Oak And Mist – On Sale!

**SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE**

In case you missed it in yesterday’s post

To celebrate the release of Under Stone, the fourth book in my Ambeth series, Oak and Mist, the first book in the series, is currently on sale until the end of January, for the rather cheeky price of 99p/99c in the Kindle store!

‘The end of everything? Great. No pressure then.’

Pushed between two trees at her local park, Alma finds herself in another world. Ambeth. Where a Palace gleams in green gardens by the sea, and the Balance of the worlds is held.

However, all is not as perfect as it seems. Three items are lost. A Sword, A Cup and a Crown. Light and Dark are embroiled in an ancient battle for control.

And both sides have been waiting for Alma to arrive…

So, if you’ve ever fancied taking a journey to Ambeth, now’s the time to start. Get your discounted e-book copy of Oak and Mist here.

But only till the end of January!


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

 

New Year, New Book! Launch Day for Under Stone

What better way to start the new year than with a brand new book? Under Stone, the fourth instalment of my Ambeth Chronicles, is now live on Amazon! Get your copy here.

‘Help will come to you, Alma, you will not be alone.’

Accepting her new powers hasn’t been easy for Alma. Nor has finding out the truth about her father. And she’s still not sure about the prophecy, or about going back to Ambeth. But the Dark are gathering, Denoris on her trail. Deryck hasn’t forgotten about her either… Events past and present converge on a small Welsh town as Alma, and the Dark, choose their path. Who will reach the Cup first?

I’m thrilled to be starting the year with a new title and, for those of you who are new to Ambeth, Oak and Mist, the first book in the series, is 99p/99c to download in the Kindle store, but only until the end of January.

So what are you waiting for? New year, new series – take a journey to Ambeth.

 

The Wheel Turns, and a Cover Reveal!

Today was the shortest day, the moment when the wheel of the year turns towards light again. In the old ways it was called Yule, and marked a time of hope, when a spark of light would be lit both symbolically and literally to celebrate the turning of the year.

I love this time of year. I love the sparkling lights on the houses and in the trees, the clear high sunsets and cold nights, the shimmer of frost and the crack of ice. I especially love the idea of hope, of change, of finding the spark within.

It’s interesting that the past week has seen a turning of the wheel in my own life as well. I now have a new plan for the year ahead, and am excited to get back to writing once more. So, to celebrate both the solstice and my rejuvenated writing plan, here is the cover for my next release, Under Stone, the fourth in my Ambeth Chronicles series!

I’m thrilled with the finished product, and think it goes very well with the others. Under Stone will be released very soon, and pre-release copies are available for review – please contact me if you’d like one.

Wishing you all a happy solstice!

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day Fifteen – Witness

IMG_1084It’s day fifteen, half way through the 30 Day Writing Challenge, and today’s prompt is: Witness

I’d had a little flicker of an Ambeth story running through my mind and it seemed to work with this prompt, the idea of the trees as silent witnesses being quite insistent. If you’ve read the books, you may recognise the incident described here – it was mentioned at the start of book three, though without much detail. But I felt it an important part of the story, nonetheless. Even though I’ve written Ambeth in third person, this story came to me in first person, as though Alma wanted me to tell it through her voice.

Tangled Woods

Walking through the park I pulled my scarf closer around my neck, hunching my shoulders against the cold. The wind flicked at my hair, red strands dancing in front of my eyes. I blinked, putting my head down as I kept going, the cold of the path coming through the soles of my sneakers.

My backpack was light but I felt it like a weight upon my back, similar to the one in my chest, an ever-present mass of loss and guilt and sorrow. As I passed two oak trees I flinched, moving further away and almost treading on a small dog who had somehow managed to get underfoot. ‘Sorry,’ I mumbled, stepping over it as it danced and leapt at my legs, paws sliding on my jeans.

Taking another path I headed through the centre of the park past a small café built of grey stone, a few hardy customers still sitting outside at the tables despite the chill in the air. The light was fading, the trees stretching leafless to a sullen purpling sky. It suited me, this weather. There was no light left in me anymore, warm days in sunlit woods and on golden beaches now distant memories too painful to revisit.

