Category Archives: Book release

Half Sick of Shadows and a giveaway…

Kindle Cover - Half Sick of Shadows
Kindle Cover – Half Sick of Shadows

Tomorrow (May 1st 2017) is the release date for the Kindle version of Half Sick of Shadows, to be followed by the paperback version in a couple of weeks once the final details are sorted out.

For reference, here are the preorder links, which should still continue to redirect to the final purchase links as soon as the book goes live!

Who is The Lady?

In ancient Britain, a Lady is living in a stone-walled house on an island in the middle of a river. So far as the people know, she
has always been there. They sense her power, they hear her singing, but they never meet her.

At first her life is idyllic. She wakes, she watches, she wanders in her garden, she weaves a complex web of what she sees, and she
sleeps again. But as she grows, this pattern becomes narrow and frustrating. She longs to meet those who cherish her, but she cannot.
The scenes beyond the walls of her home are different every time she wakes, and everyone she encounters is lost,
swallowed up by the past.

But when she finds the courage to break the cycle, there is no going back. Can she bear the cost of finding freedom? And what will
her people do, when they finally come face to face with a lady of legend who is not at all what they have imagined?

A retelling – and metamorphosis – of Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott.

And to celebrate the release, I am running an Amazon reduced price offer on all my previous books, science fiction and historical fiction alike, timed to start on May 1st and run until May 8th. So you can stock up for the reduced cot of 99p / 99c for all of these. Links are:

Far from the Spaceports:

Timing (Far from the Spaceports 2)

In a Milk and Honeyed Land

Scenes from a Life

The Flame Before Us

Enjoy the whole experience!

 

Half Sick of Shadows – “final” manuscripts submitted

Kindle Cover - Half Sick of Shadows
Kindle Cover – Half Sick of Shadows

Over the weekend I worked on both Kindle and paperback versions of Half Sick of Shadows and have queued up what I think are the final versions of both. Kindle release day is May 1st, and I have a window of only a couple more days to make changes before it is frozen ready for deployment. As for the paperback version, a proof copy should be on its way to me very shortly, and, all being well, that will go live not long after the ebook.

Meanwhile, preorder links are at:

There are also a couple of other ways you can get a Half Sick of Shadows fix:

Alexa Half Sick of Shadows logo
Alexa Half Sick of Shadows logo

On Alexa: enable the Alexa skill for Half Sick of Shadows on the UK or US Alexa stores – listen to extracts and hear about the book directly.

Or on Issuu:

And finally, here is the latest version of the blurb (which may change yet again over the next few days):


Who is The Lady?

In ancient Britain, a Lady is living in a stone-walled house on an island in the middle of a river. So far as the people know, she
has always been there. They sense her power, they hear her singing, but they never meet her.

At first her life is idyllic. She wakes, she watches, she wanders in her garden, she weaves a complex web of what she sees, and she
sleeps again. But as she grows, this pattern becomes narrow and frustrating. She longs to meet those who cherish her, but she cannot.
The scenes beyond the walls of her home are different every time she wakes, and everyone she encounters is lost,
swallowed up by the past.

But when she finds the courage to break the cycle, there is no going back. Can she bear the cost of finding freedom? And what will
her people do, when they finally come face to face with a lady of legend who is not at all what they have imagined?

A retelling – and metamorphosis – of Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott.

Timing release – this week

Timing Kindle cover
Timing Kindle cover

I don’t suppose it will be a surprise to regular readers that Timing is to be released this week!

It is available on world-wide Amazon stores, for example

The Kindle version comes out on Friday, and the paperback version at pretty much the same time, depending on the Amazon process for printing and distributing copies. Along with that there are samples available in Kindle, epub and pdf format at

  • Kindle mobi sample (http://www.kephrath.com/download.aspx?index=16)
  • ePub sample (http://www.kephrath.com/download.aspx?index=17)
  • PDF sample (https://issuu.com/mattehpublications/docs/timing_sample)

So what is Timing about? It starts with Mitnash and Slate sitting in the Frag Rockers Bar on the asteroid Bryher, a place which features prominently in Far from the Spaceports. They have just arrived back from one of Jupiter’s moons, having had a frustrating time there trying to resolve a scam. Back on Bryher, they hear two pieces of news which are more urgent. A new activist group called Robin’s Rebels has started distributing propaganda, and a former adversary has been reported dead. Is there a connection?

Timing is a blend of near-future science fiction, financial crime, human-AI relationships, set amongst a quirky collection of habitats around the solar system.

A selection of author readings is becoming available – the first is available on YouTube (link), Daily Motion (link) and Vimeo (link). The web page isn’t quite ready yet (link) but the blog page is pretty much there (link). Phew…

Timing now available on preorder

Timing Kindle cover 480x640
Timing – Kindle cover

Well, Timing, the sequel to Far from the Spaceports, is now available on preorder from Amazon stores worldwide. Release day is October 14th so there’s not long to wait. Paperback copies will be available at round about the same time but I don’t have an exact date yet.

