Archive | Oct 2018

Competition – win a copy of A Close Shave with Destiny

cover-blogA Close Shave with Destiny has been out for nearly a week, so I thought it time to do a giveaway, or competition if you like. I have two copies of the book to giveaway, one in print and one on Kindle. If you would like a chance to win, just fill in the form below giving your name, email address, prefered version of the book and tell me what your favourite type of moustache is. I will then pick two winners based on my favourite responses. Please be aware that I will only use data for this competition and not keep any after the competition is over. Entering does not mean you have signed up for a newsletter (I don’t even have one!) or will be emailed offers or news (I don’t do that). Basically, I will be following the GDPR rules. If you want to find out more about the book before entering, you can check out this blog post.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW OVER

 

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Islands of Hope Update – 27/10/2018

What, a blog post that is not about A Close Shave with Destiny? Yep, it has been a crazy few days recently promoting my novella, if you have missed all that then take a look at this post, it will give you some information. Anyway, back to my serial novel. Not a massive update this week as I have been marketing my aforementioned new release, but you still get a little over four hundred and fifty words. This week we are back with Kira, can she escape the village that appears to not believe her (well it is the people in the village, not the village itself, they can’t think, because that would be silly!)? You won’t find out fully this week but there is a plan afoot! You can read the start of Chapter 30 on wattpad here, or start from the beginning here.

New Vlog: A Close Shave with Destiny

As marketing of my latest release, ‘A Close Shave with Destiny,’ continues, I have decided my newest vlog should be about the novella. So take a look below, it includes a reading of part of the book…

If you enjoy the sound of the book you can find out more by clicking here. Alternative you can buy the novella on Amazon by going following to the links below…

Kindle UK

Print UK

Kindle US

Print US

A Close Shave out, so what next?

It is amazing that I have actually finished a project, I seem to start so many but never get over the finishing line. So, with ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ now out (if you haven’t got your copy you can get it on Kindle in the UK here or US here, it’s even free if you have Kindle Unlimited!) the real question is, what now?

Well, as I said I have a few projects on the go at one time, so here is what I’ll be doing…

Marketing – I will carry on promoting ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ with numerous tweets. I will be popping up a new vlog about the story and generally badgering everyone to buy it. I have put feelers out about a blog tour and reviews of the book but am still awaiting responses, so I will carry on with that too. I’m sure if I keep annoying everyone they will give in soon!

Islands of Hope – my sci-fi serial novel will continue to get updated weekly on a Saturday. It is currently over 40,000 words long. If you have not started reading it you can access it on wattpad by going here, infact you can access it there even if you have started reading it.

Flash fiction – before I limited the number of projects I worked on at one time I stared a project called ‘The First Flash of Hope.’ It is a book on wattpad that will be composed of twenty sci-fi flash fiction stories, I had intended to update it regularly but it has fallen by the wayside. So, one of my first ports of call will be to write another flash fiction piece for the book. If you want to read what is there already you can do by clicking here.

Super Lizard – if you have followed this blog for a while you will know of Super Lizard, if not, he is a Nigerian fat-tailed Gekko who lives in North Yorkshire. He got covered in toxic waste and turned into a mild-mannered super hero (got the plot from a random plot generator!). I have written two Super Lizard ebooks, the first one is a short story, the second a collection of four short stories. Again, before limiting projects, I was part way through the first story in a new collection. After my flash fiction story, I will complete this and pop it on wattpad. If you want to read the other Super Lizard stories you can on Smashwords, just click here.

Another project – I have two other projects to look at after this, firstly is finishing editing of ‘The Fifth Coin,’ a YA novel I started for NaNoWriMo back in 2016. I need to run it through ProWritingAid and then check a paper copy, before sending it out to query. I also have ideas for a younger children’s chapter book. I may start writing that as well.

RPG – during the time I was limiting projects, I started a space based RPG. I will also continue this on and off to slowly get it finished. I have even considering doing something through Kickstarter with it.

