Showing posts from 2014

Inspiration - the elusive writer's muse

Once, I saw a photograph of a gorge between two huge cliffs, with clouds lapping in the space between them, and a tiny ant of a man standing on the edge, looking over that space. I imagined a world which existed above the clouds. I had a setting, but no story. I was 14 at the time. So I packed the photograph away in my 'ideas box', and pulled it out earlier this year, when I had a dream of a girl being thrown off a cliff. She turned into a dragon. That became the inspiration for my bestselling YA fantasy, Aranya . I had a setting but it took over 20 years for an idea to germinate. Sometimes I dream about books, sit down the next day, and write up a 3-5 page summary. But you might ask, "What started you writing and publishing books?" I'll admit, I had grave reservations about putting my writing out into the market. With 10 books now published in 2 years, that sounds inane now. But the truth is that a writer exposes something intensely personal to public sc

Shelf Unbound "Notable" books

Two of Marc's books -  Aranya  and  The Girl who Sang with Whales  - were honoured in the Dec/Jan issue of Shelf Unbound magazine as "notable" entries in the epic fiction and middle grades sections. Do check out this excellent magazine, it's free!

Upcoming specials on Marc's books

On the 6th November Aranya is scheduled to be a Kindle Daily Deal in the US - your chance to pick up Aranya for half price! So look out for that one. Meantime, lovely UK readers, Aranya will be just 99c in the Amazon UK store from 6-13 November. Aranya is rated 4.6* from 54 reviews on Following that, The Enchanted Castle, Book 1 in my unique African historical fiction series, will be on special in the US and UK Amazon stores from 15-22 November. Rated 4.8* from 18 reviews and a bestseller in African historical fiction for children (ages 10 and up) - and entertainment for adults too. Why not enjoy the unique flavours and culture of Ethiopia in this uplifting adventure?

Shadow Dragon: sequel to Aranya available for pre-order

I'm delighted to announce that the second book in my Shapeshifter Dragons series, Shadow Dragon , will be available for pre-order on The release date is set for December 10th. " Chameleon Shapeshifters, uncontrollable storm powers, and the rise of Sylakia’s Dragon-elite. The battle against evil scales new heights, but the price of victory grows ever dearer.   Once, a Shadow Dragon ravaged the Island-World. Insatiable. Unstoppable. A Dragon-killer. Now the Shadow Dragon has reappeared, on a collision course with Aranya and King Beran’s campaign to liberate the Islands from the scourge of Sylakian tyranny. He is dark, beautiful and deadly, a predator of untold power.  Meantime, Thoralian weaves his web of guile and betrayal right in the hearts of Aranya’s friends and allies. He will bring them to an encounter only he can win.  Incredible aerial battles. An Ancient Dragon bent on enslaving Aranya. The treacherous secrets of Dragon magic. This is the fight for w

99p UK Sale - the Girl who Sang with Whales

This weekend The Girl who Sang with Whales is on sale in the UK, just 99p! Rated 4.6* from 16 reviews on Amazon, and an bestseller in Coming of Age fantasy, this beautiful ocean fantasy is one for those who love unspoiled fantasy worlds, the tang of salt in the air, and the rub of sand between their toes.

Aranya blog tour, win prizes!

The Aranya blog tour kicks off today! Do visit Deal Sharing Aunt for your chance to win an $25 gift voucher and subscribe to this excellent blog. I will update this page as the tour progresses. Aranya is an Amazon bestseller in Sword & Sorcery, a thrilling and fun coming-of-age story which has attracted 29 5* reviews from 45 reviews, and is rated 4.6* overall on Amazon. Customers say: " Dragon shape shifters. Fierce princesses. Evil Princes. Magic. Fate. Hidden destinies revealed. Epic battles. Pygmies. Romance. Betrayal. All this and so much more can be found within the pages of this sweeping fantasy tale. Once you start, you won't want to stop." " Aranya handles herself as a girl of strength and courage" " If you loved all the dragons & riders of Pern, this is for you." " the action was awesome" As with all my books, Aranya is available in eBook format, print, and on Kindle Unlimited. Grab it for a great read!

Tiny dragon, tiny price - 99c special!

The #1 bestseller in Coming of Age fantasy on Amazon, The Pygmy Dragon is on special until 15th October, just 99c on Come discover why readers say: " The Pygmy Dragon is a sweeping and majestic fantasy story that gives the reader a front row seat to a world full of one of fantasy's all-star creatures: Dragons." "What a FUN book. Not too complicated, but a story filled with interesting and varied characters, interwoven plots, and intrigue. I couldn't put it down!" In other news, I have updated the Pygmy Dragon book file to include a wonderful map of the Island-World done by my artist friend, Joshua Smolders. You have to see this - it is one of the best fantasy maps I have ever seen. This book has been compared to Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern, which is an honour for me as she's one of my all-time favourite, all-time most awesome authors. 

New Aranya map - update your device!

I'm delighted to offer an update to Aranya: Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1 , in the form of an amazing map of the Island-World in which the story is set. Please update your Kindle or e-Reader device to receive this update to the book. You can view the map on my blog at by clicking on the Shapeshifter Dragons tab. In other news, drafting of the 2nd volume in this series is proceeding well. I hope to release Western Isles during November. I'm also making good progress on the 5th book in the Shioni of Sheba series, The Fiuri Realms.  Thank you for your interest in my work!

