Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – The End – Goodreads Giveaway


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The world has survived, and the new sun dawned after the longest night of the year. Happy Yalda! 🙂

To those who got here, here’s the last present of the year: a Goodreads Giveaway of “The Shadow of Black Wings” paperback. Follow the link below to enter:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Shadow of Black Wings by James Calbraith

The Shadow of Black Wings

by James Calbraith

Giveaway ends January 06, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

And now I’m logging off for the rest of the year. See you in January!

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Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 20 – summary


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Mithras10’twas the day before Yalda, and all through the night
there were sacred bonfires burning happy and bright
watermelons were sliced, and persimmons hung high
out of joy that lord Mithras will come to save light.

😉

 

It’s time to summarize the 20 days of the Advent Calendar before tomorrow: the last day of the long Mayan cycle.

Here’s what you have missed, or still have one last chance to take part in:

Day 1 – Dragonbone Chest novella free (expired)
Day 2 – Transmission short stories free (expired)
Day 3 – Shadow of Black Wings free on Kobo (expired)
Day 4 – Half-price Bundle (expired)
Day 5 – Lands of Orient Map and Royal Marines
Day 6 – Born in Flames GIVEAWAY
Day 7 – Islands in the Mist Paperback
(weekend break)
Day 10- Written GIVEAWAY
Day 11- Gallery: A Visit to Kiyo
Day 12- Excerpt from Volume 4: The Rising Tide
Day 13- The Hobbit GIVEAWAY
Day 14- Shadow of Black Wings Free on Amazon (expired)
(weekend break)
Day 17- The Shadows of the Apt GIVEAWAY
Day 18- Gallery: A Visit to Chinzei
Day 19- Something Nice GIVEAWAY

One day left, tomorrow. I’ll have one last something for you then, too – if there IS a tomorrow 🙂

Oh, and here’s the last chance form to take part in any of the still-ongoing giveaways:

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 18 – a visit to Chinzei


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Another photo gallery today, from my “research trip” to Kyushu. This time it’s various places that show up in the books from all around the island.

It was a strange feeling, to visit the places I wrote about – still, largely, unchanged and recognizable. There really is a hot spring and guesthouse in front of Aso shrine in Hitoyoshi; the forests around Kirishima Shrine are dark and mysterious; Jochibyo stairs are terrifyingly creepy.

There were a few more monuments of famous persons around: the Japanese love putting bronze statues of anyone even remotely famous. And of course, the entire journey took only a few days on fast trains, instead of walking on foot for weeks 🙂

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 11 – a visit to Kiyo


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Day 11. Today something a bit different – a photo gallery.

 

 

 

 

This summer I went to Kyushu, Japan, to see how places I’ve written about in “The Shadow of Black Wings” look like today.

Many locations are still standing or are easily identifiable. Naturally, the Suwa Shrine is still sprawling majestically over the city’s northern district, not far from the largely reconstructed Magistrate. The location of the Keisuke house is fictional (although not the family) but the hill district near Sofukuji Temple is still criss-crossed by a labyrinth of indecipherable narrow streets.

The Takashima Residence was, sadly, blown away by the nuclear bomb, and only the foundations remain. The island of Dejima is being painstakingly reconstructed, and you can walk its streets freely – it’s now one of the city’s main tourist attractions. It’s also no longer an island.

Fukusaya Bakery is now a noble institution, with tiny bits of moist cake sold at extortionate prices.

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 7 – “Islands in the Mist” Paperback and new Amazons


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Day 7. What do I have for you today? Well, the paperback of volume 3 has just gone up on Amazon – “The Islands in the Mist”, so that’s today’s event. Just in time for Christmas, you can buy all three volumes of The Year of the Dragon in physical form 🙂

Amazon US | Amazon UK

ALSO! This week Amazon opened two new marketplaces where you can buy KDP books (including mine) – CANADA and BRAZIL.

You can find my books on Canadian Amazon HERE

And on Brazil Amazon HERE


The Islands in the Mist
(The Year of the Dragon #3)

Bestseller in Historical Fantasy & Alternate History Amazon US

ebook ISBN: 978-83-935529-4-8 ASIN: B009MPDHZY
Published: October 2012 by Flying Squid
paperback ISBN-13: 978-8393552955
ISBN-10: 8393552958
Published: December 2012 by Flying Squid

Guided by the mysterious samurai, Bran and the girls reach the fabled shrine of Kirishima, where his dragon is held. But other forces are also keen to put their hands on the prize…

The Black Wings have landed, and Edo is in turmoil. So is Kiyo, after the recent disturbing events. Doshin Koyata receives a strange blood-red signal in his dreams…

In Qin, Dylan trains an army of volunteers to stop the onslaught of the Rebels, with the help of an old Admiral – who seems to know many secrets…

A detailed and fast-paced historical fantasy based around the turbulent opening of Japan to the West in the middle of the 19th century, “The Islands in the Mist” is the third volume in “The Year of the Dragon” saga.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US | Amazon UK  | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR |Amazon ES | Amazon JP | Amazon BR
Kobo Edition:
Kobo | Kobo 楽天

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 6 – “Born in Flames” Gift-away


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Today is the gift of giving, in the spirit of Yalda 🙂

There have been a few people who helped me early on in my career. Candace Knoebel was one of them – I did one of my first interviews for her blog – you can read it here – and she was one of the first to review The Shadow of Black Wings.

