Beyond Thundering Waters: Book Launch and Giveaway!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today marks the launch of a brand new fantasy story, and a new series along with it. Beyond Thundering Waters is a dark fairy tale set in the lush surroundings of the Utladalen Valley in Norway.

Our young heroine, Ida, gets into trouble when she catches the attention of Maja, a huldra who lives in the forest. Maja is drawn by Ida’s grief – she’s still grappling with the death of her Mamma… and it seems Maja is keen to fill the void that was left behind. Will Ida end up with a huldra for a mother? Can she save her Pappa before Maja takes him away forever?

The Giveaway

To celebrate, I’m giving away a whole bunch of free copies of this eBook! Today you can grab one of TEN freebies using this special coupon code at Smashwords:

GB26X

Find the book in the Smashwords store here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1142105

Simply enter the code at checkout to get the book for free. Remember, there are only ten copies available: the first ten people to enter the code, win! The code expires next week on 10th May.

This isn’t the only giveaway. You’ll find another code to use on Google Play via my Facebook page, and yet another code in my Reader Group. Current subscribers to my newsletter will get their own chance to win one of TWENTY free copies tomorrow!

And of course, if you want to purchase the story instead, you can find the ebook on all retailers via this universal link: https://books2read.com/b/4jgw9X

If you’d like to help out this little launch, please reblog this post, shout about the giveaways, and share the book link! Love to you all, and I hope you enjoy the story. 😊

Dark Folklore… Coming Soon

Dark Folklore: A Short Story Series

Dark Folklore is a new short story series inspired by myths and monsters from around the world.

I love discovering folklore in all its flavors… from elusive beasties that stalk the aging forests to twisting fates in fairytales told from the shadows of a campfire. The more obscure and sinister the tale, the better.

Dark Folklore is a series to indulge this love. Each installment is inspired by a folk legend from a different country, reimagined in a modern setting with new twists and themes. More than just a retelling: each short story is a new, original tale. Expect some spooky vibes and a few unhappy endings… but also the odd uplifting one as well.

The first installment of Dark Folklore releases on Tuesday 3rd May: a story called Beyond Thundering Waters. With a lush Norwegian setting surrounded by mountains and waterfalls, this story draws on a menacing interpretation of the huldra (one of my favourite folkloric creatures). Ida, a young girl still grieving the loss of her mother, must race against time to save her Pappa from the clutches of her own wild valley and the huldra who would keep them apart.

This story is already live for preorder on all the usual storefronts. Stay tuned for a special Launch Day Giveaway: I’ll be handing out TEN free copies of Beyond Thundering Waters via my blog, and even more copies via social media and my newsletter!

So remember to hit the Follow button on my website, and check out my socials on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Subscribe to my newsletter (and receive another free short story) by clicking here.

For even MORE folklore content and chances to win, you can also join my Reader Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/aninspiredmess


Are you excited for this series? Let me know if you’ve picked up Beyond Thundering Waters already, or are joining us on 3rd May for the Giveaway!

Book Launch & Giveaways! The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two

This week I’m celebrating the launch of my latest book, The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two!

It me!

The paperback looks and feels fabulous and I adore the cover illustration by Dominique Lane. In Jack and Ang’s latest misadventures, we get to wrap up the mystery of Ang’s missing coblynau and finally find out what lies behind the ominous names of Baines and Grayle. Quiet Eyes makes another appearance, and the phoenix eggs stolen at the end of the first book have a large part to play as well. Lots of mysteries solved… and a few more to be opened.

For Jack Hansard, Purveyor of Occult Goods, things are looking up. With the coblyn Ang as his new business partner, he has a solid friend to back him up in every dangerous situation. Together the pair face shapeshifters, piskies, and ancient magics in their quest to track down Ang’s missing kin. A new lead means the trail is about to get a whole lot hotter.

But when an old enemy presents Jack with an offer he can’t refuse, will he risk Ang’s trust to see it through?

Intrigued? Come and join the virtual Launch Party!

I’m running giveaways all week to celebrate this book release. Join us over on Facebook for a chance to win some Jack Hansard swag, free book codes, and a $10 Amazon gift card! (The gift card giveaway has just opened!)

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you’ll get an extra chance to win a separate $5 gift card later this week~

I recommend grabbing your copy of Season Two soon as I’ve kept it discounted to $2.99 as a special release offer for this week only. From next week it will go to full price: $4.99

If you’re after the paperback, it’s currently filtering into stores and should be available from a wide range of retailers soon. 😊

Thanks for helping me celebrate my book launch! Maybe I’ll see you at the party later. 🥳

COVER REVEAL! The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two

Wheeeeeeeeee!