So, plenty to keep me going. Oh, did I say I had just released ‘A Close Shave with Destiny?’ You can get a print version from the UK here, or US here. Nothing like ending a blog post with a shameless plug. Oh look, here’s a picture of some of the print copies of the book looking beautiful…

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A Close Shave with Destiny is here

cover-blogYes, I have done it. About three years of work and my novella is now published. It is self-published via Amazon, but that is still published. A Close Shave with Destiny started out as a short story that I intended to sell for 99p to get sponsorship for Movember, where you grow a moustache to aid men’s health issues. The story grew beyond that and, rather than taking me a few weeks, took me a few years to write. In fact it became a novella of just over 40,000 words. I decided, therefore, to donate some money to Movember and then sell the book as a piece of work in its own right. So what is A Close Shave with Destiny about? Well, as it was originally for Movember it is set in a moustache. It follows the hero Wignut and his aide Barnabas as they embark on a daring mission, one Wignut is not too happy about. Melstone, a village elder, tells of a prophecy where a deep snow will set in and the world will be scoured by large blades that cut trees and rip up houses. He says that it will happen soon, so Wignut and Barnabas are sent to collect a sticky substance from the Caves of Nosterak so as to glue down the houses in their village and save the villagers. It is basically a comedy fantasy story. Not convinced? Want to know more? Take a look at the sample below from the start of the book…

The wind was fierce tonight, even inside it chilled to the bone. It was as if they had picked the weather especially for the occasion, the howling adding to the sombre atmosphere.

“It is coming,” old Melstone spluttered.

Gasps came from faces that stared at him, they looked into each other’s eyes, fear creeping in. Well, nearly all of them, to Wignut it was like watching a bad play, all that melodrama made him sick. It was just an old man on his deathbed bringing up stories from legend. They never talked about this stuff in the full verve of their lives, always when they were about to die, when they were really afraid. But like so many before, it would be a false alarm.

“I can almost hear the roar now,” Melstone continued.

Wignut zoned out, the story had been told so many times before; the end of the world, the apocalypse, some even called it the harvest. First it would snow, not normal snow, not the odd icey droplet falling through the dense, tall trees that cover this area of land. No, this would be a thicker, sweet smelling, snow that seeped right to the bottom of each tree. People would swim for their lives, some drowning from the intoxicating foam. If you survived that, worse was to come, steel blades were said to scrape across the land, ripping trees from the ground and taking everything else with them. It was the final act, one that would leave nothing alive. Apparently Melstone had lived through the last one, but Wignut found that hard to believe, the legend told of nothing surviving, so how was he still here? That was also why he did not trust the stories, if no one was alive to tell them then how did they come to be? Mums and dads, granddads and grannies trying to scare their children so they would be good and stick to the right path, you could not get that one past Wignut.

He came out of his trance when he heard Dactar, the village chief, asking the soon to be deceased village elder, “and what can we do about it?”

‘Here we go again,’ thought Wignut, ‘another mission for me because of the superstitions and gullibility of this lot.’

Melstone paused dramatically, Wignut let out a large sigh. Eyes shot to him disapprovingly. “Come on,” he said, “he’s putting it on, we go through this every time.”

“Your elder is dying, have some respect,” Dactar replied in harsh tones.

“Do not be harsh on the boy, he is young and foolhardy but he has a part to play,” the elder interjected.

‘Just as I thought,’ Wignut said in his head, ‘crazy mission time.’

“So be it,” the chief said, still looking towards Wignut. He spun his head back to the elder, “please tell us your secrets.”

“There is a place where a sticky substances grows, a substance so strong that it could bond any two objects together. You must gather this substance, apply it to the base of the trees and buildings in this village. When the harvest starts it will not be able to rip the trees from the ground and you will be saved.”

Wignut snorted, eyes darted to him once more, “seriously, he wants us to glue the village down, this is silly.” The stares intensified, lips pursed and anger appeared in every eye. Wignut blew out his cheeks, shook his head and said, “I’ll get my sword.”

~

Wignut stared at the map, who thought of these names? The Caves of Nosterak, they were making this up, they had to be. He looked along the route once more, it should be easy enough. From the village they would head east through the tranquil forest, things would get a little harder on the outskirts where the mites roamed, but if they were quiet they would be able sneak all the way to the Red Spoticule volcano. It had been dormant for some time so would be quicker to scale than skirting round the base. They would need to head north at the White Fangs, then on to the caves entering either of the two. If they managed to get past the deadly Boogelas, monsters from your darkest nightmares, the sticky liquid was not too far in. A quick jaunt back and they would be home and dry.

Wignut rolled the map up, “doesn’t look too hard.”

