Eldar Moroi Part 1 – Quidel out on Kindle


Did you notice anything different about the header image on the website? That’s right, there’s a new cover up there. You didn’t notice it did you? Oh, well, I’ll let you off, it is quite similar to the Moroaica cover, because it’s part of the same series, The Moroi Chronicles.

So, The Moroi Chronicles Volume Two, Eldar Moroi, Part 1 – Quidel. It’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it? Just like the narrator, Quidel Cezar Elizondo. So why only Part 1?

I blame Quidel. He was very insistent on being allowed to tell the story going forward from Max’s defection to the Dewan coven up to his ascension, to the point of drowning out every other character’s voice in my head for months. So I let him have his way, with the intention of having him tell the whole of this part of the story. As it turned out, he can’t, because he’s going a bit soft in the head. He was also driving me mad with his querulous attitude and self importance. Besides, he has little in the way of a sense of humour.

So from Act 2 of the book, I’ve handed the reigns to Dillon, who is also proving to be a bit of a surprise, and much more fun to work with than I anticipated. I considered completely scrapping Quidel’s contribution and retelling that part from one of the boys’ view as well, but none of them really know the folk tales Quidel shares with us here well enough to step in, and frankly I’d be worried the old goat would start haunting me again if I did that to him. So, Part 1 – Quidel it is.

It is available on Amazon.com for Kindle ($3.09) or Amazon.co.uk (£1.95) and before long in print at $5.99.

Decontamination reviewed by The Unbound Underground

It’s not often I get to hear the reader’s comments on one of books while they’re in the process of reading it, so having Unbound Underground review Decontamination this week was a real treat.
Not only did I get a four star review of Decontamination on The Unbound Underground blog, with both some gratifying compliments and points for development, but during the week on twitter I got to listen in on the thought process as the reviewer was reading.
Unbound Underground

UnboundUUnbound Underground

“Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour: murder and conspiracy from the perspective of an obituary writer…an interesting new take!

1 Feb

“Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour: and someone stabbed to death in the first few pages? classic.

“Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour: you’d think a sleuth story in the age of Google would be less compelling somehow…and yet, it’s not.

2 Feb

“Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour: also the obituary-writing variation of the old-fashion hard-bitten reporter is pretty great.

2 Feb

And now for some compulsive honesty: “A Kiss by the Clowns” is going to be a hard act to follow, it being one of my new favorites…

2 Feb

More compulsive honesty: However, “Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour is actually doing a hell of a job. It’s really a pretty fun book.
end of compulsive honesty: case in point, exhibit a and all that. “Puff goes the donkey.” Nicely put Ms. Seymour.
“Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour: Hurrah! Shaping up to be a really good read!

2 Feb

“Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour: though the romance subplot seems a little out of place with other more witty twists on the genre.

“Decontamination” By S Gail Seymour: and the body count rises, it will be interesting to see who actually survives the book!
Here are some thoughts: “thoughtful and engrossing, and also amusing and occasionally comical…intelligent and tightly-executed!”

5 Feb

Finally! Full review of “Decontamination” by S Gail Seymour posted for your perusal.

5 Feb

One thing this reviewer brought up was the romantic sub-plot. I think he’s right, it could have been downplayed a little. That makes me glad Legal Highs, the second Matt Kasey Mystery has less of this element.

Read the full review here.


[amazon asin=0451211634&template=image]
HOSTILE WITNESS by Rebecca Forster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An enjoyable read, but a lot easier to work out than I expected.

Rebecca Forster has a deft hand when it comes to bringing characters to life and a slick writing stlye that makes the reader comfortable from page one. As soon as I read the description, “the shower room smelled of mold and misery,” I relaxed, knowing I could trust the author. And nothing jolted me out of that trust.

The characters are flawed, believeable and likeable in varying degrees. The pace is swift without being dizzying, the action well painted and realistic. The plot meanders along well enough.

But here’s the thing. An early comment gave the game away for me. p7 “She’d damned well finish what she started the way she always did.” Having picked up on that, nothing else in the entire narrative gave me any reason to doubt, even though I could tell it was supposed to. The characters, while charming or repulsive by turn, never quite managed loveable or detestable status for me.

Having worked it out far too early on, I perhaps wasn’t as engaged as I would otherwise have been. Maybe if I’d mised that one comment, it would have been a truly five star experience. As it was, I found myself intellectually enjoying the style of the author more than emotionally connecting with the story.

View all my reviews

Map of the Thorpe Marsh area with places described in Decontamination

When I published Decontamination, the first Matt Kasey novel, I hummed and hawed about including a map in the book. In the end, most of the people I asked whether they felt it needed one, whether they knew the area or not, said no, they didn’t think so.

Since publication, though, a few people have told me they would have liked the map. So here it is.

There is no Villa Gardens where I placed it, nor is there a B&B where I described one. The fishing pond there is not actually called Willow Garth. The slurry ponds are real, put they have been reclaimed and the slurry tips around them landscaped. The Nature Reserve is real, as is Thorpe Marsh Power Station, although it is long since abandoned and all buildings except the cooling towers have long been pulled down.

