July Newsletter – BIG GIVEAWAY!

July Newsletter – BIG GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone,

I told you to keep your eyes peeled for exciting Christopher Daring news and I am pleased to tell you it is already happening. My first giveaway begins today!

In celebration of ‘The Spirits of The Dead’ eBook being completely ready I am giving away five advanced reader copies! This is only available for you, my amazing subscribers, and I thought I would keep it simple, the first five to reply asking for a copy will receive it.

Here is a quick reminder of what it is all about:

“Through the darkness of a starless night a tall shadowy figure rode silently along the long wet road. His black cloak flapped about him like the wings of a great vampire bat. Christopher Daring looked on from his bedroom window, both intrigue and suspicion forming the seed of a new adventure.


Once accompanied by his best friend Jason, they embark upon a ghostly trail into the unknown. They soon find themselves fighting for their lives as they become unexpectedly entwined with both the living and the dead.


Upon Jason becoming spiritually trapped and in danger of being lost to the clutches of death itself, Christopher takes up a quest to find a missing golden pocket watch, that should restore balance to the dark forces that surround them all. But, the twisted greed of the local ghostly priest and his demonic hound, Satan, have other ideas.


With time running out Christopher must utilise every ounce of his cunning to outmanoeuvre and outsmart the various barriers and mysteries that present themselves.”

Email me at stephenjwillisauthor@gmail.com to apply for an ARC copy of Spirits of the Dead!

I do hope many of you are excited for the release, and don’t worry, for those of you who don’t win the giveaway this week, the book will have a publication date and be available for pre-order very soon.

Things are moving along well with the Forest of Riddles and a similar giveaway for this book will be heading your way next month!

Please consider following me on Amazon to get alerts of the new releases.

Don’t forget that as a subscriber you are entitled to an audiobook of my short story A Figure in The Mist, totally free! If you have not yet claimed your free gift, then click here to download the audiobook and here to download the ebook. And don’t forget to share the news with your friends and family, I would love to reach more people with my stories, and word of mouth is always the best place to start.​

Signs, Symbols & Mystic Codes

Signs, Symbols & Mystic Codes

The Coat of Arms for James Bond

Signs, symbols and mystic codes have always fascinated me. They also appear to be more popular now than they ever were.

The brilliant writer Dan Brown is a doyen of such, and effortlessly weaves them into his exciting thrillers. Even James Bond, the British secret agent has his own brand of associated insignia with his very own Coat of Arms1. The Latin words below the shield translate to: The World is not Enough — also the title of the film in which it was famed.

Various groups: be them underground sects, devil-worshiping cults, secret societies or just your run-of-the-mill social club, all like to be associated, one way or another, to some influential symbol or emblem. This practice appears to go back to the dawn of time.

Sometimes I find that by adding occasional symbols or cryptic images, it can add a certain degree of mystique or depth to a storyline. Not that I would want to use this all the time mind.

That said, here is a sneak-peek at a symbol designed for a book I am currently working on.

It is known as an ambigram, which basically means that this design of the word can be read from various angles, so look at the word upside down and see how it fairs. It is a wondrous style of artistic wording.

For me, the masters of applying quality symbolism, and embedding or associating hidden pictographic narratives within their art work, are to be found at The College of Arms2 in London.

For those of you who are not familiar with The College, it is the official heraldic3 authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of the Commonwealth including Australia and New Zealand.

As well as being responsible for the granting of new coats of arms, The College maintains registers of arms, pedigrees, genealogies, Royal Licences, changes of name, and flags. Besides having ceremonial duties, they advise on all matters relating to the peerage and baronetage, precedence, honours and ceremonial as well as national and community  symbols including flags.

They can be found at: www.college-of-arms.gov.uk

This is their very own Coat of Arms

They are situated at the heart of the city of London, and if you are interested in heraldry, then do stop by for a visit.

Underpinning the College of Arms is the ‘The White Lion Society’ whose sole aim is to support the college in all its various activities. To find out what these are and for all other things heraldic visit them at: http://whitelionsociety.org.uk

It might also interest you to know that I was very fortunate a few years ago to be introduced to Robert Noel at The College, who has the grand title of Lancaster Herald. This title is for someone who is an English officer of arms at the college, appointed by a sovereign or state. He has a tremendous mastery of the English language and has been a stalwart member at the college for many years now. Those of you also familiar with my Wolfdog thriller, may even have noticed that Mr Noel very kindly wrote the foreword. His generous words can be found in the book, or indeed on my website.

Coat of Arms1: a visual design created on a shield, depicting various achievements, traditionally unique to individual persons, families, states and organisations. The coat of arms usually includes a shield, helmet, and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, badges, heraldic banners, and mottoes.

The Collage of Arms2: a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. Since its re-incorporation on the 18th July 1555 the College’s home has been on the same site in Queen Victoria Street in the City of London.

Heraldic3 (or Heraldry): a broad term encompassing design, display and study of various past achievements unique to these said individual persons, families, states and organisations.