Category Archives: Writing Posts

Book Launch Party

Friday 4th October was a very exciting day. The evening heralded the launch party for my book, The Reluctant Prophet (despite the fact its been released a month). To be honest, I was a nervous wreck, with the typical thoughts of, ‘Oh God, no one’s going to turn up’ to ‘No one will buy the book.’ I forgot that I have fabulous family and friends and they quickly reminded me that everything was going to be just fine! The party was held in Cunningham’s Bar, in Kildare in their lovely upstairs room. A big thank you to Rachel and the staff of Cunningham’s for having set the room up so thoughtfully, with the table and stage for the book signings. And a big thank you to family who popped over from Scotland, as well as friends who attended. Especially, Mary, Charlotte and Karen, for the decorations and the wonderful cake!

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1 – The room set up for the launch. 2 – Karen of Love Sew Much (and great friend) sitting with the cake she made.

3 – The amazing cake. One layer chocolate, one lemon and one choc/biscuit cake. Yum Yum!

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1 – Me and the books!  2 – Friend Mary modelling the tote bag! 3 – Friends Charlotte and Peter getting their books signed.




Out of the Dark . . . A Journey into the Realm of Gothic Art

This week as part of the Bandit Book Bloggers’ tours, I am promoting the book, Out of the Dark, which includes beautiful contemporary gothic artworks by various and very talented artists.

Out of the Dark

Contemporary Gothic Art

Edited by Hazel Butler

Containing over two hundred images, and contributions from thirty-two artists from around the world, Out of the Dark is a veritable cornucopia of Gothic delight. Fifteen chapters, each packed with vibrant images, and pithy descriptions,  showcase some of Gothic Art’s favourite themes, from Death to Lovers, Hauntings to Winter, and Lolitas to Lost Boys.

Many images are accompanied by commentaries from the artists, detailing their inspirations and methods, and why certain pieces mean so much to them.

The central feature of the book is a sixteen page spread on favourite Alternative model, Maria Amanda Schaub, including a biography, a selection of her favourite art pieces, and why she loves them so much.

Here are a few samples from the book, with the biographies of the talented artists.

Ookami, by Tim Lord

Tim Lord is a traditional UK artist who tries to convey all aspects of life in his work:  beauty and pain, fear and joy, life and death.


Night Bloom, by Evelinn Enoksen

Evelinn Enoksen lives in Norway with her husband and children. She’s a Norwegian, but has roots in New Zealand. Coming from a long line of writers and artists she was encouraged from an early age to explore these talents. Her parents often criticised her work when she was young and dared her to do better. Because of that, she has always striven for perfection.
Evelinn has a great love of fantasy and science fiction and grew up watching Star Trek and reading Asimov, and sees now how much her past has influenced her present, and will continue to do so in the future. She finds inspiration in everything, and  has always been drawn to what is dark and mysterious, ominous and occult, although she’s not sure why; she considers herself to be a very happy person, and wonders if it is her darker side that influences her creativity, working as a kind of therapy. She says, ‘There are few things more fun in life than being able to create.’  Her debut novel, Guardians of Evion, was released in 2013.


The Lady of the Crows, by Whendell de Souza Lira

Whendell de Souza Lira lives in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. He has always been passionate about all forms of art. He loves to create different and impossible things; with Photoshop it is possible for anything to become a reality. He is inspired by music, films, people and especially the beauty of nature. He is currently at college studying graphic design,

Other Links:

Purchase Links – Email Hazel Butler here:

Release Day!

Today is a very special day and I am very excited to tell the world that my debut fantasy novel, The Reluctant Prophet, has been released! I feel very lucky and fortunate to have had this opportunity and it is something I have dreamt about for a long time. I need to thank everyone who has had their part in supporting me throughout; family, friends, Grimbold Books (Kristell Ink), (and you all know who you are if I’ve missed anyone) and I would like to express to all of you my everlasting gratitude! Thank you.


It can now be purchased here:

Amazon UK:


Wizard’s Tower:

Healer’s Touch

This month, the Bandits are promoting the excellent steampunk, western, fantasy epic, Healer’s Touch, by Deb E Howell! This New Zealand author has a flair of her own!


Deb E Howell

For Llew to heal, something must die.

Llew, a young pickpocket who lives as a boy on the streets of a wild-west mining town, finds her real problems begin when she survives the gallows. Forced to run, she persuades a group of fighters escorting a young girl to her wedding to let her travel with them across the badlands. On the journey Llew faces hostile tribesmen, desperate bandits and, the enmity of her own companions should they find out who and what she is: a girl, a fugitive, and a feared Healer. One of the fighters, Jonas, possesses superhuman prowess as a warrior, and carries the knife able to ‘kill the unkillable’; the knife that can kill Llew. Despite being of races at war for centuries, they are drawn to one another.

During the journey, they encounter Braph the magician, Jonas’ half-brother and potential nemesis. He pursues them as they journey across the sea to the continent of Phyos and at the moment Llew finally feels safe, he abducts her. He begins to take what is most precious to him: her blood.

Healer’s Touch is a mesmerising mix of fantasy, steampunk and Wild West adventure – and even a dash of romance!


Deb E, Author - Dunedin, New Zealand


Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction.

Deb lives in Dunedin, New Zealand with her family and a menagerie of pets.





and many more…

Excerpt from Healer’s Touch


He gathered her to him. So alive moments earlier, now limp. All he could see was blood. It covered her hands, soaked her shirt and pooled on the ground. He clasped her chin, turning her to him. The touch sent a tingle through his fingers even as more blood gushed from her open throat and he jerked his hand away, letting her head fall back. His eye was drawn by movement in the grass. One of Llew’s hands had fallen to the ground and the grass around it was dying in an ever increasing circle.

