Book Giveaway Contest! The King’s Jewel

by limebirddennis

On the 16th August my fourth book (my second novel) was released as an ebook (while the previous three are also available in paperback, this one will only be coming out in physical copy for the Christmas rush…).

The main characters in this novel (and the four that are still to come) are all based on my own ancestors. Here’s the blurb to explain it a little more:

The Helix Key – Keeping the past free, so that tomorrow will survive.

The Kings Jewel Cover 2 - Small

 In Book One of The Helix Key series – The King’s Jewel – we are introduced to Shara Lane; a normal 2050s schoolgirl, lucky enough to be able to escape the English monsoon and visit her grandparents in South Africa, but just a normal twelve year old. Or so she thinks…

First there are Granddad’s stories about ancestors who were kings – gods even! Then there’s a stalker with a strange tale to tell. The next thing she knows, Shara is waking up in a palace, on a mission to retrieve alien technology from Alfred the Great! Thrown into the middle of an ages old conflict; what she does will shape humankind’s past and must protect its future.

Across The Helix Key series, Shara is thrown from a Saxon palace to the Royal Observatory of a Magi, she sets out on a search for a legendary sword fit for a Conqueror, and has to save the library of an 18th century thinker. Finally, the ship to the stars is ready to launch, but has Shara been able to stop those who would doom the mission?

The King’s Jewel is ideal for those looking for historical fiction with a different viewpoint, or for those looking for science fiction with a strong female protagonist. While there is some violence and death (the story does revolve around Anglo-Saxons and Vikings) it is not gratuitous and, with parents reading along, the story is suitable for readers from the youngest Young Adult up to Adult.

 As an author I have trawled through my family tree for characters that lived in ‘interesting times’; do you have any ancestors that you would love to read stories about?

 The Contest: In the comment thread below, name a historical person (they can be an ancestor or not) and give a short (two or three sentence) synopsis of a situation that you would like to see this person deal with.

The contributors of the three most original (in my opinion) ideas will each receive a copy of The King’s Jewel in the eformat of their choice. Surprise me, delight me, excite me!

Judging will take place one week from today.

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24 Comments to “Book Giveaway Contest! The King’s Jewel”

  1. Ooo, what a cool competition! I’ll have a think, I’m sure I’m probably exempt from winning, but it’ll be really fun to take part!

  2. It’s hard to choose one person and situation, but I would love to see how my great-great-great-great grandfather dealt with his capture by the Delaware in 1782. He was about 16 when the event occurred, and he lived with them for 7 years until he was released as part of an exchange.

  3. Doc Holliday stepped from the time machine and looked around. So this is Vienna, he thought. What a let down. The cobbled streets were littered with rubbish, tramps begged on every corner and it was raining. The Doc made his way to the doss house. Inside he looked around until he found what he was looking for. There he was, scratching away at one of his drawings. Word on the street was that his art was terrible. The Doc waited patiently until he left the doss house and started tramping the streets, attempting to sell his second rate drawings to tourists too gullible to know good art when they saw it. Eventually the Doc caught him alone. Without a word he drew his knife into his right hand and approached from behind. Cupping his left hand round the would-be artist’s mouth he then used the knife to slit his throat. He felt the blood gush forwards in a stream. The Doc took out his already blood stained handkerchief and used it to wipe his hands. Then he left Adolf Hitler to die in the street.

    Not quite what you said you wanted but I decided to bend the rules. Janet Parfitt.

  4. My great-great-great-uncle was Captain Robert Abram Bartlett, a sea captain and explorer who accompanied Commander Peary in his quest for the North Pole. He was the first man ever to sail a ship above the 88th parallel.
    He once walked 700 miles across the Arctic Ocean with one other man to organize the rescue of their mates, who were stranded, and whose captain had abandoned ship. This guy has a long list of accomplishments, and sailed for more than 40 years throughout the north Atlantic. See this site for more details and a photograph. And thanks for suggesting this — I was going to write about Robert’s sister Susannah, my great great grandmother but I’ll save her for another day. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Robert_bartlett.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bartlett_(explorer)&h=462&w=284&sz=107&tbnid=-l1sVT2XqDgCpM:&tbnh=86&tbnw=53&prev=/search%3Fq%3DRobert%2Bbartlett%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=Robert+bartlett&usg=__S0UFtZC5C-o4Ah5Bx434uZVM2dY=&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ItMwUpnDKbe34AOV14CYDQ&ved=0CC8Q9QEwBQ

    • Thanks for entering. A very interesting story about your great-great-great-uncle. There is nothing in the rules about only one entry, so feel free to tell us about your great great grandmother!

