Tag Archives: Kindle

The Shell Cracked – Sneak Preview

My current project is called The Shell Cracked (at least, that’s my working title) which sounds a bit Agatha Christie-ish but is far removed from cosy sleuthing in middle England!

This is (will be) the sequel to Shun House, and is (will be) just as dark and wicked.  Those of you who have read Shun House will know exactly what I mean by that.  For you loyal readers, and those who are not (yet) here is the opening chapter of The Shell Cracked, to give you a sample of what lied in wait:

 

1.      PATIENCE

Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.

King Richard II, King Richard II: V, v

 

Five thousand years.

To a mountain bearing the weight of the heavens, such a number is inconsequential. Say instead fifty thousand, or five hundred thousand and the mountain may notice the passage of time. But five thousand? That is next to nothing.

To a mouse scuttling and sniffing the air, hugging the skirting board in its quest for food, twitching ears for signals of death from cat or rat, five thousand is a number outside of reckoning, a count of fifteen hundred or more generations. Five minutes or five thousand years, neither is a measure to be comprehended.

To that which dwells beneath the Sierra Gilillo, five thousand years is time enough.

Time to remember.

To fester.

To grow.

 

From the glens and ravines of the Sierra de Cazorla, a sprig of streams emerge, fed by seasonal rains and secret, subterranean pools. They roam the surface world, seeking each other out, converging as a single waterway that strikes out northward through the Guadalquivir valley. The Rio Kertis holds this course for nine leagues before changing direction, diverting west and then southwest, gradually swelling with rills and runnels orphaned from the surrounding countryside. Spreading wide in a majestic meander, she brings fertility to fields and pastures until, at last, she reaches the sea. There she divests herself of her charge, completing the cycle, returning her waters to the Madre del Agua at the Golfo de Cádiz: el mar Mediterráneo.

Rivers, though, are not the only passages to lead away from the mountains. Beneath the sierras, diverse tunnels weave a Spartan mesh through the Iberian subterrain. Most lead nowhere, crushed by the weight of their world, their paths blocked by rock falls, or petering out to the point where only the smallest of organisms can delve. Others tumble blindly into deep pits, stygian sinkholes overflowing with poison. Some are unnavigable conduits for turbulent streams, or channels for the molten vomit spewed up by Mother Earth. Many never admit the kiss of fresh air, or allow the light of day to infiltrate their darkness.

But there are some that do have purpose, some that do follow a definite course, a handful that do broach the surface to secretly link distant parts by invisible threads.

And there are a very few that lead directly to a place known to the people of the region as el Estómago de la Mundo, lying deep within Gilillo, the highest peak of the Cazorlas, a cavern from which a delving of shafts and drifts extrude intestine-like, a piceous interweaving of catacombs.

No one has ever claimed to have seen this place. Not one of the few that sought to find it ever returned from their quest, but all know where it lies, and what dwells within. Such names they have for her: el Bebedor de las Almas, el Terror de la Noche, el Murmullo de la Muerte.

There she rests, brooding in her nest of husks, shrouded by the darkness, barely moving, ever watchful, nursing a hunger that never ends. Her countless children are all gone, sacrificed to that hunger or fled away from her terror. No other prey comes near and now she feeds off all she has left: her memories, black and hard and cold.

How did she come there? What drove her to such isolation, such loneliness?

Fear. And five thousand years of that fear has fixed her within her atramentous tomb, nevermore to see the light of day. Until now.

Half a millennia has passed and in all that time she has cursed and plotted and dreamed and planned. She is perhaps the last, the final incarnation of her race, the uttermost terror of her kind, the one who will mete out retribution to those who vanquished her kin from the world.

But now a time is come when she will return to the world that rejected her. Her web has reached out in all directions, filaments entangling bruit and report. Now she knows where they are. Whispers and rumours have reached her from the far north, soft-spoken tales of dragons, the Nemesis and bane of her race. So north she will go. Instinct will guide her, hate will feed her, venom will drive her.

It is time to prepare.

One last time her bloated abdomen heaves. One last time she evicts the eggs from deep within, her final brood. A hundred soft sacs spill out onto the silken bed she has created for them. She spins a blanket to keep them secure and now there is nothing more she can do. The next generation will survive or they will perish but she has no more thought for their welfare. One thought only remains.

Vengeance!

 

I’m aiming to see this published in 2017 so please be patient.  But do give me feedback on this opening, if you would like to.

 

Best Wishes and Happy Reading,

Nigel.

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SHUN HOUSE Available!

FINALLY!

E-book and Paperback available from the usual channels.

E-book and Paperback available from the usual channels.

It seemed to take forever to get here but at last Shun House is published.  Available through CreateSpace immediately, Amazon within the next few days, and other sales channels within the next week or two (probably).

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The Scrapdragon, Now In Paperback!

The Scrapdragon, my first childrens/young persons fantasy-adventure book, previously only available on Kindle in 4 parts, is finally available as a complete novel, both in paperback form and as an eBook!  Both the paperback and the e-book are now available through Amazon.co.UK and Amazon.com, and the paperback should soon start appearing in other on-line stores – let me know if you spot it anywhere!

Book cover for The Scrapdragon

Book cover for The Scrapdragon

Here’s  an extract from the back cover:

On his 12th birthday, Tom Burrow (Tom-Tom to his friends) visited a fairground with his two best friends, Tinker and Tariq.  Unfortunately, they were spotted by some bullies from their school and had to run for it!  A November mist aided their escape and they found themselves at a shooting gallery, where Tom-Tom spotted a prize on a shelf and made his mind up he was going to win it.  He paid his money to the man behind the counter, picked up the air riffle and…

In addition to the story itself, the novel also features a map and a spell-book:  The Beginners Book of 30 Best Spells and Potions.  Remember to use those spells responsibly!

