Forgotten Warriors is finished and gets a new official synopsis

So earlier this week I received the final draft of Forgotten Warriors from the editor. The novel is now complete.

It is very hard unless you write to understand what it is like to finish a novel. The sheer emotional weight that hits you is something I don’t think you ever prepare for. As I sit here a blubbering mess trying to type this I have over seven years of emotional weight and memories of working on this novel settling on my shoulders. The times when I felt like a failure. The times when all I saw was a blank screen for hours on end, laughing at me. The times when I thought this was the best work I had ever done. The times when I lost my brother, my father and felt like I would never write again. Always in those times, both good and bad, I would hear my mum whispering to me to keep going, to just do one more word Titch, one more page.

To say writing is a rollercoaster of highs and lows may sound cliche but it is as good a metaphor as any.

Some writers would have you believe that writing is a solitary profession, it is not..at least not for me. The amount love and support and ‘kicks up the ass’ from friends and family can not and will never be underestimated.

So thank you all for your love and support, some more than others (you know how you are).

And lastly… Mum…still here, still trying to save the world.

The plan is to launch the novel at the Thought Bubble Exhibition together with The  Chimera Factor graphic novel. The comic is stand alone, in many ways, but it also acts as a prequel to Forgotten Warriors.

TheChimeraFactorCover

Look out for a post of how to pre-order your copy soon. It will be doing a limited edition special edition copy in the first instance..more details on that soon.

In the meantime if you’re a fan of Fallen Heroes…thank you for your support and sticking with me all these years..not much longer now. If you want to pick up Forgotten Warriors and want to read Fallen Heroes first you can still pick up a copy from Amazon.

Here’s the new story blurb to give you an idea what’s coming.

Hold your breath.

Stand your ground.

The worst is yet to come.

Three years ago, on the eve of their greatest triumph, the Book of Cademus instead suffered their greatest defeat.

Today the leaders of this apocalyptic cult are hunted across the globe as their followers lose faith in their gods.

Reduced to striking out from the shadows in petty acts of vengeance, the cult hatches one last desperate gambit to regain all they have lost.

The Icarus Foundation, ignorant of the danger, has become locked in a political power struggle. The United Nations believes Icarus are too dangerous to be left unchecked and take drastic measures to bring them under control.

With Icarus’ focus turned elsewhere the burden falls on those scarred survivors to stand against the Book of Cademus once more. If they can…

 

The Chimera Factor: The first act is all inked

Page 33 is a great point to have an update on The Chimera Factor. This stunning page (which is pretty epic) from Plwoods signifies the end of the first act of this story.

What better way to end a first act than with a potential fight about to kick off between our two Heroines.

Looks like Steph and Victoria are having a little disagreement

The creative team are working flat out to get this ready for launch at this year’s Thought Bubble so please keep your fingers and toes crossed!

Final Draft for Forgotten Warriors is Complete

“And now the end is near and now I face the final curtain…”

I could not have said it better myself Frank.

The final draft of Forgotten Warriors is now complete. Now there’s nine words I was beginning to think I would never say. The story is now in the capable hands of an editor to proofread and sense check. The copy will then be returned to me to go over the changes and send back for a final edit. Hopefully after that Forgotten Warriors will be ready for publication.

It’s been a long, fun, painful, soul destroying and soul uplifting process, getting to this moment but finally the end is finally in sight.

In celebration of this milestone here’s a sneak unproofed peek at the some of the opening prologue, featuring two familiar faces from the climax of Fallen Heroes.

Prologue

The Holy Lands, Anatolia 1097

The battlefield was a tapestry of nightmares, woven from torn flesh and shattered bone. At this distance the thousands of bodies strewn across the blood soaked earth were little more than dark specks.

So this is victory.

At the head of the battlefield, where the main body of fighting had taken place, a few specks moved. These, Oliver guessed, were looters seeking food or coin in the clothing of the dead.  He wanted to hate them but in this unforgiving land he had learnt faith alone would not fill an empty belly.

Oliver ignored the cheers from those around him. There was little to celebrate save that, by God’s grace, they had been spared to breathe this cursed land’s foul air for another day.

It had been here the Turkish horse archers had attacked, their arrows slicing through Oliver’s men with gruesome precision.

Sir Thomas, a friend of Oliver’s father, had fallen in that first skirmish, taking an arrow to the eye. Oliver had tired to reach him but the old knight’s screams were silenced by a second volley of arrows.

Oliver gently ran his fingers through his horse’s mane. It was a ritual he had perfected to keep the horse calm. The beast snorted and shuddered beneath him, its hooves stamping the earth in frustration. Oliver shared the beast’s desire to be away from this slaughterhouse.

The stench of rotting flesh, cooked by the noonday sun, was everywhere. However it was not the smell that made Oliver want to retch it was the sheer absurdity of it all. Where was God’s love in all this reckless slaughter?

