Monday, 21 October 2019

Complete Darkness is Nearly Upon Us

Burton Mayers Books are proud to announce that on 25th October, Matt Adcock's debut novel, Complete Darkness, finally goes live.

Complete Darkness - going live across the world on October 25th


It's been a busy year, preparing for the coming darkness, but author Matt has been relentless in his drive to tell as many people, and organisations, about his book, even commissioning a national survey about Christians' belief in hell.  


You can read some of the articles by organisations who reported on his research at the end of this blog post, no doubt there will be many more after the book's release.  Not only that, Matt has been a guest at comic conventions across the UK, including TitanCon, Belfast 2019, and Scotland's Comic Con 2019.  Matt also picked up some interesting fans:
Just a regular weekend for Matt and his cosplay pals (Matt's the one on the right).

The book launch event, on 25th October at The Parcel Yard Pub, Kings Cross, promises to be a blast.  Matt will be introducing his book and has invited a priest, a satanist and a theologian to talk about people's questions about the afterlife.  A perfect start to any weekend!

The book has already been favorably reviewed by authors, but also across social media networks, blogs and websites who have been attracted to Adcock's genre-defying novel. Some have even posted trigger warnings due to the content of extreme violence, speculative demonology, worrying possible future scenarios, strong language, and lots of things Christians might thoroughly disapprove of.

However, all critics are in agreement that COMPLETE DARKNESS is an 'action-packed literary shock to the senses that mixes flights of comic fantasy with bouts of brutal violence, offering readers a spiritually-charged, cyber-noir thrill ride into a bleak and dystopian, patriarchal future, ruled by Satan himself.'

The book is available from all leading bookshops, including Amazon, Waterstones and Blackwell's. There is also a Kindle version of the book which has been fighting for number 1 in the spiritual and religious fiction chart since pre-orders became available in August.
Links where you can see more of darkness linked to the book:

https://horrortree.com/can-some-of-us-sense-hell/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47575586-complete-darkness?from_search=true

https://christiantoday.com/article/complete-darkness-an-honest-review/133266.htm

https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Most-churches-aren-t-preaching-about-hell.-But-loving-people-means-telling-them-the-truth

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Only-three-quarters-of-Christians-believe-in-hell-data-reveals?_ga=2.63461103.1115826492.1571651882-1578501195.1571651882flydime at https://www.flickr.com/photos/98073722@N00/4671890969
Adcock says there is a mystery around the concept of hell which makes it more difficult to understand and suggested more teaching on the subject was needed.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Watch out, Osmond's about!

Burton Mayers Books are proud to announce the release of Osmond the Toad.


Liz Noble' debut children's novel is released on 27th September 2019

Liz Noble's quirky and fun debut follows the eponymous hero of the story, Osmond the toad, as he attempts to master the art of pond skating.  The book is packed full of energetic and vibrant illustrations and is a suitable length for readers between the ages of six and nine.


There are deeper messages in here rather than just following the frivolity of a creative amphibian.  Young readers will appreciate the messages about resilience and never giving up and learning not to judge a lumpy, farty, warty toad as a creature who can not bring happiness and joy to the pond inhabitants around him.

The book is available to order on Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble and all other leading bookstores.  A #Kindle version is also available.

To follow and interact with the author, you can tweet her directly @author_noble
We hope you enjoy reading the book and welcome your feedback. 
Burton Mayers Books are always on the lookout for new talent. 

Saturday, 3 August 2019

A Summer of Darkness


When we took on John Michaelson's memoirs about London Vampires in 2014, we didn't anticipate attracting anything darker, but our latest author, Matt Adcock, has brought a new type of darkness to our catalogue of titles.
The debut novel blends sci-fi and theological debate together

Complete Darkness, published by Burton Mayers Books, is due for release on Friday 25th October 2019, nicely in time for Halloween.  But rather than exploring ghouls and monsters and vampires, Adcock's cyber-punk adrenaline shot of sci-fi explores the concept of dark matter and hell (set in a dystopian London future). 

Skilfully blending conventions of the genre with comic fantasy and lashings of bloody violence, Adcock's debut sets up his DarkMatters Universe in style with a good degree of humour and intertextual nods. With a background as a film and game reviewer, blog editor, head of comms at Church Urban Fund - not to mention a network of artists and theologians who share his interest in dark sci-fi - we can expect a lot more from Matt in the future (if Armageddon hasn't already arrived).
Pre-order your copy now 

also available from all other leading bookshops, including Waterstones and Foyles 

Friday, 22 February 2019

Growing into 2019 - titles update and publishing news

We ended 2018 by publishing our first children's picture book, The Hedgehog's Full Moon Party.