Hi ho, hi ho, a NaNo-ing I go.

Acorn theiving squirrels, I only wanted one, you would think they could spare one measly acorn for a desperate NoNoer, right? Perhaps I should explain - every year I like to collect an acorn before the beginning of NaNoWriMo and put it near the computer, as a little good luck charm. This year, I went to the local park, where there are usually plenty of acorns. Nothing. Plenty of evil squirrels running away, not an acorn is sight. Still, I'm not taking it personally. I'm not superstitious. I can write a novel without an acorn to look at, of course I can. I just didn't want to.


It’s that time of year again.

For most normal, reasonable people, the end of October means pumpkin lanterns, fancy dress and the start of the party season. The nights draw in, the leaves fall from the trees, the squirrels run away with the last of the acorns, all that cozy stuff that means winter and Christmas will soon be on its way.

Then there’s NaNo-ers. You know who you are.
To a NoNo-er, the end of October means either blind panic, mad excitement, a frenzy of organization, or some combination of the above. If you’re a planner there’s novel outlining, character profiling, world building, and research galore to be done. If you’re a seat-of-the-pants-er, there’s well, nail biting, day dreaming and nervous bouncing to be done. It means warning your friends and family that you are about to disappear in a puff of fiction for a month, start babbling incoherently at anyone who asks you anything not novel related and possibly need committing by the end of it.

So, consider this fair warning. November is National Novel Writing Month, and I am a NaNo-er, for better or worse. As of Tuesday morning, apart from the freelance articles I have to write for clients; a weekly phone call to my mum; the two hours or so I can drag myself away from the computer to spend with Dek between him getting up and going to work; and whatever sleep I can get with a brain racing at 2000 words per minute (when my fingers can only manage 60 at most, and get tied up in knots at that) I won’t be around much.

When I am around I will have a faraway look on my face, and may call you by a fictional character’s name. I may run away from you in search of paper and pen, or start thumb typing furiously on my BB. Or I may not notice you are even there.

I would like to say sorry, but, well, it’s November, and well, that’s just how it is. Don’t worry, I’ll be back in time for Christmas. Looking worn out and a little insane perhaps, but back. Enjoy November, and I’ll see you in a month.

Why I'm Indie till I die

Up until about a year ago the long suffering self-publishing author,defending their decision to go it alone, rather than succumb to the media mill of big publishing houses, would have been forced to fall back on the argument that, “Mark Twain did it.”

Or to point out the long list of distinguished authors whose classics grace thousands of libraries, from Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway and D.H. Lawrence; Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allen Poe and Leo Tolstoi. Heck, even Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling and Louis L’Amour backed their own work.

But as a struggling writer, falling back on a strategy that puts your unheard-of work in the same category as, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” and, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” can come across more than a little conceited, even to yourself.

Things have changed in the last year. There are a new rash of successful self-published authors around for us new starters to not only point at as examples, but to read their books and blogs, and learn from.

John Locke, Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath, for example. OK, so Konrath’s Jack Daniels series was published by Hyperion before he turned his back on traditional publishing. John Locke had a successful business career before deciding to self-publish his Donovan Creed series. Amanda Hocking is young, edgy and cool. And enormously hard working.

But here’s the thing. Konrath’s first novel, “Whiskey Sour,” was described as a, “clich√©-ridden first novel [that] should find a wide audience among less discriminating suspense fans,” by Publisher’s Weekly. He’s currently on 12 published books and counting.

Locke freely admits he doesn’t take his writing too seriously, and doesn’t expect his readers to either. That hasn’t prevented every book he’s ever written becoming an Amazon Bestseller. Nor did it stop him becoming the first ever self-published author, and only the 8th in history, to sell over 1 million ebooks on the Kindle platform.

Hocking credits the success of her young adult paranormal novels, (complete with trolls, zombies and of course vampires) more to her self-promotional attempts and the popularity of the genre than to anything else. Mostly her self promotional efforts. Didn’t stop her landing a book deal with St Martin’s, turning down Amazon because they wanted exclusive ebook rights.

Now, I’m not young cool and egdy. My step kids call me Squishy, for crying out loud, (As in, “I shall call you Squishy, and you shall be my friend.” Thanks, Nemo.) I don’t have a string of books published by a traditional publishing house, and I opened a florist shop on the eve of the worst financial crisis in my lifetime.

I make a meagre living writing web pages for clients, and write fiction in my spare time, though. Which should tell you something about how much I love writing, if nothing else. And I know how to Tweet, answer emails and make new friends.

So this is me, throwing my “cap in the ring.” I may never be a John Locke, a Joe Konrath or an Amanda Hocking, but I’m not going away. I’m not selling out to a traditional publisher, I’m not going to confine myself to a single genre, and I’m not going to pack in doing the one thing I enjoy most – telling stories. I couldn’t. All those characters screaming in my head would drive me insane.