Thursday, 3 June 2021

New Release: Writing Out of Earshot by Ian D. Hall


Author:
Ian D. Hall
Language: English
Published: 3rd June, 2021
Paperback ISBN: 978 1 78645 490 4
eBook ISBN: 978 1 78645 491 1
ASIN: B095HYFT6S
Length: 19,000 words (approx.)
Category/Genre: Poetry, Literary Fiction
Link: http://beatentrackpublishing.com/writingoutofearshot
Where to buy:
Beaten Track (ebook)
Beaten Track (paperback)
Amazon (paperback/ebook)
Smashwords
Apple
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Scribd

Blurb

“Never talk in front of Dylan Thomas,” they said as they consumed their pints and spoke of their woes and tribulations, and of the weird relative coming to stay awhile, “for the Welsh Bard will somehow weave his mercurial magic for others to consume, just as he consumes life with heart, spirit and desire flowing through him.”

I have very little in common with Dylan Thomas, except for a once fondness for whisky, a love of poetry—of which he is one of the masters of the twentieth century, alongside Allen Ginsberg, W.H. Auden, Maya Angelou, Adrienne Rich and Liverpool’s very own Roger McGough—and that we both at one time performed our work in New York.

It is, however, to Dylan Thomas that Writing Out of Earshot is dedicated, along with Ginsberg. The book of poetry you hold in your hand is a response to my long-lasting adoration of these two men.

Writing Out of Earshot is also a confirmation that writing, for me at least, encompasses several aspects of life, of struggling with illness and the feeling of being invisible in a crowd, when people will say anything in front of you because they cannot see you. The life of a poet is not all drinks at The White Horse Hotel surrounded by hundreds of people; it is one that captures a moment when you are hidden away in your room, remembering, recalling certain words and worlds and transforming them as you give birth to the next poem.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,” for the moon outside your window is full, and the passing months have yet to tell their story.

Ian D. Hall, 2021

Editor's Review

It's release day for Writing Out of Earshot - another excellent anthology of poetry and prose from Ian D. Hall, and this is my favourite, mostly for the collection of poems personifying the months. I'm not always in agreement with the poet when it comes to the characteristics of each, but it's a lot of fun reading them through his eyes, and that's very much how it goes in real life. Our perceptions of others differ, but that doesn't mean any of us are wrong, although I must say it was much easier to like February on paper than in reality. It's my second least-favourite month (after January), yet I feel a little sorry for it, what with having to fight for its days and all.

Flippant mini-spoilers aside, there's a more serious note to this collection, which is apparent in its title but becomes more poignant as the poems progress. I hope Ian won't mind me sharing this small excerpt from the title poem, as he says it so much better:

It came perhaps late in life,
the urge to shut the door
quietly,
not with drama,
not
out of spite,
but for my own peace of mind,
to keep the noise down to a minimum
and keep
writing out of earshot.
To express time in notes,
pence and the bond of suffering
as you shake your head
from side to side, an out of time
metronome
click
click
click
clic
king as a tongue biting down
desperate to fill the space
and ask, “What do I do?” behind
closed doors…

Writing is a solitary pursuit. Often our only interface with the world at large is the printed page, and it often does feel like we're bleating into the ether, or 'out of earshot'.

For sure, Ian D. Hall won't be out of earshot this time around, as there's also a collection of songs and spoken word recordings inspired by his work, entitled Listening Out of Earshot, being released within the next few weeks, for which I can take no credit, as it's been recorded and produced by Andrew Hesford, Mark Sebastian D'Lacey and Tony Higginson. Proceeds from sales go to Whitechapel Centre, Liverpool, UK.

Monday, 24 May 2021

New Release - Road to Juneau by Liam Quane

Author: Liam Quane
Language: English
Published: 18th May, 2021
Hardcover: 978-1-78645-473-7
Paperback: 978-1-78645-452-2
eBook: 978-1-78645-453-9
ASIN: B08V51WV9M
Length: 111,000 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Blurb

New York: two years after the Third World War.

Humanity is rebuilding its cities brick by brick; the damage done to the people, however, is a lot harder to repair. Dan Hardacre is one of those people. An aspiring stage actor and experienced draft-dodger, Dan struggles to find his place within the Utopic rebuild of New York City. When he’s not caught up with the duties of work, Dan lives a quiet life in mourning for his mother, Dyani, who went missing when he was a teenager.

One night, Dan experiences a vivid, terrifying nightmare that puts him right on the front lines of the war for which he dodged the draft; it ends with him facing Death itself in the form of a metallic, faceless humanoid creature that calls itself the Valkyrie. To investigate the reason behind his haunting experience, Dan seeks out a meeting with his estranged father, who reveals the startling truth about Dan’s dream: it wasn’t a dream.

With this newfound knowledge and the powers it brings, Dan makes it his mission to return to the scene of his nightmare. However, he soon comes to know that confronting the Valkyrie not only endangers him but the war-withstanding world he leaves behind.

Editor's Review

I have so much I want to say about this novel, but most of it would be spoilers. This is an incredible debut from Liam Quane - an author who has brought his scriptwriting and directing talents to the printed page, and his worlds translate very well into this format. It's helpful that the setting for much of Road to Juneau is a near-future/alternate post-apocalyptic New York City, so the reader has a frame of reference, albeit one slightly removed from the NYC we know. In that regard, the author does some light-touch world-building to set the scene, which in first-person present tense feels like Dan Hardacre - the main-character-sort-of-hero - is giving us a guided tour of his hometown, along with a brief history lesson.

So the scene is set. Now, I'm not a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, and it's important I make it clear that this isn't really post-apocalyptic in terms of themes, merely setting. The story, at its heart (for me) is about unchecked power and (ir)responsibility. Thus, to some extent, Road to Juneau is allegorical - a critical perspective on current affairs as much as the fictional future, and aside from the 'nature' of the central characters, it is a future that's potentially only a step or two from where we are now.

For all of that, the novel isn't hard-hitting political commentary, although there is plenty of politics in it. There's also lots of subtle diversity, wry humour, fantastic adventures on Earth and elsewhere, and a few tear-jerking moments. In short, it's a darned good read - one which I wouldn't usually select as a 'pleasure read' based on genre, but the cover...wow, the cover! That would definitely have captured my interest, so I'd have ended up reading the book even if I hadn't had the privilege of publishing it.

Road to Juneau is an intelligent, entertaining, beautifully written novel for young and not-so-young adults and is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats. 

Purchase Links

Beaten Track:
Other Vendors:

Friday, 27 November 2020

A book and a yearly screening


 

My grandmother didn’t die from breast cancer.

I had my mammogram today, and this was what crossed my mind as the technician was arranging my body for the scan. I don’t remember what year it was or how old I was when my grandmother was diagnosed. Old enough to know the basics but too young to fully understand what was going on.

She had cancer twice, with a long span in between—more than ten years. The first time, they removed a lump the size of a pin head. I remember that because they talked about how it was a good thing she’d gone for her checkup and how it was all relatively smooth. No complications. Nothing in her lymph nodes.

It served as a life lesson. I was clear that when I reached the appropriate age, I was going to begin my yearly screenings too. I learned from it that if you pay proper attention, they can catch these things before they progress too far.

My grandmother had cancer again years later, this time much more serious. She had a double mastectomy and rounds of chemotherapy. Even so, they still got it all. It was another long while before she died, unrelated to any cancer.

She didn’t die from breast cancer. Neither did my college classmate’s mother.

That was a tricker situation. Her mom was young, and I learned that sometimes screenings fail to catch things. I was studying to be a nurse, and now I knew the benefits of doing self-checks in between and making sure I kept up with my annual visits with the gynecologist.

I don’t know a whole lot about what happened with my classmate’s mom, only that she’d caught the lump herself and that they’d had a hard time diagnosing her because it didn’t show up on the mammogram. That’s probably how I learned to be persistent in demanding my health concerns be taken seriously.

My grandmother didn’t die from breast cancer. Neither did my college classmate’s mother. But my friend did.

