“Evil Under The Circle (Being Part 2 of G1: The Guardians)”: New Release!

Yes, folks!  The 2nd Edition of Evil Under The Circle has been released, in ebook formats, with a great new cover by Chris Graham.  This Edition corrects some errors and introduces some minor changes, as well as the new cover.  The new cover brings the look into line with that of the other books, with the sole exception of The Sigil of Ahriman, which  won’t be altered as I honestly believe that the existing cover of that book simply can’t be improved on.  I’d like to give my public thanks to Chris for his excellent work with the cover.  The paperback will be updated as soon as possible, though there will be a delay as my wife and I are going away for a few days.

The revised edition of the ebook should be available through Smashwords and Amazon, and other online stores when they catch up.

You may also be interested to know that there is a new novel in the process of being written, taking Team G1 on another extraordinary adventure!  This new tale will hold some surprises and deepen a mystery that began at the end of A Darkness in Amazonia.  But, as you all know by now, I’m not in the habit of revealing things, so I’m going to tell you nothing more…

AWOL Sunday & Falling Behind

Lazy Sunday…

Well, kind of, I guess.  Started with dosing up as much as I dared to make a journey I really wasn’t fit for, but in a very good cause.  Why?  It was the baptism of our granddaughter Kimberly!  Sadly, the best I could manage in participation terms was arriving before everybody headed out, as the “facilities” at the church and the club afterwards were not suitable for me.  So I basically house-sat.  Still, I spent an extremely pleasant day in the back garden, enjoying the warmth and, eventually, the sun.  I dozed off for a while and then used my son’s tablet to start writing a new story (probably a short story).  It was wonderful, actually.  Being somewhere so very quiet, doing nothing of great importance.

If you’re interested in such things, I have a photo gallery of the baptism on my Facebook.  The majority of the photos were taken by my wife, Jenny, and using a Samsung Ace Smartphone (with only one exception), after the batteries died in my digital camera,  I have to say that the Samsung’s camera function provided phenomenal quality results, especially considering that no flash was used!

Not Keeping Up Well…

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been keeping up with things very well, lately.  That’s mainly because of the work involved in preparing for the book launch!  Part of it is the to-and-fro’ of getting the book into print, which will be both paperback and hardback.  I complicated matters by wanting the hardback to be the kind with a dustjacket with a plain book cover, rather than a full colour book cover.  This is probably a holdover from growing up with such things.  I used to love peeking under the dustjackets to see the smart, minimalistic titles on the covers and spine beneath.  Somehow, when I first encountered hardbacks without dustjackets but with glossy, full colour covers (often just on the front), well… to be absolutely honest, they looked cheap and tacky to me.  And yes, I know that’s silly and unfair, but it’s something I can’t get past.  Even those where the dustjacket illustration is still printed on the book cover beneath just doesn’t have the same feel to it.  A further complication because of this wish for a dustjacket is that the book sizes available are different!  Thus, I can’t have the 8 x 5 inch size.  I have to move up to 8.5 x 5.5 inches, which means that there will be a reduction in the number of pages!  The paper will also be crème instead of white.  Finally, the desire for a dustjacket means I need to come up with something for the inner flaps, without repeating anything from elsewhere, preferably.  Keith at skoobebooks.co.uk has been a huge help throughout!

On top of the print issues for the book, I have fallen foul of something I did for the release of The Sigil of Ahriman – producing a video book trailer!  There are many, many difficulties involved in the process, and I spent a considerable amount of time beating my head against very high, hard brick walls!  Without the enormous amount of help I had from Chris Graham (creator of the book’s cover illustration) with the images used in the video, and my son Damien in the narration, I would probably have conceded defeat long ago.  The task would have been, I  now know, far beyond me!  I will admit that this process was complicated when Damien pointed out that the video lost quality rather badly when watched full screen in HD!  I don’t have direct, personal access to HD.  Further, my computer seems to be suffering from serious memory problems (I know that feeling!) so many of the tricks used to persuade Windows Movie Maker to record in HD, or even pseudo-HD, simply won’t work for me.  I found a video conversion program which may have overcome the problem, but I won’t know until Damien confirms one way or another.  Finally, I haven’t yet decided on whether to superimpose the narrative on the video or to incorporate subtitles.  Both present significant technical challenges for a video creation newbie!

So I hope that you all understand why I have been struggling to keep up with other things!  If you’ve emailed me, for any reason, and I haven’t replied as yet, please accept my very sincere apologies.

