Showing posts from 2013

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

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!

Islesong Book 1: The Girl who Sang with Whales - Print Edition Released

**Update** The Print edition is now released for your enjoyment. I'm delighted to announce the release of the first volume in the IsleSong series, The Girl who Sang with Whales . Richly imagined and evocative, this is a story 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 Purchase now : Kindle versions on , , and multiple formats on  Smashwords . Imagine an island world where the seas seethe with dangerous creatures, where those rare men and women called Bard-Navigators have learned to sing Whales to protect their ships. Only on the wings of Bardsong can ships avoid the Sea-Dragons and travel the great gulf between the Atolls scattered across the World-Sea. I sang to the Se

What is it with the slavery?

Recently a reviewer pointed out that both my Islesong  and Shioni of Sheba series deal in with the issue of child slavery. What's the deal? Shioni is a slave to the Princess of West Sheba and wears a collar stamped with the Lion of Sheba. Zhialeiana, the main character of IsleSong, is sold to the Harbourmaster of Germioi Central Atoll to work off the price of her contract. That comment set me thinking. Why do I write about this particular issue? Well, simply put, it is because this is a reality I see every day as I live and work in Ethiopia, and it is a reality around the world. For example,  notes that 1 in 6 children in developing countries (5 to 14 years old) is involved in child labour. Around the world, 126 million children work in hazardous and demeaning conditions. That is more than the entire population of Ethiopia. The figures for child poverty are far more staggering - 21,000 children under 5 die every day. And this is apparently not newsworthy.

Coming soon: The Girl who Sang with Whales

I am excited to announce that my new book The Girl who Sang with Whales,  book #1 in the IsleSong series, will be published soon. I'm targeting October 2013 for release. Imagine an island world where the seas seethe with dangerous creatures, where those rare men and women called Bard-Navigators have learned to sing Whales to protect their ships. Only on the wings of Bardsong can ships avoid the Sea-Dragons and travel the great gulf between the Atolls scattered across the World-Sea. I sang to the Sea; She sang back to me, Tales and travails wreathed in mystery. Zhialeiana has an astonishing gift of song.   She can sing the unique songs of the mighty and magical creatures of the World-Sea. She can touch their souls.  When her gift is discovered at her mother's funeral, the current of her life begins to sweep her to a future that she could never have imagined. She must navigate both opportunity and danger, and lay her life on the line for the Whales she loves.  But

Does Amazon CreateSpace pay all its royalties?

Recently there's been some discussion about Amazon not paying all the royalties authors are entitled to. Here I am talking about print copies which have been published via CreateSpace. So I decided to try them out. Yesterday a friend placed an order for 3 print copies of the first book in my Shioni of Sheba series, The Enchanted Castle , on The order showed up on my royalty report within 24 hours. Now that's decent service, well done, Amazon! However has been less impressive. I helped a friend place an order for 1 print copy of each of my books on September 5th (you'd think that should be easy to track...). The order was delivered on the 14th, and as of today the 19th, nothing. I've contacted CreateSpace customer service with the order details to see what they say. More on this when I hear from them! If this happens to me, and I am relatively small fry in the world of book sales at present, then I wonder what other authors are missi

Shioni of Sheba: Upcoming plans for books 4, 5 a 6

I am currently planning the next 3 novels in the Shioni of Sheba  series: The Sacred Lake The Fiuri Realms The Black-Maned Lion Let me know what you think. How would you like the series to proceed? I'd love to hear from you! In  The Sacred Lake  Shioni is part of an expedition to Lake Tana where she must find a cure for the King of West Sheba. But first the Shebans must pass through the ancient city of Gondar and win the favour of its ruler, the Priest-King Tewodros. But peril awaits - can the King of Gondar be trusted? The Fiuri Realms  takes Shioni to a place she had never imagined, home of the Fiuri Azurelle, to discover (maybe...) the source of her power. Azurelle wants to win back her power from the treacherous Tazaka and so return home. But Kalcha has other plans, plans that do not include a happy ending for anyone who has dared to cross her. And in The Black-Maned Lion  Shioni must explore the secret world of the lions of the Simien Mountains. When th

Enchanted Castle giveaway

I am giving away two copies of Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle  on Goodreads. Sign up for your chance to win! Goodreads Book Giveaway The Enchanted Castle by Marc Secchia Giveaway ends September 30, 2013. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win

Announcing publication of The Mad Giant - Update

I am delighted to announce the publication of Shioni of Sheba: The Mad Giant , the third book in my  Shioni of Sheba  African fantasy adventure series for secondary age readers and fantasy lovers. If you enjoy unique settings, unforgettable characters, and the grit of African dirt between your toes - this book is for you! A theft and a race against time through the ancient garnet mines. A bargain with the Mad Giant. Captain Dabir's revenge. A battle royal at the bridge over the Mesheha river. Join Shioni of Sheba  in her most hair-raising adventure yet! The Mad Giant  is available on , Amazon UK and other Amazon stores for Kindle e-reader and now in print.

