Divine Invention – Reviews, Extracts and Interviews

I recently had a blog tour for my debut novel, Divine Invention, and I am absolutely thrilled with the response it has had. The wonderful reviews provided by bloggers have helped to spread word of mouth and Divine Invention is being read more now than ever.

A huge thank you to Rachel for organising the blog tour. I highly recommend her to other writers, she is both dedicated to your works and professional.


Sean’s Book Reviews – “Truly a masterpiece of it’s own sub section of this genre”

Pagefarer Book Blog – “Enjoyable, at times beautifully (even poetically) written, and basically a good, fun, hero’s quest romp”

In De Boeken Kast – “Forster opens our eyes to how we today act and think”

Birdie’s Bibliotheca – “It’s like Monty Python wrote an epic fantasy”

Bertyboy123 – “A book for our times with environmental crisis looking over our shoulders”

Oh Book It – “The plot kept me hooked from the start”

The Divine Write – “I loved this book”

Jessica Rachow – “Divine Invention drew me in right away and kept me interested”

The Midnight Review – “Anyone who enjoys a varied cast of characters, subtle humour and some action thrown in for good measure will enjoy this new series”

A Little Book Problem – “A fresh, funny and original book from an emerging talent”

Read, Write, Inspire – “Different to anything I’ve read before which was a refreshing change”

Bookshine and Readbows – “This is an entertaining, deceptively straightforward read that turns out to have hidden layers and address serious issues.”

Rosie Writes… – “I read most of this book in a day, happily turning the pages and exploring as their world opened up to me”

Babydolls and Razorblades – “I was hooked from the start”

Curled Up with a Good Book – “I LOVE Aereon… he’s a brilliant character and is described so well – I really felt like I was getting to know him.”


B is for Book Review

Jazzy Book Reviews

Just Books


Donna’s Book Blog

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Rae Reads


The Greenmmen – Cover Reveal

The day is here and I get to show you all the new cover art for my second novel, The Greenmen. Stuart MacBean has out done himself with this new cover, it looks absolutely fantastic.

The Greenmen is the second book in The Hero’s Arc series and follows on from where Divine Invention left off. No yetis or goblins this time around, but the ogres are back and there are minotaurs and talking trees and elves and witches and more. Packed full of twists on well used fantasy tropes a splash of humour and an underlying theme of deforestation. I’m really happy with what I have achieved with this story so far, and I can’t wait for you to read it.

The Greenmen - cover

If you’re new to The Hero’s Arc, now is the perfect time to jump on board. Starting from 28/03/19 Divine Invention will be going on a seven day blog tour. There will be extracts from the book, reviews from bloggers and interviews with me, so if you’re curious about the series, there has never been a better time to find out more. See the full list of dates and participating blogs below.

Speak to you soon,


Divine Invention Full Tour Banner


Exciting Book News

The Sequel to my debut novel, Divine Invention, has a release date!

The Greenmen follows on from where Aereon and the Creators left off at the end of book 1 in The Hero’s Arc. It’s got dwarves, elves, talking trees, and minotaurs, a budding revolution, angry kings, cunning queens and more, and I can’t wait for it to get to readers. How long do I have to wait?

27th of April is the release date and this time around I’m having a proper release party!

Rachel’s Random Resources will be hosting a blog tour for The Greenmen, starting from the book’s release date for a whole week! This has just been announced and bloggers are still signing up, so keep an eye on this space for more news as blog posts and reviews get confirmed.

the greenmen - tour banner

Stuart, The Hero’s Arc cover designer, has outdone himself this time and the cover for The Greenmen is looking fantastic! But you’re going to have to wait a little longer to get the reveal for that. It will be unveiled on the 20th of March and I’m buzzing for you all to see it.

