Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil by Steven A. McKay – Review

“a perfect mix of violence and kindness to warm the heart.” I’ll take that!

David's Book Blurg

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Title – Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil
Author – Steven A. McKay
Genre –  Historical Fiction/Short Stories
Length –  70 Pages
Publication –  13th November 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Holly and ivy decorate the houses while voices are raised in song, but the Christmas cheer is tempered by terror this festive season, as demons haunt a small English village.

Strange thefts; cloven hoof-prints in the snow; a house burned to the ground.

Something evil stalks the icy streets of Brandesburton and former mercenary Tuck must find out what, before it’s too late.

As he sets out to solve the mystery the friar prays his faith will protect him. His faith AND his great quarterstaff, for he knows full well – the Devil makes no deals…

This brand new novella from the best-selling author of the Forest Lord series will delight and entertain historical fiction fans looking to escape the…

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PRE-ORDER for Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil up now!

PRE-ORDER is up for Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil!

UK – just 99p –

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Friar-Christmas-Devil-Steven-McKay-ebook/dp/B016X06DVA/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MCAGF4T5MFF5QJSPCDY

USA – $1.49 I believe –

http://www.amazon.com/Friar-Christmas-Devil-Steven-McKay-ebook/dp/B016X06DVA/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1445530577&sr=1-2

You can also pre-order the paperback and there will be an Audible/iTunes version available soon too!

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Q&A with my narrator Nick Ellsworth – James Bond and more!

robin hood book narrator

Rise of the Wolf is out NOW from Audible, so hopefully you haven’t used your monthly credit yet. It should also be available on iTunes soon. And that’s not all – Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil is also available to pre-order from Audible, you’ll be able to listen to it on November 13th!

To celebrate, here’s a Q&A I did with my excellent narrator, Nick Ellsworth. Enjoy!

 

Collaborating with someone on a project has to work in more than just the obvious ways. Anyone that’s ever been in a band will know it doesn’t matter how good your music sounds if you just don’t get on with the other musicians!

I’d heard some horror stories when I first started looking for a narrator to produce Wolf’s Head so I was very pleased to find Nick Ellsworth. Someone who not only sounded great but completed the project quickly with very little input needed from me. He’s since produced all of my books (five so far) and has been a pleasure to work with each and every time. If you’re looking for someone to read your novel, check him out on the ACX website, but first, read this…

You’re a busy man – can you list your resume in terms of acting/voice-over work?

As an actor I’ve worked for the RoyalShakespeare Company, The Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre and various theatres up and down the country. I’ve done some TV stuff including a recent episode of The US series, ‘Bones”. As a young actor I had small parts in the movies, “The Spy Who Loved Me’ and ‘Force Ten From Navarone’.

What was your favourite job, ever?

Probably playing a despicable villain in a play called, ‘Heaven and Hell’.

What’s it like doing voice-over work compared to TV or film? Is there much difference?

Voice over work can be much more concentrated as the scripts tend to be much shorter than performing in TV or film, but voicing a TV commercial for example, you can spend up to an hour just working on a few words and getting it exactly how the client wants it.

robin hood booksWhen I’m writing a book I have a file with a list of characters and what they look like, height, hair colour, etc. Do you have similar audio files, with snippets of each voice you do for characters, so they’re consistent?

No, but if a character comes up again later on in a book or a later book in the same series, I’ll refer back to previous voice files to refresh my memory, regarding the voice I used.

Speaking of your accents – are you a Yorkshireman? You do a very convincing version of that one, almost as if it’s natural, which is, obviously, perfect for my books. One listener told me she thought your Yorkshire accent was sexy!

Well, I was born and brought up in N. Wales, but my family on my mother’s side are from the Manchester area, so I grew up around people with strong northern accents.

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FT&XD

You’ve produced all of my books now, including the Xmas novella. Which did you enjoy narrating the most?

