Sunday 25 November 2018

Launch Posters!


Here is a selection of my recent launch posters designed to encourage people to BUY my ebooks at incredibly cheap prices. They are added in no particular order...

Going with the 'launch theme'...

This one would be the Eagle of Rome theme...

This is a have you remembered to get your copy theme...

This one is the Rome versus the barbarian theme...

Which of the four designs do you liek the best? 


Launch Update!

Agricola’s Bane has definitely launched and I’ve been so busy I’ve realised I've not yet updated anything here!

Nancy Jardine with Nora Radcliffe/ Garioch Heritage Centre
Thursday evening, 22nd Nov, was the official paperback launch but it wasn't just a regular book signing session. Since the launch week coincided with Book Week Scotland, it was possible to combine two events. I gave a PowerPoint Presentation on Roman Aberdeenshire to the members of the Garioch Heritage Centre, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire and afterwards there was the opportunity to buy a signed copy of Agricola's Bane.

I, naturally, in the way of a trader these days, had a large selection of all of my books available for purchase. 

Somewhere between 20 and 25 hardy souls turned up in the pelting November rain and were a fabulous audience. Nora Radcliffe gave a short introduction and off I galloped since I had some 35 slides and around 45 mins for a presentation before a plenary questions session. My audience asked some really excellent questions and gave me a few great pointers for researching - all grist to the mill.

As well as feeling accomplished in having enlightened many of the locals that thousands of Ancient Roman Soldiers had trodden the byways around Inverurie, I was delighted to have come home with 15 fewer books than I went with. It was also fabulous to be invited to leave some copies of my Celtic Fervour Series, and The Taexali Game, to be sold in the Garioch Heritage Centre's little Bookshop - and you can imagine I definitely said YES, please!

What’s next? As well as promoting my latest novel on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else I can think of, I now look forward to the pleasure of getting back to writing Book 5- Beathan and Agricola stories continued. Though, first I have to get my three mysteries self-published with Ocelot Press. That job is underway and will hopefully be done in the coming weeks. 

Some champagne? Yes, I did have a glass or two. 


Tuesday 20 November 2018

The launch tour Ali Bacon's blog!

It's Tuesday,

and the launch tour for Agricola's Bane continues. Today I'm  a new visitor to Ali Bacon's blog where I'm divulging some of the difficulties of researching an era that's got little written about it.

Catch that post HERE.

Meanwhile you can still get Books 1-3 of the Celtic Fervour Series for only 99p during this launch week for Agricola's Bane.

You'll find the links for the other books in the series on the Agricola's Bane page on Amazon

And after reading them it really will help with my visibility on Amazon rankings if you could write a short review comment after you've read the books. My thanks...


Sunday 18 November 2018

A letter from Jaques Foret!

Good morning!

Angela Wren
This is a Sunday with a difference since I've a just had a very lovely letter pop into my box. The character who wrote it  probably got my address from my good friend, Angela Wren, who was a fellow Crooked Cat Books author when I was a Crooked Cat. She still is, by the way!

Living in France, Angela knows a fair number of people from the local area. I've had the very great pleasure of being introduced to some of her local 'neighbours',  having read a couple of books in her detective series and I've a feeling she knows the person who sent me this missive very well...

I don't often share my personal correspondence but just this one time, I'm itching to share this with you.

Chère Madame Jardine,

Thank you for taking an interest in my work.  I think you might find that the work of a private investigator is not as glamorous as everyone thinks, so I hope you won't be disappointed by my response.

I'm juggling a number of cases at the moment.  That is quite normal for a PI.  My most important case - for the sake of ease of reference I'll refer to it as the Montbel case - concerns a disparate family.  My client - no names I'm afraid because client details are confidential - contacted me by letter a few days ago.  My client asked that I undertake a detailed search for a missing son.  At 18 years of age he walked out of the family home following an argument and no one has heard from him since.

We get a lot of requests like this.  I have a small team who work with me and we have a number of websites that we use as well as our own social media pages and our own website.  Maxim, who handles all of that work, has details of the missing person listed on all the sites and pages that we use.  He also regularly updates the listings as new information comes to light and he constantly checks all responses.  In addition he has placed a discreet ad in the local newspaper.  So now we wait.  There's always a lot of waiting involved for PI's.

