The Shadow of a Book Promotion


Tomorrow, for four days (18th-21st November) Book One of my Viking trilogy, Shadow of the Raven, will be free again on Amazon. I know that many of you ordered a copy last time it was free – for which I’m extremely grateful. As I’m sure everyone knows, it’s a great help to self-published authors just to have copies of their books ‘bought’ in this way, as it helps to make the book more visible on Amazon. Of course, it’s even better if people read and review it. As many other authors have said on WordPress, reviews are like gold dust to authors.

Both of my books are available from all Amazon marketplaces. Here are the two main links to Shadow of the Raven:

On this occasion, I’ve no other topic to accompany this short post, so I thought I’d add a short scene from Shadow . . .  Shadow of the Raven (Medium)

This part of the story is set in the Danish lands where Eadwulf, son of the Mercian king, has been taken as a thrall (slave). In this scene, he is forced to flee from the village by Ivar and Halfdan, the two vindictive sons of Jarl Ragnar.  Now Eadwulf is being pursued by Halfdan and his two minions, Skorri and Reinn  – and the vicious wolf-dog, Viggi.  Bjorn, who also appears in this scene, is Ivar and Halfdan’s older brother, the jarl’s firstborn.

Eadwulf has reached the forest in hope of shelter, only to find the pathway he chose blocked by a massive, fallen oak – just as Halfdan and the wolf dog catch him up:


‘So, Mercian, time for Viggi’s reward, I think,’ Halfdan said slowly, straining to hold the the snarling dog in check. ‘Nice try at the river, by the way, but I knew you must have crossed somewhere once the water became shallower. Didn’t take much to work that out. The broken branches and flattened grasses up the bank were a bit of a giveaway. And naturally, Viggi had no problem picking up your scent across the heath.’ Halfdan picked gorse flowers and bits of foliage from his breeks with his free hand and smoothed down his tunic. ‘Nothing to say, thrall?  Then let’s get this done with.’

Halfdan bent to unfasten the leather leash, the two boys peering from behind him, slavering in anticipation of gruesome entertainment.

‘Release the dog, Halfdan, and it’s dead.’

Halfdan spun round in alarm, treading on the hound’s tail and falling against Skorri and Reinn, bringing them down with him. The dog let out a yelp and snapped at Halfdan’s ankles, causing him to cry out in pain. The sight of his red-headed brother ready to loose the arrow from his bowstring caused Halfdan to emit such a startled cry that Eadwulf almost laughed.

‘What are you doing here, Bjorn? How long have you been standing there?’ Guilt coloured Halfdan’s face and he seemed to shrink beneath Bjorn’s scathing gaze.

‘More importantly, what exactly are you doing here? But before you attempt your feeble explanations, Halfdan, I’ll answer your second question: I’ve been here long enough to see what you were about to do and apparently I’m only just in time to put a stop to it!’

Bjorn glowered at Halfdan, his arrow aimed unwaveringly at the dog. His gaudy evening tunic and baggy trousers were muddy and adorned with fragments of heath. ‘I’ve been roused before daybreak with a tale of my brothers’ wicked scheme and the request that I dash across miles of open land to deal with it. I’m now saturated to the skin and exhausted by moving faster than Sleipnir across the sky. Is it any wonder my temper’s simmering close to boiling?’ He released his breath with controlled calmness. ‘What I demand, Halfdan, is an explanation: preferably one that sheds a more favourable light on these antics and possibly justifies your behaviour, which frankly I, for one, cannot condone.’

Halfdan hung his head, mustering up the courage to answer. ‘We were apprehending an escaped thrall,’ he lied, looking for support from his two minions. But they had shrunk into the shadows, fearful of the authority of Ragnar’s firstborn. ‘This thrall thought he could just run away – from the jarl!’

‘And just why should he do that?  Where do you think a boy, a foreigner at that, could run to in a strange land? And manage to survive, of course?’

‘How should I know where he’d go? We just saw him running off.’

‘And at what hour would that have been?’

Halfdan’s brow puckered. ‘Perhaps two or three hours before sunrise.’

‘And you and Ivar are usually outside at that time?’

‘No, but . . .’ Halfdan faltered, clearly searching for a plausible lie. ‘We were roused by noises outside.’

‘So, you’re saying that this would-be escapee made so much noise he could have roused the whole village?’

