Now Available for Pre-order – Sieges and Silverware

Huzzah and hoorah! I’ve finally finished writing Sieges and Silverware, the fourth in my Epiphany Club series of novellas.

In the face of war and betrayal, adventurer Dirk Dynamo is still looking for the clues that will take him to the lost Great Library of Alexandria. Arriving at an isolated German castle, he finds his life threatened not just by the enemies prowling its corridors but by an army laying siege outside the walls. Surrounded by traitors, monsters and falling artillery shells, can Dirk escape with his life and with the artefacts he needs, or will he be one more casualty of a nation being born in iron and blood?

The fourth story in the Epiphany Club series, Sieges and Silverware sees Dirk face the consequences of events in Paris and the betrayal he suffered there. No longer just looking for treasure, he must also find a way to mend a broken heart.

 

I know that this one has been a long time coming and I’m sorry to those of you who’ve been waiting. But now that other parts of life are under control, the final book in the series, Dead Men and Dynamite,  will also be here soon.

Sieges and Silverware is out on the 27th of October. You can pre-order it now through Amazon and Smashwords.

Out Now – Praying Away the Plague in Ancient History

Are you interested in history? Do you like to read about the downfall of civilisations? Does the thought of past disasters help you survive current ones? Then the latest issue of Ancient History is for you!

Themed around the end of antiquity, it features an article by me entitled “Praying Away the Plague”, about how people used religion to cope with the Justinian Plague of the 6th century. There’s also stuff on learning, politics, and the personalities of those changing times. So if you’re a fan of well-written and accessible history, go grab a copy now.

Out Now – The Sound of Stones

alt-hist-9-ebook-cover-copyOne by one, Rhodri plucked the stones from the field and dropped them into his basket. More than just rocks, they carried the spirits of past generations, reaching out to Rhodri through fragments of their land.

Thud.

Thud.

Thud.

Every spring the same, since men came to this valley in a time older than tales. Rhodri heard the spirits of those long dead men whisper in his ear, an echo of when they worked these same fields.

Thud.

Thud.

Thud.

 

The tale of one man’s struggle for survival and his connection to the land, my story ‘The Sound of Stones’ is out now in Alt Hist Issue 9. And there’s more…

Alt Hist Issue 9 brings you the best new writing in historical fiction and alternate history. This issue features six new short stories and takes the reader from German occupied Yorkshire to Samurai-era Japan, via the Bermuda triangle, medieval Wales, the Vikings and post-war Ireland. You’ll find action-packed stories of fights against sea monsters, the intrigue of resistance against Nazi and Norman oppressors and the upholding of honour within traditional Samurai and Viking societies inside the pages of Alt Hist Issue 9.

Ghosts, Gears and Grimoires – Cover Reveal and Book Trailer

ghosts_72dpi-3What happens when the supernatural and steampunk collide? When ghosts get into the gears and cowled figures haunt the cogwheels? When blood drips with the fog from the streets of cities that rattle with industry?

In just over a week’s time you can find out, with the release of Ghosts, Gears and Grimoires, an anthology of steampunk horror stories edited by Rie Sheridan Rose of Mocha Memoirs Press. It includes my story “Steel and Steam”, in which colonial industry faces native spirits, and over a dozen other tales. There’s a very nifty book trailer here, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite enough, here’s a small taster of my story…

 

Hywel snorted. “This is the nineteenth century, Mr. Kagunda. The world is powered by science and steam, not ancient superstitions and mystification.”

“Mr. Jones is right,” Filbery said. “There are far more plausible explanations. Human error, machine fault, even sabotage. If this superstition is causing us problems, then we should nip it in the bud.”

“You have a Bible in your room, Mr. Filbery?” Kagunda’s voice was rising, his guarded, respectful tone giving way to something more primal. “And you, Mr. Jones? I have heard you singing songs of God as you work.” He made a wide, sweeping gesture with his arm, taking in the whole of the surrounding plains. “This land is my Bible. My songs are of this earth, and those who came before.”

“I say!” Filbery protested, as Kagunda grabbed each of them by an arm and dragged them to the back rail. Hywel knew the foreman was strong, but this was the first time he had felt the intensity of that strength, pulling him about like a rag doll.

“The white.” Kagunda pointed at pale flecks in the broken dirt thirty feet below them. “What is it?”

“Chalk?” Filbery asked.

“Flint?” Hywel murmured, knowing as he said it that the geology was wrong.

“Bone.” Kagunda’s voice tolled like a bell.

Out Now – Racing the Headsman in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

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Bullets hissed past Sir Henry Torrent’s head like a swarm of angry flies. Some hit the floating prison’s quay, knocking splintered holes through the planks. Others vanished into the darkness, lost between a starless sky and the endless sea. At this range, he feared only a little for his life, the danger adding spice to an already glorious adventure.

‘Captain, they’re almost on us!’ Israel Pound turned, snapped off a pistol shot, and scurried on towards the ship, leaving a cloud of greasy, sulphurous smoke.

‘Pray don’t vex yourself, Pound.’ Sir Henry ushered their manacled guest towards the gangplank.

‘But Captain…’ Fresh yelling caused Pound to put his breath into speed, not speech.

‘Have faith,’ Sir Henry said. ‘I told you, I have a plan.’…

 

I have a new story out! Published online in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, “Racing the Headsman” is a fantasy alternate history story. In the 17th century, a vast flood has drowned half of Europe. Their Civil War interrupted, the English now fight each other on the high seas. Royalist Sir Henry Torrent is trying to restore King Charles to the throne, with a parliamentary fleet dogging his every move. When he meets the king himself, everything changes.

You can read “Racing the Headsman” for free at this link.

Out Now – 9 Tales From Elsewhere #8

9t8My story ‘Respect for the Dead’ is getting a fresh release today in 9Tales From Elsewhere #8 from publishers Bride of Chaos. An urban fantasy story of magic and intrigue inspired by Thatcher’s Britain, it follows a coven of mages coming to terms with the death of their leader, the emotional wounds he has left through his actions, and the power void he has left behind.

This issues of 9Tales also features:

This issue includes:
THE RUNT’S RITE by Matt Hlinak
KRISH’S NEW PET by Charlie Allison
THE GNOME IN THE ROSEBUSH by Priya Sridhar
BRIDGEWORK by Judith Field
HAFGAN’S HORN by Kenneth O’Brien
ALL OR NOTHING by Jim Lee
ONEZZELLOTT’S SEARCH by Shawn P. Madison
PLACED by George Strasburg

It’s only $2.99 as a Kindle ebook, so go grab a copy now and enjoy some strange tales from worlds unlike our own.

Coming Soon – The Sand Dancer in 9 Tales

9 Tales from ElsewhereFadiyah flung herself into the air and down, dodging a strike by that crude iron arm as her blades sang across its surface. Sparks flew and the air filled with the bitter taste of metal, but all she left were shallow scratches across its shell. It swung another blow and she somersaulted back, flicking out the blades again, this time leaving a deep gouge on the shovel hand. But the machine pressed on unperturbed, lumbering towards her, arms jerking and swinging…

‘The Sand Dancer’, my Arabian action fantasy of magic through dance and daring rebellion, is being reprinted next month in 9 Tales from Elsewhere #6. Originally printed in the Ways of Magic anthology, if you missed it then you now have another chance to read this story, alongside eight more by other science fiction and fantasy authors. It’s available to pre-order now on Kindle for only $2.99.

Out Now – Honour Among Thieves

Honour Among Thieves - smaller

Hob was a simple peasant farmer until idealism turned him into a rebel. Now he’s an outlaw living in Sherwood Forest, seeking justice at the end of an arrow.

Under the leadership of Robert Deyville, Hob enjoys the outlaw life, feasting beneath the stars and robbing the supporters of a corrupt regime. But as he grows closer to his companions, the darkness of their life starts to show. With not just friendship but his life at risk, Hob struggles to separate right from wrong. Can he do what is right and survive to see the results? Is there such a thing as honour among thieves?

‘Honour Among Thieves’ is out now as a Kindle e-book via and Amazon and in epub format from Smashwords. It’s free in both formats, so there’s nothing to lose by giving it a try – go grab your copy now.

Out Now – A Mosaic of Stars

Mosaic of Stars - smallerA demon detective and a steam-powered samurai. An engineer from the distant past and a pilot from the far future. Love, loss, pain and triumph in worlds beyond our own. Enjoy brief trips to other realities in fifty-nine flash stories including fantasy, steampunk, science fiction and historical fiction.

My latest collection of short stories, A Mosaic of Stars, is out today as a Kindle e-book. Collecting all the flash fiction I’ve published on this blog up to the end if 2015, it contains a wide range of brief stories. So if you’ve enjoyed those stories and would like to have them in a handy collection, or would just like to help support the blog, then please go grab a copy. It’s only 99c for the first week.

If you’ve enjoyed reading these stories on the site, and you feel that you’ve read enough of them that you could review them as a set, then please take a moment to leave a review for the book on Amazon. Getting some early reviews would be really helpful.

Tomorrow, more flash fiction! In the meantime, happy reading.