If you've read my new paperback ( Gods and Conquerors ) , or if you follow me on Instagram, or if you can just read the picture abov...

If you've read my new paperback (Gods and Conquerors), or if you follow me on Instagram, or if you can just read the picture above, you'll know that I used the dedication page to propose to my girlfriend.

And before I go on: she said yes. We're happier than we've ever been. Thanks for asking.

I've had a lot of questions since then, so I thought I'd answer them in a little blog post. Saves me repeating myself, over and over and over (though I'm sure I still will anyway).

What made you think of it?

We've always bonded over our love of books - in fact, one of the (many, many) reasons Eleanor went out with me in the first place was that I got my phone out and showed her my first book on Amazon while I was doing a terrible drunken job of chatting her up - so my proposal had to be bookish. I thought about trying to get myself published the traditional way, but that would have been years away, if it ever happened at all; so I self-published, and I did it right now, because there's no better time.

How did it happen?

We've had a stressful few months with trying to move house and stuff, so it was a good excuse for me to say we needed some alone time to just have fun together. So I organised a date day, and we went up to London to see a show and eat loads of food. At one point in the day, in private in a dimly lit bar, I asked Eleanor why she hadn't asked to see the paperback yet, when she knew it had been published; and I got one out of my backpack to show her.

She definitely thought it was weird that I had brought it up out of the blue and that I'd brought one out with me, but she flicked through it anyway, saying kind things about how well it had turned out. Then she turned to the dedication page, and her jaw dropped, and there was crying and hugging and all that nice stuff. It was beautiful, I wish I'd recorded it on the sly.

I notice the dedication is only in the paperback version of the book. Is that because it's twice the price?

No! In fact, I make a lot less money from each sale of the paperback because of the cost of printing them on demand, so it would work out better for me if everyone bought the Kindle version. No, I did that because I don't have a Kindle, so the only one on which I could test the Kindle version of my book was Eleanor's. So, obviously, I had to leave it out in case she saw.

That stone is huge! How much did that cost and why are you shoving your excessive riches in all our faces you disgusting piece of shit?

Whoa, chill out, there. The engagement ring pictured is a cubic zirconia placeholder ring, because I had no hope of choosing the perfect ring for her myself. It's not a diamond, it didn't even have a three-figure price tag, and she says it's too big for her tastes anyway. So sorry everyone, but you'll have to get your outrage fix elsewhere.

Did you do it for publicity?

Well I hadn't really thought about that until I did it, and then it seemed like it might cheapen the whole thing to use it to my advantage. But Eleanor told me I should, so I gave it a go; but I'm not very good at the whole Internet fame thing. Even when I get a few more Likes than I expected, it makes me more paranoid than happy. Why are so many strangers paying attention to me? What if one of them hates me? What if...

...So yeah, I'm struggling with that. I'll try again soon, but till then, I'm fine with the attention it's brought me so far. It did the job, and got me the girl. I don't need much more than that.

On the off chance that you're reading this and you are interested, you can find out more about the book here and you can read the first chapter here

How are you going to top a gesture like that?

Sigh. I've no idea. I'm out of over-the-top romantic ideas.

SPOILER WARNING : this is a short deleted passage from Gods and Conquerors , which would have appeared at the end of the chapter entitle...

SPOILER WARNING: this is a short deleted passage from Gods and Conquerors, which would have appeared at the end of the chapter entitled "April 26th, 2124" (around location 1422 on Kindle; page 95 in the paperback). If you're reading the book and you haven't reached that point, you might not want to read on. 

So Ballard left, on a rocket bound for a planet nearly a hundred light years away. In his absence, Matilda raised a family with her new man, and had two girls named Patty and Su. The children were intelligent and very beautiful, and Matilda and her husband Francisco were natural parents. The subject of the Conqueror missions came up only thrice during the children’s childhood, when they were taught about the subject at school; and Matilda never once told them that she had married one of their heroes or that they had even met. She thought about Jon rarely, much more rarely than he would have liked to imagine, and when she did it was fleeting and without consequence. What had been such a devastating wrecking ball for him was a marble in a bag for her, as her issues were differently placed and always would be.
She and her husband retired at eighty-two and seventy-nine respectively, and moved out of London to Hastings, where they sat out the rest of their days staring out at the freezing sea and starting conversations with arty young people whom they would never see again. Her husband died at ninety-eight, from a heart attack. Matilda died two years later, 103 years old, surrounded by her children, flowers and a whole lot of love that she would have had to work too hard to earn from Jon Ballard.

