Author Archives: Dave-Brendon de Burgh

About Dave-Brendon de Burgh

I play guitar, write short stories, busy writing my first fantasy novel, I work in a book shop, I collect comics, and I'm a huge Star Wars fan. :-)

Gail Z Martin Guest Post: Days of the Dead Blog Tour 2015!

Hey folks, Dave here, and though I’m a bit late to the proceedings I’ve got Gail Z Martin’s guest post for her awesome Day of the Dead Blog Tour – the 2015 edition! :)

Gail Martin, Dreamspinner Communications

Gail Martin, Dreamspinner Communications

Gail Z. Martin is the author of the upcoming novel Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Dec. 2015, Solaris Books) as well as the epic fantasy novel Shadow and Flame (March, 2016 Orbit Books) which is the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. Shadowed Path, an anthology of Jonmarc Vahanian short stories set in the world of The Summoner, debuts from Solaris books in June, 2016.

Other books include The Jake Desmet Adventures a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin as well as Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) from Orbit Books and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities from Solaris Books.  

Gail writes four series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures, The King’s Convicts series, and together with Larry N. Martin, The Storm and Fury Adventures. Her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Realms of Imagination, Heroes, With Great Power, and (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) Space, Contact Light, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

The Days of the Dead Blog Tour happens every year (check out what’s already been happening at the main website), and during this time Gail shares excerpts from her books, has plenty of giveaways and always manages to come up with excellent guest posts, among all the other things happening. :)


This year, Gail wrote a guest post that plenty (if not ALL writers) will want to read; one of the biggest problems we face as writers is making sure that readers know about our work, where to get it, and a bit about ourselves, too. We may not be offering products like BluRay players, cell phones and smart cars, but we still need to market our works and ourselves. In short, if a writer struggles with marketing, that writer struggles more and longer than those who don’t.

So here’s Gail’s guest post, focusing on Marketing for Writers:


Selling Your Soul – By Gail Z. Martin

It’s a deal you can’t refuse. Everything you’ve ever wanted. The man making the offer is dressed in black with a tall top hat, and you had to meet him at a crossroads at midnight, but that’s okay. It’s going to make your dreams come true. You don’t even realize, until later, that the pen that signed the contract wrote in blood.

Welcome to book marketing. Otherwise known as, the things we do for love.

Once upon a time, writers just wrote. Publishers took care of everything else. The mechanism by which a book became a bestseller—or a good-enough-to-get-more-contracts seller—was a black box, somewhere between alchemy and Voodoo. The book went in, the wheels went around and around, a bestseller came out. Like sausage—don’t ask what’s in the mix. But for a long time, that system worked, so I’m told.

It’s a brave new world these days. Even the most committed big publishers can only spare a small amount of promotional mojo for new authors or rising mid-listers. Most of the energy and the big bucks go toward recouping the large advances paid to the superstar authors. That means less effort and energy spent developing new talent, creating breakthrough opportunities, and developing visibility. Small presses are doing a great job bringing new authors to market and serving niche markets, but they have very little marketing muscle to offer aside from social media.

The work still has to be done. Guess who does it? Yep—you, the author.

We could talk all day about book promotion (and I have), but let me highlight the five most important tools every writer needs to compete in today’s very cluttered publishing environment. These five are essential whether you publish with a big traditional publisher, a small press or whether you self-publish. They’re the backbone of your marketing efforts. When you want to get fancy, you can add all kinds of bells and whistles, but without these five elements, you won’t have a foundation on which to build. Ready?

No. 1—A good author website.  Buy your domain name, don’t settle for a freebie site that is just a meaningless jumble of letters. First choice would be or If those are taken, try Avoid picking a domain for a character’s name or a series if you intend to be in the game for a long time. (If you’ve already done that and have an investment in your site, see if you can get your name as a domain and redirect the URL.)  I’m not a fan of .net or the other extensions because no one thinks of them—they go straight to .com.

If you do your website in WordPress, you can make most of your updates yourself. I’d suggest paying someone who is better at web design and web graphics than you are to do the layout. After that, you can probably keep up with it yourself. This is your home base. It should be on all your bookmarks and on your email signature, on the back cover of your books and on your blog posts—literally everywhere.

