Announcing Heroes of the Sundered Crown Book 5 in the Sundered Crown

Hi all I’m delighted to announce book 5 in the Sundered Crown Saga- Heroes of the Sundered Crown. I’m working away on the book and am hoping for a release sometime in the Autumn of this year.
The fleet of Yundol longships powered through the water towards the shore. On the clifftop, beacons burst into life as the approaching invasion force was sighted by the enemy. Standing proud at the bow of the lead Yundol ship was Ricard of Champia. His greying hair and beard blew in the wind, and his green cape fluttered wildly behind him. His eyes were fixed on the beach. 
For too long he’d been exiled from the Kingdom that was rightfully his. After his defeat and escape from Bison, he’d spent six months overseas seeking aid to strike back at Danon. He had travelled across the continent of Yundol, the home of Delfinnia’s once most feared foes to find support for his war. Most of the Yundol chieftains had scoffed at him; some had even threatened to kill him. Many of the Yundol warlords bitterly remembered the defeats Ricard had inflicted during their failed invasion decades earlier. Despite that, the promise of gold had proven too appealing for some, and before long, he’d mustered a formidable force of mercenaries. 
The cost made him wince; his treasury was now empty; he’d gambled everything on taking the Sundered Crown for himself. Yundol horns blared across the choppy black waters, and the warriors that had once spilt blood across Delfinnia prepared to do so again. The warriors roared, their savage voices carrying in the wind. A thousand men to take the Marble Shore, a thousand of the most dangerous men alive. He adjusted his sword belt and took the helmet offered to him by his squire. He looked back down the row of burly oarsmen and nodded to his trusted lieutenant the elderly Vizar. The fighting men of Champia were packed onto the ship’s deck and bristled as they sighted the stunning white beaches ahead Marble cliffs shining in the early spring sunshine. It was the first time many of them had seen the mainland in months and signalled that they were returning home. Vizar caught his eye and gave Ricard a reassuring smile. The older warrior walked over to him.
 “The men are eager for battle my lord. Let us hope these Yundols are just as good at killing as I remember.”
Ricard nodded before putting on his helmet.
 “Today we take the Marble shore, tomorrow the Kingdom.”
 The horns sounded again signalling for the fleet to increase speed. The warriors hastily strapped on their armour and prepared their weapons. With every oar stroke, the Yundol warriors shouted their battle cry.
 “Death! Death! Death!”
The longship surged forward, and Ricard drew his sword from its scabbard. Behind him, his warriors prepared themselves. Ricard frowned as he spotted figures appear on the clifftops. There were thousands of them!
Arrows suddenly lashed down like hail onto the vulnerable ships. Ricard swore. As they drew closer, the figures became more apparent. All wore black armour, and each was armed with the lethal Sarpi composite bow and barbed arrows. The deadly projectiles struck the ship eliciting screams from warriors and oarsmen unlucky enough to be struck. Just as quickly as it had begun the arrow storm stopped. Then, with a sudden jolt, the ship struck the beach using the furiously rowing oarsmen’s momentum to skid high up the sand. It was the favourite tactic of the Yundols and one that often took a foe by surprise. Ricard leapt over the side of the ship, raised his shield, and roared for his men to follow. The sand was deep and challenging to traverse. Warriors disgorged from the beaching ships, and the Sarpi unleashed another arrow storm.  Dozens of warriors fell to the Sarpi arrows. Ricard’s eyes widened. On the cliff tops, he could see catapults being rolled into place. He watched in horror as the Sarpi quickly loaded the weapons and launched pots of burning pitch down onto the beaching ships. One Yundol longship took a direct hit, erupting in flames that engulfed the warriors on board. Burning men fell screaming over the sides only for their heavy armour to drag them down into the churning sea. 
Ricard rallied his men, and they rushed to him to form a shield wall. He crouched under his shield as another volley of arrows struck. His arm shook under the impact. All around the air was filled with the screams of the wounded and dying, but the Yundol warriors pressed on up the beach. They continued their war chant using their shields as cover from the maelstrom raining down on them. A horn blared from the cliffs causing Ricard to lower his shield. His eyes widened and a knot of dread wormed in his guts. Massing at the top of the steep incline at the top of the beach were hundreds of heavily armoured horses. Their thick black armour covered the animals from head to hoof and sat astride them were Sarpi warriors clad in thick plate armour the colour of darkest night. 
“Spears!” Ricard bellowed.
The Yundols sheathed their swords and axes and hastily formed a phalanx of spear points. With expert skill drilled into them by Ricard, the warriors grouped together until they were three lines deep. Each wielded a long spear and lapped their shields over their neighbours. The Sarpi cavalry surged forward like a black tide to sweep down the dunes. Sand sprayed in all directions, and the ground shook. 
 “Brace!”
The first of the horsemen thundered closer, lowering their long lances, and picking targets to slay. 
With devastating impact, they hit, the Yundol spears having little effect on the charging enemy’s thick armour. Men were skewered on lance points by the dozen, Vizar among them. Ricard was battered to the ground, but he quickly rolled to escape the stamping iron shod hooves of a Sarpi horse. He came up from the roll, threw his shattered spear aside and drew his sword. Despair filled him. All along the beach, the cavalry swept aside the army he’d spent months and the last of his fortune gathering. The dead lay in the now blood soaked sand and bodies floated on the grisly tide. Several of the longships were ablaze to send smoke drifting high into the sky. The lucky ones had managed to force their way back into the sea and were now desperately turning tail to flee back into open water.
 “Niveren no,” Ricard despaired. More horns sounded, this time from across the water. Ricard spun to see a small fleet of Sarpi warships round the headland and move to cut off his forces. The Yundols were trapped. He watched in horror as fire arrows launched into the dull sky and fell like rain on the beleaguered Yundol vessels. The ships caught alight, the screams of the doom sailors drifting on the breeze. All around him, his men were being butchered the cavalry charge having smashed any semblance of disciplined resistance. All of his hopes and dreams of liberating Delfinnia and taking the crown had been extinguished within moments. 
In his heart, he had always known it had been a fool’s dream but seeing his men cut down the realisation of all he had done dawned on him. The thunder of hooves came from behind him, he closed his eyes. A broken man. 

Buy the Sundered Crown Saga

The Nightblade (Prequel)

Heir to the Sundered Crown

War for the Sundered Crown

Quest for the Sundered Crown

Voyage for the Sundered Crown


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The Cover for Voyage for the Sundered Crown

It’s done! Check out the awesome new cover for Voyage for the Sundered Crown: Book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga. Pre-order now and get it for just 0.99p/c on release day. Get from Amazon – mybook.to/VFTSC and other retailers – https://books2read.com/u/b5ZJJ6 Here’s the description –

The Kingdom of Delfinnia has fallen, but hope remains.
Sent on a daring voyage to seek out allies from across the sea, the wizard, Luxon Edioz and his companions rediscover the continent of Tulin. A land that is full of dangers, magic, and adventure.
There they will find new allies, new wonders, and new enemies. As Danon’s conquest draws closer to completion, Luxon must use all of his wits and powers to unite the peoples of Tulin and convince them to help him save his homeland.
It will be a voyage that will test him to his limits and one that will decide the fate of all.

Pre-order your copy today!

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Tips for Indy Authors 4: Cover Art & Covers

If you peruse the Amazon Kindle store you will be greeted by more books than you can count. Unfortunately, many of them are likely to have book covers that quite frankly suck and that were obviously cobbled together by the author.

With so much competition out there you need your book to stand out from the crowd. Sure we all want to save money and many authors do take their books to market without spending a penny on anything, but do those books go on to sell more than a handful of copies?

Do it yourself?

Making your own covers can work don’t get me wrong; if you have a background in art and design. Knowing what works is vital to making a good cover. I’ve been doing content creation for years now so feel pretty comfortable using design tools but I know for a fact that the covers I have made myself could be so much better if I had paid a pro.

Getting the imagery and title fonts right for your genre is also key. If you can draw then good for you, you can create something unique from scratch. For the rest of us mere mortals however, we can turn to stock image websites. Free sites like Pexels provide free images to use but these are pretty limited. For a basic package with sites such as Shutterstock or Adobe Stock, you will have a lot more choice. With some photoshop wizardry, you can easily turn a stock image into something unique looking. There are few images out there, however, that been used numerous times so try to use one that no one else has used yet.

Free tools such as Canva and Paint.net allow anyone with an eye for design the ability to create some pretty decent covers.

Finding Artists

Unless you’re really lucky and have a family member or friend who is a designer or artist finding the right person to do your book’s cover art can be tricky. Deviant art is an excellent place to find pros and if you’re a signed up member you can post job requests on the job boards. You’ll always get someone willing to offer you their talents but as is correct the artists will ask for payment (no one should work for free after all!)

It was through Deviant art that I met the cover artist for the First Fear and the up and coming second Empowered One’s novel. Having a professional cover is an amazing feeling to have as you’re proud to show it off. There are many other places where artists lurk but in my opinion, you should avoid Fiverr as I’ve heard some horror stories.

There are also many pre-made book cover services out there but again the quality is hit and miss, and you cannot guarantee that what you buy is solely yours.

There are some absolute shockingly bad book covers out there. Be sure to not have yours end up on a list like this one

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The First Fear Cover Reveal and Pre-Order Special

Hello, so here it is a project that I’ve been working on for the past two years. If you pre-order before its release in June you can get it for a lower price of just 1.99.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did writing it and here’s a shout for the excellent cover artist Reza Afshar. Check out his other work at – https://artofreza.deviantart.com/ 

Pre-order at: mybook.to/FirstFear

The Supreme rules the world.

For centuries the Supreme has reigned with an iron fist. The people are slaves to her whim and at the mercy of her followers who revere her as their goddess. Using a supernatural ability, known as the ‘Power’ she is able to channel emotions and convert them into superhuman abilities.

Some Resist.

Not all live their lives in servitude. A few rare people also possess the Power and try to fight. These Empowered Ones are hunted mercilessly by the Supreme and her servants, for she knows the threat they pose to her will. None has dared to challenge her outright. That is until now.

Elian, a young boy living at the edge of the Imperium discovers he too possesses the Power with devastating consequences for both himself and the girl he loves. On the run, they encounter a ragtag band of resistance fighters called the Liberators. Among their ranks are others with the gift and their leader Vavius who believes that the key to overthrowing the Supreme lies in the ruins of the ravaged lands of the once mighty Kingdom of Aeranyth.

Pursued and hunted for their gifts by the sinister First Fear and the Hollowed, the world’s fate rests in the hands of the Empowered Ones.

Cover Reveal coming soon!

Hi folks, I have some news on a project I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. Next week I will be unveiling the cover for The First Fear as well as providing links for how you can pre-order an eBook version. This book has been fun to write and I hope that you’ll enjoy it.

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The First Fear Cover Reveal

Hi everyone, as I’m getting close to completing the First Fear I thought I’d share with you the planned book cover and synopsis. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or via social media. As to when you’ll be able to read the book, well I’m aiming to submit it to a publisher (a first for me!), but failing that I’m aiming for a March release.

FF3

A new epic fantasy saga begins!

The Supreme rules the world.

For centuries she has reigned with an iron fist. The people are slaves to her whim and at the mercy of her followers who revere her as their goddess. Using a supernatural ability, known as the ‘Power’ she is able to channel emotions and convert them into superhuman abilities.

Some Resist.

Not all live their lives in servitude. A few rare people also possess the Power and try to fight. These Empowered Ones are hunted mercilessly by the Supreme and her servants, for she knows the threat they pose to her will. None has dared to challenge her outright. That is until now.

