I Visited King Arthur and Topped the Bestseller charts

It’s a busy few weeks. First, I went away for a long weekend to Somerset where we almost got snowed in and visited the tomb of King Arthur at the world-famous Glastonbury Abbey.

King Arthur and Glastonbury

Visiting the so-called final resting place of the once and future king was pretty incredible. Lying beneath a stone slab in the ruins of the Abbey surrounded by swirling snow flurries was the tomb of King Arthur, quite possibly the most famous character in myth and fantasy.

The fact that the monks of Glastonbury claimed King Arthur is buried there just shows how savvy they were in the 12th century. The popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth‘s fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) was the perfect opportunity for the at the time cash-strapped abbey to attract tourists and their gold.

In 1191, the monks claimed to have discovered a grave with an oak coffin holding the remains of a man who had been severely wounded in the head. Buried beside him was a woman with golden hair. Conveniently a lead cross bearing the inscription, “Here lies the famous King Arthur with Guinevere his second wife, in the Isle of Avalon.”

Monmouth’s account provided many of the elements of the story, from Arthur’s conception at Tintagel to his last battle against Mordred at Camlann and final rest in Avalon, and featured his father Uther Pendragon, his wife Guinevere, his sword Excalibur and the wizard, Merlin. Later writers added further characters and many variations on Geoffrey’s tale, depicting Arthur as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies, with related themes of the Holy Grail and the Knights of the Round Table. Claiming the Abbey was Arthur’s resting place was so popular in fact that King Edward 1 and his wife were in attendance when they moved the bones of Arthur and his queen.

Even back then people loved a great story.

Also, on my hols we visited Sherbornne Abbey in Dorset. Stunning windows offset by an incredible roof were perfect inspiration for fantasy world building.

Ruling the Sci-Fi charts!

On March 20th I had an international Bookbub promotion for Terran Defenders: Genesis. Now, getting any type of Bookbub promo is like getting gold dust, so I was very lucky to have received one. It cost me £160, but boy was it worth it.

In less than six hours of the promotion going out the book had soared to the top of the sci-fi charts on both Amazon and Kobo. It achieved top seller status in the UK, Australia and Canada which is an amazing feat seeing as how the book is 8 years old now!

I’m not 100% certain, but I think I was helped in getting a promotion by taking the book out of Amazon exclusivity (it hasn’t been doing anything on Kindle for about a year!) and put it wide. Now, I’ve said before that I would put the Sundered Crown Saga wide at some point, but at the moment it’s not going to be possible to put the entire series wide until the exclusivity with KDP runs out in May. Book 1 is free of KDP exclusivity so I may put Heir to the Sundered Crown on all formats.

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Terran Defenders – New cover art

Hi all, just thought I would do a little post on the new cover art Rob May has created for the Terran Defenders series. As you can see below the covers and text are now consistent of each other.

TDG

TD

Don’t forget to pre-order Terran Defenders! It will be available to buy on Kindle August 12th.

Pre-order links:

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Terran Defenders Sneak Peak

With the release of Terran Defenders rapidly approaching I thought I would give you all a sneak peak of the book. I hope you enjoy it! To pre-order, the book click here.

***

The small salvage ship fired its retro engines creating another bright dot of light in the vast ocean of stars in the depths of space.

Tumbling and rolling before the  ship was the desolate hull of the legendary SS Regent. Debris and flotsam spiralled away from the wrecked vessel causing the salvage ship’s captain to reinforce the shields. Tiny sparks like miniature solar flares brightened the cockpit as the shields disintegrated the potentially lethal detritus.

Captain Finley Adams scowled at the sad scene of the once mighty ship crumbling apart before his very eyes. With a skill that comes from years of experience, he brought the salvage ship in closer and activated the powerful searchlights that were sat above the cockpit.

“Are you seeing this captain?”

Over the intercom came the voice of his engineer and wife Carolyn Adams.

The married couple had been salvagers for over ten years making a good income from their dangerous work. This case, however, had been a complete surprise. They initially hadn’t had any intention of scouting the Ro system. Their contract had told them to search the much more profitable region of the Eagan system, another twenty light years away from their current location. No large scale battles had ever taken place in Ro, according to the charts Ro was a quiet backwater of a system, not having much in the way of resources and was home to only four gaseous planets.

Finley took the smouldering Chindin cigar from his mouth and blew a thick cloud of bluish smoke before replying; “Yeah, I see it. Looks like something ripped a chunk out of the port side of the hull. Jesus, it looks like an Asteroid strike to me.”

He tapped a series of buttons on the control console bringing up the external scanner. On the small screen to his right, he saw a 3d model of the wrecked Regent materialise as the ship’s computer began its spectral analysis. The powerful scanners blasted out radiation ranging from gamma rays right through to X-rays to get a complete readout.

