The Summer Sale 2021

If you’ve been following me for a few years then you’ll know that every year I hold a Summer Sale to give you excellent folks new books to read throughout the holidays and with this blasted Covid virus still about who knows whether we will all be put into lockdown again. To that end here is the schedule for the book promos and their sale prices. Enjoy! And please leave reviews of any books you do choose to get. 

Sale begins June 1st

1st to the 6th – Danon (FREE)

7-13th – The Nightblade (0.99p/c or FREE if you sign up to the Newsletter)

14-20 – Heir to the Sundered Crown (0.99p/c)

21-27 – War for the Sundered Crown (0.99p/c)

28th – 4th July – Quest for the Sundered Crown (0.99p/c)

5-11 – Voyage for the Sundered Crown (0.99p/c)

12-18 – The First Fear (0.99p/c)

19-25 – The Temple of Arrival (0.99p/c)

26- 1st August – Terran Defenders: Genesis (0.99p/c)

2- 8 – Terran Defenders: Rebirth (0.99p/c)

9-15 – Blood of Kings (0.99p/c) 


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Easter Sale – Unconquered: Blood of Kings for just 0.99p/c

Flash Sale for the Easter Weekend! – If you love history, battles and heroic characters Unconquered: Blood of Kings is the book for you. Get your copy for just 0.99p/c from – books2read.com/u/bxejqd

The final clash of Saxons and Vikings!

As the kingdom teeters on the edge of chaos, King Edward the Confessor dies without an heir, sparking off events that will see three of the most powerful men in Europe fight to the death for Christendom’s greatest prize, the crown of Saxon England.

Rebellion, war, love and loss will test the strength and faith of Osfrid Hunweldsen, a noble who fights to save his family from the hands of tyranny and the coming invasion of the kingdom. It is 1066, the blood of Kings shall be shed.

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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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Voyage for the Sundered Crown is out NOW!

Brace the Mainsail and prepare for adventure – Voyage for the Sundered Crown is out now!

I’m delighted to announce that Book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga is out now! It’s been a few years since I last dived into this world and continued Luxon, Ferran and Sophia’s story. I hope you enjoy it and please post a review!

Get it for just 0.99p/c for a limited time only. As well as that Book 1 Heir to the Sundered Crown is also on sale for 0.99p/c so now is the perfect time to dive into the saga.

—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.

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The Sundered Crown Saga Now on Google Play

The first two books of the Sundered Crown Saga, Heir and War are now live on the Google Play store!

Google Play Store

For a long time, I had kept the Saga solely on Amazon Kindle to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited. At the time I had spoken with many authors who said that it was KU that brought in the bulk of their income and for a time I did receive a fair amount from it.

Then, Amazon changed and began to focus on making authors pay for advertising in order to get their books in front of readers.

Prior to this organic reach had been great and then as they sought even more money and introduced ads that organic reach dried up overnight and so did the KU reads.

The difficulties of marketing

Marketing an indie book has never been harder nor been so expensive. The flooding of the market also hasn’t helped and authors themselves have a lot to be blamed for when it comes to the lack of profitability available these days.

Kindle Unlimited Exclusivity is over

The KU model may appear a good thing for authors but when you look at it closer the income from KU is a pittance.

Prior to its introduction an eBook could easily sell for 4.99 or more and in large numbers. Now, however, thanks to KU many readers now get titles for free via subscription with the author often receiving pennies for every book read.

Going Wide

Going wide and taking my books away from Amazon exclusivity is a big risk and challenge but it’s one I’m prepared to take (at least for a few months). I’ve opted to put Heir and War on Google Play just as an experiment for now and if they begin to sell well, I will put the rest of the saga books on there.

Get Heir to the Sundered Crown on Google Play here

Get War for the Sundered Crown on Google Play here

For other retailers click here

What’s your preferred eBook retailer? Let me know in the comments below.

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A Sneak Peek at The Temple of Arrival (Empowered Ones Book Two)

Hi everyone, I thought I’d share some of book two in the Empowered Ones series; The Temple of Arrival. I hope you enjoy it and if you haven’t already please sign up to the newsletter.