No. 2—An email newsletter. But wait—haven’t you been hearing for years that email newsletters are dinosaurs? That was before Facebook got greedy and suppressed organic post reach to around 1%. Social media site algorithms determine how many of your fans actually get to see your posts, but you own your mailing list. Facebook’s recent moves have sent everyone scrambling back to building their newsletter lists. And as fans realize that they aren’t hearing from the authors they signed up to hear from on social media, well-done newsletters are gaining popularity.

A few key notes—don’t spam your readers. Send out at most once a month, maybe less, and make it worth their time or people will ignore you or unsubscribe. Offer trivia questions, contests, etc. to keep it fun. Build your list with Rafflecopter contests and by doing drawings at conventions and book signings when guests put their email info into a fishbowl and you pick the winner.

No. 3—Social media. Hey, didn’t I just say social media isn’t delivering the results it used to?  Yep. But it’s still the best way to reach a global audience for free, and it’s still a good channel to update your fans on what’s going on and coming up—it’s just not as great a channel as it used to be. At a minimum, you need to have a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account. Beyond that, I’d suggest Goodreads, Wattpad, Pinterest as core sites. Add YouTube if you’re into video, and consider Tumblr or Instagram if your audience skews young and female.

No. 4—Blog.  This could be part of your main website, or you could have a separate blog. If you can create a blog with a handful of other dedicated authors in a similar genre (so your audiences are likely to overlap), that can make it easier to keep up a steady pace of blog posts. The more regularly you blog, the more readers you’ll get. What to talk about? I recommend staying away from hot-button controversies (since 50% of your readers are likely to disagree but you still want them to like you), but otherwise, muse about life, talk about cooking, or vacation, or your cat/dog, upcoming book events, how the book is going, etc.

No. 5—Get out and meet people. Go to genre conventions and meet readers and other authors. Do book signings and get to know the local bookstore managers and staff. Go to book clubs and library events and Meetup gatherings. Be personable and polite, don’t try to hard sell, just get to know people and let them get to know you. Relationships matter!

Remember that you want to win readers for life, not just for one book, so while marketing takes effort, time and some cash, it’s a long-term investment–and it’s more important than ever in today’s publishing environment.



My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories and for books by author friends of mine. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here:

Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! Grab your envelope of book swag awesomeness from me & 10 authors before 11/1!

Trick or Treat! Excerpt from my new urban fantasy novel Vendetta set in my Deadly Curiosities world here Launches Dec. 29


More Treats! Enter to win a copy of Deadly Curiosities!

Treats! Enter to win a copy of Iron & Blood!

I&B final cover

No Tricks! Here’s an excerpt from my Jonmarc Vahanian Adventure Raiders Curse

Halloween goodies! 2 FREE complete haunted novellas! The Final Death, set in my Deadly Curiosities world & Grave Voices set in our Iron & Blood world

More Halloween loot! An excerpt from John Hartness’s Bubba The Monster Hunter series, Hall & Goats –


Massive thanks to Gail for the opportunity to host her here once again, and for the excellent guest post. :) Remember to check out the entire blog tour for all the goodies! :)

Until next time,


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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in Blog Tour, Guest Post


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Review: Stuck on You and Other Prime Cuts by Jasper Bark (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hey everyone, Dave here, and I’ve got a new review for you – that of a short story collection from an author I’m now a huge fan of!

This is collection featuring stories from a storyteller who should be spoken of in the same breath as Stephen King and Clive Barker. Very few storytellers, especially in the difficult and harrowing genre that is Horror, have managed to grab me from the get-go, and Jasper succeeded.



The first tale blew me away and made my gorge swirl in my mouth. It describes the fate of an utter asshole as he travels across the border to help his girlfriend. One thing leads to another and a while later he has been lightning-struck and … well, I’m not spoiling it, but fuck.

I was astounded by what this guy went through, even more so by the way Jasper describes it all – pulling no punches, thrusting the reader into the mind, terror and pain of this character to such a degree that trying to tear myself away was like, well, fiddling with a very fresh scab. By the end of the tale I was breathless, shaking my head over and over, and hoping to hell that I never find myself in the kind of situation the character found himself in.


