International Women’s Day 2018

Despite much prejudice over the years, it is undeniable that female authors have been a strong and significant force in Science Fiction and Fantasy since the earliest days. One only has to think of Margaret Cavendish, Mary Shelley, Jane Webb Loudon, Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, Julian May, Marion Bradley, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, J.K. Rowling. Even so, it is generally harder for female authors to be published, and many readers still say they are less likely to pick up a book if the author is obviously female.

Elsewhen Press, which was established in 2011, applies no constraints of age, race, gender or sexual orientation, on the authors whose work we consider or publish – our only criterion is quality. We now have a roll-call of female, male and non-binary authors, from various continents, writing in many different sub-genres of speculative fiction. To mark International Women’s Day 2018, we would like to highlight some of the female authors that have enabled Elsewhen Press to live up to its mission of delivering outstanding new talents in speculative fiction. They are all great writers and awesome people; we are honoured to have them as our authors and friends.


Zoë Sumra

Zoë Sumra

Zoë was born in London, but spent her later childhood living in Lancashire, where she started writing novels at the age of twelve due to extreme boredom. After completing the obligatory epic fantasy trilogy in her teens, she spent four years at the University of St Andrews, where she learnt to fence both foil and sabre and cemented her passion for space opera. She now lives in London with her husband, their daughter and a collection of swords. Zoë writes when she’s not fencing, looking after her daughters, or working as a print controller for an advertising company.

The Underside series
(Sailor to a Siren; The Wages of Sin)

The Underside series, space opera with a significant nod to gangland thrillers, introduced us to Zoë Sumra’s universe and established her as a name to watch in epic space opera. The depth of her characters, the breadth of her world-building, the ambition and longevity of her story-arcs spanning multiple generations of families, all made this a first series in what is going to be a fascinating and enthralling universe.


Tanya Reimer

Tanya Reimer

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Tanya enjoys using the tranquil prairies as a setting to her not-so-peaceful speculative fiction.

She is married with two children which means among her accomplishments are the necessary magical abilities to find a lost tooth in a park of sand and whisper away monsters from under the bed.

As director of a non-profit Francophone community center, Tanya offers programming and services in French for all ages to ensure the lasting imprint and growth of the Francophone community in which she was raised. What she enjoys the most about her job is teaching social media safety for teens and offering one-on-one technology classes for seniors.

Tanya was fifteen when she wrote her first column. She has a diploma in Journalism/Short Story Writing. Today, she actively submits to various newspapers, writes and publishes the local Francophone newsletter for her community, and maintains a blog at Life’s Like That.

Sacred Land Stories
(Legends on the Prairies; Ghosts on the Prairies; Cursed on the Prairies)

The Sacred Land Stories trilogy follows a trans-generational timeline that starts in Legends on the Prairies, continues in Ghosts on the Prairies and culminates in Cursed on the Prairies. Alternate history suspense incorporating the paranormal and magical realism, and infused with romance, these are stories that concern the Sacred Lands of the Ghost tribes in the prairies of Saskatchewan, stretching from 1882 to 1936. But they also touch on the interwoven loves, hopes, dreams and tragedies of lives lived on those prairies by both the tribes and the settlers.


Sanem Ozdural

Sanem Ozdural

Sanem Ozdural was born in Ankara, Turkey in the 70s, and spent her childhood from age seven onwards in England. Happy days at a quintessentially British boarding school in Surrey helped forge her character and tastes, not to mention lasting friendships. Making her way to the U.S. she studied economics at Princeton University. After graduating from Boston University School of Law, she moved to New Orleans where she practiced as a prosecutor and civil litigator, and spent seven wonderful years living in the French Quarter.

In 2004 she migrated from New Orleans via Washington, D.C., reaching New York City in 2006, where she lived and practiced law until 2013. After teaching business law at Koç University in Istanbul for a few semesters, she is now back in New Orleans once again working as a lawyer. Sanem was an avid bridge player until the tenth round of revisions to her debut novel. She is now thoroughly enjoying an indefinite bridge sabbatical, and imagining all sorts of stories that feature absolutely no bridge or chess.

