Mandigo and the Hellhounds announced as finalist in Independent Book Awards

Artwork: Alison BuckThe finalists of the 2016 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards have been announced. They include Mandigo and the Hellhounds by Anders Reemark in the Books for 9-12 Year Olds category.

WSA 2016 Finalist LogoThe Wishing Shelf Awards are awarded based on the results of groups of readers rather than a judging panel. The children’s books were this year read and judged by children in 8 UK primary and secondary schools; the adult books by 2 Reading Groups, 1 in London and 1 in Stockholm. The books were marked according to EDITING, THEME, STYLE, COVER and, in the case of many of the children’s books, ILLUSTRATIONS. Only books that were awarded over 30/40 are finalists.

The winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in each category, picked from the finalists, will be announced on April 1st 2017.

 

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Thomas Silent announced as finalist in Independent Book Awards

Cover by Alison BuckThe finalists of the 2016 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards have been announced. They include Thomas Silent by Ben Gribbin in the Teenager category.

WSA 2016 Finalist LogoThe Wishing Shelf Awards are awarded based on the results of groups of readers rather than a judging panel. The children’s books were this year read and judged by children in 8 UK primary and secondary schools; the adult books by 2 Reading Groups, 1 in London and 1 in Stockholm. The books were marked according to EDITING, THEME, STYLE, COVER and, in the case of many of the children’s books, ILLUSTRATIONS. Only books that were awarded over 30/40 are finalists.

The winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in each category, picked from the finalists, will be announced on April 1st 2017.

 

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“exciting, intriguing and well written” – review of Reimar Breaking on RisingShadow

Artwork: Alison Buck

Artwork: Alison Buck

Seregil of Rhiminee has posted a review on the RisingShadow.net website of Reimar Breaking: The Prelude to the Iberan War, the first book in The Iberan War series by Jonathan Rivalland. He starts by saying that it’s a “welcome addition to fantasy fiction, because it’s an entertaining and well-told story with a promise of more greatness to come in the next instalments”. Although it is Jonathan’s debut novel, Seregil says that it “feels satisfyingly rich and robust”, the story is “intriguing” and “well-written” and Jonathan’s “enthusiasm to tell stories shines through the text”.

One of the aspects of this novel that Seregil singles out for comment, is the world-building which he says “works well” because Jonathan provides detailed information about certain areas but leaves plenty of room for further world-building. Seregil says this is to his liking because not everything is revealed in the first novel. He also liked the fact that there is a detailed map as well as a useful appendix with information about Reimar. He observes that Jonathan “manages to lay a good foundation for further stories” by introducing the world and characters to the reader, but the “story moves swiftly forward, because there’s a nice balance between characterisation, worldbuilding, politics and action scenes”. The characterisation is “fluent and entertaining”, as is the handling of military issues, and the “political matters are fascinating in this novel”.

Seregil likes the way that Jonathan uses both humour and action, at which he succeeds well. He says that the humorous elements “lighten the story in a nice way” while the action scenes “keep readers entertained”. Jonathan is, he says “quite adept at adding a bit of humour into the dialogues without making it seem superficial”. Seregil also enjoyed the surprises that Jonathan delivers, especially the “unexpected act of violence” which acts as the catalyst to the rest of the story and pushed everything into motion.

Seregil concludes by saying that Reimar Breaking is a promising start to The Iberan War which he hopes will be a long series, and he is looking forward to reading the next novel. “It’s an exciting, intriguing and well written novel” he says, which he recommends to anyone who enjoys adult fantasy novels “because the author shows lots of promise for creating complex stories”.

You should read Seregil’s full review on RisingShadow.net here

 

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“Excellent, thought-provoking and well written” – review of Legends on the Prairies on RisingShadow

Artwork: Alison Buck

Artwork: Alison Buck

On RisingShadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Tanya Reimer’s latest Sacred Land Story. An “excellent prequel” to her first Sacred Land Story, Ghosts on the Prairies, Seregil says that Legends on the Prairies “captures the reader’s attention from the first page”. He says that he considers Tanya’s novels to be “hidden treasures” waiting to be found by readers, because they’re wonderfully different from other speculative fiction novels due to their blend of literary fiction, speculative fiction, historical elements and paranormal elements.” he goes on to say that Tanya “has her own original literary voice and she uses it well”.

Seregil was eager to read Legends on the Prairies because he had enjoyed reading Tanya’s previous novels Ghosts on the Prairies and Can’t Dream Without You, and was not disappointed. He was impressed by the story and found it “entertaining and thought-provoking”, adding that in his opinion it is “better and more rounded” than Ghost on the Prairies because it “has plenty of depth and the author writes more fluently about the happenings”. It is, he says, a “successful combination of several elements” including historical fiction and speculative fiction, and “The story pulses with substance and has clearly been written out of passion for storytelling”.

He compliments Tanya’s characterisation which is “satisfying and believable” as she fleshes out her protagonists’ traits in an “engaging” way, fluently conveying “their inner turmoil and conflicted emotions to her readers”. It’s great that she has “created realistic protagonists who are not perfect and flawless cookie-cutter characters”, such that the reader wants to find out more about them because she writes so “intensely about their feelings, lives and problems”.

Seregil says that Legends on the Prairies is a “powerful exploration of friendship, hope, love and growth”, and that Tanya writes “fluently about believing in yourself and what you’re capable of doing” while creating a “good story that has plenty of tensions and substance”. She has an “insightful way of writing about change and growth” and lets her characters “make mistakes along the way”. He also says that he enjoys the way she “writes about legends. She infuses her story with them, but doesn’t let them hinder her from concentrating on achingly realistic storytelling”.

Seregil concludes by saying Legends on the Prairies is “an accessible novel that can be recommended to many readers”; and, like Ghosts on the Prairies, “will appeal to both mainstream fiction readers and speculative fiction readers” – filled with “life and turmoil” it will “intrigue and please both readerships”. Inviting readers into a world where “myth and legend meet everyday life and the harsh and painful reality of existence in a powerful way”, it will “entertain and thrill” readers. His final verdict is “Excellent, thought-provoking and well written entertainment for adults”.

You should read Seregil’s full review on RisingShadow here.

 

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“something special for readers who love dystopian stories” – review of Freedom’s Prisoners on RisingShadow

Artwork: Alex Storer

Artwork: Alex Storer

Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Katrina Mountfort’s third novel in The Blueprint Trilogy. Eager to read it, as he enjoyed Future Perfect and Forbidden Alliance the first two novels in the trilogy, Seregil says that Freedom’s Prisoners is a “stunning conclusion” to the trilogy that was both “immensely satisfying and intriguing” and “one of the best and most entertaining young adult science fiction novels I’ve ever read”. He says that the trilogy as a whole is a “rewarding reading experience” because Katrina has created a “terrifying vision of dystopian future and doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of her readership”, adding that The Blueprint Trilogy stands out from the many new young adult science fiction novels and series, as a “prime example of what can be achieved when an author pays attention to writing an emotionally challenging story, creates realistic characters and has courage to write thought-provoking prose”, outshining others “in terms of depth, prose and storytelling”. Seregil recommends all three novels in the trilogy to adults and young adults alike, describing it as “an evocatively written novel that will charm its readers with a good story and interesting characters who have to deal with real problems”.

Seregil compliments Katrina’s ability to write believable characters, and says she “excels at writing about what her characters feel and what kind of choices they make”. The story is “thrilling and thought-provoking” as it explores “guilt, endurance, love, loss, fear and hope in a spellbinding way”. He says that Freedom’s Prisoners contains “many exciting and thrilling scenes which will impress readers and fans of the series”. But Katrina’s vision of this dystopian future is “evocative and terrifying, because humankind and society has changed a lot and people have almost forgotten what it means to be human”.

Seregil says that one of the most impressive things about the whole trilogy is that Katrina has written “a story that reveals a lot about human nature and what humans are capable of doing to each other. There’s quite a lot of underlying wisdom in this story and also plenty of sharp commentary about our way of life and what may happen to mankind.” The story has a strong emotional impact on readers, and Seregil loves it because it is “captivating to read about the characters and their complex lives”.

Seregil recommends The Blueprint Trilogy to readers who have enjoyed Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games or Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, or indeed anyone who loves “emotionally challenging and thought-provoking stories”, and concludes by saying “There’s a strongly beating human heart at the core of each of these novels that will make you fall in love with the story and the characters. They’re something special for readers who love dystopian stories.”

