Updates, giveaways and kittens!

Hello everybody. It’s been a long while!

I’ve been reading lots and lots (mostly fantasy or crime thrillers) and I’m finding new authors I LOVE. Recently, it’s been Brandon Sanderson and CJ Tudor all the way for me. (If you’re a Brandon fan too, check out the amazing giveaway below!). I’ve set up a new instagram profile where I share the books I’m reading and post reviews.

Check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/dmcainreviews/

Lockdown was a stressful time all round for everybody. Trapped in the house, unable to see friends and family, kids going crazier day by day (we haven’t even got a garden so it was hard work entertaining them!). Then I contracted COVID myself and spent a few days ill in bed. Things were just returning to normal when my son then tested positive too. ARGHHHHHH! Luckily, he was fine and had no symptoms at all so everything has returned to normal now.

In other news, I’ve started a new job working in a High School as a special educational needs tutor. I absolutely love it. It’s such a rewarding job and the kids are just great. 

I’ve saved the best news till last. Over the lockdown, we took in a little kitten that had been found alone and tattered in the woods. The plan was to nurse her back to health and then sell her on, but we fell head over heels in love with her, so she has now joined our troupe – making it 4 cats in our house! 

Here she is, stunning little Murphy:

What am I currently working on?

The Sins of Silas

This project has been riddled with issues from day one and it’s a (very slow) work in progress. I started writing the book, and during the process I undertook numerous writing courses and read books about writing. My writing style changed and so did what I wanted to include in the book. This has meant extensive rewrites and edits. It’s been hard work. My fantastic beta readers have been sending me their comments too, which helps me to fix things along the way. When it is finally finished, it has the potential to be the best of the series. I just don’t know when it’ll be ready!

Things I’m enjoying about it: Spending time with Silas and his buddies is a lot of fun. Silas is an interesting character to write and I love the world-building element to this novel.


Things I’m hating about it: Having to fix problems with the plot and character development and not knowing how to do it believably and ensuring I cover my tracks!

The Ballad of Benedict

This project, though started after The Sins of Silas was finished, will probably be ready for publication first. Again, I really enjoyed writing this one. As with the earlier instalment in the series, A Chronicle of Chaos, this one features dual points of view. It follows two main characters alongside one another and both are interesting to write, as they are so different to one another. We follow Benedict Thialdor – an ambassador from the Children of Light, sent to live in a completely new location, and Favian – an orphaned boy with an unusual power and a domineering mentor. 

Things I’m enjoying about it: The secondary characters are great fun to write in this book. Benedict has an interesting best friend, plus a ‘pet’ who goes everywhere with him (I’m not giving up anymore than that just yet!)


Things I’m not enjoying about it: Not having enough time to power through and immerse myself in the writing process fully. I always do better when I can throw everything into it, and at the moment I’m only getting time here and there to write. 


Have I got an amazing opportunity for you! A Brandon Sanderson giveaway!

Follow some amazing authors across the web and enter to win a Mistborn 3-book box set, The Stormlight Archive 3-book box set, and Arcanum Unbounded, plus, a Mistborn adventure game, a Kaladin Stormblessed jigsaw puzzle, a Mistborn art print, a Knights Radiant Order display disk, two Coins of Elendel, a Stormlight Archive mug, a Survivor of Hathsin candle, and a Rhythm of War sticker pack!

The more tasks you perform, the more chances you have to win!

NaNoWriMo 2020 – I must be crazy…

An update on my Works-In-Progress

For the past year, I have been slogging away at The Sins of Silas, taking feedback from my completely amazing beta readers and occasionally just wanting to burn the damn thing. I think it has potential, but it is causing me so many issues! Since I began writing it, I have completed courses, and read plenty of books on writing craft. So my style has matured and I learned many things that I just wasn’t doing before. So this book needs a HUGE amount of editing and rewriting. After hacking away at the thing for a year, I am still only on Chapter 13… of 34…

Though I love the story and the characters (especially Silas – he’s a lot of fun to write) I am suffering some major burnout on the book now. It’s time I put it aside and focused on something else, just for a short time, to clear my head, and my nerves.

Which brings me nicely to…

For the month of November, I shall be casting aside The Sins of Silas, and continuing with another work-in-progress, The Ballad of Benedict. This novel has two point of view characters and one of them is halfway completed. The other, I haven’t even begun yet. That storyline shall be my NaNoWriMo project.

For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Writers pledge to write a 50,000 book in just one month.

Terrifying. Insurmountable, some might say.

They’re probably right.


But I managed a 25,000 word camp NaNo project a few years ago (which became my novella Genesis of Light) and I have a lot more free time now between teaching my online students. So I’m just going for it.

A Little About My NaNoWriMo Project

I shall be writing the secondary plot arc of a character named Favian – a demon hunter with a peculiar weapon, and an even more peculiar mentor…

Book:
The Ballad of Benedict – a novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles.
Temporary Blurb: In the forests of Thos, Benedict Thialdor – an ambassador with the Children of Light – must uncover myths of old to reclaim a legendary weapon believed to hold the key to defeating Hell’s most dangerous demons.


For the other writers out there, are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Support from other authors is the way we all get through this!

Here are some helpful resources for NaNoWriMo and getting that novel finished!

https://www.tinyrayofsunshine.com/blog/nanowrimo-resources

https://www.bustle.com/articles/122600-8-resources-to-help-you-finish-nanowrimo-because-we-all-need-a-little-support

RELATED LINKS:

The Light and Shadow Chronicles

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

The Sins of Silas

The Ballad of Benedict

The Phoenix Project audiobook

The Phoenix Project audiobook is here!

Psychological dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project is now available in audiobook!

Narrated by the fabulous Sunny Patel and published by Next Chapter Audio Ltd.

And here’s the exciting news: I am giving away FREE review copies to the first 20 people to request a copy! So, if you’re interested in experiencing this award-winning novel, drop a comment below and you could be in for a chance to receive a free copy.

Kindle Book Review – Winner, Best Science Fiction Novel

In a world that has descended into chaos, Raven Kennedy becomes a part of the Phoenix Project. Across the country, prison inmates fight to the death while the nation cheers them on. 

While struggling with his past, Raven faces the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. With the real war raging inside him, Raven fights for redemption.

But can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?

Also available in ebook, paperback and large print from Amazon:


Related links:

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

How was The Phoenix Project inspired by D.M. Cain’s love of geek culture?

The Phoenix Project, reviewed

Other books by D.M. Cain

Psychological thriller only $0.99 for 4 days!

Award-winning psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is priced just $0.99 for four days (from 17th July to 21st July).

Winner of the Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi Novel of 2016

How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?

As violence and terrorist attacks become more prevalent, the world descends into chaos. Outraged by the lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.

In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war rages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines.

Fighting for his life and a chance for redemption, can Raven survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?

Grab your copy in ebook or paperback here

Praise:

★★★★★ A Never-To-Be-Forgotten Masterpiece

★★★★★ In my humble opinion The Phoenix Project is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. – Stewart Bint, Author

★★★★★ A not-so-gentle reminder to check our own morals, our beliefs and our system of justice. To repeatedly ask ourselves, am I okay with what I see in the mirror? – Lisa Veldkamp, Author

★★★★★ The Phoenix Project is a compelling read, beautifully written in a way that totally captivates your imagination. Dark and sometimes uncomfortable, this book gives a disturbing insight into a postmodern world of anomie and repressive state force. – Amazon Reviewer


RELATED LINKS

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

How was The Phoenix Project inspired by geek culture?

Secrets of The Phoenix Project

Special Abilities in Film and Literature

A guest post from ericuseshiswords. Find him on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram for more great content.

In the majority of fictional worlds we consume, we see people who are different than those around them. Harry Potter was a wizard living amongst muggles. Gandalf has lived for thousands of years, using his fantastical abilities to great effect.

