Thursday, 12 December 2013

Is it really that time already?

Four girls as daft as me!
My how the year has flown. I'm just creating the annual newsletter to send out to friends/relatives - ok I realise it's more for my benefit than theirs - who really wants to hear about how well my kids are doing or how many times I climbed Cadair this year? Obviously, no-one but me, but will that stop me from inflicting the poor dears with the showing off of a proud parent? Unlikely! I might email a few more to save on printing tho' - someone seems to be eating the ink in the cartridges.
I really do it for my own benefit - I have a cracking record of all our little adventures since 1999 - except for 2002 - it seems to have gotten lost. I just read through them all - it was a wonderful trip down memory lane, reliving some of the highlights of me and mine. Exactly what you need when you're shivering waiting for the heating to come on and faced with the task of addressing a huge bunch of envelopes - could this be the year I finally do it on labels?
Hope you like the fun pictures I found from just before I left Marconi (June 2001) - even back then I liked to dress up. Our football team was called Comic Strip! and I was a winger, I insisted Olan Mills did one with my Tina Turner wig, and the final one was my leaving do - my attempt to do Cher. I know, 'nuff said.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Are you all Wordle'd out yet?

Dunno about you, but I'm still in the first tingly-all-over stage with these things. So much so that I've spent at least two whole days mucking around with them. Here are a few that haven't made it to the cutting room floor yet  - any opinions/preferences?

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Adult, Young Adult or both?

One of the amazing comments from the indiePENdent reviewer suggested thar Archer is a book that can be enjoyed by adults and teens alike. The stats from the Helix review certain seem to back this up. As do the following comments from a variety of readers:

Comments about Adult and Teen Readers
“Jacky loves to experience the world through the wondrous eyes of a child where anything can happen, where the fantastic mingles with an emerging reality. She cares about the characters in her book and I think she writes her books FOR the children too, like a gift to them. ... The tempo of Archer pulls me along as if I am flowing down a river upon a strong current. I couldn't jump out of my canoe in the midst of a chapter even if I wanted to.”

 “Although targeting a teen boy audience, this story felt just right for me too, and would be right up the alley for many adults who read classics. This is a well-researched slice of Medieval life and even includes a glossary! I encourage anyone with teens who are interested in Medieval times and legends to pass this on to them.”

“Archer is cool. Your fanbase is leaning more towards the Rick Riordian portion on the great bookshelf of life, but, I read him too. And am quite proud of it. A good book is a good book, no matter what the age range. I love jousting so having it in your story immediately gave you high marks in my book. You made it seem so real and I love the way Finn has a mental connection with his horse.”

“While this reader typically consumes books slowly and methodically, I was taken in by the story and could not put it down, resulting in finishing the book at one sitting. I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys a well spun tale, with no grammatical issues. I would also recommend this book to any young adult seeking an adventure like none other, or at least like none other that I have read.”

“Archer, the title character, is an orphan with a lot on his mind. This character and many of the others around him are nicely drawn with more detail than I think is typical of books aimed at middle school and high school students. This is all the more reason they should read it. As a parent of two who are now grown and gone, I strongly recommend that parents and teens read the same books and talk about them. This is an ideal book for sharing in this fashion.”

Comments from Adults
“I've read quite a few fantasy books in my life. I've read quite a few Young Adult books as well. Sometimes, straight fantasy books are too involved and long winded. Archer by Jacky Gray, was not one of those books!!! I must have said, 'one more chapter' about 20 times!! I couldn't put it down. Archer was such a well developed character and Ms. Gray's writing style was nothing short of amazing!”

“Archer is a great read, that once I started I just had to keep going. As a medieval re-enactor myself I found Archer very close to heart with what I do as a hobby. Jacky has achieved a great sense of being in the setting of a Medieval village and the events leading up to Archer's graduation.”

“Anyone who promotes Archery in any of its forms is to be congratulated in my book and I think somewhere along the way Jacky must have got caught up in the sport judging by the passion of her writing. I thought the sword and buckler bout between Finn and Archer was incredibly well done, a very engaging piece of writing.”

“Archer is fascinating and captivating! I love the way the characters, scenes and general description of Archer's world is portrayed so eloquently. Jacky Gray not only tells a wonderful tale; she manages to capture the sounds, smells and emotional energies of his world.”