Happy reading!

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The Scrapdragon, Free on Kindle for 1 Week Only

Thought you might like to know that

A Metal Dragon drawn with Inkscape

will be available for free from Kindle from March 1st for 1 week only!  Enjoy!

 

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The Scrapdragon Reviewer’s Wanted

thecoverslandscape770x200.png

 

 

 

Hi Folks,

As you may know I’ve recently published The Scrapdragon children’s adventure books on Kindle.  What I really need now is reviews and critiques for them, ready for the launch of a paperback version of the compiled series next year (2015).

I originally wrote: “If you own a Kindle and would like to review the books (especially if you have children in the (roughly) 10 to 12 age-range, although I think it’s a good read for parents, too) please get in touch.  It won’t cost you anything and you will get the Kindle version to keep.”

However, since I originally posted this I’ve learned that Amazon doesn’t yet allow the gifting of Kindle eBooks.  Nonetheless, I’d still like to hear from anybody who would like to review.  I’m sure I’ll work out some method to facilitate this.

Many Thanks,
Nigel Edwards.

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The Scrapdragon Available on Kindle

A Metal Dragon drawn with InkscapeJust to blow a trumpet, today I published Book 1 of The Scrapdragon via Kindle.  It’s called The Scrapdragon – Book 1 – An Adventure Begins.  The remaining three books will follow shortly.  I think the book should be on the website within 24 hours.

In the new year I hope to publish all four in a single volume featuring a new cover, a map, and a book of spells.  Anyway, the book is aimed mainly at 10 to 12 years (though I think it’s readable by most ages) so if you know anyone with children in that range, do give them a nudge to read it and leave a review, please!

 

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FantasyCon Is Fast Approaching

One week to go to FantasyCon at Brighton (UK), and I confess I’m beginning to get a little bit excited.  Of course, being a realist I know full well that my slot will get very little attention, so I’m not expecting to see hoards flocking, but if even half a dozen turn up I’ll consider it a success!

There is a let down, however.  The artist who was supposed to delivery the book cover has failed to deliver, which is a real shame.  I’ve seen a sample of his other work which I thought looked pretty good, and I also liked his preliminary sketches which, I thought, captured the surreal and wacky atmosphere of Badger’s Waddle.  But there you are.  I don’t know why he wasn’t able to deliver.  Maybe he had a genuine reason, a family issue or something, I just don’t know. Whatever, it is disappointing.  However, Greyhart Press wisely had a standby book cover just in case, so at least there’ll be something to dress the pages in!

If you can make it, the publisher is offering a discount on published price (and no, I don’t actually know what that will be) such that you can buy 2 books for £10.00 – I don’t think you have to buy 2 of my books, though.  There will be others on sale, including the launch of Unauthorised Contact, a collection of dark SF by my good friend and peer Paul Melhuish.  So if you are coming to the event, why not by his offering and mine together?

See you there!

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The Cookie Tin Collection

As well as launching Badger’s Waddle, the nice people at Greyhart Press have decided to release a compendium of some of my short stories under the title: The Cookie Tin Collection.  Do visit the Greyhart Press website, or better yet, come along to FANTASYCON 2012 at The Royal Albion Hotel in Brighton on Sunday 30th September, and join in the fun!

In the meantime, for your enjoyment here’s the cover from The Cookie Tin Collection.

A Compendiumof Short Stories

The Cookie Tin Collection

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Kindle audience

I was in a forum reading posts about writing for young adults and it got me wondering, since my work is published in e-book form, just what kind of audience I might be engaging with.  I had assumed that in general e-reader (e.g. Kindle) owners be in the 18 – 35 age group.  I trawled the net to find out if that assumption was correct and it turns out that it isn’t.  Take a look at this page, for instance (it’s well worth the read).

Kindle Demographics from Florida Research

Kindle Demographics from Florida Research

(Courtesy of Florida Research Group)

The above graph really did surprise me.  It also gave me encouragement.  I don’t see myself as a writer who writes for a give age group, rather one who writes stories for others to enjoy regardless of their age.  I worried that those interested in e-books were predominantly a lot younger than I.  Conversely I also worried that what I was writing wasn’t ‘mature’ enough for ‘mature’ readers (like me!)  I think now I’m reassured that between the ages of 18 and ’55 and older’ there must be a spread who will like what I write.

But what about you?  If you’re an author of children’s e-fiction should you now be a little concerned that such a small percentage of Kindle sales are in the 17 and younger band?  (I assume that Kindle usage in that age group is attained because older folks – i.e. parents, grandparents, etc. – are generally doing the buying.)  Having written a children’s novel myself and toyed with the idea of making it e-readable I’m certainly having second thoughts.  How about you?

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Garrison

Kindle Book by Nigel Edwards

Kindle Book by Nigel Edwards

Garrison (soon to be published by Greyhart Press) is the story of Ataqa, a young man conscripted to serve in his Duke’s army.  Together with ‘Hoop’, another new recruit, he is posted to the garrison at Harteq Sef, the disputed Iron Flats territory in the arid north of the country.  On the march they are teamed up with Von, a veteran survivor of many campaigns.  He becomes a surrogate father to them, offering worldly council to stand them in good stead, if only they’d listen… (continue reading here)

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