Blog Hop, Got Goals?

Got Goals? She’s Here!

Big Goals BloghopIn my post last month, I was sailing towards the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, which I did complete with a 25k wordcount goal. Really happy with that, and a good chunk of my next book, While We Were Waiting, is now written.

May has been a little big of a mixed bag. I’ve been busy plotting the rest of While We Were Waiting (and finally worked out what the ending would be just yesterday!), and I returned to The Memory Trader series with the final edits and formatting of The Sister before its release on 22nd. So, yes, another book is now out, and the reviews have been absolutely amazing!

It really feels like things are moving forward, and picking up momentum now. Like I might, soon, be able to actually justify all this! Something’s definitely shifted, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

So, looking forward to June, it would be great to get While We Were Waiting fully plotted, fully written, and maybe even out to the beta readers. Too much? We’ll see!

How have you done with your goals in May? Join the Got Goals? Bloghop here.

Events, Publication

Her Dark Voice

Her Dark Voice volume 2This July, the Her Dark Voice Vol 2 anthology will be unleashed.

A collection of horror shorts all penned by women, the anthology will be raising money for Breast Cancer Research.

The book will be launched at a special event as part of Edge Lit speculative fiction literary festival, held at The Quad in Derby on July 14th. The launch will include a number of readings by several of the book’s authors, and I will be reading from my story Rock-a-Bye.

Her Dark Voice Vol 2 is published by Quantum Corsets and edited by Theresa Derwin.


She’s Out, and She’s Not Playing Nice…

It’s release day!

The Visionary“You’re just as weak minded as everyone else. Just as easy to control.”

After generations of freedom from the administration’s rule, the slum women find themselves facing a census. But as officers try to list and tag them, their efforts are met with violent resistance.

Maeve needs to keep Faith safe, and hidden, but she has another demon to battle. Powerful psychic Corinn, the girl nobody wants, is playing deadly games, and no one’s safe from her influence.

Maeve’s learning to fight back, but her powers aren’t the only thing being unlocked, and she doesn’t have long to decide who to trust.

You can continue the Paper Duchess series by buying your copy at Amazon, iTunes, Nook, and Kobo, and adding it on Goodreads.

Check out the love it’s getting already:

The Visionary Reviews

Guest Blog Posts

Coming Soon: This Twisted Earth

This Twisted Earth“When I pitched the gig I described it as a chance to ‘play cat’s cradle with Time.’ I hope you enjoy the game as much as we did.”
—from the Introduction

This Twisted Earth is the latest book from Dion Winton-Polak, the editor and anthologist behind Sunny, with a Chance of Zombies. Here, he theorized a version of our planet in which a strange cataclysm has left time itself in a tangle. This is a sandpit universe; in which the authors were encouraged to unleash their wildest dreams to create pulpy stories of danger, adventure, and dread-filled discovery.

This Twisted Earth contains 12 stories, and a further 12 creative fragments, including…

  • Stagecoach Mary and the Ride over the Mountains – a Western tale, pitting folk-hero Mary Fields against a pack of prehistoric predators.
  • Dead Horse Walking – a Mayan-noir detective story, digging into the mysteries of the world.
  • The Man who would be King of the Monsters – a sly spin on the Kipling yarn – featuring colossal monsters. Naturally.
  • Little Boy – a samurai leads an old woman through a death-haunted domain to find her missing son.
  • The Electric Eye of the Silver God – a rag-tag group of adventurers defy a horde of degenerates in order to claim one final, glittering prize.

Whilst the concept was originated by Dion Winton-Polak, the authors collaborated and brainstormed together to make this a truly shared world. The individual stories stand alone, but little details draw them together, and additional material by Dion is used to both strengthen this cohesion and plant seeds for future volumes.

The paperback edition of This Twisted Earth will be launched at FantasyCon by the Sea in Scarborough on 24th September, 2016. The editor and several authors will be available to answer questions and to sign copies of the book. There will also be an extremely limited run of hardback copies, available to purchase on the day.

The authors are multiple-award nominated author Adrian Tchaikovsky, author, comic scriptwriter, and editor Mike Chinn, author and academic librarian Jess Nevins, and widely published author Phil Sloman, along with Andrew Coulthard, Dave de Burgh, Drew Bassett, Hereward Proops, Jacob Prytherch, Keith Coleman, Matt Lewis, and Piotr Świetlik.