~ Steve

Relaunch and Cover Reveal: “Shade of Evil”

Shade of Evil - 400x600 G1: The Guardians

This series began with the novelette, Shade of Evil, though I didn’t know then that it was going to lead where it has!  One thing I can assure you of is that I am delighted that it has grown into the series, and excited as to where it will go.

Shade of Evil Front Cover 02-smallBack in the beginning, Shade of Evil had a cover design meant to be very plain.  With later developments, however, that concept is no longer appropriate.  As a consequence, the book has a brand new cover.  This new cover features artwork by Chris Graham, and I hope that you’ll think it’s as great as I do!  I think Chris has captured the essence of the story superbly.  You can see the new cover better by clicking on the image.

In addition to the great new cover, the text has been revised, to eliminate some errors and to make the story fit later developments of G1: The Guardians better.  Unfortunately, that does mean that if you own a copy of the 1st Edition, it won’t tally with this version.  I believe that you get automatic updates from Amazon and some other sites, however, but if you don’t, please contact me before the end of this month (August 2013)!

The 2nd Edition of Shade of Evil is available as an ebook, or will be very shortly, through Amazon (stores worldwide) and Smashwords.  It will also be available from most other major online bookstores (including Barnes & Noble, kobo and Apple iTunes) and numerous other sites but I’m afraid I have no control over when!  Remember that Smashwords offers all major ebook formats.  The paperback will be available very soon, via skoobebooks.

If you read Shade of Evil, or have already read it it, I would be very pleased if you provided feedback as to your opinions about it!  Star ratings are okay, though limited when in isolation.  A brief comment on one of the bookstore sites that allow customer reviews to be placed, or a review of any length, would be even better!  Apple iBooks readers, specifically:  I would be thrilled if you could offer feedback on iTunes, which is one of the few major outlets where I don’t currently have any feedback on my books.  If you do leave feedback, I would appreciate you dropping me a line to let me know – sadly, only Smashwords actually notifies authors of reviews received!  If you belong to groups in networks like Google+ or Pinterest, especially where short reviews are posted, I’d be very happy to hear if you’ve posted about this or any of my books there.  Of course, you could leave a comment here, on the appropriate page, or even post a review on your own blog.

~ Steve

More information on G1: The Guardians 
Shade of Evil page with purchase links 

Blog Tours, Teasing and More

SKSmyButtonHome Page: What It’s All About

Yesterday, I completely revamped the blog’s home page, which is listed as What It’s All About.  This reflects some changes in circumstances.  There’s nothing staggeringly revolutionary about its content, as it mainly indicates what the blog is all about (if you hadn’t guessed).   The significant change is that, sadly, there is no longer any intimation that there will be, or is, an entity known as either Imagineer ebooks or Imagineer Books, in publishing terms.

Continue reading

Wandering On Wednesday

The Delight of Unexpected Reviews

I was thrilled to discover that two of my books were reviewed and given 5 stars! Shade of Evil and Evil Under The Circle, Parts 1 and 2 of G1: The Guardians, were reviewed by Chris The Story Reading Ape and the reviews can be found on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  You can find all of Chris’ reviews on Goodreads.  Of course, you can also find Chris’ reviews on his own blog.  I would like to express my sincere thanks to Chris for his kindness and honesty.  Having friends who understand fully that you only wish to receive absolutely genuine reviews of your works is beyond valuable.

I was further delighted to find a 5 star review of Intruder from the Thief series of free short stories!  The review, posted on Barnes & Noble is so heartening!  I quote it below:

This book kept me on the edge of my seat until the last word was read.

There is a serious threat that exudes evil and wants to claim the land in this sci-fi fantasy.  Mages, which this author describes as magicians of a sort, are sought to help go up against the evil.

Characters are richly described and likable and fascinating.  This is a novella which is a quick read but this reader did not want the story to end.  The author is a very talented and creative storyteller. I will be reading many more of his stories. This is an excellent choice of reading for YA.

Review by jesNH, 6th August, 2013.  5 stars awarded.

I would like to thank jesNH for such a glowing review!

Going for a New Look – Again!

Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to be tinkering again!  The main page of posts can be rather overwhelming, especially when the posts are long!  I’ve decided to try to improve things by making use of a WordPress post facility.  This will involve adding the codeword More to all long posts, which will mean that only part of the post will appear on the main page and you will need to click on the More… link in the post to read all of it.  One advantage of this is that it will give easier access to other facilities, such as commenting, sharing, rating and liking.  In respect of special days (Book Promo Day and Blog Browser Day), I will endeavour to place the codeword in such a place that the link has to be clicked or some of the detail information will be lost to the reader.  Obviously, this will be subject to any feedback – positive or negative – as to whether I continue to use the codeword.  Also, I will not be going back to posts already displayed.  I simply don’t have the time to edit all those posts (around 270 of them)!

If you wish to provide any feedback on this change, at any time, please  contact me using the contact form on the blog, or via email if you have my address.  I would suggest not using Facebook or Twitter, as messages are too easily lost unless the direct message system is used.

Uncovered: The Naked Manuscript

If by any remote chance you’re waiting for Part 4 of G1: The Guardians, which will also be the first novel I will have released, I’m afraid the waiting must continue.  It still lacks a cover.  My son is extraordinarily busy now, with negligible time for such extra projects.  My own attempts have been woeful, to say the least, and I simply can’t afford to pay anybody to provide a more professional cover.  I can assure you all that I am more frustrated than anybody else.  I even considered abandoning my original vision for the cover, even if only for the first edition, and going with an extremely simple cover.  So desperate have I become!  There has been a consequence to this situation, too, in that the work on Part 5 is crawling along.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

No – they dream of having more storage space  built into their main circuitry!  How do I know?  Well, I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830i and it is forever complaining that its built-in memory is almost or actually full!  The kind folk of Samsung allow the use of micro SD cards to obtain more space.  Unfortunately, that really doesn’t help because they have been so miserly as far as the built-in space is concerned!  Don’t misunderstand me.  This isn’t a problem unique to Samsung,  I had, for a short while, an Android tablet, and that suffered from exactly the same problem!  Sure, most apps are installed to the SD card, along with things that they handle – such as the Kindle app and the ebooks that you download for it.   I was amazed, having watched TV adverts talking about the vast number of available apps, that this ‘phone has so very little actual capacity.  Every app installed contributes to the space consumed in the ‘phone itself, regardless of where the app itself is installed to!  And even more annoying is the fact that there are pre-installed apps which you can’t uninstall!  Some of these are massive (‘bloatware’) and I know that I’ll never use them, but Samsung have decided that they should be locked in, untouchable.  I find it increasingly difficult to understand how Samsung, and most other Android device manufacturers, expect to compete with Apple’s devices!  For example, the internal, built-in storage of the iPod Touch is impressive.  Sure, you can’t expand it, but at least most of the storage is available without all the nonsense problems of the Android competition.  Yes, there are locked apps with Apple too, and yes, it would be hugely beneficial if we could remove them, but even then I can get loads more apps on the standard, basic iPod Touch than I can on the Android smartphone!

(Apologies to Philip K Dick, author of the book whose title I have stolen for this section!)

News Roundup

I am delighted to tell you that I have had an article, or guest post, put on the Indies Unlimited site.  You may find it of some interest.  If you do, it would be great if you could make that known over there.

I have more news.  I now own a new Samsung Galaxy Ace Android smartphone, thanks to my eldest son!  I quite like Android as a system but this ‘phone suffers from what would appear to be a common problem with such devices.  The ‘phone itself has very limited storage and relies on you using a memory card.  Sounds okay, until you find the glitch in the system.  Basically, there’s a bunch of apps preloaded, many of which you probably won’t need, but which you can’t delete, so when you find apps you would like to use, you soon run out of space for them!  What happens is that the apps install to the ‘phone and not the memory card and you can’t move them across.  So you actually find yourself with a device with maybe four or five apps you chose and a mass that you didn’t.  I don’t wish to sound ungrateful, because I’m not, but it seems a very clumsy system…

Because of problems I was having with my health, I spent several weeks unable to go out of the house.  Needless to say, I started going just a little nuts.  In fact, it takes very little time for me to develop mild agoraphobia, which simply makes going out even harder, when it does become possible.  Well, yesterday’s lack of a blog post was a direct consequence of the fact that I managed to not only leave the house, but I travelled around 25 miles to my daughter’s!  It isn’t without a price, of course, as road conditions are such that I’ll probably need most  of this coming week to recover, and I got a whole 30 minutes sleep last night.  Still, I did go, and I even spent the day sat outside.  That’s how I discovered that I am distressingly pale.  My hands were amazingly white, and I’m used to them being quite brown long before this time of year.  All said and done, though, it was great to get out and to see my daughter and her family!  I even  got to see my eldest son and his kids en passant.  That was a touch amusing as he brought the kids out to the car to say hello.  Naturally, I opened my door.  The moment the youngest, a little girl, couldn’t retreat fast enough when she saw me and spent most of the time hiding behind her Dad’s leg.