“Archer is a tale spun in the days of the knights, but takes a different twist than traditional knight’s tales. Ms. Gray brings to the reader a new world filled with authentic traditional language, giving a sense of travelling back in time. This is not a book filled with fluff and half masked characters.”

“This read perfectly, as an action adventure story should. The plot pacing moved quickly, and the excitement of tournament was written so realistically that I could hear the hush and roar of the crowds as if I was there too. I also enjoyed the main character, Archer, he was likable and very much the classic story hero.”

“I know the exact feeling Archer and Finn feel after the impact, I've done competitive contact martial arts for almost twenty years and I can tell you, I really love the detail you put here. It connected me to the characters in a visceral way.”

“Jacky has nailed the character of a medieval archer; the books are a thrilling blend of action and rich historical detail.” “I enjoyed 'Archer', an engaging story whose Pagan spirituality is gently and attractively presented. Jacky has produced a credible parallel universe, a combination of the English middle ages blended with modern-day England in realistic and well realised settings.”

Comments from Not-so-grown ups
“Archer was amazing! I couldn't put it down. It only took me two days to read it when it normally takes me a week. Archer is a unique book there is none other like it. If I met Archer I would have a lot of questions to ask him about what it is like to live in his world. I love the way the girls get to do archery and the rings and I would love to do all the drama bits. I like the way that everyone's talents are recognised, nobody tries to take the mick.” 

“My mum was planning to read the book before I did but I insisted on reading it first so she has to wait. So far your book has been one of the best I've read in years. I'm looking forward to your next book.”

“Archer takes you into his world and you can feel the atmosphere of his surroundings.”

“An exhilarating story that sucks you in so it feels like you’re actually there. Pure genius.”

“The action scenes are so exciting it’s like watching a film.”

Mmmm - now if only I can think of some way of getting this kind of feedback out to a wider audience. Any ideas, dear readers?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Lulu Helix Review - Book Genome project

The good people at Lulu were offering a book review at a massive discount (40% off). I was very pleased with their detailed analysis of Archer compared to other young adult novels (specifically Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials"). If anyone knows of another YA book that Archer most resembles, I'd be pleased to hear it.

Anyway the stats went something like this:
Archer YA HDM RA Range
Motion 61 59 61 68 46-72
Density 40 26 27 47 10-42
Dialog 68 65 74 60 51-79
Description 34 35 41 38 21-49
 HDM is His Dark Materials, RA is the Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan - apparently Archer's scores most closely match 4 of this series of books. Not one I'd come across, but guess what I'll be looking for to read next?

Just to explain the metrics: 
Motion is the description of physical motion in a scene, for YA books this ranges from 46 to 72% of the book (average 59%). Archer scores well on this.
Density is a language complexity measure (sentence structure, vocab breadth etc) - Archer is right at the top end for YA making it a challenging read.
Dialogue does not include internal monolgue - Archer is on the high side for this (no kidding! - it comes from my being an Air sign - we lurve to talk).
Description needs no explanation - I'm pleased to see Archer is just below average - my eyes glaze over when there is too much, I figure many YA readers are the same.

The analysis also included some stats about word/sentence/paragraph and book length compared to averages for YA and all books. I'm happy to say that Archer generally comes smack bang in between the two, backing up a number of comments from people (see next post).
YA Archer Adult
Book length 49,296 54,813 82,112
Paragraph 38 54 72
Sentence 13 17 17
Word  4.2 4.3 4.5
Unique Vocab 4,853 6,060 7,555

The DNA analysis suggested the major themes were: Medieval Weapons & Armor, Strategic Planning / Conflict Management, Crowds/Audience, Horses, Music/Performance, Expressions of Emotion and School/College environment. I'd agree with these, but was surprised there was no mention of ancient festivals/enchantment or wood-working/crafts.

The other thing they did was to create a highly skewed frequency density chart (Wordle to most of us) for the most unique words in Archer compared to other books on the market. Here is their version:

I was surprised by a number of their choices (instant, despite, boy, rest, girl, start, break, point, round) these did not feel at all unique, but it gave me an idea. I've been playing with one or two Wordle look-alikes - watch this space.

The upshot is, I would recommend this analysis - even at the full price of £34.99 (approx $50) this is pretty good value and gives some good marketing ideas as well. They also do a lite version at £19.99 (approx $30) with no DNA or comparible titles analysis, but well worth getting if it's all you can afford. You can find it here:

Good Luck

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Best Holiday Evah - Bar none!

