Movie news & a new month long chance to win signed copies of The Jerusalem Puzzle & The Istanbul Puzzle

Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Competitions

Last month’s winner of a paperback copy of The Jerusalem Puzzle was Jamison Duncan. Please email me Jamison ( with your address! This month I am offering a free copy of The Jerusalem Puzzle & a unique advance reader copy of The Istanbul Puzzle, both signed, posted anywhere in the world. An exciting offer has come in from a Hollywood producer to make a movie of The Istanbul Puzzle, shooting to start within eighteen months, so I expect these signed copies will eventually become more valuable. But for now we keep our feet on the ground. The competition will run for a month, until the 15th April 2013. You have a chance of winning a free copy of both my published novels if you share this post, on Twitter and Facebook please, with your followers. You must comment below when you have done that to enter. I truly appreciate and am humbled by all your support. If I can involve you in the movie making process I will, as I will be a script consultant. Get in touch if you have ideas, what scenes must stay in, who should play Sean and any other thoughts. I am working on finishing The Manhattan Puzzle this week. It is due out October 10th. I hope it will entertain and interest you. The truth about the puzzle will be revealed in The Manhattan Puzzle. If you are a writer and want to be on my list for guest posts please email me: and I will send you guidelines. I want us all to work together to promote our writing. If you want to buy The Istanbul Puzzle click here. And if you want to buy the The Jerusalem Puzzle click here.  Each month, from now until October, one person will be chosen using a random number generator from the list of comments below. So keep coming back  if you don’t win! And you can enter multiple times by sharing on Twitter and Facebook on multiple days and commenting on each day below, so you have multiple comments. I will take a look at any multiple comment winner shares to make sure this is fair for everyone. Thank you all for sharing this post and for buying my novels and for all your support.  I hope you win! And I hope you’ll enjoy the...

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Symbol Secrets from The Jerusalem Puzzle & a £100 prize.

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Historical Puzzles, The Jerusalem Puzzle

The square and arrow symbol in the manuscript Sean and Isabel found under Hagia Sophia in The Istanbul Puzzle returns in The Jerusalem Puzzle. In The Jerusalem Puzzle the symbol is discovered in the Museum of Antiquities in central Cairo near Tahrir Square.  This is the museum where  King Tutankhamun’s famous golden mask is on display. The remains of many famous Pharaohs are housed there, as well as items from their tombs, along with a huge papyrus and coin collection on the ground floor. Sean goes to the museum after seeing a picture of a papyrus fragment in a guide to the museum. Here is the fragment: My interest in the square and arrow symbol was inspired by this fragment. The caption on the card beneath the fragment reads, according to my notes: Papyrus fragment found 1984 in rubbish pit near the Black Pyramid (built King Amenemhat III, Middle Kingdom era, 2055-1650 BC), by the Austrian Institute of Cairo. The lower hieroglyph represents the Queen of Darkness. The upper hieroglyph has not been deciphered. The only other example of these hieroglyphs is from a stone inscription at the Gihon Pool in Jerusalem, a Canaanite province of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom era. The symbol reappears later in The Jerusalem Puzzle when it is used as a marker and also near the end when its purpose is further alluded too. The Jerusalem Puzzle provides strong clues as to what this symbol means. And there is still a prize of £100 available to anyone who breaks the code contained in the symbol. Some other possible meanings since I created this original post on what the symbol means, include that it was used as a mnemonic or that it was an old Mandarin symbol for the sun found in the  Zhongyuan Yinyun. The character has been simplified in modern Mandarin to 日 (rì) meaning day; sun; date; or day of the month according to that theory. I don’t know if any of that will help you win the £100 prize! But it just might. Good luck! And remember – no purchase is necessary to solve this...

