I’m entering that exciting period of anticipation that every author has before a book launch. In a few weeks my thirteenth novel will be published by BHC Press, and taking into account the lockdown restrictions I’ll be celebrating with a mug of tea or two at home with my three children.
The Phantom’s Curse is a YA sword and sorcery story. Our protagonist, Marianne, is a sixteen-year-old from the Link; a lower town in the shadow of the great city of Obanac. The previous Lord of Obanac banished her parents and she is now the sole carer of her younger brother, Newt. When attending her blessing inside the city walls, her brother is wrongly arrested leading to a string of events that lead to the rise of an old evil, magic and sorcery, new friendships, and uniting the people.
I loved writing Maz’s story as she discovers how brave and strong she is. It’s a theme that resonates with me on many levels. As a mother, I teach my daughter (and my boys!) how to stand up for herself, trust in her beliefs and opinions, and appreciate how fabulous she is. As someone who struggles with mental health, I often step into my character’s shoes and write them from the POV of how I wished I’d been in life, or how I would like to see myself.
All my novels have strong young women as the lead, and yet the stories also appeal to a younger male audience. I received lovely feedback about my books from a group of young boys (11-14 years) who attended a Christmas fair I was exhibiting at a few years ago!
I’m a fan of fast-paced, action-packed books, and I was delighted to hear that my target audience were on the same page (no pun intended!). To test my theory, I asked my nephew (aged 10 ¾!) to read The Phantom’s Curse so he could dip his toe into the YA market. As part of his home schooling, my sister-in-law got him to write me a book review.
Here’s what he said:
“I really enjoyed the book due to the amount of action. In addition, the book is like the stories of old – good vs evil. If I could change anything to make it better I wouldn’t. There were many things that made me laugh but there were no scary parts. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves action, humour, and old time good vs evil”
My nephew isn’t the only one to enjoy The Phantom’s Curse. Here are some of the ARC reviews we’ve received ahead of the release date:
“…a fast-paced, engaging first-person narrative that moves skillfully between sympathy-evoking personal experience and broad-ranging, sometimes violent action. [This] medieval-inflected fantasy…will appeal to female action-hero aficionados.” Kirkus Reviews
“I enjoyed the premise of this book and the author’s engaging style of writing. Even though it slowed down a bit, it kept my attention and I genuinely cared about the characters. A well written and engaging YA book that fans of the fantasy genre will no doubt enjoy.” Kathy C, Reviewer
“Excellent read, the story captures the reader’s attention and takes them along for a great adventure, as good and evil collide.” Mark E, Reviewer
An old evil threatens to rise from the depths of the warded city…
Sixteen-year-old Marianne lives a simple life as a healer in the Link, looking after her younger brother since their parents’ exile. Little does she know how everything will change after attending the blessing in the city of Obanac. After her brother is wrongfully imprisoned, Marianne seeks his release from Crawford Reign, the Lord of Obanac. But she’s faced with an impossible choice—the lord wants her in exchange. To save her brother she turns to the daring outlaw Robbie and his friends for help. Along with the help of Theo, the holy man’s son, a daring rescue soon uncovers rumors of an old sorcerer who may still live and whispers of the phantom’s curse—an evil that requires a host and seeks to destroy the world—threatening to resurface.
With the threat of an old evil rising in Obanac and the attacks of the Black Riders throughout the realm, nowhere seems safe. To save the people of the land and everyone she cares about, Marianne must unlock the secret to who she really is and embrace the mage magic that stirs within her.
Thank you for joining me on the lead up to the release date. Feel free to pop over to my author Facebook page for fun and book launch related frolics. Alternatively, sign up for my newsletters to be first in line to find out about new releases, events, and other news.
Interested in reading THE PHANTOM’S CURSE? You can pre-order your copy HERE.