Tag Archives: dystopia

Number 11 of 23 Best Science Fiction Books by Female Authors


http://bookShow.me/B00GAN6HMG and it is only 99c at the moment. Steal of a Deal.


What a nice thing to wake up to this morning. Shadow Over Avalon is right up there with the biggest and the best.  Follow the link and see what they said.  Now to go do extended happy dance. Want to know what it is about? Here is a short trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtqH1teA_yE

And here is the link for those 23 books.

The 23 Best Science Fiction Books by Female Authors

New review for Shadow Over Avalon

Wow! Doing Happy Dance!!! This is the latest review of Shadow Over Avalon, the first book in an epic sci fantasy series. This is currently on sale for 99c. Don’t miss out. http://bookShow.me/B00GAN6HMG

5.0 out of 5 starsA Spellbinding Story
January 30, 2016
Format: Paperback
‘Shadow Over Avalon’ is a science fiction novel which has the feel of being a heroic fantasy novel. This blend works very well. It is the first volume in a series of novels, and it sets a hugely impressive standard for the others to live up to.

Many of the characters in the novel are named after figures from Arthurian legend, and it is hinted that Arthur – and presumably others – are in fact those same people, reborn in the latest of a long line of new lives. There are Ector, Uther, Kai, Morgan at the least mentioned in this first volume. Cleverly, a semblance of their relationships is retained and they are true to their characters, but this is not a tired ‘drag and drop’ operation; the lives they lead in this future world are wholly new and fresh.

The world is a large and breathtaking one, with a technologically advanced city home to a partially amphibious species of evolved humanity beneath the seas, whilst the still mammalian terran humans on the surface endure a harsh existence in feudal conditions. Both are prey to the powerful and inhuman Nestines. The exact nature of the world and its politics, together with its history, is revealed piece by fascinating piece as the book progresses.

Arthur features largely in the novel, but he is not actually the main character, at least not for much of this first book in the series. That honour belongs to a strange woman called Shadow, who becomes the link between the terran and submarine humans. Her story is a dark and tragic one, but also full of courage. There are some really exceptional characters in the novel and some very bleak and threatening situations. It really gets under your skin. I don’t want to give plot spoilers, but some of the twists and turns are quite insidious.

The writing is evocative and assured. For example, the description of the priests is very brief, but succeeds in bringing a sense of revulsion. The story and its environments are very easy to visualise whilst still being fantastic in scope.

The best new fantasy series I have picked up in years.

Snow day May 29 2010 101

Shadow Over Avalon, on sale for 99c. That is $5 off regular price for the ebook.

Shadow Over AvalonShadow Over Avalon small
Beyond the mists of time, a dying warrior binds his soul to his sword with an oath to protect his people. His shade rides with the Wild Hunt while he waits for the call of greatest need, but when it comes, he doesn’t know it is a lie.

In the undersea city of Avalon, Arthur nears the end of his acolyte training. But he doesn’t want to spend his life serving the Archive, he wants to fight side by side with the air-breathing people to defeat the predators who are determined to ensure their own survival no matter the cost.

Ashira, War Maid princess of the surface-world, is ready to sacrifice her life to defend her kin, but when she is betrayed she must choose whether to die with honor or become one of the creatures her kinsmen fear and loathe.

Fortune twists in the strongest hands. This is no repeat; this is what happens next.

Following two threads of time, CN Lesley’s fresh take on the Arthurian tales of old delivers the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy.


Backcover of SOAA small snippet of Shadow Over Avalon not available in the free extract on Amazon.

A vast cavern dripped with water that fell from fingers of calcified rock to land on matching ground structures. Plunk … plunk … endless tears. An old, young man dressed in a black robe sat across a fire from Arthur, watching, listening. Frost-white hair framed an unlined face, matte-black eyes windowed a soul as old as eternity.

“How much time passes between one pearl of moisture falling and another?” the man asked.

“Six heartbeats.” Where is this place?

“In time, the point of origin will meet the point of impact, and still drips will fall. Will the heart stop?”

“All hearts stop.” Arthur brushed an insect from his hand, noticing blond hair on the back of a swordsman’s callused hands, not young hands.

“Does life stop at the cease of a single beat?”

“Ask that question of the Great Mother.” Arthur frowned; impatient at stupid riddles, wondering why he had said such a nonsensical thing, not knowing of any called the Great Mother.

“Who are you now, Arthur? Much time has passed. How many heartbeats? Are you ready?”

“I’m dreaming. Why are these dreams disturbing my life? I need to serve my people.”

“That’s good, Arthur. The first lesson I taught you, that a leader is a servant to his people. When every lesson is remembered you will be ready.”

“Who are you? I’ve seen you before in my dreams.” His skin prickled with the power emanating from this individual.

