Category Archives: Books

Love, lies and subplots

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Relationships are fascinating to explore in stories. Particularly how people repeatedly sabotage their own relationships, and not limited to romantic connections either. This article in Psychology Today is typical of how subconscious behaviour affects how we communicate with each other, and the response we get in return from our partners. Most of the time, we don’t realise we are doing it and this inevitably results in us repeating the same patterns, including the lies we tell ourselves.

Although my books are predominantly fantasy, a key feature is a love story subplot. Gereinte doesn’t reach this point until book two, when he falls hard and fast for the most extraordinary love match. And in book three, Allan and Demaris are faced with hard choices that affect the decisions they make.

Nerys has made all these mistakes in her first encounter with love, when she falls for a lowly lad, who turns out to be part of a plot to discredit and destroy her family in the Prince of Carentan. When she arrives in Tordre, she is raw and emotional, not yet healed and this in part affects how her relationship with the Blue King unfolds.

Observation is the first thing that raises the red flags – what is going on at her wedding? She notices unusual behaviour but dismisses it, despite her discomfort and hopes that things will change; she has a duty to her family and to her country. Shocked by what she has discovered, Nerys is in denial for the first part of the story. When she realises things are not going to change any time soon, she gets angry and starts to bargain with her husband in an attempt to get him to allow her to return home and see her family. A period of depression leads her to a crisis point and a number of unexpected events force her to a point of no return. No spoilers here if you want to read what happens to Nerys, but I will say that she learns from her experience and eventually finds love in the most unexpected way.

Read Nerys’ story here.

Other Worlds Anthology Volume 1

What if… an anthropology graduate finds herself on a work placement in an off-world ‘glom’ trying to save her career? Find out in the short story In Space, No One Can Hear You Sing.

What if… on a distant planet in another solar system, a young girl finds herself the victim of a brutal justice system? The answer may lie in Soulbane.

Two fantastical futuristic stories from the pen of FG Laval and many more authors in one volume. Available now from Fiction4All

Pre-launch discounts!

In advance of the launch of my new novel, The Blue King, I am offering a discount on all 3 of my previous books at $1.80 / £1.33 for ONE WEEK ONLY!

Please use the following links to buy directly from the publisher’s website:

Sign up for a free ebook, updates and future discounts.

New book available for Pre-order NOW

Something is amiss in the Kingdom of Tordre. On her wedding night, Princess Nerys of Carentan discovers a sinister secret hiding in the depths of Castle Ryemont; a king with two faces, who is not the husband she was expecting. One day on a journey back home, Nerys is kidnapped and finds herself in the midst of a revolution to overthrow the monarchy.

Nerys: ‘Gods, did it take an army to capture one stray queen?’

‘An intriguing fantasy where there are more twists than a castle maze. The plight of the teenage queen tugged this way and that by unseen forces within castle walls and a faceless king makes for an exhilarating page-turning read.’ @geoffnelder, author of Sci-Fi novels, The ARIA trilogy, and The Flying Crooked series of novellas.

Grab your pre-order copy today at the launch price of £1.99 / $2.99

Discounted e-book

A coming-of-age story about a downtrodden and rebellious young prince, and his journey towards becoming a king.

Head on over to Fiction4All’s brand new imprint; Dragon Claw, for YA and younger readers, where you’ll find the first e-book in the Carentan Series discounted to $1.80 / £1.31 – for one week only.

Hurry! Offer ends on 25th November.

Books, Work and WIP

Work and life do have a habit of catching up with you and I will admit that after the busy day job, there is nothing more satisfying that settling down with a good read.

My current WIP (work in progress – yes, another Carentan book), has been completed in as far as a first draft has been written and I’m now working on a second draft. Lots of plot holes that need fixing, but I hope to get it out to an editor some time soon.

In the meantime I am getting continually distracted by reading (and work, of course), which I am excited to share with you. I’ve been exploring different types of writing and particularly classics which I have not yet tried. Some of my recent reads, include Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, which is an extraordinary psychological thriller. I’ve also just finished a biography of Angela Carter, whose work The Bloody Chamber has been had huge influence on my writing over the years – particularly my short stories. Deerskin by Robin McKinley (another of my favourite authors), has the timeless quality of a fairytale with the page turning quality that I have come to expect from the author. I’m currently reading Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy.

The curious thing that I have noticed about classics, is that the authors employ a variety of techniques and styles that in time have become out of vogue and in some cases, a red flag for novice writers. Some (not all) of these works are littered with exclamation marks, for example, and a proliferation of adverbs, rambling narratives and over descriptive paragraphs. The other thing that I have noticed as a reader, is that I am willing to forgive these stylistic foibles (according to modern editorial standards) if the author gives me the one fundamental thing that keeps me reading; a damn good story!

So there you have it. Story eats Style for breakfast. But then I may well just eat my own words for breakfast as I’m off now to edit the living daylights out of my second draft.

Kemal’s quote here is quite apt and can be applied just as neatly to story craft as well as martial arts.

Happy Reading!

When They Came For You

The shrieking siren of the police car gets people making the same comment, ‘they’re coming to get you’! Ha ha, very funny, but what if ‘they’ were coming to get you, what if you had a threat of retribution hanging over your head, what if you disregarded the warnings that they were really coming to get you…this set of stories will show you just what some people have been through when ‘they’ were about to interfere with a life…

New horror anthology available from Fiction4All, which includes my short story Just A Woman

Running from a terrifying past of government experiments and conspiracies, Jade was so close to realise her dream of freedom when they came for her…

27 stories from various authors present you with their unique take on When They Came For You

Available now from a variety of retail outlets – read an excerpt here.

Discounted e-books and a new release!

To celebrate a new release of book 3 in the Carentan Series, I am offering a ONE WEEK ONLY discount on books 1&2 – available only on the Double Dragon website here for £1.33 ($1.80).

Book 1 follows the adventures of Geriente Andolin, as he grows from a boy prince into a king-to-be. Book 2 sees two new characters arrive in the Western Isles who develop to aid Gereinte in keeping his beloved Carentan from falling into a bloody battle for control of the Western Isles. Stories of love, loss and coming-of-age reverberate throughout.

If you’ve read the first two books, I’m delighted to announce that book 3 – The Prince and the Assassin – has now been re-released with a new cover designed by my talented nephew, Adam Laval. You may still see previous versions of the book cover at various retail outlets, but I think you’ll agree, this one is a huge improvement!

Finally… a sneaky heads up that there is a book 4 in progress – currently with beta readers and if you want to know more, sign up here for my email updates and I will give you priority notice of publication dates. As a special gift, you will also receive a free fantasy e-book.

What are your favourite epic fantasy shows?

Okay, so I’ll admit up front to being a die-hard GoT fan (I’m not going to talk about the ending to the TV show, as it just makes me cross). What a perfect way to spend a bank holiday weekend, tucked up with a great book or re-watching an epic series like Games of Thrones. Actually, that might take several weekends and a few fights over the TV remote! You know already that I love The Witcher and can’t wait for the next instalment. I was pleasantly surprised by Shadow and Bone, the new Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series – mainly because I’ve tried a few times to read the books but found it difficult to get hooked. However, the style of writing and the world the author has created lends itself perfectly for the screen, so it is definitely one to look out for. If you’re lost for some ideas this weekend, check out this article in Paste Magazine:

https://www.pastemagazine.com/tv/shadow-and-bone/best-fantasy-series-streaming/

Or… you could just go and sit outside in the sunshine with a good book – I’m reading The Thirteenth House, by Sharon Shinn. What are you reading?

Happy May Day!

The Witcher: season 2

Are you a fan of high/medieval fantasy? If you didn’t catch season 1 of The Witcher, now is your chance, as season 2 is on its way. Personally, I am not bothered by the wait – the first season was so beautifully rich and evocative, if they can bring the same production values to season 2, it is worth the wait. No spoilers here in this article, just vague promises and a few tweets on the progress of filming. I’ll take that, though and look forward to seeing the trailers soon… If you don’t have Netflix or prefer reading, The Witcher is adapted from the fantasy novel series by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The protagonist, Geralt of Rivia (played by Henry Cavill), is an assassin trained to hunt and kill monsters. War hangs over a world populated by humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves (as well as monsters!), in which Geralt is bound to a prophesy to protect a child who has the power to change the world. Watch the first season or jump into the books – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

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