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A Sneak Peek at my latest Work in Progress.

This is an extract from my latest work, Jealousy of a Viking. It follows Helgha, a descendant of Adelbehrt from Vengeance of a Slave.

At the beginning of the book, Helgha helps  young man, Erik, who is lost in the forest and finds him very attractive. She begins to have dreams of a life with him, but her father has arranged a marriage with a neighbour’s son.

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One morning, about ten days after Erik’s final departure, her father came to her. ‘I’ve chosen a husband for you. I’ve decided on Gunnar Janson’s son. I spoke with Gunnar yesterday and he is in agreement.’
Helgha hung her head. She must obey her father, but her dream of becoming Erik’s wife dissolved as she foresaw a life lived with a man she did not like.
Gunner Janson’s son will not make any woman a good husband. On the few occasions they met, he had treated her with disdain. He did not seem to like women and had told her once that he thought them weak. They did not know how to fight, and fighting was life.
But she must do as her father said and so she whispered, ‘Yes, father’, hoping she sounded acquiescent, but a feeling of tightness encompassed her chest, and her hands clenched involuntarily.
Helgha took a deep breath then carried on with her tasks with a heavy heart. She would have to obey her father, but all her dreams of a life with Erik came crashing down around her ears. Thoughts of rebellion flashed through her mind but immediately disappeared. She did not know if Erik felt the same way. Most probably he did not. They had been beautiful dreams though.
Crushing those thoughts, she left the longhouse and walked to the well. Hearing the drumming of hooves on the road, she looked up. Her stomach turned over and her heart beat faster as Erik rode through the gate. He slid from his horse and jogged over to where she stood. Taking the buckets from her he looked into her eyes. Helgha thought she saw something there. Something that made her think her dreams were not in vain.
‘Hello, Helgha,’ Erik said, then looked away.
Had she imagined what she saw in his eyes? ‘Hello, Erik.” She felt redness creeping up her neck and infusing her face.
Leaving the other women who were at the well staring after them, the pair walked to the house in silence.
Why had he come? Surely her dream had not come true and he intended to ask for her hand in marriage. He must have some other reason to come here. Yes, that was it. He was on his way somewhere else and stopped at Thoringsby because it was convenient.
They entered the house, Erik following Helgha. He put the buckets down and spoke to Aedelflaed. ‘Thank you for your hospitality the other week. I would not be alive now if it weren’t for your kindness.’
Aedelflaed smiled at the young man. ‘No thanks are necessary. We did what anyone would do. You could have been killed by wolves or bears out there in the dark.’
‘I have something for you. To thank you. Wait a moment and I’ll go and get it.’ Erik ducked through the door, and a moment later returned with his saddlebags over his arm.
First, for you, Aedelflaed, I have this.’ He handed over a necklace of glass beads.
Aedelflaed gasped. ‘This is beautiful, Erik.’
‘It was made in Jorvik. We don’t make much glass there, but what we do is usually made into beads or rings, and is of fine quality. Now, for Biorn I’ve got some wine. I’m sure he’ll enjoy it when he comes in.’
Helgha smiled at the thought. Biorn drank more ale than wine, but she felt sure he would enjoy the change.
Erik pulled something else from his saddlebags. ‘For Hartvigg I have this wooden sword. He needs to learn how to fight like a true Dane. I have a Kubb set for Laeff and for Sighmund this toy boat.’ Then he turned and smiled at Helgha. Her stomach turned somersaults. ‘And for you, this amber necklace. The amber comes all the way from the Baltic Sea.’
Helgha blushed as Erik fastened it round her neck, and she looked at her mother.
Aedelflaed frowned. Helgha knew what thoughts passed through her mind. Like the ones passing through her own head. Why had Erik brought her such a valuable gift? Did he want to court her? Neither she nor her parents knew anything about him. He appeared to be well off if his clothing were anything to go by. But would Erik’s father want his son to marry someone from a family of lower status?
Helgha sighed, pushing those thoughts away. If it were the case that Erik wanted to marry her, then his father would speak to hers. She would be the last to know.
After this, he came every week on some pretext or other, but no message arrived from his father to Biorn suggesting a marriage. Erik, however, behaved as if he and Helgha were already betrothed.
One day, Biorn tackled Erik on this subject. Helgha held her breath, half-hoping Erik would say his father would send a message to Biorn about a betrothal.
‘You’ve been coming here a lot, Erik,’ Biorn said. ‘You spend a lot of time with Helgha, but we’ve heard nothing from your father about a betrothal.’
Erik went red and hung his head. ‘I would truly like to be betrothed to your daughter, but my father would never agree. You cannot pay the dowry he would expect.’
Biorn’s face grew dark, and his eyes flashed. ‘You come here courting my daughter, yet you have no intention of marrying her. This is an insult to my family.’
Helgha held her breath as Erik continued to look at the floor. ‘I mean no insult to you, Biorn. My father will not agree to me marrying Helgha, but if I could, I would do so.’ He looked up and into Biorn’s eyes. ‘I’m afraid my father wishes me to marry someone who can bring wealth and influence to our family. Someone, I suspect, who is closer to Halfdan than he is.’
‘Then this means I will have to defend the honour of my family. I will not have you dishonour my sons and myself.’ He went to the wall and took down his shield and battle axe. ‘I must kill you. You have insulted my family. Have you amused yourself with my Helgha? Is she ruined?’
Erik faced Biorn. ‘Should we not fight outside?
Biorn grunted. Helgha stood with her hands over her mouth and her eyes wide. As the two men went through the door, she ran after them screaming.
‘No! No! No!. Don’t fight over me. Please. Father, don’t kill him.’
She rushed over to Biorn and tried to pull his axe from his hands.
He shoved her away. ‘This is man’s business. Go back to your mother.’
Helgha fell to the floor, scrambled up and ran back towards the longhouse. Her mother appeared through the door.
‘Mother! Stop them. They’ll kill each other.’
Her mother looked at her. ‘One of them will kill the other. That’s the way it is. Erik has insulted our family by coming here as if to court you, but making no offers. Your father has to have his honour satisfied. If he fails, then it will be up to your brothers to kill Erik when they are old enough.’

