Available from today on all the usual platforms
On the British Fantasy Society website, Elloise Hopkins has reviewed Thorns of a Black Rose by David Craig. After an outline of the plot, Elloise introduces the two main characters, Tamira and Shukara, characters that are “easily likeable to the reader”. She adds that David Craig presents “well-rounded, believable heroines alongside worldbuilding richly woven with influences from North Africa and ancient history”. She compliments the pace of the story and says that at the end there is a satisfying completion while “tantalisingly” leaving scope for further adventures – which she says would be very welcome. In conclusion she says that Thorns of a Black Rose is a “modern young adult story with its roots very firmly in traditional fantasy”.
You can read the full review on the BFS website here.
On her blog, Jill-Elizabeth has reviewed Working Weekend by Penelope Hill, which she describes as “an original spin on common supernatural themes, offered with a generous dose of humor and a peek behind the curtain at authors, writing, fandom, and the magic that is themed conventions”. She adds that it’s “snarky and funny and just the right amount of dark”. She says that it built a “nice tension” that kept her turning pages, and the characters were a good blend of personalities that “intermingled tropes and originality in a way I thought perfect”. She says that the ending left her cautiously optimistic that we might get to join Marcus in further adventures (take note Penelope!).
You can read the full review on Jill-Elizabeth’s blog here (it’s on Goodreads too).
On her blog Jill-Eliabeth has reviewed Lord of the Hunt by David Craig, the second book in the Sooty Feathers series. As she loved the first book, Resurrection Men (read about her review of that here), it is perhaps unsurprising that she also enjoyed this latest book. In her review she apologises for not having too much specific to say about the story as she doesn’t want to undermine the plot twists or introduce any spoilers.
She says that David Craig is a dab hand at “setting up expectations, only to knock them down like nine-pins” but without “ever generating an eye roll or sense of irritation”. She likes the fact that he doesn’t throw in red herrings to drive tension up artificially, his “misdirections and layered revelations are much more delicate and well-crafted than that and each one feels like an organic and utterly necessary part of the whole.”
Her conclusion is that Lord of the Hunt is entirely enjoyable and definitely worth reading (and if you haven’t already read Resurrection Men, which she describes as also excellent, she says “I definitely recommend reading these in order”). You can read the full review on her blog here (it’s also on Goodreads).
On her blog, Jill-Elizabeth has reviewed Million Eyes by C.R. Berry, the first book in the Million Eyes trilogy. She previously read and reviewed the free-to-download collection of short stories set in the Million Eyes universe, Million Eyes: Extra Time (read about her review here). She starts her review of Million Eyes by saying that it was “a delight to read and offered a marvelous set-up to events to come”. She describes it as “a wild ride that whip-cracks back and forth through time”, with “time travel, history, alt-history, conspiracy theory, corporate greed, and a host of characters that range from the hapless to the harried to the horrible”. She admits that she is a fan of time-travel as a concept and the possibilities it allows for talented story-tellers like C.R. Berry.
She mentions that though there are many characters introduced in the various timelines, the two that she felt a real connection with were “Princess Diana, who jumped off the page for me, which is strange since I have never before felt so drawn to her” and the “horrifically corporate-evil queen Erica Morgan who felt like a perfect amalgamation of every corporate CEO I’ve ever known combined with every Disney villain-queen I’ve ever encountered”.
She says that her biggest concern is how long she will have to wait for the following two books in the series to find out what happens next!
You can read Jill-Elizabeth’s review on her blog here (it’s also on Goodreads).
Author C.R. Berry’s first book in the Million Eyes trilogy tells the story of the two investigators who uncovered the powerful people behind a shocking conspiracy, against the Royal family, that has shaped the last 1000 years.
DARTFORD, KENT – 09 March 2020 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of the print edition of Million Eyes, the first book in a new trilogy from author and conspiracy investigator, C.R. Berry, tackling power, corruption and destiny.
What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?
Ex-history teacher, Gregory Ferro, found evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348. Ferro teamed up with down-on-her-luck graduate, Jennifer Larson, to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seemed to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers were watching closely. Soon, Ferro and Larson were targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.
Million Eyes was initially published in a digital edition in January, to widespread acclaim despite a social media campaign waged against author C.R. Berry by those behind the conspiracy. Thankfully, the attention apparently made it more difficult for them to carry out the threats they had made against Berry. Million Eyes is available from today in a print edition, to encourage more readers to discover the truth that is undoubtedly out there.
