Winter blog fest

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I’m taking part in the Long and Short Reviews winter blog romp. The post is here .

Pop over to the LASR site and leave a comment on the post for a chance to win a copy of ‘Revelation’, the most romantic of ‘The Pathfinders’ series.

Revelation Blurb

Few are allowed into Paradisio—even fewer escape.

Wormwood has fallen, but the journey isn’t over for Carla and Tully. Erelah the Messenger leads them onward to Paradisio, where they hope they will find their real home. The Grigori recognize Tully as Israfel, and he takes to his new role of guardian of music like a duck to water, but Carla’s impressions are of a world with dark secrets hiding in the shadows.

Tully seems absorbed in his music and whenever he comes up for air, Erelah—with her neat little wings—is waiting. Carla finds consolation with Nathaniel, a Warrior who is a hunk and knows it. But she is playing with fire. Nat wants her—and what Nat wants, he takes.

As if her personal problems weren’t enough, Carla begins to piece together the mad plan that Nisroc, the Yazata of Paradisio, has lined up for the other worlds. And Tully—who has been promised a starring role—seems keen to play along with the lunatic scheme.

Carla finds herself caught up in a revolution, to stop Nisroc and the one who is creating his weapon of mass destruction—Tully.

 

Excerpt

Carla bent to touch the shoulder of the nearest body. It was warm. She laid a finger on the pulse and waited, her own heart thumping. It was there. Faint, but it was there.

“They’re not dead,” Nat said, mocking.

“They’ll soon wish they were,” one of the Marines added with a snigger.

Nat shot him a murderous look. “That’s for others to decide. Just stick to your own job.”

“Do we leave them here?” Carla asked, worried at how pale the three Warriors looked.

Nathaniel tapped his vest pockets. “Anyone got a stretcher on him? I seem to have forgotten mine.”

The Marines sniggered again.

“Isn’t first aid supplied in this ‘game’?” Carla asked. “They need attention.”

Nat put an arm around her. She felt the pounding of his heart, his excitement. His smell, hot, sweet and sweaty, enveloped her. “They’ll be picked up. Douma will know where to find them.” His hand slid down her arm to her waist, under her T-shirt, his fingers roving over her stomach. Her muscles flinched and she caught the flicker of a smile on Nat’s lips.

“Now, let’s finish this charade. I don’t know how I’m going to wait until tonight,” he murmured into her hair.

“Tonight?”

“When Douma gives you your mark, and you give me all the rest. The start of forever.” His mouth was so close to her ear that his breath tickled. His hand slid around the waistband of her pants. Her own breath grew short and hot. Her cheeks flared. The Marines watched her curiously, their eyes not quite so cold. Nat’s excitement was working on them. She wriggled out of his grip, forcing her mind to focus on the cold outline of the plan.

If we can get this over with by lunchtime, Tabbris can get on with starting an epidemic.

“Let’s get moving then.” She grinned at him and he flashed her one of his predatory smiles.

 

Promotion: The Pathfinders

I’ve been so bogged down in a million other things, I almost missed posting this.

Get this PROMOTION!

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ALL Finch Books are 25% off to celebrate 10 years of publishing. If you haven’t read The Pathfinders series yet, now’s the time to start

Get your promotion priced copy here

And while you’re in the mood, why not browse round the Finch Books website and see if something else takes your fancy.

Free books from best-selling author

As you probably all know, since I’ve been shouting about it enough, Finch Books ha been running a promotion on The Pathfinders series. It’s five days since the BookBub feature, which sent the first volume, Abomination, to number one in the US and Australia in Teen Science Fiction and Teen Time Travel and Adventure categories, where Hunger Games and Harry Potter hang out. The glory lasted two whole days before the big boys and girls took the top place back again, but it was a big wonderful experience.

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It has been my theory (not original) that you absolutely have to pay for advertising if you want to sell your book. No matter how good it is, if it isn’t visible, nobody except family and friends will buy it. One of the democratising effects of self-publishing has been to give readers a stupifyingly huge choice of books, available in one click, as they say. How do you wade through 30 million plus books? Short answer—you don’t. You skip through the tiny sample Amazon gives you easy access to.

The whole of The Pathfinders series has been available since last September. The first volume, despite a clutch of excellent reviews, attractive cover and a proper publisher behind it, was lingering in the doldrums, and the sequels hadn’t taken off at all. Finch Books was going through a very rocky and doubtful start, which put marketing on hold. It looks as though the teething problems are over and we’re back with a vengeance.

