Sorry to have kept you waiting, but

I know, I know, excuse after excuse. Look on the bright side. At least I don't spam you all. And I do have an excellent reason. Not only have we just about finished all the prep work on my new book with Kristell Ink (more soon), but (fanfare please) after far too long here, finally, is the third book in the Warrior Stone series.


Glorious cover, isn't it? Courtesy of the inimitable Amygdala Design (of course).

"Trouble is closing in on Claire Stone. Her parents are possessed by monsters, all her friends are betraying her, and everyone is trying to steal the secret of the White Magic.
When Help does come, it is d=from and unexpected source. Claire finds it difficult to trust anybody after so many betrayals, and has nowhere else to turn.
But her parents need her, and now Claire has to find out just how far she is prepared to go to save them.”

Officially released 31 July 2017. Available for preorder on Amazon now (click here). Other formats will be available on 31st.


News Flash: Easter Bunny Diversifies

...Into Books!

The Easter Bunny has diversified. Not just Eggs, but now Books. Kristell Ink have made my latest novel, Amunet, FREE over Easter. zero pennies. Nil Pence. Follow this link to grab your copy.

In other news, I will be at EM-Con, Nottingham over the May bank holiday weekend. If you happen to be there, drop by and say hello. I'll be down by the signing tables, with lots of books, and other beautiful things I promise not to try to sell you.


An offer not to miss

I know, I know. Its been months. I apologise. And to make up for it, here is a deal you really can't ignore - well, not if you love great writing and appreciate a bit of a freebie. Hopefully, many of you will already be familiar with my Warrior Stone series, but for thos who aren't, or those who like a bit of Steampunk in their diet, might I introduce and heartily recommend....

The Great Instafreebie Steampunk Book Promotion


... another BristolCon bites the dust.

So this one was a little out of the ordinary. Particularly as it was my first ever book launch. Amunet, previously much touted on this blog, was launched on Saturday with much fanfare and fancy. Exciting, despite a couple of tech hitches, but I think I acquitted myself well. Much appreciation to the BristolCon team and to my publisher (Kristell Ink) for organising everything, and to all the other Grimmies who dug in and helped with logisics and baking.

The real heroes of the day, though, were my family, who got totally into the the theme of things and supported me to the hilt. They are all great, and I am a very lucky man

And what would the day be without a little whimsy :)


I was going to leave Carey a nice review on Audible/Amazon - right up to the moment I clicked on the button and was presented with five boxes that had to be filled in about what moments moved me, what I thought of the vocalist, etc, etc.
I'm guessing they're trying to steer people away from just regurgitating the story, full of spoilers and all. Does annoy me when folk do that.
I just don't like being told what to do.

That's something of a theme here, too. Lots of folk who don't like being told what to do. Curiously, the ten year old girl who spends most of her life strapped to a wheeled frame doesn't seem to worry so much. But then, I guess its easier when you have a crush on the teacher.

This book is very difficult to review without giving away so much it would spoil your experience if you chose to consume it. There's no secret that this child, or the others in her class, are treated in an uncomfortably unhuman way. Nor any secret that those around them are deeply afraid of the children. Its the slow exposure of just how far some of the adults are prepared to go, both to abuse the children and to help them, that I simply cant tell you about. It is the backbone of the plot, and I dont give away plots. At least, not intentionally.
The tone of the story is almost unrelievedly dark. Even the conclusion asks more questions than it answers, and delivers a terrible inversion of the captivity the children are forced to endure at the beginning. The only bright light in the tale is the girl, Melanie, inquisitive mind and her utter devotion to one of her teachers.

In some ways the characters are harsh stereotypes,  the Cold Scientist, the Angry Soldier, the Compassionate Psychiatrist, and yet they need to be. The story material deals considerably with what is a post apocalyptic morality play, and we need Noh-type, or Punch and Judy, standards to compare it and ourselves against.

Certainly not a read for the feint hearted, but I enjoyed it.


Dont forget the competition: 
go to http://eepurl.com/b_XpVX and you may win a copy

New Con, Old Con

Busy times. Several cons attended and, last night, finally finished a troubled first draft of the third and final Warrior Stone novel. Given me a lot of trouble, has this one, and almost seemed it didn't want to be written.

So, a little time on my hands, and a few moments for a blog update.

First of all, FantasyCon last weekend (23rd Sept). FCon was my second ever con a very long time ago. It was a magnificent experience, not diminished by the fact that my partner and I were new friends with some of the organisers, and it felt very inclusive and wonderous.

Sadly, immediately after, a group of people within the BFS tried a very dirty, very nasty smear campaign against the then Chair (my friend). As is usual with these things, all the accusations appear in 72-point bold. When all the accusations were proven to be unfounded, the apology was written in 6-pt feint. A few nasty experience.

We went the next year, but found it  a bitter and cliquey affair. This year, for some reason, we decided to give it another go. The organisers were different and the location promised interesting diversions if the Con itself proved uninspiring.

Sadly, it didn't work for me. FCon has become less of a convention and more of a trade fair. The lack of inclusion felt worse than ever, and this year both I and a friend got accosted and harangued for no clearly definable reason.
I'm sure the organisers put a lot of work in, and I'm happy for those who enjoyed it, but I wont be making any more appearances at a FantasyCon.

On a lighter note, a few days with light duties means I'll hopefully get around to writing a few new reviews of some exceptional books that have recently crossed my path. One will certainly be 'The Girl With all the Gifts' by M R Carey, and I believe Mr Ruins (Michael John Grist) and A Star Curiously Singing (Kerry Nietz) will all be getting mentions.

Also, we have BristolCon looming ever closer to the horizon. Watch out for more news on that too.