Now Live – The Future King: Logres for 99c/99p!

To mark the release of The Future King: Logres, Book 2, My Kindle Countdown Deal has begun! Get Logres, Book 1 for 99c/99p until May 12 2020. That’s 168 hours of discount!

May 5 2020 – May 12 2020

(UK) Kindle Countdown Deal (The Future King, #1)
(US) Kindle Countdown Deal (The Future King, #1)

Countdown ends on: May 12 2020
Countries available: UK & US (Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com)

This deal runs from 12:00AM May 5 to 12:00AM May 12 (GMT & PDT) where you can pick up The Future King: Logres on Kindle for £0.99 and $0.99.

Enjoy!

Preview of Logres, Book Two.

This is an extract from chapter two of The Future King: Logres, Book Two. The book itself is out on May 5 2020 and is available to preorder from Amazon.


Gone.

Gwenhwyfar stood in the middle of the living room, her eyes flitting across the destruction around her. The front door hung from its frame, a half-severed limb, and the broken glass of her mother’s favourite cabinet frosted the carpet. The vase that had sat on display lay on the floor among the shattered ornaments, its interior cracked open and as pale as bone.

‘Llew—?’ She waited, but no whine or whimper answered her call. There was nothing to indicate his path besides a few spots of blood leading beyond the threshold. The sound he’d made when he’d been hit with the butt of the New Moral officer’s gun reverberated in her mind. ‘Llewellyn!’

Nothing. Time ticked prominently to her racing pulse. They didn’t take me. Why? She sank down into the sofa, her eyes fixed to the carpet. A deep chill gripped her and suddenly she was shaking violently.

They’ll come back. The New Moral Army had accidentally arrested her parents. It was a misunderstanding, something crazy she could tell her friends about in school on Monday when her mother and father were home again, when this had all been sorted out.

Disappeared. That word had been echoing at the fringe of her vocabulary, and now it was frighteningly real. But her parents hadn’t vanished; she had seen the New Morals take them. She was the one who was Free Countries. This is about me.

The packing passed in a blur. Llew was nowhere to be seen, inside the house or outside of it. She grabbed the essentials—water, money, a torch and something to eat—yet was mindful of her need to pack light. She was stuffing the last few items into her rucksack when headlights scanned the living room. Car doors slammed and footprints crunched across the gravel towards the house. Gwenhwyfar froze, her heart lodged in her throat. She still had time to run, could slip over the garden wall before they realised she was missing. She zipped her rucksack up in a hurry.

‘Police!’ The front door rattled against her makeshift barricade as they attempted to gain access to the property. ‘Let us in!’

She ran into the kitchen, her shoes crunching over the broken sugar pot scattered across the tiled floor. A momentary glance to the pictures stuck to the refrigerator stopped her, her gaze caught by a photo of their last family holiday. Her parents were smiling before a blue seascape, her mother sunburned and carefree, her father windswept and darkened by the Mediterranean sun. She stood with them, short and petite; her brown hair tousled and bronzed, her skin tanned like her father’s, her eyes green like her mother’s.

I can’t run, where would I go? It was impossible to just disappear. And what about her parents? The only people who knew where they had been taken were the ones who had taken them. Abruptly she removed her rucksack and pushed it into the nearest cupboard. A moment later she was at the front door. She began to clear the barricade.

‘Police!’ they yelled. ‘Open up!’

‘I’m in here!’ she shouted. ‘Help me!’ They redoubled their efforts to get in. Soon the furniture was gone and the front door was propped up in the hall. ‘They took my parents!’ Gwenhwyfar exclaimed. She gazed up at the two police officers imploringly. With them was a plain-clothed woman. ‘They just came in and broke everything!’

The woman eyed her pityingly. ‘Miss Taliesin—’

‘Where are they? Where have they taken them?’ She appealed to the shorter of the two police officers. ‘You need to fix this! Why won’t you help me?’

‘I am here to help you, Gwen,’ the woman said calmly. A beaked nose crowned her thin smile, and ash blonde ringlets curtained her long face. ‘My name’s Victoria, I work for the New Morals. I’m here to bring you to see a colleague of mine.’

