Tag Archive: on dark shores


Hey all:

I am pleased to say that Jenn of “Frequent Reader, Infrequent Blogger” has asked me to do an author interview and giveaway on her site

Amongst other things, we discuss the Mother of the Shantar and her daughter Eliset, and I explain a little about the aftermath of the war between the Shantari and the Mardonese and why you hear so little about it for most of the first book, though it will feature heavily in the second.

If you’re interested (or if you want to enter for the chance of a free copy of  “On Dark Shores: The Lady” ) you can read more at

Frequent Reader, Infrequent Blogger

 NB: as an added bonus, if you’re quick you might have a last chance to enter her previous giveaway for a SIGNED copy of “The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. You’ll have to be quick though – that giveaway finishes in the next day or so (the competition for “On Dark Shores” is open till 24th, so you have  a bit more time for that.

Hope you all enjoy the read:

JAC

And here it is:

http://historicalfictionobsession.blogspot.com/2011/06/on-dark-shores-lady-by-ja-clement.html

Kimberly has a blog at http://historicalfictionobsession.blogspot.com/ on which are many other interesting reviews, so do go and have a look, and if you get there before 21st, enter for her giveaway of The Ghosts of Melrose by Buzz Malone.

Pretty pleased with the review though! Have you read ODS? Did you think the same, or did you pick up on other parts of the story? Leave a comment, and let’s have the discussion…

Hope you’re all having a good week, anyhow – no guest post this week but should be one next week, though not sure who will finish their first, so still tbc!

Catch you later, people;

JAC

Hi all:

First things first: I’m delighted to tell you that this week’s guest blogger is none other than Lexi Revellian, silversmith of no small artistry, and author of ‘Remix‘ and ‘Replica‘ which are two of my best indie finds to date.  Come back over the weekend to read what she has to say about writing and ‘Replica’….cool, huh? Watch this space!

Second – if you haven’t read ‘On Dark Shores: The Lady’ and would like to, it’s being featured as part of a giveaway at Misty Baker’s blog ‘Unwritten’ so if you go and comment there, you can claim a copy of this or a  variety of other books free, gratis, and generally for the having! Don’t say I never give you anything….

Lastly: I’ve had another very pleasing review, this time from Craig at CS Fantasy Reviews so do go and have a look (and if you agree or disagree, why not leave him a comment and have the discussion?)

Here’s an excerpt from it (the most flattering bit, obv!):

“Clement’s greatest strength as a writer is her characterization. It is amazing how well she can breathe life into a character, revealing their every nuance in a minimal amount of words. The frequent point of view changes were cleverly used as well to create an even pacing throughout. The world building in this novel was also done well and believable through an almost minimalist approach.”

and he scored it 8/10, which I’m pretty pleased about; so that’s started my Thursday rather nicely. Best be getting on with my editing then…. Hope you lot are all having a good week – and do drop by again over the weekend to see Lexi’s post!

Catch you later;

JAC

Hello all!

Briefly, I’ve just had another review for “on Dark Shores 1: The Lady”, from TC at Booked Up Blog – do go and have a look, and see if you think it’s fair comment. I hope you do, as it’s very pleasing! Possibly the thing I am proudest of is that she has never particularly considered herself a fan of the fantasy genre but says that reading “On Dark Shores” has made her reconsider what genres she will say she enjoys in the future – how’s that for a compliment?!

Anyway, I’m really pleased that she liked it (I was quite nervous that it might be asking for trouble to ask someone to read outside their usual genre, and would have felt quite bad about wasting her time if she’d hated it) so if any of you lot would be prepared to go have a look and, if you don’t mind, to share that or like it or whatever, I’d really appreciate it. TC’s blog is full of sterling reviews and she is to blame for a couple of my own one-click moments already (and more to come I have no doubt) so does deserve to be shared at large….

Anyway.

Smug moment aside, this is just a spaceholder prior to the main blog of the week, which hopefully will be a guest-blog from the delightful Barbara Silkstone…do come back and check later in the week!

Thanks for dropping by!

JAC.

Hey all:

This week I have been invited by Theresa Cole to do a guest blog on Fade into Fantasy.net

Please check it out there, and do leave a comment if you have anything to add!
Thanks, peeps!
JAC

Hiya all – I’m back from hols and there’s a HUGE amount to catch up on! Emails, forums, Tweets, blogs, never mind edits on Book 2 which I should start on just after Easter….it’s going to be a busy month even without all the usual day-job, home-life maintenance stuff (and this month there’s going to be a whole load of that too!)

Anyhow, this is mostly a spaceholder and to let you know two things:firstly, I’ll be guest-blogging in May and will give you more details as I have them.
Secondly, I may try to initiate a series of interviews or guest blogs with other authors, so if you have any questions you’d like added to the list do leave them in a comment for me.

