Thursday, 6 December 2018

History Price Crash Promotion for Christmas and New Year


This post has been held back so I could share some great news with you. [Fanfare!] I have decided to crash the prices of all my history books for Christmas and New Year AND there is a new FREE book as an introduction to my other books! I’ve just finished changing all my prices and uploading my new book, and although it’s eleven o’clock at night, I couldn’t wait to tell you all. Here are the details. Price changes last from 8 December to 8 January.

4 covers

On Amazon, I have lowered the prices of my ebooks AND print books to the minimum Amazon will allow.

Ebooks

This means that the ebooks will be 0.99 Pounds, Euros, and every kind of Dollar, 1.99 Real for Brazil, 49 Rupees for India, 99 Yen for Japan, and 11.99 Pesos for Mexico. At Smashwords the prices are the same as Amazon, and Smashwords distribute to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and lots of other sellers. So you can find whatever format you need there.

Print Books

The Magna Carta Story is also printed by Amazon, and the lowest prices they will allow are $5.49, £3.49, 3.49 Euros and 667 Yen. Amazon allows me to sell my own print copies of Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth and Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John (but not the other two for some strange reason) and I have reduced them to 1.99 plus the standard 2.80 postage.

The print books are all available from me (postage free in the UK) for £2.99. They make great presents as they fit in an A5 envelope and post for standard 2nd class postage.

Sorry it’s so complicated, but I’ve done my best to reduce my prices to the lowest ever!

New Book
Conquest cover 3
The new book is called The Conquest of Wales. In 1066 William of Normandy won the Battle of Hastings, but Wales wasn't conquered for over two hundred years. The Welsh princes were a thorn in the side of the English kings until Edward I, building castles and roads as he went, finally conquered Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last Prince of Wales.

Told in my usual storytelling style with lots of illustrations, to make history you'll enjoy reading. This little book is a sample of my style and an introduction to my other history books. Why not join my mailing list and I’ll be sending my fans a copy in the next week or two.

The best news is it will be FREE! Amazon don’t allow free books but if you can prove it’s free elsewhere they will price match. So at the moment it’s 0.99 but as soon as Smashwords send it out to their distributors I’ll send the link to Amazon and they’ll make it free too. Don’t hold your breath, but in the mean time get it from Smashwords.

Don’t go rushing off to get The Conquest of Wales, it has literally just been uploaded, so it might take a day or two to appear, but I couldn’t wait to tell you all.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Crisis of Conscience: Good News, Bad News

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo has finished, and there are some interesting results for me. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to try to write fifty thousand words in one month, but it means 1667 words a day, and that’s a lot if you’re busy. I don’t usually get anywhere near that word count, but the discipline is very good for me. There are some important things in my life at the moment, like the birth of our eighth grandchild and having two of the others on separate afternoons every week, that I was not prepared to give up, so I actually set myself a goal of five hundred words a day. I didn’t quite make it but very nearly, and I did get back to writing every day.

The good news is that Crisis of Conscience is finished. I reached the end of the story.

The bad news is that it’s only thirty-one thousand words.

Obviously, it’s only the first draft, but improving the descriptions and expanding the characters and their reactions is not going to add the forty thousand words it will take to make it a novel. I need a huge subplot or two and maybe some more crises. It seems to be a trait of mine that my stories are always too short.

Intruders cover (396x546) (72dpi) Web

Intruders was originally two stories, but when I realised that one led directly into the other I put them together. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean. (If not, why not?) Alien Secrets was almost long enough but it had a ‘muddy middle’ as they say, and I found a new crisis which sorted out the timeline and added ten thousand words. If you’ve read it, it’s the pirates. If not, maybe it will intrigue you enough to give it a try. You don’t need to read Intruders to enjoy Alien Secrets.Alien Secrets cover

What I need is someone to read the first draft of Crisis of Conscience and a) tell me if it works, and b) help me find some more material without distorting it too much. I have someone in mind to ask, but if anyone out there would like a crack, do please get it touch. But you do need to be able to critique in depth.

After a first draft is written you need to create some distance, so you can view it with some objectivity when you next work on it. So I won’t be touching it for at least a month or two. And there is the little matter of Christmas coming up. No so little with four children, four spouses and eight grandchildren. Plenty of distraction for the next few weeks.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Monday, 19 November 2018

A First!

Stories cover (396x612) (72dpi)Web

It was only a little thing, but it meant a lot to me. At the weekend a customer walked into a local independent bookshop and ordered one of my history books! The bookshop emailed me and I delivered it today, along with samples of my other books for them to consider.

