Thursday, 28 November 2013

Now available for Kindle -- all 8 of the Angel Mountain books

 The last two novels are now "live" on the Amazon web sites for Kindle readers to download.  Here are the links:

Sacrifice on

Sacrifice on

Conspiracy on

Conspiracy on

This means that all 8 of the novels are available to Kindle readers --- and there are quite a few, by accounts, who will be delighted...  Please spread the word.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

"Conspiracy of Angels" is also uploaded for Kindle

Been spending another horrific day trying to format a novel for Kindle.  This time, "Conspiracy of Angels" for upload onto the Amazon Kindle site.  I HATE WORD!  Every time I use it I hate it more -- it is so ludicrously complex that there are far too many formatting options for the purpose of converting to .mobi format, as required for the Kindle.  They don't tell you which formats are OK for uploading, and which will simply be ignored or overriden.  You just have to do the whole job over and again, eliminating one glitsch after another by trial and error.  And possibly the most irritating WORD habit of all is that the wretched thing assumes to know better than you do what you actually want to do, so even if you try to modify formats it keeps on flipping back to the original ones all the time, eliminating in an instant maybe a couple of hours of hard work.

And the Pages route doesn't work either, although you are supposed to be able to save a long Pages document in ePub or HTML format, which in theory is acceptable for a .mobi upload.  But it just causes chaos -- and when you look at the final .mobi version you see that most of your formatting categories are all screwed up, so that you have to start again in Word anyway.

So beware, if you want to use several different categories of headings and some text in bold, italic or other formats.............

Strange that Amazon, which prides itself on the simplicity and sophistication of its interfaces etc, still uses something straight out of the Stone Age..... maybe they don't want it to be TOO easy, and use it as a deterrent so that only the most determined people actually succeed in getting their masterpieces uploaded onto the Kindle site.........

Anyway, thank goodness that all 8 novels are now uploaded.  May be a couple of days before they are available for purchase.

November -- a poem


Strange times.
November's complacent benediction
in blackness before dawn,
with just a hint of menace?

Day after day
A grey shroud over our heads
draped from far horizons,
flat, heavy, damp
as a grimy sponge
drawing colour from the land.
A leaden sea.
Even the stream is low, slow, murmuring.

Night after night
no stars, no wind, no moon, no rain.
Unsettled, I listen.
Then, in the far woods
A tawny owl,
right on the edge of hearing.


(This came into my head at 5 am this morning, as I lay awake feeling thoroughly grotty and full of cold........  so I had a cup of tea and wrote it down.......)

Images from the OU East Greenland Expedition 1962

 The great peak which dominates this photo is Kolossen, in the Werner Mountains of East Greenland.  In 1962 we walked over the mountains via the Eastern Glacier, to the left of the peak.

Here are the expedition slides converted to digital images by Chris Sugden -- as used in his little file for YouTube, which has had many thousands of hits.......

This is one of Chris's Picasa albums:

Uploading today -- Sacrifice

I've been preparing the Kindle version of "Sacrifice", and it was uploaded last night -- so it should be available on Amazon -- in the Kindle version -- today.   It's by far the darkest of all the novels -- part mystery, part thriller, part Gothic melodrama with terrifying and violent events at the centre of the story..........  But because Martha and her angels are involved,  there is a love, humanity and compassion in there too.  And many people think this book has the most heart-rending final chapter of the whole Saga.

This is the back cover blurb:

In the Wild West of Wales, in the year 1808, a shepherd is ambushed and left in the roadway, more dead than alive, with three stripes carved across his chest. A note, written in his own blood, is pinned to his skin. It reads “For Rhiwallwn. From Gruddnei.” Four sinister men who call themselves surveyors are clearly responsible for this crime and others that follow. It emerges that there is a “campaign of retribution” against selected individuals. Mistress Martha Morgan, a young widow with five children, is at the top of the hit list. As the net tightens around the villains, more is discovered about their backgrounds, their motives and their grotesque methods of working. In a terrifying final confrontation Martha at last faces them, and finds depravity on a scale which she finds almost impossible to deal with.

In this fast-moving tale the key players will be familiar to fans of the Angel Mountain Saga, and other characters who march through the pages of the book include the eccentric Iolo Morgannwg, hot-tempered busybody Charles Hassall, two exotic prostitutes, and a charming and mysterious Irishman called Dominic Cunningham whose life was complicated enough even before he fell in love with Mistress Martha......

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Last chance for free Rebecca......

Just today and tomorrow left for the Kindle freebie promotion re "Rebecca and the Angels."  It's the first time this book has been on a free promotion --  and I look forward to seeing whether the free promotion will have an impact on future sales.  That is, of course, the object of the exercise......

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Carningli from the west

I took this photo yesterday around lunch time.  The summit seen from the west, from one of those little tors, in beautiful autumnal light........

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Rebecca now free for Kindle

As from today, for 5 days, "Rebecca and the Angels" is free for Kindle, from the Amazon web site.  Feel free to download it, and tell your friends ....... and if you feel inclined to stick a review onto Amazon as well, all well and good.......

Monday, 18 November 2013

Dark Angel video on YouTube

 To coincide with the Kindle freebie promo, I made this little video about "Dark Angel."  You can see it here:

The Saga's best cover?