Also, as you might have guessed from the title, I’m very chuffed to have received another good review, again with 5* rating, which has been copied across to both US & UK Amazons and to Smashwords.

Check it out at:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/On-Dark-Shores-The-Lady/dp/B004S7JCYG/

http://www.amazon.com/On-Dark-Shores-The-Lady/dp/B004S7JCYG/

(Whoa! It didn’t used to do that, I’m sure, but am loving the link though it’s a bit in-your-face markety….) Anyway.

Hope you all have / had a lovely Easter, and watch this space for more bloggage next week.

Right! As Zebedee so wisely commented, it is indeed time for bed.
Night all….
JAC

Look what I found this morning!

https://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/compliment-quotient-dark-shores-coming-attractions_b26319#

I wonder if they tweeted it? They have 60k followers on Twitter!

Mind, last week they recommended a book called “Jesus Potter and Goblin Tales”  – am in august company methinks…

This is only a placeholder for the toc.ncx guide blog which is mostly written but I just need to check through the links and make sure they’re correct, so do watch this space!

Have a good Friday, all!

JAC.

Hey all –

‘On Dark Shores: The Lady’ just got a 5* review on Amazon.co.uk

Review reads:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Oh, you’re just teasing us,
18 Mar 2011
By Gingerlily (Ireland) – See all my reviews
This review is from: On Dark Shores: The Lady (Kindle Edition)

This book feels like its not nearly long enough, and I can’t wait for the next part to come out. It’s great fantasy, quite dark and gripping.
Most of the action takes place in one small town, it’s a very intense and claustrophobic setting, but near the end it starts to open up and you get a feeling of all sorts of wider story happening around the little knot of characters that you have got so involved with.
Don’t read this if you want light and frothy stuff – there is some violence in it that would be distressing if it were described in any detail – it isn’t or I wouldn’t have been able to read it!
There are all sorts of suggestions left here for the next book, and very few threads are tied up, there is a sample chapter for the next book at the end, but I didn’t read it as I wanted to wait for the full book to come out. When it does I will be pouncing on it with great anticipation.

=========
How cool is that?! I’m really pleased….

On Dark Shores: The Lady is available for Kindle on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com as well as on Smashwords for other ereaders or reading on the PC – the sample is free to download…

Main blog will come later in the week, when with a bit of luck I’ll detail how to convert a word file into a fully-functioning ebook WITH toc.ncx file…

Watch this space…!

JAC

Laydeeez and gentlemen, I give you:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46488

Yup – we are live on Smashwords! And if you get there before the end of Saturday it’s still part of Read An Ebook Week which means that if you input the voucher code you find on the page there you can download it for free!

Amazon uploads are still a work in progress due to the whimsical nature of constructing the files for the active toc. Toc, for the uninitiated, is short for Table Of Contents but while there will be one at the front of the book which is part of the file, the active toc is a separate file written in html but saved with an .ncx extension (I did know what it stood for but I forget). This file allows you to tab through the book with the 5-way button on the Kindle, so that if you want to check something in the last chapter, you hit the button and it jumps back to the chapter’s first page. It is useful surprisingly often and Amazon guidelines now state that their ebooks should have one. 

This is fine except that adding one is quite finicky, and altering the two other files to tell them how to use it – well, that’s proving so tricky that so far the conversion has been done and deleted six – yes SIX times over! Turns out it doesn’t like spaces in file names though, so hopefully this time it might work better….

So: for non-Kindle readers and those who want to read it on their PC, go have a look at Smashwords because until Saturday it’s yours for free!

For those of a more Kindlish persuasion, there is a file on there that you can read, but if you want to wait for the Amazon version you’ll have a tab-able version with the all-new and improved TOC. Hopefully should be early on next week or in about 3 weeks’ time according to where you are in the world (different iterations of Amazon); but watch this space and I’ll keep you posted!

PS as soon as I have a mo I’ll make an extra page for O-D-S where all the relevant links can go – but you KNOW I’ll be rambling on about it all over the blog in the meantime….

Have a great weekend!

JAC.

During the course of my edits, I have had to cut various parts of “On Dark Shores”, not because they weren’t good enough to go in, but because they were flashbacks or other backstory. In most cases leaving them in slowed the story down and, as my editors pointed out, the important bits could better be told in a few sentences that kept up the pace. Although I think both editors were right, knowing a bit of the backstory might enrich the novel for you, so rather than throw them away, it occurred to me that I could do a quick edit myself and post them up by way of a taster of the story and an introduction to some of the characters; however, do be aware that  these are the bits that have NOT been curated by editors / proof-readers and beta-readers – just myself!

“On Dark Shores” Sample 2

The following snippet was initially the opening of the whole book;  the first 5 paragraphs in italics (up to the = line) are actually the very first half-page that I wrote, the initial download of that sense of desolation and sadness with which I woke up one day in 2002 after a nameless dream. It’s probably a bit adjective-heavy as in its original incarnation I was intending to make it a poem, but it just wouldn’t play. It knew it wanted to be a story long before I gave up trying different line-breaks!

In the finished version this is all boiled down to about 4 paragraphs and comes a bit further into the text, but for curiosity value I thought you might like to see the initial download and subsequent expansion.  Compare and contrast to the new and improved beginning a couple of posts ago, and see what you think….

JAC

PS (It’s not all this bleak, I promise! …er, don’t think it is, anyway…)

=============================================

It was raining hard. The sky was grey, grey, always grey, it seemed to her as she made her way wearily through the muddy alleyways. It had been a long day. For all that Copeland told her, for all that she’d been stealing for him since she was barely grown, she’d been brought up honest and she was quite sure she’d never stop hating it. If it wasn’t that she had to keep Mary and herself somehow she’d run away tomorrow, she told herself; but these days she didn’t even believe that any more. They were stuck, the two of them, and there didn’t seem to be any way out. The weeks and months all blurred into each other  until the only point of reference in the whole year was –

She stopped suddenly. It was today: eleven years ago today it had happened, and she had not been up to the cliff-top yet. How could she have forgotten? She made her way down the spray-slick stairway which led down to the beach.

Mary would have already been there. Her sister never forgot, though she had been too young to remember anything of that terrible day and the bewildering slide from their old life into this desperate, scrambling existence.

She bent to pick up two smoothed stones, each the size of a fist and varnished with water. As she straightened, a memory seized her; of standing here a little while after it happened, bewildered by the speed with which all the mainstays of her life had been swept away. She remembered…

 …Normally this was the height of the kindly summer which warmed these temperate parts; but not this year. This summer had seen one of the most terrible storms in living memory; and then rain, and rain. Only once in a while came a dry day, and those were wind-bitten and desolate as dust and old bones.

The wind mourned along the beach, quiet but chill enough that she shivered under the old woollen shawl she wore. The grey waves spilled over into hissing spray, the pebbles rolling and receding as if they were determined to gnaw away all the land until the world was washed clean of it, and only restless water remained; until all was silent except for the ocean’s ceaseless whispers…

She wondered what it would be like to swim out into the shifting sea, past the harbour walls and the little scatter of rocks out in the bay; to be washed away by the currents until the tall crags behind her sank beneath the horizon, and all her world was wide flat sky, the unknown depths gaping unseen beneath her, and the pale speck of her face, lost and insignificant in the vast bleak endless waters. She shivered at the thought.

They said that drowning was an easy way to go; but it haunted her, the thought of swimming out, far past returning, and then at the very last having doubts and trying to fight hopelessly back to life, against an unforgiving sea.

A shock of cold dragged her back to herself. She found she had moved right to the water’s edge, and as she stood, another wavelet threw chill tendrils around her toes. She jumped back then, shaking her foot as if to rid it of something unclean. There was nothing more to be done here. The water was seeping through the worn sole of her shoe, and she was cold; not just her feet or her hands, but cold through and through, cold and tired and dead and empty.

=

All that was left now was to go back; but back to what? A bare house, stripped of furniture and  memories; not even to be theirs any longer if Uncle Copeland had any say in the matter. Which he did. After her parents’ death, Uncle Copeland had arrived to “sort out their business interests” and now he said that they had no money left, though where it had all gone she did not know.

At first he had got rid of the servants and sold off all the horses in the stable, and then odd bits of land they had owned, followed by piece after piece of furniture until the house was empty; and still they seemed to have no money. Now Uncle Copeland said there was no point having a whole house in the best part of town just for two children. And really, he had added, at fifteen she was too old to be considered a child now.

She was not sure what he had meant her to do, but if nothing else there was always Mary, only four years old and unable to understand what had happened., Mary was the one thing that could never be taken from her, she had sworn it by everything she held dear; for now there was no-one to take care of them except Uncle Copeland…

She sighed. That sort of reminiscence did no good; the only difference that eleven years had made was that now even the house had been sold. She was standing in the downpour like a fool. Following in the steps of her past,  she walked wearily back up through the town; but where her memory-self went along the wide gracious street that led to what had been the family townhouse, she turned aside to climb the worn and crumbling path up to the cliff top. There she made her way between the cairns, some old and overgrown, others new and bare, to a place a little apart from the rest. There along the neat line of mounds she came to that familiar one, large enough not for two bodies but for the memories of those two. There were already two pebbles added to the cairn; Mary had not forgotten.

Silently she stacked her own alongside them, and paused a moment; but there was nothing to be said, no memories which had not been leached of colour and joy by the past eleven years, and so with nothing more than a brief nod, she left the cliff top and turned towards home.