I would be interestd in your opinion of this extract. Please post a comment in the comments box.

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Vengeance of a Slave visits Mainz, Germany.

The city of Mainz, once known as Mogantiacum, was a Roman fort along the Rhine. It bordered Germania, on the other side of the river, which, in the time of Adelbehrt, the slave of the book’s title, was not part of the Roman empire, but of Germania.

When the Romans took him and Avelina, his sister, to sell as slaves, it was to Mogantiacum they went, along with several other captives.

Vengeance of a Slave is visiting Mainz today, and is in the market place.

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If you would like to find out more about Adelbehrt and how he got his revenge on the Romans, click here. It will take you to the book’s page at Amazon where you are.

You can find out more about my books by clicking on the ‘books’ tab, or you can go to my author page on Amazon by clicking here.

Or to find out more about me, click here to see my page on Creativia, who have published my fantasy novels.

I would love to hear from you, so please add a comment in the comments box.

FREE! FREE! FREE!

From now until 20th January, The Never-Dying Man, book 2 in The Wolves of Vimar Series, is FREE. Get your copy before it’s too late. Click here to go to Amazon where you are.

In this book, the friends who call themselves Wolf go to rescue a friend’s kidnapped child and find themselves captauredby the Erian Army and taken to the capital city, Frelli. Here they meet The Master of Erian and discover some disturbing truths. They have to escape in order to deliver their information to the government in Grosmer, but this is not as easy as it sounds, and Carthinal has to face some unpleasant truths about himself.

Vengeance of a Slave pays a visit to York.

Vengeance of a Slave is set partly in the city of York. Here it takes a visit to that city.

In Roman times, York was known as Eberacum, but this picture is in modern York, since my time machine is out of order at the moment!

Here you can see the walls of the city with the Minster in the background.

 

You can buy a copy of the book in both paperback or ebook by clicking on this link.bookinyork

Don’t miss out.

A reminder that the free offer of The Stones of Earth and Air is free from tomorrow until 20th Dec,

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Also, Vengeance of a Slave is discounted until December 26th.

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Don’t miss out on these offers. Click on the book cover to go directly to their page on Amazon where you are.

 

If you buy either of these books, please would you leave a review. Reviews are important to authors as it is the main way books are found by readers. It is also helpful to readers to see if the book is one they would like.

Thank you.

How to write a book review for Amazon.

First of all, may I make 2 apologies.

First, the link for the free copy of The Wolf Pack did not work. It is now working. Don’t forget the offer finishes on 22nd, so don’t miss out. You can get it by clicking here.

Second, might I apologise for posting late this week.I was away last week and did not have the chance to write a post. anyway, here it is now.

Book reviews are important to authors. Once upon a time, before Amazon and the Internet, (Yes, there was such a time!) the only way authors got their books known about was, in the first instance, by professional reviews in the press, and by word of mouth. People told their friends they’d just read this great book, and their friends should buy it and read it, too.

Then came Amazon. Amazon allows readers to comment on the books they read, and all the world has the ability to see those reviews. (Well, almost. I had a review in India that can’t be seen here in the UK, and I have to post reviews separately in the UK and USA.)