I’ll call her Jenny. We worked together for two summers at a Christian camp. She’d grown up in it; I hadn’t. I was introduced to this camp when I was recruited as a teen.

Jenny and I couldn’t have been more different. I was an apostate Jew who somehow fell in with the evangelicals (don’t ask). She was from a non-religious household but had become a Christian at the camp when she was a child. She was taller, blond, lean, and athletic. I was shorter, dark, curvy, and had two left feet. She was open-minded and open-hearted; I kept a lot to myself. (In fairness, I was trying to hide things a Christian camp wouldn’t have been pleased about.)

We lost touch after that, as happened in the days before instant internet connectedness. I saw her again some years later when I was running the camp and pregnant with my oldest. We didn’t see or hear from each other again until the early days of Facebook.

I think it wasn’t long after that when I learned she had metastatic breast cancer. She was only in her mid-thirties when she died, less than a year younger than me.

She kept a diary of her journey, telling the world about each test and procedure and medication she tried. I read every single one of her updates, hoping each time for good news. She always kept a positive spirit, right up until the end. Her husband had the last word, sharing her final moments with all the people who had followed her saga.

My screening will likely be fine, despite family history. But these things go through my mind every year when I do this.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what in the world any of this has to do with books or writing or publishing, so let me explain. I had the privilege of proofreading one of BTP’s recent releases, The Killing of Tracey Titmass, by Estelle Maher:

Jo Kearns has breast cancer.

While juggling her job, her boyfriend and the cancer, she discovers that her home has been invaded by Tracey, her tumour in insidious human form.

Jo’s diary tells the story of her battle to evict the malignant Tracey from her house and the disease from her body.

Based on Estelle Maher’s own cancer journey, this book is at times hilarious, at times poignant, but always unflinchingly honest and inspiring.

The story is delightful and funny and moving and uplifting. Although I’ve never personally gone through it, having known enough people who have, it was an emotional read. The author herself is as wonderful as the story, and I’m so glad she put these words out into the world.

I’m not sure we talk directly about this enough. Sure, we have Awareness Campaigns and Awareness Ribbons and Awareness Month and Awareness Memes. Everyone always says, “I know someone who had breast cancer!” But it often stops there. We don’t see the intimate details and the feelings and the ways in which people cope.

In the same way my friend Jenny’s online diary did, the book brings all of that into the light in a way that’s relatable and humorous and sometimes devastating. Fortunately, it has a different outcome than Jenny’s story, but the principle is the same: these aren’t things we need to keep hidden and secret.

My challenge to you is to read this and absorb it. Whether you’ve been there yourself or know someone who has, I hope the story will be as meaningful to you as it was to me.

You can find the book here or at your favorite bookseller.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Monsters under the bed and ghosts in the attic

 

We’re a week away from one of my favorite holidays: Halloween!

Not that there will be too many trick-or-treaters at my door this year.

Since I’ll be missing out on seeing the kids’ costumes, from the sweet to the sinister, I’ll have to content myself with spending a night in, reading. Good thing I have a long list of books (and all the candy we won’t be giving out).

Just in case you’re in need of something holiday-appropriate to take your mind off all the social distancing, we’ve got you covered. Check out these links for some of our spine-tingling books. What are you in the mood to read?

Horror

Crime, Thrillers and Mystery

Paranormal

Supernatural

Dark Romance

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Black Lives Matter - black voices, white privilege, our responsibility

Black Lives Matter
Beaten Track Publishing is fully committed to treating all people equally and with respect, so yes, of course we believe all lives matter, but it’s not ‘all lives’ when black people are murdered and subjected to violence daily, repeatedly, systematically. It’s only ‘some lives’. This is why, right now and for as long as it takes to eradicate racism, black lives matter.

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.

White Privilege
Beaten Track isn’t like other publishing houses. It is more of a collective of authors, editors, proofreaders and illustrators, many of us from marginalised communities. We have come together because our voices are not welcomed elsewhere, and as such our existence is a form of resistance. But we can do more. We must do more, do better. As a collective, we possess a lot of white privilege; recognising that, we have a choice what we do with it.