It was great to actually be asked for a book by a bookshop rather than being the one doing the asking.

I think the customer may have been from a talk I gave recently. I give history talks from my books to local groups. I really enjoy it, and actually sell more books after a talk than all my online sales put together.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Another New Grandson!

2018-11-09 18.09.54-1

I posted last week that I wouldn’t be posting regularly during November because I’m doing NaNoWriMo. Well, there has been another interruption, but the best kind of interruption. I have a new grandson! We have been looking after his brothers while his mum went into hospital for the birth. Meet Aksel Thomas Brooks, born Friday 9 November, weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces. Mother and baby are well and home.

mms_20181109_193540Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Monday, 5 November 2018

National Novel Writing Month again

If I don't post regularly for a few weeks, it's because November is National Novel Writing Month.

Known for short as NaNoWriMo, this began as a challenge between friends to write a novel in a month. The idea spread and was put online as a means of keeping everyone in touch. Now, hundreds of thousands of people all over the world take part every year.

The challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. You are allowed to plan, outline, research, build characters etc., in advance, but you don't write one word of the novel until 1st November. Then it's an average of 1,666 words a day, every day. So I'm going to be really busy.

This year I’m writing the next book in my science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. It’s called Crisis of Conscience at the moment, but that may change later. Life is really busy at the moment, so I’m not reaching my daily target of words, but just writing every day is something I haven’t done in a while, so it’s still a win. And I end up with more of the novel than I started, which is also good.

So please be patient, and apologies to my history fans. Your turn will come.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Monday, 29 October 2018

Gerald and Saints and Miracles

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald, and is continuing with more interesting facets of his life and work. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Gerald may have been unsure about the existence of fairies, but he had no doubts about saints and miracles. He believed, as did the vast majority of British people at that time, that saints were holy men and women, and the miracles they did during their lifetime or after death were a demonstration of the power of God and the sanctity of their lives. He witnessed four miracles personally during the journey through Wales: the cure of the old woman of Haverfordwest, inspiring the audience in Haverfordwest who didn’t understand Gerald’s language, punishing the Cardigan woman and the scornful young aristocrats of Anglesey.

Saint David


Saturday, 27 October 2018

A Brief History of the Future

I’ve been writing about my science research for my science fiction writing. One of the books I bought was called, in full, A Brief History of the Future, the Third Millennium and Human Colonization of the Solar System: The Terraforming of Mars and Venus (HHcSS Book 1) by Charles Joynson.

A Brief History of the Future

The blurb says, 

This is a history of the progress humans made in colonising the solar system between the years 2000 and 3067. It includes descriptions of how our ancestors terraformed Mars and Venus, how they gave these planets atmospheres and oceans, how they used life to make them habitable and how science changed both the people and their machines.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Gerald and Demons, Prophets and Fairies

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald, and is continuing with more interesting facets of his life and work. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

In the 12th century there was no question about whether you were religious or not. The church was a given and threat of excommunication was enough to keep most people in line. At the same time, science was in its infancy, and anything that couldn't be explained by faith was attributed to demons or fairies. Most people believed that demons were allowed by God to tempt people.

Demons St Catherine of Siena

Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Mars Society

I've been sharing things from research for my science fiction, particularly from Exploring Space by Robert Zubrin. Frustrated with the lack of response to his The Case for Mars, which advocates working towards a human colony on Mars, he gathered like minded people together and formed the Mars Society in 1998. I went to their website to check them out and was so impressed with their founding declaration that I decided to share it with you.

This declaration describes the motivation for the Mars Society.  It was ratified by 700 attendees at the organization's founding convention held in August 1998 at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

Mars Society logo

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Medieval Castle Haynes Manual

I will be returning to the last few articles about Gerald of Wales next week, but I thought I would share the book I just bought in The Works. For those outside the UK this is a chain of shops that sell remaindered books and end of lines. You get really good books really cheap, which is brilliant. And toys, and art and craft materials and calendars etc.

Anyway, let me introduce you to the Haynes Manual for The Medieval Castle.

The Medieval Castle Haynes manual

Monday, 8 October 2018

Gerald and the Creatures of Wales

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald, and is continuing with more interesting facets of his life and work. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Falconry1

Gerald of Wales was at his best describing creatures he observed himself. He described not only creatures around in every day life, like falcons, hunting dogs and all varieties of fish, but he was concerned about wildlife for its own sake. This was almost unheard of in the twelfth century. He took advantage of his journey through Wales to observe and record all sorts of wildlife.