Apologies for the dodgy puns, but it is who I am. Yep, that really was me snuggling under a duvet in the first class cabin, sipping champagne and feeling grimier by the second as the harrowing tale of Les Mis unfolded.
I reckon everyone should travel first class once in their lives if they can - a huge thank you to Sam and Barry for making it possible. And here's what else they gave us :

Yep, Barbados really was a perfect piece of Paradise - and a virtually private beach with a mill-pool sea 500 yards on from fun filled body-surfing breakers. All one needed was a Pina Colada or the best Rum Punch on the island - oh the lengths we went to on the quest of that little gem! Sheer Bliss!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Spooky Stuff

I'm sitting here listening to the Planet Rock presenters devote the whole day to scary rock tracks (you gotta love their devotion on this last day of Rocktober (groan). Stuff like Ghost (Slash), Creatures Of The Night (Kiss), The Number Of The Beast (Iron Maiden), Witchy Woman (Eagles), Welcome To My Nightmare (Alice Cooper) and even Break On Through (To The Other Side) - (Doors).

I thought it was a good excuse to montage some of my "face" pictures - can you spot them? They are from photos I took in Avebury, Wales and Barbados  - just rocks, roots and water.

Ok, the last one (bottom right) is a bit of a cheat because I reflected the picture (the edge of a rock on the pony path up to Cadair Idris) - but it really wasn't as obvious when it was only half a face. Can't decide if it's animal or human, what do you think?

Happy Halloween, Blessed Samhain or  Joyous All Souls. Whatever you call it, light a candle, eat something made from apples.
ADDENDUM: Imagine my surprise when I learnt that it's not just me who "sees" faces in nature. There's even a posh name for it "simulacra." If you think I'm making it up, check out this guy:

One wondeful week in wet windy Wales

Okay, so it wasn't all total slog. August saw a welcome return to the caravan with both daughters, hubby and even the dog. It did rain a lot - made the waterfalls even more vociferous than normal, and we finally took the Talyllyn steam train all the way to Tywyn. (pix to folllow). For me, much of it was spent doing the most exciting writing thing I've ever done - but I'm not gonna give it up yet. That deserves a post of its own, sometime soon.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Exhausted, Moi?

Ok, so the last 8 months have been the toughest for a while in terms of the pulls on my time. The trouble with full time working is you don't get time to play. At least I don't, because no matter how I try, the job I get paid for always seems to eat up all of my leisure time. My fault, I know - I always spend too much time creating Rolls Royce solutions when they only asked for a mini - I just can't help being creative.

The very best part was reading over 50 YA and MG books - I have discovered a raft of authors who have taught me so much about the type of books I love to read and write. There are way too many to mention, but the ones that moved me most were Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls), Cornelia Funke (Reckless/Fearless) and Michelle Paver (anything and everything - I will be stalking!).

In a week or so, I'll get some of my life back and hopefully be able to put my energies into writing - there has been one exciting little project which I hope to share soon.

Monday, 29 July 2013

It's official ...

Archer has made the grade!
He IS Worthy!

I am so excited that my book has received this prestigious Seal of Approval from a bunch of guys who really know their stuff.

If you are an independently published author, I strongly recommend you check out their website with the wonderfully witty tagline
"Don't judge a book by its publisher."

Their aim is to provide One Voice for Self-Published Authors
so we can have the same weight of authority that the Author's Guild provides for Authors published by conventional publishing houses.Their purpose is to establish standards and promote independent Authors. Their efforts are entirely voluntary, so please, have a look and support them in any way you can, particularly by spreading the word so this community can grow.

Nice one Guys.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Awesome Interview

I'm so excited. After interviewing an author or two myself, I'm privileged to have been interviewed by a complete master - read the full interview by clicking here.

Ia Uaro is an extremely talented author whose work has been translated into other languages. You can find out more about her latest creation Sydney's Song - "a young girl's courageous journey to adulthood and a love story grounded in the suburban settings of Sydney and Boston where heartbreaks are juxtaposed with humour" by clicking here. Please check out her book trailer - this one is a winner, and as soon as my every waking moment isn't filled with Wimpy Kids, Tracy Beaker, Mr Gum and the Twits, I will be reading and reviewing it and hopefully returning the compliment.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Guest Author - L.A. Rikand

 I really love this idea - that writers interview each other about the whys and wherefores of writing.

