The Wilderness…

I admit it – I am lost without the internet. Seven days in our lovely new house and the broadband box still hasn’t arrived (yes, I’m typing at work during my lunch break instead of eating!).

I completed GCSE’s, A’Levels and my degree without the power of the internet – no problem. It was absent for many of the years I spent as a single Mum, and I managed just fine; but this has been the impossible week.

Apart from the practicalities of trying to promote my new e-book with no e-access, I’ve lost count of the amount of times my husband or I have asked a question and we’ve reached for our phones to google the answer! I’ve also lost count of the amount of times one of us has said, ‘I’ll do that when the internet’s back…’

When did I become so dependent?!

internet

It’s here!

The sequel to ‘The Lost Heirs’ is available to buy now!

How do you disguise a fluffy blue alien in Victorian England? How do you stop your evil headmaster from ruining your exam grades? How do you live down the humiliation of your whole year group thinking you have a teddy bear in your rucksack? Join Eric as he searches for the answers in the next Eshlan adventure.

The quest continues with Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia trying to release the next prince from the Bel-Arayba cave. The four friends have some tough decisions to make while looking for the second stone in 1842, and things are getting pretty tricky in their own time too as Lowick Bradwar, masquerading as their head teacher, steps up his plans to get back to Eshla.

Meanwhile in Eshla itself, things are far from peaceful, as the malicious Galed continues her campaign against the Arwain family.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TDR1YRE

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‘The Second Stone’ is the second book in The Eshla Adventures series. Be sure to read the first: The Lost Heirs – a five star Amazon rated, middle grade/YA steampunk, fantasy adventure! FREE for today only…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NJX2DQY

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A sad week

This should have been quite an exciting week! Tomorrow my second book is available in the kindle store, and to celebrate, my first book is free for 24 hours. This should have been one of those busy, buzzy weeks where I’m crazily typing tweets and blogs and posts to let people know.

In reality, this is the first time I’ve thought about it properly. I and my family were blind-sighted at 10pm on Sunday when my four year old cat, Gatsby, suddenly lost the use of both his back legs. The panic and fear that followed will be familiar to any cat owner who has loved and lost a fluffy companion, but suffice to say it led to his peaceful death on Tuesday morning.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there will be people reading this who have lost far, far more than a cat in their lifetimes, and some who may be grieving for loved ones right now. I don’t write this blog to suggest that losing a pet is anything akin to losing a parent, or a child, or a close friend. But it does leave a gaping hole.

Gatsby was a character cat. By that I mean, he wasn’t one of those aloof felines who sit and watch you from a distance. He was a tail wagging, in your face, I-want-to-be-wherever-you-are, sort of a cat. He was on your lap, behind you as you walked, meowing to be let into the bathroom when you were on the toilet, chasing any random shadow, stalking any flash of light. Basically, he had the knack of keeping in your line of sight at all times! Don’t ask me how, he just did!

He was the inspiration for Espog, Eric’s purram in the Eshla adventures, and he was the inspiration behind a lot of the laughter in our house on a nightly basis. In short, he will be missed. A lot.

So, sorry for the slightly sad tone – normal service will hopefully resume tomorrow, when I’m bound to be bombarding you with ‘buy-my-book’ blogs 🙂

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What’s it all about?

‘The Lost Heirs’ – quite a grand title… but what’s it all about?

It is the first of a three part adventure, with something for everyone: time travel, a fantasy world, a touch of steampunk, mystery, friendship and battles.

Originally written as middle grade fiction, it evolved into an adventure loved by all ages and particularly appealing to the young adult market. The main character, Eric, is fourteen and attends a British boarding school with his best friends: Corbin, Lydia and Rose. Life is pretty average for Eric, until one day he finds himself called into the world Eshla and presented with a seemingly impossible request. Eric’s humour, and the loyalty of his friends are his greatest weapons – that and a furry blue creature from Eshla with an enormous appetite!