It’s finally time to unveil the book cover that we’ve been working on for the past couple of months. The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two releases on 11th January 2022, and it’s about the only thing I’ve had in my head since I started the intense editing process in October. Now we’re finally approaching the finish line – publication! Everything is wrapping up very nicely, and I’m excited to show you the book cover.

Are you ready to see the whole thing?

Let’s go, go, go!

Jack Hansard Season Two cover, a broken oil lamp and bluecap

What do you think?

I’m in love with it. The artist, Dominique Lane, has really outdone herself with this epic illustration.

We learned a lot from designing the cover for Season One, and it meant the process went a bit quicker this time around. This cover has a darker feel to it, which is very fitting for the themes of Season Two. (If you’ve read the free beta, remember to keep hush hush on spoilers. 😉)

Season Two is already available for preorder at all major ebook retailers. By preordering now you’ll get the early bird discount: the book will be $2.99 until a week after launch. Then it will go up to full price – $4.99.

The paperback will also become available for preorder just after Christmas. I’ll keep you posted when it goes up!

As for the book launch on 11th January… Like last time, I’ll be holding a little party with games and giveaways for everyone to join in. The main event will take place over on Facebook (join the party here!) but I’ll also run a few things on my blog and newsletter for those who don’t dwell on the social media monolith.

Let me know how you feel about the new book cover in the comments. Do you think it fits the series? Are you excited for the release? What would you like to see at the launch party?

Take care~

Emerging from my hole for a quick update

Photo by Tsvetoslav Hristov on Pexels.com

It’s bright out here

It’s been a minute since I last wrote something for the blog. Sorry for my absence folks, I’ve had my nose buried deep in edits for The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two. Things are going well: the free beta release on Wattpad has now reached the end of the story; I’m currently working through all the notes from my editor; and the cover art is shaping up fantastically.

If you want to lend a hand in getting the book over the finish line, you can help by spreading the word about Jack Hansard, or by sending over a coffee to fuel the late nights. Ko-fi donations receive an exclusive short story and piece of artwork, and my heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has supported the series in any shape or form so far. You are all amazing. 😊


Advance Review Copies

Season Two will soon be ready to send out to early readers for review!

Would you like to receive a free advance review copy of the book? I’ve got spaces on my ARC team – if you would like to join, just fill in this Google form and I’ll get back to you: https://forms.gle/Aehp4dKfgamdiWA26 (If you’ve never left a review anywhere before, that’s fine. Just list a couple of the places where you would like to leave one for my book. 🙂)

Similarly, are you a blogger interested in reading/reviewing any of my books? Reach out to me by email: georgina@georginajeffery.com


That’s all for now. I’ll retreat back into the warmth for a little while. My current work setup is with my laptop on the couch, a hot water bottle at my back and coffee by my side… if you don’t see me again for a month, send the search party in with snacks.

Take care~

The Hub: a supernatural sci-fi story

Photo by Phil Goulson on Pexels.com

When an app developer accidentally creates a maliciously benevolent social media network, only her girlfriend can save her from what she’s brought to life…


Happy days! I was incredibly pleased to release my short story The Hub as an ebook last week. This story was first published by the wonderful folks at Thunderbird Studios in their anthology The San Cicaro Experience – a weird and dark anthology exploring the titular urban fantasy location.

The Hub ended up straddling the line between sci-fi and urban fantasy with its technological menace, but ultimately it’s a story about love and compromise.

It’s now available for just $0.99 from all the main retailers: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple, etc. Universal shop link below. 😄

The Hub: a speculative short story

In sunny San Cicaro, a new app is dominating the city’s streets – and its people.

Max loves her city, and believes everyone deserves to enjoy its hidden treasures. So when she launches the SC Hub, a new social app to connect people and places, she couldn’t be happier with its blazing overnight success. But her reclusive girlfriend, Ellie, can’t help but worry about the magnetic pull the app is having on its creator, and the strange occurrences in town that seem linked to it.

Are people driving the app… or the other way round?

Author Spotlight at Inkwell Spills

I’d like to thank Nicole over at InkWell Spills for hosting me in an Author Spotlight this week. We covered how I ended up writing The Jack Hansard Series, my turning point in becoming a ‘professional’ author, and a few tips on how to see the value in your work and to make that crucial step towards a professional writing career. You’ll also find a wealth of free writing resources on her website.

Read the full post here.

Join the Launch Party!

IT’S RELEASE DAY and the book launch party is now in full swing! There’s still time to join in with the event and enter the competition to win a free ebook. Check it out here!


Here’s the event schedule so you can see what’s in store:

  • 10:00 Welcome to the Party!

  • 11:00 Competition Opens. Submit your entry to win a copy of the ebook.

  • 12:00 Join me for a chat and a peak inside the paperback.

  • 13:00 Game time!