“Yes sir, we will be back here before you know it,” Barnabas replied far too enthusiastically. He took the map from Wignut and added it to the pack he had prepared, it bulged at the sides, threatening to tear at the seams.

“Do we really need all that?” Wignut replied.

“Oh, you can never be too careful. We need the map and the weaponry, plus I know how hungry you get, you need all your strength if you are to battle evil forces. I also added a rope and a hook for the climbs, and you never know when you might need some money. Last time we went out the heel of your boots split, so I have included a spare pair. Also a comb to make sure you look your best whilst doing heroic deeds, and a sleeping mat and cover. Oh yes, you couldn’t go without Mr. Snugglebuns.”

Barnabas was helpful but sometimes he mothered. Wignut had not risen to top hero in the village by listening to his mother, mainly because she had died some time ago. Yes an assistant was useful, but sometimes he went too far, plus his persistent optimism was draining.

Realising that Barnabas would collapse under the weight off the pack in two steps, Wignut demanded he removed some items. “My sword is enough of a weapon, it will not be a hard fight, I don’t need all that food, we can sleep under the stars, I prefer my hair to be wild and why would I need Mr. Snugglebuns? I’m not a child.”

He watched as Barnabas removed a mace, three knives, two apples, six rice cakes, a loaf of bread, some cooked meat, the comb, the sleeping mat, the cover and a stuffed bear that had clearly seen better days.

“Thank you,” said Wignut in exasperated tones, “now can we go?”

He helped Barnabas put the pack on and headed for the door, before he got there he turned and looked at the pile of items. With a sense of guilt he said, “well, maybe Mr. Snugglebuns could come.”

~

You can buy A Close Shave with Destiny on Kindle or in print from Amazon using the links below…

Kindle UK

Print UK

Kindle US

Print US

If you buy it and read it then it would be great if you left a review on Amazon, even if you hated it I would like to know.

Blogs wanted for the ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ Blog Tour

cover-blogMy comedy fantasy novella, ‘A Close Shave with Destiny,’ is currently in the ‘In Review’ stage at Amazon. In up to 72 hours the print and kindle versions will become available. To help promote this, I would like to set up a blog tour (please note I have never done this before so am probably making tons of mistakes!). I am a hobbyist writer so do not have money to spend on a professional to sort this out, so am really asking for the generosity of the public (along with a free copy of the book!). So here are the details…

What I would like from you

To post an article about ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ on your blog that links to the book in both formats.

What I will give

  • Title, text, images and links for the article (to explain who I am, why I wrote the book and what the book is about)
  • A date to place the article on your blog
  • Tweets to the article from my twitter account (including the #CloseShaveBlogTour hashtag)
  • A free copy of the book in either kindle or print version (happy to sign the print version if you want)
  • The commitment to participate in your next blog tour

What is ‘A Close Shave with Destiny?’

I suppose you want to know what the story is about before you commit. Well, it is a novella of around 40,000 words that tells the story of Wignut and his aid Barnabus. It is a comedy fantasy novella set in a moustache. Why a moustache you ask? Originally it was to be written as a short story to help get sponsorship for Movember (where you grow a moustache in November to raise money for men’s health causes), but became too large and turned into a novella. I have therefore decided to donate to Movember and sell the novella as a work in its own right. Anyhow, back to the story. Wignut and Barnabus are told of an apocalypse that will rip up houses and trees so and are sent, against Wignut’s will (he is very sceptical), to collect a sticky substance to glue down their houses and save the village. The novella is the resultant mission.

What do you do next?

If you are interested then you can send me a message on here, twitter or facebook. Feel free to PM me if you don’t want it to be public.

Thank you to everyone for even looking at this, and many more thanks if you take part.

 

 

Islands of Hope Update – 20/10/2018

Yet again I have written a whole chapter in a week, yet again it is a short one. I managed to write it and have it edited by Wednesday so considered doing a bonus update this week. Instead I focused on furthering some other projects. The great news is that my comedy fantasy novella set in a moustache, ‘A Close Shave with Destiny,’ is ready to be formatted for release. Anyway, back on to ‘Islands of Hope.’ This week’s update is a rather uninspiring one where Eliana is trying, and failing, to contact Kira. It may seem a pointless scene but will become more important later on. For now you can read Chapter 29 on wattpad by going here, or start from the beginning here.