Gwenhwyfar sensed that she shouldn’t go anywhere with this woman. Despite Victoria’s motherly tone there was something patronising in her eyes—contempt that she failed to cloak. She took an involuntary step back.

‘Please, we can talk about your parents as soon as we get there,’ Victoria continued. ‘We’ll sort all of this out.’

‘I can’t leave,’ Gwenhwyfar protested. ‘My dog’s missing. He’s hurt.’

‘What does he look like?’ the shorter police officer asked.

‘He’s a Catalan sheepdog. He has long fur, looks quite scruffy. His name is Llew.’ She turned to Victoria accusingly. ‘One of your New Morals hit him.’

‘We’ll find him,’ the taller police officer assured her. ‘He won’t have gone far.’

‘Come,’ Victoria urged. Keeping her distance, Gwenhwyfar followed the woman onto the driveway and headed towards the single patrol car. ‘No, not that one,’ Victoria said.

Thrown, Gwenhwyfar followed her off the drive to an unmarked car. The moment she was shut in the back of the vehicle she realised she couldn’t see out through the windows, or who was driving.

‘Fasten your seatbelt,’ Victoria ordered, climbing in from the other side. She shut the door and the locks clunked as they pulled away from the kerb. Gwenhwyfar’s stomach lurched, fatigue pulsing through her limbs. Victoria presented her with a bottle of water. ‘Here,’ she said. ‘You need to stay hydrated.’

‘I’m fine.’

‘Drink it. It’s a long drive.’

Gwenhwyfar accepted the bottle and held it in her lap. Victoria pulled another one out of the compartment between them and took a sip. A few moments later Gwenhwyfar did the same.

‘What took you so long?’ she asked. ‘I’ve been alone for hours. Is this what you usually do? When you abduct innocent civilians?’

Victoria produced a touchscreen tablet from the nearest seat pocket. Lazily she waved it on. ‘You have an aunt and uncle who live in the area,’ she stated. ‘Can you stay with them?’

‘Why would I need to stay with them?’ Gwenhwyfar eyed her with mistrust. ‘I thought we were going to sort this out.’

‘This won’t be resolved overnight,’ Victoria said. ‘You’re a minor, so you’ll need to stay with a suitable guardian. I expect your parents have a living will detailing who should be your carer in the event of their incapacity.’

‘Why don’t you just lock me up?’ Gwenhwyfar bit. She felt light-headed and her carsickness was getting worse. She took another sip of water. ‘Isn’t that what you do? Abduct people and throw them in a cell?’

‘You must know what we are.’ Victoria was observing her with amusement in her cold eyes. The corner of her mouth curled with a smile. ‘The New Moral Army is an anti-extremism cell, Gwen. What do you think that means?’

She didn’t know, couldn’t fathom it; was trying to ignore the unsettling sensation that ballooned within her and pushed her to lethargy. ‘I don’t feel so good.’

Victoria’s smile widened. ‘It’ll be all right.’

‘No, something… something’s wrong.’ She looked down to the water bottle in her lap, and then at Victoria’s, comprehending. She fumbled to open the car door but the lock was unresponsive. Tears sprang to her eyes. ‘What have you done?’

She was hushed. ‘Rest, Gwen. It’s a long drive, and you need your sleep.’

Victoria touched her hair and caressed her lolling head. Ink blotches picked away her vision, obscuring the water bottle that lay in her lap until darkness rolled across her eyes. All sound was indecipherable to her, and then there came night without time, without beginning.


* * *


Gwenhwyfar felt something cold pressed against her cheek. The angle of the wall seemed familiar in the low light, and for a moment she thought she was back in Swansea in her old bedroom. She half recalled a dream: light burning into the back of her corneas, questions, someone else giving answers through her own lips. As her senses returned she realised she was flopped over in a hard chair, leaning against a metal table. Her face ached as she struggled to sit upright, and she looked around.

The room was windowless, the smooth concrete floor punctured by a single drain. The beady red eye of a camera gazed at her from the lofty ceiling. To her left was a large mirror and a closed door with a dim bulb fixed overhead. She found her feet carefully, holding onto the table as the walls turned around her. The door flung open and the room was flooded with light.