If you are new to the series or haven’t even heard of it, then don’t fret. Rachel’s Random Resources are hosting a blog tour for Divine Invention too! Starting on the 28th of March and continuing into April. This has just been announced as well and bloggers are still signing up for it, but I will be talking a lot more about that as the time approaches. In the meantime, you can find out a little more about it from the here. Or, if you just can’t wait, get your copy on amazon to make sure you’re up to speed before the launch of The Greenmen.

divine invention - tour banner

So, lets see… I’ve covered book 1 and book 2 news… ah yes, book 3! What’s happening with that?

Book 3 (title not yet available) is coming along swimmingly. I’ve just finished writing chapter 9, which has seen me break the 40,000 word mark and the 150 page mark. My trusty excel document is keeping me focused and, since I’ve made it, I have put words on the page everyday. Not bad on the side of a full-time job.

Onwards and upwards, as they say.

2019 progess - 24.01.2019

New goals for a new year

2018 was good to me. It took me to Colorado to see my favourite hockey team and explore the Rockies with my Brother. I made it to Galapagos and saw some of my favourite animals and even swam with a shark (it was not a big one), before venturing south to Peru. I met a girl and together we travelled to Toronto and had lots of fun there. All capped off with a trip to the west coast of Scotland on the Isle of Mull to bring in the new year.

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I bought my first property.

I went to my first wedding (there ended up being three in total).

2018 hosted the release of my debut novel Divine Invention and saw me finish the manuscript for its sequel.

I was not good to 2018. I did not work hard enough. I pushed back deadlines again and again. I let my writing slide. Avoided editing. Took too long to get everything together for the printing of my second book. Didn’t do enough to help publicise my first book.

I could list off a host of excuses why I didn’t have time to work on my books but the bottom line is Writers Write! And I’m disappointed with myself that I didn’t do more in 2018. My aim for last year was to release two novels and complete the first draft of a third and I’d say, I’ve maybe managed about half of that. Maybe it was a little ambitious and maybe somethings happened in my life that I was not expected, but I could have done more.

On the upside, I am now a fully fledged published author, and in a few months I will be releasing my second novel and that all feels rather nice. 2018 has left me with new perspectives and some work to do. So in no specific order, here are my goals for 2019:

  • Find a publicist
  • Be more social media and blog proactive
  • Publish book 2
  • Write, edit and complete manuscript for book 3
  • Begin work on book 4

I’m looking forward to ticking them off as I go. Roll on 2019. You are going to be a productive one!

Book Giveaway!!

T’was a week before Christmas and there’s been a murder!Book_cover final

Solve the murder mystery below in time for Christmas and you could be in with a chance of winning a signed hardback copy of my debut novel, Divine Invention. Once you think you have the correct information about the murderer, simply leave your answer in the comments.

Come boxing day, I shall reveal who the first person to correctly identified the murderer and his items and dinner preferences. I’ll contact the winner and arrange the delivery of Divine Invention.

There are 15 clues to be found and you will need every one to find out who shot Santa.

Each Suspect wore a different coloured party hat, ordered a different drink, asked for a different alteration to their meal and had different coloured party popper.

Can you solve the case before Detective Galbraith?

Correct answers should include: the murderer, the colour of his hat, what he drank and what change he made to his meal.

Merry Christmas all, and good luck.


The Purple Party Popper


Detective Galbraith stands on the edge of the light cast by the police and ambulance services. He studies his fellow law enforcement officers billowing in and out of the old manor.

Through the ancient bay window, he can see a handful of badges trampling around the crime scene, around the body of Santa Claus, who is draped over a chair not far from a sparkling Christmas tree. His partner looks furious on the other side of the glass. Galbraith smiles, they had their different styles. Their different methods. Detective Verrell believes in clues, in detail, in the slightest misplacement of a pencil. Galbraith likes to believe in people.

He takes his hands from his pockets and walks to the ambulance. A young woman, or old girl he supposes, is sitting on the back seat with a blanket over her shoulders and a warm cup of something in her hands. Next to her a woman in a luminescent jacket is keeping her company.

‘Not now, Galbraith. She needs space. And no stress,’ the medic adds meaningfully.

