Red Ned Tudor Mysteries

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A New Novel - The Fetter Lane Fleece

One Year Anniversary!

Greetings my well regarded readers, all several of you, I hope that this warmer weather (in the north) has you champing at the bit to race out and enjoy the Summer.  Although there was that recent snow fall this last week even as far south as the English Midlands to set one worrying about the summer frolics without a heavy insulated jacket, which kind of ruins the Maying idylls in the fields.  Anyway that, after a fashion leads me to the meat of this article.  It is now one year since I released the first novel in my first Red Ned Tudor Mysteries tad ah!  Yes twelve months ago last week The Liberties of London was unleashed upon an unsuspecting reading public via Amazon.  In that time it has done pretty spectacularly selling well over three thousand ebooks.  The next stage as my readers have repeatedly asked for, is to produce this in solid paper form, and today I wish to announce that (at least for the US) it is one step closer, the second of the Liberties novellas has just been released.  So to give value to a print edition this will be combined with The Liberties of London and another soon to be released short story involving the nefarious Earless Nick and Canting Michael -A Counsel of Rogues.
  In the meantime as part of this anniversary of publishing I have the humble pleasure to announce the release of my latest ebook The Fetter Lane Fleece.  A novella length story similar to The Liberties of London it will be a free download from Amazon for three days from 12 am PST (Pacific Standard Time) on the 17/05/12 to 12 pm on the 19/05/12.  So pass the word to your friends download and enjoy.
In the meantime I’d like to make a heartfelt plea to all my readers, if you liked a book in the Red Ned or Dark Devices series please on my bended knee I beg you leave a review on Amazon.  A recent article in The Guardian points out how individual readers tend to be much better at judging the quality of a story than ‘official’ critics.  As an indie I appreciate your comments and feedback and I wish to thank those of you who have taken the time to post me their commendations and concerns, they have made a difference to my writing efforts and the quality of the st.

As readers will discover this story is set but a few days after the events of The Liberties of London and involves Ned once more venturing into the debateable territory of the Liberties.  A jaunt, that as you will soon discover probably required somewhat more sober thought and reflection, rather than the generous quality of fine wine and Red Ned’s usual impulsiveness. 
Once more the cover art is by the promising graphic designer Alexander House who has this past week hit eighteen.  My how time flies, I remember the day of his birth so clearly Nelson Mandela had just become President of South Africa.  So congrats Alex!  For my readers here’s a link to his Deviant Art page where he displays a fair array of his burgeoning talent.  In what we believe is a positive step into branding and marketing the future covers of the Red Ned series will be laid out as if they were wood cuts, similar to The Liberties of London cover.  Giving a much more Tudor feel and identity to the stories when they come up in an Amazon search, this may involve reworking some of the previous covers for The Cardinal's Angels and The Queen's Oranges, so if you have an opinion please let me know. 
The other standard layout we will be continuing for both the Red Ned and Dark Devices series is the inside page of sketch art which will refer to a key factor of the story.  Even as storytellers’ writers still understands that a picture is worth a thousand words, so this will help set the scene and provide a little more eye candy for the Historical Fiction reader.
Now as a treat and a taster I give you the prologue of The Fetter Lane Fleece. 
Regards Greg

Prologue. Fleeing the Fleece

The snow covered mound on the rough cobbles crunched with the solid impact of his body and Ned whimpered as he rolled. Oh Christ that…that stung! The icy crystals set the skin of his bare back aflame, especially the long bloody scratches from that cursed sign. Well he hoped it was only the shock of the snow and ice that aggravated his current condition. It didn’t pay to investigate too closely what lay under the few inches of snow in a Liberties street. Dead dogs, piles of mouldering rushes and steaming kitchen waste where amongst the lesser ills. At least, remarked his daemon, it wasn’t the Fleete Ditch, a river of turds and tanner’s discharge. He’d dangled over that last week, seemingly for hours, on the brink of imminent death by drowning, as had Earless Nick’s luckless minion. No, no fear of that fate tonight. Instead he only had to worry about daggers, swords, cudgels, a butcher’s cleaver or two and the savage fury of an irate punk. See, said his daemon, nothing to worry about.
Rolling with the momentum of his sudden exit Ned staggered to his feet, and rendered slightly unsteady by his too solid landing, began to stagger off down Fetter Lane towards Fleete Street. A loud chorus of howls and curses from the Wool’s Fleece informed him that his solo sojourn was going to be of a very short duration. Damn. Ned hopped on one foot as he tried to continue his forward passage while at the same time attempting to pull on his left shoe. As for the rest of his clothes, his better angel may scold him for looking more naked than the wild Irish or bare breeched Scots, but unlike them he did have the ability to cloth his present nakedness. Just not now, thank the blessed saints for the shroud of night, even if the extra cold was shrinking his cods and setting his skin a prickle with goose bumps. If he continued much further in this ‘exposed condition’, his bollocks would be lumps either side of his neck and not even an hours delightful cajoling by Mistress Adeline could draw his pizzle out from its hiding spot.
Oh by the blessed saints why did the Twelve days of Christmas have to be so damnedly cold? Or Reedman’s brother, the stupid measle, so bereft of brains or commonsense?
Ned’s foot stamped down upon a thin layer of ice instantly breaking through the crust and he sank knee deep into the resulting pothole. Oh Christ! Oh Christ! Oh…Of a sudden his mind froze over in white pain as the water and muddy ice, chilled by weeks of Lord Frost’s breath, fountained up drenching his not so dangling nearest and dearest cods. The world around him blurred and he tried to draw breath to scream. Richard Reedman, you miserable bastard! If his cods were damaged or blighted the fool was going to suffer.
An angry cry from behind told Ned he didn’t have time to cater for clutching his frosty manhood. He needed to move, or else. The motivation of a prime kicking and thumping plus sundry assaults with cudgels and knives prompted his flagging efforts, and shivering as if he had the ague, Ned pushed on. The cries though increased in volume as the foisters of the Fleece rallied for a chase. Damn, damn, damn! This plan looked so good back at the Sign of the Spread Eagle. His angel remarked waspishly that it was warm in there by the blazing fire and he’d a full tankard of Rhenish in hand, so...
“Ere’s t’ stinking measle who ‘it me!” the fair Delphina screeched.
“A shillin’ ta the one what brings ‘im down!” The slightly muffled nasally voice of Flaunty Phil added. A hand over his broken nose may have hindered his speech, though an eager roar and cheer still answered the call.
Ned ignored his other shoe, gave up any further attempt at pulling on his shirt, doublet and hose and instead found a new burst of speed. Damn this! He just had to stop this dreadful habit of helping out friends with their Liberties follies. It was proving to be dangerous to his health, and by Satan’s great black hairy balls, so perishingly cold!
Download the ebook from Amazon to see how Ned fares in his latest Liberties adventure.
Regards Gregory House

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