Stranger Days Are Nearly Here!

Hello – Grimly here! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here and I’ve noticed that a few new people have been viewing this site (welcome!) so I decided I should bring my computer out of the cupboard under the stairs, eject the rats that had set up home in the backup drive, de-louse the keyboard, polish the monitor, hunt around for the password cupboard, wrestle the mouse off the mice, and write you an update on what has been going on around here.

Well, nothing much really, but it’s all going to start soon because I’ve just taken delivery of Pete Lyon’s magnificent cover for ‘Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill’, the sequel to ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’ and part two of the ‘Vale of Strange’ series. Pete’s illustration really is wonderful. If you liked the cover of the first book, you’re going to really love this one! It’s a good thing that the ‘Vale of Strange’ paperbacks are larger format than the tiny books which seem to pass for normal these days because that will give you a chance to study the fine detail of the drawing. Even so, you might want to think about buying the Kindle version as well (so you can take advantage of the magnification capability) and to make sure you really appreciate the fine details I suggest adding an electron microscope to your Christmas list.

You think I’m joking? The illustration would really look at its best on the wall of some great public building. You’ll see what I mean when you see it. Maybe the House of Commons would like to feature ‘Stranger Days’? Some might think it appropriate.

I would have shown you the cover here but we’re going to look into the possibility of organising a ‘Cover Reveal’ event in advance of publication. If we manage to set that up, we will let you know here of course.

At the moment, we’re hoping for a mid November publication date, but once again we will publish the details here. If you’re not already following the blog, you can sign up for email alerts in the right hand sidebar. That way, you’re sure to be fully informed of all developments. You can sign up for our Facebook group there too.

That’s it for now then – but don’t forget your hat! It’s autumn now, so this message is endorsed by not only Aunt Maggie but also Uncle Bob. It’s October – almost Halloween – and the bogeys are flying!

(Photo shows Pete Lyon and Grimly Darkwood, on the lookout for bogeys.)

The Reading Realm – New Version this Month

It’s great to see The Shop on Peculiar Hill listed among some of this year’s favourite books of Ian Eagleton, whose educational app The Reading Realm is to be substantially upgraded this month. The Reading Realm presents children with a wide range of extracts from prose and poetry, both classic and contemporary, with lots of games to entice them into reading. The new version also includes creative writing from children themselves. In addition, I’m proud to report, it will include an extract from The Shop on Peculiar Hill! Needless to say, I’m delighted to be involved with this wonderful project. The updated app is scheduled to be released sometime this month. I’ll let you know here when it becomes available.

Cover Wars – We Won!!

We won the Cover Wars contest!! Many thanks for your votes everyone – very much appreciated! I’m glad you agree it’s a great cover by Pete Lyon. If you have not yet bought a copy of The Shop on Peculiar Hill, this is a great time to do it, as the book is available at the reduced price of £6-99 at Amazon UK or $9-99 at Amazon.com for a limited period. Ideal for those aged 8-12 and any adults who don’t scare easily. More info and purchase links at https://grimlydarkwood.com/the-shop-on-peculiar-hill-vale-of-strange-book-one/

Also available for even less on Kindle and free on Kindle Unlimited!

Cover Wars – 6

It look like we’re winning in Cover Wars but please keep voting for Pete Lyon’s brilliant cover just in case… Thank you so much for your votes so far! Voting ends at 8am EST on Sunday, which I think is 1pm Sunday UK time. We should be able to squeeze in two more votes before then. Your endurance is much appreciated! Thank you…

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Cover Wars 5 – New Lower Price for ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’

Three things to say today:

1) Please remember to vote for Pete Lyon’s magnificent cover for ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’ in the Author Shout ‘Cover Wars’ competition. http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

Many thanks to all who have voted so far. You can vote every 24 hours so don’t stop now! It’s really close: just a few days to go and every vote counts…

2) Also: If you haven’t yet got round to buying a copy of the critically acclaimed ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’, this is a very good time to get one because we’ve just dropped the paperback price! The UK price is now £6-99 (reduced from £10-78 previously) and the US price is $9-99 (down from $13-99). These new prices are a real bargain and we’re not going to be able to hold them at this level for very long, so please don’t miss out! Visit Amazon UK or Amazon.com today…

“I cannot recommend this book enough for yourself, for the wee ones in your world, or just anyone you know who will enjoy a quirky, meaningful novel.” – Radzy Writes and Reviews

You can find out more about what people have been saying about ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’ here

3) And what was the third thing I wanted to say? Oh yes, please remember to vote for Pete Lyon’s magnificent cover for ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’ in the Author Shout ‘Cover Wars’ competition! http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

Or did I already say that?