The five star reviews have been coming in, we recently completed an official launch in Feb 2019, and off the back of this title we now we have a jam-packed year ahead of us.
A popular addition to our children's titles.
Firstly, with channel sales up by 24% and an increase of 44% in sales compared to 2018, Burton Mayers Books are setting out plans to expand their operations.  The blog will migrate to a website as we develop our relationship with Ingram and look to release digital titles (ePUB) versions of all our existing titles and rekindle our relationship with Nielsen's enhanced services.  So you may see Spikez, October's Son, Making Trakz and Nuptial Flight coming to an ereader very soon.
Despite vanishing, John Michaelson's legacy will continue online.
Secondly, there are already two new authors about to debut with Burton Mayers Books this year.  Matt Adcock will be releasing his cyber-punk, sci-fi slice of darkness across the literary world, adding to our already dark and murky adult titles; Liz Noble joins our children's portfolio with her eponymous series of books: Osmond the Toad.  We're really excited to tell you more, so watch this space - or rather, check out the website when it's up and running.


Spikez, nearly seven years after being published, is getting a second edition revision which includes updating links, adding to the online content and also setting the way for two new welcome additions: Spikez - Titanium Version, a slicker, shortened version of the prickly cyborg superhero novel; Spikez: Red Dragon, a dark vision of what the world could be like if animal cyborgs were turned into mercenaries in a global playing field.  Again, more details to follow.

Spikez will get a facelift in 2019
We're all really excited about these upcoming developments and want to thank those who have supported us by buying our titles, sharing our books across social media, and those who take time to read our updates and share our journey with us.  Again, thank you.



Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Hedgehog's Full Moon Party

It's been nearly a year since our last post, but that doesn't mean we've not been busy.  Oh no, quite the opposite, we've been working hard behind the scenes to line up a series of new books that are going to hit the children's and adults' market.  


After much shuffling and snuffling about, we're very proud to announce the arrival of our latest star, Lavender the hedgehog, who appears in her first adventure on the 26th November 2018.

Available from 26th November 2018 at all good bookstores and online retailers. 
The process of writing a children's book is never an easy one.  It's taken nearly three years to get the project completed, this included finding an illustrator to take the job on and several redrafts to get the design and feel of the book looking just right.  There was also a great deal of care to preserve the artistry of Abigail de Montfort's beautiful artwork so that each picture kept its vibrancy.

The book is 34 pages long and includes an array of colourful, layered images which are accompanied by a fun and engaging narrative.  Each night, Lavender the hedgehog goes out for her dinner and meets different types of friends on her nocturnal adventures, old and new.

Fully Road Tested 


The book has, like all other titles from Burton Mayers Books, been fully road-tested (not something positively associated with hedgehogs, I might add); receiving the full treatment from librarians, teachers and, most importantly, readers from primary schools, you'll be wanting to hear about more of Lavender's adventures.  

The book also has a nod of approval from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), with the narrative featuring the highway sign from the recent Hedgehog Street campaign to open up the UK's gardens to be more hedgehog friendly.

A Kindle version is also available for the book with Amazon offering a special matchbook deal when you purchase the paperback version.  RRP is just £8.99, so support small, independent publishers and order your copy today - it's perfect for any nature lover, night-crawler (in a non-creepy way), and wildlife enthusiast. 

Kids absolutely love it - you won't be disappointed.  It's the perfect bedtime story.




Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Guess who's having a party?

As Christmas approaches, all this talk of partying can send us into sensory overload: the food, the smells, the sights, and all those thoughts about hanging decorations in the right places and creating playlists ... the list goes on.  However, we're looking way past Christmas and into May 2018 when we hope to invite you all to a very special party being held for a very adorable hedgehog.

The Hedgehog's Full Moon Party
The Hedgehog's Full Moon Party will be the next offering from Burton Mayers Books, a charming tale about a hedgehog who makes some wonderful new friends on her nightly walks.  The story is by children's author Richard Mayers and showcases the wonderful talents of upcoming illustrator, Abigail De Montfort.  Abigail's artistic style incorporates real photos interwoven with beautiful watercolours to create mesmerising imagery that literally leap off the page.