I’ve enjoyed reading all of them, but the last one, the Friar Tuck novella, I thought was totally captivating with its blend of religion, folk-lore, courage, humour and adventure. All set around the magical time of Christmas!

Who would you choose to narrate a book you’d written?

I really like Peter Firth’s voice, who was one of the leads in the spy series, ‘Spooks’. I think he has a great reading voice.

Of course you HAVE written books – my own daughter read one or two of them even before we started working together. Tell us a bit about them.

I’ve written picture books for very young children and short stories for older children. I’ve also written an anthology of bible stories and a re-telling of famous fairytales. You can find most of them on my Amazon homepage.

robin hood novelWhat future projects do you have lined up (until my final Forest Lord novel needs your talents)?

I’ve written a comedy series for radio which I’m trying to sell and have a booking for a radio commercial for the ‘Most Haunted’ TV series and am presenting an awards ceremony for the Heathrow Academy. Most excitingly, at the beginning of November I’m heading off to the US for 7 weeks. I’ll be visiting friends in LA and San Francisco, playing a little poker in Vegas, then shooting off to Washington DC to spend Christmas with my brother and his wife. Should be fun! (providing I don’t lose too much at the poker tables!)

Thanks for doing this interview, enjoy your Christmas!

You can contact Nick via his website

Friar Tuck paperback proofs are here…

…I hope you signed up for my mailing list already, cos I offered a chance to win the last one of these EXCLUSIVELY to the people signed up there.

They look great, and the audio version is almost ready to go too so look out for the pre-order on all formats mid-Novemeber!

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Phil Rose reads his foreword.

Alright Phil Rose fans, wanna hear that famous Friar Tuck voice again? Well, Phil hasn’t just written a foreword for my new novella, he’s read it too. It will be included in the Audible/iTunes version (assuming it passes the quality control tests at Audible but I can’t see that being an issue). The rest of the audio will be read by my usual narrator Nick Ellsworth.
Here’s a very short snippet so you can hear that magical voice again. To hear the rest look out for the audiobook this November!

Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil COVER REVEAL!

This is the first draft, although it will probably end up just like this as I think it’s perfect! Like it?

As you can see from the artwork, the novella is going to be part of the Kindle Singles programme! I’m really excited about the whole project – it’s been great fun to write and will hopefully bring some cheer to people all around the world this winter.

Keep an eye on this page or my Facebook page for the release dates of each format. I’ll also be doing giveaways for signed copies of the paperback and free codes for the Audible version closer to December with extra goodies for people signed up to my Email List so…if you’re not on it, sign up HERE now!

 

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It’s CHRIIISTMAS!!!

Friar Tuck has written a foreword for my new novella!

Yes, it’s true, the REAL Friar Tuck – Phil Rose from Robin of Sherwood – has written the foreword for my forthcoming novella, Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

Robin of Sherwood book

Phil as Friar Tuck with Michael Praed (Robin Hood)

Robin of Sherwood was produced by HTV and ran from 1984-1986, making huge stars of guys like Michael Praed, Jason Connery, Ray Winstone, Clive Mantle and, of course, Phil Rose. I’d never really watched the show until a few years ago when I checked it out to see if I could get any ideas for my own version of the Robin Hood legend. I loved it and bought the whole lot on DVD. The camaraderie of the actors shone through so well on the screen and I could see why it’s still loved by so many people around the world. Phil and the rest of the cast are reprising their roles for a new audio production called “The Knights of the Apocalypse” which has really caused great excitement for fans of the show.

When Phil heard about my novella (via his friend Carole Elizabeth Ballard, who runs his official Facebook page) he kindly offered to write a foreword and I’m very pleased to say he has come through. I’ve read it and it’s great. He will also, hopefully, read it for the audiobook version although Nick Ellsworth will narrate the rest of the story as usual.

Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil will be available to pre-order – hopefully in ALL formats (Kindle, paperback and audio) on November 1st this year. Less than a month! Get your mulled wine ready!

Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil

Phil nowadays.