It’s set about a year on from the end of Spaceports, and begins out at the group of asteroids called the Scilly Isles. But there’s more solar system travel this time around including, as the cover would suggest, a trip to Mars and the larger of its two moons, Phobos.

Preorder links are:

To celebrate this release, all my previous novels are going on Amazon countdown offer from 14th. The length of time varies for each depending on Amazon’s rules for such things – but on 14th you can get not only Far from the Spaceports, but also the historical novels In a Milk and Honeyed Land, Scenes from a Life, and The Flame Before Us all at reduced prices.

Meanwhile, here are links to an author reading on YouTube (and Daily Motion in case the You Tube one has not yet distributed). It’s the same reading at both sites but more will be uploaded before too long…

 

Timing – latest news

Timing Kindle cover
Timing Kindle cover

As readers will probably know, Timing is just about ready for release. So here is the Kindle cover and blurb for the book. It should be available for pre-order by the weekend, and I am aiming to release the Kindle version on October 14th, with the paperback following shortly afterwards.

For those who don’t know, Timing is the sequel to Far from the Spaceports, a near-future science fiction book exploring issues of financial crime human-AI relationships out in the solar system. The new book is set approximately a year after the first one, and involve many of the same characters. However, both books are stand-alone and can be enjoyed separately.


When quick wits and loyalty are put to the test

Mitnash and his AI companion Slate, coders and investigators of interplanetary fraud, are at work again in Timing, the sequel to Far from the Spaceports.

This time their travels take them from Jupiter to Mars, chasing a small-scale scam which seems a waste of their time. Then the case escalates dramatically into threats and extortion. Robin’s Rebels, a new player in the game, is determined to bring down the financial world, and Slate’s fellow AIs are the targets. Will Slate be the next victim?

The clues lead them back to the asteroid belt, and to their friends on the Scilly Isles. The next attack will be here, and Mitnash and Slate must put themselves in the line of fire. To solve the case, they need to team up with an old adversary – the only person this far from Earth who has the necessary skills to help them. But can they trust somebody who keeps their own agenda so well hidden?

Preorder time

Well, here we are. Far from the Spaceports is now queued at Amazon for preorder in Kindle format.

Preorder links are:

Far from the Spaceports cover
Far from the Spaceports cover

The actual release date is set at Monday November 23rd. The paperback copy will be along at about the same time depending on the vagaries of the process. And here also for your pleasure is the cover, created for me as usual by Ian Grainger. With real asteroidal textures from Vesta and elsewhere blended in to the image.

For those who can’t wait, there are free sample downloads in both Kindle mobi and general epub format, available at the Kephrath website ‘Downloads and Offers’ page. They contain the first portion of the story.

Here’s the general blurb:


Quick wits and loyalty confront high-tech crime in space

Welcome to the Scilly Isles, a handful of asteroids bunched together in space, well beyond the orbit of Mars. This remote and isolated habitat is home to a diverse group of human settlers, and a whole flock of parakeets. But earth-based financial regulator ECRB suspects that it’s also home to serious large scale fraud, and the reputation of the islands comes under threat.

Enter Mitnash Thakur and his virtual partner Slate, sent out from Earth to investigate. Their ECRB colleagues are several weeks away at their ship’s best speed, and even message signals take an hour for the round trip. Slate and Mitnash are on their own, until they can work out who on Scilly to trust. How will they cope when the threat gets personal?


 Not long to wait now for the complete story…

Reminder

A quick weekend reminder that not only is The Flame Before Us now available, but there’s a countdown offer on Scenes From a Life for the next few days (UK and US Amazon stores only). Prices began at £0.99 / $0.99 and rise periodically through the course of a week to their normal values.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scenes-Life-Richard-Abbott-ebook/dp/B00H8Y0F7E/
http://www.amazon.com/Scenes-Life-Richard-Abbott-ebook/dp/B00H8Y0F7E/

Cover - The Flame Before Us
The Flame Before Us
Cover - Scenes From a Life
Scenes From a Life

Three announcements

9780993168413
Cover – The Flame Before Us

Well, today’s the day for three announcements. The first is that The Flame Before Us is now available on Amazon stores world-wide in both Kindle and soft cover format. Some of the links are

Along with that, I have put Scenes from a Life on a special promotional “countdown” deal (UK and US only). The current Kindle price is £0.99/$0.99, rising back to the regular price in a week.
Finally, it is time to unveil the relocated blog, right here. This holds back copies of all previously posted articles and comments. I will continue to maintain the original one (http://richardabbott.authorsxpress.com/) for some time to come. The main reason is technical – the previous location has become very slow and erratic, with some periods of unexplained down time. Trying to get technical support and explanation has been frustrating.

The new location is with the same technical providers as the main Kephrath site, who have repeatedly proved themselves to be skilled and responsive at handling such things. So hopefully things will be more stable from now on!

That’s it for today – enjoy all that’s on offer!

