Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Girl who Sang with Whales - on promotion

The Girl who Sang with Whales is on promotion at Storycartel.com for the next 3 weeks. For your review you stand a chance to win prizes including a Kindle. The book download is free.

See and sample The Girl who Sang with Whales on Amazon.com. Rated 4.9 of 5.0 stars.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rise of the Retics review

Rise of the Retics fizzes with humour and imagination. It tells the story of Tyranna, an orphan with a secret, and is set in a skilfully blended world of late medieval Europe where churches and governments are trying to stamp out the 'retics' - creatures of fable and fantasy, who are actually real and persecuted. They have been driven into a large refugee camp, their city called Rosehaven. Tyranna is rescued (at some cost) from the bad guys and whisked away to her new life in Rosehaven.

The strongest elements of the book are the author's excellent imagination and sense of humour. Don't miss out on reading the footnotes as they come up, they are hilarious. The plot was also strong along with the characterisation. Each character has a unique voice. The story has a positive message about dealing with difference.

On the negative side the editing was below par and could be easily remedied. The pace lagged in places, however, the sheer strength of the author's imagination I believe carries this story through. Thoroughly enjoyable and well recommended reading for the younger set, with a few scenes that keep the book at the YA (not middle grades) level.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The One, subtitled 'A Tale of a Lost Romantic in Seoul' is an artfully observed psychological thriller which tells the tale of a banal life corrupted inwardly by first attraction, which morphs into obsession, and eventually madness and darkness descend. In some thrillers the reader feels as though they are on the shoulder of the main character, seeing their thoughts. Not so in The One. The reader is placed right inside the main character's head and thoughts, the good and the ugly, in a sharply observed and internally consistent dialogue which is nevertheless disturbing and ultimately compelling. You might not like the character. You might hate him. You might not like what he does. But you will be drawn into a spider's web of passion, madness and betrayal.

Well written with subtle and effective use of backstory to flesh out the main character, The One reminded me of a contemporary version of Nabokov's Lolita. Nevertheless I felt there were two main drawbacks; the caricaturisation of main character's wife as 'the wife' which denied her becoming a force in the story apart from an ephemeral and ineffective occasional voice, and occasionally a lagging effect in the pace as the internal dialogue overpowered the storytelling.

However, if psychological thriller is your genre, then prepare to have the obligatory shiver descend your spine as you turn the pages of this subtle thriller. Beneath the layers of an ordinary life lies a deep, dark well which is plumbed by the author; a dark obsession, dreadful deeds (I shan't give a blow-by-blow summary of the plot to avoid a spoiler) and a satisfying conclusion.

This is a worthwhile work and comes highly recommended. I thank Steve Justice for proving a copy in exchange for an honest, non-reciprocal review.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Feynard - epic fantasy with a tongue-in-cheek twist - published

I am pleased to announce the release of my new epic fantasy Feynard in print and Kindle versions on Amazon. Feynard is a light-hearted fantasy which follows the adventures of Kevin Jenkins as he is kidnapped in order to save Feynard’s mythical Forest from the Blight. The only problem is that he is bedridden, forced to consume 57 different pills daily to stay alive, afraid of beetles, and he doesn’t believe in magic - or magical forests, or that his abductors, a Unicorn and a Dryad, are even real.

The Unicorn Zephyr begs to differ. He believes Kevin is the champion the Forest has been waiting for. And if he can talk Kevin into doing this small task, he will talk the hind leg off any four-legged creature to do it. The feisty Dryad Alliathiune thinks he's a forest-hater and just needs a jolly good slap, which she provides in style. Everyone else thinks he’s a wet blanket, an impostor, or by complete coincidence, some sort of mighty High Wizard.

Throw in a Dark Apprentice with a fondness for shiny black boots and slaying everything in sight, a ten-foot swamp monster, a lethal romance, and a prodigal Faun. What could possibly go wrong?

A quest to save the Forest. A mismatched set of companions. Feynard needs a hero, and his name is Kevin.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Legend of El Shashi

The Legend of El Shashi
A fantasy tale with an unusual, challenging plot, The Legend of El Shashi follows the story of a man who betrays his friend to a sorceress. The sorceress curses him with great power - the power to heal with a touch. But his every healing feeds her burrowing, ravaging Wurm, a storehouse of magic which she will use to her own evil ends. Every time he performs a selfish act, the Wurm rises to chase him for twice as long as before.

What if you could never be selfish? Could you live with such a great curse, which is also a gift?

At once an exploration of the power of miraculous healing on the human condition, the impact of grief and redemption on a selfish man, and the dangers, limits, and uses of power, The Legend of El Shashi is a story that will stick with you long after you turn the last page.

Come and experience The Legend of El Shashi on Amazon now.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Call for book reviewers

I am looking for book reviewers to read The Girl who Sang with Whales or the Shioni series and post their reviews on Amazon.com and/or Goodreads. Please get in touch with me to receive a free electronic copy of one or more of my books in exchange for a review.

Thanks! My email is marcsecchia [at] gmail.com, or please use the contact form on the right. I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cover reveal: The Sacred Lake, Book 4 in the Shioni of Sheba series

The Sacred Lake
Book 4 Cover: The Sacred Lake


Shioni of Sheba: The Sacred Lake is coming soon, the fourth volume in the Shioni of Sheba series. Prepare to be swept away into the unique historical and cultural setting of ancient Sheba in 2nd-century Ethiopia. Illustrated by the Ethiopian artist Senait Worku.

In this latest, blockbuster adventure in the acclaimed Shioni of Sheba series, a journey to Gondar and the Sacred Lake in search of medicine for the stricken King of West Sheba turns into high adventure for Shioni and Princess Annakiya. Stampeding elephants, treacherous kings, a den of lions and the great secrets of the island of Tana Qirqos await! Can Shioni defeat the wiles of the King of Gondar, secure the medicine, and win her freedom?

Coming just as soon as I finish the editing - I'm aiming for Christmas! Thank you for your interest in the Shioni of Sheba series and I hope you enjoy this book very much!