On the Locus Magazine website, is a list of Recommended Reading from 2018 (here). Included in the ‘First Novel’ category is our very own Juliet Kemp’s novel The Deep and Shining Dark. You can vote for your favourites in their 2019 Poll and Survey – support Juliet and vote for The Deep and Shining Dark 😉
On RisingShadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed The Empty Throne by David M. Allan. He starts by describing it as an “intriguing debut” because it’s “a high fantasy novel that contains elements of epic fantasy, adventure fantasy and portal fantasy” and is ideal for readers who like “fantastical and light escapism”.
Seregil says David’s story “moves swiftly forward and the author keeps up a steady pace”. He adds that it “has a classic and traditional feel” which is rare nowadays, and admits to having a soft spot for this kind of fantasy and loves traditional fantasy fiction.
He says the world is described well, and much of the “fascination of this novel” comes from the author’s way of writing about how the characters protect the world. He says he was “surprised to find a coming of age tale in this novel, because I didn’t expect it” and was also intrigued to find out that romance is part of the storyline, which he enjoyed and which “lightened the story in a good way”.
He concludes by saying that The Empty Throne is “intriguing fantasy entertainment, because it combines action, adventure, magic and politics”.
His final verdict: It’s good and fun escapism for those who want to take a break from reality.
Read Seregil’s review on RisingShadow here.
On RisingShadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Resurrection Men by David Craig. He starts by describing it as “a captivating and enjoyable reading experience” and goes on to say that it is “one of the most thrilling debut novels I’ve read in ages”.
In a long, positive review, Seregil says that he loves “dark and well written stories” and enjoyed David’s gradually unfolding, layered story. “What makes Resurrection Men special” he says, “is that it’s a fresh combination of historical urban fantasy and gothic historical fantasy with horror and mystery elements” with “an original take on supernatural elements”. He adds that he likes David’s “vision of the supernatural, because he takes his time to ground his story in reality before delving deeper into supernatural elements”.
He compliments the characterisation and the description of the setting, saying that the “complexity of the story is enhanced by the author’s attention to characters and details” with “fascinatingly flawed protagonists”. Seregil says that David’s depiction of Glasgow feels authentic, with places that actually exist in the city. “In his story, Glasgow comes to life as he tells of its people (the wealthy and the poor), streets, clubs and cemeteries in an atmospheric way. Glasgow is depicted as a vibrant city that has a dark and evil underbelly.”
He concludes by saying that David Craig is a talented new author, whose writing style is “satisfyingly fluent” and who “effortlessly spices up his dark story with bits and pieces of humour”. He is looking forward to reading the next instalment in the Sooty Feathers series, because he “liked this novel a lot and loved the ending”.
His verdict: Resurrection Men is “compelling and entertaining … it’s a highly enjoyable and impressive debut novel” and he ends by saying “Excellent entertainment!”
Read Seregil’s full review on RisingShadow here.
On Risingshadow.net Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed The Deep and Shining Dark by Juliet Kemp, the first book in the Marek series. Describing it as a “strong debut novel from a talented new author” Seregil compliments Juliet on having produced an entertaining and well-written fantasy with “subtle complexity, good worldbuilding and fluent characterisation”, saying that it was “one of the most positive reading experiences I’ve had this year”.
Admitting that he read it in one sitting because “The story immediately pulled me in and didn’t let go until I’d reached the end”, Seregil says that the story “flows effortlessly and becomes increasingly intriguing” as it “immerses readers into the story right alongside the protagonists and takes them on a fascinating journey” that is “filled with intrigue, politics and magic”. The characterisation is “interesting and realistic” because Juliet “pays attention to their lives, feelings, flaws and problems, making them as real as possible”. The worldbuilding is “effortless” presenting a vibrant vision of the citystate of Marek that is “believable”, paying attention to “cultural differences and … how the Houses maintain control”. The magic is “interesting”, the politics “intriguing” and “LGBTQ elements handled fluently”.
Seregil says that he is looking forward to reading the instalment in this series, because this is a “promising and strong start” that he enjoyed. He recommends The Deep and Shining Dark as “captivating and well-crafted” fantasy.
You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow here.