The Flame Before Us – this week

Cover image - The Flame Before UsThis week sees the release of The Flame Before Us in Kindle and softcover versions – preorder is available now and delivery will be shortly after.

I have already posted various snippets from the story, so today I thought I would bring these together into the four strands which make up the whole.

  1. Refugees from IkaretAnilat and her husband Tadugari, their three children, and two members of their household remain in a group together after the defeat and sack of their home city of Ikaret (Ugarit). Anilat’s nephew and niece, Yasib and Dantiy, leave with them but soon separate to pursue a different route.
  2. Newcomers in the landNikleos and Kastiandra and their two children are Sherden migrants, working their way south through the land. Their clan is distantly related to the Sea Peoples’ groups which sacked Ikaret, but they themselves took no part in the attack.
  3. The Egyptian occupying forceHekanefer is a military scribe, attached to an army contingent based in Gedjet (Gaza), and subsequently dispatched north to defend against the incursion.
  4. Inhabitants of the landLabayu is a native of the town of Kephrath, currently living in a town near the Sea of Kinreth (Galilee) to help protect the people and their homes.

These four groups start with very little reason to know of or feel empathy for one another. The changing situation throws these groups into contact with each other several times as they all head south to the city of Shalem (Jerusalem). There, the city governor arranges an encounter which will decide all of their futures.

Not long to wait now…

The Flame Before Us release date getting closer!

April 16th is the Kindle release date for The Flame Before Us. The soft-cover version passed its last physical proofing check and will be going live at such time as CreateSpace can process it. It will be round about the same time but I have not tracked down a way to synchronise both, so cannot be sure it will be the exact same date. All very exciting…

Preorder links are:

To celebrate, I shall also be making Scenes from a Life available on the Kindle Countdown scheme from April 16th for a week, starting at £0.99, $0.99 or equivalent, and slowly rising through the week. Your opportunity to get both at the same time!

Here’s the start of The Flame Before Us:

“But father will be back from the north before we have to leave?”

Anilat looked carefully at her mother, hoping to see some sign of the truth of the matter. But the old face, schooled in a great many years of diplomacy, was giving nothing away, and the old voice did not directly answer her.

“You will be leaving as he instructed, a half-month from now. I will wait for his return and follow on after. He has been called to attend to the wishes of the King of the North even now.”

The last was, surely, a simple guess, perhaps even a needy wish. Anilat nodded slowly, wondering if, after all, her mother had no more information than she had already shared. All that she herself knew came from the brief report delivered by the weary rider as he passed by the envoy’s house on his way to the royal palace of Ikaret.

Not long after his arrival, the city gates had been closed, and the priests were called out from the temple to bless and prepare the few city guardsmen who remained. Most of the army had already been sent north to join the collected forces of the great King of the North, assembling somewhere in the vassal territories along the coast. As well as force of numbers and weapons, they had taken wagon loads of supplies, honouring the requirements of the treaty.

The army had travelled by land, along the great Sea Road that ran all the way from the southern sedge lands of the Mitsriy up to the rugged hills in the north. But Ikaret had grown up facing the sea, and the sea still brought most of the wealth to the people. Although the hinterlands were fair, and the overland trade routes reliable, it was the port that gave life to the city. There were so few good harbours north or south along this coast.

For a time the royal family of Ikaret had offered allegiance to the Mitsriy, but no longer, not for many generations. Their loyalty had turned away when the ruler of the Khatti-lands, the great King of the North, had started to expand his sway. He was much closer to them in both distance and culture.

The Mitsriy protests were in vain; the city was simply too far north from their homeland to be retained. It was too far for an effective campaign of retaliation to be considered, even from the unruly collection of Kinahny vassal lands they controlled. Even the most warlike among the Mitsriy kings had never been able to secure their conquests this far along the coast. It suited Ikaret to have her ties of allegiance holding her to the north. The huge flocks of wading birds that feasted in the shallow waters around the bay, emblematic of Ikaret herself, had enjoyed prosperity and comparative peace for a very long time.

A little over two years ago, the first stories of raiding groups harrying the fringes of the settled lands had reached the city. A long way north and west of Ikaret, they mostly struck at island settlements, or very remote coastal towns which could not be easily reinforced. Rumours of troop losses had spread, and the great king had been swift to silence the more vocal of his critics. But the reports were still carried, by traders and officials more concerned about the immediate risk to their life and livelihood than the king’s displeasure. Then there had been a lull for a while, and it seemed that peace had returned.

But as the weather turned colder, and winter drew close this year, forlorn and homeless groups had started to come down the Sea Road. The first few dozen of these were treated with kindness and a spirit of welcome. But dozens swelled to hundreds, and generosity could only stretch so far. Some of them stopped around the outskirts of the city, clustering in great tented pools around the streams and wells. Others moved on again, southwards, hoping to find better favour among the Fenku, or even the Mitsriy. They would have a long journey southward, along the Sea Road, but perhaps the effort would be worth while.

“Are the children ready to leave? Yours and your brother’s?”