When magic suddenly stops, there’s more at stake than the livelihood of the last surviving sorcerers

In book 1 of Juliet Kemp’s new fantasy series, sorcerer Reb realises something is wrong when the city-angel turns up at her door. Marcia, Heir to House Fereno stumbles on the same truth. Together they must discover who is responsible and stop them.

DARTFORD, KENT – 21 May 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that they have signed with author Juliet Kemp for the first book in a gripping new fantasy series. Juliet has had short stories published in anthologies and online magazines, and has a novella due out later this year. But The Deep and Shining Dark is Juliet’s debut novel, launching straight into the political intrigues and magical shenanigans in the city-state of Marek, for which the series is named.

Artwork: Tony Allcock

There had, once, been an overland trading route between mainland Teren and neighbouring Exuria, up and through the mountain passes. Its increasing unreliability had been what drove an expedition into the swamps, just over 300 years ago, seeking a route around the mountains. What they’d found was the outlet to the Oval Sea, which was even better. They made an agreement with an angel to ensure that magic within their new city worked without the need for bloodletting, and that political stability would be protected from magical influence. Then along came the Salinas, with their ships, their extensive trading partnerships around the Oval Sea, and their very reasonable carrier prices. Fairly soon, as Marek traded and became wealthy, it grew from being merely a city and chief trading- port of Teren into a semi-independent city-state. Most sophisticates no longer even believed in magic or the city-angel.

In The Deep and Shining Dark, Reb, one of the two sorcerers who survived a recent plague that wiped out virtually all of the rest, discovers that magic has suddenly stopped working. Someone has deposed the city-angel, but has been unable to replace it. Marcia, Heir to House Fereno, and one of the few in high society who is well-aware that magic still exists, stumbles across that same truth.

Meanwhile Council members connive and conspire, unaware that they are being manipulated in a treacherous political game that threatens the peace and security of the entire Oval Sea. Reb and Marcia must discover who is behind the plot, in order to stop the impending disaster. But first they must try to decide whom they can really trust.

Complementing Juliet’s story is a beautiful cover with artwork by renowned artist, Tony Allcock, which captures the essence of Marek and the outlook across the Oval Sea while conjuring up the intrigue that underlies the city itself. On seeing the cover for the first time Juliet’s response was “That’s absolutely gorgeous!”

The Deep and Shining Dark will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 6th July 2018. It will be available in paperback on 24th September 2018.

Notes for Editors

About Juliet Kemp

Juliet Kemp
Juliet Kemp lives by the river in London, with partners, child, dog, and too many fountain pens. With an employment history that variously includes working as a cycle instructor, sysadmin, life model, researcher, permaculture designer, and journalist, Juliet still finds time to write. When not writing or parenting, Juliet goes climbing, knits, reads way too much, and drinks a lot of tea. Having had stories published in several anthologies and online magazines, Juliet was delighted to sign with Elsewhen Press to publish The Deep and Shining Dark.

About Tony Allcock

Tony Allcock
Tony Allcock lives in Hertfordshire and has been both a Research Scientist and a Fine Artist for 40 years. He has exhibited watercolour and oil paintings in galleries and exhibitions in the UK, France and Italy. More recently he has also been painting digitally, illustrating music CD covers and book covers. Under the internet name of 888toto he has been developing digital painting brushes and techniques that have been downloaded by many hundreds of artists around the world.

Visit tr.im/DeepShiningDark

 

Much-anticipated new epic fantasy from award-winning bestselling author Christopher Nuttall

Master story-teller Christopher Nuttall weaves a new epic fantasy series. Five years after the earth-shattering events at the end of his Bookworm series, the Golden City has fallen, the Empire is no more, and ancient magic threatens the land.

DARTFORD, KENT – 02 February 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of The Promised Lie the first book in a new epic fantasy series, The Unwritten Words, by Christopher Nuttall set in the world of his bestselling Bookworm series.

Cover artwork by Alison Buck
Cover artwork by Alison Buck

Christopher Nuttall, one of the most popular science fiction and fantasy authors on Amazon, is an accomplished writer of epic fantasy. His bestselling, and award-winning, Bookworm series has achieved worldwide success as ebooks, paperbacks and, more recently, as unabridged audiobooks from Tantor Media. The first book was published by Elsewhen Press in 2013 and the final, fourth, book in the series was published in 2015. Since then fans have been clamouring for more stories set in the same world. Now, in 2018, Christopher has obliged with a new series that begins five years after the events at the end of the original series. Shifting focus away from the Golden City and the powerful magical families who lived there, The Unwritten Words looks to what is happening in the other kingdoms that are suddenly no longer in thrall to the Empire. The few sorcerors who are left have no authority, so land grabs and power plays rely on might rather than magic. Which means that anyone who can wield magic has an immediate advantage.

Continue reading “Much-anticipated new epic fantasy from award-winning bestselling author Christopher Nuttall”

Latest novel from Katrina Mountfort, a haunting ghost story as told by the ghost herself

The Ghost in You is a first-hand account, from beyond the grave, by an innocent girl who dies before her time and tries to make sense of what is happening to her, while helping her friends and discovering her purpose.

DARTFORD, KENT – 26 January 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the publication of The Ghost in You, the latest novel by Katrina Mountfort. A ghost story with a difference, told in the first person by the ghost herself. It addresses what awaits us when we die, the age-old concern of life after death, felt most keenly when a person is taken too soon. Along the way it also considers what it means to be soulmates.

Photographs and artwork: Alison Buck
Photographs and artwork: Alison Buck

No-one knows what happens when we die. There are theories; there are hopes; there are dreams. But eventually we all find out … Rowena had never thought about it. She was only 19 and hadn’t even experienced her first kiss. Dying was the last thing she expected; or rather, what followed was the last thing she expected. With no blinding light… no choirs of angels… it actually took her a while to realise that she was in fact dead, although seeing her own body at the foot of the stairs was a big clue.