The Sooty Feathers Club protects a dangerous underworld controlling the City of Glasgow, encouraging police and press to look the other way. David Craig reveals all in Resurrection Men, the first book in the Sooty Feathers series.
DARTFORD, KENT – 06 August 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Resurrection Men by Glasgow-based author David Craig. It is the first book in his Sooty Feathers series, a masterful gothic tale about a supernatural war for control of the Second City of the British Empire, and the struggle of flawed characters of uncertain virtue trying to avert it. In the late 19th century, Glasgow was ruled by the undead – from the private clubs, town houses and country estates of the privileged to the dung-choked wynds and overcrowded slums of the poor. Undead unrest, a fallen angel, and religious zealots intent on driving out the forces of evil, set the stage for a diabolical conflict of biblical proportions.
Resurrection Men is David’s debut novel. In it, he provides an atmospheric portrayal of Glasgow in 1893 which acts as a thrilling introduction to this accomplished series, deftly pulling the reader in to a well-researched and almost tangible bygone world still glimpsed in the city today. The erstwhile heroes, a student and a laudanum-addicted pharmacist, are pursuing extra-curricular careers as body snatchers – the ‘resurrection men’ of the title – when they find themselves entangled in the world hidden beneath the veneer of respectable society. Luckily they are not alone for long, as unexpected allies join their fight.
David’s book explores what it is that drives people to face evil, and what it costs them. Some characters are initially drawn into the fray by misfortune, and even when they try to walk away tragedy drags them back in. Others have been broken to some degree by years of fighting the undead and their mortal allies.
The cover, designed by artist Alison Buck, captures the atmosphere of David’s book. The dark and grimy alleys where bodies are found suffering from severe loss of blood, having had their throats ripped out; the fine, elegant streets and squares in which the elite and learned rise above the smoke and filth in careless disregard. On reading the book prior to designing the cover, Alison said “Resurrection Men is an impressive fictionalised account of the forces controlling 19th century Glasgow, which will appeal to fans of gothic fiction as well as historians and others intrigued by life, and death, 125 years ago.”
Resurrection Men will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 31st August 2018. The paperback edition will be launched at FantasyCon in Chester, in October 2018.
Notes for Editors
About David Craig
Aside from three months living on an oil tanker sailing back and forth between America and Africa, and two years living in a pub, David Craig grew up on the west coast of Scotland. He studied Software Engineering at university, but lost interest in the subject after (and admittedly prior to) graduation. He currently works as a resourcing administrator for a public service contact centre, and lives near Glasgow with his wife and two rabbits.
Being a published writer has been a life-long dream, and one he is delighted to finally realise with this, his debut novel. Resurrection Men is the first book in the Sooty Feathers series.
David M Allan’s new novel combines elements of both fantasy and science fiction to examine the glamour of power and the danger of invisible forces that can manipulate and control even the most formidable leaders.
DARTFORD, KENT – 08 June 2018 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce that they have signed with author David M Allan to publish his novel The Empty Throne. Combining swords, magic, other-worldly creatures and ambitious politicians, with a gateway to another world, The Empty Throne is an unexpected mix of traditional fantasy and science fiction, likely to appeal to readers who enjoy the work of David Eddings, Robin Hobb and Juliet McKenna.
In the world of The Empty Throne, there is a Citadel. In it stand three thrones, one of metal, one of wood and one of stone. Between them shimmers a gateway to a new world, created four hundred years ago by the three magicians who made the thrones. When hostile incorporeal creatures came through the gateway, the magicians attempted to close it but failed. Since that time the creatures have tried to come through the gateway at irregular intervals, but the throne room is guarded by the Company of Tectors, established to defend against them. To try to stop the creatures, expeditions have been sent through the gateway, but none has ever returned.
On each throne appears an image of one of the Custoda, heroes who have led the expeditions through the gateway. While the Custoda occupy the thrones the gateway remains quiet and there are no incursions. Today, Dhanay, the newest knight admitted to the Company, is guarding the throne room. Like all the Tectors, Dhanay looks to the images of the Custoda for guidance.
But the Throne of Stone is empty. The latest incursion has started; a creature escaping into the world, a kulun capable of possessing and controlling humans.