As you can probably tell, many special powers come down to simply “magic”. Someone was born a witch or wizard or with the gift of flight or whatever it may be, and that’s that.

But if this is overdone, how can a potential author separate themself from the crowd. How can you make your characters special without simply giving them an overused magical quality and a weak explanation?

Simply put, you need to make the special abilities in your world unique. Create a backstory that goes deeper than “He is magical because I SAY he is magical!” Now more than ever, readers and viewers want to dive deep into fantasy worlds, and creating a unique reason for special abilities helps them do just that.

Let’s take a look at a few samples.

X-MEN: Genetic Mutations

Wolverine heals and has blade-like claws sprout from his hands-on command. Cyclops fires beams from his eyes. Jean Grey controls things with her mind. Each character has a unique special ability, but each ability is tied to a common cause: freak genetic mutations.

So-called mutants have mutations in their genetic code that give them radical powers; but, like most mutations, these also come with downsides. Wolverine feels the pain every time those claws come out. Cyclops needs special glasses to hold in his beams.

By giving them a scientific backing, the X-Men went from simply being superheroes to being a unique relative, the Mutants.

The Stormlight Archives

Written by Brandon Sanderson, the Stormlight Archives are set in a mystical world much like Middle Earth. Highstorms sweep through the land with mystical energies swirling around in them. The rich and powerful own shardplate and shardblades, powerful pieces of armor and weaponry that charge through the highstorms.

Likewise, Surgebinders are the closest there comes to magicians in this fantasy world. They can bind different ‘systems’ – such as gravity and adhesion – and manipulate them. Users do this through binding with a spren, a small mystical creature. Like shardplate, Surgebinders need to recharge in highstorms.

By creating a storm system that really fuels almost everything mystical in the Stormlight world, Sanderson thought up a unique way of giving his characters special abilities.

Star Wars – Jedi/Sith Abilities

Although it annoyed a lot of fans in the process, the Force got an explanation. Midi-chlorians  – microscopic organisms  – live in every race in the galaxy and give them the powers of the force. Some people have more, some people have less.

From there, through focus and meditation, users can increase the potency of the Midi-chlorians, therefore increasing their powers.

All three of these are great examples of different ways to introduce magical powers into your universe. People latch onto unique ideas, so if you can discover a different approach to what you want to achieve, you’re on your way to success.


What are your favourite uses of power or ability in film or literature? Comment below or message me with your ideas!


RELATED LINKS:

Worldbuilding – Meraxor

How Brandon Sanderson helped me with my writing

Brandon Sanderson on writing

Spanish and Portuguese dystopian thriller

Spanish and Portuguese dystopian thriller

Psychological dystopian novel, The Phoenix Project, has now been released in Spanish and Portuguese.

KINDLE BOOK REVIEW – WINNER, BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

In a world that has descended into chaos, Raven Kennedy becomes a part of the Phoenix Project. Across the country, prison inmates fight to the death while the nation cheers them on. 

While struggling with his past, Raven faces the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. With the real war raging inside him, Raven fights for redemption.

But can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?

★★★★★ – “With its break-neck action and engaging relationships, this is a sure winner for fans of Fight Club and Hunger Games.” 

★★★★★ – “A gripping tale of a dystopian society.”

The Phoenix Project dystopian thriller in Spanish and Portuguese

Buy here in Spanish

Buy here in Portuguese

Spanish, Portuguese, Italian fantasy books DM Cain

Spanish, Italian and Portuguese fantasy books

Epic, immersive fantasy novel, A Chronicle of Chaos, has now been released in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Spanish Portuguese and Italian fantasy books by D.M. Cain

Bound by fate. Severed by blood.

In a realm ravaged by war, The Brotherhood of Shadow and The Children of Light will stop at nothing to destroy each other.

The warrior known as Chaos fights in the name of honor and glory. Arrogant and headstrong, he considers himself the strongest in the land, until fate puts him at the mercy of the demon Anathema.

