Friday, August 15, 2014

Shapeshifter Dragons Book 2: Western Isles

The sequel to Aranya is taking shape! Plenty of people have been asking, 'When will it be ready'? Well, I'm a writer fortunate enough to produce material very fast once I find my creative flow - so I have a solid draft of the first third of the book already in place. I hope to complete Western Isles, the second book in the Shapeshifter Dragons series, before the end of the year. Will Aranya solve the mystery of her mother's heritage and fate? Will she be able to thwart the treacherous plans of the Sylakians, which are more far-reaching than she ever imagined? And what does the Black Dragon want of her? Can he be trusted?

Meantime, why not read The Pygmy Dragon, also a teen/YA story filled with dragons, mystery and romance, set in the same Island-World as Aranya?

The Pygmy Dragon is the exciting first book in a planned two-part companion series to Aranya. It tells the story of Pip, a Pygmy warrior, born in the jungles of the Crescent Islands and raised in a zoo by apes. Pip has a power that will shake the world she lives in - a power that may save the Dragons. But that power makes her a target for the envy and ambitions of others. Set approximately 150 years before the events of Aranya at a time when Dragons and Humans still coexisted in relative peace, it features a young Nak and Oyda, as well as a cast of colourful characters at the secret Dragon Rider Academy at Jeradia Island. It is a tale of no small courage, heroism and magic, where the smallest Dragon will need to make a terrible decision which may save or doom all the Dragons.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Pygmy Dragon flies onto Amazon

Yesterday, a Dragon kidnapped me from my cage in a zoo. Today, The Pygmy Dragon is available on all Amazon stores in Kindle format.

There’s a Dragon! A Dragon, a tiny Pygmy Dragon,
She’s cute and sweet and rather neat,
But she’s sitting in my salad.
Oh, she’s sitting in my salad!

Stolen from her jungle home and sold to a zookeeper, Pip knows only a world behind bars, a world in which a Pygmy warrior and her giant ape friends are a zoo attraction. She dreams of being Human. She dreams of escaping to the world outside her cage. 

Then, the Dragon Zardon kidnaps her into a new life. Pip rides Dragonback across the Island-World to her new school - a school inside a volcano. A school where Humans learn to be Dragon Riders. But this is only a foretaste of her magical destiny, for the Dragon Assassins are coming. They have floated an Island across the Rift and their aim is nothing less than the massacre of all Dragons. 

Now, the courage of the smallest will be tested to the utmost. For Pip is the Pygmy Dragon, and this is her tale.

The tale of The Pygmy Dragon (Book 1 of 2 in the Shapeshifter Dragon Legends series) is closely linked to the Amazon bestselling story of Aranya, and is set in the same unique world above the toxic Cloudlands. It features a young Nak and Oyda as well as a new cast of colourful characters. In this story you will learn the answer to one of the questions which most puzzles Aranya - what happened to all the Dragons? Is she the last?

Born in a jungle and living half her life in a zoo, Pip, The Pygmy Dragon is unforgettable reading for teen & young adult readers and up. Epic fantasy packed with dragon battles, mystery, adventure and romance, this is a series for fantasy lovers to savour.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Aranya flies into Amazon's Fantasy bestsellers list!

It is a privilege to be listed alongside authors I have admired for years. Aranya has flown into the bestseller lists on Amazon this week, achieving #27 place in Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery and top 50 (#48) in Coming of Age stories.

This is what the reviewers say:

"With a host of colourful and many original character incarnations, the time honoured theme of good versus evil takes on a refreshingly unfamiliar dimension." - Author, Stephan Myers

"You want fantasy? Here it is, in its purest form." - Author, David Rose

"I especially enjoy reading about strong female characters."

"An imaginative tale, full of battle and heroism, romance and betrayal." - Author, Michael Andrews

Come and see why she's flying high. Aranya is available in all Amazon stores in Print and Ebook formats.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Aranya flies high at Bookviral

"He spins a mythical yarn, achieving a notable balance between luxurious detail and intense action" I was delighted to get a great review this week at Bookviral. "it’s Secchia’s world building prowess that really sets this tale apart" ... thanks to the excellent team there!

