Children of the Shadow and shiny things

A friend suggested I make pendants of my book covers as a way to promote them. So I did, and they’ve done fairly well at craft fairs and things (you can find them on the drop down bit of the buy section) There is a pendant of three of the book covers, and one of the demon, and a charm bracelet of the Shadow Seer books, and I’ll be making one for the whole series. Uk shipping only at the moment though. I’ll be selling them, and my books, and various other things at Scardiff in October (horror convention in Cardiff) and craft fairs here in Swansea.

And, I’ve been working on the Children of the Shadow. I had a lot of trouble getting the start right. Going back and forth between whether Candale should be rescued, or a prisoner, for about two years, and I finally decided to merge the two! So simple, and so far, seems to be working. And so here it is, as a taster!:

 

THE LOST PRINCE

They put me in a cell while I was unconscious and then they locked me in.

I woke with a pounding headache and a mouth as dry as the desert, my limbs heavy and leaden and my thoughts sluggish. For a long time I could only lie beneath the thin covering, shivering, barely aware of anything beyond the pain in my skull and the trembling of my limbs, always on the edge of sinking back into the darkness.

But, slowly the sludge began to ease and I began to become aware of what was around me and to realise, I didn’t know where I was.

I was lying on a straw pallet on the ground, I could feel the icy cold stone of the floor through it, covered in a thin blanket. Beyond the bed there was a covered chamberpot and nothing else, just bare stone walls of black and grey. The only light was patchy and grey, seeping in through the bars on the windows. A heavy looking wooden door was the only way out.

A cell. I was in a cell. But I had no idea how I’d gotten here.

Think. Think.

Think . . .

And it hit me like a lightening bolt and my stomach twisted, bile burning in my throat. I scrambled from the bed, but my knees buckled beneath me, before I could take one step, plunging me down onto the icy cold floor. And there I emptied the contents of my belly, trembling, as tears burned in my eyes.

One night, in a tavern room in Isarn, a group of men had burst in and they had killed Arnin, the Tracker who had become my friend, and taken me prisoner. If I closed my eyes, for just a moment, then I was back in that room, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, the wet, ripping sound of sword meeting flesh filling the silence while somewhere, in the dark, Arnin was screaming . . .

I spat, to clear my mouth of the last of the watery vomit, wiped my grubby sleeve across my lips and struggled to my feet. The dark grey walls swung around me dizzyingly for a moment and then they settled back into place and I stumbled across the bitterly cold floor to the door. Of course it was locked, but I raised my hands in clenched fists and pounded on it as hard as I could.

Hello?” I cried, in a voice that croaked. “Is anyone out there? Hello! I . . . I don’t know where I am . . . Please . . . ?” Silence swallowed my words and the pounding of my fist and the world was starting to spin again. I turned away and went back to the pallet, curling up beneath the thin blanket.

I was a prisoner. Locked away in a cell, just like the prophecies had told me I would be. Just like I’d feared since Talira, a seer I’d met on the way to White Oaks, had told me that she’d had a vision of me locked away. Teveriel, my best friend, had tried to convince me that just because it had been seen it didn’t mean it was going to happen, and that I shouldn’t let it shadow my life and my decisions. But, here I was. Just as Talira had said.

I sank deeper beneath the thin blanket, blinking back tears. Could I have done anything differently? Could I have avoided this? Could Arnin . . .?

I’d runaway from home to visit the Seer’s Tower in Idryan, but I’d not really had a choice about that. Ellenessia, the shadowy demon who visited me, the one who had cursed my family line and was responsible for what I was, had insisted on it. All so that I would learn that she was responsible for the death of Mayrila, my birth-mother, and not myself as I’d feared. On leaving the Tower my friends and I had been taken prisoner and I’d been separated from them by Arnin the Tracker, on the order of Nyvin, my doctor who had been sent to bring me back. We had gone to Isarn to wait for a ship to take us back to Carnia, and now I was here.

If Arnin had been allowed to use his magic to shield the room we were staying in, things would be different, wouldn’t they?

Or if King Ryckst had allowed us to stay in the Palace, even though Arnin was a mage which was illegal in Idryan, then I would still be there, and Arnin would still be alive.

Or . . .

Or would this have happened anyway?

Did it even matter? I was here now, the question was why.