There will be something of a delay in new books being published.  My younger son is absolutely swamped with work, which means that, between that and his family, he can’t devote time to producing the cover artworks.  Naturally, while this is immensely frustrating, I do fully understand.  It means, however, that the second edition of Shade of Evil and my novel, both from the G1: The Guardians series, will not be appearing for a while yet.  It may be of interest to you to know that I have gotten a fair way into the next tale in the series, too, which is showing every sign of being a second novel.  As a side issue, I’ll be posting another segment of background to the series this week, so keep an eye out for it!

And Finally…

I’m looking for willing volunteers!  I’d dearly  like to hear from anybody who would like to review the tales in the G1: The Guardians series.  Naturally, I am willing to provide free review copies, in whatever ebook format is required.  I am not looking for any ego massaging!  I would truly like some honest reviews.  It would also be fantastic if said interviews were published on the following:

  1. Amazon,
  2. The reviewer’s blog,
  3. any other bookstore site (kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc.)

Obviously the review could be copied and pasted!  I would also like permission to include such reviews here, on this blog, and some might well be included in any advertising/marketing I do, and even potentially in the books themselves, or as part of the blurb!  I do not offer anything beyond a review copy of each ebook!  If you’re interested, please use the contact form below.  I will be extremely grateful for all reviews.

Please indicate sites you may be willing to submit your review(s) to in the “Remarks” field.

Thanks, Changes & Marketing Musings

First, and most important of all:

I would  like to express my sincere appreciation for the numerous messages of support for myself and my family in what is a very difficult time!  In all honesty, your response has overwhelmed me and all of us.  I didn’t post looking for such a reaction, but to inform you all as to why my posting might be rather unpredictable, but I do genuinely THANK YOU ALL!  I’m unable to bring any fresh news on the situation, unfortunately, and, as is the way with medical matters, it may be some considerable time before we learn more.  In many respects, the uncertainties, coupled with guesses, cause the greatest stress.

Changes to a book

My novella, The Sigil of Ahriman, is currently being rereleased, with some minor revisions to the content, including the correction of a few typographical errors that managed to slip through.  If you are unable to download it from Amazon, please try again in a day or two.  The novella is also being processed for release in other formats than the current Kindle and paperback versions, so that it’s available to all.  More information on that will follow in due course.

The Truth About Book Marketing

I was looking at all the avenues I, and most others, pursue in seeking to achieve effective marketing.  i thought long and hard at what I was finding, and a certain truth that seems to have become somewhat elusive in the quest to be read, and maybe even to make a little money.  Given the efforts I’ve made for months now, the conclusion was rather disheartening.

In case you’re wondering, I was provoked into these considerations by an apparently unrelated matter.  That, however, caused me to identify with one part of it, sending my (alleged) mind into new paths of pondering.

We’ve all said similar things.  Get your book a good, attractive cover – covers sell books.  Utilise every possible avenue you can find in the mind-boggling array of  paths offered by the internet.  Social networks.  Blogs.  Facebook Fan pages.  Create you the brand!  Thrust the fruits of your writer’s labours before everybody you can reach.  Surely, such things, coupled with special events like blog tours, competitions and general giveaways, must see you ascend to the heady heights of success!  You are just a matter of a few mouse clicks away from having a bestseller on your hands.  But wait!  If that was al true, we’d all be enjoying such notoriety.  Why aren’t we?

The answer’s simple.  You can devote vast amounts of time and effort to every online marketing principle you ever encounter.  It may even result in some very minor success.  Ultimately, however, the most effective tool for selling books lies not in such things.  The best advertising is good old word of mouth.  Of course, that means you have to write something that somebody not only enjoys reading, you need for them to tell others about it!  It has a strange effect that other means lack.  There’s this peculiar facet of word of mouth – trust.  You can have hundreds of superb reviews but potential readers are cannier than might be thought by some.  They realise that some lists of reviews, and excerpts of reviews, are only part of it.  They know that reviews may be deliberately left out because they’re unfavourable.  Excerpts which appear to show how much the reviewer enjoyed a book may actually prove no such thing – because they are the ‘gentle’ parts taken in isolation and out of context from generally less than 5 star reviews!  It’s the simple fact that we, as authors, are expected to cheat by glossing over the feedback we dislike.  So, while a great cover and enticing blurb might initiate some mild interest, and a welter of positive reviews may hint at worthiness, the potential reader will still give all of this far less credence than the excited assurances of a friend or family member they trust!  Just as the low opinion of the same can torpedo all that beautiful, carefully presented advertising!

Maybe I’m being too negative, given current circumstances, but I do actually think that this has some considerable, thought-provoking, validity.

~ Steve

Have You Got It Covered?

MysteryBookCover_thumb.pngIf I upset you with what follows, I regret doing so, but I am honestly speaking out in an attempt to help!

I’m on Pinterest.  I’m a member of several book groups on Pinterest.  And in the last few weeks, I’ve noticed something about book covers.  There are more and more being shown on Pinterest that I wouldn’t, in all honesty, look twice at!  It’s not the actual imagery in all cases, either, though there are some…  No, the problem lies in the titles.  I simply can’t read them!  They are in colours so close to what they overlay that they aren’t visible, lost in the background.  One thing I work hard on is a cover, and getting titles visible isn’t, as far as I’m concerned, that difficult.  In fact, it couldn’t be easier!  Yes, I might agonise over whether to use, say, plain white or a strong but bright yellow, but the principle of contrast isn’t difficult to understand.  If you’re determined to reflect the background colours in the titles, you really do have to to use a font that allows outlining, which has to make the letters visible by using a contrasting colour.  There are also certain colours that really don’t work well.  Reds can be very difficult to see, for example.  You also need to think how a cover will look to different people: the colour blind and the visually impaired, especially.  Look at your proposed  cover in negative as well as what the majority would see.  If you use red titles, how do they appear to a colour blind person?  Is the font so fancy that a visually impaired person would only see the stronger parts of letters but lose the detail, making the titles unreadable.

Of course, I can’t target just titles!  Cover images are important.  It’s better to have a plain cover, than one which will repel potential readers!  There’s an increasing number of pretty standard romance novels which have what can only be described as distinctly erotic covers, presumably to enjoy the benefits of the current fashion for erotic tales.  Fine.  Romance can lead to the erotic.  Fine, that is, if the story in the book reflects the cover!  But there are many romance readers who aren’t interested in erotic novels!  They are happy with the gentler, genuinely romantic covers that their favoured genre have traditionally used, and they’ll ignore those erotic covers.  lost sales.  I’d also question, again, the increase in the number of photographic covers in general.  If photography is used, it’s better to have the images heavily manipulated to create a more artistic effect, with facial features less clear, and a ‘softer’ focus.  For horror and paranormal, some of the covers look either amateurish (like stills from movies that don’t even achieve a ‘B’ grade!) while others are so graphic, they should be placed where only devotees of gore can reach them.  Finally, there are some where the cover illustration is so bizarre, or muddled, or dark that it’s almost impossible to figure out what you’re actually seeing!  I can’t see what benefit can be gained from such covers.

Covers need to be: descriptive/illustrative of the content; clear and intelligible; bold, bright and colourful for the youngest readers; they must have clear, readable titles that stand out from the background.  I know that many authors can’t afford to buy covers, especially custom covers, but they aren’t always the guilty ones.  I’ve seen covers which were ‘professionally’ designed, and which look truly dreadful!  The authors using such covers have wasted their money.  I have to wonder how many are actually happy with those covers, and how many use them just because they’ve paid so much to get them.

I beg authors to be more discerning in what they choose for their covers, and accept the principle of contrast for titles.

~ Steve

 

Character Profiling and Portraits

NoseyReader Don’t Rush the Friendship

So here’s a question: Do you ‘profile’ your characters?  And it’s a question that can be asked of both authors and readers.  I’ve done a couple of ‘character interviews’ recently and I’ve also encountered those who struggle with creating characters,  Personally, I don’t have a problem with things like names and general characteristics, but getting deeper into characters is another matter.  Apart from anything else, most of my characters are new to me.  It’s like when you meet anybody for the first time.  You can’t know much about them.  As time goes on, however, you learn and some of the blanks are filled in – though not all.