I think this is my favourite of all the covers -- designed by Martin, it is a veritable feast of symbolism.  The flames and the smashed gate symbolising the Rebecca Riots, the raven on the gatepost, the diary script at the base of the page, and the ornamented letter "A" to indicate that this is a part of the Angel Mountain Saga.  A clever piece of work.....

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Monsters misunderstood

A little collection of images....... all joined by a common thread......
Get your free Kindle download here:

Jazz up your Kindle book description

I've been reading up  on how to increase the effectiveness of your book description on your Amazon Kindle page.  Here's mine for Dark Angel -- jazzed up this morning and very different from what was there before.

Previously, like many other authors, I simply had a brief synopsis of the story.  According to the experts, that's a complete waste of space, since the space on the Amazon web page can be used much more effectively for marketing purposes. 

You can't do much if you type directly into the box on the Amazon Kindle KDP page that you normally use for uploads.  However, quite a bit of space is allowed, and what Amazon doesn't tell you is that you can paste in HTML code and that it will come out more or less as you want it to.  On my page the bold type and the spacing has come out OK, but my attempt to introduce colour to the text has so far failed.  Still working on it.........  I might go back to it after a few more days and do some further tweaking.

You can do as follows.  Go to Scrivener (if that's what you use) and set up a document with the wording and formatting exactly as you want it --  book description, reader reactions, purple prose, outrageous nonsense -- whatever......  Once you have done that, highlight it, go to Edit > Copy Special > Save as HTML.  Then you are almost done.  Paste it into your Scrivener document to make sure it's OK;  if it is, copy the HTML and go back to your Amazon Kindle upload page.  Then just paste it into the box.  If you are over the character limit, revise.  Otherwise, proceed to the end of the page, save and upload the changes.

After 12 hours or less, the revised book description will appear on and and on all the other Amazon sites too.  And your sales record will be TRANSFORMED!!!!!  Well, that's the hope of the eternally optimistic.......

One other advantage is that a new date appears at the head of the new book description -- so quite an ancient book suddenly appears to be a brand new one.  That might just be good for sales too!

Who or what is The Nightwalker?

 An eerie shadowy faceless figure dressed in black from head to toe walks -- or glides -- through the pages of "Dark Angel".  Who -- or what  -- is this strange creature that appears intermittently, leaving no trace of his movements, even when there is snow on the ground which should show up footprints?  Is The Nightwalker a human being intent on stalking or terrorising Martha and her family and friends?  Or is the creature a ghost -- or a devil -- or even the Grim Reaper, come to remind Martha of her mortality and maybe of her impending demise? 

The character of The Nightwalker is one of the most interesting of the 200 or so characters who appear in the stories.  As an author, of course I have used the "creature" to symbolise the darker components of this story -- Martha's loneliness and despair, her paranoia, and her tendency towards depression.  But it was also interesting to turn everything upside down towards the end of the novel, and to turn The Nighwalker into an ultimately pathetic and even tragic figure -- and the scene in which Martha is finally forced to confront this creature is one of the scenes of which I am most proud.... but I must not give too much away.........

Your free Kindle version of "Dark Angel" can be obtained here:

Beauty and the Beast.  The Phantom of the Opera.   King Kong.  Ogres, monsters and trolls.  Literature is full of these terrifying figures who are demonised because they are different -- either because they are large, or ugly, or fail to conform with what we are used to seeing as beautiful or comfortable.  The great film called "Monsters" comes to mind as well.  All too often the monsters are themselves terrified because they have suffered from some traumatic event, or because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dark Angel freebie promo goes live

The Kindle edition of "Dark Angel" is now free from Amazon websites -- for just 5 days.  This is one of the favourite books of the series, darker in tone than most of the others, but with an ultimately optimistic thread running right through it.  So yes, is is about fear of the unknown, insecurity, loneliness and despair (well, Mistress Martha did duffer from bipolar syndrome) -- but it's also about compassion, courage, loyalty and love.  If you have a Kindle, feel free to download and enjoy.........

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Free Promo coming up: Dark Angel on Kindle

From Thursday 14th November to Mon 18th November volume 3 of the Angel Mountain Saga will be free for Kindle owners, from the Amazon web site.  Here is the link for the USA:

 and for the UK:

This is the first time I have done a free promo for this book.  Enjoy!!

It is 1807, and Martha Morgan, the beautiful and feisty Mistress of the Plas Ingli estate, has recovered from the murder of her husband David. The murderers have been brought to justice, and now she looks forward to a happier future in the company of Owain Laugharne, the new love of her life. Plans for the marriage are far advanced when Owain disappears without trace. This is trouble enough for a young widow with four children, but then she has to cope with the bullying of a neighbouring squire, the terrifying appearances of a strange figure in black called The Nightwalker, and a newborn baby left on her doorstep. Her friend and mentor, the Wizard Joseph Harries, tries but fails to discover exactly what is going on. As the years pass she becomes increasingly lonely, and at last her friends and servants convince her to marry again. A long-time admirer, Ceredig ap Tomos, proposes, and she accepts. But on the night before the wedding, a new arrival triggers off a series of extraordinary events on Angel Mountain which will test Martha’s resolve to the limit.......