The Syk’m by @RichardDockett1 #release #fantasy

I’m thrilled to welcome Richard Dee to my blog to highlight his amazing fantasy book The Syk’m. Richard is a talented author with much to offer, his enthusiasm for writing and cooking are never ending! And he is a lovely chap to be much admired.

Tagline

Everyone said that they were monsters. Then they asked for my help.

Blurb

Behave, or the Syk’m will come and take you away.

That was the threat hanging over my childhood, the terrifying punishment that made us all obedient.

As children, we were told that the Syk’m watched over us.  Should we misbehave, they could do unimaginable things.

Because we were young and knew no better, the mere mention of their name was enough to control us. We went to bed, minded our manners, stopped our shouting. Although the Syk’m were mythical creatures, never seen, we all believed in their power over us.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I thought that I had outgrown the unseen terrors of my childhood. I thought that I no longer believed in the power of the Syk’m.

Then the day came when I discovered that the Syk’m were real. The day they found me. Their message was clear. Despite everything I had imagined, they needed my help.

It was the day I discovered that they were not the monsters we had all believed them to be. There were others in the universe.

How the story was devised and written.

It all started with a memory, my grandmother used to tell me that if I was bad, a creature that she called the bogeyman would come and take me away. It scared me when I was younger, because of the way she said it and the threat that it implied. Whether it improved my behaviour is another matter.

Anyhow, fast forward to a couple of years ago, when my wife and I were talking about aspects of our childhood. I mentioned the bogeyman and we laughed about the effect things like that had on children. And how we grew out of such fears as we got older and learned more about the world.

Then I had a thought. What if the bogeyman was real, what might happen if you met one? What would be the truth behind the stories, the basis of the legend?

My mind went into overdrive, perhaps the bogeymen were members of an alien race, watching us and occasionally taking someone for research? Maybe they had been more active in years past, hence the old tales. It could be that they had since turned their minds to other things and had decided to leave us alone. If that were true, then how, and for what reason, might the first new contact in ages develop?

I realised that there were enough possibilities in that paragraph alone to build a story.

The Syk’m grew from that premise. I decided to write it as a sword and sorcery fantasy adventure, given the origins of the tale in folklore. I thought it would be the most fitting genre for it. I invented a world, Skander, with a medieval society. These were the people who would be held in thrall to their own version of the bogeyman, who they called the Syk’m. The story would concern what happened when the people of Skander finally learned the truth.

I made some brief notes and let the story stew in my mind. The whole story came to me, just in time to be my project for NaNoWriMo 2020. I wrote most of it in November 2020 and sent it off to my editor, as well as a few trusted friends. I got positive feedback and completed the final version in April 2021.

As a writer of Sci-fi and Steampunk, building the world was fairly straightforward. Incorporating magic and primitive technology was a bit more of a challenge. I had to forgo all the usual tricks and the freedom that writing about the future gives you, go right back to basics. The aim was to make it as plausible and integrated a society as I could. A place like our history suggests, yet not ours  

Apart from the action and adventure that such a tale demands, I also wanted to examine the emotional aspects of meeting people whose existence had only ever been hinted at and feared. I thought that it would be fun to explore the relationships that might develop between the two races, the similarities and differences that such an event might expose.  

Beta readers comments,

I loved it. The characters are amazing and the plot just flows.   Channing Schneider

Everything I love about High Fantasy. Dixie Messing

Richard Dee has crafted a fantastical fantasy filled with fun, adventure and danger all in equal measure. Steven Smith

A short excerpt,

She passed the last stalls and turned off the street into a narrow alley between two high brick buildings. I stepped after her into the gloom. I had no thoughts of a trick, or possible danger, I just wanted to find out who she was, why she had looked at me in that way.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw her, no more than ten paces ahead. She had stopped, her back to me. Suddenly, it looked as if she was encased in a glowing cloak of rainbow colours. It was a trick worthy of the best entertainments at Kauron’s palace. Perhaps she was a theasp, an illusioneer, or should that be illusioness?

Hearing my footsteps behind her she turned and looked back. I couldn’t see her expression, just a flash of bright teeth as she stepped sideways, into the wall. It accepted her, she was gone.

What I had just witnessed was impossible. I ran to where she had been and looked at the bricks. They carried a faint glow of rainbows. Gently I reached out to touch them and watched in disbelief as my hand vanished deep into what should have been a solid wall.

How had she done that?

I knew of magic, of the tricks worked in the market. I’d seen the disappearing coins found behind the ear and watched as people or objects appeared to vanish. But I also knew that it was not real and that there was always an explanation. Yet this was beyond my mind to explain. I quickly removed my hand, lest the bricks should change their state and trap me. Then, as if poking a wound to see if it still hurt, I pushed my hand forward again, once more it vanished.