He noted the song of the oriole, the habits of beavers, and noticed that the jackdaws of St Davids were so used to the priests that they showed no fear of anyone dressed in black.

Beaver coat of arms

His notes on beavers were remarkably accurate. He reported that when transporting wood for their dams they got into teams. One team gnawed down trees, another team would lie on their backs clutching a log to their bellies, with another branch in their teeth. A third team would bite onto the branch in the others' teeth and haul them to the river, where they carried the log to the dam like living wagons. Here is Gerald's description of the dams:

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Science Fiction and Fantasy Promotion 6-7 October


Patty SFF Promo 6-7 Oct 2018
Patty Jansen’s 99c promotion is on this weekend [click here] and Alien Secrets is in the Adventure Science Fiction category! But hurry, the promotion ends on Sunday and by Monday the price for Alien Secrets will be 1.99. Flight of the Kestrel book 1, Intruders, is also reduced.
Alien Secrets cover
The book launch is going well, and if you missed the Facebook Live launch on Thursday the link is here.

Alien Secrets is about Shom Reuel, the Altairian crewman on the Kestrel. Shom Reuel and two crewmates rescue a man after a failed mission to look for a secret weapon. Their ship is pursued and damaged. On another planet for repairs and medical treatment, the man disappears, and is rescued again. When pursuing ships are inexplicably destroyed, both Reuel and his captain struggle with the man’s identity, and the shock triggers something in Reuel that is a closely-guarded secret among his people. Can this man be trusted? How should they deal with the people hunting for him, and what should they do to protect not only the crew, but the galaxy?

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Alien Secrets Launches Today!

Alien Secrets cover

The eagerly awaited second book in the Flight of the Kestrel science fiction series, Alien Secrets, is launched on Kindle TODAY!

On a failed mission to look for a secret weapon, Shom Reuel of the Kestrel saves a man – twice. It seems everyone wants him, but is he a friend or a deadly enemy? And will the shock of his identity cause Reuel to reveal his people’s greatest secret?

There are some exciting things happening…

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Alien Secrets Publication Date

Alien Secrets cover

The eagerly awaited second book in the Flight of the Kestrel science fiction series is launched on Kindle on Wednesday 3rd October. It's available for pre-order now. Alien Secrets will be only 99c/99p (or the equivalent in other currencies) for the first 5 days. The story can be read alone but if you want to read book one, Intruders, it will be the same price at the same time.

That's two whole novels for less than $2/£2! AND read on for news of a special reward.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Gerald of Wales and the Natural World

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald, and is continuing with more interesting facets of his life and work. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Gerald of Wales may have been the first person to make a serious study of the natural world. He called himself ‘a careful investigator of natural history.’ There were herbalists and alchemists before but their studies were very narrow. Gerald was fascinated by nature, but also included spiritual occurrences and phenomena that couldn't be explained in that study. He described miracles in the same matter-of-fact way as he described nature. He also believed that incidents described by reliable sources were truth, and never considered the person may be teasing him. So while some of his stories can be rejected, others are very astute observation.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Science Research: New Cathedrals

Canterbury Cathedral

Written in 1999:

For five hundred years after Rome fell, no one built anything of consequence in Western Europe. No one built any stone structures more than two stories high. Metaphorically speaking, no one planted any trees, because no one believed there was a future. Then, with the turn of the millennium, people looked around and saw they had survived the barbarian invasions, the Huns and the Moors, the Vikings, and the threat of the world’s supernatural destruction on the millennium itself. The realisation hit them: “We made it!” And knowing there would be a future, they started building cathedrals.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Holiday!

Shakespeare graffiti

I won’t be writing for a week or so – we are off on holiday to Stratford on Avon, Shakespeare’s home town. I’ll tell you all about it later, and all the book news – and there’s big news coming.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Journey Through Wales and the Third Crusade

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Crusader

After all the effort of travelling all the way around Wales preaching the crusade (and there were similar efforts elsewhere too), what happened to the crusade? Nothing, because the crusade didn't happen. England and France had long been enemies, but the two kings had made a truce in the face of the greater cause, which broke down almost straight away. Within two months of Gerald's return to Hereford, the two countries were at war again.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Science Research: Mars Direct

Mars true color

I'm reading Robert Zubrin's book Entering Space for research. Having debunked the idea of a colony on the Moon (see last week), Zubrin turns his attention to Mars. Unsurprising since the blurb on the back cover says that his humans-to-Mars mission plan has been adopted by NASA and he is the president of the Mars Society. At least he was in 1999 when this book was published.