Damned fine tale that, in my mind, asks the question: ‘If you could right a wrong, and in doing so caused a lot of pain to someone, but could get away with it, would you do it?’ By the end of this tale I was cheering on what had occurred – a mean feat, considering just what it is that happens, but Jasper has a way, man…


The Catholic in me *loved* this tale, and if any stock-broker, insurance-broker, tax-guru type reads this then I’m pretty sure they will, too – long live Suchs! ;)


A tale that plays with your expectations right until the end while it explores the notions of betrayal, love and obsession in a twisted, horrifying manner. Also one of the ‘hotter’ tales in the collection. ;)


This tale surprised me – in the beginning I thought I knew who the victim was and how that victim had been wronged, but as the tale progressed I was pleased to have been proved wrong. This tale also explores something entirely new when it comes to blood-rituals, so the crazier among you will definitely enjoy it. ;)


Remember that scene in Hannibal (the novel and the movie adaptation) where Hannibal feeds a character his own brain? I never thought I would read something that would trump the horror of that scene. Not until I read this tale.


This tale was chilling and hard-hitting (not that the others aren’t), and follows how a man trapped in a house after a terrible event begins to understand just where he is and what he is doing. You might struggle to sleep after this tale, folks.


A tightly-plotted and awesomely explored take on a couple of tropes, those being The-Guy-Who-Can’t-Remember-a-Thing and The Maze – didn’t see the resolution coming, and neither will you.


Probably the very first Horror-Western I’ve read, this tale takes a whole bunch of ideas and mashes them together – coherently and masterfully written, it builds mysteries and characters until the very end. Damned good tale!


Taken together, these tales are shocking, brutal, utterly creepy and, in at least a part of every tale, beautiful. Jasper explores many different themes and ideas, pushing imagery into the mind and causing physical reactions while reveling in the settings his characters explore. There’s a seamless blending of physical settings and mind-scapes in these tales, and even though I sometimes didn’t want to be dipped into the various character’s minds I just couldn’t put this collection down.

If you’re looking for something that pushes many, many boundaries, this is it.

10 / 10


This collection was published by Crystal Lake Publishing and is available from Amazon for both your Kindle and as a paperback. The collection also features excellent illustrations by Rob Moran (who also did the cover), so those looking for a ‘book with pictures’ can’t complain. ;)

Remember to check out Jasper’s site and keep on eye on Crystal Lake Publishing for future tales from Jasper.


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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Reviews


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‘Kros: Hallowed Ground’ by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Vampire Hunter Kros fights a battle at night as fearful and horrific as the battles fought during the day at the Battle of Gettysburg.


Kros: Hallowed Ground began over 10 years ago as a tale of horror set during the Battle of Gettysburg. A dream project for us both, it waited silently, like a vampire in the shadows… The story was written, some pages were drawn–atmospheric, dark murky landscapes, the dimly lit surgeon’s tent, a figure swirling from the smoke of battle…

It’s time to hear the wolf’s howl; to watch the undead descend like buzzards to the feast.  It’s time to unleash the vampires…

 All wars are horror stories.

Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. The blood soaked battlefields of the Civil War draw Vampires who descend to feed on the wounded and dying as Blood calls to Blood. One man, a Vampire Hunter named Kros, stands against them, waging a battle at night as fearful and horrific as the battles fought during the day.

KROS: HALLOWED GROUND is a 128 page horror graphic novel by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake. Kros is a dream project and Kros’ story is one we have been wanting to tell for a long time.

With just under 24 hours to go, this kickass Kickstarter project has been FULLY FUNDED! Absolutely epic news for John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake! :) The first stretch-goal has been achieved and the second, which will see 20 additional pages of content added to the graphic novel, is very close to being passed.




Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, KROS: HALLOWED GROUND is a tale of horror that follows the story of Vampire hunter, Major Kros, who fights two wars. During the day, Kros fights the battle history remembers. At night, he fights a secret battle against supernatural forces.

Kros himself is an enigmatic character. He’s a dampyr – a vampire hunter – and has some of the vampire’s abilities. Long lived, Kros cares nothing for the politics of ordinary mortals. The Civil War means nothing to him. Kros is on the trail of the undead. There are considerable dangers to Kros as well–and death is not the worst of them. Blood calls to Blood and there is always the danger that could be turned and become that which he hates.

Around Kros are ordinary people, civilians and soldiers from both the North and South in the midst of a cauldron called Gettysburg. They have faced the conflict and horror of the battlefield and now must face an even greater horror. Vampires have followed the armies and come at night to feast on the fallen. A second battle is fought at Gettysburg of which the history books know nothing. That’s the tale we want to tell. We’ve waited a long time to tell it. With your help, it will happen.

The KROS: HALLOWED GROUND 128 page graphic novel will include character and production artwork by Tom Mandrake, cover/poster art, as well as a short KROS story by John Ostrander.