So why did I delete it? Mainly because my editor told me to. But that instruction was given for good reason - we don't see Olena's life without Shelley or Tobias's life without Verne, so why should we see Matilda's after Ballard? This might have given the chapter a strong ending and tied everything up nicely, but without it the chapter still ended strong, and the story was told a bit more consistently.

So the moral of the story, I suppose, is that you should always listen to your editor. They speak sense, guys.

The following is the first chapter from my book, Gods and Conquerors , which is now available to buy on Kindle and in paperback. I hope...

The following is the first chapter from my book, Gods and Conquerors, which is now available to buy on Kindle and in paperback. I hope you enjoy it!

It was like riding the fastest roller coaster he had ever been on, falling out of the sky like that. The kind of roller coaster that has a rickety wooden frame and rusty metal bars that hammer the bones and bruise soft tissue on every bend and twist; the kind that would be better suited to a museum than a carnival. The kind that has no lighting and no end, the kind that blinds you with terror. The fall had been fast but felt like a lifetime and it had made him feel as hot as being boiled alive and he had been sure beyond sureness that he was going to die, but he refused to be taken without a fight so forced his eyes to stay open until the craft reached the ground and everything went black and all that followed was darkness and silence.
But then he had woken, alive, in a desert. And only now, three sleeps later, was the constant reliving of it in James Verne’s mind beginning to fade.
He stared out at the expanse of rock, dirt, and weeds, so incredibly immense that it appeared endless, as the star at the centre of this system crept over the horizon, drenching the desert in orange light. There was a breeze, a breeze that never seemed to become wind or to fade away completely, which was so light that only the top layer of earth – the lightest, thinnest dust on the surface of this desert – was even slightly disturbed by it; and yet, far off, through telescopic lenses, it always seemed to have enough strength to blow great dust phantoms across the landscape with little effort.
The sky, as usual, was completely clear of clouds. The orange and purple and blue went on forever, only stopping to meet the desert at the vanishing point.
Far away, not too far to see but definitely too far to make out clearly, something crawled across the floor in rodentesque scuttles, stopping here, running a little further, pausing there; but however much it seemed like it might be life, it was not. It was another pebble, another weed, another leaf, fooling the eyes, teasing the mind.
To the west, far beyond the crash site, there were mountains. A rust-coloured formation of ridges poked out of the landscape and put on a beautiful show in the morning, as the shadow of sunrise crept down their sides, gloriously revealing these intricately carved sculptures of nature inch by inch, as if a curtain had been drawn to hide them until then. But they were the only feature in a brown and orange and yellow and grey sea of nothingness, infinitely smaller but just as empty as space.
On Earth, this was the kind of place one would hope to be passing through, not ending up.
But here, the Conquerors woke, still groggy from the journey, three days after landing in one of this planet’s many skin-peeling deserts. They had been sure they would reach civilisation within two days, walking at a brisk pace, sharing the load of their supplies between them; but they had not counted on the heat, the storms, the terrain, the crippling lag of cryosleep.
Cryosleep. Waking from it was like waking from a deep slumber very suddenly, in that disorienting way in which the brain first assumes it has not been asleep at all, but is forced to rethink its theory when it cannot account for its absence in the last few hours. Cryosleep was a total void, a colourless nothingness into which the mind disintegrated, losing all hope of returning to a conscious world again; so emerging from it was like waking from anaesthesia, completely unaware that the surgeon’s knife has paid a visit until the pain returns.
Like waking from the dead.
So, none of the crew had yet adjusted to the shorter days, or the unpredictable temperature of the nights. Their weary bodies were not yet accustomed to the way this system’s star, so huge in the white-blue sky, cooked the ground the instant it rose on the horizon. They had not known how their suits would weigh them down, their muscles would seize, their throats would dry to dust every ten steps. They left the wreck of the landing craft with their supplies tied to sleds and their guns strapped to their backs, and they stepped out into the desert before they knew anything about the world they had entered.
But now, they knew too well that the world they had entered was a cruel and barren one. Their sleds were gone, taken in the night by no one knew what; their supplies were dwindling; their ship was too far away and too damaged from the crash-landing to be worth returning to; and their destination was still unknown. They knew where a city should be – the ship had mapped some, but not all, of this area before it had prematurely launched their landing craft – but no matter how far they struggled, they never seemed to reach it.
However, one redeeming fact remained: they were still Conquerors. This world, this prize so far from the reach of any other humans who had ever existed, was theirs. They had made it. And it was this fact which held their morale together, as they peeled their sweaty bodies out of their sleeping bags and began to prepare for another day of trekking.
James Verne had been awake for some time before the others rose, and had watched this system’s sun peek over the horizon from atop a boulder a short walk away from the camp, his overalls unzipped to the waist and his huge feet resting on top of his discarded boots, enjoying the only cool air the day would offer. He now sat cleaning and inspecting his gun, his large, thick, calloused hands working over the body of the automatic rifle with the delicacy and precision of a brain surgeon. The concentration he devoted to the task was more religious than practical; the cleaning of the weapon and the deconstruction and reconstruction of all of its parts, just to check once again that they were all healthy and in full working order should they ever be needed, more meditation than precaution. A daily deconstruction and reconstruction of himself, to check he was all working.
After the inspection – the ritual – was complete, Verne slid his feet into his boots and walked back toward the camp, to find the group sitting in a triangle, heads hung in hangover emulation, slurping hyper-nutritious gruel from foil sachets. Movements sheepish and gazes lowered, shaven apes cowering from the blows of a cruel, invisible master. Verne smirked upon the scene as he cast his long, broad shadow across it, and for a while, none could even find the energy or the will to look up and acknowledge his smug grin.
Jon Ballard, the Brit, rubbed his eyes with his dry, chapped palms before pausing to examine the cuts and sores that plagued the dark skin on the backs of his hands, each one filled with stinging desert dust because he had forgotten to dress them. Stella Kojima, the tall, skinny mission commander who had expressed a reluctance to actually do any commanding now that they had arrived and were eight light years away from Mission Control, was already climbing out of her sleeping bag, stretching her body and cracking her spine. Wednesday Shelley, the youngest of the crew, was always happiest to be awake, and when she noticed Verne standing over her she gave a wide smile and held a sachet up for him to take, squinting at him in the sunlight. Verne ripped the top off the packet and gulped it down in one movement, crushing the thing in his shovel hand and mounting his heavy rucksack on his back.
‘Let’s move out,’ he said, half to himself, as he began to march away from camp.

