The Cities Beyond the Signal – Goodreads giveaway

Dear US people,

It’s almost a year since The Cities Beyond the Signal, my portal fantasy novella, was released into the world.

To celebrate, I’m running a Goodreads giveaway. There’s a chance for you to win one of 100 Kindle editions of the novella.

You can enter here.

You have until 8 October.

Good luck.

A quick thank you

Thank you to any and all of you who have bought The Theatre of Shadows over the past two weeks. I hope you’re enjoying it. Should you feel so inclined, please don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Even a handful of words can help.

If you’ve yet to get your copy of The Theatre of Shadows, you can find it here:

UK

US

Canada

Australia

France

Germany

Netherlands

It’s here – The Theatre of Shadows is released into the world

It’s here. It’s here. It’s finally here. My new flintlock fantasy novel The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II is out in the world.

It’s available on Kindle and in paperback here:

UK

US

Canada

Australia

France

Germany

Netherlands

If you’re on Goodreads you can find details and add it to your To Read list here.

I hope you all enjoy reading it.

The Theatre of Shadows
Book Two of
The Vasini Chronicles

The adventures of Drs. Marcus Fox &
Elizabeth Reid continue…

In the two centuries since the fall of the deities, only a score of city-states have risen from the ashes of their destruction. Foremost amongst them is Vasini — a city divided by politics, class, and philosophies. A city with a threat in every shadow.

Six months have passed since the events of The Silver Mask. Over the winter months, Vasini was plagued by Gareth Miller, the Winter Fayre Killer, who murdered 17 people before he was captured by Lieutenant David Locke. The city now waits for Miller to be hanged. But when Miller escapes gaol, ready to terrorise Vasini’s streets once more, Locke must hunt the murderer again to stop him from claiming more lives.

As Miller flees into Vasini’s streets, Joseph Bastin, ambassador to Vasini for the city-state of Laège, is assassinated in a brothel. With the threat of political repercussions for the death, it is up to Dr. Marcus Fox, newly appointed Commandant of Police, to find the ambassador’s killer.

Fox’s investigation soon leads to a suspect, someone who has been investigating links between the Laège embassy and the worship of the dead deities – his ally, Dr. Elizabeth Reid.

Now, Elizabeth and her friend, Catherine, must act quickly to clear her name before she is found by someone who doesn’t believe her claims of innocence and she’s forced to dance the hangman’s jig.

But these events are only a prelude for what is to come.

The stage is set. The actors are in position. The play can begin.

The Theatre of Shadows is the second part of The Vasini Chronicles, a series of flintlock-and-alchemy fantasy novels set in the city-state of Vasini.

Inside Vasini – The Winter Fayre Killer is captured

There’s just two days until the release of The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II on 15 July.

Soon you’ll be able to rejoin the adventures of Drs. Marcus Fox and Elizabeth Reid as they investigate the mysteries surrounding the death of Ambassador Joseph Bastin of Laège and the escape of Gareth Miller, the Winter Fayre Killer.

I’ve previously mentioned the murder of Josephine Addams, the Winter Fayre Killer’s first victim, here.

Over the next three months, Gareth Miller would kill a further 16 people across Vasini. At first, the murders were not linked by the city’s inspectorate, with no connections between the victims, with the crimes being committed across multiple districts.

However, when a series of eight murders happened over one week, three of whom were killed in one night, all around the Farrier’s Square and southern Ferrymen’s districts, it became apparent that the bodies — marked by the ferocity of the attacks and the lack of motive — were likely the victims of the same killer.

With the suspicion falling on a single killer, the investigation into the murders was assigned to Lieutenant David Locke of the Palace District Inspectorate, Dr. Marcus Fox’s former sergeant. But the lack of motive and the apparent randomness of the victims meant that there was little evidence to point to a suspect.

Miller was only caught by luck, when the knife he had used in what was to be his final murder, was found with the victim. It was marked with the name of the shambles where Miller worked.