She is now a published author in her own right, and her first book, “Born in Flames” is doing great; it’s being nominated to literary awards left and right, and it’s one of the most popular Young Adult books on Goodreads. So to repay the favor given me all those months ago, I’m going to sponsor a copy of “Born in Flames” today.

You need to have an Amazon account and be able to receive gifts. The gift-away will run for a week, and then I will choose the winner at random. All you need to do is fill out this form:


Red mirrored scales race up my arms as the haze of pain blurs my vision. My bones crack, breaking to realign. I scream. It is then that the realization of my unavoidable fate sinks in; I am of a dying race. I am dragon.

Aurora Megalos, orphaned and teetering on the edge of adulthood, thought finding her past would curb the sting of being an outcast. Having no memories of the time before she awoke on her foster mother’s doorstep, she yearns for the emptiness inside her to be filled. With her fellow orphaned best friend, Fenn, by her side, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But something powerful stirred within her that she couldn’t explain. Something wanted out.

In the dark of night, a crazed Seer, dubbed Mr.Creepy, erases everything she’s ever known with an impending prophecy. She now faces two paths. Return to her true home to protect a dying race against a growing evil, or stay hidden in the safety of our realm with a shot at a true love. With a vengeful Arch Enemy stopping at nothing to see her dead, she’s running out of time; a decision must be made. What would you choose?

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 5 – the Lands of Orient and the Royal Marines


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Hey hey! Today I got my first Amazon cheque – fingers crossed, there will be many more of these to come 🙂 2012-12-05 14.17.37

Today’s gift to you are two new pieces of lore for the Year of the Dragon world: a map and a description of the Royal Marines Dragoons order of battle.

(note that all the on-going deals are still available: Free KOBO book and half-price bundle – see sidebar)

The new map that we’ve been working on is for the Volume 4. As action grows in scope and begins to move away from Chinzei, so the map encompasses the entire region of Orient, from Fan Yu in the South to Ezo in the North. The map will also feature in the paperback of The Islands in the Mist, which I hope will come out in a few days.

LandsOfOrient

The Royal Marines Order of Battle is a set of notes I wrote for the book some time around drafting volume 2. I just cleaned it up a little for ease of reading.


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Regiments

There are five dragoon regiments in the Royal Marines. Of these, the 1st, “Empress’ Own”, is attached to the House Guards and charged with security of Lundenburgh and protecting the ships in the Lundenburgh harbour.

The 2nd, “Gwynedd Free”, based in Brigstow and the 3rd, “Belerion Free”, based in Ictis are Colonial Regiments. Formed mostly of Prydain recruits, the two regiments are tasked with protecting the Empire’s interests overseas. Dylan ab Ifor is the commander of the 2nd regiment. The 3rd regiment is currently in operation in Africa.

The 4th, “Home Counties”,  is based in Portcaester to guard the Channel crossing.

The 5th, “the Norsemen” or “Alba Royals”, is a training and reserve regiment based in Arcaibh Islands.

Ranks and organisation

All dragoon formations in the navy and army use the following ranks and organisation:

Unit Dragons Commander
Mount 1 Ensign
Detail 2 Lieutenant
Flight 4 Flight Leader
Squadron 8 Squadron Leader
Wing 16 Wing Leader
(staff officer) Reeve
Banner 32 Banneret
Regiment 64 Ardian
Battalion 320 Air Marshal

Insignia and Uniforms

The RMD insignia is an anchor with silver dragon wings around a globe. Each regiment’s insignia are topped with a regimental badge: a royal crown for the 1st, a sprig of gorse for the 2nd, a chough for the 3rd, a walled gate for the 4th and stag horns for the 5th.

There are three basic dragoon uniform styles, and they are also in use for the Marines formation:

  • The cadet uniform is steel blue with yellow trimmings
  • The regular uniform is navy blue with white trimmings
  • The officer uniform is scarlet with blue and golden trimmings

In place of the usual dragon markings, the soldiers of the 2nd are allowed Aberffraw lions on buttons and cuff-links and the soldiers of the 5th are allowed the White Stags of Alba.

