Julia Hughes - writing thrilling adventures - time after time after time.
New classical cover of "The Griffin's Boy" adapted by Laura Wright LaRoche of LLPix.com, from an engraving (now in the public domain, see above license) by Gustave Dore.
"The Griffin's Boy" will be published on 15th December by TalonPublishing.com.
The Flying Book Tour commences December 10th - 18th.
Have a book blog? Want to host? I'd love to drop by your place!
There's an out of this world unique prize giveaway for your readers, and a special prize draw for tour hosts only. In keeping with the classical theme, there are ten fridge magnets/pendants of Tenniel's illustration of the gryphon from "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll, waiting to adorn your fridge!
Shot an email across to Mervyn@talonpublishing[dot]com or comment to join in the fun, and for free entry into our Flying Book Tour host only contest.
Day two of "An Explosive Time" free promo, and it's great to see Crombie and the Celtic Cousins has been occupying Amazon's #1 spot for the past twenty-four hours in British Crime freebies.
At the end of this promotion, all three Celtic Cousins' Adventures will be out of KDP select. However, the first in series, "A Raucous Time" is available free from Smashwords, so by extension most virtual booksellers – and hopefully, before long, Amazon too will make the first Celtic Cousins' Adventure free too.
Reading's always been my passion, and various authors and events have inspired and continue to inspire me to write too. So I'm the first in line to hand over my disbelief, and allow fictional characters and plots to captivate my imagination. I know how disappointing it is to be jolted out of a story and feel cheated. That's why I offer not just a sample, but an entire story for free. Although, do please sample first: all three of the Celtic Cousins' Adventures are very different genres; an eclectic reader it seems, makes an eclectic writer!
Excitement grows at Priory Towers, as "The Griffin's Boy" launch day nears. Our recent free contest to win literary tickets to board the Titanic was a great success, but left us with a challenge - how could we match that once in a life time prize?
Simple! Offer another unique, once in a life time prize. So the giveaway accompanying The Griffin Boy's promotional release is a griffin! Again - in literature not literally. There are two griffins up for adoption, more details up on Griffin Rider's own site, or you can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below - scroll down!
Or are pet alligators more your fancy?
GREAT GRIFFIN GIVEAWAY!
First among Equals.
With spectacular timing, Michael Connelly's latest Lincoln Lawyer is released in the UK today. Serendipitously, the London Lawyer, Mr Sean Campbell together with his co-author and brother Dan, are currently developing a site devoted to killer fiction. Appropriately, it's called Killerfiction.co.uk. You might think that's a double cause for celebration – but it isn't – it's a treble!
I'm the first to review "The Gods of Guilt" and the first to appear as a reviewer of Killerfiction!
I'm delighted and surprised to be among such illustrious company, and if you do nothing else today, come on over to Sean and Dan's latest sure to be the must go to site for news and reviews of the hottest new crime/murder/mystery titles!
You read it here first! Killerfiction.co.uk is still under construction, but since I couldn't wait to share my excitement and enjoyment of Michael Connelly's "Gods of Guilt" Sean's letting us all in for a sneak preview. That's the way he rolls.
"The Gods of Guilt" by Michael Connelly is released today in the UK, and available throughout Europe from bookshops and on-line virtual bookshops. Release date for the US and Canada is December 2nd.
Feedback on "The Griffin's Boy".
I've received some very supportive comments from first readers, but then my alpha readers are the absolute top with great taste … and they're always positive with any criticism. The Griffin Boy's real test would be attracting new readers – and keeping them interested!
Although "The Griffin's Boy" is going through a final polish, I felt confident enough in this story to offer it for free, in advance reader copy form on Smashwords.
For an experiment, we took advantage of Smashword's latest tool for authors, the option to serialise stories. We thought offering "The Griffin's Boy" in three parts might provide a rough gauge of the "entertainment" factor: If readers enjoyed the first part, they'd be back for more.
The results were astonishing! Thankfully, over two-thirds of readers seemed to have enjoyed part one, as they downloaded part two. But it gets better! The download numbers for the third and final part of "The Griffin's Boy" is only lagging behind the download figures of part two by six readers.
So it's safe to assume that less than one third of downloads either didn't hit the spot, or were simply grabbed as a freebie and may never actually be read.
However, almost every reader who grabbed part two of "The Griffin's Boy" also downloaded the third and final part.
Of course, free is very different to paid for; but our little unscientific experiment appears to show that having started, most readers wanted to finish reading "The Griffin's Boy". In my book, that's a success!
Recently, my spare time's been taken up with organising a blog tour for "The Griffin's Boy". Mahousive thanks to all who showed an interest in taking part, details are now up on the Griffin Rider's site. Exciting times, and I really hope you can join in the fun!
But the big question is ...
The long awaited sequel by Dan and Sean Campbell is also nearing completion. "Cleaver Square" will feature DCI Morton, a central character in the Campbell brothers' chart busting debut novel, "Dead on Demand"
I love mystery thrillers in general, but police procedural is my absolute favourite – who doesn't love watching the detectives? So I immediately put my hand up and said "Yes please!" when Dan and Sean offered advance readers copies, and the good news is that Cleaver Square is now at its final editing stage.
Even better news: Typically, fellow author Sean has occupied his time with more important matters and asked the big question –
"Will this book be a success?"
Now that's what I call a very big question, probably one that every indie author ponders when hitting the "publish your book" button. Personally, I say a little prayer to the river gods, and hope for the best.
Fortunately, Sean's made of sterner and (a lot) smarter stuff, and sat down to find some of the answers.
Sean's also incredibly generous, and having identified the main factors that contribute towards success, he intends to share this priceless information – with us!
"The Big Question" ... together with Sean Campbell's analysis and answers ... will be published on Words Unlimited, this Sunday 17th November.
For any authors who are serious about hitting the big time, this is a solid gold post that you simply cannot afford to miss. Please drop by, especially, if like me, you've ever had to google the word "Algorithm".
Click here to request an advance reader copy of "Cleaver Square".
If you enjoyed "The Griffin Cryer", you can now be among the first to read "The Griffin's Boy". Part three of three is now available to download free from Smashwords, in advance readers copies.
The official launch is December 8th and many thanks to all the early birds book bloggers who asked about the forthcoming book blog tour. Media packs will be available shortly!
THE GRIFFIN'S BOY - concluding episode:
In this thrilling conclusion, Samara is about to be forced into an unholy marriage; in the same ceremony, Neb's soul will be condemned to limbo, and his physical body is to be claimed by a demon. The mischievous young griffin Balkind is their only hope. But though clever, Balkind has always been difficult to control. Will the griffin answer his boy's summons?
(PG for younger readers advised - some mild peril and dark scenes involving demons, with one chapter containing deadly violence.)
NaNoWriMo launched last week, inspiring writers worldwide to draft out a 50,000 word novel within a month. Ironically, I started out to tell the rider's tale (from "The Griffin Cryer") around nine months ago, and the first advance reader copies are only now being dispatched to book bloggers and early readers.
I blocked myself by allowing the story to peak too early: Having risked his own life to save a child, the Griffin's Boy is richly rewarded. Bang. End of story.
Two options remained: Pad the beginning out by relating a few minor obstacles … or … spur the Griffin's Boy into a new, but related adventure – in which the stakes are even higher.
Except there's nothing more valuable than life itself – is there?
'…And the spirits of all living things danced along the ley-lines of Ella-Earth, making a joyful noise unto the heavens. And though demons spat with hatred to see such rejoicing, they dare not approach …for with the courage of a lion and the glorious flight of an eagle, the mighty griffins patrolled the ley-lines … and they feasted on the demons' souls.'
(Griffin Lore – every child knows this).
So in his quest to re-unite the mischievous gryffant Balkind with the Griffin Master, Neb not only rescues a chieftain's son and encounters girls for the first time, but he also finds himself battling a demon for his very soul. If this sounds like your kind of adventure, the final episode in an advance reader copy format can be yours for free on Smashwords from November 10, until the end of this month.
The official launch date is December 8th; if you want to join the Griffin Riders' blog tour, I'd be delighted to come on over to your place.
Almost four hundred years ago Guy Fawkes failed miserably in his plan to assassinate the first King of England and Scotland united. In all probability James Stuart was chosen to succeed the glorious Elizabeth Tudor not just because of his close relationship, but also because of his staunch protestant values.
If the "Jesuit Plan" had succeeded, our world could be very different. It's doubtful the English language would exist in its present form … because this incredibly important book wouldn't exist.
Reading between the lines, seventeenth century life for ordinary folk could at times be hell on earth. No doubt many of the common people actually looked forward to an angelic afterlife. Now, for the first time, they could read directly from the bible, and within a generation, literacy increased a thousandfold.
Food for thought? Here's something else to chew on. There are still basements underneath the Houses of Parliament. Better still, the entire world is invited to take a virtual tour: Basement tour. Wonderfully detailed views aren't they? Of course an actual physical tour probably involves security tighter than a bat's squeak.
So tonight let's burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, remind our kids never to play with fireworks and maybe bore them silly by telling them that now and again, books beat bombs.
Recently, Smashwords have upped their game and added a couple of innovations to help authors find a wider audience. Titles can now be linked into a series, and better still, titles can be serialised. We've been experimenting by posting "The Griffin's Boy" in three parts, and making them free. The final episode will be published later this week, and until lst December, readers will be able to have an advance free read of this sequel (prequel? stable companion?) to "The Griffin Cryer".
We've also put "The Griffin Cryer" on sale too - readers can download this award winning highly rated urban fantasy for only 99 cents, or 77p throughout November.
The first title in The Celtic Cousins' Adventures "A Raucous Time" is also free to download on Smashwords, Kobo, and Nook. I'm hoping Amazon will follow suit very soon, but river gods have their own agenda, and who knows what they get up to in their spare time. If you're unfamiliar with Smashwords, the beauty of their site is that ebooks can be downloaded to any ereader, smart phone or computer. Great news for readers and authors! Here's a link to all my titles on Smashwords: Books by Julia Hughes. There's a collection of free short stories available too, including everyone's favourite grumpy fat copper, DI Crombie. He's one lucky guy - he gets to survive Christmas in the Italian equivalent of the House of Usher!
Wren Prenderson; "A Ripple in Time" best hero.
"The Griffin Cryer" best Urban Fantasy. Thank you to the hard working judges and everyone who voted at the eFestival of Words, organised by Julie Dawson, of Bards & Sages.
A Raucous Time, A Ripple in Time, and The Griffin Cryer. Thank you to Julie and her hard working panel of judges and reviewers.
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