Below is a report from the The Guardian, one of Vasini’s newssheets, that tells of the final capture of Miller. (The newssheets’ interest in the murders was high throughout the investigation and they harassed Locke for more and more information. Much to Locke’s annoyance, they frequently got something wrong in their reporting, the least of which was how to spell his surname.)

You can pre-order The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II on Kindle here (or try your local Amazon store if you’re outside of the UK).

The Theatre of Shadows – Almost there

Only three days to go until The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II is released on 15 July.

I may be getting a little over excited.

You can pre-order your copy on Kindle here:

UK

US

Canada

Australia

France

Germany

Netherlands

If you’re on Goodreads you can find details and add it to your To Read list here.

The Theatre of Shadows
Book Two of
The Vasini Chronicles

The adventures of Drs. Marcus Fox &
Elizabeth Reid continue…

In the two centuries since the fall of the deities, only a score of city-states have risen from the ashes of their destruction. Foremost amongst them is Vasini — a city divided by politics, class, and philosophies. A city with a threat in every shadow.

Six months have passed since the events of The Silver Mask. Over the winter months, Vasini was plagued by Gareth Miller, the Winter Fayre Killer, who murdered 17 people before he was captured by Lieutenant David Locke. The city now waits for Miller to be hanged. But when Miller escapes gaol, ready to terrorise Vasini’s streets once more, Locke must hunt the murderer again to stop him from claiming more lives.

As Miller flees into Vasini’s streets, Joseph Bastin, ambassador to Vasini for the city-state of Laège, is assassinated in a brothel. With the threat of political repercussions for the death, it is up to Dr. Marcus Fox, newly appointed Commandant of Police, to find the ambassador’s killer.

Fox’s investigation soon leads to a suspect, someone who has been investigating links between the Laège embassy and the worship of the dead deities – his ally, Dr. Elizabeth Reid.

Now, Elizabeth and her friend, Catherine, must act quickly to clear her name before she is found by someone who doesn’t believe her claims of innocence and she’s forced to dance the hangman’s jig.

But these events are only a prelude for what is to come.

The stage is set. The actors are in position. The play can begin.

The Theatre of Shadows is the second part of The Vasini Chronicles, a series of flintlock-and-alchemy fantasy novels set in the city-state of Vasini.

Inside Vasini – Crytha, Goddess of Air, Whispers and Rumours

With the release of The Theatre of Shadows on 15 July, it’s time for another insight into the world of Vasini.

Before the fall of the deities, Crytha was the goddess associated with air, whispers and rumours. As Dr. Ambrose Richards explains in his A Study of the Old Deities to Inform and Protect the Good Citizenship — a book written by the University of Vasini lecturer as a way to make fast money and considered to be mostly a sensationalist midden heap — Crytha was as changeable as the air and rumours of which she was patron.

As well as being the goddess of air, whispers and rumours, legend claims that she created a race of flying people known as the fles. Since the fall, nearly 200 years ago, there has been no evidence that the fles ever existed, other than a few wild claims by a handful of traders who have passed near mountains. Such claims amount to little more than tales of seeing humanoids with bat-like wings spread between their arms and legs, circling the distant mountain peaks.

It’s here – The Cities Beyond the Signal

It’s here…The Cities Beyond the Signal, my new novella, has finally appeared in the world on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

You can find it here:

UK

US

Canada

Australia

France

Germany

Netherlands

It has been three years since Alex travelled to the city between the books, that cold, bleak place haunted by the monkey-beast. Three years and it has become a dream, a hidden memory that is easily passed off as make believe.

Now graduated from university, Alex is struggling to find a job. Until she receives an enigmatic email inviting her to an interview, but with no information on who the job is for and what it involves.

Desperate for employment, Alex feels she has to go. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

But a cryptic radio signal is going to draw her into a new adventure. What started in that cold, bleak city is going to lead Alex on a rescue mission through stranger and more dangerous places.

The Cities Beyond the Signal is a novella-length sequel to the story The City Between the Books.

The Cities Beyond the Signal

I’m excited to announce that my new novella, The Cities Beyond the Signal, will be released on Kindle on 8 October 2020.