Definitely a graphic novel I’m looking forward to devouring, and I’m really stoked for Tom and John that this dream of theirs is in the process of becoming a reality. :) If you’d like to help make sure that the next stretch-goal is reached and passed -and who wouldn’t? There is some really cool swag to be had in exchange for your help- check out the project’s page over at Kickstarter.

Massive congrats to John and Tom once again – very well deserved, guys! :)

Until next time,



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New Release: Eden Underground by Alessandro Manzetti (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hey folks, something brand new and different for you!

Released today, and costing you only .99c – a collection of dark, visceral poetry by Alessandro Manzetti:

Eden Underground full cover

“Eden Underground delivers an intense and visually stunning collection of horror scenarios. Rich in eldritch dreams and manic visions
these poems get under your skin. Manzetti is a maestro of the dark fantastic.”
– Bruce Boston, author of Resonance Dark and Light

“…a personal take of the world that surrounds all of us, those hidden parts that create monsters and that serve as a dwelling place for demons that invade our lives, thoughts and actions.” – Tanja Jurkovic,

“From the first stanza of the first poem in this amazing collection, I was drawn into the incredibly dark scenes of a disturbing and nightmarish “Eden”.”Marge Simon, multiple Bram Stoker Award® winner

The works by Alessandro Manzetti are exciting and clever. Anything he writes is a must-read.” 
– Jeani Rector, Editor, The Horror Zine

“… Manzetti’s intelligent view has the ability to create out of such horrors, powerful and admirable images that can surprise.”  – Helen McCabe, author of Piper

“I couldn’t put it down. So intense is the writing that I had to keep reading. If you have never read a book of poetry before or if you never thought you could be a fan of poetry let this book be the one to introduce you to the words of verse.”Horror Novel Reviews

Check out Alessandro’s website here, order your copies here, and don’t forget to check out Crystal Lake Publishing for more fantastic, creepy reads! :)


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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


A Land Fit For Heroes: Games Based on Richard Morgan’s Fantasy Trilogy

Heya Folks, Dave here with some news that is bound to make plenty of people very happy!

Liber Primus Games and Gollancz Announce A Land Fit For Heroes Fantasy Adventure Game-book App

Choose Your Own Adventure game-book series based on bestselling book trilogy by Richard Morgan coming to iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Steam Formats later this year

Indie Developer Liber Primus Games, developer of the Narborion Saga, in collaboration with Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, announced today that a new handheld fantasy adventure app, based on the bestselling Richard Morgan trilogy of books A Land Fit For Heroes is coming to the App Store for iPhone, iPad, iTouch as well as Amazon Kindle Fire and Android on Google Play. A PC version of the game-book will be available on Windows PC for Steam.

The game-book, A Land Fit For Heroes, will be produced in collaboration with Richard Morgan and the story will run parallel to that of the first volume in his book trilogy, The Steel Remains. Morgan’s dark and violent fantasy trilogy series of books, published by Gollancz, also features titles, The Cold Commands and The Dark Defiles, which will set a much darker tone than that of typical game-books traditionally aimed at a younger audience.

Morgan’s previous stints in video games include writing duties on Crysis 2 for Crytek and the 2012 Sci-fi update of Syndicate for Electronic Arts.

Richard Morgan said: “I’m extremely excited about this collaboration on A Land Fit For Heroes as a game-book. It’s a fresh format of storytelling for the trilogy and one I’m really looking forward to developing with Liber Primus Games over the coming months”.

Traditional paperback game-books or CYOA (Choose Your Own Adventure) books, as they were also called, were popular during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and have seen a digital revival of late. A Land Fit For Heroes aims to engage a more mature audience based on the dark adult themes and characters in the books.

To discover more about A Land Fit For Heroes game-book project and Richard Morgan’s books, fans can register at the game’s holding page found here:

The Steel Remains

The Cold Commands

The Dark Defiles

About A Land Fit For Heroes

Based on Richard Morgan’s trilogy of dark fantasy novels, A Land Fit For Heroes is the new interactive game-book experience telling the story of three unlikely heroes with three interlocking storylines. Kirellin of House Caith is a skilled war veteran, Calnar is a young Majak warrior and Ilaria is an accomplished thief. Each of their paths will cross in this adventure where they are tested to the extreme – but wherein the reader decides upon their fates.