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Foreshadowing. What makes you read on? #4

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in On Writing

This is the final post in this series, created as a lead in the launch of The Jerusalem Puzzle ebook on Monday Dec 3rd.  We have had: A sense of adventure. What makes you read on? #1 Action opening alternatives. What makes you read on? #2 A sense of mystery. What makes you read on? #3 and now this final post in the series. Foreshadowing, for me, comes in two forms. The first is the simple, “something different was about to happen” phrase inserted in the text, which makes the reader wonder what is about to happen. I recommend doing this only very occasionally. I think I use this explicit form of foreshadowing only twice in The Jerusalem Puzzle. The reason you can’t use it very often is that readers get tired of such things very easily. Explicit foreshadowing loses its appeal very quickly. The second type of foreshadowing is a general foreshadowing brought about by the plot. For instance, if the main character is going  to Jerusalem to investigate the disappearance of someone he knows, then the reader will naturally anticipate what will happen next. This subtle foreshadowing is useful because it uses the reader’s imagination. It’s not just plot driven novels that use subtle foreshadowing, literary novels use it too. When any change or event is anticipated in the text you are using foreshadowing. Inspiring anticipation is a critical aspect of writing compelling fiction in my opinion. Anticipation is, for me, one of the greatest pleasures of being alive. Looking forward to Christmas, a holiday, a big game, a night out, a family event, an election, are what keeps many of us going through the hum drum nature of everyday life. If you can inspire anticipation in your writing, by hinting at what is to come, you will have cracked a powerful technique to make people read on. And I use make deliberately. I hope you have enjoyed this series. If you would like to order The Jerusalem Puzzle please click one of the links to the right. Next week  I will post about the secrets revealed in The Jerusalem Puzzle. Thanks for coming...

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News on book awards & The Jerusalem Puzzle

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in On Writing

The excitement is mounting in the run up to the Irish Book Awards on Thursday night. I will post the result as soon as I can. I don’t expect to win the Crime category for The Istanbul Puzzle. But we will enjoy the gala dinner with dinner suits, black tie and long dresses and authors glaring at each other and others getting drunk! In other news The Jerusalem Puzzle has broken though the 1,000 rank barrier on, which means preorders are going well. If you haven’t ordered your ebook for Dec 3 yet here are the links. , first then then iTunes. I am sure it will be out at the same time on Nook, Kobo and other ebook service: and and wish me luck for Thurs night and thank you to all who voted for The Istanbul...

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The Jerusalem Puzzle proofs & new tag line

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012 in On Writing, The Jerusalem Puzzle

A Brutal Murder. An Ancient Evil. A Secret Revealed. This is the new tag line for The Jerusalem Puzzle I sent my corrections to The Jerusalem Puzzle page proofs back to Harper Collins on schedule at 5am this morning. The proofs were a PDF document with 400 pages showing exactly how the book will look when it is released in paperback format 3rd January 2013 and in ebook format 3rd December, in a month and a half. I listed corrections, words to be deleted mainly with some typos and a few insertions on twelve pages. This is probably the last time I will have a chance to make corrections before the book comes out. I am excited and anxious. The book could do well, very well or badly. Welcome to the world of publishing. Being a writer is definitely not a steady job. The uncertainty, the expectations you have and the expectations of others, spoken and unspoken, all add to the pressure. I don’t mean to underplay my excitement at having the second novel in the series published, I am simply being honest about how it feels on this journey. There are some exciting things planned, I will be running a competition on this blog, and a different competition on my Facebook page so do Like it if you are on Facebook. There is other stuff planned too. Already a competition has started on the Authonomy, the aspiring writers site, to get short stories published along with my ebook next year A series of announcements will be made in the run up to the ebook launch Dec 3rd. You can Pre-Order The Jerusalem Puzzle paperback here on Amazon UK You can Pre-Order The Jerusalem Puzzle ebook here on Amazon UK You can Pre-Order The Jerusalem Puzzle paperback here on Amazon US (for all outside the UK) You can Pre-Order The Jeriusalem Puzzle ebook here on Amazon US (for all outside the UK) I truly appreciate all your support, and I want you to read The Jerusalem Puzzle. I won’t say what I think of it, but I will tell you my publishers Harper Collins have said many amazing things about...

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