Tag: The Dinosaur Hunters

Publication Day!

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It’s publication day for THE EMPEROR OF MARS. It’s also the day that SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB comes out in paperback, in case you’ve been waiting for a cheaper version.

Publication day is always super busy, and I haven’t done nearly everything I meant to, but I did go out with the boys, eight-year-old MrD and four-year-old MrX, to a cafe and then a bookstore, so who can say fairer than that? To be honest, I’d happily do that every day…

If you haven’t read SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB already, THE EMPEROR OF MARS will work on its own, but I do think you’d have more fun if you read SECRETS first.

While you’re here, here’s a (spoiler-free) extract from Chapter Three of THE EMPEROR OF MARS. Enjoy!

THE EMPEROR OF MARS extract

In two days, the museum was opening a new gallery stuffed full of the amazing artifacts we’d found in our dragon tomb.

We pushed our way through the heavy, iron-studded door, and deafening noise immediately washed over us.

“Look out!” Putty shouted.

I ducked just in time as something swooped by, almost taking my head off.

The entrance hall was in chaos. For a moment, I thought the museum had been attacked. But it was almost worse: Dozens of junior curators were rushing around the lobby in panic, shouting and waving, while a cluster of automatic servants strained to carry a large, elaborate artifact toward a nearby gallery. One of the curators had even put on a pair of pneumatic wings and was flapping around, out of control, almost crashing into the other curators, the artifact, the walls, and us. The automatic servants wobbled, the curators shouted contradictory instructions, and any moment the whole thing was going to end in disaster.

“Hey!” Putty shouted. “That’s our artifact! You’d better not drop it!”

I’d never quite figured out what the artifact was supposed to be. It was made of hundreds of brass balls, each the size of Putty’s fist, all connected together with thin brass rods. We’d found it in the dragon tomb when we’d been taking shelter from Sir Titus. Before I’d had a chance to look at it, he’d smashed it to bits with his excavator. The museum had spent the last few months restoring it, but I still didn’t know what it was, and no one else seemed to, either. It looked a bit like a man crouching, ready to jump up. Or maybe like a bowl of noodles tipped over a sculpture made of marbles.

“Look,” Putty said. “There’s Dr. Guzman. Why don’t you ask him about Rothan Gal?”

I eyed the small, dust-smeared junior-under- curator standing on the far side of the lobby. “Why don’t you ask him?”

“He’s awfully boring. You deal with boring better than I do.”

“Thanks?” I said.

THE EMPEROR OF MARS

Find out about the book

Read Chapter One

SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB

Find out about the book

Read Chapter One

THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS

And, of course, there’s my novella, THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS, set in the same world but with different characters:

Find out about the novella

Read the opening

Coming up

Coming up sometime this year, I’ll be releasing a new short story, THE BAD GUYS, set right after THE EMPEROR OF MARS finishes. Hang around for it.

Right now I’m working on a new humorous middle grade fantasy which I hope you’ll all get to see before too long!

Finished Copies and Free Novella

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It’s now just over three weeks until both SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB is published in paperback and THE EMPEROR OF MARS is published in hardcover and ebook versions. My lovely publisher sent me copies of each, hot off the press. Here they are:

And to celebrate the books coming out, I am giving away free e-copies of my novella, THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS, to everyone who is subscribed to my newsletter by June 29th, 2017. THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS is set in the same world as SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB and THE EMPEROR OF MARS. You can sign up in the sidebar of this page or at http://eepurl.com/wy0hH.

You’ll also get an exclusive look at the opening of THE EMPEROR OF MARS, plus book recommendations and stuff about writing. How can you resist?

Later on, I’m also going to give away another short story that takes place directly after the events of THE EMPEROR OF MARS, but I want to give people a chance to read THE EMPEROR OF MARS first.

So, sign up to the newsletter now in the sidebar of this page (or below, if you’re using a phone or small tablet…)!

2016 Year in Review

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Apparently, this is the end of 2016. I didn’t see that coming! I’ve only just got used to it being this year. I must have done something during the year, right? Right? Right.

Here’s my writing-related stuff from the year:

Published my first novel!

Yes, at last. I’ve been wanting to be a novel-writer since I was a teenager, and despite not really writing during my 20s, I never gave up wanting, and this year, my first book finally, finally came out (I actually sold it at the end of 2012, but it’s taken this long to be published).

SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB, in case you don’t know, is a “modern pulp” science fiction adventure for kids, and I love it.


Published a linked novella

I also published a novella set in the same world as SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB. THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS takes place a year before SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB and features different characters, and it’s aimed slightly older, but it’s still the same mixture of humour, action, adventure, mystery, and over-the-top ideas.


Revised the sequel

The sequel to SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB will come out in July 2017. It’s called THE EMPEROR OF MARS, and it takes Edward and his family on an even more outrageous and deadly adventure. I did a pretty big rewrite of it over the summer, and then the copyedits this autumn. I’ve also seen the internal illustrations for it by the intensely talented Jeremy Holmes, and they are amazing!


Wrote a new book

The book that will be going out on submission in the new year is (currently) called THE MYSTERY OF FIRELAKE HALL. It’s set in 1932, in England. My agent, the wonderful Jennifer Laughran, described it as “A little bit Agatha Christie meets Clue meets St Trinian’s meets WW1 meets MAGIC!” It also has wolves, because, you know, why not?

I actually wrote a version of this quite a few years ago, but it didn’t work, so I ripped it up and completely rewrote it this year, which is the first time I’ve ever done that with a book, and I think it worked!

Pitched a third SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB book

To be brutally honest, this book probably won’t happen, but I have an outline and an opening in case it ever does, and the first two books tie everything important up, I think, if it doesn’t. One day, maybe!