Sixth in the big black chair is    L. A. Rikand
– a truly inspired and inspiring writer.

To see all the Guest Authors, click  here.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Guest Author - Thomas A. Knight

I really love this idea - that writers interview each other about the whys and wherefores of writing.

Fifth in the big black chair is Sir Thomas A. Knight – 
fresh from the release of his second Time Weaver Chronicles book - Legacy and still finding sparkly bits in his sweater.

To see all the Guest Authors, click  here.

Legacy Release Party - Yay!

Today is very special, my very good ABNA buddy Sir Thomas, has released the second book in his awesome Time Weaver Chronicles. Check it out by clicking on the book below:
To see more about the release day party, go to: Legacy Release Day event.
Read an excerpt of The Time Weaver or Legacy.
Or to find out more about the man we all revere as the legendary Sir Thomas (for reasons that become clear when you see what the guy does for a world-wide writing community) visit his websitefacebook page  or the incredible pitch thread he runs for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Guest Author - Cara Bertrand

I really love this idea - that writers interview each other about the whys and wherefores of writing.

Fourth in the big black chair is Cara Bertrand – a finalist in the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award.

Check it out here.

Monday, 25 February 2013

My first ABNA Carousel

Well this is embarrassing. There used to be an awesome carousel of books here, but ABNA seem to have pulled the plug. I'll have to make a montage to replace it. Sometime soon.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Three of the best - more ABNA buddies

Phew, this is taking a while to read through all these wonderful books - cat and dogs are nagging for food, the washing up is piling up on top of the diswasher and did I remember to eat today? Who cares, these wonderful reads are nourishment enough.

Gypsy is one of the incredibly helpful people on the pitch thread who goes that extra mile. Not content with giving excellent advice, she also does the humungous task of reading through all the thousands of posts and creating some excellent stats about the numbers of books in each genre. What a Star! Her first book Hired by a Demon has all the elements of Buffy, Charmed and a host of other excellent magical series. Her characters are well developed and she writes the sort of lean, muscular prose I love to read! There is just enough setting detail to pitch you into Vara’s dark, exciting world, but without swamping the action in world-building detail. Because it hasn’t been out  there too long, there are no comments yet – but maybe you can change that.
Can you brave the demons and werewolves? Go on – I dare you!

Stephen’s critiques are always methodical and detailed, like the attention to detail in his book King’s X. I love his treatment of the Knight’s Templar – and have to agree with the reviewer who said the history is “cleverly paced”- not the normal couple of pages of description before you get anywhere near a character. This book is peopled with heroes, from the spunky 16-year-old who has lived before to the hunky detective who is the only person capable of saving her from the evil Shepherd.*shudders* And all I’m saying about Shahin is Johnny Depp in heavy black curls. Nuff said. 
Fans say: “It's a full-meal-deal. If you're looking for dessert, skip this. It's too satisfying by far, completely engaging from beginning to end.” ”This book has it all - adventure, romance, suspense, bad guys, good guys, twists and turns you'd never expect, great character development and unique and fascinating plot... ”
I say: Do you have the courage to join in this scary ride?

L. Jefferson is well-known on the forum for her excellent advice, delivered in a calm, positive manner. But don’t let that cool exterior fool you – underneath sizzles a fiery ball of passion with a great sense of fun and wickedly witty turn of phrase. Her writing has every bit of the competence I would expect, with appealing, well-rounded characters in credible situations. I can sit back and enjoy my time in the company of the lovely Lendyn and cool Callum, knowing that I am in good hands. At Death It Begins has realistic dialogue, nicely crafted scenes and just enough mystery and tension to keep me turning the pages. Can you ask for any more than that?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Guest Author - Maggie Plummer

I really love this idea - that writers interview each other about the whys and wherefores of writing.

Third in the big black chair is Maggie Plummer – a journalist who has uncovered the little-known atrocity that was the Irish slave trade.

Check it out here

P.S. Congrats to all my ABNA buddies who made it through to the second round, including some of my featured friends: Buzz Malone, Don Falloon and Maggie Plummer.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

More ABNA Beauties

It's starting to get a tad crazy now - so many books to read, so little time. I really wanted to get these three in, even though I haven't finished reading them yet.
Thoroughly recommened!
Lisa Rikand is one of the more experienced pitch doctors – her crits are always spot on and her witty banter has us all giggling. Ten minutes after Girl the Reaper plopped on my mat, I was on the fourth chapter and my living room had turned into Wisconsin farmland. This book has the same attraction and immediacy I felt when reading Nicholas Evan's Horse Whisperer, coupled with the very best of Stephen King's bizarre characters and attention to detail. Cate has a maturity way beyond her years, taking on a huge responsibility (her father’s life) with the sort of courage rarely seen in one so young. Fans say: it’s an “easy read! I would like to see more” and “this book has what I like to find in fiction: believable characters living out a story which piques my interest and causes me to experience a wide range of emotion.” 
I just think no life is complete without this book. 