We are also following up on other possible leads and possible sightings.  So we meticulously check everything very carefully.  Not every report of a sighting of the missing person is accurate.  Sometimes it is a mistake and that can happen for a number of reasons.  The individual making the report may have misremembered what they saw or may have lied because they have their own agenda.  It takes a lot of patience and careful questioning to get to the truth.  And on the Montbel case, we are not there yet.

As we have a number of live cases running alongside the Montbel case, and as there are four of us working on different aspects of the case, we have to make sure that we are all kept up to speed with new developments.  We have a weekly detailed catch-up meeting and we have daily information exchanges.  The weekly meetings are a thorough examination of where we are on each case.  The daily exchanges are much shorter and relate to one case at a time.  We also have a suite of technology that is linked across the team.  All of our mobile phones are linked, as are our computers in the office.
We also have a number of other people - investigators, security experts etc - who will work with us on an ad hoc basis, as we need them.  This means that we can concentrate on interviewing people with possible useful information whilst others undertake the time consuming duty of tailing a suspect.  A 24-hour tail on a suspect actually requires 3 investigators to be successful.

Where necessary we will use local archives, newspapers and magazines if we need to.  There's a plethora of information available to us and our job is to bring that all together so that we can further our case.

I hope this answers all of your questions.

Yours sincerely,
Jacques Forêt
Principle Investigator, Vaux Investigations, Mende 48017

Nancy says: What a lovely and informative letter, Jaques. It may have clarified some things but it only whets  my appetite for reading more. Montbel is sitting waiting on my kindle for me to have lots of spare time for leisure reading. I'll definitely catch up with you soon! 

A clear-cut case? 
A re-examination of a closed police case brings investigator, Jacques Forêt, up against an old adversary. After the murder of a key witness, Jacques finds himself, and his team, being pursued.
When a vital piece of evidence throws a completely different light on Jacques' case, his adversary becomes more aggressive, and Investigating Magistrate Pelletier threatens to sequester all of Jacques papers and shut down the investigation.
Can Jacques find all the answers before Pelletier steps in?

A little bit about Angela Wren

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre.  I’ve been writing, in a serious way, since 2010.  My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.
I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work.  My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical.  I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio.  The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

Find Angela at the following: 

Amazon : AngelaWren
Facebook : Angela Wren
Goodreads : Angela Wren
Contact an author : Angela Wren

Thank you so much for visiting the blog today, Angela, and to Jaques for writing to me. I've really enjoyed reading your series and look forward to reading my copy of Montbel - which I'm sure will be as entertaining and great to read as your other novels. 


Saturday 17 November 2018

#blog launch tour stops

Happy Saturday! 

Today, I've spent the best part of it at a FOCUS Christmas Craft Fair in the town of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where I've been selling  my novels and enlightening customers about the fact that almost 2000 years ago there were around 20 to 25 thousand Ancient Roman soldiers tramping around near the town of Stonehaven.

Many customers are surprised when I tell them that there is evidence that the Ancient Romans invaded the territory around the present-day city of Aberdeen. I tell them, in Stonehaven, that they only need to walk a little out of the centre of the town to reach a Roman Temporary Camp that probably housed about 20-25 thousand Ancient Roman soldiers.

But.. as well as having some wonderful and enlightening conversations, and selling some of my  novels, I was also out and about virtually during the blog launch tour for Agricola's Bane. Today, I was hosted by my lovely friend Anna Chant and you'll find my post on her blog HERE

Please stop by and say hello!

And tomorrow, I'm out early again to go to the AWA (American Women's Association ) Holiday Fair in the city of Aberdeen. I'll be at the Double Tree by Hilton, Treetops Hotel, Aberdeen- open to the public from 10 a.m till 3 p.m.

ps. My bestseller of the day wasn't the brand new Agricola's Bane but it was The Beltane Choice,  Book 1 of the series. A number of customers decided that, although they wanted to read the new one hot off the press, they'd be better starting from the beginning. Here's hoping I've got some return customers.

Friday 16 November 2018

Launch tour for #Agricola's Bane

#FridayFeelings are that I'm very, very busy!

Today I'm at the blogs of Sue Barnard and Kate Braithwaite...and maybe later today, Columbkill Noonan. 