Elian, a young man living at the edge of the Imperium discovers he too possesses the Power with devastating consequences for both himself and the people he loves. On the run, they encounter a ragtag band of resistance fighters called the Liberators. Among their ranks are others with the Gift and their leader Vavius who believes that the key to overthrowing the Supreme lies in the ruins of the ravaged lands of the once mighty Kingdom of Aeranyth.

Pursued and hunted for their gifts by the sinister First Fear, the world’s fate rests in the hands of the Empowered Ones.

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A Quick Update – July 30th

Hi, everyone! It’s been a busy few weeks at my end as I gear up for the release of Book 3 in the Sundered Crown Saga and get the other books ready for the soon to be released Book 1-3 boxset. (Sign up to the mailing list to get early access!)

Book Release Week!

To celebrate the launch of Quest for the Sundered Crown (released August 4th)  and to continue this year’s Summer Sale, both Heir to the Sundered Crown and book 2 War for the Sundered Crown will both available to purchase at a discounted rate on both Ebook and paperback formats. The sale begins on August 1st and will run until August 8th.

With help from Rob May, I’ve also been working on designing the paperback book covers for Quest which you can view below –

Return of the Unconquered

For fans of my historical fiction writing (I know there’s a few of you out there!) you’ll be pleased to know that after several years I have finally begun writing book 2 in the series. It took me a long time to decide on how best to proceed with this story as I felt I’d written myself into a bit of a corner with book 1, but thanks to the years in between since I wrote the first one I feel as though I learnt enough and gained enough experience to choose a way out. Book 2 will be dominated by the lead up to and the Battle of Hastings as well as the aftermath. I’m aiming to get a first draft completed of this one by the end of the year.

Also, check out the new cover for Blood of Kings

The First Fear

Work on my other, new fantasy series is still ongoing, and I’ve reached the 40k mark with the first draft. I’ll be writing this book and Unconquered concurrently so I can keep myself fresh by dipping from reality into fantasy if I feel stuck on the other.

 

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The New Look Sundered Crown Saga

The New Look Sundered Crown Saga

Hi everyone!

I’ve been hard at work on book 3 of the Sundered Crown Saga and am pleased to announce the all new look for the series. These new covers will be for both E-book and paperback editions of the books.

 

As well as the new look I will soon be announcing the release of The Sundered Crown Saga 1-3 Box set which will be available to purchase on Amazon in August.

Pre-order Quest for the Sundered Crown

You can pre-order Quest for the Sundered Crown from Amazon now –  myBook.to/Qftsc

Other News
In other news, my Facebook author page finally hit the 2,000 follower mark, a big thank you to those of you who have supported the page.
You can follow my Facebook page at – https://www.facebook.com/Unconqueredseries/

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The Nightblade is done!

Hi everyone, just letting you know that my next fantasy novel, The Nightblade is finished. I have spent over a year writing the story and I’m happy with the way it’s turned out.

The next step is, of course, the editing phase. My good author friend Rob May has agreed to assist with this and get it as polished as it can possibly be. You can read a very rough version of the story on Wattpad, (please bear in mind that the finished article has a completely different ending and a lot of extra scenes).

The release date will be sometime in October so stay tuned for updates!

Synopsis

When darkness rises, the Nightblade is never far behind.

It came from the forest. A creature not seen in the peaceful lands of Mid-lake for millennia.

A farmer disappears and strange sounds are heard in the nearby forest prompting Alther, an old man with a mysterious past to investigate. What he discovers could threaten not just Mid-lake but the Kingdom of Delfinnia as a whole.

The Nightblade is a tale of adventure, mystery and magic and casts light on the events leading up to the Sundered Crown Saga.

The epic Sundered Crown Saga is available on kindle and paperback now!
Heir to the Sundered Crown (Book 1) – http://a.co/cRiRqBL
War for the Sundered Crown (Book 2) – http://a.co/39JC6qc
Paperback editions –
Heir to the Sundered Crown http://amzn.to/1XDSxlg
War for the Sundered Crown http://amzn.to/1RiVFDs

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