East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


New covers for Aculeo & Amunet

One of the best features offered by ebooks is the option of updating the files.

In the last few days we’ve been hard at work on some new covers for my Aculeo & Amunet ebooks.
Reader feedback has been pretty consistent in the past months – the readers love the stories, but they don’t like the covers.

And we know it’s the covers that sell the stories.

So, in a few hours the ebooks will be up with new artwork1 – the work of Italian graphic master, Luca Morandi.
And the readers of Karavansara can take a glimpse at the first of the three new covers, right here and now.

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How I stopped worrying and learned to love online reviews

Online reviews are a strange thing.
And yet, they are part of the feedback that’s indispensable for authors – no matter if they are traditionally published or self-publishers, or hybrids.
So, yes, just in case, if you happen to read something of mine, please post a review.

Now there’s people that worry about reviews, and I’ve a friend and colleague that makes a point of not reading online reviews. Like, never.
I beg to differ. And while I’m convinced that replying to reviews is never a good idea, I still think keeping an eye on them can be useful.

So last night I was browsing on Goodreads, my book-related-social-network of choice1, when I found out a reader had given a three star rating (but no review) to Lair of the White Ape, the second published story in the Aculeo & Amunet series.

No big deal – after all, five minutes earlier I had found a one-star rating (but again, no review) for Bride of the Swamp God, the first published Aculeo & Amunet story.
We can’t please everybody, after all – and Bride still has nine other 4 or 5 star reviews, so it’s fine.

No, what actually surprised me, about that three stars for Lair, was that the same reviewer also gave three stars to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Now take a long breath.
Davide Mana’s Lair of the White Ape.
William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Same evaluation.
Three stars.

That was one of the most important experiences in my – admittedly brief – life as a writer.
Books get reviewed.
If you are lucky, yours will be reviewed.
You can be a faceless hack or William Shakespeare, and the readers will have their say.
And you can’t do anything about it.
So, why worry?2

  1. If you’re on Goodreads, why don’t you come by and say Hi
  2. Well, maybe because the same guy gave four stars to a handbook about “how to blow out her mind in bed”, but I guess we all have different priorities. And if Will Shakespeare’s not complaining, why should I? 


Bride of the LEGO God

Giacomo Dacarro, the webmaster of the blog Trasmutazioni and my long-suffering cover artist Giordano Efrodini had a go at a LEGO version of Bride of the Swamp God.
It’s great, and I think the world needs to see it.
My series work has just begun, and already I have fan-art and action figures!


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Free Swamp God on Halloween

Shoggoth by pahko

Shoggoth by pahko (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s Halloween!
Or it will be soon.
And to celebrate this pagan festivity, why not spend a few hours with the Swamp God?

Bride of the Swamp God, the first story in the Aculeo & Amunet series, is free on Kindle from the early hours (Pacific Standard Time) of October 30th to the late night (ditto) of November the first.

Now you know – tell your friends (and your enemies!)


Bride of the Swamp God!

Bride of the Swamp God

Bride of the Swamp God

It’s 276 AD, in the Roman province of Aegypt.
And in a late summer night, the stars are coming right.
In the swamps of the Nile’s delta, after strange aeons the sleeping Isfet is about to wake.
Young and ambitious, Aegyptian princess Amunet is here to become theBride of the God.
But she is not alone, as she descends in the depth of the lost temple: many are seeking the power of Betentacled Isfet to make it their own.
Sestus Cornelius Aculeo, centurion of the Second Traian Legion, is not one of them.
His problems are simple, their solution is equally simple.
But before the sun rises, Isfet will meet its Bride – and the problems of Aculeo & Amunet will become very complicated.

Sword & sorcery done the old way, Bride of the Swamp God is the first story in the adventures of Aculeo & Amunet.

Available now everywhere, through Amazon, in DRM-Free Kindle format.


Bride of the Swamp God – the cover

OK, let’s try and amp the hype a little.

Here’s the cover of my forthcoming ebook, Bride of the Swamp God.
Which, as I think you can guess, has something to do with Ancient Egypt, and with tentacles.
And swamps and brides, I guess.

The cover uses some free resources provided by zememz – check out her pages on DeviantArt.

The lettering is by Giordano Effrodini.

swamp god cover final small