Halfdan stared at his half-brother, opening his mouth to reply, but the words seemed firmly lodged in his throat. At length he garbled, ‘I saw the thrall running off when I went to the, um, latrine. I ran and told Ivar, who said that Viggi would soon find him. So we followed his trail to here . . .’

Bjorn’s bowstring remained resolutely taut. ‘Unfortunately for you, I have evidence to verify that events took place quite differently.’ He shook his head, his expression more of sorrow than anger. ‘And it’s apparent that had I not arrived when I did, Eadwulf would now be little more than a bloody mound at your feet!’

Unable to find words of reply, Halfdan remained mute, returning Bjorn’s calculating stare with cold-eyed defiance.

‘Get back to the village, the three of you,’ Bjorn said, flicking his bow. ‘You’ve no idea how tempted I am to sink this arrow in that evil cur’s skull anyway. Believe me, Halfdan, you’ll not get away with this. I’m not the only one who knows the truth of your intentions for this day.’


50 thoughts on “The Shadow of a Book Promotion

    1. Both my books are on all Amazon marketplaces, Suzanne. At present they are selling best on the U.K. site, but it is so much smaller than the .com site, so they are much more visible. The U.S. site is totally huge! It will take some doing just to get the books noticed in America. I can but try… Thanks, Suzanne.

    1. Oh, thank you, Lynn. Even if you don’t read it, just downloading it is a great help. 🙂
      If you do read it, don’t be too put off by all the Anglo Saxon names at the beginning. The names become easier as you get into the story. Some people have had trouble pronouncing names that begin with ‘Aethel’ – like ‘Aethelwulf’. They should be pronouced by just ignoring the ‘e’ after the A – so it would be Athelwulf and Aethelberht would be Athelbert – as though there was no ‘h’). Beorhtwulf would just be Bertwulf and Ecgbert would be Egbert. 🙂

      1. Hello again, Ineke. If you saw my post about what I did to my blog last week, you’ll know why I haven’t visited you for a while. You know, with holidays and things this year – and now this – I seem to spend my life playing catch up. I’ll be over to read a few posts in the next day or so.
        I hope you book is doing well on Amazon, too. I will review it, when I’ve done the ones I finished reading ages ago.

      2. No worries. My life is also running away with me. I can’t keep up with all at this stage too. I also started a morning and afternoon school care job till end of school year. A whole new experience after about 6 years of just doing “nothing”. You really don’t have to worry about my book it will happen at the end.

      3. I hope you’re enjoying the new job, Ineke, and haven’t taken on more than you can cope with. It would be a bit of a shock after six years of retirement. Still, I’m sure you wouldn’t have taken the job on if you thought you wouldn’t like doing it. I imagine your blogging time will be much less now. Just take care of yourself.

      4. Thanks I’ll take care. My body was tired last night but it will get into it again. It is also only for 4 weeks till the school closes. I’ll see how it goes and decide to go on when they want me back or not

      5. I can imagine how tired you must feel. We’re not getting any younger, are we? I imagine you’ll have made the decision to stay on or not by Christmas. Extra cash is always nice, but not at the risks to your health and happiness. I’ll be thinking about you.

      6. I am glad to get an extra bit of money to use for some special things. I feel that my body isn’t that young anymore. My movements are much slower. I just go slow. Thanks for the concern. You also have to remember you are not getting younger also. Going on all those outings are also tyering aren’t they?

      7. Going on outings are a nice break from normality, while they last. It’s when I get back and realise how much I have to do and catch up on. I’m certainly not getting any younger, so I’m desperate to get on with the books I have planned. I plan a short blogging break very soon.

      8. I agree with the coming back again. I am also stopping my Toeka-Tokkel for now. I’ll see how it goes next year. I also want to do more writing. I am nearly finished with m 6 week Short story writing. Have to put a story together for the 7th session.

      9. I imagine some things have to go when you take on new time consuming activities. there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The short story sounds interesting. Are you writing with the intention of eventually publishing it? There are lots of books of short stories on Amazon. Hope it turns out well when you put it together, anyway.

      10. I am still working on the Flash Fiction stories. I have enough for 2 more books. I also know a lot more since starting the journey. I’ll also see if short stories fall in my taste. Depends on how the first one goes. The tutor wants to put our short stories in a book. We are 5 people attending the short course.

    1. Yes, that is strange. Shivangi, in Australia, said the same thing. I wonder if the last time you tried to download the book, it just went into your Cloud and didn’t show on your main page. Thank you for trying to download it, anyway!

  1. I can understand why you were so keen to get this post out last night Millie 🙂 Thank you for offering all of us wordpress folk a copy free, I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle app on my tablet, once I’ve read it, I’ll definitely give you a review (just be warned, it may take a while!)

    1. Wow, thank you Andy! Just downloading it is a great help. If you do start reading ‘Shadow’, and find the Anglo Saxon names difficult, let me know and I’ll do a post about pronunciation. I really should get a page about it into the Kindle edition sometime. It’s not usually British readers who find the names difficult, as we hear them on telly often enough. One or two people from other countries have said they found the first chapter difficult because of the names. They do become easier after Ch. 1.
      As for reading speed… I’m reading a fellow writer/blogger’s book at the moment and am luck if I manage a few pages a day. My reading time is when I go to bed – then I generally fall asleep on it! So I certainly understand what you’re saying. 🙂

      1. I think it must be aa age thing, Andy. As soon as I start reading my eyes decide enough’s enough and start to droop. Perhaps going to bed earlier’s the answer – but there’ always so much to do! 🙂

      2. Well, that’s a lot later that I go -but I’m usually up at six. I’m just off now to see if I can read a page or two. I’ve had this book on the go for ages. Reading so little at a time is n

  2. Congratulations Millie, what a wonderful achievement and it must be really satisfying to see it in print. I have downloaded it on my Kindle. It looks good. Anything with Vikings has to be, doesn’t it? Like Andy and Ineke, I will gladly review it as a way of saying thank you! What a great author you are!! Can’t wait to get my teeth stuck into it. (metaphorically, of course)

      1. Both of my book covers were done by an illustrator in Scotland who I found online. He’s lovely to deal with and won’t stop working on the cover until you’re absolutley satisfied with it. He isn’t too expensive, either. He did the second one first when ‘Shadow’ was alredy published – with a cover I was never happy with. I was so pleased with the ‘Pit of Vipers’ cover, I asked him to do one for Shadow as well. Of course he’ll be doing Book 3, too. Happy writing. 🙂

    1. Thank you for that great comment. I’m glad you liked the excerpt. 🙂
      Yes, NaNo is much more important right now than reading. In a way, I wish I’d signed up myself so I could get on with Book 3! Hope things have eased off at work now, Joy, and you’re finding more time (and energy) to write that book! 🙂
      No need to reply – just get on with what you have to do. 🙂 The pressure’s mounting to reach targets in these last couple of weeks.

      1. It’s wonderful that you found a cover artist that’s so good and that you like working with!

        NaNo is only theoretically important right now. I’ve been working NaNo–level hard at work, on a terrible deadline, so I haven’t been able to write a single word on my novel for ten days! It will all be over by tomorrow and I can dive back in, but boy, I have a lot of catching up to do!

      2. Ah … I thought the deadline at work was sometime last week and all that pressure was off. Still, almost there now.I bet you’ll be so relieved when the pressure eases. But needs must – which I knew only too well for many years. Have a great ‘chill out’ session this weeekend, Joy.

    1. Thank you for liking the post, Inese. I don’t find promotion posts the easiest to do. I’m simply not the type! My dad (a Higgins with an Irish father) was an exports sales manager, and he could have ‘talked the hind leg off a donkey’, as they say. But that’s not for me. Unfortunately, self promotion requires it, so every so often i ‘have a go’. 🙂

      1. Oh you make me laugh:) I already got the book, but I have too many books in my Kindle waiting their turn, because I have been busy and not well lately, and didn’t read as much as I usually do. I will let you know when I finish the book. I LOVE your writings!

      2. I don’t have time for reading, either, and I love to read! Like you, I have so many books waiting their turn. Thank you for downloading the book anyway. I had a feeling you’d mentioned downloading it last time round – but your Wow comment threw me. Thanks a million for that. 🙂

    1. Hi Freda. Thank you again for wanting to download my book!
      I’m not sure why the link to Amazon doesn’t work for you. The link I have now put on my post (which is also on the sidebar on my blog) works OK. I can’t put the link in a comment because WP would probably send it to spam.
      The Kindle edition of my book is definitely marked as free on all Amazon sites. If you go in straight from the Amazon page it’s best to type the book title, but typing in Millie Thom would also take you to both of my books.
      I don’t know whether you have an Amazon account, Freda, but you’ll need to sign up for one if you haven’t and want to order anything at all from Amazon. It’s very easy to do.
      Hope this helps. If not I can try sending you a link in a comment.

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