“Any life signs?” enquired his wife over the comm.

Finn snorted at the silly question.

“No darling, if this is the Regent the poor sods on board would have died 200 years ago.”

The scanner pinged indicating the initial scan was complete.

“What the hell?” Finley exclaimed as the image of the Regent zoomed in showing the ragged hole that was threatening to tear the stricken hulk apart.

Impossibly the hole came into focus showing the sheared metal facing outwards, as though something had ripped out of the ship rather than struck it.

“Maybe the asteroid came through from the other side?” offered Carolyn as she joined her husband in the cockpit.

Her long brunette hair was tied up in a bun and her ragged features were as usual covered in grease and oil stains. She wore the same blue overalls as her overweight husband, each bearing the sign of the Space Exploration Ministry.

“I don’t think so, according to the scan only this side of the ship has been ruptured.” Finley leant forward and brought up another screen showing the magnified X-ray image of the stricken ship.

“Fuel leak, munitions explosion?” Carolyn offered again.

Fin smiled at his wife’s persistent use of logic. Fin, however, couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. After so many years scouring battlefields, wrecked colonies and ancient scrap yards he’d never had his ship brought out of FTL right on top of a wreck, and the Regent was as famous as they came. She had once been the colonies most prized vessel but had mysteriously vanished on her maiden voyage two hundred years ago.

“Well honey, there’s only one way to know for sure” Said Fin as he prized himself out his chair setting the smaller ship to begin docking procedures.

*

The airlock hissed as it slid open to reveal the dark opening of the Regent’s docking bay. Fin and Carolyn were now wearing their bulky zero G-suits. Neither of them enjoyed travelling in them, the suits made them feel claustrophobic and clumsy. Each of their breaths made a sharp hissing noise through their internal comms making Fin more and more uneasy as they slowly made their way across the empty bay.

Scattered about the place and floating lazily in the vacuum were crates and tools. Carolyn caught one of the papers and held it up to her torch light.

“It’s dated August 2145. That was two hundred years ago,” she said in surprise.

Fin nodded, the dates fitted.

“That confirms it then. This is definitely THE SS Regent,” he replied as he too knelt awkwardly and picked up a page.

It was from an engineering manual for an ancient victor class of starfighter. He shook his head in wonder.

“This place should be in a museum. Imagine the finder’s fee were gonna get Fin!” Carolyn whooped.

Fin smiled, but that nagging feeling returned.

“Come on, let’s get to that hole. I want to know what happened here,” he said as he carefully moved to an access hatch at the far end of the bay.

The pair of salvagers made their way through the ship encountering nothing but eerily empty rooms.

“How come we’ve not seen any bodies Fin?” asked Carolyn nervously.

The emptiness of the place was starting to get to them both. It was strange not to encounter any dead crewmembers, those they could handle; it was a common thing for salvage crews to run into.

“Maybe they all got sucked out into space through that hole,” Fin offered, shrugging his shoulders. “I’m picking up some faint electrical anomalies.”

He glanced at his wrist scanner that displayed readouts of the interior of the ship. Another left turn and they would arrive at the damaged portion of the hull. Rounding the corner a vibration ran throughout the ship causing them both to stop dead in their tracks.

“Movement?” Fin wondered aloud.

He placed a thick-gloved hand onto the passageways wall and sure enough, he could feel a tremor running through the hull. His wrist scanner began to beep insistently, the speed increasing at a rapid pace. He quickly looked at the readouts.

“Holy hell, our ships engines are spooling up,” Fin cried in alarm.

He spun around and grabbed his wife’s hand pulling her after him as he rushed his way back to the scout ship. They ran as fast they could back towards the small craft. The wrist scanner was going crazy as the sensors detected that the ship was about to jump away at any second, stranding the salvagers on the dead Regent.

Desperately Fin jumped and kicked off from the access hatch they had gone through sending him flying through the vacuum of space. Within seconds, he reached the air lock and frantically removed his zero G-suit. Carolyn was screaming over the comm., screaming at him to hurry.

Fin was sweating, the perspiration was getting in his eyes and the sense of dread he felt was now of absolute terror. The airlock opened as he bounded through the ship towards the cockpits access ladder. All the while, he was swearing under his breath. The sound of the ships engines was deafening, at any moment the ship would jump ripping apart the wreck of the Regent and vaporising both of the scavengers. He forced his bulk awkwardly up the ladder and threw himself into the command seat. Urgently he brought up the console and with a cry of relief, he punched the engine override button, shutting them down. Fin collapsed back in his seat in utter relief, panting for breath and sweating profusely. After a few moments, he collected his thoughts and picked up the Comm.

“Carolyn. Honey, I did it, the ship’s secure. I don’t know what caused that. I’m gonna start a ship-wide diagnostic.”

No reply.

“Where is that damn woman? Carolyn, Carolyn can you hear me?” he asked in frustration and more than a little worry.

No reply.

Fin felt fear once more knot in his guts. He was just about to try again when a voice came over the comm.

“My god Fin, you got to take a look at this honey. I’m at the impact site.”

Fin frowned. It was Carolyn’s voice but it sounded distant almost ethereal. Cautiously he headed back to the airlock and once more donned his suit. Quickly he made his way back across the bay but not before disabling the scout ship’s engines with a computer override. Whatever had caused the mysterious engine start-up could happen again, he wasn’t prepared to take any chances.

He reached the point they had made it to before the incident and slowly rounded the corner. There before him was a scene of utter devastation. This was where the crew was, all five hundred of them. A cavernous space lay before him, the massive hole that led out into space on the far wall.

However, it was the rest of the walls that made Finlay vomit into his suit.

There, impaled on the walls was the ship’s crew, frozen in terror thanks to the vacuum of space.  Blood covered every surface, disembowelled corpses littered the floor and there standing in the middle of it all was Carolyn her back to her husband. Finley staggered towards her desperate to take them away from this nightmare. He grabbed her arm.

Slowly she turned to face him.

“Nooo!” Fin screamed as his wife stared at him. Except it was not his wife.

A sadistic grin adorned her face, her eyes were black slits and the skin was ripped and torn. He staggered backwards screaming. The thing that wore his wife’s suit reached for him, gripping his suit, and pushing him down to the ground with a superhuman strength. Fin struggled against the creature but it was too strong.

He screamed again as out of the corner of his eye he could see the corpses of the ship’s crew stirring, moving slowly towards him, arms outreached to drag him to their fate.  The last thing Finlay Adams heard was the scanner on his wrist beeping frantically. Someone or something had started up his ship…

***

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TERRAN DEFENDERS – PRE-ORDER NOW!

Here it is folks my latest book! I really enjoyed writing this one, creating the world and characters was a lot of fun. You can read the synopsis below. I really hope that you will get a copy and enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

Terran Defenders

The year is 2396, mankind has spread among the stars and mingled with the galaxy’s many alien races.

Humanity’s golden age ended in the fires of civil war a decade earlier. An uneasy peace remains between the government of the Earth-based United World Alliance and the Colonial Federation, a group of colonies seeking the freedom to forge their own path. With humankind scarred by the brutal conflict things that should never have been forgotten were lost.
In the fighting, the order of the Terran Defenders was wiped out and with them the knowledge that a deadly old enemy still lingers in the depths of space. With the Terran Defenders no longer in existence, it will fall upon a motley band of misfits and outcasts to take up the legendary order’s mantle and save the Galaxy or die trying.

Mase, a bounty hunter more interested in money and loose women finds himself taking on the job from hell when he and his robot partner JERRY are sent after a mysterious bounty. Their target, a beautiful yet deadly woman named Kara Brighte, the granddaughter of the last Terran Defender.

 

preorder_amazon_button

USA- https://amzn.com/B01IPY5SW2

UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IPY5SW2

Canada – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01IPY5SW2

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Writing Quest Part 11 – Entering the World of Kickstarter

Hi everyone another week has gone by already and work on Quest for the Sundered Crown is progressing at a slow but steady pace. Finally hit 20,000 words of the first draft yay! Only another 80,000 to go.

This week I’ve mostly been focusing on ironing out some of the early chapters of the book and am now working on a key scene featuring everyone’s favourite knight, Sir Kaiden of the Marble Shore. The Knights of Niveren play a key role in Heir but due to the events of that book were sadly missing from War. Nonetheless, I can confirm that the Knights will return for book 3 but in a very different guise than in the first book.

Kickstarter Campaign

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As well as working away on Quest I’ve delved into the world of Kickstarter to see if I can raise enough funds to do a proper launch of my sci-fi series Terran Defenders. The first book was released on Kindle a while back and book two went down well on Wattpad.

So far it’s my best performing story to date after generating over 200,000 reads and several thousand votes! It even broke into the top ten most popular sci-fi stories on the website a few months back and I am constantly badgered by Wattpad members to hurry up and write more books in the series.

I’ve set the target at £2000 as I’m hoping that will be enough to pay an artist to create some kickass cover and concept art and pay for an editor to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. If you would like to support me please click on the link – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2006060632/terran-defenders

You can read some of the first draft of book two in the Terran Defenders series here

Keep your eyes on my Facebook page and Twitter over the coming days for some special offer news!