 

The Asylum

The monotonous tapping of water striking stone was comforting to Skit. So too, was the constant flickering of the torch ensconced into the slimy stone wall of the cell that had been his home for the past two decades. He gazed through half-open eyes at the iron grate acting as the door to his cell. The howls, yelps and whimpers of his fellow inmates, now that was something that still scared him. It was the sound of madness and insanity; it was the sound made by the Broken. It was constant, and in those first months sleeping had been difficult, but the saying that a man can get used to anything over time had proven true.

He clenched his jaw as he breathed in the damp acrid air. His back was moist with sweat, and his lice filled tunic covered his emaciated body. The cell was small, containing a pile of straw that acted as his bed, the flickering torch that was his only source of heat as well as light and a small dripping pipe that provided him with water.

The sound of iron grating on stone caused him to sit a little straighter. It was very rare that anything different happened to break the tedium of his self-inflicted imprisonment. He only ever saw the caretakers once every few months when they came through and dropped off food. The yelling and cries of the other inmates grew louder and louder until it grew to an almost deafening pitch. Approaching footsteps came from the darkness of the corridor outside the cell until a shadowy figure appeared in front of Skit’s cell door.

Skit’s ruined eyes could just make out a silhouette standing in the flicker of his torch.

“Who’s there?” he asked, his voice barely louder than a strained whisper. When was the last time he had spoken out loud? He couldn’t recall.

“An old friend,” came the reply. Skit’s eyes widened at the voice. Fear twisted in his belly.

“No. Not you. You’re no friend of mine. You’re the reason I’m in here.”

The figure stepped closer revealing himself.

It was who he had feared most. Vavius.

“Now don’t be like that Skit. We were friends back in the day. Fighting side by side against the Supreme and the Imperium. We were good at it too.”

Skit waved a skinny arm dismissively.

“We were fighting the good fight until I learnt the truth about you and what you did. I wonder if during all this time the others ever figured it out?”

Vavius crossed his arms, his blue cloak looking black in the dimness of the Asylum.

“To answer your question, they never did. Although I’m sure, they know some of the truth now. And it doesn’t matter. I’m this close to it Skit; I have the map.”

Skit looked away and spat in disgust.

“Congratulations,’ he replied his tone dripping with sarcasm. ‘Who did you betray for it? Tarv? Yin? Or perhaps Cleo?”

Vavius chuckled humourlessly.

“Two of those three are dead. I won’t tell you which. I’ll let it haunt your dreams while you cower in this hell. Why choose to hide here? Of all places.”

Skit shook his head in despair at the words. How many more would die for this man’s lust for power?

“I hide here because I know it disgusts you. It represents the worst of us. I’m just surprised it took you this long to find me.”

Vavius gripped one of the cell doors iron bars and placed his face to the cool metal.

“You know why I’m here. I need your help. I need you to read the map. I tried to make sense of it myself, but it’s written in ancient Aeranyth. There’s only one man I know who could read such a language, and that’s you Skit,” Vavius explained taking a scroll from the pocket sewn into his cloak. He pulled the string, unfurled it and pressed the parchment to the bars.

Skit squinted at it for a few moments and chuckled.

“I cannot read it,’ he said shaking his head. “You’ve wasted your time coming here.”

“You’re lying. I know you can read ancient Aeranyth,” Vavius snapped.

He  channeled his Anger. His limbs grew, as the emotion acted as a conduit to the Power. With ease, he ripped the iron door from its hinges and tossed it casually down the corridor. The crash of its impact set off the Asylum’s inmates, their howls of madness rising until that was all that could be heard. He stepped into the cell and forcefully placed a gloved hand to Skit’s forehead. He closed his eyes.

Skit screamed, but the agonized sound was lost in the howls of the damned.

“So, you need a cypher to read it,” Vavius muttered as he tore his way through Skit’s mind. His eyes snapped open as he learned where to obtain one.

“The Venerable Chamber archives,” he said, before lifting the now unconscious Skit over his shoulder and departing the Asylum.

 

***

*The above is a rough draft and is subject to change.