  • 14:00 SNEAK-PEAK. Read an excerpt of the brand new ‘Episode 8: Informant’ from Season One.

  • 15:00 Quiz time! Find out which Jack Hansard character you are…

  • 16:00 Author Q&A Session – ask me anything! I’ll be at my computer for the full hour trying to keep up.

  • 18:00 FIRST LOOK at Season 2! Be the first to read the opening to S2 Ep1

  • 19:00 Competition Closes. Entries after this time won’t be included.

  • 20:00 SECOND LOOK at Season 2! Another special snippet from what I’ve been working on

  • 21:00 Competition winners will be announced.

  • 22:00 Time to wind down. Thanks for coming to the Launch Party!

Yes, that is a full 12 hours! I wanted to make sure that our friends across the pond would have chance to join in as well. All timings are GMT+1.


Here are some of the major stores where you can order a copy of The Jack Hansard Series: Season One

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Kobo

Apple Books

Waterstones

Jack Hansard Book Launch Announced!

Cover illustration by Dominique Lane.

Save The Date: 27th September 2020

Put it in your diaries folks, we’re less than two weeks out! The Jack Hansard Series: Season One will be available in ebook and paperback from online retailers – and in fact, the ebook is already available for preorder at a number of stores! Grab it from the links below:

Amazon

Everywhere Else

UK price on release:

Paperback: £7.99
Ebook: £2.99


Launch Party

What is a book launch without a Launch Party? I’m celebrating with a full 12 hour virtual event on Sunday 27th September – and everyone is invited!

Where?
Find the Facebook Event page here.

What?
There will be sneak peaks, author Q&A, games, and a competition to win free copies of the ebook and a special cameo spot in Season 2!

How?
Sign up on the Facebook Event to attend. We’ll keep all activity on the event page so it’s easy to find throughout the day. Drop in for just a few minutes or stay to hang out for a couple hours – whatever works for you!


Don’t do Facebook?

No worries! I won’t be able to spread myself too thinly over social media on the 27th, but I will aim to check in with my other channels during the day. Come and say hi over on Twitter or Instagram!


In the meantime

Gosh, I’ve spent so long gearing up to this point I almost don’t know what to do with myself any more. Mostly I’m just working hard to get the word out, so I’m approaching other bloggers and reviewers at the moment for more exposure. (Incidentally, if you are one and are interested in receiving an Advance Reader Copy or a guest post, hit me up.)

Otherwise, I’d love if you could share my Facebook Launch Party event with your friends, or share this post to help spread the word!

And don’t forget, if you’re hankering for a Jack Hansard fix in the run-up to launch, there’s an exclusive story up for grabs when you join my newsletter (and another little freebie featuring Edric Mercer will be delivered as well).

If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to get in touch.

Twelve days to go and lots still to do. See you at the Launch Party!

=D


Jack Hansard is the man who can sell you anything.

Luck in a bottle, fame in a box, dreams on a leash: anything is possible when you’re a trader on the occult Black Market.

Jack is used to a life of handling dangerous goods, dodging disgruntled customers, and sometimes running away very fast. But when Ang – two-and-a-half feet of furious Welsh coblyn – buys his help to find her missing kin, Jack suddenly finds the goods are riskier, the customers more treacherous, and escape is anything but guaranteed.

The Jack Hansard Series is an episodic contemporary fantasy with a wide streak of humour and just a dash of horror. Season One contains the first fifteen episodes in the series.

What Does Editing Look Like?

editing pixabay.jpg

 

A little update here on The Jack Hansard Series. Thanks again for sticking with me – we’re making steady progress! I know it’s proving to be a long wait, but I promise the end result will be worth it. I know it’s a bit dull to just hear ‘I’m editing’ over and over again, so I thought I’d give you all a little insight into what I’ve been working on, and exactly what ‘editing’ the series means in practice.

For a start it involves…

 

Restructuring

The original version of the series (still available to read for free on An Inspired Mess and on Wattpad) is written over 20 episodes. The final version will be just 15.

Wait! Don’t worry – nothing’s been cut, just condensed. The original episodes were written and published on a fortnightly basis, and realistically I could only churn out up to 5000 words in that time. This meant that several stories got split over separate episodes, and the episode lengths weren’t consistent. So you’d finish reading a satisfying 5000 word episode, to then stop short at the end of a 3000 word ep like: ‘Where’s the rest of it?’

So I’ve been working on evening out those word counts, and putting full stories into one episode wherever possible. For example, remember where Jack first meets Ang in Ironbridge? This was needlessly split into two episodes – there’s not even a proper cliff-hanger to lead from one to the other! So now they are joined together in one seamless story to be enjoyed without any interruption.