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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image by daroz

 

Terran Defence Force (TDF) encyclopaedia

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Buy Terran Defenders:Genesis

The events below follow those that occur in Genesis.

*

As of the writing of this manual (Earth year 2032) all alien species within are those that we as a species have made contact with, learnt of their existence or encountered via other means.

This document is given to all new TDF recruits and a test will be given on its contents prior to training. The knowledge within may save the lives of colleagues or yourself depending on the situation.

This first section details the main factions of power in the known galaxy, further details of alien species can be found later in this guide.

***********

Factions

The Tri Alliance

(Year founded: Earth year 2012)

The Tri Alliance was created after the first contact incident of 2012. It comprises of three species. The Olmeca, Ekahau and Humanity. Prior to 2012 the Olmeca and Ekahau had been at total war with one another for almost 500 years. However due to the events that unfolded the three races had to join forces or be destroyed by the actions of the rouge Olmeca sovereign Itzamná and the mysterious but deadly Xibalba.

For twenty years the Tri Alliance has brought prosperity to its members. Peace between Olmeca and Ekahau was made possible due to humanities actions and efforts. Due to the 2014 technology-sharing act the human race was now able to develop at an astounding pace and within less than a decade humans were colonising the rest of their solar system.

Militarily the Tri Alliance is strong and growing in power. The Ekahau already were expert warriors and command dozens of fleets of fighting ships and personnel. The Olmeca Empire is rapidly rebuilding after the war but due to the enormous effort of repairing the damage caused to its fleet in 2012 and the Ekahau war, it will be years before they are back to full strength.

Humanities contribution comes in the form of the United Nations led Terran Defence Force.

Terran Defence Force

Founded shortly after 2012 the TDF is charged with safeguarding human interests in space and tasked with maintaining world peace on Earth. At first it was predominantly comprised of U.S and Chinese personnel but as the years have progressed every country on Earth has members in service. The force currently comprises of seven sector fleets, each comprised of six frigates, two fighter carriers and dozens of support ships.

List of current operations:

Earth defence patrols: Always the TDF’s priority. Currently the 2nd and 6th fleets are tasked with Earth and lunar defences.

Solar system patrol: The 4th fleet is currently on patrol across the solar system. Split into three it is on station to defend Mars colony and the Jupiter ship yards and moon facilities. The third segment, which is mostly comprised of smaller ships, is patrolling the edge of the system and beyond Pluto. Their primary task is to spot possible dangers and to ensure merchant vessels reach the system safely.

Combat operations: The 1st, 3rd and 7th fleets are engaged in offensive operations in the Alpha Centauri system. Their primary objective is to engage and destroy the threat posed by the Skarin bases in the area. The war has been winding down as Skarin activity has lessened due to the impact of heavy casualties inflicted by the TDF.

Exploration: The 5th fleet is tasked with exploring the solar systems nearest to Earth. So far twenty-five planets have been mapped and six have been colonised by scientific groups or mining corporations. The key objective is to discover natural resources and other useful materials for use on Earth. Planet EN-004 has yielded vast quantities of iron ore and titanium deposits.

Science and exploration ministry (SEM)

Established in conjunction with the TDF the ministry is tasked with the search for new worlds and resources. Its key role is to assist colonists attempting to settle on any suitable worlds. The Mars colony has been a huge success only made possible thanks to the assistance of Olmeca scientists and technology. Often seen as the civilian wing of the space programme, SEM has attracted the most brilliant minds from humanity. SEM also works very closely with other alien civilizations and is home to the diplomatic core that is tasked with handling peaceful first contact situations.

Tipax Imperia

Contact between Humans and the Imperia occurred less than three years ago but from what TDF intelligence and SEM diplomats have reported, the Imperia is by far the most powerful force in the galaxy. Its area of control is vast almost encompassing 25,000 light years of territory. It is home to over ten thousand different alien species and appears to be headed by an Emperor who presides over a parliament. As of now trading has begun between the Tri alliance and the Imperia but it appears that humanity is of little interest to them. The M’iin species is a vassal race of the Tipax.

Xibalba – (Read TD:Genesis for more information)

Virtually nothing is known about this mysterious species except that it was a Xibalba ship that threatened Earths very existence back in 2012. We know they once ruled a vast empire and were vastly technologically advanced. Apparently they were driven out of the galaxy by unknown means; Olmeca legends even say their entire planet was thrown into the void between galaxies.

Reports from 2012 suggest they were capable of mind control or influence. Prisoners from the battle with Itzamná claim that their sovereign had been under the control of a whispering voice, which they claim was a Xibalba spirit.  The Olmeca council saying that the claims were nonsense denied all of that. In 2012 the Xibalba threat was ended after the ship was destroyed and the gateway closed.