If you missed them yesterday, I popped over to Cathie Dunn and Alice Castle , but you'll still be able to catch the posts by clicking the links just above. 

#Agricola's Bane ebook launched yesterday, and it slowly climbs the Amazon charts - thank you to those who have already bought their copy!

Today, as well as posting launch promotions on my Facebook pages and on Twitter, I'm preparing for two different Christmas Craft Fair events this weekend.

Just a little reminder that you can keep checking my blog launch tour for Agricola's Bane by using the sidebar on this blog to track where I'm likely to be in the coming days. Not all of these posts are general promotional posts - some are interviews and others are unique posts about the historical era.

Saturday 17th Nov will see me down at Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire at the FOCUS Craft Fair where I'll have paperback copies of Agricola's Bane for the very first time!! That really will feel like an achievement since I've been saying for weeks, even months, that it's on the way.. and NOW it's HERE!

Sunday 18th I'll be attending the AWA Holiday Fair in aberdeen. The American Women's' Association have been running a Christmas Fair for decades now and it's one of the best loved venues to go to for a very wide selection of gifts. There are generally more than 100 crafters in attendance with extremely varied goods for sale. During the last few years there tends to be other Fairs on in other venues at the same time as the AWA Fair but it's still generally very popular. Last year I came home with 25 fewer novels than I started off with so I've got my fingers crossed for a good event on Sunday.

I have a wee dilemma, though. I presently only have 30 paperback copies of  Agricola's Bane and my official presentation and book signing launch is on the 22nd of Nov. I've ordered another 25 which are due to arrive Tues - Thursday next week . The big question is - How many should I take to my weekend fairs?

That's a brilliant dilemma to have and I'm sure I'll work it out!

I'm off now to plan my 'Christmassy' table.


Thursday 15 November 2018

#Agricola's Bane ebook launches!

Launch Day - Cheers! 

The day really has arrived (15th Nov 2018)  and Agricola's Bane officially hits the ebook shelves on Amazon!

I've waited so long for this to happen that it really doesn't seem all that real. Getting all the ducks in a row to get the manuscript eventually finished, then professionally edited, and then the time I took to get the formatting correct for self publishing seems to have been endless. That said both the ebook and the paperback are unleashed and now just waiting for my readership to build and build... and build.

If you've bought a copy already, please review it on Amazon or Goodreads, or on your Facebook page, or your blog, because your comments really do matter. Sharing your choice of reading is so valuable to every author and helps to make a book stand out from the Amazon list of millions of other books.

I haven't reduced the price of £2.99 today (the same as the pre-order price) but if you haven't read the other books of the series (x3 others) you'll find them at a ridiculous sale price of #99p (reductions on other Amazon sites). That means that in the UK you can get all x 4 ebooks for ONLY £5.96!!!

Enjoy the reads, and tell other people who might be interested if you love the stories of my Garrigill warriors.


Wednesday 14 November 2018

#Book Week Scotland - I'm confirmed!

Book Week Scotland runs from the 19th to the 25th November 2018.

It has been running every year for  number of years and and is a celebration of books and reading. the organisers encourage people to participate in a multitude of different kinds of events  so long as they are in some way book related.

Since becoming a published author in 2012, I've tried to do a 'book event'' every year during Book Week Scotland. Some have been in front of the public but others have been online. This year I thought to tie in my local paperback book launch for Agricola's Bane with Book Week Scotland Week since the launch event was conveniently happening that particular week- i.e. when the facility was available for me to be booked in to the Garioch Heritage Centre, Inverurie.

The venue- Garioch Heritage Centre - tried to get the event listed on the Book Week Scotland listings but failed to manage. I tried myself and was fairly despairing when nothing seemed to have been added to the listings. I emailed the contact name and asked if the problem may have been because my event isn't a standard book signing event. Since I'm giving a Powerpoint historical background before the signing event, it didn't fit the tick boxes on the site's form to add an event. I'm not giving an author talk about my books, and I'm not delivering a 'spoken word' poetry reading. I'm not doing a book reading from my new novel prior to sighing and selling either. I had listed my event on the proforma for 'spoken word' and not on the author 'chat' section. Days passed with no communication and no listing...till today!

To my delight, my event is still added as a 'Spoken Word' event and that's more than fine by me! It means I can officially say that I am doing something 'bookish' for 2018 as well! As an ex-primary teacher who knows the crucial value of reading and the love of books - it's of very personal importance to me.