We will not be bystanders.
We will speak up against racism.
We will share black voices.


Black Writers’ Guild Open Letter
The Black Writers’ Guild (BWG) is a newly formed organisation representing the black publishing community in the UK. On 15th June 2020, the BWG released an Open Letter requesting that all UK publishers provide a full audit of their books published by black authors, their acquisition process and management/editorial structure. The letter begins with the following statement:

We are the Black Writers’ Guild, representing the black publishing community in the UK. Our membership group includes over 200 published black writers, including some of Britain’s bestselling authors and leading literary figures.

The protest movement sweeping the world since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has forced an international soul-searching to understand the pervasive racial inequalities that haunt most sectors of our society – including our own major institutions and industries.

Publishers have taken advantage of this moment to amplify the marketing of titles by their black authors and release statements of support for the black communities who have been campaigning for equality for decades.

Although we welcome your support at this time, we are deeply concerned that British publishers are raising awareness of racial inequality without significantly addressing their own.

We are calling on you to help us tackle the deep-rooted racial inequalities in the major corporate publishing companies and support grassroots black literary communities such as booksellers, book clubs and the Black Writers’ Guild.

Equality is our destination, and we have a hard journey ahead of us.


Black Voices at Beaten Track
Authors who publish with Beaten Track:
DEE ADITYA
Dee is an author of M/M romance, an accomplished proofreader and brilliant cover designer (find out more at decorousanarchystudios.wordpress.com).

By Dee Aditya:
A Boy Named Khwahish – a young adult gay romance;
part of Take a Chance anthology.

IMANI TAFARI-AMA
Dr. Imani Tafari-Ama is the author of: Blood, Bullets and Bodies: Sexual Politics Below Jamaica's Poverty Line, Up For Air: This Half Has Never Been Told (an award-winning novel) and Lead in the Veins (poetry) as well as several book chapters and articles. She is also a multimedia journalist who has produced several audio-visual documentaries including 'Setting the Skin Tone', which explores the catastrophic social practice of skin bleaching. This eight-and-a half minute video documentary (produced in 2006) is an excerpt from her Doctoral research.

LARRY BENJAMIN
Bronx-born wordsmith, Larry Benjamin considers himself less a writer than an artist whose chosen medium is the written word rather than clay or paint or bronze.

By Larry Benjamin:
Novels: Unbroken (Lambda Literary finalist); In His Eyes; The Sun, The Earth and The Moon
Short Stories/Novelettes: Black&Ugly; The Christmas Present; Vampire Rising; Damaged Angels

L.D. VALENTINE
L.D. Valentine is a self-confessed nerd who loves fantasy but could never see himself in the characters, so he did something about it and decided to make his own.

By L.D. Valentine:
Novel: Rising (Coven of Zora #1)
Blog post: Black, Queer, and Nerd?

UNOMA AZUAH
Unoma Azuah teaches writing at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Valdosta, GA. Her research and activism focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Nigeria, and her recent book project is Blessed Body: Secret Lives of the Nigerian LGBT. Some of her writing awards include the Aidoo-Synder book award, Spectrum book award and the Hellman/Hammet award.

By Unoma Azuah:
Embracing My Shadow: growing up lesbian in Nigeria

Self-publishing authors who work with Beaten Track:
JADE CALDER
Jade Calder is a mum and author of children's books featuring black families.

By Jade Calder:
The Magic Hair Stick

coming soon…
I Am NOT Too Small!
Mummy, What Is Black Lives Matter?

KEYSHA NAOMI BINNS
Keysha is a qualified nursery nurse and psychology graduate whose writing is inspired by years of encouraging children to brush their teeth at nursery through engaging stories.

By Keysha Naomi Binns:
The Gum Chums – Decay in the Fruit Garden

KUKUWA ABBA
Kukuwa Abba is a Health and Social Development professional with over thirty years experience, specialising in Public Health Education and Policy, Health Literacy, Mental Health Promotion and Culture and Health.