Political correctness in a world of differences

This month I had the opportunity to travel through Southern Ethiopia, through an unspoiled, beautiful rainforest territory in the old Ilubabor province . This area is recognised as a UNESCO biosphere, an area of outstanding natural beauty and environmental importance. One of the main exports is wild coffee which is grown right in the forest as pictured below (the coffee bushes are the lower foliage in the picture and you can see the unripe berries clustered on the bushes): We travelled from Addis Ababa through Jimma to Metu and then turned south on the Tepi road to stop near Masha to visit with a people group called the Shekkacho, over 200,000 people who live in this rainforest and practice traditional methods of conservation. I met this delightful gentleman called  Dambaally  who apparently killed two lions in his youth. He's pictured standing alongside a traditional Shekka hut. Just in front of him is the well from which water can be drawn by hand. Near an area

Simien Mountains Wildlife Exhibition

This weekend I will be at the First Ethiopian Wildlife Exhibition just off Meskel Square for a book signing. The Enchanted Castle and The King's Horse will be on sale in both electronic and paper versions. There will be fun and games for all the family. Come and  support this worthy event. Times:  Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June 10 am to 5:30 pm Venue: Addis Ababa Exhibition Centre off Meskel Square

Congratulations to the Goodreads winners!

I would like to congratulate the winners of the Goodreads giveaway for Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle.  I am looking forward to making the Addis Ababa post office a tad busier on Monday morning. And to the 1195 good people who entered and did not win - thank you for participating! Lots of copies going begging here , both paperback and electronic, why don't you treat yourself to a breath of ancient Africa?

Goodreads giveaway ends June 19th! Don't miss out!

Don't forget to sign up for the Enchanted Castle giveaway on Goodreads! Ends June 19th - over 400 people have already entered for a chance to win one of 5 author-signed copies.
Goodreads giveaway! Sign up to win one of 5 author-signed copies on! Goodreads Book Giveaway The Enchanted Castle by Marc Secchia Giveaway ends June 19, 2013. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win

The Enchanted Castle now available in paperback

The first Shioni of Sheba book, the Enchanted Castle, is now available in paperback on Amazon in the UK  and in the US at . You can also purchase directly through  Createspace . Thank you for supporting good causes in Ethiopia!

Editing like mad... Shioni of Sheba: The Mad Giant

I've been working like mad on The Mad Giant  (part 3 of Shioni of Sheba ) over the last few weeks - editing, re-editing, correcting, trimming... I feel it's coming on well. Here's a little taste of what to expect in Shioni's most exciting adventure yet... There's a great  battle :  “WASABI DOGS!” Talaku’s challenge thundered out over the din of battle, at a volume no ordinary man could have matched. “You whelp of scabby hyenas, born in a rubbish pit; you filth; you pus-licking worm-ridden sons of a camel’s lice!” More magic and intrigue : The courtyard was deserted, silent; shadowed by the baobab’s leaves which gleamed silvery-grey in the moonlight. She could almost hear the castle breathing. Shioni shivered. Was the whole place steeped in magic? Or was this inkling merely her imagination, magnified by the lateness of the hour? A flying elephant  and a flying horse :  A peculiar thing happened just then, as she held that image of the flying horse light

Announcing Shioni of Sheba Book 2: The King's Horse

I am delighted to announce the release of the second volume in the Shioni of Sheba series called T he King's Horse . Currently available here on special at Smashwords until April 9th by entering the coupon code DD33R during checkout for half price. Available for Kindle on Amazon US , UK and all other Amazon stores. The King lies in a coma. Princess Annakiya must rule the castle in his stead. But Kalcha, witch-leader of the Wasabi, is far from defeated. Through scorpions and arrows, assassins and living nightmares, she seeks to destroy the Kingdom of Sheba. She will have her revenge. When General Getu orders Shioni into the Simien Mountains to track down the runaway King's Horse, she must grapple with treachery and peril amongst the wild volcanic peaks. Can she trust her companions: the troubled giant Talaku, and the ambitious, two-faced warrior Tariku? What of the rebels who would sell them to the Wasabi? Could mountain legends and the mysterious stele hint at the

Smashwords promotion

Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle will be on promotion over at Smashwords  this week. Don't miss your chance to pick up a $1.00 copy! Here's the full URL to the book: Enjoy!

By hook or by crook, get this on your Nook!

I am pleased to announce that Shioni is now available on Nook over at the Barnes & Noble store. Click here .

Join the Adventure on Amazon!

The Enchanted Castle is now available for purchase on , , and . Come and enjoy the adventure! Includes original illustrations by the Ethiopian artist Senait. I am currently working on a print edition, and hope to make it available soon. (I love eBooks, yes, but I also love the printed page - it has a different kind of magic) Watch this space!

The Enchanted Castle is now on Smashwords

Book 1 of Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle is now available in a Smashwords Edition, which covers Kindle, Epub, PDF, and other popular eBook formats. Go to The Enchanted Castle . The price is $1.99 on Smashwords.


Welcome to the home of Shioni of Sheba , an exciting new fantasy series set in ancient Sheba. Step into a truly African fantasy adventure with Shioni, slave to the Princess of Sheba, as she battles Sheba's enemies against the spectacular backdrop of the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. I am looking forward to publishing Shioni of Sheba: The Enchanted Castle  on Kindle very soon - watch this space for news! On this blog I hope to keep you up to date with happenings in Shioni's   world, and provide exclusive insights, previews and news. I invite you to explore the fascinating, mythical land of Ethiopia through Shioni's eyes, and experience for yourself the magic and mystery only to be found in ageless Africa.