At the other side of the park a tall hedge bounded tangled woodland, beyond which the road ran. There were big houses hidden among the trees further along, but this little piece of wild wood was still part of the park. Not many people went in, choosing instead to stick to the well-marked paths and ornamental gardens, or the wide green expanses of grass. But I knew it well, my friends and I playing there when we were younger, emerging dusted with sweet-smelling hawthorn in spring, muddy and damp in autumn. But I was not there to play today.

At a gap in the hedge I turned, taking a muddy path into the woods. Pushing through branches I stepped over brambles, thorns catching at my jacket and hands, leaving faint red marks. I pushed away the memory of when I’d last been in a wood, choking down the terror that accompanied it. There was nothing that could harm me here except my own thoughts. Eventually the path ended in a small natural clearing sheltered by a beech tree. I knelt down, not caring about the mud, and unslung my pack from my back. Then I started digging.

My hands scraped through leaf mulch and soil, the damp grit of it catching beneath my nails as I scrabbled at the cold earth. Finally the hole was big enough. I sat back, wiping my hands on my jeans and leaving muddy streaks. My breath was starting to hitch in my chest, my vision to blur, but I had to do this. Unzipping my pack I took out a small bundle of cream coloured paper, rough edged, and another smaller silk bundle that jangled faintly in the darkening wood. I held them for a moment, then put them into the hole, dark crumbs of soil staining the cream paper, clotting on the coloured silk. All at once I became angry, red fury in me as I pushed and smashed at the dirt, wanting to cover the bundles beyond all finding. Then they were gone. I sobbed, my throat raw, tears dropping hot onto the cold leaves and tumbled earth as I rubbed at my wrist with my other hand, a small patch of red roughened skin a permanent reminder of all that I’d lost.

Eventually I stood, wiping my face, running hands through my hair. I was covered with mud but didn’t care. I just wanted to go home, to leave the trees that stood as silent witness to my pain. There were too many memories, still, in the woods. I wanted no more of them.

Pushing through the trees once more I found the path and started for home. Though my pack was now lighter, the weight was still the same. Perhaps it always would be.


If you enjoyed this post, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Oak And Mist on Sale, Plus Some Other Stuff!

Book One of The Ambeth Chronicles*trumpet fanfare* Oak and Mist is now on a Kindle Countdown Sale! For a limited time only, get your copy for the low price of 99c or 99p, depending where you are (e-book only, just so you know).

It’s been a funny old weekend. I posted about this yesterday – well, I meant to write a draft but published by accident, then took it down, then put it back up again. I also just discovered a whole bunch of comments, including a couple of reblogs, in my spam folder! They have been restored, and thanks to you all for commenting and sharing my work. Finally, I’d like to welcome some new followers to the blog – thanks so much for coming to visit and choosing to take the journey with me.

Right, I’m off to a family lunch now, the rain has cleared and I can even see a hint of blue sky. Wishing you all a blue sky happy Sunday wherever you are and, if you’re looking for something to read, Oak and Mist is on sale – yay!

Oak And Mist Kindle Countdown Sale! Oct 16-20

oak-and-mist-final-coverHello everyone! Just a very quick little post to say that Oak and Mist (e-book only) will be discounted on Kindle in both the US and the UK from October 16th to October 20th, 2016! The deal starts at 99c or 99p, depending on where you are, so if you’ve thought about getting a copy, now’s your chance to do so.

‘The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.”

Pushed between two trees at her local park, Alma never expected to find another world. But Ambeth, where a palace gleams in green gardens by a wild sea, has been expecting her.