By Kukuwa Abba:
JA Herbs – 40 Jamaican Medicinal Herbs

Friday, 15 November 2019

New Releases from Larry Benjamin, Sossity Chiricuzio and Sheila Kendall - 15th November 2019

Beaten Track has three new releases out today! There really is something for everyone (or all the adults, anyway - more to follow for the littluns in November and December). I'm covering all three in one post for...ease of navigation. ;)

The Sun, the Earth and the Moon by Larry Benjamin

(That 'and' should be an ampersand, but Blogger doesn't cope well with ampersands.)

Language: English
Published: 15th November, 2019
Edition: 2nd, revised
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 978 1 78645 348 8
eBook ISBN: 978 1 78645 349
ASIN: B07ZNVLBYN
Length: 60,700 words (approx.)
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: LGBT, Romance and Relationships, Literary, Family and Friendship

Purchase Links:

Beaten Track Shop: Ebook EditionPaperback Edition
Other Vendors: SmashwordsAmazonKoboGoogle PlayApple

Blurb:

When seventeen-year-old Thomas arrives for his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania, he thinks he is ready for anything. Anything arrives quickly in the form of Dondi Whyte. Dondi is handsome, glamorous, and rich—everything Thomas is not. Is Thomas really ready for anything?

Thomas falls helplessly in love with Dondi and the two begin a love affair. When it ends abruptly, Thomas is devastated. To make up for breaking his heart, Dondi invites Thomas to spend the summer at his family—s mansion by the sea. There, Thomas meets Dondi’s brother, Matthew, and discovers it is sometimes in an ending that we find our beginning.

This is a revised edition of What Binds Us, previously published electronically by Carina Press.

Editor's Review:

Author Larry Benjamin and I 'met' not long after his debut novel, What Binds Us, was released (by Carina) and mid-prerelease of Damaged Angels (Bold Stroke Books). I don't clearly recall the ins and outs, but it had something to do with a book we'd both read and loved and becoming friends on social media. At the time, I included books on BTP that were written/published by like-minded authors/publishers, and Larry asked if I would list What Binds Us, so I did. In time, that friendship deepened, and finally (after much badgering by Nige, I suspect), Larry afforded me the great privilege of publishing his other work.

I should backtrack a little and own up to having cried buckets reading What Binds Us, as did my youngest daughter. And then we did it all over again with Unbroken - Larry's second novel - published by Beaten Track. Woot!

Of course, Unbroken also marked the commencement of The Comma Wars, whereby every comma I add or delete is held up and...erm scrutinised by the author. Our in-document arguments have, at times, become heated, but isn't that the mark of a great friendship? We can disagree on Very Important Matters yet remain as close as always.

And so Larry and I have come full circle in a way, with the release of The Sun, the Earth and the Moon, in that it is a revised second edition of What Binds Us, although the first edition was released only in ebook format, whilst The Sun, the Earth and the Moon is also available as a paperback. The revisions expand and tidy up the original text, but the story remains essentially the same.

What I said above about the gallons of tears shed, I should clarify: this novel, like Larry's other novels, is gay literary fiction with significant themes of romance and friendship. There is tragedy too, and I am ever grateful to authors who foreground this at the beginning of the story so I can prepare for the events which follow. However, all those tears are not really because of the sad moments; Larry's prose is beautiful and moving, and if you haven't read any of his work yet, you really should!

Video Trailer:





Honey and Vinegar: Recipe for an Outlaw by Sossity Chiricuzio

(Yep, another ampersand.)

Language: English
Published: 15th November, 2019
Edition: 1
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-78645-371-6
eBook: 978-1-78645-372-3
ASIN: B07YR391D1
Length: 30,450 words (approx.) (34 images)
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: Memoir, Biography, LGBT, Politics, Feminism

Purchase Links:

Beaten Track Shop: Ebook EditionPaperback Edition
Other Vendors: SmashwordsAmazonBarnes and NobleKoboGoogle PlayApple

Blurb:

Honey and Vinegar: Recipe for an Outlaw gives an intimate look at how the values and hopes of the 1960s carried through into the queer activism of the 1990s. It's a story told from various locations including ashrams, community housing, and not so great neighborhoods from the middle of Arizona to the middle of Florida, and back again. Exploring issues of class, family, embodiment, sexuality, identity, and agency in an illustrated series of vignettes that blur the lines between poetry and prose, Honey and Vinegar is a scrapbook of resistance.

