At present, only the Kindle edition is available. The paperback will follow in a few days. Hope you enjoy it.
'Stella and Rose (Including Rutter's Reject and Other Stories)', to give it its full title went on sale at all Amazon sites around the world at around lunch time today here in the UK.
At present, only the Kindle edition is available. The paperback will follow in a few days. Hope you enjoy it.
I am due to pick up 'Stella and Rose' from Cuzzie later today, whereupon I will discover exactly what she thinks of it and consider her recommendations before including some, or all, of them in the final manuscript. As ever, she is playing her cards close to her chest, so I won't have any real clue to her findings before I get there. Fortunately, she only lives a few minutes away. Whatever happens, the anthology will be published within the week.
Part of the reason for writing 'Stella' was to give me a break from the cycle of 'Avalind' (Fantasy) books and 'Rutter' (crime thrillers). If nothing else, just to prove to myself that I could write other stuff. I have had a couple of digressions before. "The Planning Officers' is a stand-alone work, and was, in fact, the first book that I ever published - but it wasn't the first that I wrote. That was 'Usurper' (I tested the water with 'Planning'). Another diversion was my non-fiction book, 'The Author's Manual'.
More recently, I penned a handful of short stories, which were put out in a couple of anthologies, published for charity. These were fun and included some good stuff, though I say it myself. As I was entering the final stages of preparing my most recent book, 'Larussi's Heartsong', I was taken with the idea of revisiting these stories (I own the copyright after all) and putting them out in their own right. I rewrote all three completely, fleshing out areas where they had previously been lacking, and generally turning them into better works.
They weren't enough by themselves, however, so additional stories were required. "Stella' was the product of an idea that had been knocking around in the back of my head for some time. The potential for a longer short story, or even a novella, was there. As it developed in writing, it became clear that this was the true heart of the anthology, which is why it takes pride of place and provides the title.
The final story is 'Rutter's Reject'. In terms of length, it is longer than the other short stories, but a little shorter than 'Stella and Rose'. As the title implies, this is a fourth 'Rutter' story, describing events that occur very soon after the end of her most recent exploit, 'Relapse'. The apparently poor grammar in the title, actually isn't. The 'Reject' is a person by the name of Malcolm Renwick. It also sets up a fourth full length 'Rutter' novel, which I have started this very morning. The new book is provisionally entitled, 'Rutter's Reasons', but that may well change before it is complete. It should come out in time for Christmas, but don't hold your breath because it consists of just one sentence at the moment. As a taster, here it is:
“I have known you for barely nine months and have seen you look death in the face three times already, and shared two of those experiences personally.”
The editing process is finally concluded and 'Stella and Rose (including 'Rutter's Reject' and Other Stories)' has gone to Cuzzie for her ruthless appraisal. She will go through it with her merciless analytical eye and either pass it as fit for publication or recommend changes. She expects to complete her work by the end of next week. If it comes through unchanged, or with only minor revisions, I will be looking to publish within a couple of weeks.
You will also notice that the book now has a cover. You will also notice that it appears to be a basque made of diamonds. There is a reason for this, and the reason is entirely to do with the first, and biggest, story of the anthology - which is 'Stella and Rose', itself, of course. Slight clue. The diamonds are really glass and the sparkle is induced by powerful lighting.
The other four stories in the anthology - 'The Painted Door', 'Why Me?' 'Out of the Ashes' and 'Rutter's Reject' are completely different. Regular visitors to this website should recognise the title, 'The Painted Door' because it is published on an earlier page. That was the original version of the story, which was part of a collective anthology, for charity, by different writers, published on Smashwords a couple of years ago. The same is true of the following two stories as well. 'Why Me?' and 'Out of the Ashes' (which is really an amalgamation of two original stories, entitled 'A Winter's Tale' and 'Out of the Ashes' respectively). They were also originally published for charity by contributing authors on Smashwords. For this edition, all three stories have been completely rewritten and significantly developed, so they should not really be compared with the originals.
The final story, 'Rutter's Reject', is a Rutter story. Regular readers will be familiar with my 'Rutter' books, which chronicle the exploits of Julie Rutter, the youngest Metropolitan Police Officer licensed to carry a gun. The current canon of 'Rutter' books stands at three. 'Chained in Time' tells of when she is a young Detective Constable on the trail of a Jack the Ripper copycat serial killer. By the time that 'Rutter's Reunion' opens, ten years have passed and she is now a Chief Inspector, chasing a computer genius who is prepared to kill anybody who gets in the way of his goal. At least, that is what it seems to be at the outset. It is only later that she discovers her quarry's real motivation to be something else altogether. The third book, 'Relapse' happens a few months later, and - again - nothing is as it appears to be. 'Rutter's Reject' is a short story (more of a novelette, really) that begins a week after 'Relapse' concludes. In it, a figure from her past re-emerges.
Short stories represent a new venture for me. I certainly enjoyed writing them, and I hope you enjoy reading them.
The editing of my new anthology of short stories has thrown up the need for a slight title change - very slight, actually. It will now be known as 'Stella and Rose Plus Rutter's Reject and Other Stories'. If that sounds a bit of a mouthful, only the first three words will form the title proper. The rest will be a subtitle. It will go to Cuzzie's eagle eye within the next few days, when I will also be putting a cover together. I have an image in mind and will show it to you as soon as it is ready.
I have kept quiet about this one, but now I have news. My new book is ready for editing, which means that it should be on sale in three or four weeks. 'Stella and Rose and Other Stories' is my first anthology of short stories. There are five in all. The title story, 'Stella and Rose', is really a novella, rather than a short story. It tells the tale of two devoted sisters in post-war London and details how they try to ward of destitution in a bankrupt country. If that sounds grim, it isn't really. You'll have to read it to find out. Then follow three stories that have already been published in other anthologies elsewhere - but I own the copyright, so I am putting them out myself as well. All three have been rewritten from scratch and extended, so they are really quite different from the originals. Finally, there is a fourth Rutter story, which also sets up the basics of a further novel - although that is for the future.
It is my intention to make these available for borrowing as well as sale when they are published on Amazon in a few weeks' time. Hope you like them.
Happy to report that 'Larussi';s Heartsong has picked up its first five star review from an American reader, called SESMBW (no idea what the letters stand for). The review is reproduced in the 'Reviews' section of this website.
For those who don't know it yet, although 'Larussi' is the Appendix to my 'Queen's Heart' trilogy, it is not necessary to have read the first three books beforehand (although it helps). At the end of the trilogy, every thread, save one, is resolved. The remaining thread, Larussi's story, is completed in the Appendix. It is its own self-contained book. All the prior knowledge that you actually need is to be found in an author's note at the beginning and a brief synopsis of the trilogy (insofar as Larussi is involved) at the end.
Not one to rest on my laurels, I am now hard at work on my latest project: 'Stella and Rose and Other Stories'. This is to be an anthology of short stories that have been hanging around in my head for years. The biggest one, 'Stella and Rose' tells the story of two sisters struggling to keep their lives together in the bleak reality of a bombed-out post-war London. If that sounds a bit sombre and depressing, it isn't really. This is a story of hope, a story of taking on adversity in any way that you can. As I write, it is approaching completion and will be followed by a selection of other short stories, three of which are already written, but more remain to be penned. I am currently targeting a publication date around Easter.
Selected with my new Apple Magic Trackpad (donated to me this morning by a very kindly old man with a long white beard and red velvet suit): Happy Christmas, everyone.j
Following last week's announcement that my new book, 'Larussi's Heartsong', had gone on sale on the Kindle. I am delighted to confirm that it is now available in all electronic formats, and in paperback.
Kindle availability remains as it was. The paperback edition is also through Amazon. Owners of iPads, Kobos, Nooks, Desktop PCs, Android tablets etc. etc. can now download Larussi directly from www.smashwords.com or from their respective libraries, such as iBooks.
'Larussi's Heartsong' is the appendix to my 'Queen's Heart' trilogy, and my seventh 'Avalind' book, but it is not necessary to have read the previous six to be able to appreciate it. It is a complete story in its own right, although its roots are to be found in 'A Queen's Heart'. Anyone who has not read the previous books will find all they need to know in an author's note at the beginning and a brief synopsis of the trilogy at the end. Anyone who has read the others should find themselves immediately at home in the world of the Kingdom, Draal, Dragotar and Krimmin.
Its classification as an 'Avalind' book, technically places it in the Fantasy genre, although it is the least fantastical of them all. 'Larussi's Heartsong' is, at its core, a human story - a love story. It is also one of my books, however, so action fans can be assured that there is plenty of excitement to keep them happy. It has just notched up its first sales.
Details of how to obtain your copy can be found in its entry on the 'A Queen's Heart' pages of this website.
The Kindle edition of 'Larussi's Heartsong' is now on sale at all of Amazon's Kindle stores. The paperback edition is undergoing review at present and will go on sale tomorrow. Other editions will follow over the next few days.
Find the entry for the new book in the 'Queen's Heart' pages of this website. Click on the Sample Pages button to see the newly updated opening to the book.
On the left is the brand new cover image of 'Larussi's Heartsong". This is what will appear on the ebook editions of the book (of course, some of them will be black and white because certain e-readers have no colour facility). The paperback edition will feature this image on the front cover, but the spine and rear cover will be black
The manuscript is currently undergoing evaluation by my proofreader, 'Cuzzie', who will report back - warts and all - by the end of next week. Hopefully, she won't find too many warts, so publication should follow very soon after that.
'Larussi's Heartsong' is listed as 'The Appendix to A Queen's Heart', but it is really a self-contained story. It draws its roots from the trilogy, but it is not necessary to have read that before reading this book. All the information you will really need is included in an author's note at the beginning.
All the same, I recommend that you do read the preceding six 'Avalind' novels (this is the seventh). Only that will give you a full flavour of the world in which the books are set. The previous six books are the 'King's Head' trilogy ('Usurper', 'A Sovereign's Honour' and 'A New Queen Rises') plus the 'Queen's Heart' trilogy ('The Ancient Realm', 'The Shattered Realms' and 'The Power of Four Queens').
'Larussi's Heartsong' is something of a departure from the tone of its predecessors. Don't worry, Fantasy and Action fans, there is still plenty of excitement, but the focus has shifted slightly.
When we last saw Larussi, she was a heartbroken thirteen year-old girl, who had lost everything, and everyone she ever loved. At the conclusion of 'The Power of Four Queens', she is taken in by the Sisters of Mercy, a religious order in Dragotar, who care for her. There, she unrolls as a postulant and rediscovers her childhood talent for singing. Five years pass and Larussi grows into a young woman of astonishing beauty. The new head of the order, Mother Sulsa, knows that the postulant Larussi can never be a true sister of mercy, so she must go forth into the world once more.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.