... uniquely among the extraterrestrial bodies of our solar system, Mars is endowed with all the resources needed to support not only life but the development of a technological civilisation. In contrast to the comparative desert of Earth's moon, Mars possesses oceans of water frozen into its soil as permafrost, as well as vast quantities of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen, all in forms readily accessible to those clever enough to use them. In addition, Mars has experienced the same sorts of volcanic and hydrologic processes that produced a multitude of mineral ores on Earth. Virtually every element of significant interest to industry is known to exist on the Red Planet. With its 24-hour day-night cycle and an atmosphere thick enough to shield its surface against solar flares, Mars is the only extraterrestrial planet that will readily allow large-scale greenhouses lit by natural sunlight. 

Can you tell he's a fan?

Monday, 3 September 2018

Shrewsbury to Hereford (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

The party hadn't set foot in Wales since they arrived at Chester, though their last crusade sermon was preached at Oswestry where a number of Welsh crossed the border to be present. But the journey had begun from Hereford and that was where it would end.

Ludlow Castle

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Science Research: Moon Base

Moon

The idea of a base on the Moon is a staple of science fiction. After all, since it’s so close, it’s obviously the place to start. But is it so obvious? The book I’m reading for research, Entering Space by Robert Zubrin, has disabused me of that idea. Here is the thinking behind the Moon base:

The possible discovery of water on the Moon gives new life to an idea that has been discussed in both science fiction and the astronautical engineering literature for some time—that of using a lunar base as a staging point for missions to worlds beyond. The idea is that since the Moon has only one-sixth Earth’s gravity and no atmosphere, it’s possible to reach any destination in space much easier from the Moon than it is from the Earth’s surface. Thus, if indeed rocket propellant can be made available on the lunar surface, the Moon could well turn into an excellent refuelling station and port of call for interplanetary traffic.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Chester to Shrewsbury (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Chester to Shrewsbury

Gerald seems to have enjoyed his Easter break. He wrote about the cheeses made from deer’s milk which were made by the dowager countess of Chester, local freaks and oddities, and two mysterious Chester hermits, whose identities were only revealed when they died. One was supposed to be Harold Godwinson (with one eye) who had escaped from his defeat at the battle of Hastings.

The other was the German emperor Heinrich V, who was supposed to have faked his own death and lived as a hermit for years in Chester. But this story had scandalous repercussions because Heinrich was the first husband of Henry II’s mother. If he did not die then her second marriage was bigamous, and the king was illegitimate!

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Science Research: Launching

I’m doing some science research before starting seriously on my next book. My first book is Entering Space: Creating a Space Faring Civilisation by Robert Zubrin, published in 1999.

Entering Space

The first thing I learned was that the biggest obstacle to space travel is gravity.

Current-day rockets [1999]... can deliver about one percent of their take-off mass to orbit - - most (about 90 percent) of the remaining mass is propellant. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Rhuddlan to Chester (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Rhuddlan to Chester

The travellers set out from Rhuddlan the Wednesday before Good Friday and although they were in a hurry they made a detour to St Asaph's cathedral where Archbishop Baldwin said Mass. This completed the assertion of his authority over all four Welsh dioceses. This was an important part of the purpose of this journey. The Welsh Church had declared its independence from the English Church and Baldwin took the opportunity of travelling round the country, to celebrate Mass in the Welsh cathedrals.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Science Research

Science Fiction can be categorised by how much science is in it. Some hard SF books are written by people who have science qualification and try really hard to have genuine science in their books, or a plausible extrapolation of what real science might achieve in the future. I'm currently reading a book with so much detailed science in it that it goes right over my head, but the book is so good that I'm still absorbed in it. The science lends authenticity, even though the story is set thousands of years in the future and a lot of it must be made up.

The Complete Intrepid Saga

Monday, 13 August 2018

Bangor to Conwy (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Following their recruiting efforts on Anglesey, the group crossed back over the Menai Strait and stayed the night in Bangor. In Bangor they were shown the tomb of Prince Owain Gwynedd, which was a mistake.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Are You Divergent?