Advertising put Abomination up there on the front page, and with a bit of luck it will hang about a while among the first pages where it is likely to be noticed by a casual browser. The sequels have started selling too, which is wonderful. Advertising is essential, but reviews are a must too, which brings me to the point of this post. If you have read Abomination and enjoyed it, I’m offering review copies of the second and third volumes. Please get in touch through the contact form with your email address and I’ll send you one (epub or pdf).

Meanwhile, the promotion continues if you’re keen to get into the series.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Aus

Amazon Ca

The Apocalypse starts here!!!

Big day today, for a couple of reasons, but the first one is, The Pathfinders promotion starts now! This minute!

 

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Not only is the first volume at the extraordinary giveaway price of 99p/c but the sequels are at a special promotional price too. Here’s the Abomination blurb to set the scene:

As the end of the world begins, Carla and Tully hurtle through a wormhole five years forward in time, only to find they haven’t missed the Apocalypse after all.

Carla and Tully are picnicking in the quad of their international high school in central Paris when the end of the world begins. They are sucked into a wormhole that spits them out five years later to find that the world is a freezing desolation but still hanging on, waiting for something even worse to finish it off. The something worse turns out to be the Burnt Man and his horsemen. Taken prisoner by the Flay Tribe to their lair in the ruins of a shopping mall, Tully is forced to become a warrior, while Carla joins the other girls as a kitchen slave and comfort woman.

Tully might like the idea of playing soldiers, but Carla knows what is waiting for the girls when the food runs out, and it isn’t pleasant. The supermarket holy man’s vision of the return of the Burnt Man and his demon friends drags Tully back to reality. When the four fiends are reunited, the Apocalypse will really begin. Carla and Tully don’t plan on being there when that happens.

But in this post-Abomination world where only the young and brutal have survived, where food and fuel are running out and the climate is plunging into another final ice age, there is nowhere to run—except down another wormhole, with no idea of what might be waiting for them at the other end.

 

And here’s a short excerpt to whet your appetite:

 

“On that pallet over there. A few big cans of beans left. Bring one.”

“Have you all forgotten how to speak, as well as how to wash?” Carla snapped.

“Mostly. Yes.”

Carla staggered over with the ten-kilo can of white navy beans to where Kat was opening a much smaller can of frankfurters. She opened the beans and together they tipped the contents into a stew pot of dubious cleanliness. The sausages followed.

“How many is this for?” Carla asked. She had seen at least a dozen men and boys and nearly twice as many women.

“All of us.”

“Then those sausages won’t go very far.”

“Just for the men.”

“I might have guessed,” Carla sighed. “I suppose we ought to be grateful to get a few beans.”

The girl heaved a world-weary sigh. “If they leave any.”

Carla was about to ask why they let themselves be pushed about by a bunch of macho brutes who thought they were living in the Middle Ages when she took a good look at the girl. Carla had taken her for a skinny kid, but a closer inspection revealed the bony shoulders, scrawny breasts and haggard look of a woman, but under-developed and emaciated. Like Tully, Carla was beginning to put together a picture of their new environment.

“There’s not much to eat, is there?”

Kat just looked around. The warehouse was three-quarters empty. “You see much?”

“Can’t you get food somewhere else? Find another supermarket, I mean.”

Kat sighed. “This is Flay territory. Other places like this are in some other tribe’s territory. Not enough warriors left to fight over food.”

“What about hunting?”

Kat forced a wry smile. “Hunt what? Rats? Crows? Drax?”

“Drax?”

“Big dogs.”

“Why not, if that’s all there is?”

“Rats and crows eat corpses, drink poisoned water. Drax eat rats and crows and corpses. They are all sick, rotten. If we eat them, we become like drax. Drax used to be dogs.”

This was the longest speech Carla had heard from Kat. It had been a real physical effort for her, as if she had to drag the words from her memory, as if they were so rarely used they had almost been forgotten. Carla asked one last question, though she dreaded the reply.

“So, what will happen when the food runs out?”

Kat’s expression was dull and hopeless and she did not reply. She didn’t need to.

Carla bit her lip, trying to hang onto the strange, obscene ideas that darted like cockroaches in and out of the shadowy places in her mind.

 

The promotion runs for a week, so make sure you get Abomination now, read it and order the sequels before the offer ends.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Aus

Amazon Ca

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BIG promotion on the way

Remember this?

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First volume of The Pathfinders series? Well, the whole series is getting the big promotion treatment as of tomorrow. If you know any teenager with a strong stomach who enjoys a romp into the apocalypse, this is the series you’ve been looking for. Make them happy and give them a good read at the same time.

