Aekhartain, Overworld, Updates

Wingborn Release Update

Wingborn Cover 3The ebook of Wingborn is coming. In fact, I’ve now finished the last round of typo-catching, continuity checking and tiny changes edits and will spend most of the weekend formatting it and polishing it up for release, while giving the cover one last tweak. (Because I know how to enjoy myself!) Hopefully this will mean I’ll be able to release it on Monday *fingers crossed*

Cover_1 Sisters of IcarusAlongside that, because this one is going to be free as much as I can make it (Amazon probably won’t price match, but I’ll find other places for the mobi file), this will mark the end of the Sisters of Icarus freebie special. It’s been free for a few months now, so I’ll be putting it up to $/£0.99, and it may go up again in a month or so, I haven’t decided yet.

Blazing Dawn Cover 2Also, because it will have been a month since Blazing Dawn was released, that too will be increasing in price. As of Monday it will be $2.99 (£1.99, other regions will vary). So if you’re still undecided, maybe go for it now while it’s still super-cheap!

And once that’s all done, I will finally get a chance to work on Storm Rising and maybe edit a few deleted scenes and special Wingborn extras, while also turning my editing attention back to my Regency projects and, and, and…

Same old, same old, basically.

Although, in all the rush to get Blazing Dawn out while still working on Wingborn, I completely failed to acknowledge that it was my tenth official release! I should probably find some way of celebrating that.

If anyone has any ideas that are somewhat more exciting than me blasting out the Playlist of Victory and dancing about like a loon while eating Galaxy Caramel, I’m all ears.

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus: Part Five

With all the Icarus Child books now out and available, I thought I’d wrap things up with one last secret before I take a bit of a break from the Aekhverse.

Secret #5 – This Isn’t the Last You’ll be Seeing of These Characters

With the trilogy being a prequel to the Tales of the Aekhartain this might seem like an obvious secret. But I’m not talking about Shaiel or Maskai, though of course both of them do come back and make many, many appearances in the other stories. No, this is about the others.

Cover_3 Icarus ChildIt’s all Maskai’s fault, of course. The short story – Star and Shadowborn – that I’ve included at the end of The Icarus Child hints a little at this, because it’s all to do with Maskai’s power and how in the early Aekh days she was a bit careless with it. In fact, when she wasn’t paying attention, it had a habit of rubbing off on people around her and changing them – which is how the Aekhartain come about. It’s all because Maskai wasn’t paying attention and ordinary folk got caught in a power splash.

Which means that plenty of characters in Icastar’s life have the potential to become Aekhartain further down the line. It isn’t reincarnation, not quite, but some personality quirks and other aspects do keep turning up over and over again.

Cover - Dark RebelIn fact, if you read Dark Rebel closely, you might think there’s something a little familiar about one of Caligo’s companions – especially if you look up the meaning of his name and find a russet-coloured animal on the other end. There are quite a number of Aekhs to spot in DR, but since I haven’t got around to rewriting most of their stories yet, it’s not entirely fair.

I also have an unfinished Regency tale about Fox and Cana, so those two definitely come back – a little changed, but essentially themselves (because I couldn’t let them go after the original IC and a friend challenged me to write a Regency romance). Look out for Howl and Rudh again too, because I backtracked on them, bringing in characters from later Aekh tales to amuse myself.

Cover_2 Crying ChildI have also since realised that if anyone is likely to come back, Saekara is most qualified and I’ve already laid a few clues about Icaria (or rather, as I was writing it I made a few connections and had a light-bulb moment). The biggest clue is in the prologue for The Crying Child, for those who like playing Spot-the-Aekh in advance. Names are always a massive clue too, even if they are mostly in a different language.

Spot-the-Aekh is mostly just a bit of fun between me and my readers. You won’t be missing anything vital if you don’t make the connections or follow along, but those who do play often feel an extra understanding about how the story is progressing. It’s one big in-joke that helps tie the long, long bunch of interconnected stories together and hopefully make it all more enjoyable.

Some characters are a lot more obvious than others, because I like to make sure everyone can play and also pose a bit of a challenge. So when it comes to the characters in this book, look out for future appearances from interesting names, familiar hair colours and eyes and those intriguing qualities that you can’t quite put your finger on, but feel familiar nonetheless.

Because in the Aekhartain world, death is never the end.

Aekhartain, Updates

Release Updates!