They had been walking for an hour when they found the bones. There were two broken long bones, thick and beastly, snapped into spikes with their other halves missing; a curved piece of a flat bone, much like part of a skull, also broken into a jagged ashtray shape on the desert floor; and a section of what appeared to be a ribcage, half buried in sand and giving the impression that the complete chest would be bigger than any the crew had ever seen. The entire display lay strewn across an area of a few square metres, next to a dry desert shrub that stood impossibly still in the breeze, as if making an effort not to incriminate itself in the creature’s murder.
Shelley dropped everything and ran to the remains, forgetting her aching muscles and unbearable body temperature and tapping her temple to engage the camera mode of her implant.
‘Amazing,’ she whispered, the twitch of her finger against her temple a constant accompaniment to her wonder. Kneeling, twisting her head this way and then that way and then this way once more, she took tens of photographs each second, trying to capture every angle of the scene as quickly as she possibly could. She looked like a woman crazed by scenes of death. A crash-site groupie, obsessed with chalk outlines.
Verne graced the bones with only a short glance, before going back to scanning the horizon.
Jon Ballard put his rucksack on the ground and joined Shelley in her close-up examination of the bones. Unlike Shelley, he seemed unsure of what to do with their discovery – he knelt on the floor and stared at each bone in turn, his mouth gaping and his eyes wide as wells, but he took no action to capture the moment. After a while, he reached out to touch one of the ribs, and received a sharp slap to the back of his hand.
‘Don’t touch it,’ Shelley snapped, shooting yet another angle of the display from over his shoulder.
Kojima took the chance to rest her legs, placing her rucksack on the floor and sitting on top of it and pulling out a tiny bottle of synthesised water with which to moisten her tongue. She rolled her eyes at the desert ahead of them as if to ask it what the fuss was about, and then she sat staring out at it in silence.
Shelley was now scraping a sample of matter from each bone and placing the samples inside sealed plastic containers. ‘When the computer is repaired,’ she mumbled, mostly to herself, ‘we can analyse these.’
She had mentioned repairing the computer several times since the crew had arrived, but none of the other crew members were so sure that it would ever come to be. The computer had malfunctioned well before the crash had damaged it, that much was certain – it had initiated their waking from cryosleep when it was already in this planet’s orbit, when it should have woken them days earlier; and just hours later, without having fully mapped the terrain below or provided the crew with logs to review or even any kind of information on why it was doing so, it announced that it was preparing their landing craft for launch and that this launch was in emergency mode and could not be overridden. They had been forced to rush through their checks and preparations and strap themselves in, feeling flustered and panicked, and then they had been ejected into the atmosphere of this planet to find that the computer’s miscalculation of the distance to the ground and location of a safe landing site had hurled them into a crash course with hard ground and hot fire that could have left them just as damaged as the computer. Only a few small parts of it – the storage, a couple of sensors, a portable scanning unit – remained, and they sat useless, dented and scratched in Shelley’s bag, waiting for someone with the know-how and will to save them and find out what had happened.
Being a computer scientist by trade, Ballard could probably have done it on Earth, but where he would find the tools and the power and the resources to do so on this planet was anyone’s guess. Verne would not have known where to start. It was unclear whether Kojima cared if the computer was saved or not – when asked, she seemed to have no opinion whether it should be brought with them or left behind in the wreckage.
Either because he forgot his previous instruction or because he thought it no longer applied, Ballard reached out once again to lift one of the long bones, curious to feel its weight in his hand. But again, Shelley’s hand hit his away.
‘I said don’t touch,’ she hissed, ‘you’ll contaminate it. Besides, we don’t know why it’s here or how it died. Treat this like a crime scene.’
Ballard laughed nervously. Had the crew been given more time to get to know each other before they departed, he might have known that she was at most only half serious, and would not have felt so embarrassed. But he did not know this, so he sat feeling scolded and meek, like a child on the naughty step, while Shelley continued to scrape bone matter into her tubes.
‘We should move on,’ said Kojima, receiving an agreeing nod from Verne; so Shelley stood and closed her eyes tightly, sliding her finger along her temple, cycling through a slideshow behind her eyelids of the photographs she had taken. Satisfied that she had captured the scene sufficiently, she swiped down her skin to close the camera and opened her eyes once again. She added the vials she had just filled to the collection in her rucksack and followed excitedly, her slim legs skipping with the glee of finding something in this endless desert that was not just a rock or a weed.
When the rest began to walk on, Ballard was still kneeling by the bones. Before he stood to catch up, he picked up the skull-bone ashtray and slid the tips of his fingers over its surface, feeling its flawless smoothness, taking it in like a blind man might take in words embossed into paper. The bone had so much history, such a story to tell; and now it was his. He shoved it into one of the many side pockets of his backpack, and followed the team east.

Before evening had arrived, another storm began. They had survived two since they arrived, one bad, one not so bad; and both times, they could never have predicted it. Sun and clear skies gave way in an instant to a wall of hot, blowing sand stretched from floor to sky as far as the eye could see, and this wall tore through the landscape, scratching the face and hands and threatening to rip out the eyeballs and take them on its merry way. Not there, and then there in a second, and then an hour or so later not there again, like a natural marauder storming through desert villages. On and then off, like a switch. During the first storm, the bad one, they had still had their sleds, so they built a makeshift wall of defence behind which to shield themselves. The second, not so bad, they had slept through, and woken to find their sleeping bags filled with sand, dried leaves and sweat.
But this one looked like it might become worse than the worst that they had seen. The sand was coarser, its speed greater, its rage fiercer. The roar of it was deafening. They had been looking north at a large building that stood alone in the vast desert, wondering if they should expend energy trying to reach it when from here it just looked like ruins; and out of nowhere, before any of them had even had time to point at it on the horizon, the storm had been on them, around them, against them, trying its hardest to get inside them; and then they were running against it, trying to reach shelter, somewhere to rest and not drown in dust and sand.
Running, running, as close to running as they could get, each of them holding on to the closest body, a human chain shielding its eyes and forever pushing forward, forward, forward, they searched for a wall, a crevice, a rock to hide behind. One arm held against their foreheads, one holding on to the person in front, they followed Verne into the stream of hot dust, yelling instructions to each other, suggestions, directions, anything, and none were heard above the scream of the storm. Ghosts in the boiling blizzard, barely touching the ground as they howled toward safety.
Safety was a crack in the ground, twenty feet long and three feet wide, partially covered by a boulder the size of a minibus.
Verne stood at the mouth of that crevice, ushering them in, as the others climbed one by one into its darkness, allowing themselves to be swallowed by that rocky womb, dropping to the hard floor below where the storm above was just a gushing roar like a furious waterfall and a soft trickle of dirt down the walls within. Once inside the gap, so much more spacious underground than it appeared on the surface, the crew fell to their knees or buttocks, panting and thanking their gods or luck or nature for saving them. Verne stood with his hands on his knees for a long time, staring at the floor, seeming comatose, before sitting on a jut out of the stone wall and setting about emptying his rucksack of items and dust and then refilling it.
Shelley seemed to be taking the storm personally, huffing and puffing as she brushed the grey coating off her skin and clothes as if it had all been sent to inconvenience her. ‘I am fuckin’ sick of this desert,’ she said, her Australian accent thickening with frustration.
Kojima smiled darkly and said, ‘Well, if it keeps going like this, we’ll be leaving it soon, and meeting up in the afterlife instead.’
Ballard considered the possibility that they might die here, and was filled with a feeling of dread like none he had ever felt before.
Shelley smiled too. ‘Bullshit,’ she said, ‘we’ll find the city tomorrow. I’d put money on it.’
‘Your money is no good to me here.’
Shelley laughed. ‘Good point,’ she said. Her eyes were closed, her finger swiping across her temple.

