Time flies!

Well, I seem to be averaging two blogs a year at the moment! Not brilliant for a writer. In my defense, we have moved THREE times this year and I’m mindbogglingly shattered. Still, I am writing – plowing on regardless – but it’s slow process. I’m still working through book 1 of the murder mystery series and trying to find new ways to promote the trilogy. If anyone fancies reading and reviewing any of the Eshla books, please let me know. I’m happy to send a free mobi file, for use on kindles, or a pdf.

It hasn’t all been hard work though – got in a few good days at the beach (with best friend in picture below) and an amazing 12 hours on the flying Scotsman in vintage luxury (strictly for historical research you understand!).

Musing on marketing

October will be an exciting month! I’m finally starting to write properly again and have twisted my brain back around to marketing the Eshla series. So, the trilogy will be available free for two whole days on the third and the fourth.

three books

Which means the next two weeks, I’ll be like a headless chicken trying to get all to get all three books advertised as free on as many sites as possible!

I tried a countdown deal before the summer but found it was nowhere near as effective as the free days that Amazon offer. Has anyone had any success with countdown deals, and if so, how did you run them?

It’s tricky, trying to focus your brain on marketing one series, while you’re writing in a completely different genre!

If you do pick up a copy of any of the books free, please help out and leave a review.

review

And time marches on…

It’s been an amazing year – in the last twelve months I’ve hit the ‘publish now’ button three times… and the series is complete!

The Eshla Adventures were supposed to be for my son – just four when I began the first book – but lack of confidence stopped me from finishing that book for twelve years! I don’t know what changed, but I’m, glad it did; writing Eric’s adventures in Eshla have seen me through a difficult year career wise and shown me what I really want to do with my life.

The next project is already well underway – a cosy (or cozy for US readers) murder mystery set in the 1920’s – but meantime, here are the links to the Eshla Adventures. If you would be willing to read them and write a review, please get in touch through the contact form and I will send a copy.

Many thanks x

Book 1 – The Lost Heirs

The adventures begin, as Eric Grayson – an ordinary fourteen year old schoolboy – discovers Eshla and begins a quest to help Prince Joel rescue his trapped brothers. Things get complicated when the villain who imprisoned them turns out to be closer to home than Eric expected, and the location of the missing key is lost in time!

Armed with friendship, bravery and a fluffy blue alien creature from Eshla, Eric rises to the challenge!

The Lost Heirs US – Link: http://amzn.com/B00NJX2DQY

The Lost Heirs UK – Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NJX2DQY

Book 2 – The Second Stone

In the second installment, 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.

The Second Stone US – Link: http://amzn.com/B00TDR1YRE

The Second Stone UK – Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TDR1YRE

Book 3 – The King’s Chamber

Time is running out for Eric and his friends to release the lost heirs of Eshla! With the final prince, and true King of Eshla, still trapped within his icy blue chamber, the lost stone must be found before Lowick Bradwar can return to wreak havoc.

Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia (and not forgetting Espog) find themselves mingling with Jane Austen’s polite society in 1795, whilst desperately hunting for the missing key. As they get caught up in the lives of people from the past, the four find themselves beginning to consider their own options, and how Eshla has changed their futures forever.

The King’s Chamber US – Link: http://amzn.com/B00XUO0XGE

The King’s Chamber UK – Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00XUO0XGE

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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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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

Playing with the blurb…

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.

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, searching through time on a mission of mercy.

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

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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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.

Goodreads

Today I have discovered Goodreads- yet another promotional tool available to independent authors! Thanks to Reece Evhans (author of The Seeker Series) who first mentioned it.
It took me a while to figure out how to get my book on there, and it threw me when they asked me to review it! But I eventually realised that you link yourself to the book when you join their author program. I’ve just applied now and am awaiting approval.
Has anyone else used the Goodreads promotional tools to market their work? And if so, did any have particularly good results?