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Deadly Journey

https://mybook.to/Witchs_Box
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Dark Tides

Third in “The Witch’s Box” series continuing the events set in train in “The Golim War”. In this dramatic novel, ancient energies are awakened, and Imperial Princess Maihara keeps alive her ambition to become Empress. The rebels under General Tarchon have invaded the East, but the threat posed by the golims continues and the rebels’ uncivilised allies may prove troublesome. Fofur and Kafnis are sent on a mission to collect a curative herb and their failure could have dire consequenses. Meanwhile Maihara struggles to decipher the mysteries of her father’s magic.

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The Golim War

A sequel to “The Witch’s Box. Unable to find safety anywhere, and hunted by her father’s sinister Fifth Bureau, Maihara must contend with warfare, politics and a handsome rebel general while clinging to her dream of becoming Empress.
Imperial Princess Maihara has changed her allegiances and is involved in a race to solve magical secrets and counter the Empire’s introduction of artificial humans to the battlefield before they can gain a decisive advantage. At great risk to herself, she seeks to halt the civil war.

The Witch’s Box

The Witch's Box cover

An epic fantasy.

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.

Tags: Epic fantasy, fantasy romance.

Available on Amazon UK, USA and others.

The Writing of “The Witch’s Box”

“The Witch’s Box” had a long and complex gestation. It did not get written at a particular date so much as evolve. In the 1970’s I wrote a short juvenile fantasy of no distinction which had as a character a princess called ‘Majara’ (or, as a writer friend insisted on calling her, Majorca)

There followed two fairly short, lurid and violent fantasy novels, the second being “Search for Zordan”. Majara appeared as a character in these. By 1990 I had got both taken on by the EJ Carnell Agency, eventually without result.

A reworking of the second followed (on an Amstrad PCW) After an interval in which I did little writing, and then wrote “The Plain Girl’s Earrings” and some sequels, I came across the old ‘Search for Zordan” materials. It occurred to me that it would be interesting to write a fantasy story, not from the point of view of the male characters, but from the point of view of a princess. And that she would not be the stock fantasy all-action heroine but a clever, pampered and rather unfit girl. I thought it would work out as something fairly short. This was about five years ago.

Work started on this project, and somewhat to my surprise people liked my heroine and the secondary characters. It was not quite as short as I originally imagined, and not ready for publication, so redrafting continued. In the middle of this I decided that it was getting too long to manage as one book, and that a change of title was required. There was a large story arc, where Maihara was transported as a captive, that I felt did not work, so I took it all out and wrote something completely different. And longer. By now the first part bore little resemblance to anything in “Search for Zordan” except that the principal characters remained. After some more critical input and rewriting I felt that there was not much more I could do, so I arranged to send it out for beta reading. If they didn’t like it or think it was worth persisting with, the project would have got archived while I moved on to a more recent project.

As it turned out, after several months I received the beta reports. One was critical but very detailed, while at least two were highly enthusiastic. I heeded the criticisms and made a series of minor changes, which boosted the length of the novel by about 7000 words. The book was now decidedly long, but none of the beta readers had suggested cutting anything, and I felt the novel was too integrated to allow anything to be removed. Epic fantasies are supposed to be long, aren’t they?

So now “The Witch’s Box” is at last published and there is a lengthy sequel in existence which still requires revision.

Deadly Relics

Deadly Relics vase

Alternate title used for The Plain Girl’s Earrings on Smashwords. (Retitled book) The ruthless Virnal Order rules over the Empire of Satine by fear, guile and an iron hand. Lethal poisons from a past cataclysm are leaking from the ground, causing sickness and death. Unseen insurgency seeks to overturn the established order.

Cadet Starsin only ever wanted a simple life, pursuing his own selfish interests, maintaining a mistress and adding to his meager army pay by trading in ancient artifacts. But when he witnesses the cold blooded murder of a much admired officer by Virnal enforcers, Starsin feels impelled against his instincts to protest. This marks him down as a trouble-maker and potential rebel.

Implicated in sedition, and with both the Virnals and a mysterious adventuress named Lannaira Hajan taking an unhealthy interest in him, Starsin’s mundane life is turned upside down. His own ambiguous past threatens an explosive revelation.

Take a journey across a troubled land with Starsin, as he battles the Virnals, uncovers shocking secrets and finds that he is not the man he thought he was.
Available on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/737190

Deadly Journey

This novella is the sequel to ‘Deadly Relics’.

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, during an attack by rebels. The rebels used mechanical warriors and other relics of a long-dead culture. Disparite forces are struggling against the Empire and hope to use Starsin as a figurehead. Assisted by the adventuress Lannaira Hajan, he hopes to contact supporters by traveling south, but disaster strikes, and his physical and moral courage is tested to the limit.

Available on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/748047

The Plain Girl’s Earrings

Cover image
Cover

The ruthless Virnal Order rules over the Empire of Satine by fear, guile and an iron hand. Lethal poisons from a past cataclysm are leaking from the ground, causing sickness and death. Unseen insurgency seeks to overturn the established order.

Cadet Starsin only ever wanted a simple life, pursuing his own selfish interests, maintaining a mistress and adding to his meager army pay by trading in ancient artifacts. But when he witnesses the cold blooded murder of a much admired officer by Virnal enforcers, Starsin feels impelled against his instincts to protest. This marks him down as a trouble-maker and potential rebel.

Implicated in sedition, and with both the Virnals and a mysterious adventuress named Lannaira Hajan taking an unhealthy interest in him, Starsin’s mundane life is turned upside down. His own ambiguous past threatens an explosive revelation.

Take a journey across a troubled land with Starsin, as he battles the Virnals, uncovers shocking secrets and finds that he is not the man he thought he was.
Available on Amazon UK & USA

The Plain Girl's Earrings

The writing of “The Plain Girl’s Earrings.”

Some while ago I produced a fantasy story set in the empire of Calomel (or Kalomel) and featuring a young noble hero called Tarsin (or Starsin). This already had the title “The Plain Girl’s Earrings.” A short and then a longer revision were submitted to publishers without result. It languished in a cupboard till 2012, when I became aware of the potential of ebook publishing and commenced reworking the story as a series, eventually producing several draft volumes with working titles Calomel I, Calomel II, etc which deal with the adventures of Starsin and other characters, the adventuress Lannaira and the anti-hero Larash in various locations.

Calomel I eventually became the published version of “The Plain Girl’s Earrings.” (2017) I struggled with the plotline and content, and various scenes were re-ordered. The final significant change was to simplify the opening chapters by removing various elements which merely left readers confused over what the story was about. It now concentrates more on the hero’s dissident attitude and on magical objects. I also introduced a covert group of women who are up to .. something. To solve the problems with the plot arcs, I had the first volume end much earlier than in the previous typescripts. The following short volume, “Deadly Journey” deals with Starsin’s adventures in the desert, and I have not published the remainder.

Nigel Lurch – Anarchist

An early comic novel of mine, which I put out under a pseudonym. It’s set in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s. Student Nigel Lurch has radical sympathies. He is impulsive, imaginative and not particularly well-behaved. Nigel’s association with radical anarchist student Dave Swivel is certain to get Nigel into trouble. Following a pub brawl, Nigel makes a hasty trip to London, where he gets involved with squatters and free festivals as well as Swivel’s schemes.

Now in 2nd edition, in ebook and paperback.
Length approx. 60,000 words.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons or events is purely coincidental.

See on Amazon