What this also means is I’m…

 

Adding New Content

Some of those stand-alone episodes are still too short, especially near the beginning of the series. You see, when I started out my episodes were only 2000-3000 words each, but as the series developed the characters found their voices and the plots became more rounded, demanding longer stories to see them through. You can see this in the explosive Phoenix finale, which took a whole five episodes to complete!

So I’ve been adding in extra details, and occasionally whole new scenes. Remember Episode 1, where Jack gets cornered by Scallet and makes a lucky and quick escape? The story no longer ends there. You now get to see a fraction of London’s underworld as Jack goes on to encounter an old ‘friend’ at the Black Friar and… I won’t spoil it for you.

A bizarrely shaped building, the Black Friar took up a corner of Queen Victoria Street and had a habit of playing tricks on the eyes. Viewed from the side, it appeared as a long, unrealistically thin building. From the front, a V that seemed to occupy more space than was possible. Rows upon rows of art nouveau windows gave the impression of crowded bedsits built for high society. And, naturally, there was a statue of a jolly black friar with his pudgy hands folded over his stomach, beaming down from his spot right above the front door.

You can also expect more interactions with characters like Ang, Officer Jo Neills, and Mark Demdike. Oh, and the lovely Devin Tracey gets a much-needed spot in the limelight as well. You might recall he’s the devilishly handsome Irish siren from episodes 8-10. It always bothered me that I never wrote him a proper purpose other than to act as a sounding board at the Market. Why have a siren if you don’t get to glimpse their ability in action? So you can expect just that – a glimpse.

But unfortunately, as well as adding I have also been…

 

Cutting

Alas, it is necessary. But again, don’t get too concerned. The whole point of editing is to cut details that the reader won’t miss, like clunky, slow dialogue or a lengthy portion of exposition that would be better used later.

Perhaps one of the biggest chunks I’ve cut so far is from Episode 6: Cockermouth where Jack’s internal monologue became horribly clogged up with an explanation of his different types of customers. It was awfully long-winded and not really relevant to the situation at hand – so now it’s transformed into a much more enjoyable argument with Ang over the subject.

‘He falls into the ‘spurned lovers’ category of our demographic, Ang,’ I said knowingly. I ignored her mouthing ‘Demo-what?’ under the table. ‘Desperate people, angry people, these are our favourite customers. They have an axe to grind and I’m here to provide the grindstone.’

I should also say that if you’ve read the series’ most recent iteration on Wattpad (or here on An Inspired Mess after January 2017) then you’ve missed most of the drastic cuts already. The version currently published online is actually the second draft, which had an extensive overhaul of its own. So don’t worry – you won’t recognise what you don’t miss.

On a more cheerful note, editing also involves…

 

Refining Content

I suspect this is what a lot of people think editing is, while forgetting about the dirty work of necessary cuts and story structure. Technically all of editing is a refinement, but here I’m talking about the more enjoyable, low-level edits that are designed to just make the writing easier to read.

These are usually quite simple changes, a matter of phrasing and word choice to make a sentence read more smoothly. Also checking grammar and consistency – you won’t believe how long I agonised over what form my ellipsis should take. Google did not give me a straight answer.

Would you believe that in publishing it’s usually a matter of house preference? Some publishers will put the ellipsis in the middle of words like this … while others will join it on, like this…

Yet others will use a spaced out ellipsis like this . . . which was always my favourite until I discovered it caused no end of formatting problems online. A comically simple, but frustratingly time-consuming issue to overcome.

And finally…

 

Heeding Feedback

This is always the most important part of any editing process, and it feeds into everything I’ve outlined above. A lot of self-published authors apparently pay for professional editors to proof read and critique their work – but I’m afraid I cannot even slightly afford such services. So I did the next best thing: assembled a pool of people I trust to give me real honest feedback and help pick the series to pieces. They played a large part in shaping that initial, harsh edit.

This second round of editing is largely influenced by the voice of genuine readers; that is, people who came to read the series because they wanted to, not because I asked. If you’ve ever left a comment or shot me a private message about an episode – whether it contained praise or criticism – you can guarantee that I’ve considered carefully how it should impact on the writing.

On this note, a general tip for other writers out there: heeding feedback is not the same as always following feedback. As your spidey senses develop, you begin to learn how to differentiate – when to follow the advice of others, and when to follow your own instinct. But don’t throw out criticism just because you disagree with it. First, try to understand where that criticism is coming from, why you disagree, and then why you might be wrong.

 

So that’s where we’re at, guys. I think I’m about two thirds of the way through this process, and I’ll let you know when we’re close to publication. If you’ve been wondering, the series will be available through Amazon Kindle as an e-book later this year.

 


 

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post you might also enjoy:

Ch-ch-changes! Editing Tips Part 1

The Easy Cut: Editing Tips Part 2

The Hard Cut: Editing Tips Part 3