That night, Verne woke alert, as if satisfied by the sleep he’d had, and after his eyes had adjusted to the darkness he watched a great long arm reach down into the crevice from above. It had fingers like yardsticks and an elbow as thick as a mechanical digger’s, and the entire arm was covered in a thin, black, matted fur. Its claws scratching the air, unable to grasp anything below, the owner withdrew, held its face to the crack, shone its deep black eyes like polished coal into the mouth of the Conquerors’ cave. The storm raged on, battering the creature at gale force with red-hot rock, but the hairy thing remained unfazed, eyeing the visitors to its land like it might be curious to find out how their skin would tear. Verne slowly, silently reached for his gun and raised it to point at the mouth of the cave as the animal stood on its hind legs, and from what Verne could see at this angle, it was ten feet tall and built bigger than five polar bears.
A chest the size of those ribs that lay half buried not five miles gone. A skull as thick as that cranium.
James Verne’s finger rested on the trigger of his gun, ready to bring this alien species one specimen closer to extinction, and the animal watched him do it without seeming to care. It stared down the barrel for a few seconds, most likely trying to work out what exactly it was looking at; but before it had reached a conclusion, its head jerked off to its right, suddenly alarmed, and then it was gone, bounding off in a huge stride that took it away so fast that it seemed as if it had dissolved into the sandstorm.
And then Verne was waking again, to find that his gun was still exactly where he had left it before he fell asleep, propped against the wall of the cave.

When the crew emerged from the crack in the ground the next morning, the sky and the land around them were so serene that one would seem insane suggesting that a storm had ever hit. Shelley stood in the sun, stretching her aching body, craning this way and that, looking up at the white-blue sky and sighing softly, as Ballard and Kojima climbed out in silence, heads hanging low with great post-storm exhaustion. Verne inspected his weapon, his face wearing the deep frown that his disturbing dream of giant monsters had plastered there. The crew wandered in spirographic patterns separately, aimlessly, for some time, looking like cats sniffing for food, licking their wounds, seeking warm spots in which to sit and not move again for the rest of the day.
‘Well,’ called Kojima over the implants, after a while, from behind the jagged boulder that topped the crack the crew had slept in, ‘I’ve found something you’ll all want to see.’
Joining her on the other side of the huge rock, the crew saw what looked like a half-buried, ill-maintained, but undoubtedly real road, which stretched for miles from this spot, the thick black snake of its form sneaking all the way to the brow of a hill in the distance, where it disappeared into a maze of large rocks that lined the horizon. The crack in which they had slept had been a central reservation in this motorway, before it had collapsed into the ground; and the boulder that covered it was a collection of whichever rock this civilisation had used to build the surface, bunched into a jagged lump as if a giant had squeezed the road like pastry and torn off the rest of it. Beyond the crack, back in the direction from which they had come, there was no road. Just grey and brown and red dirt. Shrubs and dirt and rocks, as far as the implant could capture.
They had found signs of civilisation scattered in the desert already. A scrap of woven fabric here, a broken pipe or severed wire there. Most remarkably, that building in the distance, big as an aeroplane hangar, the memory of which was now almost completely washed away by the drama of the dust storm. But those discoveries had all led nowhere. Roads, on the other hand, always led somewhere. To cities, life, society.
Shelley considered crying, but instead engaged her implant to record the sight. Ballard just stared, grinning. Kojima and Verne, with no time for this sentimentality, started walking toward the horizon.
Suddenly, things did not seem so hopeless. They were here at last, here as they had intended to be, and not here as God’s unwanted children, left to die in an alien desert. A black carpet had been laid, and this disused road would be their victory mile, leading them up to the civilisation they had come to visit, come to integrate into, come to experience like no other man could. The trivia of Earth, with its birth certificates and road tax and warring nations and beach towels and organised religion and homophobia and carpentry and adultery and financial markets and virtual reality and bukkake and insurance and gender inequality and Lou Gehrig’s disease and every other little thing, suddenly seemed so far below them; for now, more than ever, they were Conquerors, and all the infinite wonders of this world were just one road away.

