Tuesday 15 May 2018

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic launch

Today I'm helping out C. Lee McKenzie, blogging friend, MG author and IWSG admin extraordinaire, with the launch of her latest novel, Some Very Messy Medieval Magic. I absolutely love that title, and this book closes out a trilogy that started with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster. Check those out too.


 By C. Lee McKenzie

Pete’s stuck in medieval England!

 Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found.

 There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.

 But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again...

Release date – May 15, 2018

Juvenile Fiction - Fantasy & Magic/Boys & Men

$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460

$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand. http://cleemckenziebooks.com

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Some-Very-Messy-Medieval-Magic/dp/1939844460/
Kindle - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079V72G8R
Foyles - http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/childrens/some-very-messy-medieval-magic,c-lee-mckenzie-9781939844460

Congrats, Lee! Have you read any of her books? Will you be picking this one up?

Thursday 10 May 2018


I don't normally weigh in on controversial topics but the news unfolding on Facebook over the last few days has been disturbing, to say the least.

If you've missed the drama, a certain author (I don't want to give her name or offer her any more publicity than she has already generated) has put a trademark on the word "cocky" so others can't use it in their book titles. She's demanding that anyone who has used it in a title change it immediately - even if it was published before her own book - or face a courtly cost battle. Apparently it's all in the name of "protecting her brand" or some rubbish. I think she's already laid waste to her own brand with the negative backlash that has inevitably arisen.

It's hard to know where to start with this. I think it's the arbitrary nature of it that scares me. It's not like this is a special word she's made up that's unique to her story - in which case I could see where she's coming from. This is a normal, common word that's in the Oxford English Dictionary. Anyone could have been affected by this, it just happened to be this word, this nutjob.

But as one of my friends on Facebook has pointed out, it's the response to it all that's been heartening. People have been rallying round to support each other, share each others' books (check out the hashtag #thisishowyouindie), and generally showing the way an author is actually supposed to behave. Humour has also been used in the face of an entirely baffling situation, with mocked-up book covers appearing using the word "cocky" in bizarre contexts.

I just hope this doesn't set a dangerous precedent. One of the most frightening aspects is that she seems to have Amazon on her side. Is it too much to ask that common sense and decency will prevail? What do you think of Cockygate?

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Tick Tock launch and IWSG May 2018

Yes, it's time once again for our group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where we can share our fears and insecurities without fear of being judged. Hosted (of course) by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the co-hosts this month are E.M.A. TimarJ.Q. RoseC. Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant.

But first, onto that big news I trailed yesterday. Feels like it's been a while coming, but the next IWSG anthology, Tick Tock, is finally here! It was actually released on May 1, but I wanted to give it a push on IWSG day for some more exposure.

The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 204 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Mystery & Detective (FIC022000) / Crime (FIC050000) / Thrillers (FIC031000)
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

“Each story is fast paced, grabbing the reader from the beginning.”
 - Readers' Favorite, 5 stars

“I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of thought-provoking crime stories.” - Denise Covey, author

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

Tick Tock links:

Have you got your copy yet? I can vouch that this is an amazing bunch of stories.

So let us turn our attention to this month's IWSG question, which is: "It's spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?"

Well, I think I've already mentioned this in a comment on another post - spring in Scotland is very variable. We just finished up with the snow the other week, had some glorious weather the last few days, and back to rain today. It's very much a pick'n'mix, a smorgasbord of weather modes, but I do appreciate things like daffodils popping up around the edges of the garden (nothing to do with me, I'm not greenfingered in any way). Definitely a time of new beginnings, but I can find things to inspire me in every season - I love the autumn colours too. I think we need to push ourselves to write no matter what the external circumstances, but then so many outside factors are inspiring in the life of a writer - a fragment of a conversation, an interesting piece of graffiti - so it's inevitable that things like the vivid light you can get in spring might get us feeling creative too. Something quite indefinable but there it is!

What about you? Don't forget to check out the other IWSG blogs here.

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Black & White free this week

The first day of a new month and hope everyone's doing well. It's a big week this week, with exciting news coming from the IWSG, but ahead of that I wanted to let you know about a promotion I've got running this week. Black & White, the first part of my YA trilogy, is FREE this week on Amazon until Saturday - grab a copy on US here and UK here. And if you enjoy it, a line or two of a review would of course be much appreciated!

In other news, I'm moving closer towards publication of Part 2 with the completion of a big edit last week. I've managed to iron out some of the more troublesome issues so it looks as if things are coming together. Should be on track for an autumn release.

I'll be back tomorrow with the IWSG and that big news. In the meantime, hope you get to enjoy some nice May weather!