Aranya has been flying high since publication at Come and see why reviewers are saying it's "full of battle and heroism, romance and betrayal."

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dragon Dreams by Dusty Holloway - GR Review

Dragon Dreams (The Chronicles of Shadow and Light)Dragon Dreams by Dusty Lynn Holloway

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dragon Dreams, the first in the Chronicles of Shadow and light, starts with one of the best opening prologues I have ever read. "In my shadow you sleep, hungry for my soul. In my heart you live, nurtured and at peace. In my life you belong, always. The red dawn of war clashes with the tide ..." Throughout the book the prose is rich and lyrical, yet the pace never flags. The tone is overwhelmingly dark, a world at the edge of ruin due to an escalating war between two powerful dragons, yet there are moments of light-heartedness and beauty amidst the fires.

Author Dusty Holloway has done a fine job of taking a fresh perspective on the Elves, Dwarves, Humans and Dragons of classic fantasy, and while there is a nod to old tropes, what is presented is fresh and well thought-out, each race characterised well, the Elves for example powerful and mysterious and very different to the Humans. The world-building is tightly woven into the story and never overwhelming or dry.

The main characters are the Human Nachal and the half-Elf Auri. The story concentrates strongly on the two of them, with minor riffs played by the Dwarf Dhurmic (who breaks his friend Nachal's nose at one point) and the Elf Watcher Liran, who has a decidedly unhealthy interest in Auri and plays the third point of a love triangle between him, Auri and Nachal. I am not big on love triangles, I have to admit, but this one was very well written. If I had any gripes, it was that I felt Auri came across a little weak - I would have preferred a heroine less at the mercy/sway of events and personalities around her and more in charge of her own destiny. However that destiny is complex and confusing to her, and the plot pleasingly complex enough to make their characters intriguing. I disagree completely with some reviewers saying that Auri is 'undefined'. Partly, that's the point. She's only twenty-one in this first part of the series, she's discovering who she is, and mighty forces of inheritance and destiny are coming to bear on her life. She has two very different men vying for her attention and the fate of the world resting on her shoulders. All in a day's work, eh?

All in all, this is a wonderful lead-in to series with great promise. A writer to watch!

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Girl who Sang with Whales - Promotion!

Discover why The Girl who Sang with Whales has 11 5-star reviews on! Reduced to 99c until July 11th for a special holiday promotion.

This is how Gabriel Boutros, author of "The Guilty" (4.7 average from 42 reviews on Amazon) puts it:

"The story, of an orphan who is used by those she thought she could trust, and sold into indentured servitude to a harbourmaster far from her home, also could have been written by Dickens.
There are moments of quiet contemplation of Zhisu’s inner, spiritual world, as well as the outer world she inhabits, and both are fully-realized creations. But there are also scenes of political intrigue, violent action and high seas adventure. In the middle of this whirlwind stands Zhisu, struggling to find her inner strengths as well as some sort of meaning to the events which befall her."

A tale for anyone who loves the ocean and its whales, salt water in their hair, and the gentle rasp of beach sand between their bare toes. This story will transport you to a beautiful, unspoiled ocean world where people have to rely on Whales to travel between the islands. A world where danger can, and does, lurk beneath any wave.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A commitment to quality

There's often noise about Indie authors, but little more so than the reader's fear they are going to pick up a badly written or badly edited book. They fear they're taking a chance or wasting their money. I work with a number of very fine Indie authors. I can't speak for them (but I suspect most endorse the statement below), but I can speak for myself when I say this:

I am committed to producing quality, entertaining books.

I can't guarantee you'll love my style. I can't guarantee you'll be able to put my books down either :-). But what I will say is that I am relentlessly committed to providing a high-quality reading experience for my readers, including editing that strives for perfection, strong writing, unforgettable characters, unique worlds and stories that entertain. I love to grapple with deep issues such as child slavery, race, overcoming obstacles in life, and grief and loss.

This is my commitment to you, dear reader. You are my customer, you are king. Your dollar matters to me. Your reading pleasure matters to me. And I love hearing back from readers. Drop me a line! Put up a review on Amazon or Goodreads and follow me on Twitter!