Readers read those reviews and they help them to decide if they want to read a book. that’s great. Unfortunately, those people who write reviews are few and far between. Amazon also only adds books to the ‘People who bought this also bought,’ at the bottom of the page, if a book has 25 reviews.

I think the problem is that pwoplw think writing a book review is arduous. They remember having to write them at school and think it’s the same.

Well, it isn’t.

Writing a book review can be simple and a matter of minutes. I want to help people to get to grips with it so we, as authors, can get more reviews. It’s the main way our books our found. No one can read a book, no matter how good, if they don’t know it’s there.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • First,go to the book’s page and click ‘write a review’ (or ‘be the first to review this book)
  • Add the number of stars you want to award.
  • You need a title. Simply something like ‘An excellent read’, or ‘A dreadful book’. Something simple that sums up what you think.
  • In the main body of the review, you do not need to be complicated. Here are a few questions you might consider when reviewing
  • Did I like the book?
  • Was it well-written?
  • Were the characters believable?
  • Did I care about them?
  • Was the plot believable?
  • How easy did I find it to read?
  • Did I become engrossed in the book?

You do not need to answer all of the questions, just three of four would be enough, I think.

I hope this encourages you to write reviews on the books you read, positive and negative.

Thank you for reading this.

Leave a comment in the comments box, or feel free to share this post with your friends and followers. I love hearing from you, and what you think.

 

 

Free Book

theneverdyingmanFrom today, October 18th, The Never-Dying Man, Book 2 of The Wolves of Vimar Series, is FREE on Amazon.

It is only available for 5 days, until 22nd October, so hurry and get your copy.

Here is a bit about it.

After finding Sauvern’s Sword, the companions set off to help a friend rescue his child from kidnappers. Instead, they stray into Erian and find preparations for war. They are drafted into the Erian army but are recognized by an old enemy, who arrests some of them and takes them to Frelli, the capital of Erian, where they are put in jail.

The Master of Erian frees them and offers them work. Meanwhile, Carthinal has to face some unpleasant truths about himself. Is his desire to further his magical career more important than his friends and country? After they discover terrible truths about the Master and his magical research, they will need to escape in order to tell the leaders of Grosmer about the plans for war.

Why not get a copy of Books 1 and 2 as well? Click on the links to buy.

The Wolf Pack. Book 1

The Never-Dying Man. Book 2

Wolf Moon. Book 3

 

An update on my work.

A brief post today.

I’ve had a problem with Book 4 of The Wolves of Vimar. I started to write it, then moved away from it to try to finish the 2nd book in my historical novel series, The History of a Family Through the Ages.

I decided to continue with it, but I’d lost much of it. Where? No idea. I started to rewrite it from where It ended, then I found, in my downloads (how did it get there?) a copy. Hooray, I thought. Found it. But when I read it through, a chunk in the middle was missing, and a chapter at the end of where I’d reached.

Now how can anyone explain that?

Update on the next historical novel. It’s finished, but undergoing rewrites and critiqueing. It’s potentially the best yet.

Feel free to make a comment. I enjoy hearing from you.

Another Freebie

 

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From 23th to 27th August, The Stones of Earth and Air, Book 1 of Elemental Worlds will be free on Amazon.

To get your copy, click here.

Here’s a bit about it.

After the Crown Prince of Ponderia starts behaving strangely, his best friend Pettic discovers that the prince has been replaced by a doppelganger, and the real prince kidnapped.

Unable to accept the loss of his friend, Prince Torren, nor the cruel impostor to become the new king, Pettic sets on a quest to rescue his friend. After he sees the fake prince meet a mysterious man, Pettic discovers that the prince has been imprisoned in another plane of existence.

With the help of Blundo, the court magician, Pettic finds out that the only way to enter this another world are four keys, each of them associated with a different element. As Pettic sets on his seemingly impossible quest, he discovers that the four lands that hold the keys are all vastly different… and more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.

Free Book

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From tomorrow, 19th August, The Wolf Pack will be free on Amazon until 23rd. Just log in to http://mybook.to/TheWolfPack for your copy.
Whle you’re there, why not buy books 2 and 3, The Never-Dying Man http://mybook.to/NeverDying and Wolf Moon, http://mybook.to/WolfMoonVM
Little does Carthinal know that the journey to Hambara for him to take his mage tests will lead to a great adventure and the making of new friends.
But when he is asked to go to find a long-lost artifact, he and five others set off on the quest. This group is made up of a very disparate bunch of people who need to learn to get on with each other before they can complete the task. There is the threat of fireworks erupting between them due to their different characters.
The quest leads then through many dangers and their lives are threatened in many ways. Each of them needs to face their own personal fears, and none of them returns unchanged.