2014 and onwards

in 2013, Spencer Hill did me proud with a relaunch of The Obsidian Pebble, book 1 of the Artefact series. Obsidian Pebble front cover_120

Book 2, The Beast of Seabourne, is scheduled for October 2014. We’re already redrafting number 3 after beta readers have had their say.

In March 2014, the first of the Hipposync archives, contemporary adult fantasy, sticks its head out from under the covers. Once again, I’m really excited to see this join the growing band of Spence City authors. And once again, the awesome (and busy) Lisa Amowitz has worked with me on the cover. We’re calling it The 400Lb Gorilla.400lbGorillafinishCOVER

I will also be pondering  my previous existence as a thriller writer.  A decade ago I published 4 novels of the, ‘don’t read them if you’re alone in the dark’ type. Not horror, but psychological thrillers of the fava-beans-and-chianti type. Two were made into TV movies, so I kind of chalk them up as successful, but they weren’t really what I wanted to do and plotting them ended up sending me to places I didn’t really want to be.

However, since the publishers have decided to bring out a couple of them as ebooks, and these involve the same female lead character, I find myself drawn to the third manuscript still sitting in the drawer. There remains unfinished business there for Natalie Vine.

So, how am I going to manage 3 different personas? Well, I think it’s all about branding. Katherine Rusch says it all much better than I could here.

On that point, I’ll add one note of encouragement for everyone, again written by Ms Rusch and probably the wisest words I read in 2013.

‘The readers will buy what they like, when they find it, and when they want it. Not one moment before.
How do you find readers? Publish your work. Keep your work in print. Be patient.’

Have a great year.

The readers will buy what they like, when they find it, and when they want it. Not one moment before.

How do you find readers? Publish your work. Keep your work in print. Be patient.

– See more at: http://kriswrites.com/2013/10/09/the-business-rusch-standards/#sthash.Oowl3EBF.dpuf

The readers will buy what they like, when they find it, and when they want it. Not one moment before.

How do you find readers? Publish your work. Keep your work in print. Be patient.

– See more at: http://kriswrites.com/2013/10/09/the-business-rusch-standards/#sthash.Oowl3EBF.dpuf

Rain, rain, don’t go away.

Gratitude,

rain I am thankful. We should all be. Fact is I’m probably not thankful enough for the small things that make this life worth living. But in the context of this post, I suppose I am probably most thankful to the British weather. Our summers are patchy affairs with, generally speaking, a day or two of banner headlines like  ‘cor what a sizzler’ mixed in with ‘July flood misery’.   So, over the years of my childhood, I spent many an August day staring out at grey skies,  watching  stair rod rain bounce of the shed roof.  That was when I learned to lose myself in a book.  Those wet summer days, the cause of misery for many, were, to me,  an invitation to cleave a path through the overcoats in the wardrobe and find a lamp post, or slip back in time with a Portkey.

Yes, we all know what Portkeys are now, but I discovered one pre JKR, many years ago. In a book called The Gauntlet, by Ronald Welch.

When Peter finds the gauntlet on a Welsh hillside, he becomes the latest link in an old legend. Suddenly transported back to the fourteenth century, to a world of castles, feasts, jousts, and battles, he is accepted by everyone as the eldest son of Sir Roger de Blois. Peter learns how to live as the son of a Norman lord, how to hawk, and fight, and shoot a longbow, and, finally he has to escape alone from their besieged castle to bring help. But one day he will have to return to his own time …

This is the one that did it for me. I was 10. I was Peter. I lived his adventure. And best of all, the whole thing was set in the very landscape I could see outside my window. I connected with that book.  I devoured it.

Now that I’m grown up, I’m still grateful for the rain. Can’t garden or paint a fence in the rain. All you can do is sit down and begin another adventure.  The difference is that this time, I’m in the driving seat.

Know what? It’s still a rush.

My Funny Valentine’s day lovers’ bookclub.

2263586109 Literary love on Valentine’s day..

Today of all days, maybe I should blogging about literature’s greatest lovers, or the story that plucked at my heartstrings the most. Or even my real love for some books which I genuinely believe changed my life, because there are a few.  But, you know what? I cant think of valentine’s day without bringing to mind one of my very favourite songs; My Funny Valentine. Those Rogers and Hart guys sure knew how to write a tune. And I don’t really mind if it’s Ella, or Frank, or Tony Bennet, or Chet Baker who does the,  “your looks are laughable, un-photographable,” dirty.