Science fiction is not all aliens and space battles. In the best books the scenarios the characters battle through change them and teach them lessons we can all benefit from. Think about this from Allegiant in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth:

Allegiant film

“Take away someone’s fear, or low intelligence, or dishonesty... and you take away their compassion. Take away someone’s aggression and you take away their motivation, or their ability to assert themselves. Take away their selfishness and you take away their sense of self-preservation. If you think about it, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.”

I tick off each quality in my mind as he says it—fear, low intelligence, dishonesty, aggression, selfishness. He is talking about the factions. And he’s right to say that every faction loses something when it gains a virtue: the Dauntless, brave but cruel; the Erudite, intelligent but vain; the Amity, peaceful but passive; the Candor, honest but inconsiderate; the Abnegation, selfless but stifling.

What about you? Would you fit into one of the factions or are you more well-rounded? Does your bravery make you cruel, your intelligence make you vain, your peace make you passive? Worth a bit of self-examination.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Monday, 6 August 2018

Anglesey (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

From Bangor Archbishop Baldwin and his party took ship across the Menai Strait to the island of Anglesey (Ysys Môn). The local Prince was Rhodri ab Owain, and he had gathered all the local inhabitants in a nearby natural amphitheatre to hear the preaching. Tradition marks the place as Cerrig Y Borth, which today is not far from the Menai suspension bridge.

Anglesey

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Flight of the Kestrel Major Change

Kestrel on stars upper
The Flight of the Kestrel series consists of four novels so far. The first, Intruders, is published. The second, Alien Secrets, is almost ready to publish. The other two are outlined but barely started. While I do the final polishing on Alien Secrets I have started work on the third book, Planetfall, but I have just changed my mind. I surprised myself!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Nefyn to Bangor (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Towyn to Rhuddlan

The reason Archbishop Baldwin and his party came to Nefyn was not so Gerald could find Merlin’s prophecies, it was to preach the crusade. This they did on Palm Sunday, and had a good response. But the Archbishop was keen to push on, and the next stage of their journey was a long one. So they set off immediately for Bangor. It was exhausting.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Alien Secrets: End of Blog the Book

I've been blogging a chapter of my new book each week to whet your appetite, but I don't want to give too much of the plot away. After all, it is called Alien Secrets! And besides, it's still being polished.

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link.

Alien Secrets full cover

So far we have met the main character, Reuel, and the mysterious man, Tanu. If you have read this far then you have lots of questions. Enough, I hope, to buy the book when it comes out. Who is Tanu? Is he Rayt or harmless? Will Reuel succeed in killing him? What will happen to Reuel? Meanwhile, the Kestrel has missions to fulfil. There are lots more adventures to come. Don't miss them.

If you missed book 1 Intruders, you can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Scribd and Smashwords.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Monday, 23 July 2018

Gerald and the Prophecies of Merlin (Gerald's Journey Through Wales 1188)


This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Gerald was particularly glad when they got to Nefyn, because he made an exciting discovery. Everywhere he went throughout Wales, Gerald had been searching for a fabled book of the prophecies of Merlin Sylvester. He found it in Nefyn. He reported in his book Conquest of Ireland that it had been kept hidden at Nefyn since time immemorial, and was regarded with suspicious awe by the people. They were only persuaded to give it to Gerald by a large bribe.
Merlin Idylls_of_the_King_10

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Alien Secrets: Blog the book 15

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link. To help your imagination, my idea of First Officer Nathaniel Parks is a blond Vigo Mortensen.

Parks (Vigo Mortensen)

Chapter 15

Late that night, Tanu tossed in his sleep as the sedation wore off. Once again he was faced with the hostility of a universe unused to his powers. The low rumble of the engines and the hum of the machines in sick bay intruded and woke him.

The sick bay door opened and a figure slipped into the room. Machines on standby gave enough light to see, but not enough to identify who it was. Tanu kept still and watched with half-closed eyes as he worked his way silently around the room to the drawer where the scalpels were kept. Although lasers were most often used, scalpels were still needed on occasion. He opened the drawer and removed one.

The figure came to the side of the bed with the scalpel raised.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Alien Secrets: Blog the Book 14

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link. To help your imagination, my idea of John Blackwell is the actor Brian Cox.

Blackwell (Brian Cox)

Chapter 14

'We need to discuss two things,' Darrow said to his senior officers. 'Battle damage and this man Tanu. Commander Blackwell, your report please.'