The provincial rulers, the oldest and most powerful families, ignore the gateway and the Tectors, concentrating on playing politics and pursuing their own petty aims. Some even question the need for the Company, as incursions have been successfully contained within the Citadel for years. Family feuds, border disputes, deep-rooted rivalries and bigotry make for a potentially unstable world, and are a perfect environment for a kulun looking to create havoc…
The arresting cover is by renowned artist Tony Allcock, encapsulating the atmosphere of the throne room and Dhanay’s shock when he realises the throne is empty. The author immediately liked the cover art for the “air of mystery and feeling of menace”.
The Empty Throne will be available on all popular eBook platforms from 3rd August 2018. It will be available in paperback on 22nd October 2018.
Notes for Editors
About David M Allan
David M Allan got hooked on reading at a young age by borrowing to the max – 3 books, twice a week – from the public library. He was caught up and transported to fabulous other worlds by the likes of Wells, Verne and Burroughs (and later by Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Le Guin, Wyndham…). Alas, the journeys were temporary and he had to return to Earth.
His love affair with science fiction and fantasy had him thinking vaguely about writing but he didn’t follow through until after retirement and his relocation, with wife and cat, to a houseboat on the Thames. It was reading one book which he didn’t think was very good that led him to say “I could do better than that” and then setting out to prove it. David has since had a number of short stories published in online magazines, but The Empty Throne will be his first published novel.
About 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. This is the third book cover Tony has produced for Elsewhen Press.
Seregil starts his review of The Promised Lie by saying that he considers “Christopher Nuttall to be one of the best authors of entertaining epic fantasy for adult readers” who “has found his own voice and knows how to entertain his readers with good and exciting stories”. He goes on to compliment the characterisation “good and believable”, the worldbuilding “excellent”, and Christopher’s writing – he writes in an “effortless way” about politics, “writes well about magic and what can be achieved by using it” and “also writes well about religion and worshipping gods”. Seregil adds that there’s “something about the ancient magic and forces that is almost Lovecraftian in nature”. Overall he says it is a thrilling story and excellent entertainment, and finishes by saying that this is Christopher’s “strongest fantasy novel to date”.
You can read Seregil’s full review on Risingshadow.net here.
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.
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 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 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.
On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has recently reviewed Katrina Mountfort’s new novel The Ghost in You, describing it as “one of the best YA ghost stories I’ve ever read”. He goes on to say that, despite there being a rise in popularity of YA ghost stories from other authors, The Ghost in You feels like a breath of fresh air “because it’s more compelling and more realistic than many of them and the author writes good and fluent prose”.
Seregil says that one of the best things about the book is that it’s got “a lot of heart and soul”, and is “an unputdownable novel that immediately sinks its hooks into you and pulls you into the protagonist’s life”, admitting that he read it in one sitting because he really couldn’t put it down! The story “flows fluently and smoothly from start to finish, because Katrina Mountfort writes engagingly about Rowena and her ghostly existence”. He also commented on Katrina’s attention to detail, with a realistic vision of the afterlife, and that the “characterisation is good and believable” with the main character, Rowena, having an “original and powerful voice”. “Rowena’s first-person point of view is both fresh and engrossing”, says Seregil, and she is “an interesting and easily likeable protagonist”. The way that Katrina has written about the relationship between Rowena and Oliver, who is alive, is “sweet, realistic and touching” says Seregil, adding that he was amazed at “how easily she wrote about both of them and how they felt about each other, because nothing felt forced”. He says that there’s “something irresistible about the author’s writing style that will capture readers’ hearts”. She writes well about “sadness, anger, love, romance, confusion and acceptance in this novel”, and the story includes a nice amount of humour and popular culture references that enhance the atmosphere.
Seregil summarises his review by saying that The Ghost in You is a relatively fast read but insightful, Katrina “doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of her readers, but offers them a captivating and gripping story with depth”. He suggests that this book should be on every fantasy reader’s reading list because it’s gripping and well told, and says “No matter what you normally read, this novel will charm and entice you with its story”, concluding that it is “Excellent YA fantasy fiction!”
You can read Seregil’s review of The Ghost in You on Risingshadow.net here
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.
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.