Jonas swallowed down his revulsion and dumped her unceremoniously on the ground, jumping to his feet. In a daze, he reclaimed his knives from the corpses, taking them to the water’s edge to clean with vigorous sweeps of his fingers down the blades. He berated himself for even toying with the idea of getting involved with her. What did he really know about her? He knew her name. And now he knew all he needed to know.

He wiped the half-clean blades on his thigh, sheathed them in his vest and drew the big knife at his hip. He cradled it in his hands, watching the moonlight fly off as he tilted it back and forth. There was one purpose to this knife’s existence: to kill the unkillable. And there was no safer time to make an attempt on the life of an Aenuk than when they were already half dead.

Jonas turned from the water. The meadow was now like a hayfield. Each blade of grass, each leaf of clover, each dandelion had given its all to provide but a tiny fraction of the energy – jin, as it was known in Turhmos – needed to bring a person back from near-death.

She lay unconscious, but her breathing was steady now. He had limited time to act. He crouched beside her, knife hovering over her back right where her heart should be, assuming Aenuks had a heart. But this was Llewella. She wasn’t like the Aenuks he had faced on the Turhmos killing fields. She wasn’t trained to fight, to continue to fight, and to take the enemy with her when she faced final death. She was merely a girl doing what she had to do to survive.




Amazon US (Kindle):

Amazon UK (Kindle):


MY REVIEW – I purchased Healer’s Touch on Kindle and read it in a couple of sittings. I really enjoyed this – it has a fast pace and well developed characters, especially the MC, Llew, whose healing talent is a blessing and curse (depending on who and what you are). Along with a sympathetic and gutsy MC, there are a host of other great characters. I have a certain soft spot for the strong and brooding Jonas, and despised the baddie of the piece, Braph. To have such reactions to characters is a mark of good writing in my opinion. In particular, the tenuous (and tongue-in-cheek) relationship that develops between Jonas and Llew is very well handled, in light of the fact that Jonas has the implement which can kill Llew. And the book is full of such moments, which leave you wondering what will happen next!

It was a completely unique reading from the get go and the first book I have come across that has a mix of western, fantasy and steam-punk elements, and as I said in the beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The world-building was very well detailed and I got a keen sense of the world and peoples Deb E Howell has created.

In saying that, I’m now really looking forward to the next instalment in the series. The ending of the first book left me wanting to know more – there were hints of drama and trials to come, so I guess I’ll just have to be patient!

Nonsensical Ramblings (about writing)….

I guess it’s something that happens to everyone, but there are times when my motivation isn’t where it should be!  I am currently working my way through the second book in a fantasy series and for some inexplicable reason, I’ve hit halfway, wondering if I am going in the right direction with the character and the story.  This never really happens with my stories and even the third book isn’t causing me many problems, but this second book – ugghhh! – I can’t even find the words to describe why I have stalled.  Perhaps it’s the second book curse (or is there such a thing?)  Or maybe I need to stop getting distracted by facebook, twitter and every other social media tool under the sun! (The bane of being a nosey cow!)

Despite it being a bit of a down week in relation to sitting down and actually writing, I have to say that on the positive side, the second book is plotted out in my head and on paper.  Of course, it is changing daily – sometimes these beings you bring to life in your imagination have a tendency of trying to live their lives their own way, and completely feck up the fate you were dishing out to them.  But, I guess I can gently steer them back to my way of thinking (and let them believe it was their idea…)

Or, perhaps I can give in a little and see where it leads?  I suppose that’s the fun of thinking of your characters as real people and living far too much in your own head…

The Significance of Animals

owl5  When I’m writing my books, I’ve discovered I’m drawn to adding animals into the story-line.  Normally as the story unfolds, an owl or raven, or perhaps a wolf enters as some kind of portent or omen to my main character.  I don’t even fully understand the significance at the time, but as the story unfolds, some sort of lesson is drawn from what it symbolises.  I know it sounds ‘old hat’ (or perhaps my reason for using them is!) but I admit that I love to have an owl or two in my books.  And predictably, there is always a reference to wisdom…

First Book Jitters

2013 sets out to be a very exciting year for me. 

For what seems like an eternity, I’ve dreamt of having my own book published.  After years of struggling, first with my confidence (who doesn’t have self doubt?) and of course trying to find a publisher, I was fortunate enough to strike gold. Since then, I’ve been very excited and just a little anxious about my first book being published.  I think a lot of it has to do with how little I know about the process, but my head is slowly getting around it. 

Part of me was naïve enough to believe that all I needed to do was provide the manuscript with the ideal amount of writing skill for a publisher to see the potential, and then with a little editing, I’d be on my way to a fairly decent career.  That is part of it, but I had no idea that I also needed to ‘get myself out there,’ and do a little self promotion.  (The thoughts of it!)

I’m not a natural on the internet.  I use the usual sites for research, e-mail and socialising, but blogging?  It’s taken me months to get my head around it and I still have no idea if I’m what I’m doing is right.  That nasty little devil on my shoulder has been prodding doubt into me with his pitchfork, but I’ve decided to give the little fecker the flick and give this blogging business a go.  Although it’s a rather daunting thing to do – I know it will be good for me. 

Phew… with confidence restored, my first post is over and out! It wasn’t so bad after all.

And, if anyone out there is interested, you can find out more about my forthcoming book, The Reluctant Prophet on