“That will come to you at the appointed time. Sleep, child. We can visit again when you’re rested.”Snow day May 29 2010 097

Link to Five star review from Readers Favorite https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/shadow-over-avalon
Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtqH1teA_yE

READ MORE: Links to local Amazon

Author Interview with Frances Kay

Hi Frances, and Welcome.
fb puppet fan author crop

What are your books about and what inspired you to write it/them?
Dollywagglers was written as a stand-alone picture of a society in meltdown. It’s as real as I can make it, so although it is a fictional dystopia, I hope the themes will resonate with readers, especially those who are familiar with England, where the story takes place. I’m working on a sequel, because I realised that there was still so much story to tell. My earlier book, Micka was published in 2010 and is a realistic, hard-hitting story about life seen through the eyes of two unhappy ten year old boys.

How long did the first book take to write and how many times did you go through it before it was finally done?
It took more than ten years. I revised it during that time, maybe six or seven times. The sequel took eight months!

Where do your settings come from? Are they taken from real places, made up entirely, or a conglomerate of the two?
Oh, real! :London and East Anglia are locations I’ve lived in. I was born in London. The Suffolk settings are based on my experience of living there for thirteen years. Micka was based on my experiences working with the poorest families and children in Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Who is your favorite character and why?
This is the hardest question I’ve ever been asked! As a playwright, I create characters who each have their own motivations and personalities, but the task is always to empathise with each one, to present their viewpoint to the audience as persuasively as possible, no matter how villainous or dishonest. I’m quite proud of my evil, depraved villain in Dollywagglers, as he is at the other extreme of behaviour from me. I had to get inside his horrible head, and not be afraid of what I saw there. For potential readers, this monster is called Rodney. In Micka, I chose to write in the voices of two ten year old boys, again, these are totally different voices from mine. The challenge was to tell the story only through the two of them, in such a way that adults would be gripped.

Did you change direction at any point or was it all plain sailing?
With Dollywagglers, I always knew I wanted to write a swingeing critique of our society. Dystopias are a splendid way of using metaphor. I did not realise quite how much my main character, Billie, needed to change before the end of the book. For Micka, it was about giving a voice to children that society never acknowledges. Their voices are never heard. When they speak, you may not like what they are saying.

Are you an outliner or a pantzer when it comes to start a book? If the latter, do the ideas come to you in one big lump, or are they piecemeal?
I wrote these books as I write all my novels – I write the scenes, the moments, that I feel most passionate about, and when I have enough of the patchwork I stitch it all together until you can’t see the joins. I do this because it’s more fun – my approach to playwriting is disciplined and way more structured. I guess I know the rules of drama. I make sure I have plenty of realistic drama in my fiction too. I never worry about the opening of the novel until it comes, usually by itself.

Finally, where can the book be purchased and what are your plans for the next ones?
You can order it from your local bookshop! That would be my preference. Or ask your library to get a copy. I buy lots of books on Amazon and you can find mine on the UK and US sites, along with a short story published as an ebook this year, which is called Strange Creation.

The link for Dollywagglers at all local Amazons. http://bookShow.me/B00JYGG58W

Here are the blurs for Fan’s books.
Dr Dorothy Broadhurst, a biologist, is living in 1950s Central Africa to study the local ape population. When civil war erupts and the rest of her team flees, she’s left alone in the jungle. Dorothy may think she understands the apes she has studied for so long, but she could never have predicted what they do next . . .

DOLLYWAGGLERS [pub 2014]dollywagglers cover

After the plague, most of us are dead, and some of the survivors aren’t behaving very well. But we can still have a laugh, can’t we? Letting go is for softies. I’m alone – delightfully and comfortably alone. I don’t do crying…
That’s the wonky philosophy of Billie, a dollywaggler on a far from sentimental journey. The Eppie – a worldwide flu pandemic – has left London with nothing but a few beastly survivors with appallingly unwholesome habits. Watch out for Rodney; he is particularly nasty. Oh, and don’t try to escape the madness by fleeing to the country – things may be even worse out there. Besides, a greater intelligence is planning to identify and control the living remnants nationwide, as order begins to be restored. It’s time to find out who the real dollywagglers are.

MICKA [pub 2011]mickab+flaps-1
Micka loves drawing and wants a pup, but with older brothers into violence and petty crime, and a mother who can’t read the notes his teacher sends home from school, neither he nor the pup stand much of a chance.
Then a new boy, Laurie, starts at Micka’s school. The two boys both have vivid imaginations, but Laurie’s fantasies are of magic and revenge, and he soon pulls Micka into a dangerous game where the line between make-believe and real life — and, ultimately, death — is increasingly blurred.
Written in direct, uncompromising yet compassionate prose, and with a breathtaking clarity of insight, Micka is an astonishingly assured debut — and an unforgettable story.

My five star review of Dollywagglers on the Amazons.
This is a thrilling dystopean story with a twist. Billy, the main character, is large and shambling, a disguise to hide her sex, a necessity to avoid attack. There is no longer any protection of law for anyone and so she does the best she can with the chaos that is now her life.

All is not dark as there are flashes of brilliant wit throughout this. Billy tries to live her life according to her own standards of behavior, irrespective of the choices others have made. She works towards a goal, despite setbacks. This is a deep look at what happens when society fails through misfortune and how it affects people. Billy, despite her outward appearance, is a character one can cheer on in the course of the story. Loved this. Wonderful read.

The link for Dollywagglers at all local Amazons. http://bookShow.me/B00JYGG58W

A seven minute interview with Jennifer Loiske

Today I have the privilege of featuring in a Jennifer Loiske interview. Go check it out and find out about my books and about me. Perhaps there are things you didn’t know.

Wonderful New Review of Sword of Shadows!

5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect combination of fantasy and sci-fi!, February 1, 2015
By Jennifer Loiske (Naantali, Finland) – See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Sword of Shadows (Kindle Edition)
I’m a huge fan of Arthurian stories, so getting this exciting sequel in my hands was like a winning a lottery. The author has unique way of mixing the old legend with something completely new, something that both the old school lovers and the new generation of Arthurian fans will enjoy. The plot has been skillfully built layer by layer so when the story goes on, it challenges the reader to go deeper, see clearer and find all the fine details placed behind the layers.

Yes, this is a book full of plots. Of course there’s the great main plot, but the author has also generously created a lot of side plots, which eventually entwines together, forming a perfect combination of fantasy and sci-fi tale. A tale with new, refreshing take on it, without losing its intriguing touch of an old magic.

The old master of fantasy should definitely watch their back. There’s a new queen in town!

Snow day May 29 2010 097

I can haz pretties!

2015-01-30 13.49.47

Finally got my books. I have no idea what happened to the first box, sent before xmas, but these got here safe. If anyone would like to buy a signed copy off me, I have the first two books of the Shadow Series, Shadow Over Avalon and Sword of Shadows and the first book of the Wyvern series, Darkspire Reaches. I am shipping the first few off tomorrow.

If anyone would like all three books, I will include a postcard of Darkspire Reaches and Shadow Over Avalon.

Stuck for a Christmas Gift? Look at these awesome titles from Kristell Ink

KI Kickstarter


Hot off the press is SS front and back with text

and  White Mountain cover

And from Tenebris BooksTenebris Books


All books are available in print and as ebooks. They can be found at Amazon, Barns and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Waterstones and many other venues.

5 star review for Shadow Over Avalon

by C.N. Lesley

Shadow Over Avalon

A review taken at random from the Amazon.co.uk website. Wow! Does happy dance. #kingarthur #dystopia #achievednumber1bestsellerpaidonAmazon #99c #C.N.Lesley

5.0 out of 5 stars Shadow over Avalon! 14 April 2014
By brenda
Format:Kindle Edition
Shadow Over Avalon is an unusual book that caught my attention, grabbed hold and didn’t let go until the very last page. I loved the ongoing adventure that was both thrilling, entertaining and wildly suspenseful.

This is a well developed story with great characters and extremely good writing. So much creativity and imagination. Pretty mind blowing if you ask me. This futuristic tale took me by surprise and brought me to a completely different time and place. How I loved the surprises. This story moved at a quick pace as there was never a dull moment. Surprising since I am not much of a fantasy or science fiction fan. The writing was enough to keep me glued to the pages. Loving every minute. This is a smart story that will take you places you never imagined existed. I would highly recommend this great tale if you are looking for a great escape with a great unpredictable plot. I love how the different story lines come together. Very clever. I would read more from this author. Without a doubt. So enjoyable.

Excerpt ~
“Two days of rest refreshed Shadow. The morning of solstice started a warm, cloudless day. She walked along the shore after breakfast, followed by two brothers. They didn’t appear to trust her not to leave them, looking on the edge with her so near water. She returned to the camp with reluctance and one backward glance at the sun glinting off the waves.”

The writing is soothing and poetic. Sophisticated and yet easy to get lost into. I would highly recommend this sophisticated story that has the wow factor!





Real people for characters?

Someone asked me this the other day. Well the answer is both yes and no. Yes, I did base a Flash Fiction story on a very irritating real person and no, I would not put a real person into a book. It wouldn’t work as the personality would be already established, with all the little quirks, wants, wishes and needs. It would be like taking a bucket of water out of a rushing mountain stream and letting it sit there, trapped and stagnating. There is a lot of difference between a story of five hundred words and one of 100k+.

While my book characters are entirely fictitious, they then to spring to life fully formed, with strong personalities of their own in the world they inhabit. I couldn’t inflict artificial restraints on these free spirits in the form of an artificial personae of a real person grafted onto them. The first thing that comes to my mind is the resulting amalgams would be boring and predictable. Eeeew.

However, if a film ever got made of my Shadow books then I know which actor I would like to play Arthur. Don’t know his name, but he is perfect. Arthur