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!

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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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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

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

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.