The Past Is Important

Recently, I’ve begun writing something of the life histories of some of the characters featured in the G1: The Guardians series.  This has been necessitated by the complexity many of them feature.  Extreme longevity may sound wonderful, but it creates some major headaches for the author!  Having even a rough idea of significant dates in the lives of major characters is essential, to avoid inconsistencies.  I also have to have some idea of the events they’ve lived through.  If a character’s personality is largely the result of their experiences, then it would be rather foolish not to know the most important ones.  Then, too, snippets of the histories can be fed into stories over time.  These things help a character to grow.  Equally, some traits remain unknown, until circumstances bring them to light, when new experiences trigger them.  I firmly believe it’s better like that, rather than being like some Athena – springing full grown from the head of Zeus!  I’m not a fan of Harry Potter but I’m fairly sure that part of the attraction of the books, and how they were carefully timed and released, was so that readers could witness, and share in, the growth of the three primary characters.  It was the same, to some extent, with The Chronicles of Narnia.  Similarly, you discover facets of character unsuspected in the hobbits in The Lord of the Rings, as the story unfolds and they discover the hidden traits in themselves.  It would have been far less satisfactory to know everything about them before they even set foot on their epic journeys!

A Portrait of the Character…

One issue that is, in my mind at least, associated with a character’s profile is their physical description.  In my own tales, I tend not to be too specific about them – deliberately.  I prefer to allow the reader their right to imagine characters however they wish, within the broadest framework I feel I can get away with.  This is not laziness.  That leads me to something that I find surprising: the number of books (of all sorts) that are  portraying photographic or near-photographic images of the characters within!  This seems, to me, a rather problematic affair.  I know that many people enjoy thinking up ‘cast lists’ of actors to play the characters involved in favourite books.  Surely this is hampered by being so explicit on the cover, with a face that will become fixed in the mind of every reader?  I have no problem with hazy, shadowy images, which don’t really show anything recognisable, or back views.  I know that the use of clear photos or artwork is, in all likelihood, driven by the common cover changes of books that have been made into movies, where actual stills or clever ‘not quite exact’ portraits of the actors are used.  I’m not entirely happy when that’s done, either.  I understand that it’s a scheme to grab the attention of those who have seen the movie, to get them to buy the book, while making sure that they know what studio they owe for bringing the book to their notice (even if that’s not true!).  It will never happen, but if one of my books was picked up to become a movie, I suspect the deal would fall through very quickly!  My demands, as the author, would be far too great, and I certainly wouldn’t relinquish one single, tiny right!  Whatever the cause of the trend, I honestly think that authors using photos of real people or very clear artwork portraits should reconsider!

~ Steve

Cover Reveal & Book Launch

Mystery Book Cover Well, it’s here!  The latest tale in the G1: The Guardians series, and my first novella.  After a considerable amount more work than the two novelettes, and the editing and proofreading consequent to having written the story, the new child is born.

It is my pleasure to announce the birth of The Sigil of Ahriman (Being Part 3 of G1: The Guardians).  The ebook is available (or will be in the next few hours) to buy from all Amazon stores.  The paperback will be available soon.  Part 1 (Shade of Evil) and Part 2 (Evil Under The Circle) are both available from most major online book stores.  The first is also available as a paperback from FeedARead.com and the second will be available as a paperback very soon, from skoobebooks.

The Blurb:

An artefact of evil from antiquity is in the hands of a madman, and only the Guardians can oppose his insane schemes!

Against all precedent, a stranger is allowed into the inner sanctum of the Guardians.  This man brings news of something that threatens the human race with eternal slavery.  An artefact has been stolen, the Sigil of Ahriman.  Now, it is in the possession of an unknown person, and there can few reasons for that – to tap its power, risking freeing Ahriman, or to deliberately bring the ancient god of Darkness into the world again.

G1, devastated by their last mission, must face this new challenge and win.  Defeat is unthinkable.

The Sigil of Ahriman cover - small The Cover:

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the image used on this cover was created by my son, Reuben.  The cover in its entirety is a combination of his artistic talent and my own efforts.  I had a vague notion of what I wanted, in terms of the image, but, in all honesty, the brief I gave Reuben was very imprecise.  It’s all the more amazing, therefore, that he somehow succeeded in capturing exactly what I wanted.  I hope it doesn’t sound wrong but I am very proud of the result!  I am particularly looking forward to seeing it in paperback.

The Future:

I have started work on the fourth tale in this series.  I have the concept for what may be involved in the challenges meeting G1, but exactly where the story will take them is yet to be seen.  Rest assured, though, that they will be facing considerable danger and survival is never guaranteed in their business.