Free Signed Books!

FINALLY, after too many months of delays and problems and other work-hurdles, I just finished a major editing pass of The Artemis Device. Let loose with Woot! and Woohoo! and other celebratory sounds! Do the I’m-done-for-now Happy Dance!


In celebration, I’m giving away something for free. I have three, count’em, THREE first-edition paperback copies of Mr. Gunn and Dr. Bohemia just waiting to be signed and sent out. Want one? All I’m asking for is a promise that you’ll put an honest review on Amazon when you’ve read it.

Go to my blog at and click the Contact link at the top. Fill in name and email address, and a short note to say you’d like one. DON’T put in a mailing address just yet. Since I only have three, the first three replies get the goods, and I’ll contact you via email to get a mailing address and ask how you’d like me to sign it. I’ll even pay postage, so to you it’s 100% free (apart from a little of your time to write a review when you’re done).

And don’t forget, it’s available in e-book form for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc., as well as print, from Amazon and others: CLICK HERE for details.

[UPDATE: Brad Plaskett in Ohio gets signed copy #1. Two left!]

[UPDATE: Gary Webster in Seattle gets signed copy #2. One left!]


Now Is The Time . . .

IT has been far too long since I posted here. Basically the house move—which I thought would be behind us by now—has taken every spare moment. Today I’m taking a rest break from the moving, because frankly I’ve had enough of it today, on top of day job work. And I need to write something, before I die of writing withdrawal, and a blog post is just the thing.

The House Move Thing

AS noted, we are STILL moving house, but the end is in sight. I could go ahead right here, right now, and say we’ll be in the new place by this time next week . . . but that would probably be the kiss of death, tempting providence, and things of that nature. So I’ll just say that I hope we’ll be in by this time next week. There’s still a chunk of work to take care of, but it’s really not so bad.

The floors were done some time ago, and a whole bunch of cleaning and fixing up has been done. Desks have been built. Clean, new appliances have been installed, and dirty old appliances have been removed. Bookcases are in place and books are on shelves. And three quarters of the basement in the old place has been cleared—some of the stuff having been moved to the new place, some stacked up as trash to be disposed of, and some items marked for donation to our local Habitat For Humanity place. (No, I don’t donate to Goodwill since I read that every penny they make from sales of items given to them for nothing is pure profit—they don’t actually give anything to charity.) One more room in the basement to take care of, then three rooms on the ground floor. Then the final step—call in professional movers to take care of the big stuff I can’t manage myself, such as sofas and beds and the fridge, etc.

Why has it taken so long? Simple: we’re doing most of it ourselves. In other moves we’ve done, we’ve had professionals to load our stuff onto trucks at one end and unload at the other, and everything’s been done in a matter of hours or maybe a couple of days. This time, the old place and the new one are but minutes apart, so I’ve been able to shift a lot of stuff just using my car. But that’s meant I’ve had to do it after work and at weekends, and time is limited—as are other things, such as the number of arms I have, the amount of space in my car, and the number of hours in a day.

The Writing Thing

ALL of this has meant that everything not related to house moving or the day job has been pushed to a back burner that’s so far to the back, it’s actually over the hills and far away. That includes blogging (until now, of course), writing, gaming, and even Twitter (which might seem insane—you’d think I’d be able to find time for the odd tweet, but honestly I’ve been so absorbed with everything else that most times it hasn’t even occurred to me to tweet anything at all).

So I’m behind schedule with writing work on the Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia sequel. But once we’re in the new place, I have a brand new (and might I say, awesome) desk in a room that’s our dedicated office, and working in there is going to be a dream. I can’t wait.

The Day Job Thing

ACTUALLY, I was going to say a few words about what I’ve been up to at work. Frankly, I can’t be bothered. Admit it: you don’t really care anyway, and unless you’re a Java web application developer I might as well be writing in Swahili. So enough said about that.

The Smoking/Vaping Thing

THE last time I lit a real cigarette was June 10, so if my arithmetic is correct, today marks thirty-six days without burning tobacco. Hoorays and cheers are in order, I think.

The Gaming Thing

AGAIN, as noted above, I haven’t had time to play any games. And that, just like not having time to write, is getting me twitched-up. I long to spend a couple of hours playing Freelancer, or Sir, You Are Being Hunted, or Unreal, or Serious Sam, or Half-Life, or Portal, or any of a dozen other games. Maybe if I make some good progress with moving stuff to the new house over the next three or four days, I’ll reward myself with a game break. Got to get those priorities right . . . but then ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY. (For some reason I have an urge to write that again a few times.)

The Competition Thing

A few posts back I announced a contest in which readers had a chance to name a character in the Gunn & Bohemia sequel (see that post for details). Well, one or two new reviews popped up, but nobody contacted me so there’s no official winner. However, since I’ve no time to work on the book at all, I’ve decided to extend the deadline. You’ve got until July 31. Get yourself a copy of Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia, post a review on Amazon, and send me a note through the Contact page (link on the tabs at the top of this page), and you’ll get your chance. Go on, you know you want to.

Until next time . . .

Competition: Name A Character In My Next Book

WOULD you like to have a character in a book named after you? Well, now’s your chance! One lucky person gets to choose a name that I will then use for one of the characters in the forthcoming sequel to Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia. You can choose your own name, or a family member, or a friend . . . the choice will be yours—well, within reason; I’ll get to that shortly.

Here’s how it works. Just follow this simple set of instructions:

  • First, get hold of a copy of Mr. Gunn & Dr. Bohemia in the format of your choice. See this page for a list of stockists.
  • Read the book.
  • Post a review on the Amazon page here. The review must be at least 100 words, but the content is all yours, and you can be honest—in fact I’d prefer it. If you think the book’s only worth a one-star rating and you really didn’t like it, say so. Giving a glowing review and a five-star rating won’t change your chances of winning the competition.
  • As soon as you post the review, come back to this site and use the CONTACT form to send me a note (the link is at the top of the page). Don’t delay, do it right away, because the first person to do that is the winner (the contact form sends me email, and the first one in my mailbox gets it). Include the following information:
    • The name you’d like me to use for a character in the book. As I mentioned, it can be your own name, or that of a friend or family member, etc. However, it must be appropriate for a nineteenth-century person (if you’re using a real name, that shouldn’t be a problem). I can’t use Twitter handles like BuzzGrrl999, for example. And please don’t use famous names; I can’t really have a character called Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or Kim Kardashian. I’ll be the final arbiter on whether I can use the name.
    • A link to the Amazon review you’ve created. I need enough information to be able to find it, so a URL is probably best.
    • A contact email address, in case I need to get in touch. I will not share this email address.
  • The winner will be announced on this blog on July 1, 2014.
  • I will choose the character that gets the name based on how the name fits. For example, if the name you choose is German-sounding (or at least fits a German character), then I might attach it to a German secret agent. So bear in mind your character might not necessarily be one of the good guys. And your character might end up dying a nasty death. But hey, that’s actually a pretty cool thing to tell your friends, right?
  • You’ll also get a mention in the acknowledgements at the end of the book.

That’s all! Read it, write a review, let me know. What are you waiting for?