Mounts

The regulation mount of RMD are Mountain Silvers, bred in the Royal Hatcheries of Alba. Also accepted are Highland Azures from Rheged and Gall Gaidel and (for recon duties) Jutish Swifts from Vectis and Hoo.

These are the Fifteen Royal Hatcheries which supply dragons for all branches of the army and navy:

1. Braeriach, Am Monadh Ruadh – Mountain Silvers “Wyrmkings”

2. Svirlehaugr, Rheged – Highland Azures “Seakings”

3. Thor’s Cave, Pecsaetan – Norse Whites

4. Eremue, Vectis – Jutish Swifts

5. Pont-y-Pair, Gwydyr Forest – Forest Viridians

6. Urra, Jorvik Moor – Norse Whites

7. Lys Ardh, Belerion – Kernow Crimsons

8. Cadair Arthur, Brycheinniog – Ancient Reds

9. Clofeshoch, Hoo – Jutish Swifts

10. Isle of Elig, Gyrwas – Fenland Celadons

11. Sniaull, Ellan Vannin – Vannin Cyan

12. Glen Trool, Gall Gaidel – Highland Azures

13. Dun Scaith, Scathach – Highland Greys “Shadowclouds”

14. Scearder, Mynydd – Purple Swifts

15. North Duns – Ebbesham – Imperial Goldens

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 4 – Half Price Bundle


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Today’s gift is a bundle of all three so-far written volumes of “The Year of the Dragon” – at HALF PRICE of just $6!

You can get them for a week from my shop over on Gumroad, following these links:

ePub Bundle: http://gum.co/tqkP

mobi Bundle: http://gum.co/sIny

This offer expires next Tuesday.

Don’t forget you can still get the first book, “The Shadow of Black Wings”, is still available for free on KOBO.

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 3 – A Gift of Kobo


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今週!
今週!

Today I have something on offer for my oft-neglected KOBO audience: “The Shadow of Black Wings” is FREE for Kobo users, for  a whole week, starting today!

 

And you don’t even need to have a Kobo e-reader – just grab an Android or iOS Kobo App, and you can download my books! And since they are DRM-free, you can then read them on any device capable of reading epubs.

The Shadow of Black Wings
(The Year of the Dragon #1)

Top 10 Bestseller in Alternate History Amazon US

Genre: Historical Fantasy
ebook ISBN: 978-83-935529-0-0 ASIN: B008FS5RPC
Published: June 2012 by Flying Squid
paperback ISBN-13 978-83-935529-1-7
ISBN-10: 8393552915
Published: July 2012 by Flying Squid

It is the sixteenth year of Queen Victoria’s enlightened rule and the world trembles before the might of her ironclad navy and the dreaded Dragon Corps. The largest ship ever built sails from the Brigstow Harbour on a journey to the mysterious lands of Orient. Its load – a regiment of the Royal Marines and one Bran ap Dylan – freshly graduate in Dracology at the Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.

In the empire of Yamato, sealed from the rest of the world for the last two centuries, a wizard’s daughter Sato witnesses her father joining an anti-government conspiracy. Her friend Nagomi, training to be a priestess, is haunted by dark visions that she must keep secret. Neither of them is aware that a change is coming to Yamato… on the wings of a dragon.

A detailed and fast-paced historical fantasy based around the turbulent opening of Japan to the West in the middle of the 19th century, “The Shadow of the Black Wings” is the first volume in “The Year of the Dragon” saga.

Available at: Amazon US |Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon JP And: Kobo | Kobo 楽天 Paperback available at: Amazon US | Amazon UK | ペーパーバック | Barnes&Nnoble Junglee.com

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 2 – Transmission


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Today I offer for FREE my short Sci-Fi stories anthology, Transmission.

Transmission: Six Short Stories

Genre: Science Fiction
ASIN: B008E7RUJA
Published:
1st Edition June 2012 by Flying Squid
2nd Edition November 2012 by Flying Squid

The first television broadcast signal is now almost 90 light years away from Earth. What would human colonists on distant worlds feel like receiving these ancient transmission for the first time?

TRANSMISSION has first been published in eFiction magazine in June 2012, and received Honorary Mention in On The Premises magazine in November 2012

A journalist tracking the last survivors of the most infamous Martian War massacre discovers the gruesome truth – and more…

KING MIDAS’S BARBER has first been published in Polish as “Kosci Chudych Dzieci” in Science Fiction magazine in February 2002

This time the aliens did not come to destroy us – but to employ us…

FACTORY BLOCK S3 has not been published before.

A day in the life of a member of the RSPD – the Royal Society for the Protection of Dragons.

THE TWITCHING has been first published on Wattpad in July 2012

In a world of the luckless, the Lucky Men are kings.

O LUCKY MAN has been first published in Polish as “Szczesciarz” in Fahrenheit magazine

Every God has to start somewhere…

TEOPHANY has not been published before.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | Kindle版