell in love a bit too quickly, however. I’d have expected her to be a little wary.

On top of that I found the battle scenes were also amazing. They were described in just the right level of detail that I could imagine them without feeling there was too much for me to take in.

Unfortunately that’s where the good things about this book ended for me. Plot wise I can’t really complain but I can’t really praise it either. It wasn’t overly complicated and combined with the style I felt the whole book was rather brief. Every chapter seemed to be a long time after the one before and moved from one reason to fight to another, with little in between.

I’ve thought about this at length and I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what was missing, but some of the normal ‘fluff’ from around the edges just wasn’t there and it felt like there was little down time. I was given very little apart from action and I’d have liked more emotion or information gathering, or lead up to the decisions of what to attack next and why, rather than just the battles and most major decisions.

A Fire’s Sacrifice

This is my latest release and is the fifth fantasy story I’ve had published and is sort of the fifth tale in my Ethanar series. I say sort of because it’s a loose series. All the stories are separate characters and so far separate places but they do build up the world collectively and I will have some of the people and places appearing in the epic novels set in the same world so it’s worth reading these and getting a taste for the coming full length fantasy novels.

A Fire’s Sacrifice has it’s own shiny page and blurb and all that for those curious about this story, but to add to that, it’s a bit of a mash up between period, domestic slavery, class friction and fantasy all melded into one.

You can buy it already at the bargain price of $1.99 0r £1.43 from any of the amazon stores, but for speed Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk. I’m also throwing a mini launch party on facebook for anyone who would like to come join in. There will be the chance to win several of my eBooks and probably other things to boot.

Quite excitingly this is my tenth published story in my ninth publication under my own personal name and completes the set of tales I’ll be packaging together with more information on the Ethanar world early next year.