The Necromancer’s Daughter Official Cover Reveal


The Necromancer’s Daughter

The final volume in the For Queen And Country series is almost here!

The Necromancer’s Daughter concludes a six-part saga that is set in a fictional world based on 16th century Amsterdam. Except there is magic, and the Chinese turn up… in a steam ship.

As powerful kings, barons and dukes of all the little countries of the hinterland bicker over who gets control over these “iron ships”, they unleash their magicians to cut down their rivals, most importantly the port city of Saardam, which is falling into the hands of a religious sect, and whose royal family is weakened because the crown princess has died and her older brother was never considered suitable for the throne, because he’s not right in his mind.

Merchant’s daughter Johanna Brouwer had never considered marrying a prince, let alone a mad one, but it might just be the only way to save the royal family. Never mind that none of the surrounding rival royal families want them to survive.

The Necromancer’s Daughter becomes available on 23 February 2016. You can pre-order it at these sites:


The Necromancer’s Daughter Official Cover Reveal was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

What’s coming up, Christmas giveaway and news

Ambassador 4 will probably head off to the editor within 2-3 weeks. It may be out before Christmas. I hope so, because for Christmas, I’m going to give away a signed copy of the book with Tom Edward’s awesome cover, shipped to anywhere in the world. And I’ll add a Christmas card.

The trick? To enter, you need to be on my awesome “Beast” mailing list (self-evident in the window in the right-hand column of this page).

When I finish this book, I will start on the final book in the For Queen And Country series, The Necromancer’s Daughter. In this book we can expect some fireworks as all leaders of the countries come together at Johanna’s invitation, including the magician Kylian.

Coming Home signals a pause in the Ambassador series, where a good number of threads will be resolved, many of which have been kept hanging over the past two books. Book 5 in the Ambassador series will be Blue Diamond Sky.

As Cory takes a well-earned rest and finally submits to proper weapons training, he and a couple of people from his household take a hunting trip in the marshland between Barresh and the turquoise sea. A bad storm has come through recently and on the shore of a tiny uninhabited island, Cory finds something Earthly that doesn’t belong there: a message in a bottle. A piece of plastic with HELP scratched on it with a sharp object. In Isla.

Cory has a list of all humans in Barresh: it’s very short and no one is missing. A few days later, he receives a weird message through official channels, from a woman on Earth whose rich businessman husband went on a trip of a lifetime “in a place where you can surf with plesiosaurs in turquoise waves”.

Cory knows the guy advertising the trip. He’s a shady character. He also knows where the “plesiosaurs” are. They’re not particularly friendly. Not to mention that the area is on the land of a viciously territorial Pengali tribe.

It looks like he’ll be using his new weapons skills sooner than he expected.

What’s coming up, Christmas giveaway and news was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Ambassador and Fire Wizard and other news

As you can see in the side bar, Ambassador 3 is now out everywhere. To celebrate this, I’ve made book 1 99c.

I’m going through all my book listings, streamlining the website links. I’ve signed up with Payhip, a self-serve payment system in lieu of running your own plug-ins and ebook delivery. They charge a very small percentage for the service, and take Paypal as well as credit cards. Gumroad, that I was using before, doesn’t accept Paypal (neither does Selz, a similar service that’s based in Sydney). If you take the Payhip option, you get an extra 25% off for sharing the link through social media.

I’m also listing all my books on DriveThruFiction.

Next will be Fire Wizard, book 4 of For Queen And Country. This book will go to the editor before the end of this week and should be available this month.

Here is another special: Book 1 of For Queen And Country is free everywhere. If you sign up for my new release mailing list, you get book 2 free as well!

It is very likely that after completing Fire Wizard, I will get serious about Shifting Infinity, after having left Melati and Ari and the others in limbo for over a year. Eight months have passed. Melati has completed her ISF officer training and Ari has signed up to the International Space Force and is becoming a flight technician aboard the large ship where they fled at the end of Shifting Reality. They’re hanging around in orbit close to New Jakarta station, but have been unable to return to it. They’re not entirely sure what goes on at the station save that it’s in the hands of Allion and the new command is making ever more bizarre demands and ultimatums.

Then they capture an independent merchant said to have come from the station. His story about the station is even more strange. The Allion-led command appears to be battling to get the ship’s computers under control and are struggling to keep the station functional. Melati is sent to talk to him, because “you’re brown, too”, but the man is not of Indonesian descent, and she suspects that he’s not a merchant but an Allion mole. But the plea for help that he brings on behalf of her relatives still on the station seems genuine. She and Ari are sent with a more official delegation to find out what is really going on in the limping station.

Ambassador and Fire Wizard and other news was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

The Idiot King is out!


 The Idiot King is out!

(click on hideously big text to be taken to the official page)

Go forth and buy lots of copies! And review them! And recommend them to others!


A few other specials and new releases:


The Idiot King is out! was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

The Idiot King – snippet

ForQueenAndCountry3The book is almost ready to go to the editor! Here is a random snippet:

Heart thudding, she looked into the old and haughty faces of the two men opposite her. They appeared quite civilised, but especially with nobles, appearances never told the entire story.
“Why don’t you ask the king what he wants.”
Johan Delacoeur scoffed. “He’s not in a state to–”
“He is not dumb if that’s what you were going to say.”
“No, I wasn’t.”
Yes, that was exactly what he was going to say. “Roald?”
He sat bent over his book, but his eyes weren’t moving. He held his hands clamped between his knees, and a muscle in his forearm kept alternately tensing up and relaxing.
“Roald?” She put an arm over his shoulder. Drops of sweat pearled on his forehead. He smelled sweaty, too.
“I was rude to them,” he said.
Fleuris LaFontaine snorted. “He was, too. I don’t know where a prince learns that kind of language.”
“They were rude to my women,” Roald said. “The maid and the witch. No one is rude to my women.”
“I know. It’s all right.” She spoke very softly, hoping that the men couldn’t hear her well enough to understand.
“You’re mine. Nellie is mine. They can’t be rude to you.”
“It’s all right, really. Calm down, please.”
“Your Highness,” said Fleuris LaFontaine.
“Tell them to leave,” Roald said.
“They won’t listen to me. You’re the king. Tell them.”
“I can’t talk to them. They’re rude. Father says I can’t talk to rude people.”
Johan Delacoeur cleared his throat. “Your Highness…”
Johanna turned around. Why couldn’t he see that she was busy? “The king will talk to you if he wants. Right now, he asks me to tell you to leave.”
Johan ignored her. “Please do tell us, Your Highness, if you would prefer to wed a woman of your status–”
Roald got up from the table so suddenly that Johanna had no chance to stop him. He faced the two men.
“They are my women! You can’t take them away from me I forbid you to take them away from me. I’m the king, you have to listen to me and do what I say. I want you to leave. This is my room for me and my women.”
“Roald, it’s all right. Calm down.”
“No, it’s not all right. They are here to take you away. I don’t want you to go. You’re mine. I love you.” His cheeks had gone red.
He turned back to the men, whose eyes were wide. Johan Delacoeur’s mouth hung open.
“You hear that? I love her. Now, you leave. Get out of here. This is my ship. Go, go, go.” He more or less pushed them up the stairs, Johan Delacoeur first and then his colleague.
Fleuris LaFontaine stammered, “Your Highness, I’m sorry to have caused offense. It was not my intention–”
“Go, go, go!” Roald was almost shrieking now.
“Come, my friend,” Johan said from the top of the stairs. “We know we’re not wanted.” He met Johanna’s eyes. “I can only say, young lady, that this is a very bad move–”
“Go, go, go! Stop talking. Stop making noise. Yap, yap, yap, yap. Get out of here.”
Fleuris LaFontaine had reached the top of the stairs, his face red from exertion. Men of his standing did apparently not run up narrow and steep stairs, infinitely more comfortable than the previous ladder they were.
They pushed the cover shut, and Johanna was left alone with Roald.
They looked at each other.
Johanna stifled a snort of laughter.
“You think that’s funny?”
“I think you were brilliant.” There would be consequences, but the sight of those two portly men scrambling up the steps was not one she’d forget quickly.
“You liked it.” He said that in a tone as if he could barely believe it.
“Yes, I did.”
He started laughing, too. “Did you see how scared they were? How I chased them up the stairs?”
Johanna laughed out loud. She put on an arrogant voice. “Your Highness, wouldn’t you prefer to wed a woman of your status?”
Roald giggled and snorted.
“They could hardly be more crass about what they wanted. And you know what the funny thing is? Ha, ha, ha. They don’t even have any daughters.”
Roald squealed with laughter.

The Idiot King – snippet was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

I’m sorry

ForQueenAndCountry3I’m sorry to my readers. The Idiot King is late. I was supposed to have handed it in to the editor by the end of August, but I still haven’t finished the manuscript.

I did finish it, of sorts, but then I decided that I hated it, and I threw out the entire last half of the book. All those chapters needed to be re-written into a story that I’m happy to publish. I’ve got 2-3 chapters to do and then a final read-through.

I guess this is a good thing about self-publishing and soft deadlines: I don’t get to deliver “that will do” type of work because of time pressure. If I don’t think a book works, then I simply move the deadline.

Re-writing was not very fast because I also needed to paint the entire bottom floor of the house, and, having turned over everything in our living area twice, we can’t find anything, and it’s all very frustrating. As it was, re-varnishing the bedrooms (where we had stored everything during the renovation) was more disruptive than the renovation itself. I didn’t really enjoy having to sleep in the office amongst cardboard boxes for a week.

I’m sorry was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

The Idiot King snippet

ForQueenAndCountry3 Because I can, here is a snippet from The Idiot King, For Queen And Country book 3. Expected out in late August/early September. Sign up here to be notified when it comes out.

Not much later, the Council of Nobles convened in the boat shed. It was not their usual meeting time, and Fleuris LaFontaine had to be hunted down from some place in town. He came into the boat shed muttering and protesting and sat down at the table with a heavy sigh.

His face was red from the wine he had evidently consumed with his midday meal.

Johanna had thought it wise to let Roald stay at the Lady Sara. He’d been teaching some boys how to catch butterflies without damaging them, and had gotten wet. He had sticks in his hair and smudges on his cheeks and when she called, had looked at her with such disappointment that she couldn’t bring herself to drag him along to a meeting, let alone one where tempers were sure to get heated. He hated it when people raised their voices, because he didn’t understand that they weren’t talking to him. He might start fidgeting, laughing or screaming, and that would be unacceptable.
So she had watched him trundle back into the reeds with his butterfly net, wishing she could be with him. Instead, she had changed into in her best dress, asked Nellie to put up her hair, put on the necklace, brooch and earrings that she had brought from Duke Lothar’s castle–much as she hated wearing other people’s property–and had asked two of her new guard escorts, who really needed uniforms, to walk her to the boat shed. Their names were Ko and Pieter, and they took to their task with a maturity beyond their adolescent years. Johanna took up the position at the head of the table that would normally be Roald’s.

It took her a lot of courage to do that, because Johan Delacoeur gave her a look icy enough to make water freeze. He was a powerful man, ex-army general with connections in armies all around the low lands. In their return to Saardam, he would be an asset, if she could win his support, no matter how reluctantly given. If.

The Idiot King snippet was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants