Archive | March 2014

Huw the Bard Launch!

If you’ve been following my blog over the last few days, then this is the day you’ve been waiting for! On Friday I posted the cover reveal and an excerpt for brand new book Huw the Bard by Connie J. Jasperson, and on Sunday I posted a review of it, (one plus side to being an editor – I see these things BEFORE they launch!)

But today, is the official launch, today the book goes LIVE!

HTB Front Cover

 

Blurb

Huw Owyn is the last true bard in Waldeyn.

 

Fleeing a burning city,

Everything he ever loved in ashes behind him,

Penniless and hunted, no place is safe.

Abandoned and alone, eighteen-year old Huw the Bard must somehow survive.

 

It’s two-hundred leagues to safety,

And then two-hundred more.

 

A lot can happen to a man on a journey like that.

 

 

Buy it now on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/HuwTheBard

 

 

Review of ‘Huw the Bard’ by Connie J. Jasperson

For those of you who saw my post on Friday, I recently proofread a book called Huw the Bard, for my good friend Connie J. Jasperson. Now, before this book gets launched TOMORROW, I have a little treat for you!

HTB Front Cover

‘Huw the Bard’ by Connie J. Jasperson

Book Review

The youngest master in the Bards Guild, eighteen-year-old Huw Owyn is at the top of his craft. But the artists’ quarter catches fire, forcing Huw to flee the burning city. The turmoil and panic involved in the spread of the fire is portrayed extremely clearly, and you sympathise with all those caught up in it.

The action at the start of the book sets up everything that is to follow. We see Huw’s pain, and grieve with him, at the loss of the rest of the Bard’s Guild – including his own father, the Guild Master. The pain is very real, and while I was proofreading this book, I occasionally had tears streaming down my face. We feel his anger when he learns it wasn’t an accident, and his terror of being discovered as he tries to escape. It’s a 200-league walk, as the crow flies, to the one place he might have a friend, though the path Huw must take is anything but straight and he must face many hardships along the way.

Throughout his journey, we watch Huw grow from a young, vain man used to being the center of attention, into a courageous man who finds he is capable of far more than he ever believed possible. The way Mrs. Jasperson does this is so life-like, you often expect him to leap off the page. But her amazing characterisation isn’t limited to the main protagonist, the vast array of supporting cast have all received the same attention to detail; regardless of how much time the reader spends with them, you immediately get a sense of who they are.

Although this sounds like a ‘journey of self-discovery’, it is far more than that. There is enough adventure spread throughout to satisfy all but the most bloodthirsty of readers, while not being too gory for those that aren’t partial to violence.

Now, of course, this is a fantasy book, so where would a review be without at least mentioning some of the weird and wonderful creatures Huw encounters on his journey into the wild northlands, the one possible place of safety for him. I could talk about the stupendous firedrake, which is pretty much a small version of a mythical dragon, or the ginormous wood-wraith which looked like an extremely tall tree unless you saw the eyes, or maybe even the fire-sprites. They may not be all that large, even look quite cute, but they’re viciously lethal – so venomous that you have to wash a sword in water at least two times before it is safe enough to sheath after killing one.

There is a wide spread of diverse issues addressed in this story. From murder and rape, to treason, and even homosexuality – all are handled with the utmost delicacy by Jasperson so you know exactly how her characters feel about each of them, as well as society’s view, through the eyes of Huw and the narrator. The author has hit the perfect balance in every aspect of this book. I can’t wait to see what else is in store in the rest of the series.

A superb 5 STARS from me!

I hope this has whetted your appetite ahead of the launch tomorrow. Come back here in the morning to find the links to this amazing novel on Amazon!

Huw the Bard – Cover Reveal!

It’s been a long time since I posted, but I like waiting for something worth sharing (plus I’ve been ill). I’m not the sort of person who will write a blog post about what I had for dinner, so a big THANK YOU to all the followers who have stuck with me and kept an eye out for any new material! Here’s something extra special just for you. I’ve recently proofread a wonderful fantasy book called Huw the Bard by my good friend Connie J. Jasperson, and today is the cover reveal.

So, without any further ado… here it is!

 

HTB Front Cover

 

Blurb

Huw Owyn is the last true bard in Waldeyn.

 

Fleeing a burning city,

Everything he ever loved in ashes behind him,

Penniless and hunted, no place is safe.

Abandoned and alone, eighteen-year old Huw the Bard must somehow survive.

 

It’s two-hundred leagues to safety,

And then two-hundred more.

 

A lot can happen to a man on a journey like that.

 

And we even have an extra little surprise for you… Keep scrolling to find a short extract from the book!

Murfee’s voice drifted back, saying, “Did you see that? Jaky got himself a biggie! You couldn’t have done any better, Bil!”

Dismounting, Huw handed his reins to Derik, who rode just ahead, and attempted to retrieve his sword from the dead lion. At first, it seemed to be stuck, so he placed his foot on the cat’s body and yanked until it came out. When it finally did come free, he stumbled backwards, staggering like a drunk. Fighting the urge to laugh hysterically, he steadied his nerves as he stood, nonchalantly cleaning the bloody blade with his rag, trying to remember what the Bear had told him about disposing of anything he killed. “Always clear the road once you’ve dispatched a beast or a highwayman. Act like you’ve done it all your life, no matter how badly you’re shaking in your boots,” he’d said.

The great cat’s corpse partially blocked the trail, and Huw knew he couldn’t just leave it there. He wasn’t sure he had the strength to move such a large carcass alone, but had to at least try. Looking around, he couldn’t see a ditch, so decided to move it to the cliff-side edge and try to shove it off there. Straining with all his might, he dragged the beast out of the road. It turned out to be a much more difficult task than he expected, as the creature seemed to weigh as much as a horse. Nevertheless, by rolling first the tail end and then the head, he finally had the cat perched at the edge of the cliff.

Making every effort not to look over the abyss, Huw nudged the dead lion toward the brink, trying to nudge it over without losing his balance. Unfortunately, the great body stuck on a low shrub and stubbornly refused to go any further. In desperation, Huw put as much force as he could into it and with a mighty heave he strained to get the huge cat rolling.

Suddenly the tail end of the immense carcass lurched over the edge, yanking the rest with it, sending it tumbling down the cliff.

Of course, this threw Huw off balance. The combination of his efforts and the lion’s momentum as it plummeted into the gorge, nearly sent him over the edge. Desperately grabbing at shrubs and bracing against the rocks to hold himself back, he clung to the cliff, speechless with terror. Frozen, he watched the cat’s body careening down the sheer mountainside, occasionally bouncing like a rock. Through it all, he had to fight a nearly overwhelming urge to scream madly. Indeed, he couldn’t speak for fear of bursting into girlish hysteria.

Silently saying heartfelt prayers of thanks to God and all His angels, Huw remounted Blackberry, all the while keeping his jaws clenched to stop his teeth from chattering.

 

All I can say is… WOW! This is one heck of a brilliant book. Extremely well written, with plenty of action, while still having a lot of character building – this novel has it all. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series has in store! Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming launch!

 

Meet the amazing author, Connie J. Jasperson!

Connie Profile PicConnie J. Jasperson, author of The Tower of Bones Series and the Billy’s Revenge Series.  Her worlds are crafted out of whole-cloth and peopled entirely with her imaginary friends.  Sometimes reality intrudes and writing grinds to a halt, but through it all she continues to build the worlds and their people that she loves so much.

Connie Johnson-Jasperson lives in rural Washington state, where she shares five children and 11 grandchildren with her husband.  She has worked as a field hand for a Christmas tree grower, a hotel maid, a photographer’s assistant, a bookkeeper, and spent many years in the data-entry pool for several large corporations.  Her favorite music to write to ranges from Blackmore’s Night to Eric Whitacre, and from Pearl Jam to the Seattle Symphony. She is currently working on another book in the Tower of Bones series of tales built around the World of Neveyah.  With her move to Myrddin Publishing Group new opportunities have opened up, and along with new books in both of her fantasy series which are due to be published in 2014, she is working on a science fiction novella.

Connie is a professional structural editor, who works primarily with self-published and Indie authors. She is passionate about helping authors achieve as professional and submission-ready a manuscript as is possible. She works closely with each author, making sure their work is handled with the utmost care and consideration.

As a published author, Connie knows only too well the importance of having a first class editor to guide you through every stage of your novel’s life and she is lucky to have both Carlie M. A. Cullen, Maria V. A . Johnson, and Irene Roth Luvaul’s expertise for her work. At this time, her first published work is undergoing a complete overhaul at the hands of these intrepid women and will re-emerge in mid 2014 under the new title. Julian Lackland. In it’s original form as The Last Good Knight, this is the tale from which the entire concept of the Billy’s Revenge series emerged.