‘You’re awake!’ a man barked. Slamming the door behind him he strode into the room. ‘I was just about to rouse you. How are you feeling?’ He offered her a crinkling smile that made the whiskers of his beard bloom. ‘I’m Richard. Richard Morris. I’m here to talk to you about your parents. Won’t you sit?’ He slapped the paper file he was holding onto the table between them. ‘I imagine you’re in shock. We had to chase your father into the garden. Did you know he had a plane booked to Mexico? From there he intended to go on to South America—to start again, I imagine. He was trying to flee with his own passport. Though, I don’t know, perhaps he was headed somewhere else. Perhaps South America was just a ruse. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.’

‘Where is he?’ Gwenhwyfar sat down as Richard did. The metal chair was still warm.

‘I can’t tell you that. Why do you think the New Moral Army arrested your father? Where he is now, is a matter of national security.’ He cupped his hands together and leant towards her. ‘Do you know where you are, Gwen? Do you know what you’re doing here?’

She watched him closely. His brown eyes were fixed on hers, his crow’s feet wrinkled with curiosity. Despite his amiable expression, Gwenhwyfar felt as if she was pinned in the gaze of a dangerous predator. Her heart pounded in her chest. Fight or flight. With nowhere to run, she had only one option. She drew a preparatory breath.


To be continued in The Future King: Logres, Book Two. Preorder it now from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Out May 5 2020.


The gripping second book in The Future King series. King Arthur meets high-school drama in this near-future dystopian depiction of the Arthurian legends.

The ruling party, New National, is expanding its power. Their new anti-extremism cell, The New Moral Army, threatens all who stand in opposition to the regime. Under the guidance of Marvin, self-proclaimed Merlin, afterschool club The Round Table is about to fight back. The year is 2053, and Britain begins to darken.

Teenager Gwenhwyfar must discover why The New Moral Army has taken her parents and what she can do to save them. Meanwhile, rival Morgan struggles to find her place among her peers. With Bedivere’s life hanging in the balance, a conflicted Arthur does what he can to keep the The Round Table alive.

Knowing that her only chance to save her parents is to discover more about the terrorist cell Free Countries, Gwenhwyfar searches for their leader. She must also navigate new dynamics: her wish for Arthur and Lancelot to make amends may soon one she regrets. With the New Nationals infringing on rights and a general election fast approaching, this is the thrilling second book to volume one of The Future King series.


Cover reveal for The Future King: Logres, vol. 1 book 2.

The cover itself is an evolution from Logres 1, and features the eye-cross of ruling party New National’s anti-extremism cell, the New Moral Army.

The gripping second book in The Future King series. King Arthur meets high-school drama in this near-future dystopian depiction of the Arthurian legends.

The ruling party, New National, is expanding its power. Their new anti-extremism cell, The New Moral Army, threatens all who stand in opposition to the regime. Under the guidance of Marvin, self-proclaimed Merlin, after-school club The Round Table is about to fight back. The year is 2053, and Britain begins to darken.

Teenager Gwenhwyfar must discover why The New Moral Army has taken her parents and what she can do to save them. Meanwhile, rival Morgan struggles to find her place among her peers. With Bedivere’s life hanging in the balance, a conflicted Arthur does what he can to keep the The Round Table alive.

Knowing that her only chance to save her parents is to discover more about the terrorist cell Free Countries, Gwenhwyfar searches for their leader. She must also navigate new dynamics: her wish for Arthur and Lancelot to make amends may soon one she regrets. With the New Nationals infringing on rights and a general election fast approaching, this is the thrilling second book to volume one of The Future King series.

As you know, I had to push back the release date of Logres 2 more than once, but am pleased to announce that it will be released on May 05 2020. After four years of writing, editing, formatting, and proofreading, it’s finally there!

For those of you who haven’t read Logres 1, there’s still time to catch up before Logres 2 comes out. I’ve even added a ‘sneak peek’ of Logres 2 in the Kindle file of Logres 1 (click here for Amazon UK & here for Amazon US) to give you a taste of what’s to come.

Logres 2 will also be available for pre-order – I’ll be putting up the links to the Amazon pages on the homepage soon.

I know it’s natural to be excited about one’s own projects, but I’m extremely pleased with how this book has turned out, and can’t wait to see how it fares once it’s released into the wild!