Cara is our resident celebrity – her compelling YA paranormal thriller made it to the final round of ABNA in 2011. She can always be relied upon to spot something others may have missed and speaks with authority on many aspects of writing and the competition itself. Lost in Thought has a class about it that many YA novels fail to reach, Lainey feels to me like a cut above your average high school junior. I enjoyed every minute I spent in her company, feeling her “new kid in school” discomfort quite acutely and sharing her curiosity at the unusual characters and events. I was really impressed with her loyalty, affectionate nature and ability to stay cool under pressure.
Others say Cara’s “writing is very fluid”, that the book has “a creative plot and intriguing storyline.” and “... an action-packed ending with a twist that will leave readers clamoring for the next installment."  
I say: Can you just be reading it now?

Maggie Adina and I have an awful lot of fun on the pitch thread – usually at the expense of the poor lads - especially Don, Buzz and Thomas. With her background in journalism, Maggie has more than done justice to the little-known Irish slave trade with her poignant tale of Freddy O'Brennan’s fight for survival. I have only read the first few chapters (so far) of Spirited Away - A Novel of the Stolen Irish, so I will hand over to a few of the hundred plus reviewers on Amazon: “The description of 17th century life in the Caribbean makes it truly worth the read.” “Well written, with wonderful characters and believable raw emotion. I loved this book.” “This well written story pulls you in and makes you root for this young Irish girl. You feel her pain, her loneliness and her sadness as the harsh life of a white slave is shown in all its lurid detail.” “One woman's story realistic and unpolished is told in such a way that you feel you are there with her.” 
A tricky topic, but well worth the read. Go on, educate yourself!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Guest Author - Buzz Malone

I really love this idea - that writers interview each other about the whys and wherefores of writing.

Second in the big black chair is the charming Buzz Malone, talking about the Silence of Centerville
This is not just a book. It's a complete sensory experience.
Check it out here.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

ABNA Buddies

The absolute best thing about ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) is without doubt the sheer quantity of wonderful creative people you meet on the pitch thread. Every entrant has up to 300 words to sell their story and this is way harder than writing the actual book. So Sir Thomas and his band of trusty pitch doctors help all the newbies to better their chances by helping them to improve their voice, structure, hook and clincher.
If you want to read more about this, Sir Thomas' excellent blogs do it way better than I ever could. Check them out: part1 and part2.

 Who is this paragon? I hear you cry. Why none other than the awesome Thomas A Knight - author of some of the most original and exciting science fantasy I have ever read. Don't just take my word for it, other reviewers say The Time Weaver is "entertaining, gruesome and a whole lot of fun," "an online game brought into a volume"  and that "I couldn't find a good place to put it down." 
Do yourself a favour. Click and buy.

Don Falloon is the class clown, brightening up the thread with his witty remarks and capturing hearts with his tales of kilt-clad, pirate re-enactments. His writing has humour, wit and pathos in equal measure - in short - it rocks like a Journey concert. To me, Heart of Ezdar combines elements of sci-fi and film noir in a deliciously irreverent "chase"-style book. The hero wakes up in hospital to find that something important  has been attached to his heart. The doctor (with weird tentacles for fingers) now wants it back and he doesn't care whose memory he wipes to achieve his goal.
Don't just sit there, get your copy now.

If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, Paradise and now Mr Selfridge, this is the book for you. Filled with beautifully drawn characters and well-researched, plausible situations, A Tale of the South follows one man's struggles to survive extreme suffering and degradation when his rival in love consigns him to a life of slavery.
Adina is in turn charming and compassionate, fun and feisty, and capable of extreme naughtiness when goaded (which I do often). Her writing gives a "wonderful feel for the era," she has an "engaging storytelling style," and she warns about "content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under." 
Mmmm, sounds spicy - why not find out for yourself?