Cover Wars 3 – The ‘Author Shout’ Interview with Grimly

After our joint first position yesterday morning, we’ve just slipped back into second position in the Cover Wars competition, so we’d better pull something extra out of the bag to encourage you to go and vote for us today. And here it is: the Author Shout interview with Grimly Darkwood, in which Grimly (author of The Shop on Peculiar Hill) responds entertainingly, informatively, and occasionally at too great a length, to a number of polite enquiries. Here is a brief excerpt:

Do you proofread/edit your own books or send them off to an editor?

You have to get your book checked over by someone else because we all have holes in our heads through which the mistakes leak. Fortunately other people’s heads have holes in different places so they can catch the mistakes you’ve missed. Professional editors are the best people to use because they have at least 80% fewer holes in total than other people.

If you had the chance to get one message out there to readers all over the world, what would it be?

Please find a way to get along with each other – but not so well that we all get bored.

You can find the rest of the interview here. You may have to scroll down a bit past the bio.

If you enjoy the interview, please vote in the Cover Wars competition here

If you think the interview is rubbish but like Pete’s cover, please vote here anyway.

Don’t forget the 24 hour rule! You need to leave at least 24 hours since you last voted. (How did life get so complicated?)

Cover Wars – 2

OK, forget falling asleep! With 50 votes in on the first day, The Shop on Peculiar Hill was joint overnight leader in this week’s Author Shout ‘Cover Wars’ contest, so there’s everything to play for and it’s getting really exciting! So do get along there and vote before you forget, and then do the same thing the next day, and the same the day after that, etc. It’ll be just like cleaning your teeth but much more interesting – and without leaving strange blue stains all over the towel.

Here’s the website for voting! Remember to leave at least 24 hours since the last time you voted. See you there… http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

Cover Wars

Hello – It’s Grimly here again, just to let you know that Pete Lyon’s splendid cover for ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’ is entered in this week’s ‘Author Shout’ Cover Wars competition. All you have to do is go along and vote for it and you might help us on the way to becoming incredibly famous. This is the website where you go: http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

That really is all you have to do. You don’t have to sing a song or bake a cake or think of a country beginning with ‘A’ or anything like that. You don’t even have to send in a photograph of your cat engaged in amusing antics. All you need to do is go to the website and vote for The Shop on Peculiar Hill. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

And what’s even better, as long as you leave at least 24 hours in between, you can vote all over again tomorrow. And all over again every day for a week…

Oh dear. That was going really well for a while but now you’ve fallen asleep.

Look, it’s a really good illustration. Try to forget about voting every day for a week. Just vote once for now. We’ll take it a day at a time…..

http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

Radzy’s Review of ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’

Hi, Grimly here! Yes, I know it’s the first time I’ve shown my face in a while but I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches to my new book ‘Stranger Days on Peculiar Hill’. I’ll be sending it off to our publisher, Jennifer, at Journey Fiction any day now so it should be out in good time for Christmas. Don’t forget to put it on Santa’s shopping list…

As you might have guessed, it’s all about the further adventures of Peter and Amanda on Peculiar Hill, this time joined by another young friend called Mala, whose father, the hapless explorer Augustus Flipper, has gone mysteriously missing. Is there a chance that in the course of their investigations they will wander into the Vale of Strange, you may be asking? It may be best not to exclude this possibility.

You’ll be able to read much more about the new book here on the blog in the buildup to publication, so don’t forget to follow us to make sure you get notification of new posts as they come out. You can do this either by email (see the form in the sidebar) or through Facebook. If you have a WordPress account, you can also follow us through them.

To add to the excitement, there’s another new review of ‘The Shop on Peculiar Hill’ just out, this time by blogger Radzy who writes: “I can only imagine the creative impact this will have on young minds, and cannot recommend this book enough for yourself, the wee ones in your world, or just anyone you know who will enjoy a quirky, meaningful novel.”

As you can tell, she really likes the book and it’s a very thoughtful, perceptive review, well worth a read in full on her excellent blog, ‘Radzy Writes and Reviews‘. I strongly suggest you take a look at it now…

Thank you, Radzy!

Finally, the usual piece of fashion advice: Uncle Bob may say you don’t really need one for bogeys at this time of year, but if you’re here in the UK, you’ll need one to keep out the rain. So do the smart thing and don’t forget your hat!

(This column has Aunt Maggie’s Official Seal of Approval.)