The original story was inspired by my son, but he went and grew up before I had the courage to finish it! Now, the second book is about to be released, and the final part of the trilogy is half way through its first draft – I found my courage and discovered that Eshla is my dream world. The perfect place to escape!

Eshla is made up of four distinct regions: Jarmuthe, Elgion, Caregon and Cedwigod, with the city of Hendref at the centre. It’s a self-indulgent creation made up of my favourite things! Hendref has a steampunk feel – mainly through inventions and flying machines. The 1920’s was an exciting era, and who doesn’t love treehouses? Cedwigod is a combination of those two things. Elgion is inspired by Venice – one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Finally, there’s a place in Derbyshire called Black Rock, which I used to climb all over in my teens – the inspiration behind Caregon. Whilst Jarmuthe is a combination of every beautiful English meadow you have ever picnicked in!

Image

A big part of the book involves time travel, as Eric and his friends have to go back to their boarding school in 1927, and try to blend in – you can imagine how different life was! I had a great time researching this period and learning what school life was like for the poor inmates of a twenties British boarding school!

The Lost Heirs is meant to be fun, fascinating and exciting. Key themes in the book are friendship and family, and another main one is the importance of just doing the right thing – not because of a reward or recognition, but just because you can. I hope you love this book and the characters as much as I do, and will stay with Eric to the end of his quest to release the lost heirs of Eshla.

http://amzn.com/B00NJX2DQY

http://amzn.com/B00TDR1YRE

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Pre-order available now!

The second Eshla adventure is available to pre-order now!

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How do you disguise a fluffy blue alien in Victorian England? How do you stop your evil headmaster from ruining your exam grades? How do you live down the humiliation of your whole year group thinking you have a teddy bear in your rucksack? Join Eric as he searches for the answers in the next Eshlan adventure.

The quest continues with Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia trying to release the next prince from the Bel-Arayba cave. The four friends have some tough decisions to make while looking for the second stone in 1842, and things are getting pretty tricky in their own time too as Lowick Bradwar, masquerading as their head teacher, steps up his plans to get back to Eshla.

Meanwhile in Eshla itself, things are far from peaceful, as the malicious Galed continues her campaign against the Arwain family.

This is the second book in The Eshla Adventures series. Be sure to read the first: The Lost Heirs – a five star Amazon rated, middle grade/YA steampunk, fantasy adventure! One reviewer wrote: “Reminded me of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and even Dr. Seuss.”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TDR1YRE

What is Eshla?

The short answer: the world Eric Grayson finds himself in, after being pulled through the Jarmuthe Chasm.

In a bit more detail – Eshla is divided into roughly four regions: The Jarmuthe region is mainly meadows, moors, hills and dales with some forest. A large proportion of the plants used to power Eshla come from here.

Jarmuthe

The Cedwigod region, is mainly forest with cities and houses built into the trees. A green, energetic light flows around these beautiful homes. Anna lives here in the lively city of Pren.

Cedwigod

The Caregon region, is the hardest land – mainly rocks and stone but the mysterious Bel-Arayba cave lays at the heart of it.

Bel Arayba Caregon

Finally, the Elgion region, is made up of salt water and numerous water-islands with elegant canals.

Elgion

At the center of all this is Hendref, the royal city, with its unusual skyline of distinctly shaped buildings, in a warm butter coloured stone, and flying machines which weave in between them. Hendref is covered in copper and brass pipes and mysterious humming machines.  This is where the Arwain family have their home: Hendref Castle.

To explore further, purchase ‘The Lost Heirs’, the first Eshlan adventure.

Independent authors

One of the best things about WordPress so far has been connecting with other indie authors and experiencing their work. This is something I definitely want to continue doing.

So far, I’ve read the brilliant ‘Tissue of Lies’ by Carole Parkes and am half way through ‘Xoe’ by Sara C. Roethle. I can recommend both books, though both are very different genres. I’ve got Grady P. Brown’s ‘The Young Guardians’ book waiting too – my reading list has never been so packed and I can’t help feeling that my own writing is improving by reading different styles and genres. It’s also been great getting feedback on my own book from another author, I recommend the process to anyone. If any other authors out there want to book swap and review with me please send a message.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a gripping, suspense-filled thriller, try ‘Tissue of Lies’, available here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tissue-Lies-Carole-Parkes-ebook/dp/B00PCNYB7S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415637824&sr=8-1&keywords=Tissue+of+Lies

or for fantasy/horror, try ‘Xoe: or Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons, oh my’ – the first half of which has been very enjoyable:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Xoe-Vampires-Werewolves-Demons-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B004ZMVQRU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415638010&sr=8-1&keywords=xoe

Happy reading!

 

Gadgets, gizmos and contraptions…

In the world of Eshla, the flora and fauna have special properties which are harnessed and used in a similar way to the way we use electricity and chemiacls on earth – but much better! Therefore the inhabited parts of Eshla are covered in shiny copper pipes, cogs, wheels and carefully constructed contraptions to provide heat, light, communication and even translation! One challenge for me is describing and naming these machines and the plants without sounding repetitive or overly technical. I tend to use welsh words a lot, what do other authors do when they have to invent words?

gadget

“Quickly checking his shoes for mud, Eric decided to keep to the darker red rug that ran the length of the hall. He was aware of a hum again: a gentle, non-invasive hum that he had heard at the meadow. It warmed him inside and seemed to welcome him into the room whilst remaining in the background. He realised it came from the copper pipes that ran along the walls ending, every now and again, at machines of varying sizes which were nestled into nooks in the wall – whirring, spinning, pumping clusters of cogs, pipes, wheels, tubes and pistons. Eric longed to ask what these fascinating, works of art did but he knew there wasn’t time. Some were obvious – he could see pipes that led at regular intervals to glass bowls held on the walls by brass fixings. They were filled with brilliant golden particles that swirled around in the glass creating a bright but toasty light.

As they proceeded down the hallway Joel followed Eric’s gaze to neat little machine perched on a shelf. It was essentially a wooden box with a large trumpet emerging from the top. Lattice work in the front of the box showed a collection of cogs and pistons working away furiously inside and a fine pink mist occasionally escaped.

‘That’s where our heat comes from,’ Joel explained, ‘the leaves of the Ignis plant, when pulverised, create a tremendous heat which is carried around the room by pipes under the floor and blasted out into the air via the trumpet. The crushing process releases pollen which is pushed up and out of the castle via the main duct. The wind catches it and carries it back to Jarmuthe where it takes seed and grows more Ignis. So we never run out!’”

New followers and Indie authors!

Seven little emails pinged into my inbox yesterday informing me I had some new followers – very exciting. I’ve just spent a pleasant hour looking at the profiles of people who’ve looked at mine! The most interesting part of the process is discovering the blogs of new and new-ish authors, like me, who have self-published and are now trying to find their readers. I now have on my half term ‘to read’ list; ‘The Young Guardians: Genesis Spell’ by Grady P Brown, ‘Tissue of Lies’ by Carole Parkes and ‘Xoe’ by Sara Croethle. I’m going to be busy!

I think the real challenge for all indie authors is how to let the right market know that your book exists? Reviews seem a good way to go, I’m also searching for forums and facebook pages on topics or themes that match my novel (steampunk/time travel/fantasy adventure etc) where I’m trying to politely mention, ‘The lost Heirs’ without spamming or flooding the pages with annoying adverts. I’ll post about how I get on 🙂

In the meantime, if you have found this blog and have the time to read ‘The lost Heirs’ for me I would really appreciate a review on Amazon. I’m happy to gift the kindle edition for free (which I’m assured can be done via a little yellow button) in return for a review. Just email your details to amandacmoran@gmail.com and I’ll figure it out. x

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Lost-Heirs-first-Adventures/dp/1502369052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414053724&sr=8-1&keywords=The+lost+Heirs