      Although not a part of the Helix Key series, I do, one day, hope to write the story of my great grandmother, Ada, who had five children and outlived them all (lost to TB aged 17, 19, 24, 28 (my grandmother) and 32 – after her husband, Arthur, was sent to the trenches aged 34 and caught TB). Here’s a picture of Ada, Arthur, and the five ill-fated children https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=46921463222&set=a.46917938222.70501.698328222&type=3&theater She lived to 79 and I vaguely remember her as an old woman.

      • How tragic! They are a beautiful family — she must have been broken-hearted when she lost each, and when she lost her last child, I can’t imagine how terrible that would be. Thanks for letting me into a bit of your life. 😎

  5. Congrats on your book, Dennis!

    • Thanks a lot! While I am proud of all of my work (and keep an ear out for the Halloween edition of StarShipSofa) I am particularly proud of this book. I worked very hard on getting all of the historical details correct as I wanted the book to appeal to more than just science fiction readers.

  6. Congratulations on your book Dennis, I’m glad that you are doing so well! This book was really really entertaining, it’s a good read for me and my teen-aged daughter enjoyed it too. When I read his work I get so engrossed in the book that I forget what is going on around me, and that is what makes a good book for me!

    Ahhh, my father traced our family roots back to Eric the Red, so I believe I would like to see how Eric the Red would deal with the traffic today downtown on Mainstreet, USA. If I remember my history right he had quite the temper –

    • Thanks a lot Neeks, I’m really glad that you and your teen-aged daughter liked it! It is great to hear reviews from satisfied readers!

      As for your suggestion, sounds good! It makes me think of “Hercules in New York” the first movie of Arnold Strong ‘Mr. Universe’ (better known nowadays as Arnold Schwarzenegger!) Hard to believe that it was made 44 years ago. Hopefully Eric the Red on Mainstreet would have better dialogue!

      As a science fiction lover, you should definitely search out “The Technicolor Time Machine” by Harry Harrison, one of my favourite comedy time travel novels (which I first read as a teenager). The plot revolves around events from the “Saga of the Greenlanders” and the “Saga of Eirik the Red”.

    • P.S. In Book 2 (which I am currently plotting/researching) Shara travels from Petra to Bethlehem to Heliopolis and then on to the Library of Alexandria (while chased by an alien drone!). I think you’ll like this one too!

  7. Lovely idea for a competition, Dennis, and congratulations on the book.

    I would be greedy and take the explorers Ernest Shackleton, Hiram Bingham and David Livingstone, bring them to today’s world and find out where they would explore next if they could: what new frontiers could they still find and break through? What epic stories and finds could they still bring back?

    Many, I am sure.

    • Thanks for the comment Laura.

      I can imagine the book, some sort of cross between The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and a Clive Cussler novel!

  8. Can’t wait to read this Dennis! This began as your Nano novel didn’t it? I think I remember you talking about the premise before. Either way I love this idea!

    • Thanks for the comment Laura. Yes it is my NaNo2012 novel. This year I brought out NaNo2010 and NaNo2012 (NaNo2011 petered out and so is going to be reformatted as a novella).

  9. My grandmother was in Paris during the Nazi occupation. She had a child out of wedlock–a half Jewish child (my mother). Although she kept my mom hidden and kept herself protected, the war affected her life in unimaginable ways. I would love to have had this feisty woman give Hitler a piece of her mind (and get away with it, of course!).

  10. Ok, finally had a think about this properly! So, my family originally come from the ‘Black Irish’ those that came over on the Spanish Armada over to Ireland, hence why I have Irish heritage but tan really well. My husband’s family also did the same thing, came over on the Spanish Armada over to the Isle of Wight, so I’d be interested to go back and see the journey that our ancestors made over. Unless we find out we’re cousins 4 times removed then I would like to retract my idea….

    • You never know, as the Duke of Medina Sidonia (might have) said “Beeeeeth, I am your faaaaather”.

      I had three friends in scouts who were called Gutteridge. I always thought that this was due to them coming over on the Armada as Gutiérrez. However, during my research for The King’s Jewel, I found out that it goes back to Anglo-Saxon times and could be from ‘the son of Godrich’. I am getting more drawn to family history by the day.

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