If you don't live in the vicinity and can't come to the launch, please keep your eyes open for the special promotions that are currently ongoing during the launch weeks.
( Blog: 2 e-copies of Agricola's Bane and
(Facebook a signed paperback copy on my Facebook author page  )


Tuesday 13 November 2018

Agricola's Bane - 1 day and a bit #countdown!

Happy Tuesday to you! 

Domestic duties have taken up a lot of my time today- baking a raisin and apricot loaf  & shortbread; looking after my grandkids from 7 am till 5. 30 pm; out and about to a local playbarn for them to burn off some of their boundless energy -  but I have also added a little to my promotional spree for the launch of Agricola's Bane.

I've just created a Facebook Event to publicise the physical launch event at the Garioch Heritage Centre, Inverurie on 22nd November. It's £3 at the door and all are welcome!

Here's the posterI made and the link.

Join the Facebook Event HERE and SHARE if you can!


Monday 12 November 2018

3 day countdown, #reviewsmatter, and an offer!

Monday means 3 days to the ebook launch of Agricola's Bane!

Read on to find out how to WIN an ecopy of Agricola's Bane! I have x2 e-copies ready for some lucky winners! (Details below)

I'm really looking forward to selling lots of paperback copies of this novel locally and getting oral feedback on it, because that's what my local return customers tend to do after buying paperback copies at author presentation events, or FOCUS Craft Fairs. Those customers buying directly from me tend to only read paperback versions of novels and are rarely online. That means I can never expect a written review from them to be posted on Amazon or Goodreads (though it's an incredibly lovely surprise when that has happened once or twice). I always value their feedback very highly but sadly, I can't add their compliments to Amazon reviews which really DO affect the sales of e-copies of my novels. 

So, it's back to that issue of do REVIEWS really matter? 

The answer is YES! the the amount of reviews a book receives can be crucial to a book taking off after its launch or just dawdling along. They only need to be a few lines long; a couple of sentences and a title which can be as little as 'I enjoyed this'. 

When it comes to ebook customers of my novels, sold from online retailers, it is so important that they write post a short review on  Amazon or Goodreads because it enhances the profile of the book and myself as the author (though admittedly I've never been good at encouraging/harassing people to do this.)

Do I review book I've bought on Amazon? Yes, I do. I post a review here on this blog; on Amazon and on the Goodreads sites. It may not happen immediately after I complete the reading of the novel, but I do it when the best moment for writing it arises. I've reviewed the novels of many authors of different authors (though with Amazon cracking down on reviews they think are not impartial reciprocation is now a very tricky thing!) 

What is it that an author (like me) would like a reader to say in a short review? 
There are many possibilities you could give a brief mention to. Such as... 
Did you enjoy the characters and think they are realistic for the plot? 
Did you think the story had a good pace and suitable action at strategic places throughout the novel? Did the setting seem real to you, whether it was a historical novel in a set time period, or a contemporary setting?
Did the plot of the story resonate as something that could happen without being too fantastical? 
Did you empathise with characters who weren't the main ones? 
Did you feel you were living the situation with the characters?  

I have x 2 FREE e-copies of Agricola's Bane ready for 2 lucky people to *WIN*. 
(Of course, I'll be looking forward to all reviews posted after launch day)

What you need to do to enter the DRAW is:
  • Leave a comment about  - Why you like to leave a review (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your own blog) -  in the comments section below this post, to enter you into the draw. 

  • The offer remains open till the 29th of November 2018 when the  draw will take place. 
  • The name of the winner will be announced in the comments section below on November 30th  2018.

Good luck! And I look forward to reading your comments. 

Of course, if you can't wait that long, click to get your own e copy HERE 


Sunday 11 November 2018

4 day #countdown

4 days to go till the launch of Agricola's Bane!

It's now a really exciting time for me, even more so because my blog launch tour is revving up now. Today you'll find me visiting my old friend Tim Taylor (Crooked Cat Books)  who has kindly offered to share my launch information for Book 4.

Tim has been one of the few readers to have read all three books of the series and who has written excellent reviews on them, for which he has my unending thanks. Since Tim is also a historical author, I appreciate very much the constructive comments he has given me - helpful in the manner that all reviews should be.

