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!

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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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FREE TODAY!

Grab a bargain! The first book in the Eshla series is free for today only.

A five star Amazon rated, middle grade/YA steampunk, fantasy, adventure!

How do you find a key that’s hidden in history itself? How do you defeat an evil tyrant, if he’s your own headmaster? How do four modern teenagers blend in to a 1920’s British boarding school?

Eshla is a steampunk, fantasy world of flying machines, mechanical contraptions and gleaming copper pipes, divided into four diverse regions and struggling to deal with its past. Whilst Eric Grayson is an ordinary fourteen year old school boy, oblivious to the dangerous adventure waiting for him at the bottom of the school field.

The incredible request made of Eric sends him, his three close friends, and a fluffy blue sausage-loving creature from Eshla, go searching through time on a mission of mercy.

Do you love to read about time travelling, science fiction quests and mysterious new worlds? ‘The Lost Heirs’ will keep you on the edge of your seat.

A five star Amazon.com reviewer wrote: “Her writing reminded me of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and even Dr. Seuss”

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http://amzn.com/B00NJX2DQY

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

Review! Charlie Robot

‘Charlie Robot’ by Benedict J Martin exceeded all expectations. The notion of a man trying to pass himself off as an android promised to be funny, and I was interested to see how he would get out of it in the end. What I actually ended up reading was a witty, intelligent novel that nearly drove me mad as I tried to second guess the various twists.
Unlike some science fiction novels, there were no tedious and inexplicable explanations that you need a degree to understand. Martin manages to be very clever whilst using everyday language. There are moments where the humour reminded me of a British comedy called, ‘Red Dwarf’, which has a cult following over here (and which I love!), and moments where the writing style was reminiscent of ‘A hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy’- Charlie has that everyday-man, Arthur Dent-ish quality that makes the character so appealing and easy to sympathise with.
‘Charlie Robot’ would make a great movie and will be enjoyed by readers of a wide range of genres from comedy to mystery.
Charlie Robot by Benedict Martin http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N9NSVZQ/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_pXD0ub1ABST3M

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Book recommendation

The Land of Dragor: Book 1: The Gift of Charms (Land of Dragor 1) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1782199241/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_no8Uub0Z63PM5

A great start to an epic new series.
The Land of Dragor: the gift of charms by Julia Suzuki far surpassed my expectations.
It follows the story of Yoshiko, a baby dragon born to the Nephan clan. Yoshiko’s parents just want to be like any other normal dragon, but as he grows, Yoshiko himself becomes aware that he is special. He must decide whether to seek out his destiny – breaking the rules when necessary, or keep his head down and try to get through fire school without being bullied!
This is the first book about dragons I have ever read and I was surprised at how easy it was to feel connected to the the lives of these creatures. Julia Suzuki has created a fascinating world with instantly recognisable personalities that the reader quickly comes to care about. I found it hard to put the book down and, instead of reading it slowly over a week, ended up losing a big chunk of my weekend!
I recommend this to a much wider readership than just fans of fantasy – it has a strong ‘coming of age’ feel to it and explores relationships too – and believe it will be enjoyed by all age groups.
I’m looking forward to the sequel. 😁

The new cover is here!

‘The Lost Heirs’ finally looks like a real book thanks to the wonderful Renee at The Cover Counts. http://thecovercounts.com/

The whole process was so simple and affordable, I really recommend this company. They offer a range of prices, depending on what you need and you can completely personalise your package. I probably wasn’t the easiest customer as I had such a strong idea of what I wanted, but Renee was able to work with that and produced the cover that was in my head! It was certainly worth it – I feel a lot more confident about promoting my novel now. I’m getting the second book’s cover done next month, exciting days!

So, now I’m just waiting for the Amazon review process and then there’ll be no stopping me!

