Archive for October, 2016

havoc-of-brother-jan-cover… has been uploaded on to Amazon Kindle, and should go live within 48 hours.

Brother Jan is the most seductive brother in the Order of Our Lady of the Star, and he uses his seductive powers to get his own way in the House. But when he tries to seduce the Marshal, he’s sent packing in disgrace. Furious and humiliated, Jan gets himself captured by the Turks from beyond the mountains. He thought that nothing would ever persuade him to return to Our Lady’s Land — cold, wet and dark — but he soon finds that homesickness and love for his comrades is drawing him back. But will they have him back? Why should they welcome the seductive sorcerer who tried to disrupt the House?


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Star free

As it’s Hallowe’en and All Saints’ Day, and The Star series is a home for demons and darkness — and some saints, perhaps — I’ve made the first two books in the series free for 31st October and 1 November.

A Sword, a Star, a Flame book 1 is on Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009829HBO) and Amazon.co.uk (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009829HBO) etc.: — this one is fairly demon-free, but there’s plenty of dark conflict there;

And The Book of the Sorcerer is also on Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MF4L0MO) and Amazon.co.uk (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MF4L0MO) etc.: — this one is full of demons, and the dark.

And meanwhile I’m still wrestling with the ghosts (of old computers) in Book Four …

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The Star series began in manuscript (three lever-arch files of scrawled A4 sheets of paper), which was typed up for friends’ consumption in Calamus on an Atari Mega4. Yes, The Star is that old. It was printed out and distributed in hard copy rather than electronic form, because emails couldn’t always handle such large files. And it was backed up on lots of three-and-a-half-inch floppy disks. I still have the floppy disks.

Later the files were fed through a conversion programme and put on to a Windows computer, from which they were later upgraded to a more modern .doc format, fed through a conversion programme into an epub file and side-loaded on to my Kindle.

Eventually I tidied up the first story, redid the formatting and uploaded it on to Amazon Kindle as A Sword, A Star, A Flame … Book One. But the other five stories remained unconverted.

Why? First, they were full of demons and sex, which some readers don’t like. After one reader objected to the sex in Kimball’s Kiss I thought The Star would be too much.

Second, the files are full of ghosts of old computers. There are all sorts of formatting glitches, odd characters and unexpected breaks in the text. All of these need to be corrected and it takes a long time!

I eventually finished cleaning up Book Two (The Book of the Sorcerer), which went online last month. Book Three followed, and is currently out being considered by readers. Book Four is still being tidied.

So many ghosts of past computers still lurk within its dark pages! — As if there weren’t enough demons in there already.

I was hoping to get it out in time for Hallowe’en, but at present it isn’t looking very likely! Those ghosts cast long shadows.



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I’m checking through The Star, Book Four (The Havoc of Brother Jan). Whyever did I use so many hyphens? Every one has to be converted to an en-rule …

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Book Three of The Star is out with readers, and I’ve uploaded a draft of Book Four to the Amazon app so that I can check how it’s looking. Star fans, watch this space

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Star 1 The Most Holy and Chivalric Order of the Star protects Our Lady’s Land and Her people from the ferocious pagan tribes to the south, and the great empire of the Rus to the east. But by the start of A Sword, a Star, A Flame the Order’s greatest danger comes from within Our Lady’s Land: from the rebels who want to destroy it and free the land from the Brothers’ tyranny. Fortunately for the Brothers, there are two people living in their House who hold the key to their survival: the young heiress Oglive and her beloved knight Adal.

template-cover-star-book-2 Oglive and Adal enable the Brothers to ally with Oglive’s pagan relatives and save their Order. But the alliance infuriates the Order’s overseers in Rome: and so in The Book of the Sorcerer the Brothers come under attack again. This time the enemy is the pope’s emissary who wants to destroy the peace the Brothers have made — and who is also far too fond of good-looking young men. Adal and his friends Jan and Berthol succeed in leading the pope’s emissary astray. He traps them by sorcery,  but the demons he calls up fall in love with the young knights and help them to destroy the sorcerer. But have our young heroes lost their souls? — or won valuable friends in the other-world?

Both of these Unsuitable stories will be free on Kindle during part of the coming week: check Amazon Kindle on Tuesday and Wednesday for the free offer on A Sword, A Star, a Flame:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009829HBO (Amazon.com) or https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009829HBO (Amazon.co.uk)

And The Book of the Sorcerer: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MF4L0MO (amazon.com) or https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MF4L0MO (amazon.co.uk)


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… is mystical, seductive and deeply disturbing. He causes havoc in the House and destruction in the field: and his singing travels further than he intends. Jan starts singing in the Book of the Sorcerer and his singing becomes more and more significant as the Star stories continue.

Jan’s most notorious love-song, composed (he says) by his demon/angel lover Athacir, goes like this:

Death will never separate us: / it will only unite us more closely;
Come, death; come, fire; / come, my dearest Beloved;
Come, come, to the Castle of Death; / Come and die in my arms;
Let me die in you, my Beloved; / Let me burn up in your fire.

(hence the title of the series: A Sword, a Star, a Flame … the Flame is Jan’s fire of love).

Two problems:

(1) the original is (presumably) in German, so it sometimes translates out differently. That’s my excuse for the fact that the words vary a bit each time Jan sings it.

(2) There must be a tune, but I can’t write music; and in any case I haven’t yet come up with a tune that does justice to it. I guess that it needs Jan’s voice to make it ‘work’. So, dear readers, you are free to give it whichever tune you think is best. Of course I would like to hear about any tunes that really work.

In contrast, the songs in the Gray stories do have tunes. But that’s another post..


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