I’ll be posting details tomorrow.

Last publicity before the little white dot

On this last day of the year, as well as wishing you all the best for the next one, I’d like to thank everyone who has visited or followed this blog, and liked, commented on and encouraged the poetry and prose posts. Writing is a pleasure and I wouldn’t do anything else, but trying to convince others to invest their time and money in one’s writing is a loathsome exercise. Anything that makes a body feel more like a creep is hard to imagine.

Having said that, if we don’t advertise ourselves, we might have the self-righteous satisfaction of the pure and unsullied, but we won’t make it as an author. So, I’m going to squirm and wriggle and remind people that I have written quite a few books and if you like what you’ve read on this blog you might like the novels too.

Don’t waste your time this evening, go over to Wild Geese Books and see what’s on offer. There are even free stories to get you hooked.

 

Flying geese.

 

Not so Instagram

This is more of an apology than anything else. This morning, in an attempt to get up to speed with new technologies as us author types are supposed to,  I opened an Instagram account. I have a real aversion for social mediatry, posting pics, pointless inane comments and general time wasting and only ever got into it because publishers insist upon it. I used to FB in a bumbling sort of way, but seem to have lost the plot somewhere along the line. Goodreads I have never discovered how to work. Linkedin won’t let me access my account anymore—it probably died of boredom. Twitter, except for poetry is too fast and furious and no good for reaching book buyers as far as I can work out.

That leaves Tumblr (when I find out what it does I might approach it with something shorter than a ten foot pole) and Instagram. I got my account set up okay, then tried to post something, but it’s not that simple. You need to post via a telephone. To get the pics  or docs to the phone I think you have to send via FB. I don’t do things like that since the screen of my phone is about the size of a small matchbox and I never send messages because it takes so long, what with wiping the wrong letters and overriding the auto correct. Anything that requires connecting via a phone is a non-starter as far as I’m concerned.

So apologies are in order for the kind people who followed me to welcome me into the Instagram fold. I’m stuck in a time warp and can’t communicate with modern people. At least a blog uses words typed by my own fair fingers on my trusty computer, and pictures sent by cosmic carrier pigeon through said trusty computer. I know that without all this palaver, nobody outside my mystic inner circle is ever going to have even heard of my books. But that’s the way this particular cookie crumbles, until I find another way to get my books out there. Now, where did I put that magic lamp? Genie! Genie!

Keep calm and…

Thank you ©BentleyCoon for the pic

GoMentalAndArseAbout

The Daily Post prompt is: carry. For once, it hasn’t inspired a poem. ‘Carry’ makes me think ‘burden’. A burden is something we carry that we’d probably much rather dump somewhere and forget about. The annoying thing that makes a burden a burden though is that it’s well nigh impossible to dump it.

I feel that way about writing. When life is more difficult than usual, it presses down like a mass of words, a mountain. When I’m more upbeat and the daily merde is easier to shovel out of the way, writing is more like a torrent that flows down the mountain. Either way, words, phrases, the way they fit together, the stories they tell, are ever-present. They twitter away in an undertone when I’m distracted, but they never really go away.

There are stories to tell, to set down and polish so they gleam. It’s an obligation. Where would they go otherwise? They have claims upon my time that can’t be denied unless I want them to take over from dreams and keep me awake all night. Perhaps if the voices were less insistent, I could step back from the keyboard when the final line of a story is written and say, enough—time to stop writing and do something with what you’ve written. But the final line of one story rarely sits still on the page, content to be the last line. All too often it ferments and bubbles and becomes the germ of the idea behind a new first line. So the stories build up and they sit on the computer setting more seeds. Or they sit on an unmapped amazon shelf like dead stars in a distant galaxy.

I wish I could shed this burden or at least lay it down for a while. I’m supposed to be promoting two three-book series at the moment. I should also be collecting a whole raft of stories together for publication. But there’s a bitter teenage boy and a girl with stars in her eyes insisting that I ignore everything but them.

So why don’t a few thousand kind individuals buy my books so I can get back to Jónsi and Halla? Pretty please?

Spam, spam, spam, spam…

On August 16, Devastation, the second volume of The Pathfinders, goes on general release. To celebrate, there are going to be special offers. First is a new low price for Abomination.

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If you feel like splashing out you can get it here

Amazon UK

Amazon US.

You know what it’s about, you know it’s full of nasty plot twists and unbearable psychological suspense, so why not treat yourself?

Alternatively, you could wait for the 16th and the FB party to see if the offer gets any better.