But don’t just rely on this précis of Seregil’s review, you should read the full review on RisingShadow here.

 

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“fantastic, inventive and entertaining” – review of It’s Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should on RisingShadow

Artwork: Hannah B. Farrell Photograph of Dingle Dell: Jose Manuel Revuelta Luna/shutterstock.com

Artwork: Hannah B. Farrell
Photograph of Dingle Dell: Jose Manuel Revuelta Luna/shutterstock.com

On the RisingShadow.net website, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed It’s Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should, the fourth in Ira Nayman’s series of Trandsimensional Authority novels. He starts by saying it is “one of the funniest and most inventive humorous science fiction novels” he’s ever read, because Ira blends “absurdism, satire, parody and sarcasm in a uniquely entertaining way”. He adds that Ira is a “one-of-a-kind author who has no rivals”.

Seregil, who has read and enjoyed (and reviewed) the previous novels in the series points out that “Extraordinary happenings and things have been an essential part of this series ever since the beginning and they’re also an essential part of this novel” and says he was delighted that Ira was once again in “excellent form” and mesmerising his readers with “strange things”. Seregil likes Ira’s writing style because he has “his own unique way of writing about the characters and the happenings. He boldly writes his own kind of fiction and stays true to his own style.”

He also admires Ira’s “sharp sense of humour and his ability to write original stories, because he never seems to run out of ideas.” He goes on say that it’s great that Ira “has a gift of adding amusing references to popular culture, because only a few authors are capable of doing so” and Ira does it “ in a delightfully sharp and witty way”.

Seregil concludes by recommending It’s Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should because it’s a “fantastic, inventive and entertaining novel for readers who want to laugh out loud while reading a novel”. In a final summary that is reminiscent of Bill and Ted, he says “Excellent humorous science fiction!”

This was a very brief overview of Seregil’s review which you should read in its entirety on the RisingShadow website here.

 

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Archetypal grass roots activists take on the threat of alternative facts

New urban fiction from Tej Turner tackles the malevolent influence of power and politics and its effects on society’s outsiders

DARTFORD, KENT – 20 February 2017 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Dinnusos Rises by British author Tej Turner. Set in the same urban landscape as his debut novel The Janus Cycle, and featuring some of the same characters along with new voices, Dinnusos Rises is a modern-day fantasy with a sharp tongue and a hard heart but a profound soul.

Artwork: Alison Buck

Artwork: Alison Buck

The vibe has soured somewhat after a violent clash in the Janus nightclub a few months ago, and since then Neal has opened a new establishment called ‘Dinnusos’.

Located on a derelict and forgotten side of town, it is not the sort of place you stumble upon by accident, but over time it enchants people, and soon becomes a nucleus for urban bohemians and a refuge for the city’s lost souls. Rumour has it that it was once a grand hotel, many years ago, but no one is quite sure. Whilst mingling in the bar downstairs you might find yourself in the company of poets, dreamers, outsiders, and all manner of misfits and rebels. And if you’re daring enough to explore its ghostly halls, there’s a whole labyrinth of rooms on the upper floors to get lost in…

Now it seems that not just Neal’s clientele, but the entire population of the city, begin to go crazy when beings, once thought mythological, enter the mortal realm to stir chaos as they sow the seeds of militancy.

Eight characters. Most of them friends, some of them strangers.
Each with their own story to tell. All of them destined to cross paths in a surreal sequence of events which will change them forever.

“With his new novel,” says Peter Buck, Editorial Director of Elsewhen Press, “Tej has revisited the unnamed rundown urban environment he introduced in The Janus Cycle. But rather than merely meeting a small, almost exclusive, community of outsiders, this time we are drawn into a series of events fueled by the dubious propagation of alternative facts, which lead to a political melée with wide implications. In its midst, the outsiders also have to deal with very real and disturbing issues on a more personal scale. The idea of the intervention of mythological creatures to try to deal with societal problems might have seemed unlikely not that long ago, but now… who knows? If recent events have taught us anything, it must surely be not to make assumptions about anyone, and question everything.”

Dinnusos Rises will be published in digital formats in April 2017 and in paperback in July 2017.

Notes for Editors

About Tej Turner

Tej TurnerTej has spent much of his life on the move and he does not have any particular place he calls ‘home’. For a large period of his childhood he dwelt within the Westcountry of England, and he then moved to rural Wales to study Creative Writing and Film at Trinity College in Carmarthen, followed by a master’s degree at The University of Wales Lampeter.

After completing his studies he spent a couple of years travelling around Asia, where he took a particular interest in jungles, temples, and mountains. He returned to the UK in 2015 for the release of his debut novel The Janus Cycle, published by Elsewhen Press. Since then he has been living in Cardiff, where he works as a chef by day, writes by moonlight, and squeezes in the occasional trip to explore historic sites and the British countryside.

Dinnusos Rises is his second novel and he plans on spending the next few years writing more. He will probably get itchy feet again, and when that happens he has his sights set upon South America.

He keeps a travelblog on his website, where he also posts author-related news, at tejturner.wordpress.com

 

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After a bit of a lull, now comes…

You may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet for a few weeks. Thanks to a combination of technological, medical, societal, and temporal incapacitances (’nuff said) we have been somewhat disconnected from media (social and otherwise). But we’re back now (not with a vengeance, but certainly with the intention to try and catch up!). Welcome (at last) to 2017!

And we’ll be starting with the announcement of our first title for the year, later today…

 

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“quite a page-turner” – review of Freedom’s Prisoners on Terry Tyler Book Reviews

On her Terry Tyler Book Reviews blog, writer Terry Tyler has just reviewed Freedom’s Prisoners, the third book in the Blueprint trilogy by Katrina Mountfort, and awarded it 5 out of 5 stars.

Artwork: Alex Storer

Artwork: Alex Storer

Having favourably reviewed each of the first two books in the trilogy when they were published, Future Perfect (“A terrific novel”) and Forbidden Alliance (“Recommended for all lovers of books about future worlds”) it was no surprise that Terry should be the first to review the trilogy finale which she says was “fun to read”. She says it is a “terrific trilogy” that tells a lot about human nature and the “possible (and worrying) development” of some of humanity’s less likeable traits. Terry writes that she really appreciated Katrina’s “clever assessment of what technology would be like nearly 200 years from now” as too many other books set in the future have less convincing world building, adding that the “characterisation is great”. Concluding that Freedom’s Prisoners is “Very clever and well thought out” she recommends it to those who like “these sort of books, and to those who think they don’t, too!”

You can read Terry’s full review of Freedom’s Prisoners on her blog here. Her review of Future Perfect is here and her review of Forbidden Alliance is here

 

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It’s Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should now available in paperback

It’s Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should, being the fourth novel in Ira Nayman’s increasingly improperly named Transdimensional Authority series*, and featuring Time Agency agent Radames Trafshanian, is now available in paperback.

Artwork: Hannah B. Farrell Photograph of Dingle Dell: Jose Manuel Revuelta Luna/shutterstock.com

Artwork: Hannah B. Farrell
Photograph of Dingle Dell: Jose Manuel Revuelta Luna/shutterstock.com

When Time Agency agent Radames Trafshanian is not trying to impress her good friend in the Transdimensional Authority, her very special friend, if you know what we mean (and, if you do, could you please tell us, because we’re not entirely certain…), she is busy trying to solve crimes against time (that is, crimes that are themselves against time, not trying to solve them against time – she’s not on the clock… well, she sort of is, but you know what we mean don’t you. You don’t? Well then, you’ll have to read It’s Just the Chronosphere Unfolding as it Should to find out).

In this novel, which is not nearly as parenthetical as the previous paragraph may have led you to believe, we accompany Radames on her latest case, followed by her previous case (time travel’s like that) and on the way we find out much more about the origin of the Time Agency itself and why it’s organised like a Library, which is very timely (see what we did there?). Featuring guest appearances by Noomi Rapier, Elvis Presley and Margaret Atwo–.

 

* (really, would it have killed him to plan the series more in advance? George R. R. Martin planned the first 137 books in his series – it will take more generations in his family to write than the books themselves actually chronicle – before he wrote a single word, and everybody knows where they stand with him)

 

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