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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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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Fingers crossed!

Well, over 900 people downloaded my book from Amazon on the day it was free! 15 more people have bought it since. I’m pretty chuffed with that 😁 Now I just need to keep my fingers crossed that some of them like it!

Marketing books is a minefield. There are so many companies offering to ‘tweet thousands of followers’ on your behalf, for $10 – $60. I’m not convinced mass contact works though. I think the best approach has to be targeted. Once the second book is out I’m going to be experimenting with Bookbub and a few others who target readers Interested in your specific genre. Please comment if you’ve found anything that works well for you!

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http://amzn.com/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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A threat and a promise!

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A without naming any names (obviously!) I find myself drawing far more on real life people for the bad characters in my book, than I do for the nice ones! Does anyone else have this experience?
Both of my current villains, Lowick and Galed, draw off the idea that appearances can be deceptive. They can be charming and appealing until their inner motives surface. I’ve known a lot of people like that over the years, male and female! These two characters are a bit of a homage to those special folk!

‘Mr Bickward had never stood out in any way or struck him as anything but ordinary. He was strict and had a glare like medusa, but most teachers did. He certainly didn’t fit the idea of the power hungry despot that Joel and Chase had described, but then again, how would a power hungry despot masquerading as a teacher behave? Eric thought back to a lesson of his that Mr Bickward had covered three weeks earlier. The man wore a suit and a tie, like most of the male teachers at Smith- Chigley, and he had taught them very enthusiastically. Eric and Corbin had sniggered secretly at Bickward’s hair – straight thick brown hair that was supposed to be slicked down in a side parting but sprung back up and waved about excitedly whenever he moved too fast. He had a thin face with angular cheekbones and large hazel eyes. Eric remembered overhearing a couple the girls giggling over how good looking he was but all in all he just seemed like any other teacher.’

‘A shadow fell across the table and answered the question for him in the shape of a girl a couple of years older than the two boys. She wore a cream blouse and lacy waistcoat with a bulky layered skirt and brown boots but most striking was a tightly lace collar around her neck that fanned out into a large ruff. At first glance it gave the eerie impression that her head was on a plate floating above her body! She smiled tightly at Eric nodding her head briefly at Corbin so that the dark red curls piled up on top her pixie face wobbled about dangerously.’

Buy online at Amazon to read more:
The Lost Heirs: The first story of Eshla by A. Moran-Soley http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NJX2DQY/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_gk4Wub0S38793

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 Big Push!

This is a shameless request for advice from indie authors everywhere. Now my first book has a cover I love and is being properly proof-read, and my second book is going through the same process, I’ve started looking seriously at the best ways to market them.

The problem is, I’m drowning in options! Amazon select, Goodreads promotions, Bookdaily.com, Bookbub, facebook promotions and about 300 twitter promotion offers! Does anyone have any advice about what works and what should be avoided? Most of all, I’d like to know if anyone has tried thebookpromoter.com. They sound amazing, but then they all do!

Any feedback gratefully received!

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

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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