13 is my lucky number

So today I will tell you – it is 13 days to go until The General’s Legacy – Part Two: Whiteland King is released


I was born on the 13th of the month so I’ve never feared the number 13 (not that I’m superstitious anyway) so I have chosen 13 days to go to share a little more with you about The General’s Legacy – Part Two: Whiteland King including the book description.

Members of Adrian’s Fantasy Readers Group on Facebook (feel free to visit and click Join) have already seen the book description that follows:

Dendra Castle is under siege by an army that never sleeps and time is running out.
Prince Cory resolves to lead a black operation right to King Klonag’s throne to do what was forbidden for his grandfather – end the reign of the Whiteland King.
To conquer a Kingdom, Cory leads just thirty Special Operators, the Silver Warrior, the Archmage of Valendo and his daughter with questionable battle magic ability and the Scout Commander who is rarely in sight.
Is this a desperate fool’s quest?
Or has Zeivite truly come up with a plan to defeat Magnar and the ‘dead mage’ with his limitless magic?
Even Cory does not know.

One way or another, the decades-long war between Valendo and Nearhon must end. Klonag has more pieces to move in this game of war, and Princess Julia is one them. And if she does not cooperate? There are worse fates than death when dealing with Klonag and Magnar, and more than one way to ensure her… unfailing obedience.

The General’s Legacy – Part Two: Whiteland King is the second book in The General of Valendo series that concludes the enthralling story of The General’s Legacy. The stakes escalate, revelations come, and even the souls of the ancestors gather over the Whitelands to witness the epic conclusion that is sure to thrill.

If you want your fantasy action-packed, laced with mystery and running a pace that refuses to let you put it down – The General’s Legacy delivers.

A number of readers have told me they can’t wait for Whiteland King and this gets a mention in the Amazon reviews for Inheritance.

Release day is February 28th, 2017 and although you will not see it on Amazon until that date it is becoming available for pre-order on other bookstores. More stores could appear at any moment, but I see iBooks and Barnes and Noble right here – books2read.com/tgov2.

More soon.

Happy reading!

PS. If you haven’t read The General’s Legacy – Part One: Inheritance yet all you have to do is click the orange button to get it sent to your email inbox:


Character profile: The old General Garon Allus Artifex Dendra


King-consort and general of the Valendo (map) army came from humble beginnings as the son of the master engineer and proprietor of the Artifex Ship Building company in the port city of Haliford.

I imagine a teenaged Garon skimming stones and not knowing what to do with is life before his father convinces him to apprentice in the ship building yard. Here Garon learns from his father what it is like to be a leader – to not have all the skills required to get the job done and declare “my ship is built” when a new creation is launched into the waves with a new captain at the helm.

Murder and intrigue arises as one of the first scouts of the Kingdom of Nearhon attempt to spy on building techniques and disrupt the construction a new class of warship.

Garon becomes enmeshed in the plot and eventually kills for the first time – the Nearhon scout is no more. Realising adventure is in his blood, he leaves his father’s company and begins life as a mercenary. He soon comes to lead his gang of mercenaries and when the population rises up in rebellion against their dogmatic and uncaring King Jeremiah, Garon is called on to lead the People’s Army of Valendo.

Complications arise due to his romantic entanglement with an aristocratic girl he only knows as “Am”. She disappears before the battle begins and the rest of this back story is revealed as part of The General’s Legacy. It heralds the beginning of the 30 year war between Nearhon and Valendo that Garon is destined to never end. That task shall fall to his protege and grandson, Prince Cory.

To show how big the boots young Prince Cory must one day fill are, The Generals Legacy begins with Garon’s last battle in Beldon valley:


It is release day for The General’s Legacy – Part One Inheritance

Electronic copies started zinging (in a silent photon or electron kind of way) around the internet last night onto people’s Kindles and iBook devices. I know I have at least a few buyers on these two platforms and will learn what has happened on Nook and Kobo later.

One of my advance review readers has come up trumps and posted their review this morning. I’m always fascinated by the different perspective people have on the story.

Here is the review on goodreads.com.


Why I wrote a fantasy story and my writer’s journey


Why I wrote a fantasy story

I read and loved many fantasy novels in my teens and early twenties.  My favorite authors were David Gemmell, David Eddings, Raymond E Fiest, Terry Brooks and of course, Tolkien. When I was seventeen (in 1988), I promised myself I would write a fantasy story one day.  I had an urge to create a tale that would be gripping the way my favorite movies and books were. I wanted to give the reader a sense of excitement as they read a story I created.

My writer’s journey so far

It has been long and some respects it started in 1988 when I first invented a character – a young man with tumbling black hair falling to his shoulders, sitting on a rock and holding an enchanted sword of some kind.  He had a grave look on his face, and I knew he had an immense challenge to overcome – one that his mentor never resolved.  I even gave him a name: Corylus or “Cory” as he would be called – the Latin name for the Hazel tree because he would be a tough nut to crack.  That’s all I knew.  Lacking the life experience to create the kind of story I wanted to tell, and then being busy with starting a career in IT and getting married, it remained one of those things I would do “one day.”

In 2009 I had just finished reading Robin Hobbs’ Farseer Trilogy. It was brilliant, but slow paced and exhausting for me to read because I wanted to extract the story faster than the dense narrative would allow. I yearned for something faster paced – so hard to find in the fantasy genre. The following day, scrap printer paper and pen in hand, I began writing about Prince Cory while on the train to work. Cory had a famous grandfather – a general – who was also his mentor and the war he could not end was the challenge never resolved. I wrote about Cory at his grandfather’s funeral but soon gave up because I didn’t feel the quality of the writing measured up to published works.  Sadly, I didn’t understand at the time that first drafts are always bad, and you need to take a leap of faith spending time (months or more) writing to develop your “author’s voice”.

