So, it’s just ten days before ‘Oracle’ the second of the Cassandra Fortune books is released on to an unsuspecting world. Actually, it’s not that unsuspecting, as review copies have been out for some time and people are saying nice things about it. So, Isabelle Grey, author of the DI Grace Fisher stories, whose latest ‘Tell Me How It Ends‘ (Quercus) is set in London in the early sixties said ‘Cassandra Fortune is as fearless and shrewdly observant as any classic action hero , yet also intriguingly able to admit vulnerability. Will the Furies catch up with her in this very modern political thriller set amid the ruins of ancient Greece?’ Jacky Gramosi Collins, aka the famous Dr Noir, described ‘Oracle’ as ‘a text that reminds us of the way the past resonates in the present and the lessons we all need to learn’. Steve Sheppard, author of ‘A Very Important Teapot‘ said ‘Plague was gripping and original, and Oracle is a masterful sequel. The plot keeps us guessing right to the end as the intriguing cast of characters are handled with skill and care.’ ( Steve is a fellow Claret Press author ) and the playwright David Armstrong described it as ‘a page-turner, an engaging and absorbing read’.
Book bloggers like it. For example, Jean M Roberts of The Books Delight, said ‘There are more twists, turns and unexpected revelations in this story than the path leading to the Corycian Cave and they will keep readers guessing until the unexpected end’. NetGalley reviews have been favourable too, with plenty of five and four star reviews. I will, however, be making some last minute amendments, after having received detailed comments from Maro Nicolopolou of the European Cultural Centre at Delphi, for which I am very grateful.
There are a whole host of things happening in the virtual world on or around publication day, 5th May ( some of which are listed on the Events page of this website ). I’m being interviewed by Dr Noir for ‘The Doctor Will See You Now’ on Newcastle Noir TV – I’ll be attending that Festival of Crime Fiction later in the year – which will be broadcast on 6th May. I’m speaking with Staffordshire and Kensington & Chelsea Libraries, as well as several radio stations and with book clubs ( the UK Crime Book Club for example ) and there are a series of regional newspaper reviews in the pipeline, from The Somerset Leveller, The Yorkshire Times, The Lancashire Times, Time & Leisure Magazine and others. I’m also going international on Armand Rosamilia’s Floridian podcast. Needless to say, the writing of ‘Opera’ is being put on the back burner for a short while at least.
And in the real, physical, world? Things are gradually opening up but not quickly enough for the traditional book launch to take place and I shall have the dubious distinction of having launched TWO books during COVID restricted life. Unfortunately, though local London bookstores will carry the book, it’s unlikely to get a wider distribution, as my publisher’s distributor has, like so many other businesses, fallen foul of the economic disaster that is COVID. It is available, however, and listed with Neilsen’s so can be ordered from other stores and can be purchased from Bookshop.org, the site which gives more of its profits to independent book shops and publishers, on the Claret Press web-site and, of course, on Amazon. It runs to 274 pages and costs £9.99 for the paperback and £3.99 for ebook.
The company which produces promotional images of ‘Oracle’ seems to be majoring on the holiday market, with images of the book, in its various forms, on beaches and planes. Fingers crossed, for all sorts of reasons, that we can all get to travel internationally again. ‘Oracle’ would certainly be ideal vacation reading, even though it isn’t a hot and sunny Greece it is set in but rather a cold and stormy one. I suspect that, after all the interviews, talks and other activity I’ll be ready for a holiday – and a return to ‘Opera’ and writing!