Editor's Review:

Long ago, in my rather grim youth, I read one memoir. One. It was The Moon's a Balloon by David Niven. I'm not sure why. I wasn't especially a fan of David Niven, although I found his acting suave and frightfully gentlemanly. But read it I did; almost forty years later, I have absolutely no recollection of it.

You see, fiction is my thing - worlds to which I can escape, and there has been much in my life from which I have needed that respite. Real life can be dark and brutal, and it is most often the worst aspects that are showcased in memoirs and autobiographies.

Thus, you won't find many non-fiction books in Beaten Track's catalogue because, ultimately, I decide what we publish, and if I have to edit the thing then I want to enjoy it.

This means that the few memoirs you will find on BTP are very special indeed, and I'm so proud to share with you Sossity's memoir: Honey and Vinegar. Aside from being a stunning piece of literary non-fiction, I so often during editing found myself thinking 'god, yes, I've been here, and I'm so sorry you went through this too'. This could be any woman's story, any queer person's story, but it's Sossity's, and she tells it with such energy and honesty - the dark and the light - it is as compelling and consuming as any fiction I've read.

On a nuts and bolts level, Honey and Vinegar charts the formative moments in the author's childhood and adolescence, illustrated perfectly by Queeriam's sketches, but my words do no justice. I mean, how dry does that sound? 'Formative moments...' blah, blah, blah. Honey and Vinegar is a vivid swirl of anger and joy and frustration and relief and finding and losing oneself all at once. It is about the roots of Sossity's activism and a whole lot of life experience I wish I'd had (as well as the stuff I wish I hadn't).

Video Excerpts:







Tangled Webs by Sheila Kendall

(Not an ampersand in sight!)

Language: English
Published: 15th November, 2019
Edition: 1
ISBN: Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78645-388-4
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78645-389-1
ASIN: B07ZZMP3JF
Length: 75,200 words (approx.)
Category: Fiction
Genre: Women's Fiction, Crime, Thrillers and Mystery, Family and Friendship, Romance and Relationships

Purchase Links:

Beaten Track Shop: Ebook EditionPaperback Edition
Other Vendors: AmazonSmashwords • Barnes and Noble  • KoboAppleGoogle Play Books

Blurb:

When Carol makes a decision to trace the baby who was stolen from her over a decade ago, she has no idea of the tangled web of lies and deceit that await her. But Carol has secrets of her own, which she has promised to keep—secrets that will put a long-standing friendship in jeopardy if they are ever revealed.

As we follow the threads of Carol’s search, we realise that whatever we do in the past, whatever mistakes we try to put behind us, someday, somewhere, they will come to light.
The past can never be left behind.

Editor's Review:

This is the third book of Sheila's I've published, and it delights me that she's a genre hopper just like me. Her first BTP novel, Mission Accomplished, was a historical/paranormal mystery/romance; her second book, Deadly Chains, was more a murder mystery. Tangled Webs is a mystery/thriller, and there is a crime element to it, but it's...not really a crime mystery/thriller. There's also some romance, but it's not a capital R Romance, and it's a bit more plot-driven than slice of life. Above all, it's women's fiction, with strong female leads and a smattering of decent men, but this is a story laced with everyday feminism.

And it's one of those novels I want to read a little bit of every day, like it's a big bar of chocolate and I'm pacing myself so it lasts longer - just a taste to keep me going. I suppose that's mostly because of the focus on the characters and their interactions - the tangle of lies and secrets - and the journeys those characters take. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a character-driven story. I don't even care that much if there's a plot, but I should point out that Tangled Webs does have one.

See, this is the kind of book (and Sheila is the kind of author) that led me into publishing. I once attended an author fair where one of the top literary agents said we should approach finding an agent/publisher by first walking into a bookshop and figuring out on which shelf our book belongs, but that's so restrictive, never mind that it curbs creativity and the freedom to just tell the stories we need to tell.