On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends.

Trapped here, in this crucible of heat and death, the honeyed words of the Pope brought little comfort to Oliver. Did his holiness think the Turks would see the love of the one true God as they cradled their dead?

After a year of war Oliver Cademus had seen little holy in this crusade. He had answered a blood soaked call to arms to further the ambitions of powerful men. His father, Nicholas had warned him he did not have the stomach for war.

In the holy lands Oliver learnt the truth of his father’s words. Every night those he had put to death would visit him, whispering curses in the darkness of sleep.

Oliver gripped the reins and spurred his horse forward, his thoughts turning to England and home. He used to see his old life as stagnant and unfulfilled but now he would give anything have it again and to see his mother.

“Thinking about home again my Lord?”

Oliver stiffened and turned to the newcomer, who now rode beside him,

“Oh it’s you Jacob,” said Oliver, his hand moving from the hilt of his sword and back to the reins.

Jacob Covenant was tall, his features hawkish in appearance, though his thick beard helped to give the hard lines of his face a softer edge. He was not dressed in knights’ garments but rather those of a common solider.

“I was thinking about my mother,” said Oliver. “She’s a painter and a fine one at that.”

“What does she paint?”

“The last thing I saw her paint was a portrait of me before I set out on this fool’s errand.”

Oliver’s grumbled response had come just as the he and Jacob rode past a detachment of men.

“Choose your words with care my lord.”

“Forgive me,” said Oliver, rubbing his eyes. “I did not mean to speak ill of our faith.”

But rather those who would smother it with their own desires.

“You are a knight, you have no need to seek my forgiveness,” said Jacob. “It is I who should seek yours for forgetting my place.”

Oliver was certain Jacob knew what his place was in the world and it was not as anyone’s lackey. It was one of the reasons Oliver respected the man. Jacob had also saved Oliver’s life, a fact Jacob was embarrassed to be reminded of.

“You never did tell me if you had any family Jacob?” asked Oliver.

“You never asked my lord.”

“Well I am asking you now.”

A vacant expression settled over Jacob face as he spoke.

“I had a wife and two sons.”

The word ‘had’ was meaning enough to Oliver. He stumbled over his words as he sought to sooth the wound he had opened.

“Bear it no mind my lord,” said Jacob, waving away Oliver’s dismay. “It was a lifetime ago and I have made my peace with it.”

“Nevertheless I am sorry for your…”

The sounds of screaming tore the rest of the sentence from Oliver’s mouth. Looking ahead he saw several columns of thick black smoke curling upwards, invoking images of some giant terror unfurling its dark wings.

“Is there no end to this madness?” bellowed Oliver, turning his horse toward the smoke.

 

Free Digital Copies of Operation Solomon and Historia to Celebrate International Women’s Day

Seeing as today is International Women’s Day I thought I would celebrate that fact by giving away the  two stories which feature the first two ladies of Unseen Shadows,  Stephanie Connisbee and ex navy pilot and Kathryn Monroe, a special investigator for the United Nations.

So for one day only I have dropped the price to a big fat zero for the digital comics Operation Solomon which stars Steph and Historia which stars Kathryn. You can pick up these for free from the the links below.

I’m also dedicating this post to my mum Icilda Nugent who was the greatest woman I ever knew and whose strength, courage and compassion can be seenin both Steph and Kathryn. It was mum who pushed me to write my first stories and taught me to never stop dreaming, never stop reaching for what I wanted. I think wherever she is now she would have liked Steph and Kathryn…hmm maybe not Steph I think she swears a little too much for mum!

Anyway Happy International Women’s Day and I hope you enjoy the stories!

On a Tour of Duty in the Persian Gulf, Lieutenant Steph Connisbee is signed on as the pilot on a top secret mission- Operation: Solomon. During this assignment she will uncover secrets and danger and step into the world of Unseen Shadows before she even knows it…

Download Operation Solomon for free to Celebrate International Women’s Day.

A teacher at an exclusive school for the children of United Nations delegates is found brutally tortured and murdered. The Tactical, Operational Response and Control Headquarters (TORCH) sends in one of their best agents, Kathryn Monroe, to investigate.

Kathryn must use all her skills as an investigator as she puts herself in the firing line to uncover the murderer… and their dark secret.

Download Historia for free to Celebrate International Women’s Day.

The Chimera Factor: Meet the T.O.R.C.H Team Sketches

Work on The Chimera Factor graphic novel continues a pace. Here’s some character sketches of Steph and her team from artist Pete Woods.  This is quite exciting for me as this story is set in between the Fallen Heroes and Forgotten Warriors novel (yes I am still writing the second novel) so several of the character will be popping up in Forgotten Warriors.

More updates soon but for now enjoy the images.

09_jimmy-davies tracy-ross adrienne steph rubin