My first comment on reading this was that Eli's writing style fits my preferred reading style like a hand in a glove. Dead Trees reads like Terminator meets Resident Evil with an action heroine who would put Linda Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver through their paces. Elise describes herself as a "bipolar, beastie-killing, off-my-rocker mommy". The story oozes an edgy, graveyard humour that lightens the white-knuckle tension and has credibly flawed, likeable characters. Others say it’s a “direct and pinpoint focused thriller,” a “well thought out and delivered piece of writing” and a “multidimensional tale with shades of SF.” Highly recommended - a five star read.

Buzz Malone's way with words is enough to turn a happily married woman's head. Charm, wit and style are such tiny words to describe this man's literary accomplishments, both on the thread and in his books. I could wax lyrical forever about this book. Oh look, I have.  Silence of Centreville
I'll let a few others get a word in: "a well written, insightful look at the joys and agonies of being different in 1950s small town Iowa"  with  "heartbreakingly sympathetic characters" and  "sensuous, well written descriptions- a book that makes you "laugh and cry and just sigh."
Go on, treat yourself. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

It's all about me.

I’m hoping for a few sneaky peeks from the ABNA threads, so I thought I’d take the opportunity for some self-praise. Even though I’m not really comfortable on planet “Look-at-me” (yeah, right!), here’s some stuff you can check out.

             The book trailer for Archer                    Me chatting about Archer           Me chatting about Rory              My alter-ego Jo Green
                                                                                                and the premise                                  and the series                  (This piccy was taken when
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I re-wrote it back in 2001)
  Hey that’s amazing. I was looking for the link to my romantic thriller (Subterfuge) - published as Jo Green.
Ammy UK stores it as Crime, Thrillers & Mystery -> Thrillers.
Ammy US stores it as Literature -> Erotica. Mmmm – I didn’t think it was that sexy.
Maybe I should take a pitch for 50 Shards of Gray? 50 Swords of Gray? – darnit, there are no swords in this one, just bare-knuckle fighting and the threat of guns. But my real name is Jacky Gray, so I’ll keep working on it.

These are some of my other alter-egos – I do love dress-up.

ABNA stole my January

What can I say? After last year's experience of getting slaughtered in the second round by a reviewer who doesn't spell Brit, I wasn't going to enter this year. To her certain knowlege, the English don't spell defence instead of defense or practising instead of practicing and "it's nothing a spell check wouldn't have picked up." Only if it's set to English (United States)
Bitter, moi? As if.

But I don't need much encouragement to stay up until 4am every night (except a couple) for three weeks solid, grandly imagining I can correct/improve any other writer's words while having the best possible fun it's possible for a girl to have without spending a dime. The pitch doctors on Sir Thomas' amazing thread are the wittiest, sharpest people I have the pleasure of dealing with - their company is addictive. If you want a gigle, check it out.

So, we now wait with bated breath for Feb 13th when we find out who progressed to the next phase. Here's my pitch - any comments gratefully received:
Archer doesn't belong. Edlyn and his gang go to any lengths to ensure he never will. They jump him in the woods, tie him to a tree and try to teach him some respect. The midnight flogging fails to break Archer’s spirit; instead he gains loyal friends while his adversary loses support.

The Beltane competition to find the May King pitches Archer against his best friend in a close-fought joust. He needs a huge dose of honour and integrity to prevail when Edlyn sabotages his chances by cheating at archery and calling a foul in the sword fight. Archer's portrayal of Robin Hood in the historical character round attracts plenty of female admiration, but Edlyn rigs a vote to reach the final round.

Archer apprenticed with Oxford's master bowman who rewarded him with a magnificent yew stave. As he carves it, drops of his blood awaken a powerful spirit. This enchantress helps him design a unique bow while concealing a darker agenda resulting from Edlyn's wanton mutilation of the tree she once was. The Beltane bonfire provides an opportunity for revenge and she lures him into the fire. Archer faces the ultimate dilemma - whether to defy her and risk his life to save his nemesis, or simply walk away.

Despite the distinctly medieval feel, ARCHER is set in a modern-day, alternate England where teenagers enjoy archery and jousting instead of football and Facebook. This 52,000 word story follows the adventures of a boy with a man's courage.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Awesome Book Trailer

Anthony has worked his magic - this is the finished article. Hope you like it.
Look out for the sword - this is my very own Acorn, looking splendid!
P.S. Happy New Year - hope you had a great rest/celebration/family get-together.