The book is currently in development and being tested by young readers, school librarians and hedgehog enthusiasts across several counties, so you can expect a very polished and refined product when the book hits the shelves in May 2018.  We can't wait and hope you feel the same way, too.


Thursday, 8 June 2017

Nuptial Flight 2017 - what you need to know about 'Flying Ant Day' in the UK

At least once a year, one of the most amazing natural phenomenon occurs across the UK (and the world): nuptial flight, also more affectionately known as 'flying ant day'.

Before we talk about our latest book, Nuptial Flight: The London Vampire Conspiracy, it is important to explore more about this process in detail, examine why it's important and consider how this possibly links to John Michaelson's allegory about ants and vampires.

The following is adapted from Wikipedia:

"Flying ant day" is an informal term for the day on which queen ants emerge from the nest to begin their nuptial flight.  In most species, smaller male ants fly alongside them and are less noticeable. During their flight, the queens cover varying distances before mating and dropping to the ground.  They then shed their wings and attempt to found a new colony. 

The flight typically requires clear weather since rain is disruptive for flying insects. Different colonies of the same species often use environmental cues to synchronise the release of males and queens so that they can mate with individuals from other nests, thus avoiding inbreeding.  The actual "take off" from the parent colony is also often synchronised to overwhelm their predators.

During flight, the queens release pheromones to attract males. However, the queens often try to escape the males, allowing only the fastest and the fittest to mate with them. Mating takes place during flight and one queen usually mates with several males. The sperm is stored in a special organ, known as a spermatheca, in the queen's abdomen, and lasts throughout her lifetime. This can be as long as 20 years, during which time the sperm can be used to fertilise tens of millions of eggs!

Once they have landed they attempt to start a new colony. The details of this vary from species to species, but typically involve the excavation of the colony's first chamber and the subsequent laying of eggs. From this point the queen continuously lays eggs which hatch into larvae, exclusively destined to develop into worker ants. The queen usually nurses the first brood alone. After the first workers appear, the queen's role in the colony typically becomes one of exclusive (and generally continuous) egg-laying. 

Queen ants have an extremely high failure rate. During its lifetime a very large ant colony can send out millions of virgin queens. Assuming that the total number of ant colonies in the area remains constant, on average only one of these queens succeeds. The rest are destroyed by predators (most notably other ants), environmental hazards or failures in raising the first brood at various stages of the process. This strict selection ensures that the queen has to be both extremely fit and extremely lucky to pass on her genes to the next generation.

In the UK, nuptial flight occurs typically during the summer months and on one day, although recent research by the Royal Society of Biology has concluded that variations occur in different regions.  More can be found below this post.

Nuptial Flight: The London Vampire Conspiracy (12th June 2017 - Burton Mayers Books)

John Michaelson's cryptic new book

John Michaelson has always had a fascination with ants.  At first we thought he was just trying to be poetic, but in fact - having edited both books - we can see now what he was trying to suggest much more.  The vampires he hunts are defined by him as ants because they exhibit similar characteristics; there are a group who exist within London who are exclusively trying to found new colonies of vampires.  Furthermore, we believe he defines these modern day vampires as ants because it allows him to dehumanise them and thus make extermination of them that little bit more guilt-free.  

Indeed, having read Nuptial Flight you might reach your own conclusions about whether Michaelson himself is a virgin queen or not, trying his best to ensure his own colony survives the competition that exists in the UK's dangerous capital.  The conspiracy, of course, runs much deeper and darker than we are prepared to let on.  

Nuptial Flight is available from all good bookstores and a Kindle version is also available. Michaelson's first book, October's Son, introduced us all to a world where our perceptions of vampires were radically challenged. 

Below is a snapshot of the Royal Society of Biology's Nuptial Flight investigation -  Visit the full page here


150802 ants Shropshire Richard PrewFlying ants often seem to appear on the same day in different locations in the UK – flying ant day.

Ants aerate soil, help to cycle nutrients, improve garden fertility and control pests. Most ant colonies start with a flying ant - when young queens leave the nest to found their own colony.

However, after five years of our flying ant survey, we have found that flying ant day isn’t as predictable as we had at first thought.David sawflyingants
If you see flying ants during the summer months, send us a picture of the ants and another of you holding an 'I just saw flying ants' sign, via Twitter or Facebook using #flyingantsurvey or via email.