Meanwhile you'll also find that on my Facebook Author page there's a #competition going on for a SIGNED copy of Agricola's Bane to one lucky winner who shares the post with the Pre-Order link.
You'll find that post pinned to the top of the page HERE

See you over at Tim' blog HERE today.


Friday 9 November 2018

#6 day count down


They're fantastic! I've been beavering away, preparing more things for the launch of Agricola's Bane - the eBook next week on the 15th, and the local paperback launch the following week on the 22nd Nov.

I've got a fabulous Blog Tour organised with 16 lovely Bloggers helping me to spread the word. I'm about to add them to a sidebar to make it nice and easy to see where I'll be appearing during the coming weeks.

Yesterday, I emailed off 10 Press Releases to local newspapers and another few to local radio stations. It's time consuming but in only a matter of hours I've had a tremendous response but I'm keeping that first one a nice little secret for a whiley. :-)

I'll send off a few more Press Releases to other Scottish Newspapers this afternoon, and then it'll be time to get some excerpts all ready to use for publicity. To start the ball rolling here's one to whet the appetite for my lovely young female warrior- Enya. If the image at left makes her look intense- it's true, she can be!

When Enya reached Colm, the soldier she had poled to the ground squealed and bleated as he squirmed to free his upper arm from the entrapment, his attempt to break the shaft unsuccessful. Frantically swinging it in her direction, the young auxiliary whirled and bucked to avoid the slashes of her blade. As she raised her long knife anew, the end of the spear walloped against her jaw, the impact splintering the tip, the sudden pain excruciating. The blow was not sound enough to knock her over, but the jarring sent the man sprawling. Landing heavily on his side, he yelped when the pole cracked asunder, the spear tip still stuck firmly in his upper arm. Forcing him onto his front with one well aimed boot roll, Enya clipped away the shallow helmet neck-guard with her knife.
She had him at her mercy but she would give him none.
Striking repeatedly at the freed flesh with her long blade, which was not much shorter than the Roman’s gladius, a white hot rage engulfed her. Blood spattered and bone cracked.
Would her Celtic lands never be free of the Roman scum? The next cut was for Ruoridh. Another hack was for her cousin, Beathan, and more for Feargus’ dead kin from Monymusk. Her blade continued a repetitious slashing. Her brother would be found or avenged. Either way, she vowed to remove as many of the Roman usurpers as she could.
Fergus’ noisy reprimand eventually penetrated her frenzy. Lowering her blade she stared at him, the thudding inside her chest almost engulfing her.
It was his palms cradling her shoulders and his soft voice at her ear that reminded her to breathe properly. “Enough. He will trouble Colm no longer.”


Wednesday 7 November 2018

#Agricola's Bane launch prep


#WhatsHappenedWednesday is a hashtag on a Facebook group that I've joined, used for displaying what an author has been up to, and for sharing the latest news. 

I've been very poor at posting on here recently, but I claim many valid reasons for that. For the last umpteen weeks, I've been getting my Agricola's Bane ebook and paperback versions ready for publication. That took up plenty of hours in my day but I'm delighted that progress is right on track now. 

Another fabulous reason is that I went on a little jaunt down to Liverpool, spending time with old friends, some of whom I met when I was 7 years old. When the group of 6 of us were about 12/13 years old we went to see The Beatles in a live performance at the Odeon, Glasgow. The reason for us going to Liverpool last week was a pure nostalgia trip, down Penny Lane, if you like. We've been talking about going for years but eventually got around to it last week. More of that trip soon. 

Back home now it has been back to normal for me, with 2 days grandkid minding on Monday and Tuesday of this week, and today was a solid writing day, though not of new work. Today, I completed the last half of the blog promotional posts for the launch of Agricola's Bane, Book 4 of my Celtic Fervour Series. The posts have all been sent to those very kind authors who have agreed to host me on my little launch tour. I'll be adding a sidebar notice about the tour very soon. 

Tomorrow, I'll be dedicating some time to writing and sending a Press Release to the local newspapers etc. Busy, busy! 

I made the advertising banner above to use on Facebook and Twitter. Agricola's Bane is AVAILABLE NOW in paperback from Amazon and the eBook can be pre-ordered before the launch on the 15th Nov. 2018.