Now she has to find a lost sword or the consequences for humanity will be dire. With no idea where to look, despite help from her new friend Caleb, things get even more complicated when a handsome prince of the Dark seems to be interested in her. Add in some time-twisting, concerned parents and a battle between Light and Dark for control of a lost sword, and it’s enough to make any fifteen-year-old want to give up. But then she wouldn’t see Caleb any more. Or Deryck…

For your copy of Oak and Mist, book one of The Ambeth Chronicles, click here

 

 

#BlogBattle – Coconut – Blast From The Past

IMG_2039It’s that time of week again, when bloggers across the web post their response to Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle. This week, the prompt is ‘coconut’, and I had grand dreams and a wisp of a story about being at the beach, with the song ‘She’s Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts’ floating around in my head. However, a snot monster has also taken up residence in my head, leaving me down for the count when it comes to anything imaginative, so the story has come to nothing as yet. But I didn’t want to let another week go by without at least trying to participate, so here’s a passage from my latest book, Hills And Valleys, which in some ways is similar to what I was trying to come up with.

The story so far: Our heroine, Alma, after a tragedy in the otherworld of Ambeth, has come to her grandmother’s house in Wales for the summer, hoping to recuperate and forget all about Ambeth. But Ambeth, it seems, has not forgotten about her, a display at her local library holding an unwelcome surprise…

She shook her head, running her finger across the row of plastic-covered book spines, scanning the titles. Selecting a couple that looked interesting, she tucked them under her arm and moved around to the other side of the shelf, squinting a little in the bright sunlight coming through the long glass window. There wasn’t much there – just some large print books and a selection of encyclopaedias. Oh, well. As she wandered across to the other shelves, her attention was caught by a display on a concertina-style board in the middle of the room. The heading announced ‘150 years of Entertainment’, while underneath in smaller letters it read ‘Courtesy of the Historical Society.’ Intrigued, she stopped to have a look.

Black and white photographs and old concert programs were pinned on the board, along with informative captions typed on small pieces of paper. Alma tilted her head to read the faded playbills, amused by the variety of shows on offer. She was particularly taken by a poster for a visiting circus complete with elephant and the accompanying photo of the animal on the beach with a crowd gathered around, the castle looming high in the background. She moved along to a set of street scenes, amazed to see how similar the town looked then to how it was now. The shingled beach was the same, too, though fashions had changed in the intervening years. Alma shook her head, wondering how anyone could swim in knee-length knickerbockers and a long-sleeved top. On the beach were vendors and sideshows, young men trying to knock coconuts off precarious looking stands and young women lined up for beauty contests, smiling, their eyes creased against the bright sun. There were also photos of the old theatre, the stage hung with velvet curtains, women in corseted gowns and men in striped blazers caught mid-song – Alma could almost hear their voices coming through the years. Walking around to the other side of the board, Alma was taken by a series of photographs showing dances held at the Town Hall. She admired the dresses, the men in their suits. Then she blinked, feeling as though she were going to black out.

For there, smiling in black and white, was Gwenene. The photo showed her arm in arm with a dark-haired man, looking into the camera. Her dark hair was pinned up and she was dressed in a knee-length beaded dress, but nonetheless it was her. Alma would never forget her beautiful face, or the way the Dark Elder had threatened her in the Great Hall. Her vision blurred and she started to shake. Rubbing her eyes, she leaned in to read the small paper tag under the picture. ‘Prof. Llewellyn Davies and friend at the Christmas Social, 1927’ the legend read. Alma gasped. So this was the professor – Caleb had been right about Gwenene as well. Her eyes filled with tears. She dashed them away, studying the picture. Davies was smiling widely, looking at Gwenene as though he couldn’t believe his luck. Alma felt sick. No matter where she turned, no matter what she did, it seemed Ambeth was calling her. First her father, now this. Swallowing hard, she shook so much that she dropped the books tucked under her arm, the thud as they hit the floor jolting her back to reality. As she gathered them up, she looked around and saw the librarian looking at her disapprovingly. She mouthed ‘Sorry,’ before putting them carefully on a nearby table. Then, on legs that were barely holding her upright, she left the library and its photos behind, her mind frantic with the shock of what she had just seen.

And, th-th-th that’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading x