Friday, 29 April 2016

The Tube Riders: In the Shadow of London - AVAILABLE MAY 10th 2016

In the Shadow of London will be released on May 10th, 2016. The book is available for pre-order now.




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In the Shadow of London


There's gone and then there's London-gone ...

Marta Banks and her Tube Riders may have fled, but they've left behind a city on the brink of collapse. In the violent wasteland of London Greater Urban Area, former Tube Rider David Silverwood tries to reunited old members of the gang. In his way stand Dreggo, once a member of a rival gang but now the Governor's right hand, and Lindon, a member of the criminal stronghold known as the Tank, who is struggling with issues of loyalty towards revolution, the people protected by his organisation, and his dying girlfriend, Cah.

Revisting London in the period between The Tube Riders: Exile and The Tube Riders: Revenge, In the Shadow of London is a stunning addition to Chris Ward's Tube Riders series.


Saturday, 26 March 2016

In the Shadow of London - Exclusive sample chapter

I'm please to share with you today the first chapter in the soon-to-be-released fourth book in the Tube Riders series. I'll have full release details soon. In the meantime, enjoy!



Chapter One
Clawboard

The mob was trying to derail the train.
Up on the elevated Hammersmith and City railway line, a short distance from the ruins of Shepherd’s Bush Market and just back from where Goldhawk Road passed underneath the tracks, a ragtag group of men was hauling what looked like a thick silver rope up over the rails and passing it down to another group waiting on the street below.
A crane hook the length of a man’s chest was attached to one end. A short distance from the second group, an old double-decker bus lay on its side amongst the debris in the middle of the street, its windows smashed in.
‘Pull harder!’ shouted a bare-chested man from up on the tracks. Tattoos covered his back and his hair was dyed blood-red. ‘Get it looped through the frame!’
With a collective roar, the men in the street hauled on the wire rope. It stretched a few feet closer to the bus. Shards of broken safety glass crunched under their feet.
Across the street from the railway line, occupying the first and second floors of an old redbrick building which had a boarded-up supermarket metro on its ground level, was a local bureau of the Department of Civil Affairs. Concerned faces watched from behind windows protected from thrown stones by bent and twisted sheets of wire mesh. Another group of men crowded around the entrance, keeping the government’s enforcers trapped inside.
‘Haul! Come on, haul it!’
The men hauled, shouting and cursing. From somewhere further up the line came the faint blare of a train’s horn.
Crouched in the shadows of an alleyway between two nearby buildings, David Silverwood watched the mob with a mixture of apprehension and excitement. It was the biggest mob he had yet seen, and the skeleton crew of DCA agents inside the bureau building had not even tried to engage them.
With another collective roar of exertion, the men succeeded in pulling the wire rope as far as the bus. Two men hefted the crane hook in their arms and began trying to loop the wire around the rear window frame.
Sirens wailed in the distance. David crept back into the shadows of the alleyway to the lowered ladder of a fire escape and climbed quickly up to the third floor roof. From here he had a much better view of the railway line and Goldhawk Road heading away northeast towards Shepherds Bush Common.
The sirens were coming closer. A few streets away, two white vans threaded through the piles of debris, red roof lights flashing. David frowned. Just two? There was no way they could disperse a mob this size, but there were rumours that the DCA was spread as thin as it had ever been.
The large clock on the wall of an old post office across the street read three forty-four. Six minutes until the next train, by David’s reckoning. A couple of miles up the track towards central London, where the rails went underground for the first time, was the abandoned London Underground station of Melling Road Junction. In the days he had hung out there the trains had always come through every fifteen minutes, starting at five past the hour.
The vans came to a stop where an overturned car blocked the street. One of them made a hasty U-turn. David wondered if they would give up and go back, but then the back doors flew open and something stooped and cloaked leapt out onto the street.
No.
It couldn’t be. Not here.
Another followed, taller than the first, something silver glinting in its hands.
So, the rumours were true.
Two men in DCA uniforms climbed out of the back of the van. One made a sweeping motion with his hands and the two stooped figures dropped into a crouch then bounded forward, up and over the piles of debris and lumps of fallen masonry that clogged the road, closing the distance to where the mob had gathered with unnatural speed.
David had never seen one, but he had heard the stories. In the last few weeks, the rumours had been everywhere.
He ran to the far edge of the roof, cupped his hands over his mouth and screamed, ‘Run! Huntsmen!’
A ripple of shock passed through the mob. The group in the street dropped the wire rope and scattered. The man with the powerful voice still screamed his commands, but only a hardy few were still listening as the rest climbed down from the elevated railway line, running after the others. As his last comrades deserted him, he walked to the bridge above Goldhawk Road and lifted his fists above his head.
‘Come on, you bastards!’ he screamed, beating one hand against his chest, brandishing a knife in the other.
Something whistled through the air and a silver bolt struck the man in the shoulder. A second took him in the stomach, and he tumbled off the elevated railway line to the street below. Moments later the first of the Huntsmen reached him, dragging him back into the shadows beneath the bridge. David lost sight of them both, but the sound of ripping, tearing claws, and the screams of a dying man came piecing out of the evening air.
The second Huntsman had gone in pursuit of the dispersing mob. It caught up with two men, claws slashing, downing them in one stroke. Then it dropped to one knee, lifted an arm, and something silver struck a third running man in the back, knocking him forward on to the bonnet of a burnt out car.
The clock above the old post office ticked over to three fifty.
The train came roaring down the line out of the three-storey townhouses on either side of the tracks. Its wheels struck the wire rope and for an instant it seemed to slow as the wire went taut, dragging the bus a couple of feet along the tarmac. Then the wire rope broke free and the train powered across the bridge, roaring straight through the now-abandoned Goldhawk station and hammering on towards the Hammersmith terminus, disappearing between the residential buildings on either side of the line.
As the train’s engine roar faded away, David scanned the streets for the Huntsmen, but they were nowhere to be seen. The last members of the mob had long dispersed, and the streets were nearly deserted. A couple of DCA agents had taken a few tentative steps outside their bureau building, but while the two DCA vans were still parked further up Goldhawk Road, of their occupants there was no sign.
It was time to leave. David headed for the fire escape, but at the last moment a tickle of caution made him pause.
He squatted, lowering himself flat to the roof. Then he eased forward until one eye could peer down through the rungs of the metal stairs at the street below.
Breath caught in his throat. One of the Huntsmen was down there, sniffing at the ground like some kind of hound, its hood fallen back to reveal the top of a sparsely haired scalp crisscrossed with silver wires.
‘Hey! Come on, let’s go!’
A uniformed man strode into view. The Huntsman snorted and looked up, growling at the newcomer.
‘Time to go, you ugly bastard.’ A hissing filled the air and the Huntsman jerked and squealed, a sound that made David’s hair stand on end. Then, with one last glance up at the fire escape, it slinked after its handler.
It clocked me, he thought, remembering the way its human eyes had paused on his. It knew I was here.
The handler led the Huntsman back to the vans. The other had already returned, standing tall with its head bowed like a friar at prayer, only the silver crossbow held in curved claws giving it away as something monstrous. David didn’t wait to see what happened next. Finding his nerves again, he hurried down the fire escape and away into the streets, crossing under the railway line and heading in a gradual arc towards the east, back in the direction of central London.
A few streets away he came across a city bus picking its way through the debris. He climbed aboard, taking a worn, colourless seat among a clutch of glum, disillusioned faces.
He peered out at the trash-strewn streets, wondering what had just happened, and what it meant for his safety.
Twenty minutes later, he flipped the driver a coin and got off. He cut through a crowded market and across a sloping, overgrown park to a cluster of tall tenement buildings.
In the apartment he had called home for the last two years, he ignored his flatmate, Taku, who was slumped on a ratty sofa in their sparse living room, watching old movies on a battered TV that had a crack cutting diagonally across the screen from left to right. He unlocked the room he called his own and then locked it again from the inside, adding an extra padlock as a secondary precaution.
There, he sat down on the bed and tried to let himself relax.
The Huntsman had smelled him. Had it not been for the intervention of the handler, he might be dead. No one could kill a Huntsman, everyone knew that. They were as close to invincible as a creature could get. According to word on the streets, even the government could barely control them. That was why they had been locked away for so long until the kids calling themselves Tube Riders had been bold enough to escape.
Everyone he knew thought it was rubbish, this whole story about the supposed Tube Riders. What were they anyway, just some urban myth about kids who hung from the side of London Underground trains late at night, peering in through the windows? They were ghosts, apparitions, some said, the trapped souls of train suicides. They couldn’t possibly exist, and they couldn’t possibly have gone on the run from the government, causing an army of DCA agents to follow on their trail, and bringing the Huntsmen back on to the streets.
No, most people thought it was bullshit.
David reached under his bed for an old cardboard box pushed right back against the wall. He pulled it out and tossed aside an assortment of tatty books, dusty ornaments, and other junk to reveal a smooth piece of willow at the bottom. About fifty centimetres long, it had two rubber straps on one side and two metal hooks on the other.
He gave a grim smile as he lifted up the clawboard and blew away the dust. Unlike most people, David knew the rumours about the Tube Riders weren’t just idle street talk. He knew they were true.
Once, he had rode with them.
And if the government was hunting Tube Riders, he might be in a lot of trouble....


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Thursday, 10 March 2016

In the Shadow of London - third draft

Hello!

Just a short update for you today.

I'm still working away as always. I have two current focuses - a new novel that is currently up to 64,000 words and is kind of in the final act I suppose (my natural length seems to be about 90,000 words for a first draft). I have a couple of working titles but I don't like either of them so I won't post them here. This book is aimed at younger readers (as in, no bad language or ultra violence like most of my books), and is a bit of a departure for me. I kind of wanted to write something similar to Harry Potter but still different, so that's what this is. And it's pretty good. You (and hopefully your children) will like it. The first draft should be done by the end of this month, after which I'll probably forget about it for a while or start planning a second book.

And the other focus is of course The Tube Riders: In the Shadow of London. I've finished my first read through and now I'm fine tuning - a little more than I'd like, but I want it to be really realistic and detailed, as well as fast paced. Because this book is set entirely in London in the period between Exile and Revenge, I'm taking great care with my locations to get them as accurate as possible. As always I've taken a few liberties and made up a couple of train stations, but there a lot more real locations in this book. Google Streetview is proving especially useful. In an ideal world I'd like to up-camp to London for a couple of months and just wander about, but unfortunately I don't have that liberty. Perhaps for the fifth(!) book ...!

Okay, back to it, that's all for now. Thanks as always for reading. Make sure you sign up for the Mailling List (all the red buttons on the main site) to get exclusive news and offers before anyone else.

Chris Ward
March 11th 2016

Sunday, 28 February 2016

February updates

Hi all, it's been a while since my last post so here's a little update. It's currently February 29th where I live, and February was another good month for new words. I passed 50,000 yesterday, most of them on a new novel/possible series I'm keeping underwraps until I at least finish the first book.

The next release will the The Tube Riders: In the Shadow of London. I'm currently editing it. I hoped to have it out by March but as usual I got caught up in other things. I'm hoping to give it a couple of weeks of close attention, then it will be off for editing. This is likely to be the last in the contemporary Tube Riders novels (unless I come up with a really cool wider-world story), but the often promised backstory novel(s) is still a possibility. I got kind of stuck on that, but I'm hoping to get back to it later in the year.

After that, I've got a fifth and final Tales of Crow book to write. Then I hope to be launching at least two new series, both starting with the book I wrote last August and the one I'm currently writing. I've been doing a bit of brainstorming on the second of each series, but no news on a start time yet, nor even any confirmed titling information.

So that's it for now, but keep checking back because I hope to have some more cool stuff for you soon.

Chris Ward
February 29th 2016

Monday, 4 January 2016

Announcing the release of The Circus of Machinations (Tales of Crow #4)

The Circus of Machinations (Tales of Crow #4)

January 15th 2016



 For five long years, Professor Kurou has been in hiding, a wraith haunting the streets of the remote Siberian mining town of Brevik.

Victor Mishin is a small-town inventor who needs his help. An unstoppable, inhuman army is approaching the town, and the townsfolk face total annihilation at the hands of an evil even greater than the one that walks among them.

For at the head of an army is a man who will stop at nothing to see Professor Kurou dead.

The Tales of Crow series:

1 - They Came Out After Dark
2 - The Castle of All Nightmares
3 - The Puppeteer King
4 - The Circus of Machinations

CATCH UP WITH TALES OF CROW 1-3 BOXED SET


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Chris's Christmas Message

Chris’s Christmas Message

It’s that time of the year once again where I decide to risk the wrath of the internet and say something about the state of the world as I see it. Firstly, Merry Christmas. To all my family and friends, to all the positive, good-doing people of the world, I love you all dearly. To all the haters, the assholes, the murderers, abusers, manipulators, fuck off. Have a shit, lonely Christmas, you worthless pricks.

I think it’s worth looking back over 2015 to try to make 2016 better. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Think back over the last year to those times when you were an asshole for no particular reason (and we all had them), when you pushed someone who didn’t deserve it, or were rude to someone just because you were having a bad day, or didn’t help someone when you could have, etc., etc., etc., and in 2016 try to even it out by doing something positive. In fact, if everyone did two positive things for each negative thing, it would be pretty much problem solved.

Humanity is a pretty odd species. We search endlessly for new life in space while relentlessly destroying life on Earth; we big up war heroes and honour our war dead then commit the ultimate disrespect to those people who died for our freedom by starting new wars and taking the freedom away from someone else; we respond to someone killing our children by bombing theirs; we create an entire industry of building weapons that can kill other people then complain when people use them to do what they're designed for …. doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

The same as charity starts at home, so does creating a better world. Not all of us can rush off to Cambodia to build a school for impoverished children, but we can offer a smile to someone who might be having a bad day, share a donut with a stranger, give food to a stray cat, pick up litter off the street, be nice to that guy at work who always blanks you, slow down just enough to let someone who might be in a hurry cross the street.

Just think how much better life could be if we spent all that money, time, and effort on building and creating rather than destroying and taking away. Perhaps if everyone tried just a little harder to do good things (beyond sharing posts on Facebook…) then we might not have to watch miserable shit on the news every single day.

Think about it.

Merry Christmas and a great 2016 to you all!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Head of Words audiobook is now live!

Narrated by the fantastic Tim Bick, you can now get Head of Words in audio. Head of Words is my highest rated novel, with an average rating of 4.8 on Amazon.com.

Check it out by clicking the cover below.

http://www.amazon.com/Head-of-Words/dp/B019CW3HJM/ref=sr_1_1_twi_audd_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1450420080&sr=8-1&keywords=head+of+words