Cover_3 Icarus ChildThe Icarus Child now has its own page and seems to be available almost everywhere except B&N. I’ll be adding that link as soon as I see it.

It’s also up on Goodreads now, so you can add it if you want to.

I’ll also be tinkering with this site over the next few days, so if you see any changes you hate, let me know ;)

Other than that I have one more Secrets of Icarus post to do, and then I’ll start talking about what’s next on the project list. I’m planning a hiatus from the Aekhartain for a few months, so expect a few changes around here…

There may also be a Photo Friday, depending on how much time I get and how quickly my next writing project sinks its claws in. How exciting!

Aekhartain, Books, Writing

The Icarus Child

The Icarus Child

~ The Icarus Child #3 ~

Once there was an island, and on that island there lived a boy…

Britain 135 BC

Cover_3 Icarus ChildOrphaned at birth and raised by his aunt on an isolated island, Icastar has led a far from normal life. His body is misshapen, his days are tormented by whispering winds and demanding ghosts, and he only has seals for friends.

But there is more to this boy than his physical hardships and lonely location. The island and his own body might try to hold him down, caging him inside a world of pain, but he is the Icarus Child.

One day he will fly – or die trying.

Freedom is at stake, and failure is no longer an option.

Available Now!
Amazon: US || UK || AUS || CAN || DE
Smashwords || B&N || iBooks || Kobo 

The Icarus Child in Brief
What’s in it?: A 90,000 word novel and a bonus short story (Star and Shadowborn)
When is it set?: 135-126 BC
Where is it set?: Iron Age Britain, pre-Roman.
What kind of story is it?: A family drama about a young boy, the aunt who raises him, his extended family and the island they live on. Involves love, friendship, selkies, chores, goats, a magpie, some nightmares and some really unfriendly ghosts.
What’s the genre?: Historical Fantasy.
Any age restrictions?: None. Although the story does involve a bit of violence.

Behind the Story
If you’ve read any of the Aekhartain stories before and have been wondering how that series connects with this one, wonder no more! This is Shaiel’s book – and if you liked Demairo/Demero’s story in Unbound and Free there are a fair few similarities here, especially in the first section.
When it comes to comparing it to the original, then there have been a lot of changes. Icastar is pretty much as he ever was, but all the other characters are different (and Fox and Cana are his grandparents and still alive, so they make brief appearances) and for the most part the plot takes a wholly new route to the end. The outcome there is the same as it ever was, although the method has differed. In other words, if you read and remembered the original, you might get a few surprises here.
You also get a bit of a bonus story in Star and Shadowborn, because as always Maskai likes to make things difficult for me, and squeezing in an explanation of who and what she is always seems impossible. Hopefully this little tale will clear up any questions the rest of the book raises. If not, tell me and I’ll see what else I can do.

Read on for the opening chapter from The Icarus Child, and be aware that it may contain spoilers for Sisters of Icarus and The Crying Child.

Continue reading “The Icarus Child”

Aekhartain, Books, Updates

Icarus Child is Out!

Well, I made it *collapse*

Cover_3 Icarus Child

Once there was an island and on that island there lived a boy…

 Britain 135 BC

Orphaned at birth and raised by his aunt on an isolated island, Icastar has led a far from normal life. His body is misshapen, his days are tormented by whispering winds and demanding ghosts, and he only has seals for friends.

But there is more to this boy than his physical hardships and lonely location. The island and his own body might try to hold him down, caging him inside a world of pain, but he is the Icarus Child.

One day he will fly – or die trying.

Available Now from Smashwords!

All other retailers are currently pending, but it should be available everywhere soon.

I’ll put up a proper book page soon as well as the appropriate links as and when they come in. For now, I don’t want to look at another keyboard for the next 12 hours – or more if I can swing it.

Why is it that every time I upload a book to Smashwords it finds a new and even more irritating bug to plague me with? Today it was the .EPUB version, which I’ve never had much bother with before. Ah well, such is life.

In other news – Merry Imbolc, to those in the Northern Hemisphere who celebrate such things! (And Merry Lammas/Lughnasa/Lughnasadh to those in the Southern half.)

Welcome back, Spring – and happy birthday, Icastar/Shaiel!

All right, so it might be a bit early to declare the return of spring just yet, but at least it’s been a beautiful day here. I might just find a patch of sunlight to curl up in and fall asleep. My brain hurts.

Merry Tuesday, everyone.

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus: Part Four

The Icarus Child is almost ready! I think I might actually be able to release it tomorrow as planned – which will be a big relief. In the meantime I’ve been reading Wingborn on my Kindle, and finding it surprisingly enjoyable, but more on that next week ;)

For now…

Secret #4 – Some of My Books Have Their Own Accents

Okay, I’ll admit this one is a bit weird and is something that has only started recently, but it’s true, my books sometimes have accents.

Let me explain. During the editing process, at some point I’ll email a book to my Kindle and then read it aloud – making changes as I go. The change of screen and reading pace is great for spotting those irritating typos that I would otherwise skim over without noticing – especially after the third or fourth times of reading the same book. To make this more interesting for myself, I often do voices and accents along the way. I’ve always loved imitating accents, so I like to have a bit of fun and because the accents make me speak more slowly I tend to pay more attention to what I’m reading.

Which is straightforward enough, if a little strange. However, just lately I’ve noticed that some books prefer a particular type of accent throughout. Unbound and Free and Be With Me have a distinctly Welsh lilt, thanks to Elisud. While the Dark Rebellion books are very Devonian. Both of these make sense due to the characters involved.

The Icarus Child is Scottish – and I have no idea why. I’ve never been that good at Scottish accents before, but this book has cured me. I had so much fun saying Icastar (ih-KA-staar) that I can no longer use any other accents with it. Believe me, I’ve tried. My Irish starts off well enough, but drifts into an Ulster/Northern Ireland sound before hopping across the sea to Scotland. I lost my Welsh accent altogether, and even my Yorkshire/generic Northern accent doesn’t last long.

It doesn’t make much sense, but there you have it. The Icarus Child has a Scottish soul and you now have another unnecessary insight into my quirky writing habits.

I’ll be back tomorrow (hopefully) to pester you about the new book. Hurrah!

In the meantime – Merry Monday and Happy February, everyone!

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus: Part Three

I love music across many genres, but when it comes to writing I tend to stick to classical orchestrations – mostly because lyrics distract me. Sometimes I don’t really care what I listen to and will happily have the radio on (Classic FM usually), and there are days when I don’t listen to anything at all. However, most of the time I like something faintly inspirational and without interruptions in the background.

This means I listen to a lot of soundtracks as well as classical composers. I love a good soundtrack, be it for film, TV, games or trailers, but I also have a distinct weakness for a nice bit of piano music and strings. I am all about the strings.

Which brings me to…

Secret #3 – Each Book has a Slightly Different Soundtrack

Continue reading “Secrets of Icarus: Part Three”

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus: Part Two

Secret #2 – I Keep Plot Charts/Tables For All My Stories

Along with chapter titles that no one ever sees, I also keep plot charts. Except they’re not really charts at all, they’re tables where I keep track of my word count and write one or two lines about what’s going on to help me out when I’m in a hurry to find something.

I also use them for very short brain-storming session during the writing stage, leaving myself short notes about what’s coming up next. I do this for all my books, so this series isn’t particularly special in this regard. Actually, my charts are pretty scanty for most of this series. Probably because I knew roughly where I was going.

Some (edited for spoilers) examples include:

Sisters of Icarus

  • Grief. Nightmare. Chores. Farewell, Icarus.
  • … Cana sees much, but says little.
  • Fox, Fox, Fox!
  • Snowball fight! Love, kisses, promises, hopes. Crossed wires.

The Crying Child

  • Cari is thoughtful. Fox is Fox.
  • Catch a falling star and put him in your pocket, save him on a rainy day…
  • … Cari still sulks – others are content.
  • … Selkie delivery.
  • Fox to the rescue! Well, kind of…

The Icarus Child

  • There was a boy, a very strange and lonely boy…
  • Storm and goats. The magpie – yay!
  • Family fun. Saekara and Ica and Morvoren. Love.
  • A new face on the island. Hurricane Morvoren!
  • … Selkie panic! Ica itches.
  • … Save us! Save us!

And there you have it, another small insight into my writery habits that you probably were perfectly happy not knowing about.

Next time music! (I’ll give you a hint, it involves lots of soundtracks.)

A Bit of Me, Aekhartain, Writing

Secrets of Icarus*: Part One

*Which actually sounds like a good title for a spin-off collection of short stories based around the Icarus Child books. I might quite enjoy doing that. I could write some more Rudh and Howl, maybe some young Fox adventures, definitely some more cute Fox and Cana moments, perhaps some non-scary Icaria, or some selkie time. I could even delve into why Morvoren and the goats Do Not Get Along. That could be fun. Maybe. Although this is supposed to be my last historical Aekh(ish) tale for a while, so it might be nice not to spend even more time in the Iron Age. Oh well, just a thought, which may or may not grow into something at some point.