It’s already available for pre-order here.

(For those outside of the UK, please try your local US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand or EU-based Amazon store.)

What’s it about? Well…

It has been three years since Alex travelled to the city between the books, that cold, bleak place haunted by the monkey-beast. Three years and it has become a dream, a hidden memory that is easily passed off as make believe.

Now graduated from university, Alex is struggling to find a job. Until she receives an enigmatic email inviting her to an interview, but with no information on who the job is for and what it involves.

Desperate for employment, Alex feels she has to go. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

But a cryptic radio signal is going to draw her into a new adventure. What started in that cold, bleak city is going to lead Alex on a rescue mission through stranger and more dangerous places.

The Cities Beyond the Signal is a novella-length sequel to the story The City Between the Books.

How long has it been?

Hello, all. I hope you’re keeping well.

I started writing a post back in April, but for several reasons never got to post it. I tried again in July, but it still didn’t happen. So now, in September, I’ve salvaged some of what I originally wrote and put together a short update on where I’m at with a couple of things.

When I was writing the original post back in April, it was our seventh(?) week of being housebound. In many ways, not much changed. My day job means that I work from home on a regular basis. Tackling childcare while working proved a challenge, but rather than deal with the stress and put my daughter through the nonsense of her parents working while she wanted our attention, thankfully we were in a position where I could take some parental leave which made things easier.

Of course, tackling all of this, living in a situation so disrupted from the norm did mean that other aspects of life were getting disrupted. There was less time to read. At times, less inclination to write as my mind was full of processing what was (and still is) going on and working out how best to get our next load of shopping. But things moved along, just more slowly. Sometimes very slowly. Yet, with any situation you acclimatise to the new norm. Things started to speed up. I found the gaps in my day that allowed me to read a bit more and, as you’ll see later, I’ve even managed to write and, more importantly, edit.

It’s been great to be able to have my family around me more though. So much time can be lost not just to work, but to getting to and from work. And there are a couple of things that the disruption has let me do thanks to my daughter settling down earlier at night and not having to get everyone up at 5am in the morning so they can get out of the house in time to head to work and nursery. The main one was getting the chance to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time in a decade.

Yes, I could probably have written more, but, truth be told, my mind, for the first few months, wasn’t in a place where it could concentrate for that long, too many distractions in the real world. One shot D&D games though were just plain fun. Limited thinking required, just focused on enjoying some time with friends and acquaintances with no pressure. To be honest with you, the release from what was going on probably allowed me to go on and do the writing I did do.

The Cities Beyond the Signal

I’m getting close to putting the finishing touches to the novella I’ve been working on under the title of The Signal (now called The Cities Beyond the Signal), the sequel to the novelette The City Between the Books.

That means I should, fingers crossed, have some news soonish about when it will actually appear in the world.

The Theatre of Shadows: The Vasini Chronicles II

Although The Cities Beyond the Signal will be released before the next Vasini Chronicles book, much of what time I’ve managed to get to write over the past few months has actually been spent on The Theatre of Shadows. Things are progressing well, there’s still work to be done, but it’s getting closer and closer to being ready.

Tales From Vasini III

I’ve actually managed to finish the first draft of one of the novellas that will make up Tales From Vasini III.

It needs work, and I still have the two other novellas that I need to write to go with it, but it’s a start.

Reading

I’ve already hit my Goodreads goal for the year of reading 48 books. It was mainly thanks to having bought the entire main series of The Walking Dead graphic novels via Humble Bundle. I managed to get through the two-thirds of the series I had yet to read thanks to not being able to concentrate on anything too text heavy.

Blogging

With the release The Cities Beyond the Signal on the horizon, expect me to start blogging a little more frequently over the coming weeks. Whether it will turn into a more frequent think in the longer term remains to be seen.

Anyway, keep safe and well. Wash your hands (do you remember when the advice was just wash your hands properly?), wear a mask, keep two meters apart and stay inside as much as you can.