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News and Updates

Hey folks,

Time for a very long and very overdue update! I keep promising myself that I’ll set aside the time for a weekly blog post (New Year Resolution for 2022!), it always seems to be the thing that gets pushed into the corner for more pressing matters!

I finally got out to the cinema recently to see Dune, a movie that I’ve been waiting for with mixed feelings. I saw the David Lynch edition when I was a kid, and was one of those people who didn’t hate it. It was a movie that really captured my imagination, but I’m not really sure why! It was a long time before I got around to reading the book, which I did only a few years ago, but I really enjoyed it.

I’m not usually one for immersive world building, but there was something about Herbert’s vision of the distant future that I find really fascinating. I think the new Denis Villeneuve interpretation was utterly spectacular. It was science fiction on a truly epic scale, which is something you don’t really see that often anymore. It’s definitely a movie to see on the big screen if you can, as it was visually breathtaking.

As with every attempt to bring a large novel to the screen, there were nuances missing, and things for which I was glad I’d read the novel, so had that context to explain things, but overall I think Villeneuve did a really excellent job at bringing across the important elements, and giving a window on Herbert’s picture of future humanity.

It was a film that left me thinking about it for days afterward, and I have to admit I’ve now seen it twice! All in all it was a 5 star movie for me on every level, so I’d strongly recommend you check it out!

Now for some news about what I’m up to when I’m not idling away at the movies! The second book in the Blood of Kings trilogy is nearing completion, and I’m confident that I’ll hit my February target release date. The third book is already underway at first draft stage, and I’m hoping to get that out next Autumn.

On the sci-fi front, I’m hard at work on the second Alpha Protocol book, which I’m hoping to release toward the middle of next year. First draft is almost done, so things are progressing nicely on that front too!

I hope you’re all keeping well!

Duncan

The Squire Audiobook Daily Deal!

Hey folks!

I hope everyone is having a good summer! I wanted to give you all a heads up that The Squire audiobook is today’s daily deal over on Audible.com, so you can pick up a copy for the bargain price of $4.95! I’m afraid this deal is only open to residents of the US and Canada (completely beyond my control, sadly).

You can get a copy over here at Audible. I really hope you enjoy it! John Lee, the narrator, did a really amazing job at bringing the story to life.

As a quick reminder, here’s what The Squire is about:

When creatures that lurk in the dark dare to venture out into the world, lives are changed forever. 

Conrad lives a quiet rural life with his parents in the Northlands. During one fated night, his world is turned on its head, as nightmares become reality. While his Northlands blood cries out for revenge, Conrad’s head tells him surviving is the best he can do. 

Rescued by a motley band of mercenaries, Conrad embarks on a life he could barely have imagined. As new challenges, friends, and enemies present themselves, Conrad knows that one day he will have to face the evil that so altered his life, and when that day comes, he must be ready.

Alpha Protocol Now Out in Audio!

Hey folks,

Just a quick post to announce that The Alpha Protocol is now out in Audiobook. It’s narrated by Scott Aiello. He’s done a really wonderful job, and even if you’ve already read the book, I think you’ll enjoy the new dimension his performance brings to the story. I sat down to listen to a sample chapter a few weeks ago, and ended up listening to the whole thing!

You can pick up a copy at Amazon here:

Alpha Protocol Amazon

Or at Audible here:

Alpha Protocol Audible

The Squire is Out Today!

Hey everyone,

Today is launch day for The Squire – Blood of Kings Book 1!

The Squire is a coming of age tale about an ordinary boy whose life is completely changed on one horrible night. He’s rescued by a motley band of mercenaries who become his new family as he sets out to make sure when he once again has to face the evil that changed his life, he’s ready. Along the way, he discovers he’s not quite so ordinary as he thought!

It’s set in the same world as my other fantasy novels, so although there’s a new cast of characters, there’ll be some familiar faces and places for those who’ve read my previous books!

