Sword of Marathon now available on Nook, iTunes, and Smashwords

Sword of Marathon is now available directly onto a Nook device via the Barnes and Noble website:

Barnes and Noble

It’s also available for iBooks, via the Apple iTunes store. Click on this link or just search for ‘Sword of Marathon’ directly on iTunes, and you should be able to get it:

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And it’s also available via Smashwords, in all sorts of eBook formats:

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As always, book reviews and ratings on any of the media sites from which you purchase your copy are always welcome! 🙂


Sword of Marathon: Released in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon!

Sword of Marathon

Click to Preview on Amazon.com

After much to-ing and fro-ing in the review stages, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Sword of Marathon is now available in both paperback and Kindle versions at an Amazon site near you.

For those new to this site who want to get a further flavour of the book, here’s the editorial description:

Luke, a Gothic prince of Angland and a shaman’s pupil, sets out to prove himself worthy of kingship by finding traders for his people’s amber jewels. His journey leads him south through treacherous waters and murderous barbarians. With younger brother Hal at his side, and trust in his sword, Luke finds a new and unexpected destiny.

In Greece, Luke finds manhood too, with the voluptuous and beautiful Agariste. She reveals a rotten secret at the heart of Athens, which draws the brothers into a vicious war against the Persian Empire. King Darius the Great, with his vast navy fleets and army legions, is bent on destroying the Ionian city of Eretria, and then Athens, with its fledgling democracy and its persistent refusal to bow to tyranny.

As leader of the toughest seafaring mercenaries in Greece, Luke gathers vital intelligence for the General of Athens and rescues the future mother of Herodotus, the world’s first historian.

Luke’s quest also reveals Misia, an alluring young Carian princess, who betrays him, yet captures his heart. Confronted with superior military force on the plain of Marathon, Luke, Hal, and the Greeks engage the Persian army in bloody combat, in one of the most important and epic battles of all time. Its outcome will decide the future of the entire world for decades and millennia to come.

After his first reading, a friend of mine tells me the novel is rather like a rollercoaster. The characters are carefully built, then the tension builds, and then it becomes unrelenting, climaxing in the battle itself, before settling accounts, near the end, in preparation for the second novel in the series. I hope that kind of format appeals to Hollywood movie directors, as I would love to be on set as an adviser, when they shoot all of the various scenes. If they actually ask me for any advice, rather than just occasionally handing me the odd piece of dark chocolate or the odd glass of Pinot Noir, then I will be doubly pleased! 🙂

In the meantime, here are the links to several of those Amazon sites where the book is now available. Kindle versions are available in all territories, however sometimes you have to search these out separately, as I’m currently working with the Amazon people to get the paperback and Kindle versions properly linked in the UK, France, Italy, and Spain. They are properly linked in the US and in Germany.

You can read the first few chapters, as a preview, at each individual Amazon site, which is the Kindle-text preview:

If you do pick up a copy, all reviews on your local version of Amazon are gratefully appreciated, as well as copies of these reviews on your own web and blog sites. Depending on your religion, this may fail to achieve automatic entry into heaven, however I am convinced that it will go a long way to do so.


Book Beta draft: 31,500 word milestone achieved

Another good productive week, in the glorious sunshine of a four-day English summer, as we sailed through the next drafting milestone.

Book Alpha, ‘Sword of Marathon’, is still going through some niggling formatting checks, but we’re almost there with its publication.

Next word check, at 42,000 words, which has a nice ring about it.


10,500 words done on Book Beta first draft

While very close to pressing the ‘Accept Proof’ button on Sword of Marathon, or Book Alpha, I’m now underway with Book Beta; I’ve just crossed the magical 10,000 words threshold in the first draft.

Book Alpha, required three initial drafts, then a revision, then a polish, and is now going through the final stages of a proofing polish, so that’s about six drafts in all, with the most work being done on the first draft. Book Alpha also turned out to contain approximately 105,000 words, so I’m setting all my drafting milestones to be at 10% of that, and I’ve just hit that first milestone, though I suspect the final publication will be longer. I’m hoping to hit 21,000 words, in Book Beta’s first draft, in two more weeks. I’ll write a post when I hit that.

Alas, I’m unable to reveal a working title for Book Beta yet, as Mrs England will kill me if I do, but please do expect it to contain – at the very least – scenes from Thermopylae and Salamis. There may be other books later in the series, which fill in more of the missing years between Marathon and Thermopylae, but for the second book in the series, I thought it would be good if we at least found out about Luke’s involvement in that particular encounter with the Persians.

Currently, he’s footling about in Arabia, and I’ve no idea how he’s going to get from there to the hot gates. However, I am confident that he will find a way.

Right, better get back to that first draft to find out what he’s up to.


When is a waist, a waste?

Alas, in the allegedly final proof run, an instance of ‘waste’ has been discovered, where ‘waist’ was desired. So far, it’s the only one, but it does mean we have to go around the review cycle one more time. I bet J.K.Rowling has people to do this kind of thing for her now! 🙂


Into final proofing (we hope)

Perhaps the greatest video there has ever been. Yes, we’re in the (hopefully) final proof check. The cover’s done, the barcodes are added, and in the last interior review, I found about three commas and semi-colons, which I tossed and turned about. Is writing novels painful? You betcha. But hopefully this (last?) interior proof review will fail to reveal a single comma out of place. Here’s that video:


Cover of ‘Sword of Marathon’ done

Working Cover of ‘Sword of Marathon’

Finished fiddling with the cover, today, as above. I like it. I would buy this book on the cover alone. If you can’t read it, the back cover text says:

“Luke, a Gothic prince of Angland and a shaman’s pupil, sets out to prove himself worthy of kingship by finding traders for his people’s amber jewels. His journey leads him south through treacherous waters and murderous barbarians. With younger brother Hal at his side, and trust in his sword, Luke finds a new and unexpected destiny.

In Greece, Luke finds manhood too, with the voluptuous and beautiful Agariste. She reveals a rotten secret at the heart of Athens, which draws the brothers into a vicious war against the Persian Empire. King Darius the Great, with his vast Achaemenid fleets and legions, is bent on destroying the Ionian city of Eretria, and then Athens, along with its fledgling democracy and persistent refusal to bow to tyranny.

As leader of the toughest seafaring mercenaries in Greece, Luke gathers vital intelligence for the General of Athens and rescues the future mother of Herodotus, the world’s first historian. Luke’s quest also reveals Misia, an alluring young Carian princess, who betrays him, yet captures his heart.

Confronted with superior military force on the plain of Marathon, Luke, Hal, and the Greeks engage the Persian army in bloody combat, in one of the most important and epic battles of all time. Its outcome will decide the future of the entire world for decades and millennia to come. But will it decide the fate of Luke and Misia?”

That would definitely make me want to buy this book! 🙂