Er, anyway, putting all of that to one side. Since it is now one week until the (hopeful) release date of The Icarus Child, the final part of this trilogy, I thought as a way to chivvy me along to actually making the deadline, I’d impart a few secrets along the way.

Not spoilers, secrets. These things are more a behind the scenes look at my writing process, particularly as it pertains to these books.

Secret #1 – All the Chapters Have Their Own Secret Titles

This is something I do quite a lot when writing novels. Way back in the days when I used to share my writing with the Elfwood community, I tended to post a chapter at a time, so I got into the habit of saving them a chapter at a time too, for easy access. Even now, if I know in advance that what I’m writing will become a novel, I use individual files for each chapter. This makes it a whole lot easier to find things when I need to change them, but it’s a bit more of a pain when it comes to the final editing and formatting stages.

I use these chapter titles in part because they make my files look more interesting, but also as shorthand to keep track of the story as I go. I don’t tend to use them in the final books because some of the titles are a bit spoilery, others are kind of boring (a few seem to crop up in every book I write), and also because I don’t know how much attention people pay to such things. (If you have an opinion either way, feel free to share. I’m always curious.)

This secret is particularly relevant to this series because the first title chapter of the original Icarus Child book is the same as in this version – And Then He Fell. This matters to me because that was where the whole story began, ten odd years ago. Back then all I knew about the story was that Icarus had three sisters, he would try to fly and fail, and somehow or other this whole thing would end up back at Shaiel and the Aekhartain. I’m still not entirely sure how I got from there to the end in the original, but I did, and I use those two titles to remind me of that long ago day when I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going but full of hope all the same.

Other titles across the current series include:
Farewell to Sea and Sky, Samhain Storm, A Fox’s Tale, Return of the Fox, Snowfalling, Illusions of Happiness, Catch a Falling Star, He Who Must Ascend, Winter Woes, A Star is Born, Kidnap!, Ghost Plans, The Wings of a Storm, Family Familiarity, Dreams and Screams, My Star and my favourite of the lot which I can’t include for spoiler reasons.

So there you have it. Not so much a secret as just something you might not have known.

Come back soon for the next in this exciting series of things you never knew, were probably happy enough not knowing and could likely have lived your whole life without feeling the lack of, but which I’m going to tell you about anyway!

Cover_3 Icarus Child
Quick IC Update

New additions and character fixes are mostly finished, so now I just have to edit the last five chapters again.

Yay… I think.

Merry Wednesday, everyone!

Aekhartain, Books


To celebrate the end of another year, the halfway point of another northern winter, Christmas, Yule, the solstice or just because, I’m holding a bit of a sale.

Are you ready?


While Sing to Me and Be With Me remain free from everywhere except Amazon – and always will be, since they were written to be given away – Sisters of Icarus is still available for nothing. Sadly, again, this is everywhere except Amazon, and will remain so until The Icarus Child is out, at the very least. Perhaps longer, I haven’t decided yet.

Now, just until January, you can also get Dark Rebel for FREE! If you’ve been a bit unsure about venturing into my Anglo-Saxon world, now’s your chance to explore for free. Let Demero guide you as you get a glimpse at Caligo’s life and see how the Aekhartain of Darkness comes about.

Click on any of the covers below for links and more details.

An Aekhartain Romance  Be With Me  Cover_1 Sisters of Icarus  Cover - Dark Rebel


Just for the love of it, if you’re still looking for something to read after you’re done with the freebies above, then have a couple of discounts to tide you over.

From now until the beginning of January both Unbound and Free and The Rebel Returns are only .99 (£/$/Euros etc). So if you want more Demero/Demairo, he’s all over both of these books. Plus more Shaiel and Caligo too. What’s not to love?

And for those on Amazon, Dark Rebel will be this price too, since it’s the cheapest Amazon will let me go.

Unbound and Free  Cover - Dark Rebel  The Rebel Returns

Grab ’em while they’re cheap!

Elsewhere, The Crying Child has increased in price, while Orion’s Kiss remains the same. Keep an eye out in February for a freebie run of the latter.

Until then… happy reading!