It was forty-six degrees in the shade, and the road was long. Whatever it had once been topped with had melted away in the heat of a myriad of middays, and what was left behind was an uneven, rocky surface as dry and sharp as the heat that burned into their soaked foreheads; but the crew did not tire. They walked on, slowly, with purpose, sipping water from their synthesisers as fast as it could be created, forever soldiering on toward that hill on the horizon, over which they could already smell, but not yet see, civilisation.
Walking until it felt like they were being cooked in their clothing, potatoes in an oven, legs like lead.
Pushing on because the prize was in reach, over a hill, past some rocks, and all would be revealed today. Not tomorrow, and not at some unknown point in the distant future, but today.
When it was revealed, the brow of the hill and the rock formations that sat atop it conspired to reveal the visitors’ prize in stages. First, through a small gap in the top of the wall of stone that surrounded their path, came the tips and tops of buildings. Black and grey and midnight blue spires, wonky points and jagged corners, the dead-straight tops of flat roofs. Touching the sky with their immense height, lifting the spirits with their presence. Then, as a twist in the road left a foot-wide gap in the rocks through which their path snaked, smoke, and rising dust. Smog. Signs of life and activity, pollution and energy. All the ugliness of civilisation, so beautiful to the Conquerors who feared they would never see it again.
Next, as the road turned sharply and the boulders to their right were passed by, the edge of the city exposed itself to them, revealing sprawling suburbs. Smaller buildings, houses, bungalows, huts, as far as one could make out. The city was huge, spread like a quilt over a seventy- or eighty-mile plot. The grid of roads cut lines through the tiny roofs and vehicles and landmarks and who knew what else, all of those just dots from where the Conquerors walked, all patiently waiting for their arrival.
And finally, as they passed the final rock, the huge boulder which sat atop the hill and had, so far, obstructed their view of the city centre and the rest of the suburbs that surrounded it, the last marabou fan was lifted, and the sickening truth was revealed.
The buildings of which they had seen the tops were crumbling, falling, some of them tipping at odd angles and seemingly just waiting for a light wind to come and blow them the rest of the way to the ground. The dust they had seen was rising from buildings which had collapsed, which were collapsing, kicking up earth that would never settle until the city was a heap of dirt and gone forever. The smoke that they thought was man’s red fire was really God’s black death, rising from the windows of skyscrapers and the wrecks of vehicles and the back yards of suburban homes and drifting into the sky, unseen by any but the Conquerors and of no concern to any who had ever lived here. The towers that still stood were so covered in climbing plant life that they appeared to be great trees, grown hundreds of times bigger than they should have been. Though clearly once inhabited, this place no longer seemed inhabitable. The desolation of what looked to have once been a very large capital stretched as far as light could travel.
Civilisation had left this city decades, if not centuries, ago.
‘No,’ said Ballard, his throat tight, his stomach somewhere near his ankles.
Verne stood silent, expressionless, without movement.
‘I’m sorry,’ Kojima said, sitting on her rucksack once again and placing her hands on her knees and hanging her head as if she bore the blame for the wasteland they had found. ‘I’m so sorry.’
Shelley sank to her knees, and then to her buttocks, and wept on the hot ground.

How would you like to be one of the first to read my new book, Gods and Conquerors ? ( Click here if you want to read more about it, to...

How would you like to be one of the first to read my new book, Gods and Conquerors? (Click here if you want to read more about it, to help you make up your mind).

I want to give a few copies away to people who'd like to read it, review it and have that pretty looking cover on their bookshelves.

There isn't a catch. All I ask is that you give it a chance, leave an honest review on Amazon once you've read it, and if you like it, then tell your friends about it too.

Easy as that. 

So, how to request a copy? Well, all you have to do is send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment on this post. There are only a limited number available, so after a few days I'll pick a random handful of responders and let you know the next steps. Good luck everyone!

Sorry this isn't all polished and perfect, but hey, there ain't no such thing as perfect in this world. I'm just a bloke who writes for fun and hopes that everyone enjoys it. I don't do marketing and that. But this is my attempt.