That's what I love about Sheila's stories. She takes them where they need to go rather than sticking to a formulaic 'insert murder suspect #2 in chapter 8'. She also tells stories about ordinary working-class northerners, which is important because you'd be forgiven for thinking, based on the average British fiction bookshelf, that we're all middle-class southerners.

Are we 'eckers like. Now, where did I leave me flat cap and whippet.


That's all from us…for now.
Please buy, read and review.
We really like it when you do!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

New Release: The Golden One - Reckoning by Hans M Hirschi

Title: The Golden One - Reckoning
Author: Hans M Hirschi
Language: English
Published: 19th September, 2019
Length: 71,000 words (approx.)
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-78645-315-0
eBook: 978-1-78645-316-7
ASIN: B07TDRR4DL
Category: Fiction
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Blurb:
Jason is staying with the ailing Cheyenne elder Ninovan. Only the most heartbreaking news from Amberville can bring him back to face the biggest trial of his young life. Will Jason be able to fulfill his final mission as the Golden One? A mission from which no Golden One has ever returned?

Reckoning is the final installment of the gripping fantasy trilogy about Jason Mendez, the Golden One, who is called upon to save the world with his four best friends. Will Jason be successful? At what price? Will Earth be safe?

The Golden One is an exciting fantasy trilogy dealing with urgent topics affecting humanity today.


Editor's Review:
This is it: the end of an era, or a series at least.

Today is release day for Reckoning, the third and final part of The Golden One - Hans M Hirschi's young adult trilogy following the adventures of Jason Mendez who is, indeed, the 'Golden One'. If you haven't read the previous instalments, the links are at the end of this review.

I have such mixed feeling when I reach the end of a beloved series - for any readers new to Beaten Track Publishing, we publish the books we love, so my experience of reading them is much the same as yours. I go through every book at least twice, the first time tackling the nuts and bolts of the writing, checking the plot hangs together and that characters don't suddenly change the colour of their eyes, and so on.

The second time through is where I finally get to pay attention to the story, and I'll admit right here that The Golden One has had me raging and swearing (at the villains), smiling like a loon (at the sweet moments), laughing and rolling my eyes (usually at Peter - one of Jason's close friends and 'crew'), slumping in despair (at the injustice) and finally, in Reckoning, sniffling, oh, I have something in my eye, no I'm not crying, you're crying...

Obviously, I'm not going to tell you what made me so teary because I'd be giving away the plot, and we've kept this publication safely tucked away, no advance copies, until release day specifically to avoid spoiling the ending. Suffice to say it's a satisfying one...mostly. ;)

I kind of did a 'Best Supporting Role' for the first two instalments, with Laurel coming out as my favourite character from book one and Hannah in book two. For Reckoning, that prize goes to...[drum roll]...Micah. Yes, she is a cat, just an ordinary cat, but she's brave, loyal, feisty, and, of course, Jason can understand what she's saying. There is maybe a bit of anthropomorphising on the author's part when it comes to Micah's scepticism, incredulity and some of her judgements of human behaviour, but her nonchalance, especially when she's miffed with Jason, is pure cat and hilarious - a bit of light relief in the darker moments in Reckoning.

So the conclusion is here. No more Golden One, and while I hate saying goodbye to characters with whom I've spent a fair bit of time and know better than I know most people in the real world, it is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy and a journey I'm glad I had the opportunity to make.

The Golden One - Reckoning is book three and the final instalment of The Golden One trilogy, available in ebook formats from the usual places. Paperback available from Beaten Track Publishing and (imminently) Amazon.

Also available: The Golden One - Blooming (book one); The Golden One - Deceit (book two).




About the Author:
Hans M Hirschi has been writing stories since childhood. As an adult, the demands of corporate life put an end to his fiction for more than twenty years. A global executive in training, he has traveled the world and published several non-fiction titles as well as four well-received novels. The birth of his son provided him with the opportunity to rekindle his love of creative writing, where he expresses his deep passion for a better world through love and tolerance. Hans lives with his husband and son on a small island off the west coast of Sweden.

Website: Hirschi.se