One small step was all it would take to follow her. I didn’t hesitate, had no thoughts of right or wrong. Where was I going, how would I return? It never crossed my mind. Taking a deep breath, I stepped forward.

Published on October 15th 2021, you can find The Syk’m for yourself at

http://mybook.to/the_sykm 

or on Goodreads at

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58663708-the-syk-m

My review:

Richard Dee just gets better and better!

I’ve had the pleasure of reading many of Richard’s books in different genres and I loved The Syk’m, his latest, first foray into fantasy – not surprising as fantasy is my favourite genre! And what a confident foray it is!

I particularly enjoy narratives that explore the idea of feared creatures not really being quite what they seem and The Syk’m has this off to a tee. The story introduces us to Hors Lawis, and his friends, who are encouraged to follow a Syk’m girl Enuna to help them. In Hor’s homeland Skandir the Syk’m are feared winged creatures, so can he persuade his friends to join him on this potentially dangerous quest?

Here are some excerpts from the book:

“I can’t agree with you,” said Torsen. “Just because the Syk’m were used as a threat, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were bad. Look at the Watch, for example. Children are told of the Watch in the same way, to frighten them. Don’t steal, don’t be rude, don’t fight or the Watch will get you. It’s the same thing; the Syk’m were just another reason to make people behave. It doesn’t inherently make them bad.”

“the Syk’m became known on Skander as a thing to be feared, a source of anxiety in children.”

I loved the winged creatures, the beautiful passages where the author Richard Dee’s words take passionate flight:

“She undid the clasp at her throat, shrugged her shoulders and the robe fell to the ground. Underneath, she was dressed as a warrior. A simple tunic and shorts. Muscled arms and shoulders, a flat stomach. Her torso was adorned with crossed leather straps, a collection of blades hung from a wide belt at her waist. Her long, shapely legs were encased in more polished leather, boots extending to mid-thigh. She had the look of a goddess and I felt my pulse quicken.
But that wasn’t the strangest thing. I watched as huge wings unfolded from her back, gossamer-thin with white ribs, they extended and beat the air.”

It’s an exciting, gripping tale which will keep you entertained throughout. There are fight scenes, mentions of magic, and The Druhaan might have no wings but they like to make war!

And what an amazing ending in the Epilogue, I absolutely loved it.

Richard Dee has crafted a truly wonderful fantasy which I can highly recommend.

My recommendation. A must read – 5 amazing stars!

The Syk’m launches on 15th October 2021.

Thank you to the author for an ARC. I was lucky to beta read an early copy of The Syk’m and my opinions are my own and unbiased.

About Richard Dee

I’m Richard Dee and I normally write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures. I also chronicle the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective for the space age.

I spent forty years at sea, firstly as a ship’s officer, then as a Thames River pilot, taking vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.

In retirement, I set up an organic bakery and then, from out of the blue, I started writing. You can read about my writing journey at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/i-was-never-a-writer/ 

The Syk’m is my seventeenth novel and my first in the Fantasy genre.

You can find me at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/  where you can read more about me and my worlds. There is also the opportunity to join my newsletter and get a free novella, the prequel to one of my series. I’m on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor 

It’s a great book, grab yourself a copy!

Book Review: The Hitman and The Thief by Richard Dee #mystery #sci-fi #adventure #murder #fiction #book #5star #review

Synopsis:

Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.

Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.

Fliss has a rival, Kalindra Dallin. She runs a particularly unpleasant planet. Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.

To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.

My review:

I really enjoyed The Hitman and the Thief. This novel has an interesting storyline which gripped me as the chapters sped by. This is a fast paced, easy read. The character of Dan and the thief Lydia are both engaging.

Dan is an ex-serviceman, now turned assassin for Fliss. His latest kill target is Kalindra, his boss’s rival.

But, who is Kalindra? And will Dan bungle it up?

Dan’s relationship with Hesta is under strain due to a certain temptation…

But, who can he trust? The revelations and twists leading up to the awesome ending – are subtle, (read carefully!) – but well done.

All in all, I would highly recommend this for readers who like mysteries, and who might enjoy the Sci fi environment of planets and ships (great world-building,) without it being too Sci fi heavy if you know what I mean.

I’m enjoying Richard Dee’s books more and more. I’d say this is my favourite to date. There is a unique aspect to his writing which I really appreciate. So, deserves the 5 stars.

Buy Link:

And some of my reviews of his other books:

Authors Website: http://www.richarddeescifi.co.uk

Have you read The Hitman and The Thief? Let me know in the comments below.

Book Review | The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee – Book Reviews by Satabdi

Congratulations to Richard Dee on his latest release The Hitman and The Thief

Genre: Sci-fi organized crime Publication date: August 31, 2020 Goodreads – Amazon India – My Thoughts The Hitman and the Thief is a fast-paced, gripping novel about rivalry between two…

Source: Book Review | The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee – Book Reviews by Satabdi

Book Review Life and Other Dreams – Richard Dee

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Sci-Fi and psychological thriller fans are in for a treat.”
“…action, adventure, romance and cerebral high-jinks…”
Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.
In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.
Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.
When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.
Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?
Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page! 

My review:

I loved this, so imaginative, exciting and relatable. Awesome writing Richard Dee. My hubby has action-packed, crazy, dreams all the time, so this really appealed to me. Though, I don’t think my hubby’s dreams have taken him off planet as yet, at least, if they have he hasn’t told me!

Poor Rick, he truly does get into trouble with his dreams which take him off galavanting to planet Ecias away from his married life, ( with Cath on earth,) into the arms of Vanessa. In Ecias, he has a name change too and becomes Dan.

Cath begins to think that Rick is having a real affair… And her jealousy leads her and Rick to disastrous measures.

Oh, can’t say I liked Cath much… But she redeemed herself somewhat… Jealousy can bring out the ugly in people.

Which is real? Life on earth, or life in Ecias?

My recommendation: 5 stars. If you want to read something different – in the Sci Fi/Thriller category give this a go. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio copy.

I loved the ending by the way!

Authors Website: https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

I also really enjoyed his Andorra Pett cosy mysteries (review link below,) which recently got a mention on YouTube….

I received a free audio book from the author but this in no way influences my review.

Isolation For Writers, Creatives Artists and Book Bloggers: Richard Dee #Guest #Author #Isolation #Coronavirus #Thoughts #Family #Life #COV19

Welcome to Richard Dee, my first guest on my new feature – isolation for writers, creatives, artists and book bloggers. How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is author, baker, ex-seafarer Richard Dee coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is his answer…

Some thoughts on what I’m beginning to

think of as the new normal.

I’m Richard Dee, I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. Thank you so much, Marjorie, for inviting me to guest on your website today.

At last, I’ve found that some of the skills I learned are coming in useful.

Isolation itself is not a problem, as an author I tend to live in other worlds anyway.

When I’m writing, the ones in my head are as vivid to me as the one out of the window. There are several I go to on a regular basis, home to amateur detectives, space adventurers and quasi-Victorian society. Not only that, but there is also always the chance that I might find a new one to explore.

It used to be a bit of a nuisance, a bone of contention with other family members. Now I find that it helps.

Not only that, as an ex-mariner, I was always used to isolation, chugging across the Atlantic at eight knots to save fuel on a big ship with a small crew teaches you a few things about yourself.

There are things to worry about, all my daughters work in the NHS, on the front line, one in ITU, with a consultant physician for a husband, one is a midwife dealing with emergency admissions and the other is still training. They, along with everyone else who is putting themselves at risk to keep us fed and provided with light, power, empty bins and food to eat deserve our thanks and respect.

Things like getting food, getting exercise, keeping in touch with family and friends: things we all took for granted just a few weeks ago are now more important.

I watch the T.V. and wonder if we will ever live that kind of life, with all the socialising and outdoor action, again.

I’m glad that I have hobbies, things to do on a rainy day. Reading, cooking and gardening.

I thought that I would have so much more time to do things. But any task expands to fill the time allotted to it, so there is no more time than there was.

 Not that we were always out and about; there were jobs that had been put off because I thought they would take too long. Once I got started, I found that they were quickly done.

Meanwhile, I continue to write and publish. In fact, I’ve just had my Andorra Pett cosy crime series re-imaged, with all new covers by the tremendously talented Gill Trewick. They’re all available in both eBook (to buy and on Kindle Unlimited) and paperback at the following links:

http://mybook.to/Andorra

http://mybook.to/AndorraPettonMars

http://mybook.to/Andorra_and_her_Sister

PICTURE 4    

http://mybook.to/AreWeThereYet

I’d love to see you over at my website, richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the My Novels and Short Stories tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, The Orbital Livestock Company, unavailable anywhere else.

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor  and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi

My Amazon author page is here.  

My Goodreads page is here.

Stay safe everyone

Thank you so much to Richard for being my first guest on this new feature on my blog.

Do check out my reviews of Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/03/30/bookreview-andorra-pett-and-the-oort-cloud-cafe-mystery-scifi/

And The Lost Princess:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/06/29/the-lost-princess-richard-dee-arc-bookreview-indieauthor-betaread/

Authors/creatives/artists/book bloggers who might be interested in sharing their thoughts on quarantine life, please do get in touch.

Topics such as:

Writing, reading, creativity, productivity/isolation during this time.

Home life, thoughts and fears.

Coping with anxiety and stress.

Hopes for the future during these strange times.

If you are interested in taking part in this new feature on my blog please email me on: marjma2014@gmail.com, or comment below.

Please share any photos you would like, thoughts, reflections, and of course your book links, book descriptions/photos, author bios and the like. All welcome.

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius