A little Public Service Announcement – On Monday 17th October 2016 my brand new website will be launching! I’m very much looking forward to sharing exciting content with you all over the next few months, and would love for you to join me in my writing journey. Any visits to this current site will be automatically redirected, so we won’t lose touch. I will post as soon as the website is live!
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I am delighted to announce that Gabriel picked up three 5 star seals when reviewed by Readers’ Favorite recently. It’s always slightly nerve wracking waiting for these to come in, but I couldn’t be more pleased at the outcome. Just as a heads up for other indies who may be considering this – these reviews are not permitted to be added to the normal Amazon customer review list, but you can add them through Amazon Author Central in editorial reviews and they still show up on your page.
|Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
The Making of Gabriel Davenport is a dark urban fantasy written by Beverley Lee. Beth Davenport woke up that morning after a strange night of disquieting dreams, but soon her mind shifted from reliving those images to focusing on having a cup of tea before her six-month-old baby woke up. The farmhouse was still new and strange to her and her husband, Stu. They wanted somewhere special for their infant son to grow up in, and exchanged their suburban tract home for this rambling home, blissfully unencumbered by close neighbors. As she pottered about, her mind lingered on the box Stu had insisted on buying at that antique shop they visited during their holiday. Beth remembered the shop owner putting on gloves before handling it and had wondered about it at the time. That box was sitting there with their suitcases from their week-long holiday. She didn’t really understand why the box caused her to feel so uneasy, but it did, and when Stu was called into the office ahead of schedule, she decided to do something about it.
Beverley Lee’s dark urban fantasy, The Making of Gabriel Davenport, is not the kind of book you dive into and stay up all night until you’ve finished. It’s entirely too big and definitely too good a read to devour all at once. Spend a few days in Gabriel’s world — I’m fairly confident that you’ll be very glad you did. Lee’s evil entity is one of the scariest literary monsters out there, and Clove, her dark angel/knight in shining armor, is unforgettable and larger than life. The author peoples Gabriel’s world with fascinating characters who are heroic at times in their struggle to protect Gabriel and survive the siege of an ancient and evil demon. The Making of Gabriel Davenport is a finely plotted and beautifully written literary fiction masterpiece, and I’m thrilled that there’s a sequel in the works. It’s most highly recommended.
|Reviewed By Leah Gonzalez for Readers’ Favorite
The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee is a well-written and utterly suspenseful dark fantasy novel. The story begins when Gabriel is just a baby. Stu and Beth, along with their baby boy Gabriel, are settling in nicely in a new town. Things are going fine until one stormy day when something evil invades their lives and changes everything. Years later, Gabriel is 15, living with a special group of people, and he longs to find out what really happened that day. The people around him aren’t telling him everything and strange things are happening in the place he calls home. The evil is back to finish what it started.
This is a really interesting read. The Making of Gabriel Davenport is incredibly well-written, fascinating and gripping. Once you start, you can’t put it down. There’s always something that grabs you on every page and there’s always something that makes you want to keep reading. The story itself is intriguing and Beverley Lee writes in a very descriptive and vivid way so that you can really imagine in your head what everything looks like and feels like, and how things are unfolding. She also has a knack for bringing to life such interesting characters. Gabriel is someone you would really feel for and root for. The other characters are also developed well and you can’t help but root for all of them as well. This book feels more like a classic horror than a fantasy and I enjoyed reading it. I think fans of horror and dark fantasy will enjoy it too.
|Reviewed By Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite
The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee is a masterful blend of horror and fantasy, a well-crafted story that will make readers shiver as they follow this exciting adventure into the dark places of the story. Something happened in Meadowfield Bridge that tragically affected the lives of Gabriel Davenport’s parents and, consequently, his own life, something that has silently haunted him for years. Many years later, and now an adult, Gabriel sets out to confront his past, but little does he know that what he’ll face could cause his ultimate demise. Can’t he just choose to live quietly and normally rather than face a darkness as irresistible as it is unforgiving?
Beverley Lee is a new voice in the world of fantasy and horror, one that will be adored by fans of this genre. As an indie and a first-time author, her writing is surprisingly excellent. The plot is wonderful and there is a lot of darkness in the book to make readers look over their shoulders as they turn pages. You are gripped from the very opening and by powerful lines of the story, laced with imagery and symbolism: “She dreamed in grey, the color of misery. The pall bearers lowered her coffin into the ground. She banged on the lid, bloody fingers clawing at the wood. But she wasn’t trying to get out. She was trying to get in.” Things only get better and better as one reads on, and the tension builds with the sense of mystery and impending danger brushing endlessly on the edges of one’s heart.
The characters are very exciting and real; it takes a lot of skill to make an impossible story believable, even lovable. It takes greater skill to make anyone fall in love with darkness and Lee has got all of these. Excellent writing, beautiful plot, great characters, The Making of Gabriel Davenport is one of those stories with great potential for a horror movie, a breathless, breezy read.
Delighted to announce Gabriel’s first award!
I am delighted to announce the book launch of the steampunk novella Evangeline and the Alchemist by the Australian author, Madeleine D’Este. I met Madeleine through a wonderful writers’ group last year and her focus and support of other authors is an example of just how to do it right!
Have you always been a writer or was it something that came to you in later life?
I half-heartedly dabbled for many years but started taking my writing seriously in 2014. I was doing some soul-searching and admitted that writing a novel was my number one goal in life. I am currently querying a novel with agents and publishers but while I’m waiting I decided to self-publish a steampunk novella series. The first episode, Evangeline and the Alchemist is live on Amazon on 16 June 2016.
Do you write over multiple genres, or just one?
I write speculative fiction genre but have written a series of dystopian novels and this new series of steampunk novellas (The Antics of Evangeline). I’ve got other fantasy and cyberpunk ideas floating around my head too. But my writing is always female-led.
Are there any writers or poets who influence you? How so?
For my steampunk series, the key writing influence was Gail Carriger. Her novel Blameless sparked the idea for Evangeline and her adventures in a steampunk Melbourne. Carriger’s books are such fun, I wondered whether I could write a similar steampunk romp as a break from my more serious dystopian novels.
The character of Evangeline is also inspired by L.M. Montgomery and her wonderfully feisty and nutty, Anne Shirley.
My other writing influences span across genres including Octavia Butler, Michael Robotham and CJ Sansom.
Let’s talk about Evangeline and the Alchemist. What is it about?
Evangeline and the Alchemist is the first in a series of novellas of mystery and mayhem set in steampunk Melbourne.
In 1882, “Marvellous” Melbourne was flush with gold-rush cash and the British Empire’s second biggest city.
Evangeline, a seventeen year old reformed urchin and acrobat, is settling into a new comfortable life in Melbourne with her long lost father, Professor Caldicott. But learning to be a lady is awfully dull. Then one day, the police arrive, seeking the Professor’s expertise in catching an Alchemist.
Is this a chance for Evangeline to test out her new invention and save the day? With regular breaks for tea and cream buns, of course.
Other upcoming episodes in The Antics of Evangeline include Evangeline and the Bunyip – where Evangeline faces a mythical Aboriginal monster.
What is steampunk?
Steampunk is a science-fiction genre based in the Victorian era but with anachronistic technology, generally steam-powered.
Steampunk is an alternate world where Victorian innovations are taken to new heights and fun inventions are inserted alongside the Victorian clichés of parasols, whiskers and London pea-soup fogs.
What is your writing process like?
I am a plotter and for the Evangeline series, I used the Story Grid method. This involves creating a one-page outline covering key themes, plot points and emotional changes before I start writing. Then I launch into the vomit draft – just get the words on the page without editing. After my first draft is done, I use the Story Grid again to analyse the structure and begin the editing process. Then a round of beta reading, more editing and voila.
How do you go about promoting your book as a self published author?
My promotion is focused mainly on my blog and Twitter (my comfortable places). I opened the novella for pre-order on Amazon about one month early, then revealed the cover. A great cover is critical for any self-published book! I also commissioned book teasers and banners from my cover designer for use in my promotional activities.
I’m focusing my promotion by targetting different types of readers; steampunk fans, YA fans, short fiction fans and Australian readers. But it’s all just test and learn, so time will tell!
Is there any part of you that you recognise in your main character?
Evangeline is feistier than I am. I am nowhere near as brave. But as the novellas progress, I am drawing on some of my own angsty experiences as a seventeen year old.
Where can I find Evangeline and the Alchemist
Evangeline and the Alchemist is available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.
…on the first month of The Making of Gabriel Davenport’s entry into the big, wide world of readers, I have learned many things. One is that I am supremely grateful for every ounce of support I have received from fellow writers and readers. They have been the ones to champion my story, shouting it out in blog posts, and retweets and Instagram feeds. Without their help I think that I’d be watching the tumbleweed meandering across my sales. Which leads me to the next point – people who have bought/downloaded my book, willing to give a debut author a try when there are thousands of huge names out there all clamouring for attention and with advertising budgets to boost. My reviews have just started to come in and I am thrilled. You *hope* that people are going to like your story, after you’ve sweated blood over it for so long, and when the comments literally make your heart glow, every page obsessed over is worth it.
A huge thank you if you read this and you are one of those people (or are thinking of being one of those people ;))
The last thing I have learned is that I am very, very bad at blogging on a regular basis…I will try to get better, call me on it if I fail!
So, things have been slightly manic here (which doesn’t really excuse my tardiness on this blog. My apologies for the tumbleweed if you’ve checked in) – but onwards to some very exciting news! I have a release date for The Making of Gabriel Davenport. Please mark April 8th 2016 in your diaries as the day my book baby flies its nest. If you have a look in my sidebar, there’s a link there to try your hand in a Goodreads giveaway to win one of three signed copies!
About ten minutes ago I received the actual proof copy. A proper hold-in-your-hands-smell-the-pages-book ❤. My hands are still shaking. I just need to read it through for the final time and check for anything amiss, but as soon as I’ve done that, my book will be live, and just waiting for the 8th April.
It all seems a little surreal. It’s been a long, exhausting slog and many months filled with a roller coaster mixture of anxiety, unbridled joy and far too much tea! But would I do it again? *
In a heartbeat.
* The sequel is just about ready to send out to beta 😉
After a gestation period of 13 months, this week finally saw the unveiling of the long awaited cover to The Making of Gabriel Davenport!
I couldn’t be more pleased with the result, *hand drawn* by the very talented Maria Elena Maxwell. From the very beginning I wanted broken wings, to highlight Gabriel’s struggle. I wanted different shades of light to symbolise the fine line between darkness and light, and that blurred line inbetween where things hover in a lost place. And I wanted simplicity.
The font I am in love with! From the arched A and the gothic T to the whole feel of the letters – they whisper of the happenings on that one night, where one secret threatens to destroy everything Gabriel holds dear, including his fragile hold on reality.
Many thanks to the lovely Melanie Noell Bernard for nominating me for the Liebster Award.
Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
Answer 11 question that the blog gives you.
Give 11 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 5-11 blogs you think are deserving of the award that have less than 200 followers.
Let the blogs know you have nominated them.
Give them 11 questions to answer.
- I *hate* the taste of burnt toast. ‘Eating burnt toast makes your hair curly’ I was told. Which has to be the greatest irony, as anyone who has seen my picture knows I have a mass of unruly curls…
- I have a fear of moths. Put me in a room where one is fluttering about and I’m reduced to a quivering wreck. But butterflies are pretty and don’t count…I know, I know.
- I love giraffes. I think it’s those big eyes with the long lashes. I challenge you not to squee..
- I’ve always liked to star gaze. I think it’s the timelessness of that great, vast star studded canopy. It grounds me every time. My favourite constellation is Orion.
- Anti heroes send my pulse racing – Jay Gatsby, Dexter, Lestat from The Vampire Chronicles, and the latest, Kaz Brekker, from Six of Crows. Be still my heart.
- I like my own company. I can go for days not speaking to a soul (unless my cat counts) and be quite happy.
- I bake the *best* pavlova going – the ones where the inside is all marshmallow-y – it’s my signature dessert.
- I can’t swim. I’ll paddle, but once my feet start to want to leave the bottom, panic central!
- I love candlelight. I think I was born in the wrong century.
- I’m very active in the #bookstagram community. I take nerdy pictures of books in various poses. I might have a problem.
- I love the ocean – but I don’t like sand (or water *points to number 8*) Go figure!
MELANIE’S QUESTIONS –
1. What’s one guilty pleasure you have?
I love to binge watch TV shows, to the point where I’ll snack instead of making a proper meal.Lists a few, just because – American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Penny Dreadful, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Six Feet Under.
2. What childhood activity do you miss now that you’re an ‘adult’?
Having all day in the school holidays to do exactly what I want. I remember going out for the whole day and getting lost in my imagination. Adulting is so overrated.
3. Do you speak any other languages besides English?
A smattering of French, enough to get me past a menu. Or into trouble.
4. Chocolate or gummy bears?
Chocolate, for definite. But I’m quite picky. Nothing too rich or nutty or chewy. White chocolate buttons – sublime heaven. And anything with dark chocolate and mint.
5. What Harry Potter house are you in?
6. What fandom(HP/GOT/Dr. Who/HG/etc) annoys you to no end?
I wouldn’t say any annoy me, everyone has their own obsessions, and some of mine probably irritate.
7. What’s in your Dauntless fear landscape? (aka what are you afraid of?)
I think I kinda answered this above! Water, moths – and clowns, I hate clowns *shudders*
8. Name a song you’re totally obsessed with at the moment.
Hotel California by The Eagles. I have it on in the car and keep putting it on repeat. And Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day as it’s the song that applies to my protagonist, Gabriel, in The Making of Gabriel Davenport.
9. Are you the center of attention or a wallflower?
Wallflower. I am the poster child for the term ‘introverted’. People watching is my comfort zone. To be ‘the watched’ freaks me out.
10. What’s your favorite part of blogging?
Sharing thoughts, especially if what I write can help someone else or resonate with them in some way.
11. If given the opportunity to do something without any consequences, what would you do?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. I’d love to snoop around another writer’s study and read their notes on whatever they’re writing, see what else they have on their desks, what photos, keepsakes – is that really creepy?!
NOMINEES – (hard as it’s supposed to be blogs under 200 subscribers, if yours is over, apologies!)
And my questions for you lovelies –
- How long have you had the idea for your current project?
- What’s one place in the world you would love to visit?
- What’s your current read?
- What one word would you use to describe yourself?
- You’re halfway through a book and it’s boring you. Do you continue?
- After you’ve bought new books that you’re dying to read, how long do they sit on your shelf before you pick them up?
- Is there one genre you would struggle with, reading or writing?
- What screensaver picture is on your phone?
- Are you a pantster or a plotter or somewhere inbetween?
- The book you’re writing has a theme tune – what is it?
- Would you rather win a literary award or have an army of loyal fans?
As always, please don’t feel pressured to answer, this is all just fun in the spirit of sharing and maybe getting a few people to visit your blog 🙂
I was tagged by the lovely Nicolette Elzie and the lovely Natalie K. to do the 7/7/7 snippet challenge – in other words find page 7 of your manuscript, scroll down 7 lines, and then share the next 7 lines in a blog post.
Then tag 7 other writers with blogs to continue the challenge.
This is from #The Making of Gabriel Davenport, which is now in its final editor revisions, and will be flying the nest in 2016!
The house dozed, warmed by the sun and sleepy shadows cut across the floors from the odd shaped roof and internal walls. Everything was soft and golden and safe.
She shivered as she carefully closed Gabriel’s door. A cold draught licked at her ankles again and she didn’t have to search to know where it came from.
This was the ideal time to empty the suitcases and sort all the things they had bought on their holiday. The time management part of her brain whirred into action. Maybe Stu opened the window before he went off to work? But she couldn’t come up with a reason why.
Tagging the following talented writers/bloggers!
Please don’t feel pressured to do the tag, but if you do let me know so that I can devour your words!
I have been incredibly lucky on this creative journey of mine to discover artists who believe in my work and characters enough to spend their time crafting images from my mental visions. The above depiction of Gabe is from the lovely heavenlyeros. Please check out her tumblr for other wonderful artwork.
What I really want to do is wax lyrical over the symbolism in this, but I can’t or I’ll spoiler my own book! So I’ll simply say that the rose and the thorns and the cat and the colour all mean much more than what you first see. Those of you that have read The Making of Gabriel Davenport in beta form will know exactly what I mean – hopefully!
There are even stars in his eyes 💜
A heartfelt thank you to heavenlyeros for her passion and belief. Working with you has been such a pleasure 😊