Fast forward to October 2013 when the movie Enders Game was released. It caught my attention because Harrison Ford was in it.  I decided to read the book first and then see the movie.  I loved the story and the ending I didn’t see coming.  Orson Scott Card tells us in the forward that he had the idea for the story concept when he was eighteen but did not write it until his mid-thirties.  I was forty-three when I read this, and it struck me that the time for writing Cory’s story was long overdue.  I started to write again and didn’t stop for the two years it took me to finish a first draft of The General’s Legacy.

The first great challenge for new authors – making the time for writing alongside family and work commitments

I move work location every once in a while (I’m a freelance IT consultant) and often work in London (UK).  Commuting there means spending over two hours a day on the train – so here is ten hours a week of writing time.  I listen to music, there are no internet distractions, and I find it a productive place to write.  On the London Underground, sitting at the station waiting for a late train or in the car while one of my boys is busy with an activity such as cricket practice at the weekend, are all places I can be found writing.  I’m working close to home right now. Fortunately, my wife understands when I spend the same amount of time at the office before and after work keeping up my writing routine.  It can be an inefficient way to write. When time is short, I might only get a hundred words down, but this is better than nothing.

Making the story exciting the way some movies are

I felt early on in writing The General’s Legacy I needed a way to pace the story and have some structure or plan to guide me. By the time I had written the prologue and first two chapters, I was daunted by the prospect of creating a whole story with all its complexity to manage without some form of plan. I felt the same way I did when I first started computer programming – you can sit down and just write a small computer program by the seat of your pants, but how do you build a large and complex IT system? At college, I learned how to design software. I was convinced I needed to learn how to design a story. It only took minutes of searching online for me to find “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks.  This book taught me how screenwriters and many novelists plan their stories, define their characters and more. This approach to planning a story forces me to come up with plot twists, conflicts and dramatic moments that I might not otherwise have thought of. Knowing that these “plot points” are coming, and what the goal of each of the four story phases are, I have plenty of page time to spin the story in their direction.

The “plotter” or “panster” question

For me, a bit of “seat of the pants writing” is an essential part of discovering character and story, but I need a plan before I go too far. Sometimes the story goes off plan for the better – so the plan is updated. I believe the method and the plan must serve the story and not the other way around… but, as Larry would say, structure is story (a ton of authors might disagree). However much I might stretch the structure rules, all the essential points are there by the end.

Inspiration — where it comes from

Mostly, what is going on in the world around us right now and in recent history.  I’ve avoided creating a fantasy story that draws too heavily on medieval history for storylines and setting. The General’s Legacy is set in a fictional world partly inspired by 18th and 19th century Europe – there is even orchestral music. I’ve used differing fictional religious beliefs, divisions within religions and characters with no religious beliefs for inspiration – without preaching or disrespecting any particular point of view. This also applies to future stories in the planning process.

For some elements of the story, I‘ve used my own experiences. Life throws many of us a curve ball at times that we are not equipped to catch. These can be stressful times – sometimes too stressful for us to cope. I wanted to make something positive out of such hard times. Anxiety and stress come into play in The General’s Legacy, mainly in connection with the use of magic in the story and one character in particular. All great heroes need an inner weakness to triumph over as they try to overcome the antagonists in a story.

The future

The General’s Legacy will be published in two parts – “Inheritance” followed a few months later by “Whiteland King.” The editing process has been consuming much of my writing time since October 2015, but I am planning and “world building” for a series of four more stories to follow on from The General’s Legacy. There are characters, little snippets of information and bits of history dropped into The General’s Legacy that set some things up for the future stories.


Available now for pre-order “The General’s Legacy – Part One: Inheritance”

I am delighted to announce that The General’s Legacy – Part One: Inheritance is available for most eBook devices and apps in many countries around the world for pre-order. Release date November 30th, 2016

An epic fantasy fiction story with high octane magic, horror and romance.
Part One: Inheritance (The General of Valendo #1)
Available on
Also available on Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Inktera, Scribd, Tolino and 24symbols.
Find it with this universal book link: https://books2read.com/tgov1
Launch price (most countries): $0.99  £0.99  €0.99
Release date: 
November 30th, 2016 – available for pre-order now.
Get a free book sample to download and share here

Paperback release date: TBA

A king obsessed with conquest, armies, magic, and monsters powered by the souls of the dead – the legendary General of Valendo defended his kingdom from them all and taught his grandson, Prince Cory, everything he could. But the worst is yet to come.

Cory’s life is changed forever after the general’s death when their enemy strikes at the heart of their Kingdom. Confronted by his grandfather’s world of warriors and magic, and with the lives and souls of all in his kingdom at stake, Cory must do the one thing the old general never could.
End the war.

The concluding part of The General’s Legacy will be published February 28th, 2017.


Legend – one of those books I read a three quarters of a lifetime ago but still remember today. I’ve only ever read two books twice, I might have to make this the third. I suspect there is at least a little bit of Druss the Legend’s DNA running inside the veins of Garon, the old general in The General’s Legacy.


Flashback Friday is something I do here at Bookwraiths every once in a while; a time when I can post my thoughts about books that I’ve read in the past but never gotten around to reviewing. With the hectic schedule of day-to-day life and trying to review new releases, there never seems enough time to give these old favorites the spotlight that they deserve. But with a day all to themselves, there is no reason I can’t revisit them, so let’s take a look at a fun fantasy series, which would make a great summer read.


Legend by David Gemmell 

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Drenai Saga #1 

Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 1994)

Length: 345 pages

My Rating: 4 stars

David Gemmell might not have invented action adventure fantasy, but he refined it, polished it up, and presented his updated version (Against the Horde/Legend) in 1984 to a reading…

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