LiGa series
(LiGa™; the Dark shall do what Light cannot)

The LiGa series is a thought-provoking series of books in an essentially contemporary setting, with elements of both science fiction and fantasy. The LiGa of the series title is a contraction of Life Game, a game in which contestants are gambling with their lives to win what is essentially indefinite life expectancy. In the first book we meet the players of a LiGa™ Bridge tournament who are competing against each other to join the ranks of the ‘Immortal’ members of LiGa. In the second book, we find out more about the secretive organisation behind the game as we travel with some of them to a fantastic place beyond the Light Veil.


Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall

Rebecca started writing when she was supposed to be studying for her exams at Otago University but somehow passed anyway, eventually graduating with a decorative piece of paper. She moved to the UK to pursue a career in publishing and after a couple of mishaps ended up in Edinburgh and sold Instrument of Peace to Elsewhen Press, which is not quite the career she had in mind. The career she did have in mind was along more editorial lines which is why she is now a volunteer at Inspired Quill and a freelance copy-editor for everyone else. She also has a blog which she infrequently remembers to update, where those mysterious things known as short stories can be found.

Even after three years in the UK, she is baffled by the fact that the British use miles, pints and 1p coins but things like pineapple lumps, black forest chocolate and L&P have not caught on. Rebecca would like to make it very clear that she is a Kiwi and absolutely NOT an Australian (or South African) and she will do almost anything for chocolate.

Symphony of the Cursed trilogy
(Instrument of Peace; Instrument of War; Instrument of Chaos)

The Symphony of the Cursed trilogy, is a YA fantasy that begins with Instrument of Peace, which Rebecca describes as a magic school setting combined with the reality of the mundane world and horror of the Dresden Files, without any characters named Harry. Her trilogy sees the main protagonist, Mitch, move from high school to university while he strives to break The Twisted Curse that threatens those around him.

The location for the story may be surprising to some readers, especially those in the Northern hemisphere. The Academy, where Mitch is being educated in magic, is in a semi-mythical land populated by magical beings and legendary creatures, not to mention awe-inspiring natural features such as volcanoes, that has in recent years been discovered to be the location for Middle Earth. We know it, of course, as New Zealand.


Katrina Mountfort

Katrina Mountfort

Katrina was born in Leeds. After a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Food Science, she started work as a scientist. Since then, she’s had a varied career. Her philosophy of life is that we only regret the things we don’t try, and she’s been a homeopath, performed forensic science research and currently works as a freelance medical writer. She now lives in Saffron Walden with her husband and two dogs. When she hit forty, she decided it was time to fulfil her childhood dream of writing a novel. Future Perfect was her debut novel and the first book in the Blueprint trilogy. Forbidden Alliance and Freedom’s Prisoners completed the trilogy. Her latest novel is The Ghost in You.

Blueprint trilogy
(Future Perfect; Forbidden Alliance; Freedom’s Prisoners)

The Blueprint trilogy takes us to a future in which men and women are almost identical, and personal relationships are forbidden. Following a bio-terrorist attack, the population now lives within comfortable Citidomes. MindValues advocate acceptance and non-attachment. The BodyPerfect cult encourages a tall thin androgynous appearance, and looks are everything.

A dark undercurrent runs through the trilogy: the enforcement of conformity through fear, the fostering of distorted and damaging attitudes towards forbidden love, manipulation of appearance and even the definition of beauty. Despite seeming to be set in a distant and dystopian future, it is clear that many of the disturbing aspects of Katrina’s future world can be seen here and now; this should be a warning to us all. The books appeal to both an adult and young adult audience.


J.A. Christy aka Jacqueline Ward

J A Christy

J.A. Christy’s writing career began in infant school at the age of seven when she won best poetry prize with her poem ‘Winter’. Since then she has been writing short stories and has had several published in magazines and anthologies.

She holds a PhD in which she explores the stories we use in everyday life to construct our identities. Working in high hazard safety, she is a Chartered Psychologist and Scientist and writes to apply her knowledge to cross the boundaries between science and art, in particular in the crime, speculative and science-fiction genres.

She lives in Oldham with her partner and their dog. J.A. Christy also writes under the name Jacqueline Ward.