99c Sale! The Girl who Sang with Whales

The Girl who Sang with Whales, a beautiful ocean fantasy, is on sale until 8th October, just 99c! Grab a copy here . Is an author allowed to have a favourite book? Or a favourite character of theirs? To say so is probably to break some unwritten law of being an author. Oh heck. I agonised over the cliffhanger ending in this story. I mean, I almost put myself in bed with stress over it :-), but in the end, it was I thought a great way of rounding off the first book in the IsleSong series. That, or another 100,000 words. Zhialeiena discovers her powers. She makes friends and enemies alike. She battles sea dragons and prejudice, grief and depression. And her destiny begins to unfold, when ... wham! The problem with cliffhangers is that some readers hate them. Just like some readers hate books in which events do not unfold in a linear, logical order, or an ending is left somewhat unresolved. No matter how good the rest of the book might be, if there isn't a neat little package w

Cover makeover: The Girl who Sang with Whales

The Girl who Sang with Whales is getting an exciting cover makeover! Do please update your Kindle reader device, as the updated book is now available on Amazon (although they haven't updated the product image as yet). There's a new appendix at the end of the book, and a brand-new cover from Victorine of ! I hope that you like it as much as I do. I have also been planning the 2nd book in detail. Yes, I know there's a cliffhanger ending in Islesong Book 1, dear reader, and I don't want to leave you in suspense for too long. (I thought long and hard about this, but writing further would have meant another 40-50,000 words in Book 1, making it very long) Many exciting adventures are in store for Zhialeiana as she learns about her heritage, defies the pain-worshipping Argalioi pirates, and is hunted by a warrior Whale ...

Goodreads giveaway: The Pygmy Dragon

I am giving away 2 copies of my exciting new YA Fantasy release,  The Pygmy Dragon . Enter on Goodreads for a chance to win! Goodreads Book Giveaway The Pygmy Dragon by Marc Secchia Giveaway ends October 17, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win Praise for The Pygmy Dragon: "This is Secchia at his best, spinning a paranormal narrative that is  beautiful and moving  ... it's his ability to create evocatively imagined worlds that make his books so endearing ...  an exceptional read " -  Stephan J Myers, author of The Prayer " Epic dragon-battles  against beautifully described landscapes;  ancient magic  and mysterious lore; the warmth of genuine relationship and the wretched loneliness of being different; the bitter sting of betrayal; the power of forgiveness; the wonder of finding that we are loved." -  Allie Cresswell, author

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya

Today I have the privilege of hosting Tara Maya, author of the excellent "The Unfinished Song" series! The first book is FREE on Amazon. Described as "100% original", "enchanting" and "very creative" ... grab a copy while you can - I did! DEADLY INITIATION A DETERMINED GIRL... Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan. AN EXILED WARRIOR... Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cann

Painted by Eliza Wyatt - Book Review

Painted is a fantasy novella of courtly drama, intrigue and high magic set in a world with more than a hint of the Spain of yore - where masked balls invite romance but hide an assassin's blade, where rulers and countries plot and scheme and form shaky alliances. This is one fabulous novella. Do not be fooled by the length. I rate stories on entertainment value and Painted boasts a satisfyingly complex heroine and plot, with a unique take on magic, all packed into a quick-read length. Our courageous heroine Wyrren has Moebius Syndrome , with partial paralysis of her face, and is at the beginning of her study of magic. But she has a deep and interesting backstory. The tale starts with her being the ward of the Grand Meister of Hael Maelstrom, a political exile from her own country, which is renowned for its magic and assassins. She has played a part in the downfall of her country's ruler, the King of Marla, and was queen for a day before she had to flee. Wyrren has attracte

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

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 t

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.

Aranya flies high at Bookviral

"H e 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."

Dragon Dreams by Dusty Holloway - GR Review

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 w

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. Th

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,

Enchanted Castle giveaway this weekend

The Enchanted Castle giveaway starts this weekend! Friday 27 through Sunday 29th, FREE in all Amazon stores. Rated 4.7 / 5 stars from 14 reviews on Amazon, this exciting and unique African historical adventure will transport you to ancient Ethiopia, a land of mystery and great natural beauty. A king bent on conquest. A murderous warrior tribe, And the slave-girl who dares to stand between them! " It was amazingly written and I loved it so much. It's a fantasy for Middle Grade and think anyone out there that owns a child of 8-12 should get this." " One of the best aspects of this book is the concrete yet dramatic drawing of the gravity of Shioni's situations."

Exciting new YA Fantasy release - dragons, battles and romance

Aranya Book 1 A unique island-world above the clouds is the setting for this exciting new fantasy release. If mighty dragons, stunning aerial battles and romance are your cup of tea, then this is the book for you. Pick up a copy on Amazon  or enter the giveaway on Goodreads . Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?

Aranya - Goodreads giveaway

I am giving away 2 copies of my new YA Fantasy book, Aranya: Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1 , which will be published on June 14th. Enter on Goodreads for a chance to win! Goodreads Book Giveaway Aranya by Marc Secchia Giveaway ends August 08, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win

Aranya sneak preview: coming on June 14th!

I'm very excited the publication date for my new title Aranya  is coming closer. Can't wait for June14th! Here's a sneak preview of the cover art for the Kindle version. Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly? Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia. Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter. You can find my work on Amazon here . I'll post up a direct link as soon as that becomes available.

Dragons, battles and romance - coming soon!

I'm really excited about the way that my new project  Aranya: Dragon Shapeshifters (Book #1)  is coming on. In fact, while the editing progresses I've already written 45,000 words of a sequel. I'm targeting June 14th for publication! Here's the blurb: Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly? Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia. Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter. Dragons, epic aerial battles and rom

Girl who Sang with Whales - on promotion

The Girl who Sang with Whales is on promotion at  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 . Rated 4.9 of 5.0 stars.

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 imagina
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; t

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 Apprenti

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.

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 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], or please use the contact form on the right. I look forward to hearing from you.