Notes for Editors
About C.R. Berry
C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four, and has never recovered. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. After a few years spent getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness. He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere, in Surrey.
A horror convention – complete with a ‘real’ vampire wandering the halls, for atmosphere – invites folklore specialist, Marcus, as Guest of Honour. Looking forward to a chilled weekend, he instead finds himself battling to save his friends and fans.
DARTFORD, KENT – 06 March 2020 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Working Weekend, the first fantasy novel from Penelope Hill. What at first appears to be a behind-the-scenes look at the running of a fan convention, from the perspective of the Guest of Honour, soon becomes a supernatural thriller.
Penelope Hill has been enjoying conventions since the 1970s when she first attended a Star Trek convention. She has made many friends at conventions, encountered many authors, and met her late husband Robin at an early Terracon. She says that her mother took her to her first convention, and dealt with her fannish tendencies by teaching her ancient Greek at an early age, and drawing dragons whenever asked. “She was an inspiring woman, an artist, a writer and a wonderful needlewoman. She gave me much to live up to, and I think she’d be pleased to finally see my name in print.”
Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press says, “Anyone who has been to a genre convention, whether it’s science fiction, alt history, fantasy, horror or something else, knows that there is plenty going on invisibly to make it an enjoyable experience for all the attendees. The committee, particularly for a smaller convention, is always on the lookout for the perfect venue and a special attraction to encourage more fans. So the offer of a gothic mansion-turned-hotel, especially one that has been used as a location in classic horror films, would be too good to pass up. When the owner of the hotel offers to play the role of a real vampire for the weekend to ‘add authenticity’, it is a dream come true. Of course, what starts out as a dream can often turn into a nightmare. That is the setting for this entertaining tale from Penelope Hill, at the fictional horror convention, CoffinCon VII. Good versus evil, ancient powers in conflict; all the while trying to make sure that the rest of the attendees are safe and none-the-wiser as to what is really happening. If you’ve ever been to a fan convention you will recognise many of the characters – the ever-cheerful volunteer gophers, the committee looking forward to finally getting some sleep when it’s all over, the chair-person who’s regretting volunteering and trying to keep everything looking smooth and on plan – but hopefully not an actual vampire!”
Working Weekend is available from today on all popular eBook platforms. The paperback edition will be available from 13th April, having been launched, of course, at a convention (Eastercon)!
Notes for Editors
About Penelope Hill
Penelope Hill has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember, and her fascination with both futuristic and fantastic worlds has fuelled that ambition ever since. She is an avid reader, a long time role-player and games-master, and loves world-building: designing exotic places, writing mythic histories, and crafting cultures. She’s been a costumer and is busy developing her skills as a textile artist, so when she’s not writing, she can usually be found stitching, knitting, knotting, or exercising other creative skills.
During her working life, she spent many years supporting services in local government, and eventually found herself contributing to the development of both local and national policy, particularly around privacy and confidentiality. The research for her PhD helped influence some of that work, but has also brought new perspectives to both her writing and her world-building. While she has published academically, she prefers creative writing, and retirement has given her the opportunity to pursue her long-standing ambition to become a professional author.
She currently lives in Gloucestershire with five cats, a huge library of books, a treasure hoard of fabric and thread, and far too many dice.
About the book
Title: Working Weekend
Sometimes authenticity sucks!
Marcus Holland, European Folklore expert and award-winning writer of Horror and Fantasy fiction, is Guest of Honour at the CoffinCon convention being held in an old gothic mansion-turned-hotel. He’s looking forward to the weekend, as he’s hoping for a break from the pressures of work, the enthusiasm of his agent and the demands of his ex-wife. There’s to be a midnight masque, a Real Ale bar, and the convention committee have even arranged to have a ‘real’ vampire wandering the halls, to help add to the atmosphere.
From the moment Marcus arrives, he starts to feel uneasy, but can’t quite put his finger on the reason why. Although he soon comes to realise what is wrong, he knows that he can’t broadcast his concerns without being thought insane. Far from having a relaxing break, he will be working harder than ever in order to safeguard his friends and fans.