You can get your copy now at the following links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Amazon DE

The audiobook, narrated by John Lee, is also now available!

Here’s the back cover copy to give you an idea of what it’s all about:

When creatures that lurk in the dark dare to venture out into the world, lives are changed forever.

Conrad lives a quiet rural life with his parents in the Northlands. During one fated night, his world is turned on its head, as nightmares become reality. While his Northlands blood cries out for revenge, his head tells him surviving is the best he can do.

Rescued by a motley band of mercenaries, Conrad embarks on a new life—squire to the men who saved him.

As challenges, friends, and enemies cross his path, Conrad knows that one day he will have to face the evil that so altered his life. When that day comes, he will have to be ready.

I hope you all enjoy my new story, and will stay with me for the next year or so to see Conrad’s adventure to its conclusion!

Thanks again for your interest in my work! If you enjoy The Squire, please tell your friends, and if you have the time leave a review or rating over on Amazon – it really helps me out!

To keep my occupied on release day, I’m running an Ask Me Anything on the r/fantasy Reddit, so please stop by and ask some questions! You can find it here: Duncan’s Reddit AMA

Duncan

Win a Signed Proof Copy of The Squire!

The Squire Paperback Copies

As part of the launch for The Squire – coming out next Tuesday 27 April! – I’m running a giveaway over on Goodreads for signed proof copies of The Squire.

You can enter the competition here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/323106-the-squire

As usual, I’m afraid it’s only open to residents of the US and Canada. There’s nothing I can do about that unfortunately. As soon as I work out how, I’ll try to run some giveaways available to everyone!

Best of luck to everyone who enters, and don’t forget, next Tuesday is the big release day!

The Squire – Blood of Kings Book 1 Cover Reveal

With the release of the first part of my new fantasy trilogy on the horizon, I thought it was beyond time I made some announcements!

The first of those is, The Squire, the first book of my new Blood of Kings trilogy, will be coming out on 27 April. We return to the Northlands to meet a host of new characters against the backdrop of a new and deadly threat to the good people of the Middle Sea world. If you’ve read my Dragonslayer trilogy, you may have a sneaking suspicion of where I’m heading with this trilogy, but that’s all I’m giving away for now!

The second item for this post is the cover reveal. I wanted to do something a little different with my cover this time, and spent hours researching artists before settling on one whose images I bookmarked over and over before realising they were by the same person. We worked together on the image for a couple of months (my involvement in the process was largely limited to saying ‘wow, that looks great!’). Below is the result of that work, a beautiful piece of art, and an awesome book cover that I’m utterly delighted with.

The painting was done by the incredibly talented Andreas Rocha. You can check out more of his beautiful work here: https://www.artstation.com/andreasrocha . Every single one of his paintings makes me want to make up a story about them, and I think this cover beautifully gives a sense of the energy and peril contained within The Squire.

I hope you like the cover! I’ll be posting some more details about The Squire in coming days, so stay tuned!

The Alpha Protocol out in Paperback!

Hey folks, just a quick post to let you all know that The Alpha Protocol is now available in paperback! Apologies for the delay, but getting proof copies has been a lot slower than normal recently, as they are quite correctly not considered high priority items for postage.

I hope you’ll think it’s been worth the wait! You can pick up a copy at the following links:

Amazon.com (US)
Amazon UK/Ireland
Amazon Canada
Amazon Germany

There’s still a bit more of a wait for the audio edition, I’m afraid. I really wanted to get Scott Aiello on this project, and as he’s one of the most talented narrators in this genre, that meant waiting my turn to get him. The audio will be out in July!

Finally, I’m still on track to release my new fantasy novel, The Squire, in early April. Keep an eye out for updates on that over the next couple of weeks!

Perfect!

David Gemmell is my favourite Fantasy author. A few others have come close with individual books, but fallen behind with others. Gemmell is perhaps the only Fantasy author who has kept me up into the wee small hours with every single one of his books. I can remember a number of late nights of reading where I turned the lights out when it was brighter outside than it had been in my room.

At some point along the way, I seem to have lost a few of my paperback copies of his books, and I just realised they were absent from my shelf. Off I went to Amazon to rectify that situation. This is what I discovered:

I sprayed an overly-ambitious mouthful of tea over my monitor when I saw that. To see my name there is, well, I don’t really know what it is. Exciting, satisfying, affirming, that warm, cozy feeling you sometimes get when incredibly happy…

Being able to make a living from writing always seemed like an impossible dream when I was younger. More than that – I was utterly convinced it was impossible. The end result of that is now that I am making a living from writing, I have to remind myself everyday that it is actually happening, because I still can’t believe it. Seeing my name up there makes it just that little bit more real.

Anyway, as it’s a new release week for me, I am obliged to plug my new release, and new genre venture into Sci-Fi, The Alpha Protocol. It’s a fun book that I really enjoyed writing. Even if you don’t read Sci-Fi, but have liked my Fantasy stuff, I like to think there’s plenty for you to enjoy in The Alpha Protocol!

To those who have already taken a chance on it, thank you so much! The book is doing much better than I hoped for with a new series in a new genre, so I really appreciate you following me on this adventure! None of this would have been possible without your support!

You can pick up a copy here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

The first part of my next Fantasy trilogy will be coming out in April. We’re back to the Middle Sea world with some new faces, and some old ones! More on that soon!

Now, I’ve got to go clean up some spilled tea!

The Alpha Protocol is out today!

I’m delighted to announce that my new book, The Alpha Protocol, is out today. It’s a science fiction novel in the space opera style and is the first book in a new series. It’s set a few hundred years in the future, when mankind has spread out into the galaxy. In all the time we’ve been out there, humanity hasn’t encountered any trace of aliens. Until now.

The story follows a young naval officer called Jack Samson, as he and his crew make some breath-taking discoveries that will change everything, and definitively answer the ages old question – ‘are we alone out here?’

The eBook is out today! You can get your copy of The Alpha Protocol now at these links:

Amazon.com (US)

Amazon UK/Ireland

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Amazon Germany

While this is a new genre for me, it is one I’ve always loved to read, and has been described by one of my early readers as just like my fantasy novels, but set in space! My ARC group readers – many of whom are new to sci-fi – have really been enjoying it, which bodes well for my masterplan to turn you all into sci-fi fans! The Alpha Protocol was a lot of fun to write, so I hope you’ll take a chance on it, and if you do, that you really enjoy it.

I’m particularly pleased with the wonderful cover art created by Fred Gambino, which far exceeds what I was hoping for:

Alpha Protocol 1 Cover eBook

Here’s the back cover copy to give you a little more flavour on what The Alpha Protocol’s about:

Naval Officer Jack Samson thought a posting to the frontier of human inhabited space was the death blow to his career. He couldn’t have been more wrong. A routine inspection of a small merchant vessel leads to devastating loss and the discovery of strange, fascinating objects.

As astonishing discoveries unfold, a mysterious and hostile ship proves that Samson has a competitor in unlocking the secrets of an ancient alien civilisation, and that humanity might not be alone in the galaxy after all.

Due to covid postage delays, I’ve only just received paperback proofs so the paperback will be available in a couple of weeks, once I’ve had the chance to go through them. The audio will be following in June, narrated by the excellent Scott Aiello, whose performance will bring a great additional dimension to the story. I’ll be sure to let you know when they are available.

If you enjoy The Alpha Protocol, and have the time, please consider leaving a review for it over on Amazon – it really helps me out.

As a final note, I have a new fantasy novel on the way, which I’m planning to release this coming April. It takes us back to the Middle Sea with some new characters (and old), and a terrifying new enemy. I’ll let you know all about that closer to the time. Until then, I hope you’ll give The Alpha Protocol a chance!