Continue reading “Latest novel from Katrina Mountfort, a haunting ghost story as told by the ghost herself”

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.

“a well-told fantasy story that will intrigue adult and young adult readers alike” – review of Cold Fire on Risingshadow

Earlier this week Seregil of Rhiminee reviewed Cold Fire, the latest book from Peter R. Ellis (I would have mentioned it sooner but I’ve been laid up with flu for a few days). The book is the first of a series of standalone novels recounting the continuing adventures of September Weekes, the heroine of Peter’s Evil Above the Stars series.

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

Seregil starts by saying that it was a pleasure to read about September Weekes again because she’s an interesting and fascinating protagonist. He says that it is “just as good and interesting” as the Evil Above the Stars series, and points out that it is perfectly possible to read Cold Fire without having read the original series, adding that it is a suitable “entry point to the world of September Weekes” and although it has much “in common with the previous novels, it’s a whole new adventure and newcomers will be able to enjoy it”. He describes Cold Fire as “a well-told fantasy story that will intrigue adult and young adults readers alike” in which readers will find themselves immersed in the story as it unfolds.

Seregil compliments Peter’s good characterisation, and fluent writing. The “characters are resourceful and remind me a bit of the characters found in Enid Blyton’s novels” he says. He admits that even September’s nemesis, the Malevolence, has fascinated him since the beginning of the original trilogy – Peter has “created an ultimate evil entity, because it consumes everything it comes in contact with and leaves destruction in its wake”.

Seregil says that Cold Fire “combines elements of fantasy and science fiction in an entertaining way”, with Peter writing “intriguingly” about the alternative version of our world with creatures such as mermaids, unicorns and dragons (although they avoid men). Peter’s writing about the impact of human population growth on these other creatures and their ultimate fate has a “bittersweetness” says Seregil, revealing hidden wisdom beneath the story on the themes of extinction, indifference and fear of the unknown.

Seregil also enjoyed the descriptions of alchemy and how phosphorus and its qualities fascinated scientists. Peter manages to “convey the enthusiasm involved in the experiments to his readers in a splendid way”, which he thinks is a result of Peter’s background as a teacher “because you get a feeling that he knows what he is writing about”.

Summarising, Seregil says that what he likes most about Cold Fire and the previous trilogy is that they are intriguing and different. He is glad that the “Welsh elements – history, mythology, names etc – that readers have come to love in the previous novels can also be found in this novel. They’re an important part of the fascination and originality of the story, because they make this novel stand out among other fantasy novels.”

Seregil concludes by saying that Cold Fire is a “charming and delightfully old-fashioned yet intriguingly modern fantasy novel” that “combines the charm of classic fantasy books with modern storytelling in a successful way”.

You can read Seregil’s full review here.

 

“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

 

REVEALED: Cover of Cold Fire, the new September Weekes novel

In the Evil Above the Stars series by Peter R. Ellis, we were introduced to heroine September Weekes. In that trilogy, September discovered who she is and was called upon to save the land of Gwlad from the evil Malevolence (in case you haven’t yet read them yet – why not? – I won’t introduce spoilers by saying any more!) Now Peter has delivered the first September Weekes novel, Cold Fire. September is still at school and is still the Cludydd o Maengolauseren, but this time she finds herself closer to home, at least in space if not time. As far as she can tell, her appearance hasn’t changed, she’s even wearing her school uniform. But in a London of 1680, others see her as a lady of considerable social standing. She has been brought here to stop something happening that would give the Malevolence an opportunity to enter the universe. But she doesn’t know what. Her first stop is a tavern, to meet Robert Hooke, and then off to see Sir Robert Boyle demonstrate to the Royal Society the results of his investigations of the phosphorus and its cold fire. Far away at the edge of Wales an alchemist has learnt of Boyle’s discovery and, helped by his young assistant, is attempting in his own way to form the mysterious material, little suspecting that his work threatens to open the universe to the evil power of the Malevolence. September starts to understand what is happening but feels powerless to stop it. Then she encounters some fantastic beasts who may be able to help her, if she can work out how to save them from the Cold Fire.

The cover design by Alison Buck shows us September meeting one of those fantastic beasts, the dragon Obsidian.

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

Cold Fire will be available as an eBook at the beginning of August and in paperback in October.

 

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.

 

“unusual blend of urban fantasy, mythology and self-discovery” – review of Dinnusos Rises on SFcrowsnest

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

On SFcrowsnest, Vinca Russell has reviewed Dinnusos Rises, the latest novel from Tej Turner. Describing it as an “unusual blend of urban fantasy, mythology and self-discovery” Vinca says that the story gradually unfolds “until it reaches a final, fairly satisfying climax at the end”.

As in The Janus Cycle, Tej provides us with a separate narrator in each chapter, which Vinca found “to be less irritating than I expected and for this story it fitted nicely”. The inclusion of mythical figures, a ghost, and characters who have powers “ranging from time travel to dream walking, via being able to talk to animals and alter people’s emotions by playing music” “makes for an interesting mix, but I think I’d have liked it all to be explored in a bit more depth” says Vinca. Adding that it’s “great that Turner has populated his stories with characters that aren’t just white, heterosexual and cisgender – there should be more of that diversity in fiction” but sometimes explanations of such issues broke up the pacing of the story.

Vinca concludes by saying “I was pleasantly surprised” by Dinnusos Rises, observing that it “used the multiple POV narrative structure well and the plot tied up nicely”.

You can read Vinca’s full review on SFcrowsnest here.