“The Witch’s Box” now published

“The Witch’s Box” (Kindle and paperback versions) is now available on Amazon. See details in post below.
Handy links:

Please be aware that you don’t need to own a Kindle tablet to buy Kindle books – you can download them to a PC and you should see a link to download the Kindle book manager for PC.  The same applies to Android devices IIRC.

What early readers said:

“That was a very good read, by some margin the best I’ve read by this author .”
“…the execution of teaching Maihara about life is fabulous.”
“This isn’t the usual genre I’d read but I really enjoyed the book.”
“This is a well-structured, fun read with some incredibly well done battles and an intriguing magic system.”

Apologies for the pricing of the paper back, but it is 500 pages long and some 30mm thick.


Upcoming novel

Kindle Cover I will shortly be releasing another epic fantasy novel: “The Witch’s Box.”
I started writing this over five years ago, based around a character from an earlier story, and on the way the plot and the working title have changed, and the story has grown in length.

Imperial Princess Maihara does not get on well with her autocratic father and absorbs radical ideas from her tutor.
Meanwhile, the Western capital is under assault by rebels, inspiring the strong-willed and curious Maihara to dabble with the magical box gifted to her by an unknown donor. Unfortunately for her, Maihara is soon arrested on suspicion of dabbling in sorcery. The city falls to the rebels and Maihara becomes a prisoner of the rebel leader, Tarchon. Maihara is vulnerable in the vast new world she has to face and try to understand in order to survive, while refusing to abandon her own ambitions. Tarchon, meanwhile, is not quite as she imagined.

Publication date should be 15 Jan 2020 on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

paperback cover
Draft paperback cover

Fantasy Map
Draft map

New editions of ‘Nigel Lurch: Anarchist

A second edition of ‘Nigel Lurch: Anarchist’ by “Jeff Bain” has been released in e-book and paperback formats, with a new cover.

‘Nigel Lurch: Anarchist’ is a comic novel with fantasy elements, about an unruly British student.

Available from Amazon.

New Novella ‘Deadly Journey’

I have released a new novella ‘Deadly Journey’ on Smashwords, as a free download. This novella is the sequel to ‘Deadly Relics’.

Female figure in distress, yellow
Cover image

Starsin, an army cadet and minor member of the nobility, has escaped from a prison colony in the far north of the Virnal-administered Empire. He hopes to contact fellow rebels by traveling south, but disaster strikes, and his physical and moral courage is tested to the limit.

Disenchanted – review

Disenchanted by CL Raven, 222pp, paperback.

Disenchanted coverThis is a short story collection from two Welsh sisters writing as CL Raven. This is a collection of traditional folk tales rewritten with a dark-fantasy feminist twist. The first story opens with ‘Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess called Snow White. Who the hell calls their child that?’ – an opening line that prompted me to buy the book. The opening story ‘Long Live the Queen’ is told from the point of the wicked stepmother as she tries to get rid of that irritating goody-goody, Snow White.

The other nine stories are in a similar vein, and most have modern settings. The same characters, for instance Prince Charming and Snow White, appear in more than one tale, and I feel it would have been better if they hadn’t, as there is an impression of the same ideas being re-cycled. Mostly the tales are entertaining, in a bawdy kind of way and quite well constructed.  Occasionally, the bawdy humorous tone seemed overdone and getting too like fan fiction.

The book is quite well produced, with no obvious typos and each chapter is opened with a traditional-style illuminated letter, e.g. ‘O’.

Worth checking out if you like modern dark fantasy with a touch of humour.

You can find out more about CL Raven and their other books on their website clraven.wordpress.com

EDGE-Lit 6

EDGE-Lit 6 was held on 15 July 2017 at the Derby QUAD, Derby, UK. EDGE-Lit is a popular science fiction, fantasy and horror writing event, offering workshops, panels, readings and book launches. Guests this year included well-known and not-quite-famous authors, notably Joanne Harris and Samantha Shannon. In additions there are dealers’ areas.
I attended panels on ‘Think Small: What are the Benefits of Working with Small and Independent Presses?’, ‘Epic! Why is High Fantasy Still Riding a Wave of Popularity? and ‘New Voices: How Hard is it to Break Into Fantasy Fiction?’ All offered interesting insights. I also attended a lively workshop with Anna Stephens on ‘Character POV’s – How Many is Too Many’ which revealed that most writers present used a modest number of close 3rd person narrators but one or two used a lot more.
Small press and self-publishers were well represented in the dealers’ rooms. As the scheduled programme was quite full I did not manage to look at everything. The day concluded with a book raffle (didn’t win) and the Gemmell Awards Ceremony, which I missed as I had a lengthy train journey.
In addition to the freebies in the Con goody bag, I bought Samantha Shannon’s ‘The Bone Season’, Tony Cooper’s ‘The Resurrection Tree’, ‘Myriad Lands’ a collection of diverse fantasy inspired by legends from around the world (Guardbridge Books) and C L Raven’s ‘Disenchanted’ a collection of recreated dark-fantasy tales. CL Raven are two lively sisters from Wales, dressed for this occasion in dark-fantasy costume. I had to buy their book after laughing aloud over the first lines.
In summary, I found this a worthwhile and enjoyable event. Everyone I met was a published writer, an aspiring writer or a writer/publisher.