Children go missing in the marshes. Ancient spirits awaken. Powerful machine-demons manipulate the fate of mankind. But all of this is just a game for even darker forces. In the first of its kind, bestselling author Richard Morgan brings his trilogy of novels to life as a three-player game-book set in the world of A Land Fit For Heroes.

About Liber Primus Games

Established in 2014 Liber Primus Games is a small Indie developer based in Budapest, Hungary. The studio’s ultimate goal is to bring immersive story driven games to the digital marketplace. Their previous game-book titles include The Narborion Saga I & II.

About Gollancz

Gollancz is the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK. Founded in 1927 and with a continuous SF publishing programme dating back to 1961, the imprint of the Orion Publishing Group is home to a galaxy of award-winning and bestselling authors. Through its long-running SF and Fantasy Masterworks programme, and major digital initiative the SF Gateway, Gollancz have one of the largest ranges of SF and Fantasy of any publisher in the world.

About Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a writer of novels, comics, and video games and has won the Arthur C. Clarke, The Philip K. Dick and The John W. Campbell Awards. The movie rights to the first Takeshi Kovacs novel was optioned by Joel Silver and Warner Bros on publication, and a film version is currently in development with Mythology Entertainment. Richard Morgan is a fluent Spanish speaker. He is married and lives in Glasgow.

Publicity Contact: Aidan Minter

Plan of Attack on behalf of Saga Scribe Games:

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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


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New Release: Through a Mirror, Darkly by Kevin Lucia (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hey everyone, Dave here!

Released today, Through a Mirror, Darkly is Kevin Lucia‘s second short story collection, following Things Slip Through.

Mirror final cover



Arcane Delights. Clifton Heights’ premier rare and used bookstore. In it, new owner Kevin Ellison has inherited far more than a family legacy, for inside are tales that will amaze, astound, thrill…and terrify.

An ancient evil thirsty for lost souls. A very different kind of taxi service with destinations not on any known map. Three coins that grant the bearer’s fondest wishes, and a father whose crippling grief gives birth to something dark and hungry.

Every town harbors secrets; Kevin Ellison is about to discover those that lurk in the shadows of Clifton Heights.

Through a Mirror, Darkly is a Supernatural Thriller collection masked as a novel. With elements of mystery, suspense, and otherworldly horror,Through a Mirror, Darkly successfully delves into the worlds of Lovecraft, Grant, and the mysterious Carcosa.

Through a Mirror, Darkly serves as Kevin Lucia’s early-warning system to the horror field – Brace yourselves, folks.” – Gary A. Braunbeck, Bram Stoker Award-winner of To Each Their Darkness, Destinations Unknown, and the forthcoming A Cracked and Broken Path

“Kevin Lucia writes my favorite kind of horror, the kind not enough folks are writing anymore.” – Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy and Kin.

Order your copies on Amazon and then head over to Crystal Lake Publishing’s website to see what else is waiting for you. :) You can also add the book to your shelf on Goodreads, follow the Board on Pinterest, and don’t forget to check out more awesome work from the cover artist, Ben Baldwin.

Until next time,



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Spotlight and New Release: Tormentor by William Meikle (DarkFuse Publishing)

Hey everyone, Dave here,

I’ve got a brand new book for you to snap up!


This story isn’t really about me.

On the Isle of Skye, near the community of Dunvegan, sits a rustic old one-bedroom home, waiting for a new tenant. It seems like the perfect opportunity for Jim Greenwood to escape the hectic London city life—a place to move on from tragedy.

This is the story of a house.

As he tries to settle into country life, his is tormented by mysterious soot marks left throughout the house while he sleeps, cryptic e-mails from unknown senders, and hundreds of hand-drawn stick-figure drawings etched in a perfect pattern on the cottage’s cellar walls.

Stay. Beth needs you.

Jim begins losing control, drinking excessively, shaking to an uncontrollable beat in his head, trying to decipher what may or may not be a code—or a warning.

No limbs, no limbs, no head, no head, left arm gone, left leg gone, no legs, no head.

The door is open, and something is coming through. It’s just a matter of when—and what.



The book was released yesterday and looks like it could be an incredibly chilling read, so if you’re looking for a good Horror tale to keep you up at night, your search might just be over!

You can purchase the book for your Kindle at the following links: Amazon US, Amazon UK.

And do check out William’s website – the man has a great backlist to dive into!

Until next time,


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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Announcements, Spotlight


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