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Books header

May Update – Sundered Crown Saga now wide

Hi, everyone, it’s a been a few weeks since my last post on the website so I thought I’d just post a bit of an update on what’s been occurring.

Mostly I’ve been revising and polishing The First Fear ahead of its release on June 22nd as well as working on Book 4 of the Sundered Crown Saga.

You asked I delivered…(finally)

Since the release of Heir to the Sundered Crown back in 2014, I’ve had a few of you contacting me asking when it and the other books in the series would become available on E-readers other than Amazon Kindle. Well, after much thought I decided to pull them out of Kindle Unlimited which forces them to be Amazon exclusives and have made them available to buy on Apple, Nook, Kobo and other outlets!

Here are the links –

Heir to the Sundered Crown –  https://www.books2read.com/u/boYR6V

War for the Sundered Crown – https://www.books2read.com/u/md00Gw

Quest for the Sundered Crown – https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vvrj

The First Fear

 So, my new book is coming out in June and as an incentive to get you lovely people to buy a copy you can pre-order for the special low price of just 99p/c. Once it’s out the price will rise so you’d be silly not to take advantage of this great offer.

For a preview, you can read the first five chapters by clicking – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/g83m14x1gn

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a #free copy of the Nightblade. Just click the link – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/fmx4pna31i

In Need of Assistance?

Also, I’ve started offering my services and the skills I’ve attained being an Indy author to those who need assistance with their books. If you’re in need of formatting, cover design/resizing and editing services then please check me out or Fiverr or my services website.

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What I’ve learnt about self-publishing – Book Promotion is Changing

Often when indy authors are asked; ‘What is the thing you need the most help with?’ the answer is most often ‘marketing’. And it’s because of this answer that there are now hundreds of different services offering to promote your books.

Since publishing Heir to the Sundered Crown back in 2014 I’ve experimented with a wide variety of these services. Sites such as Booksends, Fussy Librarian etc are basically businesses that have large mailing lists that they send daily deals to their subscribers. An author pays them for a spot on one of their mailing lists (often sent out on a specific day) and these prices can vary from as little as a single Dollar to hundreds of Dollars.

Bookbub

The holy grail of these sites, however, must be Bookbub. With a mailing list of hundreds of thousands from across the world, landing a promotion with this site is incredibly difficult due to the sheer number of authors applying for promotions. This fact alone tells you just how highly regarded Bookbub is to many Indy authors.

Personally, I’ve only ever managed to get a UK Bookbub promotion and that was a good few years ago now, the results of which were by far the best I’ve ever had in comparison to other promoters. Now don’t go thinking Bookbub will propel your book to the top of the sales charts, the book still has to be good enough for people to want to buy it which means having a professional looking book cover and quality writing.

The market is changing

As I mentioned in my previous post I’m part of a small group of authors called Firebound Books. We regularly compare our promotional data and the main thing that we’ve all discovered is that the market is changing. Whereas a few years ago a promotion on the smaller sites would guarantee a decent amount of sales and a boost to the sales rankings. Today, the payoff from the same sites is a lot smaller for paid titles. Even 99p/c sales result in very few sales and often fail to cover the initial cost of the promotions. As I’ve discussed before (read here) it now seems that the only way to guarantee large numbers of downloads is to give your books away for free.

The main cause of this seems to be that the majority of the promotion sites are massively oversubscribed with authors. Some of their mailing lists have gone from advertising just three books per day to ten and if your book is put at the bottom of the list then you’ll likely see a poor return for the investment.

To overcome this decline in returns we must do things differently. The market is now swamped with books and only by improving the quality of indy books can we hope to continue to make a dent in the market. Good book covers and most importantly well-written books are key. Unfortunately, Indy authors are often given a bad name because of the countless poor-quality books produced. We need to up our game if we are to remain competitive in this ever-changing marketplace.

For a list of book promotion sites look here.

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Big Announcement

Hi folks,

Today I am announcing that Heir to the Sundered Crown is getting the audio book treatment. I’m working with the very talented Joseph Tweedale to bring the Sundered Crown Saga to Audible. Listen to a sample below –

Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements via my social media channels over the coming weeks. The release date is scheduled for October.

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