Sunday, 30 November 2008

The What is Myrrh Anyway? Advent Calendar

As I'm sure you already know, the period of four weeks leading up to Christmas is called Advent and in many households the days left until Christmas are counted down with the aid of an Advent calendar. But how did such a tradition come about?

Well, What is Myrrh Anyway? has all the answers, along with facts about Christmas turkey, Twelfth Night, mince pies and cracker pulling.

And during the month of December, the What is Myrrh Anyway? blog will have an alternative Advent calendar. Rather than opening a door every day to reveal a chocolate, if you log on each day you'll find a new Christmas-related post or festive fact.

So add the blog to your list of favourites and I'll see you there tomorrow...

Friday, 28 November 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Has finally been laid to rest. Confused? Well don't be.

Today I finished writing Christmas Past, the exclusive short story that will appear at the back of Human Nature, my next novel from Abaddon Books. It's a traditional festive tale of murder, mystery and mayhem and features, of course, dandy agent of the Crown, Ulysses Quicksilver.

And what's even more exciting is the fact that Human Nature can now go off to the printers and be out in time for a Pax Britannia book-signing at the Forbidden Planet store in London. I will of course update you regarding this event, via this blog, as and when I details have been finalised.

So, watch this space.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Ealing 135 Group Christmas Fair

Apologies for the late notice on this one, but I shall be appearing at the Ealing 135 Group Christmas Fair this evening.

The event is being held in the Victoria Hall at Ealing Town Hall, Uxbridge Road, London, and runs from 8.00pm - 10.00pm.

As well as me, selling and signing copies of What is Myrrh Anyway?, my brand new book which answers all your questions about the festive season, you will also find a fabulous and unusual range of gifts and products, mostly hand-made. There's jewellery, hand-made baby clothes, toys, bags, ceramics, photo albums, home produce and loads more.

Mince pies and mulled wine will be available and there will also be a raffle, with all proceeds going to charity.

Entry is £1.00.

Monday, 24 November 2008

News from Abaddon

The front page of the Abaddon Books website has been updated and features both Human Nature and Evolution Expects.

There's also exciting news from the Abaddon blog that 12 titles have already been commissioned for release next year, which is four more than this year!

So, if you're a fan of The Afterblight Chronicles, Tomes of the Dead, Twilight of Kerberos or Pax Britannia, 2009 is the year you've been waiting for!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The perfect Christmas gifts!

Struggling to think of a suitable gift for the armchair genius in your home? Then why not have them testing the little grey cells on Christmas Day with a copy of the ever-popular Match Wits with the Kids?

And then, for the festively-minded there's What is Myrrh Anyway? which answers all the questions you've ever wanted to ask about the Christmas season, and some you haven't.

For the science fiction and fantasy fan in your family, why not try the Pax Britannia steampunk-action-adventure novels Unnatural History and Leviathan Rising?

And if you're looking for stocking fillers for the kids, you could do a lot worse than get them a few gamebooks - The Horror of Howling Hill, Howl of the Werewolf, Bloodbones, Curse of the Mummy, Spellbreaker - which will keep them occupied while you're getting Christmas dinner on the go. Or even Go, Go Crazy For Those Bones, for the younger GoGo's fan.

Close encounters of a Dalek kind

Today - Sunday 23 November 1963 - is the 45th anniversary of the first ever airing of the first ever episode of Doctor Who!

And yesterday I took part in Doctor Who Day at Ealing Library, selling and signing copies of my Doctor Who Decide Your Destiny book The Horror of Howling Hill. Author Nick Griffiths was also there to talk about his book Dalek I Loved You and we were both upstaged by the presence of Dalek Kaan himself!

JG ready and eager to sign!

I had a close encounter with the Gold Dalek from the Cult of Skaro myself. The alien menace approached my table announcing, 'I detect books about the Doctor. The Doctor is the enemy of the Daleks.' And then started trashing my stock with its sink plunger. However, as soon as I turned my digital imaging recorder (my camera) on the monster, it was instantly subdued, screeching, 'Cheeeese!'

Close encounters of a Dalek kind.

(In a rather more surreal moment, later on in the day, I found myself enjoying a hot chocolate in the company of the Doctor's nemesis.)

So, all that remains is for me to say a big THANK YOU to Linda, Jane, Joyce and Christine of Ealing Library for having me along and making me feel so welcome, and of course to Dalek Kaan.


Friday, 21 November 2008

Doctor Who Day at Ealing Library

Just to remind you... I will be at Ealing Central Library tomorrow, Saturday 22 November, taking part in their Doctor Who Day, selling and signing copies of my Doctor Who Decide Your Destiny book The Horror of Howling Hill.

(Did you know, over 100,000 Doctor Who Decide Your Destiny titles have been sold so far?)

I will also have copies of my new Christmas book What is Myrrh Anyway? available to buy.

You'll be able to meet a Dalek at 10.00am-12.00pm and 2.00pm-4.00pm, and also at 2.00pm author Nick Griffiths will be talking about his book Dalek I Loved You. There will be games, quizzes, and competitions to take part in as well.

So maybe I'll see you there...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Acton Christmas Fair

Just to let you know, I will be taking part in the Acton Christmas Fair, on Saturday 6 December, from 11.00am until 6.00pm, selling and signing copies of my book, What is Myrrh Anyway?

If you happen to be in West London for the day (or don't live too far away) why not pop over to Acton Town Hall and say 'Hi!' or 'Merry Christmas!' or whatever else takes your fancy?

As well as a personal appearance by yours truly, as you browse the many market stalls, looking to make a start on your Christmas shopping with the all the arts, crafts and one-off quirky Christmas gifts (as well as more traditional holiday treats) that are on offer, you will be entertained by various choirs, carol singers, bands and buskers.
So why not come along? Maybe I'll see you there.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Have you got yours yet?

Just like the perfect Christmas stocking, What is Myrrh Anyway? contains all manner of delightful surprises and delicious morsels of information. It demystifies the origins of Christmas and uncovers the truth behind such familiar festive traditions as carol-singing and cards.

If you've ever wondered how to cook the perfect roast turkey, what mince pies should really taste like, or why you are forced to endure the cross-dressing antics of a traditional pantomime every year, then simply open this Christmas cracker of a book and discover the answers to all those questions you've been too afraid - or embarrassed - to ask.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Zombies, zombies and more zombies... and a little Pax Britannia thrown in there too.

Yes, it's time to update you on all the news from Abaddon Books. Click here to find out more.

Thought for the day...

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~ Author Unknown

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Evolution Expects - the cover revealed

And a nasty piece of work it is too. Here, see for yourself...

Of course, when I say it's a nasty piece of work, I mean it's another fantastic piece of work from esteemed Abaddon artist Mark Harrison, but even I have to admit that the cover image is rather... well... unpleasant.

But that's nothing compared to what Mark's wife thought of it - and then my wife pointed out that I was the one who had come up with the image in the first place!

To find out more about the poor tortured soul who appears on the cover of Evolution Expects, you'll have to wait until April 2009, I'm afraid, when the fifth book in the Pax Britannia series will be released in the UK (the US release date is still to be confirmed).

And for those of you who've been paying attention to earlier posts, here's Mark's concept rough for the final cover design.