Cover Reveal for Logres 2 -scheduled April 5 2020!

I know it’s been a while since the last update. It was originally my aim to have Logres 2 released before Christmas, but a series of unforeseen events rendered that goal impossible – besides, to what deadline was I working? It was only my own. All the while I’ve had the uncomfortable feeling of knowing that my first book was released in 2015, which, given we are now in 2020, is suddenly a very long time ago.

But it’s not as if it took that many years to write the sequel to Logres. Most of that time was spent redrafting, editing, and formatting. In fact, I only finished formatting the paperback for Logres 2 a few days ago, and intend to format it for Kindle as soon as I’ve tweaked a few things with Logres 1 (drop caps, etc., for consistency). While doing this, I will have to resist the urge to make character amendments, scene cuts or edits, or even go down the rabbit-hole of reformatting Logres 1 (I could, I think, lose at least ten pages, and may well attempt to do so once Logres 2 is available for preorder). These little (and big) tasks always find ways of popping up, and slow down the writing process considerably – particularly as I prefer to work on one creative project at a time in order to give each one my full attention.

I’ve attempted to include enough ‘memory jogs’ in Logres 2 to ensure that anyone who hasn’t read Logres 1 won’t be completely lost, and hope that those who have read Logres 1 won’t have lost interest by the time Logres 2 comes out. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a taster of what’s up and coming in the next two months (see Events for more details).

April 05 – cover reveal & release date announcement, including a sneak peak of Logres 2 – I’ll be sharing an extract from chapter two on my blog at 10:30am, and this will also be available in the ebook of Logres 1.

TBC – Kindle Countdown Deal for Logres 1 – get Logres 1 for 99c/99p. This deal will coincide with the release of Logres 2.

I was originally intending to run a Goodreads Giveaway, but recently discovered this service is now hidden behind a (particularly steep) paywall. I may therefore find a way to run my own giveaway in the not-too-distant future.

Until then, thank you for your patience in waiting for the next book in The Future King series. Watch this space for updates about the upcoming release.

Another update.

Success! It’s working! Or at least, it feels as if it is working as I finish writing for the day and head to the homepage to update my ‘live word counter’. It’s not really live – to actually do that would require some sort of link between my website (the inter-web) and my 2009 version of Word – and that terrifies me. Anyway, now that my word counter has evolved into a ‘live word chopper’ it is safe to say I am making some progress.

Slow progress; mind you. At the moment I’m squeezing 238,722 words to fewer than 130,000 so I can stuff in all the scenes needed for the narrative to form some semblance of novel. My method requires it: I pour it all in, everything – all the brain-mess and the overused words like looked, interjected, exclaimed, gazed, shifted – it’s all about the body language in my first draft. Then, horrified by my bloated document, I force a temporary end so I can throw most of it away. The parts where I get to bin whole pages are the most satisfying: away you go, small talk, here’s some plot advancement instead. These alterations to conversation, timing and place get me thinking about the nature of real life – does free will exist, or are we bound to some plot arc with small details that may change, but that never ultimately affect our final destination?

You can tell I’ve been watching too much Doctor Who. Every evening, storming through time and space with the Doctor in the TARDIS – when episodes are watched in close succession the disruption the Doctor inflicts upon his companions seems darker than before. Comparing the series I would definitely rather travel with Tennant or Smith – so far all of Capaldi’s companions seem to have ended up highlight for spoiler>indisposed<highlight for spoiler. Despite my many distractions I am confident I will get a decent first draft done by the end of the summer, which will (with a lot of hard work) set me on course for publication in 2018. Hopefully. I announced it on Twitter so it has to happen. I’ll show you the cover as soon as it’s ready – it incorporates the New Moral eye-cross in a way that is quite sleek.

Anyway, plans for this year: still many. My Resolutions To Do list has birthed two more: To Do This Week and To Do In The Flat. As you can tell from Twitter I’m following UK politics closely – the offer from the EU guaranteeing citizen’s rights seemed fair: it would have guaranteed (for life) freedom of movement for those that have already used it. Whilst too many would still miss out, at least those who rely on freedom of movement would have their roaming protected in future. Of course the UK came back with the suggestion of fewer rights in Britain for EU nationals (and one can assume also for Brits abroad). Given that so far during my adult life I’ve had to move every two years, the default ‘five-year residency equals potential long-term residency rights’ wouldn’t work for me. I estimate this will be a significant problem in my future.

I opened up Word to do some editing and I wrote a blog post instead. Details. Keep watching the homepage for updates on the ‘live word chopper’ – and if you haven’t read the first instalment to The Future King yet, where have you been? Pick up your copy here.

An update.

Hello, hello. Yes, it has been horribly long since my last blog post or update. I suppose this is the point where I rattle off the relevant excuses – work and life in general – reasons why I have not penned anything much of late. Blog posts are usually low down on my list of priorities and I do admire those authors who manage to fire one off daily (monthly would be an achievement for me). They are important, but when you have your next novel pushing to be written or artwork needing to be produced, it’s difficult to fit them into a routine.

So, a quick summary of where I’m at. Logres Volume One: Book Two – still not fully drafted. My children’s book – where it was about 6 months ago. I think it’s safe to say that 2016 was not a good year for me creatively. There was far too much going on and not nearly enough time to focus on the projects I wanted to see finished. Being knocked into the cycle of ‘working to afford somewhere to live close to where you work so you can afford to live somewhere you can work‘ absorbed more recourses than I anticipated, and any free time that I did have left me feeling uninspired and unable to produce anything of any real substance.

It’s been over a year since I self-published The Future King: Logres, and though reviews are still trickling in it’s been tough accumulating them. I’ve learned a lot about self-promotion and advertising this year, have been burned by one or two ‘reviewers’ (be weary of the ones who approach you asking for free copies of your work), and understand well why people prefer to have publishers. Had I not had to do all the promotional work myself I’d have had more time for writing. Well, no excuses this year – I’ve done what I can. The reviews will hopefully come in eventually, more (with some luck) once I publish Book Two. This year it is my goal to kick myself past my own goalposts.

My new year’s resolutions list is expanding and ever-changing like some organised hydra (scratch one thing off, three more appear), but the core aspect of it is that I need to write, need to draw and I need to get my next novel properly drafted. It has to be extracted – no ifs, no buts – and it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

The first step is to be more transparent about my writing progress, it’s the only way to hold myself to my new goals. It worked the first time round, posting word count updates on Facebook like some race against myself, so I’m hoping it’ll work this time if I update my homepage with daily (being optimistic here) word counts.

So you’re aware I’m starting my next draft from scratch, starting on Monday (that’s the 16th), working with what I already have and refreshing myself by reading The Future King: Logres from a new viewpoint. If you’re feeling impatient and think I should be working faster – you’re probably right, but in the meantime you can help by spreading the word about The Future King if you enjoyed it. Then if the reviews keep coming in while I’m writing my next draft, it’ll be at least one thing from my new year’s list that will be taken off my mind.

Untitled

So things have been busy lately. Not busy in the sense that I’ve got mountains of work done, am now half way through to publishing book two (or indeed that children’s book I was working on), but busy in the sense that real life has got in the way. New job, new home, and a new schedule that so far has left little time for anything else other than working and sitting in the sofa each evening, thinking about how much you should be doing with your evening time versus how little you are actually doing (LOTRO, I blame you).

That said, I have managed to get a couple of things done and will get back into the swing of working on projects evening and weekends soon enough. I’ve just organised another Goodreads Giveaway for the months of June and July and, feeling festive, have sorted out a Kindle Countdown Deal for the Spring Bank Holiday. Ironically in order to do this I’ve been shut inside fiddling with graphics and promotional material rather than actually sitting outside enjoying said spring weather, but so far I’m pleased with what I have planned. The phrases I’ve used to make the promotional posters come from the pages of my novel itself; lifted straight off of the New National propaganda posters that Arthur walks past on a regular basis.

Smile and the world smiles with you, read one. A happy worker is a happy person, read another. You have the things in life you deserve, proclaimed the next. And, would you know if your neighbour is housing illegals?

These posters will be released randomly in the run up to the Goodreads Giveaway I’ve organised, hopefully to rally up some excitement, so watch this space. In the meantime I’m hoping to break through book two syndrome, you know – something halfway between blank page syndrome and where the hell do I start syndrome. Don’t panic if you were expecting me to have already drafted book two by now – it’s all there, ready to go and planned on paper – I just want to start it right.

Except then I remembered that book two isn’t book two at all. I don’t need to worry about starting a new novel – it’s a series. And more specifically the second instalment of the series was always intended to be the second half of Logres, married entirely to Volume One. In fact, they’re not even separate: they should be the same book, just divided into two publications. Suddenly I don’t have to worry about new novel syndrome. Now I can just pick up where I left off – start a new chapter – without worrying about the final finished polished package.

Meanwhile I’ll keep working working, will adapt to my new routine and continue to anxiously await reviews from my read-to-reviewers, the people who are offering an honest review in exchange for a free copy of my novel. Yes, I now know I should have organised all of this before my release date way back in December last year, but I’m new at this book-writing book-promotion thing, and really I’m learning as I go along.

Five books ordered for Goodreads Giveaway!

The books are ordered, all five of them, ready for the giveaway and ready for me to sign. I’m still coming to terms with scribbling in books (I was always taught that defacing a book was hugely immoral), but I suppose that scrawling one’s John Hancock doesn’t really count. Then again, my ‘actual’ signature really can’t be counted as anything other than an irregular, scribbled mess.

Not so for my ‘author’ signature though – you know, the one you put in books – because I have been practicing on several scraps of paper to get something different than what I might scribble in a chequebook. Not that I expect anyone to forge said signature if I do include it in the leaves of my own book, but I’m sure that I once read somewhere that having an ‘artist’s’ signature is the thing to do.

What with my free trial of Amazon Prime, the books should all arrive via courier tomorrow; though I have experienced a certain amount of guilt as a result. It seems a tall task to print five copies of my novel, pack them up and then drive them over to their delivery destination in what is effectively 24 hours. I’m fairly certain that I’m not yet making enough sales for The Future King: Logres to be on the ‘print-and-stock-it-just-in-case’ list, so they’re probably being run off the printing press as we speak. With the novelty of being a published author still relatively new, I must admit that I am looking forward to handling so many copies of my ‘brain-baby’ at once.

In other news, I’m awaiting the moment when it’s appropriate to start spreading the word about my signed copy Giveaway on Goodreads (this will be a fairly labour-intensive task, I assure you), and have been struggling through writing the opening of book two (well, technically Volume One: Book Two, as Logres will be published as two instalments). It’s proving a challenge to get right. I think I’m going to have to accept that after all the polishing I did in the editing process of Book One, I can’t expect the prose for Book Two to be immediately as ‘perfect’. It seems I’m going to have to force myself to take my own advice, which is along the lines of, write and don’t stop. No looking back, no thinking it could be better, you can do all that later in your months of editing (which will inevitably take months) – just go for it, ignore that niggling in your head that it’s not quite there yet – ignore, ignore, ignore – until you get your groove back, get back into the flow of things, finish the story – only then can you go back and rewrite the whole not-quite-good-enough book (thrice, probably).

That said, it is natural to want to get the first few scenes absolutely right from the beginning so that you’re setting off at the right tone and pace. It’s exciting to be starting from scratch (despite the blank-page syndrome!), but writer’s block is still trying to unsettle me, and to top it all off a recent move means that I no longer have my old writing desk (everything is now done on the edge of a very cluttered dining room table).

But don’t despair, if you have read Logres: Book One and are looking for an indication of when Book Two will be on the proverbial shelves: the answer is soon, hopefully either the end of 2016 or near the start of 2017. To avoid the risk of getting myself into a George R. R. Martin-book 6-type scenario, I’m not going to promise too much too soon; but do keep checking back for progress, which I assure you I will undoubtedly post (probably in the form of word-count updates) as regularly as it’s worth.

In the meantime keep sharing The Future King: Logres, Volume One: Book One with anyone you feel might enjoy it, rate and review it on Amazon and Goodreads, enter my free signed copy giveaway on the 1st of Feb, and have a good, creatively embellished week. I will probably be sat at this dining table writing, then rewriting, and tapping out notes for The Future King: Logres, Volume One: Book Two.