Galbraith sinks to the balls of his feet and looks up at the girl. Her eyes look to him for just a moment. ‘It is important that I ask her a few questions. Now.’

‘She’s in shock. She was unconscious five minutes ago.’

‘Then she can spare another five before you take her away, and take the excellent care of her I know you will.’ Galbraith’s eyes do not move from the girl.

‘You’ve got two,’ says the paramedic. She pushes herself off the ambulance step and walks away into the headlights.

‘Tell me your name,’ says Galbraith, kindly.


‘Hello, Robin. My names Jonathan. Do you remember where you are?’

‘Rigby. The r-Rigby Hotel.’

‘You work here, yes?’

Robin nods as she takes a sip of tea.

Galbraith can see from her clothes poking out from underneath the blanket that she is a waitress. ‘Do you remember anything about this evening. Anything at all. Who the guest were?’

‘They’re all from town. Mel says they c-come here every Christmas for a m-meal once they’ve finished their last day at the grotto,’ says Robin.

‘Would you say they are friends?’

‘I think s-s-Santa and m-Mrs Claus are married.’ Galbraith says nothing. ‘W-were married.’ Robin’s eyes drift up to the window.

‘And the others?’ asks Galbraith, calling her back to now. To the moment.

‘S-Santa’s little helper is their son. The t-two who dressed as the front and back of Rudolf are brothers.’

‘So there were five in the party?’ Robin nods. ‘What do you remember about them? Other than what they were wearing. Did they have any strange behaviours?’

‘One of them asked for no brussel sprouts,’ says Robin.

‘And you found that strange?’

‘In my house we always make sure we make our way through a whole mound.’

‘Do you enjoy them?’ asks Galbraith.

‘Not particularly.’

‘Who asked for no brussel sprouts then? So far that’s my biggest lead,’ Galbraith smiles.

Robin closes her eyes for a moment. ‘I don’t remember,’ she says, eyes still shut. ‘They d-drank b-beer. That’s all I can remember.’ She opens her eyes and Galbraith can see the recollection, even one so minor, has drained her. But he needs to press on. The paramedic guardian will soon return.

‘Do you remember anything else about them. How were they seated? Who was next to who? Any other odd meal requests?’ He adds another smile, he needs her to stay with him.

‘Someone was in a y-yellow hat – they all had hats, different colours, from the crackers – the one in yellow didn’t want any gravy. The one in the Green hat sat on the left of the person in the purple hat.’ She closes her eyes again. ‘Rudolf’s front half had extra pork crackling.’

‘Did everyone ask for something different?’

‘Y-yes.’ Robin’s eyes are still tightly shut. ‘The person who asked for c-c-cranberry sauce was sitting next to the person who drank mulled wine. I’m sorry, I know that is so vague,’ Robin opens her eyes, ’but that’s what I can remember.’

‘You’re doing great. Anything else?’ says Galbraith, aware of the approaching crunch of boots on snow-capped gravel.

‘Santa’s little h-helper had a red paper hat from his cracker. S-s-Santa was drinking whisky. Mrs Claus was sitting at the end of the table nearest the kitchen and next to her was the person in the blue party hat.’

‘What was everyone else drinking?’

‘The one in the green hat drank sherry. Whoever was sitting the middle drank spiced apple.’

‘Alright. That’s enough!’

‘Ok. You’re the boss.’ Galbraith gives the waitress one last look and pushed up off his knees.

Behind him, Detective Verrell has left the building and is marching across the snow-covered driveway. ‘Find anything?’ asks Detective Galbraith, as he turns his back to the ambulance.

Verrell holds up a small plastic bag for his partner to see. Sitting along the seam at the bottom is a miniscule dart. No longer than a grain of rice. ‘We found this in the victim’s neck.’

‘Didn’t he have a beard?’ asks Galbraith.

‘It seems he had taken it off by the time this was shot at him.’

‘Shot at him?’

‘It’s just a working theory,’ says Verrell. ‘There’s loads of that confetti string that you get in party poppers. They all seem to have one. We just need to work out which was pointed at Santa.’