I just love it for all it’s ironic, anti-Hallmarkfest, brilliance.

So, in that vein, for my very irreverent love and literature blog for this month, I thought we’d take a tongue in cheek look at my Valentine’s day Lovers’ book club.

Here are my top dozen:

Fifty shades of we-hey!
The Lord of the engagement rings.
The Unbearable Lightness of this lovely Pashmina…yes, for you my darling.
Let’s get a Room with a view.
A Farewell to arms—hello to all the other bits.
To kiss a mockingbird.
(Let’s do it in) the dandelions, the beach, and the wardrobe.
Friday night and Saturday morning? Must be my birthday.
Schindler’s lust.
The man in the tie-on basque (only on week-ends).
Gone with the window cleaner.
Keys to the condom (for you Garth Nix fans)

Feel free to suggest your own.

Rhys A Jones

Oz Chambers’ resolutions revisited.

RESOLUTIONSThe diary, under a pile of comics,  had fallen off Oz Chambers’ desk as he’d searched for his favourite highlighter. He’d riffled through it guiltily, wondering where all his good intentions had gone.

As always, the first few days of January were full.  By Easter, the pages were empty.

He flicked back to page one, and a list of his resolutions.

1/  Help mum—more.

2/  Try and convince her to unlock dad’s study.

3/  Practice soccer—more.

4/  Shower—(more).

5/  Listen in class—more.

He shook his head as he read the last entry. Fat lot of good that had done him. Miss Swinson, deputy head of Seabourne School, a.k.a. ‘The Volcano’ due to her tendency to erupt without warning, had the cheek to accuse him of cheating at math just because he’d got a hundred percent. He hadn’t cheated of course. For some reason, on that day, things had just clicked. Stranger things happened every day in year 7— well they did to Oz. Ruff Adams, one of Oz’s best mates, had called the maths result a, “buzzard miracle”—buzzard being Ruff’s substitute swear word for just about everything, good or bad.

Yet even his mother had found that ‘miracle’ difficult to swallow, though it was the absolute truth, and he had no explanation for it. Just like he couldn’t explain the grey-eyed girl he’d started seeing in his dreams, or why his mother wouldn’t talk to him about his dad’s accident, or why he’d gone to Egypt the day he died instead of flying straight home from his field trip.

That was the thing about living at Penwurt. It was a place stuffed full of mystery, with little pockets of weirdness lurking around every corner. That was why his dad had loved the place so much. Why his mum now locked the door into the old orphanage wing every night too. It didn’t even help to know that ‘Penwurt’,  a mix of Celtic and Old English, meant the hill where weird things happen.  The Volcano had certainly not been impressed in the slightest when he’d told her.

Oz had, of course, tried to ignore the weirdness. But he couldn’t. Not since the appearance of the ghostly footsteps he and his friends had heard emanating from the locked rooms in the old orphanage block.  He’d suspected before, but the footsteps had convinced him: There was something in the sealed up rooms and dusty corners of this old house that had an answer to everything.

Even an A in maths.

Oz picked up a pen, scrubbed out the January resolutions from his diary, and wrote on a fresh, clean page.

Find out Penwurt’s secrets.

 He would, too.  If was the last thing he’d ever do.

OP soft-ebook-cover The Obsidian Pebble  by Rhys A Jones.

[Temp cover–artwork to come.]

Book 1 of the Artefact Quintet.

A MG fantasy/mystery for 9 to 90 year olds.

Oz Chambers lives in a haunted house. His mother wants to move, but Oz would rather do double algebra (yuck) every day for twelve months than leave. When he and his friends hear ghostly footsteps, it leads to a search for the strange artefacts that are the source of the old place’s eerie reputation. But what Oz hasn’t bargained for is that he’s not alone in that search and that solving Penwurt’s puzzles will lead to other, much darker secrets that will test his loyalty and his bravery to the limit.

Coming soon from Spencer Hill Press.   October 2013.