Blackwell raised an eyebrow at the unexpected mention of Tanu. 'Aye sir. Kestrel sustained some serious, but not critical damage,' Blackwell said. 'Most of the damage has been quantified and repairs have begun internally on non-critical systems. Without landing somewhere we will have to suit up and go outside to repair the thrusters and the sensor array, but the rest we can fix from Engineering. The hull plating will have to wait. I've got Stubbs checking the inventory for spares, but I think we have everything we need. Engine output is reduced to half power, but we need to shut down all engines at some point.'

'Any idea when we'll have full warp drive?'

'We're carrying out a full survey of the engines now. I'll have the results for you in an hour.'

Tywyn to Nefyn (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

Towyn to Nefyn

When Archbishop Baldwin’s party left Tywyn they were faced with two rivers to cross: the Mawddach and the Wynion. Most of the group crossed by boat, but Maelgwn ap Rhys (the reluctant crusader from Strata Florida) daringly forded the Mawddach estuary near the sea. The party then continued northwards to the little village of Llanfair in Ardudwy, where they stayed the night.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Across the Dovey to Tywyn (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)

This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

We haven’t had a map for a few weeks, so here is one showing the journey round north-west Wales:

Towyn to Rhuddlan

Friday, 6 July 2018

Alien Secrets Blog the Book 13

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link. To help your imagination, my idea of the MO Dr Sebu Nefar is a bit like this picture:

Nefar

Chapter 13

Nefar and Tomos guided the hover stretcher off the bridge and down the corridor to sick bay. What now? Nefar thought. Is this more of the brain injury I hoped the Casparans would heal?

'What do you think would make everyone pass out, Doctor?' Tomos asked. 'Should we ask Engineering to check for a coolant leak? I know inhaling coolant fumes can cause loss of consciousness, but I don’t see how it would get all the way around the ship.'

'Good thinking Tomos,' said Nefar. 'Any other ideas?'

'Some kind of anomalous field in the space we passed through? A sound beyond human hearing? Would that be a question for Engineering too?'

'Let us leave those questions to Engineering and see if medical science can tell us anything. Try hard to remember what you experienced and record it as soon as you can.'

They eased Tanu onto a bed and Nefar switched on the medscanner.

'What's happened to his forehead?' Tomos asked. 'Why is it so red?'

Monday, 2 July 2018

Gerald and the Princes of Wales (Gerald’s Journey Through Wales 1188)


This is a series about the journey that Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales took in 1188 to preach the crusade throughout Wales. Gerald kept a detailed account of the journey and their surroundings, which he later published. The series began with some background posts about Gerald. If you want to read the series from the beginning, go here.

It may have sounded like boasting when Gerald claimed he was ‘related by blood to almost all the princes and great men of Wales’ but it was true. He knew most of them personally and was happy to take advantage of these links. He joined Lord Rhys at dinner in the Bishop of Hereford’s house and visited him as an envoy at Llandovery. He enjoyed the hospitality of the princes of Gwynedd at Rhuddlan and Aberconwy and persuaded one of the mid-Wales princes to help him win a quarrel with the Bishop of St Asaph. He even borrowed money from the prince of Glamorgan when he was short of cash in France.

By Gerald’s time the Norman advance into Wales had stalled and there was an uneasy balance of power between the Normans and the Welsh dynasties. The blood of both ran in Gerald’s veins, which was why he was such an asset to the English kings and to Archbishop Baldwin’s mission. He was well-placed to write about them all with sympathy and insight.


Saturday, 30 June 2018

Alien Secrets Blog the Book 12

If you missed the start of Alien Secrets, Flight of the Kestrel book 2, here is the link. To help your imagination, my idea of First Officer Nathaniel Parks is a blond Vigo Mortensen.

Parks (Vigo Mortensen)

Chapter 12

Parks looked up from Tanu. 'Get him to sick bay and then report for duty. We’re going to have the Casparans on our tail.'

Within minutes battle stations sounded. Everyone scrambled for their breathers and tethers, in case of a hull breach. The bridge crew, Darrow, Parks, and Chambers all strapped in. Reuel arrived at a run and strapped in.

'Tanu is in sick bay, sir,' he reported.

As Reuel took over the scanner station Chambers told him two Casparan pursuit ships had been detected. Immediately a third ship registered.

'Captain, the Bokans have found us again,' Reuel said. 'One ship coming on screen now.'

'Damn!' Darrow said and opened the comm channel. 'Commander Blackwell, can you give us any more speed?'

'Negative, Captain, we’re flat out.'

Darrow closed the comm and turned to Reuel. 'Ensign, any PACT vessels in the vicinity?'

'Negative, Captain, and the nearest base is ten hours away.'