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Cress in Waterbee

Another fantastic book by an independent author – those agents and publishers are really missing out! Here’s my review for Amazon and Goodreads:

It’s quite hard not to go over the top when reviewing ‘Cress in Waterbee’ by Joye Johnson. As an English teacher with a literature degree I’ve read a lot of the classics, and this felt from the start like it was in the same category.
Born in America in the days of segregation, Cress – with her dark skin and pale eyes – was never going to have an easy time. It falls to her equally unconventional guardian to carve out a life for them both in the small town of Waterbee. They settle there with a supporting cast of terrible people, terribly kind people and some who are a bit of both. The plot carries you through the seasons of Cress’ life till you almost feel responsible for her yourself!
This story is original and stirring – I can’t remember the last time I was so desperate for two fictional characters to thrive and succeed.
Well written with clever twists and heartfelt descriptions, this is a novel to laugh and cry with and should certainly be around for generations to come.
Now, I have to return to a far more mundane world and wait patiently for the sequel, ‘Cress on the Bay’.

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If you are an indie author and would like to read and review my book in exchange for me doing the same, please get in touch!

Buy ‘Cress in Waterbee’ here.

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Sequels by Reece Evhans & Karin Boutall

With a grade 2 sprain to my ankle this has been a weekend for reading and very little else! As I’m close to finishing my second book I decided to have a look at the sequels published by a couple of the authors I’ve discovered through WordPress. Here are my thoughts:

‘The Charge of a Star’ is the second book in the Seeker Series by Reece Evhans and picks up perfectly where the last left off. Ally is in Ireland looking for answers regarding her developing psychic powers. However, the sweet old ladies who make up the seer council have a slightly different agenda and Ally heads back to Albuquerque with more to think about than she was bargaining for. It’s not long before her powers plunge Ally headlong into another dangerous adventure and a quest to resolve a past crime.
As with the first book in the series, Ally’s character is superbly drawn – her inner thoughts give the reader insight into a charming quirky teenager struggling to make sense of her situation.
The relationship with Jack (who has his own problems to deal with) continues to evolve and grow in this book too, including all the drama and uncertainty teenage romance brings.
The supporting cast are not just present but developing themselves that little bit more: Grams, Mum (plus new boyfriend), Tara and Megan all add colour to Ally’s world and are much more than just plot drivers.
This is a great story that will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. Well written, funny, romantic and deeply intriguing.

The second sequel I treated myself too was ‘When Flowers Weep’. The second garden suspense mystery by Karin Boutall returns to Sand Hill Cove where Joan and her friends are trying to solve the mystery of the disappearing bees.
This sequel has all the winning elements of the its predecessor: the relationships between the friends and the hint of romance; the angst of a mother watching her teenage son cope with growing up (and learning the lifelong lesson that if a person doesn’t care for your cat they’re not worth bothering with!) and the strong thread of friendship and community support that makes this series so appealing.
The mystery element of the book kept me guessing and the gradual revealing of the answers was very satisfactory.
This is a lovely series and has seen me nicely through my third immobile day!

Community Gardens by Karin Boutall

‘Community Gardens’ is the debut novel from Karin Boutall and introduces The Garden Suspense Series.
When Joan loses her husband in an aviation accident, moving back to Sand Hill Cove, Mississippi, with her son, Zack, seems like a smart move. There she can pursue her dream of running a local garden shop and raise her son with the help of local friends. However, it quickly becomes clear that, like most small towns, Sand Hill Cove has its secrets!
This book is perfect, ‘curl up on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of coffee and a good read’ material. The characters are well drawn and appealing – as a single Mum for 16 years, I could certainly relate to Joan’s Xbox concerns!
The genre is what is known as ‘cosy’ (or ‘cozy’ if you’re in the US) murder mystery and this first book spends a lot of time helping the reader to find their way around Sand Hill Cove, getting comfortable with the settings and inhabitants, all of which adds to the enjoyment of the story.
The actual mystery – and more importantly, the characters’ response to it – reveals more about the community and sets the reader up nicely for the sequel, which is available now.

A well written book and highly enjoyable read which I thoroughly recommend.