The Ends of the Earth book II

Exciting News: the sequel launches

Ends of the Earth, the second book in the changeling saga and the sequel to Legend of the Lost launches this weekend.

An exciting new partnership with independent publisher Green Cat , based in Derbyshire (which also happens to be the source of many of the names of the characters in Legend of the Lost), has meant that we have printed the second run of Legend of the Lost (revised edition) and have signed to complete the first three books.

As you can see, the iconic purple of Book 1 gives way to this firebrand gold design reflecting the ongoing struggles of the ancient Cornish Trelgathwin family as they battle the physical and behavioural pandemic that threatens the family and all they hold dear.

Once again, the human, animal and Fae kingdoms entwine, however the settings expand, as the title implies, to exciting pastures new where a diverse array of new allies wait and evil takes on many different forms.

Hopefully this sequel will be as well recieved by multiple generations as Legend of the Lost has been.

Green Cat will be offering a range of bulk buying and other deals for those who would like to purchase both books in the new design or to catch up on the series to date. Do check in with them.

The entire series is now live on Amazon and all the usual outlets in hard and soft versions. And, signed and dedicated copies can be requested from Ian, by dropping us a line via the contact page.

Legend of the Lost book 1, The Ends of the Earth book II

Full Moon Transformation

Anyone who has driven to Cornwall should be familiar with the “nearly there” or, as Legend of the Lost fans know them, “sentinel trees” that stand on a hill guarding the way. Well, this October full moon they have had a dramatic make-over. And Legend of the Lost has transformed too.

An exciting new partnership with Green Cat Publishing sees the iconic purple cover evolve into a more chilling depiction to bring out the drama in the magical adventure, just as those atmospheric red lights suggest that there’s more in the Seintinel Trees than a warm welcome. Please do drop by and check it out.

It’s fitting that this development in the evolution of the story of the changeling children comes on a spectacular new moon’s night. We’re sure the werebeasts will approve. And if you are heading to Cornwall, watch out for those trees. They’re apparently lit in solidarity with the people impacted by the pandemic.

But we know the real reason…….right?

Anyone still wanting a signed copy of the special first edition version of Legend of the Lost can try messaging Ian direct and he’ll be glad to sign one for you while limited stock lasts. But there aren’t many left…

Legend of the Lost book 1, Social media and publicity, The Ends of the Earth book II, Uncategorized

News Update: Competition winner and more…..

The changeling saga has attracted a solid and loyal fan base since Legend of the Lost, the first book in the series was launched. As a result we were delighted to offer one of the fans of the series the chance to win a very special prize.

Book II, The Ends of the Earth is part-based in Southern Africa as well as the ancestral home of the special changeling family, Cornwall. We tasked our readers to come up with a suitable name for one of the African animals and after some lovely and very creative suggestions, we’re pleased to announce that the winners were Suzannah Archibald and her family, who came up with a very imaginative name for one of the animal sentinels, having researched the Namibian dialect.

The Ends of the Earth is currently in production, ready for Christmas so keep an eye on the Green Cat shop and Amazon. Competition winners Suzannah and family will receive a special acknowledgement in the book, as well as a signed copy.

We’ll also be announcing the winning name suggested by the children a little closer to the release date (we don’t want to spoil the surprise).

Huge thanks to the many of you who entered. We loved them all, but there had to be a winner and it was perhaps fated that Suzannah and family hail from…..Porthleven, Cornwall, where, of course, our adventure begins.

Keep your eyes peeled for the second edition of Legend of the Lost, which has just been re-released with a chilling fresh cover.

First edition copies of the book with the iconic purple cover are still available (if you’re quick) from the Book Guild shop and direct from Amazon who are currently having a sale and, of course, you can now buy the edition with the fab new cover there too, as the rest of the trilogy will now be printed by our new publishing partner.

If you don’t already, please do follow us on twitter where, if you help share the word and re-tweet the pinned tweet you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a signed copy of the first edition of the first book.

Reviews

Life Lessons in a Fantasy World

One of the benefits of publishing a piece of writing is the positive impact it has on others, how it touches their lives and makes the world just a little bit better. Well we were delighted to receive this lovely review the other day and I wanted to share that with you for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it’s clear that the reviewer really enjoyed Legend of the Lost, the fist installment of the changeling trilogy.

Secondly, because it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the core theme of the first book, the corruption of love into a form of pandemic that threatens the natural and super-natural world, has a lot of resonance in these dark times. As more pople use their “down time” during the C-virus crisis, more people are finding time to read. Hopefully, when they pick up Legend of the Lost they will find magic, entertainment, thrills, hope and, above all, love.

A magical advernture

Here’s what our reviewer had to say:

Legend of the Lost focuses on a world of fairies, nymphs, witches and were-beasts which discreetly exists alongside our own. It begins by the Atlantic, in west Cornwall, as a young girl meets a mermaid and quickly realises that she is deeply connected to this parallel realm. Gradually the story moves inland, primarily to English woodland, as it builds into a traditional climax of good versus evil… but with an insightful deeper message.

I thought the interactions weaving between the supernatural, natural and human worlds were well done and the sea and forest locations beautifully captured, leaving my mind full of blues and greens. The fact that the locations are real made this super-natural world all the more touchable, anyone who has strayed into woodland as dusk falls will know the feeling. And I loved the fact that the animals I see in the wild in my real life – foxes, kites, deer – mix freely here with rather more mystical creatures.

There are strong environmental themes: man has polluted his world and it is this poison which has led nature and super-nature to turn bad. Nobody and nothing – it turns out – is entirely good or bad, and even those who are more the latter may be so for good reason, even deserving of sympathy.

This is a story for older children and younger adults: yes definitely for girls, but I hope also for boys with the gifts of openness and imagination, and meanwhile there are plenty of monsters, beasts and battles to get stuck into alongside the whimsy. In fact, “Legend of the Lost” is also an enjoyable read for adults who have retained their sense of wonder, but they probably won’t be the primary readership.

Overall, beautiful writing, natural settings, clever interactions between the real and the fantastical, some great environmental themes and that good ol’ “good versus evil” climax, but where the line between the two lies is rather less clear than may first appear.

Apparently this is the first in a trilogy, and there is an accompanying interactive website for those who get immersed.

Many will.

*Signed and dedicated copies are available direct from the team or via a number of dedicated suppliers.

Guests, Reviews, Social media and publicity

Different genres. Similar magic.

We’re very pleased to feature a guest post, especially as it has been written by fellow author Keith Anthony, whose debut novel, Times and Places was published last year.

It is a warm and deeply touching read with many serendipitous echoes of the key themes in Legend of the Lost.  Here, Keith explores those similarities…

In February 2018, my novel Times and Places  was published, in which Fergus (a late middle aged man) seeks to come to terms with the loss, a decade earlier, of his only child, twenty-four year old Justine. 

The chapters alternate between an exotic present-day cruise, taken by Fergus, and other key “times and places” in his and Justine’s lives over the years. 

Since losing his daughter, Fergus has become increasingly anxious, and he hopes this idyllic holiday will help him conquer his nerves.  In fact, a series of bizarre events and close confinement with his fellow passengers – particularly an overbearing, somehow spiderish woman he nicknames the “Arachnid Lady” – bring him to a transformational crisis, a point of change.

I explore what it might be like to lose a loved one long before their time, and examine the questions of faith such a trauma would pose. 

I wanted to do so within an accessible book which, as well as deploying pathos, was rich in observational humour, romance, spiced with gothic horror and which followed a number of different strands to weave around each other, converging neatly at the end. 

The choice of an alternating chapter format allowed my story to visit diverse locations, enabling me to capture and compare the rich beauty of our world.

Times and Places is published by the Book Guild and each month I look for their latest standout publications. 

There is a certain kinship between authors sharing a small publisher, and the variety is astonishing.  In this way, I came across Legend of t Lost and fellow author Ian P Buckingham. 

I was first drawn to its cover and enigmatic title, but disappointed to discover it was aimed at older children and younger adults… alas, not me!  Yet I still felt an appeal. 

I started to follow and exchange messages with Ian on Twitter.  We connected over a mutual enthusiasm for UK wildlife and before long, as Ian reflected on similarities between our work, I decided – whatever my age – to give Legend of the Lost a try and I’m very pleased I did.

I don’t know why some adults are reticent to admit to reading fantasy or children’s books. The Harry Potter phenomenon should have put paid to that. Nevertheless, you might expect a young person’s fantasy novel to be very different fromy adult fiction, my genre. Yet it soon became apparent our books have a spirit and several themes in common. 

They both have a journey and discovery motif, they both have loss and discovery at their core and in addition, both are part set in West Cornwall with their hearts in the Chiltern countryside. What’s more, in the respective books, nature is magical, but vulnerable. 

Of course, in  Legend of the Lost, as well as people and animals, our world is shared simultaneously by faerie-folk, nymphs, mermaids, witches and werebeasts of every description – there is a super-natural element, but it remains paralell to the natural just as the pastoral and the civil run side by side in mine.

Foxes make brief but charismatic appearances in both books, as my cover implies, and Ian’s caricature of Vulpe the vixen is spot on:

“Foxes are neither dogs nor cats, neither weak nor strong, neither fast nor slow.  They are, in many ways, the best of all those animals and tread a fine line between most things, including the so-called forces for good and ill”.

An underlying theme in Legend of the Lost is how, too often, human industries poison and pollute the natural world, literally turning nature bad in a variety of ways both literal and metaphoric.  I too tried to capture man’s environmental impact by taking my idealised vision of Slovenia (a country I love) and comparing it with crowded southern England. 

On a visit there, Justine’s boyfriend marvels at the unspoiled Slovenian countryside which:

“…left him jealous that his own country’s rural culture was rather less valued, ever increasingly squeezed by expanding cities, and scarred by the transport links between them.”

As its title suggests, a feeling of time and place is distilled into my novel.  I was struck that the same could be sensed in Ian’s.  For example, on the ship, Fergus dances with his wife and reflects back on the parties of his youth:

“…there how you danced mattered, here it didn’t.  He pictured his struggling youthful self without envy, he was happy to be when and where he was, in this time and place…”

While, in Legend of the Lost, reflecting on impactful moments in her young life, Holly muses how:

“She loved a mystery and what a delight that this one was right here and now in her favourite time and place.”

I hope also that both books, within their wild imaginings, project important nuggets of truth. 

I was struck by Ian’s conclusion, echoing his earlier description of the complexity of the character of the duplicitous fox:

“One of the gravest mistakes people make in life is to assume that people are all good or all bad.  The truth is that sometimes bad things happen to people we thought of as good and great things can happen to those we formerly considered evil.”  

On the face of it, there is not a fantastic creature, not a faerie, nymph or mermaid to be found in Times and Places. Yes the books are different and target distinct ages, yet I do think they are visited by that same spirit, that of our natural – even super-natural – world.  Its siren voice calls out, reminding us of what is important and that, like the fox or Werewytch in  Legend of the Lost and the Arachnid Lady in Times and Places, nothing and nobody is entirely good or bad. 

Ian’s whimsical and fantastical settings were enchanting. Legend of the Lost is beautifully written, with grown-up lessons for children and for adults who have retained their sense of wonder.  It reminded me how we learn so many of our values from the great books we read as children, whether with adults or independently.

While our two books have their own, individual messages as well, I’m pleased they have such cross-over, that they share a magic I so wanted Times and Places to project! 

Genre labels and categories can be miseading at times. Hopefully, to readers of any age, both books offer reflections on the pressures facing the world we humans dominate, but which we share with our animal neighbours… and, who knows, maybe the faerie folk who tend them too?