SmartYellow™

SmartYellow™ explores themes of social inequity and scientific responsibility. J.A. Christy’s first speculative fiction novel leads her heroine Katrina to understand how probability, hope and empathy play a huge part in the flow of life and are absent in the stagnation of mere survival. As readers we also start to question how we would know if the power of the State to support and care for the weak had become corrupted into the oppression of all those who do not fit society’s norms.

SmartYellow™ offers a worryingly plausible and chilling glimpse into an alternate Britain. For the sake of order and for the benefit of more fortunate members of society, those seen as socially undesirable are marked with SmartYellow™, making it easier for them to be controlled and maintained in a state of fruitless inactivity. Writer, J.A. Christy, turns an understanding and honest eye not only onto the weak, who have failed to cope with life, but also onto those who ruthlessly exploit them for their own ends. At times tense and threatening, at times tender and insightful, SmartYellow™ is a rewarding and thought-provoking read.


Alison Buck

Alison Buck

Like all of us, Alison Buck has led many lives.

One as a sensible, hard-working type, employed in financial systems, graphic design and web site development.  Another as a writer, scribbling away, committing her stories to disc and eventually publishing several to reasonable acclaim.  Throughout all of them, the mother of two and wife of one.

Skilled at exploring the psychology and interior lives of her characters, Alison delivers stories that range from chilling tales of horror through insightful contemporary drama to thought-provoking science fiction.  Her empathy with her protagonists, her rich descriptive prose and her use of gentle humour serve to ensure that, whatever the setting, her stories are always a rewarding read.

Abiding Evil

Abiding Evil, Alison’s second published novel, was a bestselling psychological horror story. A sleeping menace is roused deep in the darkness of a forest. For decades it grows, biding its time, reaching out to tug at the ordinary lives of those living beyond the shadow of the trees. Their children begin to disappear.

Unaware and unsuspecting of the danger, a group of families, friends for many years, journey to a newly re-opened hotel. It stands alone in a clearing a mile or more within the forest boundary. For some this will be their last reunion.

The long-awaited sequel will be published this year by Elsewhen Press.

Alison is also a talented artist who has designed many of the covers for our books. She is one of the co-founders of Elsewhen Press.


Instrument of Chaos now available

Artwork by Alison Buck based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com
Artwork by Alison Buck based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com

Instrument of Chaos, the concluding book in the Symphony of the Cursed trilogy by Rebecca Hall is available from today on all major eBook platforms. Mitch, Amelie and Nikola arrive in Dunedin in New Zealand to start their first year at University. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for one thing the Angels are back and they’re looking for Nikola.

Instrument of Peace audiobook now available

Instrument of Peace unabridged audiobook from Tantor narrated by Matthew Lloyd DaviesThe Symphony of the Cursed trilogy by Rebecca Hall is being released as unabridged audiobooks by Tantor Media Inc. narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies.

Instrument of Peace, the first book in the trilogy, is now available to buy as a downloadable audiobook from Apple iTunes and Audible. The second book, Instrument of War, will follow later this year and the final book, Instrument of Chaos, will be available in January 2018.

 

“a fantastical story with plenty of excitement” – review of Instrument of War on Risingshadow

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

On Risingshadow, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Rebecca Hall’s latest novel, Instrument of War, the second book in the Symphony of the Cursed trilogy following on from Instrument of Peace. Seregil enjoyed Instrument of Peace (see his review here) and says he was excited to read Instrument of War. So it’s just as well that it is “just as good” and is an entertaining read for those who love “exciting and fast-paced YA fantasy fiction”. In fact he says it not only lives up to the first book but “even surpasses it”.

The book is a “well written sequel” and he says that those who have read Instrument of Peace will feel immediately at home with the story and “be delighted to immerse themselves in it, because the author delivers a good story”, adding that she “wonderfully maintains tension and excitement in this novel and goes boldly forward with the story”. This book “deepens the story arc” offering exciting and thrilling moments because Rebecca “keeps on building upon what she created in the first novel”.

Seregil says he consider Rebecca’s books to be excellent additions to the increasingly popular YA fantasy genre because she “uses classic elements in a fresh and modern way”. The cast of characters, he says, is “delightfully versatile” with good characterisation because Rebecca writes fluently about “the characters’ feelings, lives and abilities”. He especially likes Rebecca’s “more entertaining and original approach” to vampires, avoiding the common clichés that are often overused in YA faction. He thinks that many readers will like Rebecca’s “vision of vampires, because in her novels the vampires feel much fresher than in many other novels”. He also finds her approach to magic to be “intriguing” and effortless, as is her ability to combine various fantasy elements. He says “I liked it a lot in Instrument of Peace, but now I find it even more intriguing, because she doesn’t seem to hold back anything anymore, but delivers a fantastical story with plenty of excitement.”

Seregil says that, although many YA novels have been written about magic schools and angels, “this novel stands out due to its interesting story and exotic setting” adding that the backdrop of New Zealand locations “adds lots of freshness to it”.

In conclusion, Seregil says that Instrument of War is “one of those rare novels that will captivate younger readers from the very first chapter and will make them read it in one sitting, because the story is immersive”. He is now looking forward to reading the concluding novel Instrument of Chaos (which will be published early next year) because “the story arc is fascinating”.

His final verdict: Good, intriguing and well written YA fantasy that is exciting and fast-paced entertainment for readers of all ages.

You can read Seregil’s full review here.

 

Rebecca Hall’s fantasy Symphony of the Cursed trilogy to be released as unabridged audiobooks

The Symphony of the Cursed trilogy are the latest Elsewhen Press titles to be available on audiobook, in transatlantic deal announced with Tantor Media Inc.

DARTFORD, KENT – 04 August 2017 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the signing of a deal with Tantor Media Inc. for the unabridged audiobook rights to Rebecca Hall’s Symphony of the Cursed trilogy.

Artwork by Alison Buck  based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com   Artwork by Alison Buck

Symphony of the Cursed starts with Instrument of Peace, which Rebecca describes as a magic school setting combined with the reality of the mundane world and horror of the Dresden Files, without any characters named Harry. Her trilogy, which continues in Instrument of War and concludes in Instrument of Chaos, sees the main protagonist, Mitch, move from high school to university while he strives to break The Twisted Curse that threatens those around him.

The location for the story may be surprising to some readers, especially those in the Northern hemisphere. The Academy, where Mitch is being educated in magic, is in a semi-mythical land populated by magical beings and legendary creatures, not to mention awe-inspiring natural features such as volcanoes, that has in recent years been discovered to be the location for Middle Earth. We know it, of course, as New Zealand.

This is a fantastic YA trilogy; and, as we all know, YA fantasy appeals to readers (and listeners) of all ages. The first two titles are already available in eBook format, Instrument of Peace is also available in paperback and Instrument of War will be available in paperback later this month. The concluding book, Instrument of Chaos, will be published by Elsewhen Press early in the New Year. Now Tantor Media will be bringing all three books in the trilogy to the many fans who prefer audiobooks.

Peter Buck, Elsewhen Press editorial director said “We are thrilled to be working with Tantor again on a new audiobook series. We’re sure that Symphony of the Cursed will prove to be a hit with audio fans.”

Scott Smith, who acquired the Symphony of the Cursed trilogy for Tantor Media, said “YA Fantasy has become one of the fastest growing genres in audio over the past year and we feel that Rebecca’s Symphony of the Cursed trilogy will be well-received by this ever-growing segment of audiobook fans.”

Instrument of Peace, the first book in the Symphony of the Cursed trilogy is expected to be released in audio in September 2017 and will be available through major retailers; Instrument of War will be released in audio in October 2017; and Instrument of Chaos in January 2018 simultaneously with the print edition.

Notes for Editors

About Rebecca Hall

Rebecca HallRebecca started writing when she was supposed to be studying for her exams at Otago University in New Zealand, but somehow passed anyway, eventually graduating with a decorative piece of paper. She moved to the UK to pursue a career in publishing and after a couple of mishaps ended up in Edinburgh and sold the Symphony of the Cursed trilogy to Elsewhen Press, which is not quite the career she had in mind. The career she did have in mind was along more editorial lines, which is why she is now a volunteer at Inspired Quill and a freelance copy- editor for everyone else. She also has a blog which she infrequently remembers to update, where those mysterious things known as short stories can be found.

visit bit.ly/SymphonyCursed

About Tantor, A Division of Recorded Books

Located in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books, is a leading publisher of thousands of bestselling and award-winning unabridged audiobooks. Tantor audiobooks are available through all major distributors in the retail and library markets, digitally and in CD format. Tantor’s parent company, Recorded Books, is the largest independent publisher of unabridged audiobooks in the world, with operations in the US, UK, and Australia.

visit https://tantor.com

Tantor Media contact: Cassandra McNeil +1 877-782-6867 x57 cmcneil@tantor.com

 

Instrument of War by Rebecca Hall – out now

The Angels are coming!