I had enemies, I’d always known that. And in the Spring I’d learned that I, as the Shadow Seer, had specific enemies, the Order of Culdenth Hyun who wanted to kill me before I could speak too many of my visions. And they had certainly tried, poisoning me, using magic against me, but I wasn’t dead, I was very much alive, the icy chill burning into my bones, was certainly proof of that. So, it couldn’t have been them so who? Did I have other enemies that I didn’t know about? Or could it just have been a simple kidnapping for ransom? We had been so careful to keep who I really was a secret, but that didn’t mean that someone hadn’t guessed the truth. But, if they did know who I was then they had to know that to take me would be to bring my grandfather, a king, and his all might after them to find me again. Even if he paid the ransom, he would stop at nothing to find them and see them punished. King Ryckst would too. He would have to. He couldn’t let it be known that he couldn’t keep a foreign prince safe in his own city.

So, perhaps they hadn’t known who I was and just thought that I must be important, because I’d been hiding in my tavern room, not mingling with anyone else.

Oh, gods, what would they do when they found out? What if they decided that the best thing to do would be to kill me? I would just disappear and my family and friends would never know what had happened to me.

Or they could just leave me here to slowly starve to death . . .

The grey walls of the cell started to swing around me suddenly, blurring together. I couldn’t breathe. A cold iron vice had closed around my chest and was slowly squeezing all the air from my body. I tried to breathe, to force air into my lungs, but the vice just tightened.

And then darkness swallowed everything.

Heroes and Legends Convention

Well my first proper convention with like famous people from TV and film is all over and it was SO GREAT. Okay, I didn’t sell as much as I would have liked, but I did sell some books and jewelry and mugs, and people thought my jewelry was pretty, which is always nice. And dragging the suitcase about was a nightmare as Port Talbort train station has no sodding lift and the case was crammed with books, but it was worth it I think, as I had a fun, wacky time indeed.

We were in a room with Darth Vader himself, and a man selling tonnes of toys, including a Trapdoor Burke, which I wish I had purchased. Next door were some people I didn’t know, signing pictures, and in the room behind was Rimmer and Holly from Redwarf! Also in attendance on the first day was a darlec, K9 and some aliens.

On the second day we had Iron Man, a party cat robot, and my mum went on a ghost tour with Holly and Rimmer, and the former poked her and tried to scare her! I saw him at the train station and he waved from the train :) Mostly because he heard us giggling across the platform as I tried to get mum to wave at him.

Mum took a lot of photos, which I will add to the gallery in due time. At the moment you can find mine on facebook and I will be updating as soon as I can :)

Convention!!

I’ve been having luck selling at craft fairs, meeting new people and getting my books out and about into the world, but this weekend is the Heroes and Legends convention in Margam Park. I’m pretty excited. This is the biggest convention I’ve done, with famous actor type people that I’ve actually heard of going to be there, I’ve got lots of copies of my books, as well as the jewellery I’ve been working on based on them, and some other bits and pieces, so hopefully it will all go well! Review of it to follow!

Been a bit stressed recently. As I’m a writer full time, I get benefits to help support, but they have decided in their ‘wisdom’ that as I cannot guarantee an income (what creative, self employed person can ever guarantee an income?) they have cut me off. So I doubly hope to do well this weekend so I can show them how stupid and *insert swear* they are.

But I did get a really nice review of my short story horror collection on Amazon. It made me feel better to know that a, people like my writing, b, I can write creepy, and c, my editing worked because the characters were all clearly identified and in the original version of the Hecuba story, that wasn’t really true!

So, on I go. :) Writing and hoping and waiting for my mum to turn up.

Craft fairs and things!

Doing my first craft fair this sat. I’ve done Whitby, in the past, a market in Nottingham, (back in my goth shop days) and a Pagan Market here in Swansea and Bristol Con, in Bristol, but this is my first craft fair! I’m taking my books (that’s a craft) including the new one, and the pendants i’ve made with the cover images, as well as other bits left over from the goth shop days. It’s the first time I’ve taken the new book or the pendants out, so I’m curious to see what people think and I am looking forward to it, though I know it’s only a small room, so may not get many shoppers in. The week after I’m doing another one, in a bigger venue, so I may do better . . . But I have to try, right? And in 7 weeks is the Margam Park convention, which I’m looking forward to a lot, because it’s new, it’s in a castle and Sylvester Mccoy is going to be there! After that it’s quiet until October and Scardiff, and then a few more markets in November/Dec and then the year is over! It’s gone really fast!

Hoping to have book 3 finished by the end of the year. Of course, I’ve said that before, and in the summer sun, it’s hard to sit here and write stuff when I just want to be lazing around somewhere, drinking something frosty and blue and eating icecream. But I gotta get it done, or the thing will be around forever!

So yeah, busy time starts this weekend and hopefully it will all go well :)

Giveaway!!

I’m doing a giveaway. I’ve done one before, on goodreads. It did OK, so now I want to see how it compares doing it via facebook, with the aid of Rafflecoptor. So far, not so good! I need more shares, more entries!

So, to win a copy of my short story Greek myth horror collection, a pendant, postcard and keyring, just enter below! Free and worldwide!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/03fb070/

DO IT! :)

giveaway

Updates and things

Well, not much going on! But I’ve decided to make and sell some pendants of my book covers. Starting with the Seer’s Tower and the Child-Eaters’ Society, covers, as those seem the most adaptable and are the prettiest. I’m hoping it will work out, but printing the images is a damn pain! I will be giving one away, with the new book, and some other bits, when i get 100 likes on facebook! (and I’ve made it)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fran-Jacobs/20371511691

There’s also a new interview with me HERE.

And my new book is available from the buy section of my website. All signed and things :)

And this weekend my friend Joanna Hall’s new book is out. I have an interview with her going live then, so check back and see!

 

Free story and things!

Well, my new book is now available in print from amazon.com and co.uk and European Amazons, alongside the kindle. And if you buy it in print, you should get a free kindle version too! :)

And I have a free short story available on smashwords. Medyna’s Choice is the prequel to my novel series, also included in the Rules of War and Other Stories short story collection.

And, there’s a new interview with me on the website/blog of me friend and Bristol con manager and grey hound slave, Joanne Hall :) Read it HERE!

Progress

Well, the short story collection has had all its betaing done now, names have been lost, waffle has been cut, and it’s off to my mother for proof reading (or my dad, whoever decides to do it) then it’s ready to go! I’ve decided to enter it in the KDP select program, which means for a while it will only be available through Amazon, in exchange for more exposure, because I’d be interested to see if this does lead to more sales, compared with the Rules of War collection which I also launched on Smashwords (so not in the program.) I’ll also be doing a giveaway of the print book, once I’ve set that up, so hopefully it will get lots of attention because I am rather proud of some of the stories in it. My first horror collection and it didn’t come out half bad :)

Other than that, I’ve nothing going on in the writing world until a market in June (then another in July, con in August and October, and a market in Nov and Dec) so nothing to do but get on with my novel writing. And so I shall.

Sunny Sunday!

We’ve had a nasty start to the year here in the UK, lots of floods, wind, rain. I’ve been lucky, up a hill as I am, no flood, nothing damaged in the wind, but it’s been noisy and scary.

But today we have sun! And with it comes that positive feeling. I’ve signed up to do Scardiff and hopefully will be doing a convention in Bath in November too. I love conventions. People are so friendly, chatty, they dress up, they get involved, and it’s nice to meet new people. Both conventions will be a first for me, as so far I’ve only done Bristol Con and the Cardiff fantasy and comic expo, which isn’t running this year, and I’m already pretty excited about both.

Along with conventions I’ll be doing race for life, for cancer research. A 5km walk, with a bit of jogging, and I also have a holiday planned for Shrewsberry to celebrate Mum’s birthday, as well as my own birthday, of course. So a busy, hopefully fun year, after a horrendous start.

And it will be the year I publish my Greek myth horror stories, they’re just in the editing stage, and finish the Children of the Shadow, the last book in the Ellenessia’s Curse series. So I better get writing, I guess!

Three days in!

Well, three days into a new year, and I’ve been mostly tired, due to not sleeping, and stuck, trying to get the short stories organised. It’s not going so well! It’s hard to think of ways of bringing some of the myths into the modern world because their settings are so very specific, or because some of them are so similar. So I’ve been having a break and working on Children of the Shadow instead, while my excellent web designer fiddles with our payment system so that I can offer discounts with vouchers and things like that :)

And now this:

http://thesuspendedcoffees.wordpress.com/

I love coffee. And as a writer, I drink a fair bit. This idea, buying a hot drink for someone in need, rather than giving them cash they might use on booze or drugs, is lovely. So I’m sharing it. :)

And hopefully when I’ve dared to go outside in the cold and the wind, and jogged my brain, I’ll be able to share another short story, or the completion of the collection. As I’ve already planned my reward for doing so, I really should mush! :)