The two strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to defeat one another only leads them closer together.

When the forces of Light and Darkness collide, where will their loyalties lie?

★★★★★ – “Outstanding. Strongly recommended to anyone who likes young adult fantasy.”

★★★★★ – “A unique and different approach to the old themes of angels and demons.”

★★★★★ – “Fantasy world, demons, angels, complex moral dilemmas. I’m sold.”

★★★★★ – “Amazing and entertaining, this book explores many themes and delves deep into the question of what is right.”

★★★★★ – “I was captivated as the story unfolded. Battles, adventures and feelings of being an outcast intermingled with love and affection. A must-read for fantasy fans.”

★★★★★ – “A heartrending tale of brutality, love, compassion and destiny.”

Spanish Portuguese and Italian fantasy books by D.M. Cain

Buy here in Spanish

Buy here in Italian

Buy here in Portuguese


RELATED LINKS:

A unique immersive fantasy series

The shield on the series books

10 immersive fantasy series to check out

Worldbuilding – Meraxor

The Light and Shadow Chronicles

Free extracts from The Shield of Soren

My publisher’s website – https://www.nextchapter.pub/ – has featured some free extracts from my epic fantasy novel The Shield of Soren.

This book is part of The Light and Shadow Chronicles, a series of epic fantasy stories which can be read in any order. Find out more about the series by clicking on the image below:

If you are new to this fantasy world, or have only read one of the books, these extracts will help to give you a flavour of what my writing is about. I hope you enjoy them!

D.M. Cain

Excerpt 1: White Feathers

Excerpt 2: Inferior Genes

The Shield of Soren on audiobook

DM Cain audiobook - The Shield of Soren

Young Soren is the apprentice of legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. At the age of sixteen, Soren is expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow – but he seems to be more interested in mischief than battle.

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he accidentally unleashes a deadly threat. As an age-old prophecy comes to pass, Soren must take a perilous journey deep into enemy territory.

But does he have what it takes to save the realm, or will the Brotherhood destroy everything he loves?

★★★★★ – “I’m delighted with the depth of young Soren Nitaya. This is a coming of age fantasy young and old alike will not be able to put down until they’ve read the last page. Definitely recommended.”

★★★★★ – “With remarkable characters and a captivating ending, you won’t want the story to end.”

★★★★★ – “A well-written fantasy read. Character development is done very well, the book has good pace and will leave the reader wanting for more. D.M. Cain has given us a real jewel to enjoy.”

★★★★★ – Superb fantasy.”


Pick up your copy here:

Fantasy audiobook - audible US
Fantasy audiobook - audible UK

Why not check out the other books in the audio series?

DM Cain audiobook series

RELATED LINKS:

The Light and Shadow Chronicles

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Shield of Soren

Genesis of Light

Origin of Shadow

The Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project free promotion

Award-winning psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days, starting today!

Award-winning psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days, starting today!

Winner of the Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi Novel of 2016

How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?

As violence and terrorist attacks become more prevalent, the world descends into chaos. Outraged by the lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.

In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war rages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines.

Fighting for his life and a chance for redemption, can Raven survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him – and find the forgiveness he seeks?

Grab your copy in ebook or paperback here

Praise:

★★★★★ A Never-To-Be-Forgotten Masterpiece

★★★★★ In my humble opinion The Phoenix Project is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. – Stewart Bint, Author

★★★★★ A not-so-gentle reminder to check our own morals, our beliefs and our system of justice. To repeatedly ask ourselves, am I okay with what I see in the mirror? – Lisa Veldkamp, Author

★★★★★ The Phoenix Project is a compelling read, beautifully written in a way that totally captivates your imagination. Dark and sometimes uncomfortable, this book gives a disturbing insight into a postmodern world of anomie and repressive state force. – Amazon Reviewer

Award-winning psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is FREE for four days, starting today!

RELATED LINKS

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

How was The Phoenix Project inspired by geek culture?

Secrets of The Phoenix Project