Cover by Alison and Sofia Buck
Fiction / Fantasy / Urban; Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural; Fiction / Occult & Supernatural
Print edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-61-8, 240pp, Demy; RRP £10 / €13 / US$20 (13 Apr 2020)
Electronic edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-71-7, EPUB / Kindle; RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 (06 Mar 2020)
Overstrike by CM Angus, finally reveals the truth about a family who manipulate reality to safeguard themselves and all that they hold dear. But even seemingly small changes in a timeline have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences.
DARTFORD, KENT – 14 February 2020 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of Overstrike, the first volume in the Fixpoint trilogy from author, CM Angus. This is a trilogy with a strong narrative spanning four generations of a family who discover their inherited ability to manipulate reality. It enables them to effect changes in order to safeguard themselves and all that they hold dear. But even seemingly small changes in a timeline can have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences. As we follow the stories of the Howards, the trilogy takes us on a journey that goes around and comes around, exploring reality, time and our own sense of self.
Joseph Howard is a fixer, who can manipulate reality. But when he disobeyed orders and triggered alternative events that caused the war to end early in 1945, he created an outcome that was positive for most, but catastrophic for some. For over a half a century Joe has been wracked with guilt and hiding his abilities. But when he senses a reality approaching, in which his newborn great grandson will have no existence, he fears retribution – but by whom? Estranged from his son, and never having taught his family about their gift, time is running out and he knows he must act.
Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press says, “Having authored a number of technical papers and books, it was no surprise that CM Angus would bring those talents to the world of fiction. He has had much success with short stories published in various anthologies, so we were delighted when he came to Elsewhen Press with his first novel, especially as it is such a powerful start to what promises to be a thrilling trilogy. As the story unfolds we not only learn more about the main characters, in particular the Howard family, but we perhaps discover some things about ourselves: How would we react if our nearest and dearest were threatened by an unseen enemy that nobody else believes exists? How far would we go to protect them? But even larger questions manifest themselves as we read on; the nature of existence and reality, the illusion of free will, the inevitability of the future and the intractability of the past. Meanwhile, we are caught up in the story: in the fate of Matt, Joe, Tom and especially Ethan; and in the inexorable yet uncertain conclusion. And, when we get there, we have the ineffable pleasure of discovering that there is another twist to be pursued in the next book in the trilogy! Entertainment that makes you think about yourself and your own relationship with reality and time – what more could you want from speculative fiction?”
Overstrike is available from today on all popular eBook platforms. The paperback edition will be available from 13th April 2020.
Notes for Editors
About CM Angus
Born and raised in a steel-town in the Northeast of England, CM Angus now lives in Yorkshire with his better half, his children and an awesome dog.
Having struggled with English at school and having never written fiction before, he decided to become a writer while submerged in the bath one Saturday morning in 2014. Since then, he has had stories published in a number of recent anthologies and manages a growing colony of notebooks.
With a background in e-Commerce and technology, he has previously written technical non-fiction and is interested in all things creative, technological and scientific. His work is inquisitive and blends a passion for story telling with a strong scientific grounding.
When not working or writing, he spends his time as a Reiki master, a meditation guide and multi-instrumentalist. With a PhD in esoteric hard sums and a strong interest in Martial Arts, CM Angus jokingly describes himself as a gentleman, a scholar and an acrobat who dreams of, one day, owning some woodland.
About the book
Title: Overstrike – Volume I of the Fixpoint Trilogy
When Matt Howard’s grandfather told him he must alter history to protect his newborn son, Matt thought the old man was crazy…
…Then he realised it was true.
Overstrike spans 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history.
Touching on themes of retro-causality, ethics and free will, and exploring ideas of cause, effect and retribution, it follows the path of Matt Howard, whose child, Ethan, is at risk, as he, his father and grandfather attempt to use their own abilities to manipulate reality in order to discover and prevent whoever is threatening Ethan.
This is volume I of Fixpoint, a trilogy about a family who discover their inherited ability to manipulate reality. It enables them to effect changes in order to safeguard themselves and all that they hold dear. But even seemingly small changes in a timeline can have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences. Follow the stories of the Howards, on a journey exploring reality, time and our own sense of self.
Fiction / Science Fiction / Time Travel; Fiction / Alternative History; Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
Print edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-60-1, 384pp, Demy; RRP £10 / €13 / US$20 (13 Apr 2020)
Electronic edition: ISBN 978-1-911409-70-0, EPUB / Kindle; RRP £2.99 / €3.49 / US$3.99 (14 Feb 2020)