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

Instrument of War, the second book in Rebecca Hall’s fantasy trilogy, the Symphony of the Cursed, is published today on eBook platforms.

Described by Christopher Nuttall, bestselling author of Schooled in Magic, as “A clever update to a magical school story with a twist”, Instrument of War continues from Instrument of Peace, the first book in the trilogy, as Mitch, Hayley and Nikola return for their final year in the International Academy of Magic at Lake Moawhango in New Zealand.

With this exciting trilogy, Rebecca has firmly established New Zealand as a location for contemporary fantasy, not just Middle Earth! Fans of YA fantasy, readers of all ages, have been captivated by Instrument of Peace, impressed by Rebecca’s well thought-through magic system, the depth of her characters, and the believable nature of their relationships. What comes next in Instrument of War will both enchant and surprise. Elsewhen Press is delighted to be able to help Rebecca bring her vision and talent to such an appreciative audience.

Instrument of War is available from today on eBook platforms, and will be out in paperback in September.

 

“A clever update to a magical school story with a twist.” – Christopher Nuttall on Instrument of War

Christopher Nuttall, bestselling author of many fantasy and science fiction series including the Schooled in Magic, recently brought Rebecca Hall’s Symphony of the Cursed trilogy to the attention of his followers. With the forthcoming release of the second book in Rebecca’s trilogy, he read an advance copy and described it as “A clever update to a magical school story with a twist.”

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

Instrument of War continues from Instrument of Peace, the first book in the trilogy, as Mitch, Hayley and Nikola return for their final year in the International Academy of Magic at Lake Moawhango in New Zealand.

For more details visit bit.ly/InstrumentOfWar

Instrument of War, the second book in the Symphony of the Cursed trilogy, is already available on all major eBook platforms for pre-order. It will be published on 2nd June and will be available in paperback at the end of August. There will also be a belated launch party at FantasyCon in Peterborough in September!

 

Elsewhen Press announces second book in YA Fantasy trilogy from New Zealand author Rebecca Hall

The Eternity War is still being waged and the Academy remains caught up in it. The new Principal is an angel, the Teratology teacher is a vampire, the Instrument of Peace is hiding, but who is the Instrument of War?

DARTFORD, KENT – 24 April 2017 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the latest book by New Zealand author Rebecca Hall. Instrument of War is the second book of Symphony of the Cursed, a YA fantasy trilogy set in the central North Island of New Zealand. Instrument of War continues from Instrument of Peace, the first book in the trilogy, as Mitch, Hayley and Nikola return for their final year in the International Academy of Magic at Lake Moawhango. The Angels are coming…

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

The Host wants to know what the Academy was trying to hide and why the Fallen agreed to it. They want the Instrument of War, the one thing that can tip the Eternity War in their favour and put an end to the stalemate. Any impact on the Academy staff, students or buildings is just collateral damage.

Mitch would like to forget that the last year ever happened, but that doesn’t seem likely with Little Red Riding Hood now teaching Teratology. The vampire isn’t quite as terrifying as he first thought, but she’s not the only monster at the Academy. The Fallen are spying on everyone, the new Principal is an angel and there’s an enchanting exchange student with Faerie blood.

Angry and nervous of the angels surrounding him, Mitch tries to put the pieces together. He knows that Hayley is the Archangel Gabriel. He knows that she can determine the course of the Eternity War. He also knows that the Fallen will do anything to hide Gabriel from the Host – even allowing an innocent girl to be kidnapped.

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press, said “With her exciting trilogy, Rebecca has firmly established New Zealand as a location for contemporary fantasy, not just Middle Earth! Fans of YA fantasy, readers of all ages, have been captivated by Instrument of Peace, impressed by Rebecca’s well thought-through magic system, the depth of her characters, and the believable nature of their relationships. What comes next in Instrument of War will both enchant and surprise. We are delighted to be able to help Rebecca bring her vision and talent to such an appreciative audience.”