This Twisted Earth will be available from October 1st from

“Something about the forest made her brain itch. Diagonally across the middle of England, from Bristol up to Hull, were a series of craters that looked alarmingly like footprints. Anglesey, for some reason, glowed. Much of Scotland was covered by a glacier. Across the Channel, in the place of France, was some kind of black smudge. Most of it was off the bottom of the screen but the smudge looked, even from space, like it was… writhing.”
“The Ghost in Michelle”
Matt Lewis

Guest Blog Posts

Blog Tour: Vanessa MacLellan’s Three Great Lies

Three Great Lies by Vanessa MacLellanWhile vacationing in Egypt. . .
Jeannette Walker, a cynical scientist jaded by swarms of tour groups and knick-knack shacks, is lured by a teenage tour guide to visit a newly discovered tomb. No other tourists there! Inside the chamber, she tumbles down a shaft and 3000 years back in time.

Now, in a world where deities walk the streets and prophecy stinks up the air, Jeannette is desperate for normal and the simple pleasures of sanitation and refrigeration. However, a slave master hawking a cat-headed girl derails her homebound mission, and Jeannette—penniless in this ancient world—steals the girl, bringing down the tireless fury of the slaver.

Saddled with a newly awakened mummy and the cat-headed girl, Jeannette, through her unparalleled experience gained from watching spy movies, contrives a plan to free them from the slaver’s ire, but will she have to dive into the belly of the beast to succeed?

You can find Three Great Lies at Amazon

The torchlight caught an image of the Eye of Ra, omniscient and red, and a shiver crossed her skin. With a glance back at the stairs—a little voice in her head urging her to ‘just get the hell out’—she faced the tunnel again. She’d leave once she assured the kid wasn’t lost down here, injured and scared.

She grabbed her pack and slung it over her shoulder, careful of her injuries, and crept past the sarcophagus, certain the opening loomed wider than before. Not looking in for fear of catching a peek at something dead and rotten, she stepped into the darkened hallway, calling out. “Hello?” Her voice hung flat in the narrow hall, the acoustics wanting. It surprised her to find a network of passages and rooms. Each dry, empty antechamber sucked the fluid from her mouth and mocked her with hostile silence. As she wandered from one small chamber to the next, she expected to find piles of offerings, maybe gold or jewels, or even pottery, but the rooms housed only one blocky sarcophagus. Otherwise empty, they had been left incomplete—or emptied under ill-intentioned methods.

“Kid.” Her calls had turned into a mantra, lacking the passion of initial panic and had morphed simply into a word that slipped from her lips each time she entered a new room. “Kid?” Her guide played an amazing impersonation of somebody who was just not there.

When she hit the end of the passages, having explored each alcove with no sign of life, she began retracing her steps to that first room she’d tumbled into. The kid must have been on the upper level after all, and had not fallen down the threshold into crazy land like she had. Just her luck.

Exhausted, dragging her feet across the stones, she almost tripped on the flat surface. She just wanted to return to her hotel and sleep. The dreaded knowledge of the long trip back in the bike’s sidecar—assuming she could even return that way—and the fact that she was running out of water, sapped away her optimism. Trips were designed to be fun, a bit of adventure, a bit of pampering. She was ready for the spa treatment now. The tour planners had touted it as part of the package deal. She’d never had a spa treatment: no foot rubs, no facials. The knowledge that a hot bath and massage waited for her spurred her forward, though all she really wanted to do was close her eyes and open them again to her hotel room, the soft bed and bowl of fruit, the funky scent of the detergent that tickled her nose to the edge of a sneeze.

Damn it. This wasn’t what she wanted.

Frustrated, she stomped across the floor, her hard-soled hiking boots clomping as her mind soldiered through her options to make it back to El-Balyana, let alone Luxor. With her thoughts leap-frogging from walking miles, to hijacking a camel, to the cost in dog lives of a taxi trip to her hotel, she didn’t see the figure standing near the opened sarcophagus as she rounded the corner.

When she did, she froze.

Within the eon caught between one blink and the next, she absorbed details of the monster from a bad B movie: short, about her height, wrapped in linen gauze. Arms bound to its sides, it twisted and writhed, struggling to free itself from the linen embrace.

Then it moaned, a noise tapped straight from its slim chest, desperate and hungry, and Jeannette couldn’t contain her own scream.

Publisher’s Weekly Review

MacLellan’s fun debut drops Jeanette, an American tourist in Egypt, into ancient Thebes…
A great sense of character evolution drives the plot, as Jeanette learns that her safe, mundane, passive modern life can’t compare…
A strong conclusion sets this light fantasy a notch above its peers. (Oct.)

Vanessa MacLellanVanessa MacLellan was born and raised in the farmlands of eastern Washington, works as an environmental engineer, and is an avid birder, naturalist, gamer, and runner living in Portland, Oregon. Her website is

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