Whew

Okay, when I put it like that, it makes it seem like I really did manage some stuff this year despite having young children (the younger of whom is only in school 2-1/2 hours a day).

Now, I need a new book or two to write in 2017!

What did you do this year?

Book Quote Wednesday

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So, some writers (including me) on Twitter have been doing “book quote Wednesday” (#bookqw), where each week we post a quote from one of our books that includes a particular word. (Thanks to Mindy Klasky for running this.) It occurred to me that not all of you actually follow me on Twitter, so I thought I should post here too. (I’ll actually do it on the right day after this.)

Here are the ones I’ve done in the last couple of weeks.

“Might”

Here’s my quote using the word “might”, which comes from my novella The Dinosaur Hunters.

“Work”

And for the word “work”, from Secrets of the Dragon Tomb:

I have no idea what the word is going to be next week, but maybe I’ll chose one of my forthcoming books instead.

Now, go check out everyone else’s quotes. There’s some fantastic stuff there, whatever type of books you like.

New Novella: The Dinosaur Hunters

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Hey folks. Exciting news for me! I have a new novella coming out on June 16th, 2016. It’s called THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS, and it’s set in the same world as SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB and THE EMPEROR OF MARS, but it takes place a year before SECRETS and is a completely standalone novella.

Ever wondered where the dinosaurs were in SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB? Want to find out more about Regency Mars? Can’t bear to wait for THE EMPEROR OF MARS to come out? Wondering what all the fuss is about? Here’s your chance to find out!

You can pre-order THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS now from Amazon, or buy it from most ebook stores or my website on June 16th.

Pre-order: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

Or: Add on Goodreads

If you have a review blog or site and you’d like a review copy, please send me a message!

Here’s the blurb!

Mystery, murder, and adventure on Mars…

Mars in 1815 is a world of wonders, from the hanging ballrooms of Tharsis City to the air forests of Patagonian Mars, and from the ice caves of Noachis Terra to the Great Wall of Cyclopia, beyond which dinosaurs still roam.

Sixteen-year-old Harriet George has never had the chance for an adventure. Now her older sister is determined to marry her off. Harriet can’t think of anything worse.

Meanwhile, her brother-in-law, Bertrand, has a problem. He’s never been much of a police inspector. As far as Harriet knows, Bertrand has never caught a criminal in his life. But now the famous jewel thief, the Glass Phantom, has come to Mars, and Bertrand has been given the job of tracking him down. If he fails, Bertrand will lose his job and the whole family will be ruined.

Harriet will not let that happen.

So she comes up with a plan: she will capture the Glass Phantom herself. Even if that mean that she and Bertrand have to follow the thief’s intended victim, the Countess von Krakendorff, on a dinosaur hunt in the perilous Martian wilderness. But there is far more going on in this expedition than mere robbery, and the dinosaurs are not the greatest danger.

If Harriet cannot solve the mystery, her family won’t just be ruined. She and Bertrand may not make it out of the wilderness alive.

The Dinosaur Hunters is a thrilling adventure set in the world of Secrets of the Dragon Tomb.

Pre-order: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

Or read the opening:

The Dinosaur Hunters

Mars, 1815

Harriet George had been dressed as a boy for the last week, and she still wasn’t sure her brother-in-law had noticed.

“The thing is, Harry old thing,” the Honorable Bertrand Simpson said as he hunched morosely over his twelfth cup of tea that morning, “disguises are such dashed confusing things. Can’t tell if a chap is a chap or, you know, another chap.” He stirred his tea listlessly.

It had never been entirely clear to Harriet how her brother-in-law had managed to work his way up to the post of Inspector in the Tharsis City Police Service. As far as Harriet could tell, Bertrand had never solved a single case in his entire life.

Unfortunately, Harriet suspected that she wasn’t the only one who had figured that out. It was the only reason she could think of as to why Bertrand had been given the job of capturing the Glass Phantom. The Glass Phantom had evaded police forces in France, Austria, Britain, and Chinese Mars. He’d helped himself to the Crown of Charlemagne from under the nose of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard and had stolen the Orlov Diamond from the Imperial Scepter of Catherine the Great. No one with an ounce of common sense would risk their career tracking down such a notorious and difficult-to-catch jewel thief.

Which was why Bertrand, who wouldn’t have recognized an ounce of common sense if it had fallen into his morning tea, had leapt on the offer like a piranha-mouse on a stray muffin.

Bertrand came from a good family – his father was the fifth Baron Heatherstone – but his family’s estates on Earth had long ago been sold off to pay their debts. Bertrand’s father had brought the family to Mars to seek his fortune on a new world, but it hadn’t made any difference, and Bertrand scarcely had a penny to his name. In his position, he should have married a young lady with a good dowry. Instead, he’d married Harriet’s older sister, Amy. If it hadn’t been for Bertrand’s job, Harriet was certain they would have starved within the year.

And then, five years ago, Harriet and Amy’s parents had died, and Amy and Bertrand had taken Harriet in. She knew it had been hard for them, and she knew they’d given up a great deal for her. She owed them everything.

When Bertrand failed to catch the Glass Phantom, he would lose his job and it would be an absolute disaster for them all.

Harriet would not allow that to happen.

“You know, the Glass Phantom might not actually be in disguise,” Harriet said, trying to cheer her brother-in-law up. “I mean, why would he?”

Bertrand groaned. “That makes it even worse. If he’s not in disguise, how am I going to tell who he’s not disguising himself as?”

Which, Harriet thought, summed up rather neatly why her brother-in-law never actually caught anyone.

Enjoying it? Pre-order now: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

I’ll post more of the opening closer to the publication date

Don’t forget that if have a review blog or site, you can ask me for a review copy. Please send me a message!