‘The purple one.’

Galbraith and Verrell turn slowly to Robin.

‘What did you say?’

‘The purple one,’ reiterated Robin.

‘The purple party popper was aimed at Santa when it went off?’ asks Galbraith. ‘Who was holding it?’

‘The purple one!’

‘Was there more than one?’

‘No,’ says Verrell. ‘They were all different colours, I’ve just seen them.’

‘Who was holding it, Robin? Who had the purple party popper?’ asks Galbraith.

‘Purple!’ Robin shouts, she’s shaking now.

‘I really have to ask you two to leave,’ says the medic. ‘She is in no state for these kinds of questions.’

Galbraith ignores her. ‘What do you remember about the other party poppers, Robin? Who had those?’

‘Rudolf’s back half had the blue party popper,’ she says. Her eyes glaze in a trance. ‘The person who asked for mashed potatoes instead of roasted had the yellow party popper. The guest who asked for no cranberry sauce sat next to the one who had the red party popper. The diner who had the green party popper sat next to the person who didn’t want gravy.’

Robin’s eyes shut and she swings forward out the back of the ambulance. The medic reacts to catch her and stares up at Detective Galbraith with the limp body in her hands. ‘I’ll report you for that!’

Post Book Launch Bliss

book signingIt’s been an exciting week. last Saturday my debut novel, Divine Invention, was released and I did a book signing in my local Waterstones. For anyone who is reading this from outside Scotland, two weeks ago we had probably the worst storm in a decade. Snow was piled, wind was reaped, faces were lashed. The worst of the weather had cleared by the Saturday, but I was still a little apprehensive about how many people would be willing to trek through the snow and make it to Waterstones. I needn’t have though, of course there were people who couldn’t make it sue to the snow, but I was thrilled with the amount of support that came to see me and buy books, and from strangers who just happened to be in the bookstore that day and took an interest in what I was writing and bought themselves a copy. So thank you to you all.

book shelf 2It was a great experience for me, after having had this book in my head for eight years to finally be able to hand it over to readers. And equally great to see my work on a shelf in a book shop, which has been a dream for long time.

I was also lucky enough to have three literary bloggers host articles for me, which you can find the links for below. One is an author interview, one is an article I wrote about why I write and the last is an extract from Divine Invention.

Author Interview with Chat About Books



Article on why I write hosted by Culture For Kicks



Extract hosted by BookLoverWorm



And finally, I also made it into two different newspapers last week, although granted they said very much the same thing.

paper 1

Divine Invention book launch

So, Divine Invention finally has a release date! One week today, on the third of March I will be doing a book launch in my local Waterstones (Dundee). From this date the book will be available on the Waterstones website and will be available to order from there. As well as Amazon, and will be available for next day delivery. Since I last posted I’ve been in the paper and on Radio Scotland to talk about my book, so I am feeling very fancy and professional about the upcoming launch.

Needless to say, I am also very excited. I first started working on The Hero’s Arc in 2010 so it seems amazing to me to be at this stage where there is a physical book for the first novel in the series, and for it to be on sale in Waterstones is just the icing on the cake. Divine Invention itself has been written for two years, but there have been multiple editions of edits to get the book to where it is now. The first draft was 107,000 words and then it went up to 115,000 at one point and now the finished article rests just shy of 100,000.

Since the first draft of Divine Invention was written, the sequel to it has been written and gone through it’s own round of editing so with any luck that will be released later this year. I’m currently working on the third in the series and really enjoying it. Although the story has been in my head for eight years, the characters and events have grown and deepened into something I could never have dreamed, but plan to put it to one side shortly and go back to the second and turn that into the best novel it can be.

But that is for later. Today and for the next few weeks I shall be celebrating the release of my first book. If you’re curious about the book, the blurb and cover are in the previous post and if it is something that interests you  and you happen to be in Dundee, come on down, if not check it out on amazon. Out March 3rd. Here’s a picture of me with the book to sustain you until then…