Instrument of War, Book II of the Symphony of the Cursed trilogy, will be published in eBook formats in June 2017 and in paperback in September 2017.

Notes for Editors

About Rebecca Hall

Rebecca HallRebecca started writing when she was supposed to be studying for her exams at Otago University but somehow passed anyway, eventually graduating with a decorative piece of paper. She moved to the UK to pursue a career in publishing and after a couple of mishaps ended up in Edinburgh and sold Symphony of the Cursed to Elsewhen Press, which is not quite the career she had in mind. The career she did have in mind was along more editorial lines, which is why she is now a volunteer at Inspired Quill and a freelance copy-editor for everyone else. She also has a blog
which she infrequently remembers to update, where those mysterious things known as short stories can be found.

visit bit.ly/InstrumentOfWar

 

“exciting and fast-paced” – review of Instrument of Peace on RisingShadow

Artwork by Alison Buck  based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com
Artwork by Alison Buck
based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com

Seregil of Rhiminee has posted a review on RisingShadow.net of Instrument of Peace, the first book in the Symphony of the Cursed fantasy series by Rebecca Hall.

He starts by describing this “intriguing” book as “a refreshingly modern yet old-fashioned fantasy novel with an emphasis on entertainment” and subsequently says that it “has clearly been written out of love for storytelling, because when you begin to read it you get a feeling that the author enjoys writing and aims to entertain her readers”. He adds that Instrument of Peace is a “fine addition” to the ever-growing canon of young adult fantasy novels. He goes on to say that as well as being “light and entertaining and having plenty of magic, this novel also has depth”.

Seregil says it’s great that the story is set in New Zealand, a location seldom used for fantasy stories, because it “added a lot of freshness to the story”. He also commends Rebecca’s characterisation, with “an interesting cast of teachers and teenaged characters” especially the two main protagonists Mitch and Hayley. While there are many classic elements in the novel, Seregil was pleased to see other elements which are “not often seen on the pages of young adult fantasy novels” such as the war between Heaven and Hell, and the giant lake lizard Taniwha. “Taniwha was a pleasant surprise for me,” says Seregil, “I didn’t expect to find anything like it in this novel, because giant lizards are a bit rare in modern fantasy novels. It was nice that the author also revealed an interesting piece of information about the Loch Ness Monster.”

The Twisted Curse “adds plenty of excitement to the story”, affecting staff and students alike. Seregil enjoyed Rebecca’s “way of writing about the curse and its effects, because I’ve always been fascinated by curses in fantasy novels.” He likes the way that Rebecca “keeps things in motion and moves the story fast forward” so there are no “boring moments”!

Seregil finishes by saying that “the most important thing about this novel is that it shows how much fun reading a good story can be” adding that it will appeal to young adults and adults alike “because it’s exciting and fast-paced entertainment. It’s an intriguing start to a new fantasy series.”

You can read Seregil’s full review here.

 

Mitch couldn’t help but be jealous of all the fictional wizards out there

Instrument of Peace, the first book in the Symphony of the Cursed series by Rebecca Hall is available from today as an eBook.

Artwork by Alison Buck  based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com
Artwork by Alison Buck
based on feather photo by KPG_Payless/shutterstock.com

Raised in New Zealand at the world-leading Academy of magic rather than by his absentee parents, Mitch has come to see it as his home. He’s spent more time with his friends than his family and the opinion of his maths teacher matters far more than that of his parents. The best maths student in the school, Mitch is unhappy to discover that Hayley, a girl who beat him in last year’s inter-school competition, has just transferred to the Academy. Nobody expects her to stay long and no-one befriends her. But when a devastating earthquake strikes the school, Mitch’s little brother Cullum is trapped and Hayley rescues him. Mitch is torn between his rivalry with her and being grateful that she saved Cullum’s life. He already knew that Hayley carries a golden feather around with her, but now he discovers that it is an Archangel feather, although he doesn’t yet know how significant it will turn out to be…

The paperback edition of Instrument of Peace will be launched at FantasyCon by the Sea in Scarborough in September. The eBook is available on all popular platforms (click here for details and links).