2017 A to Z Challenge Blog: X is for Xaghra’s Revenge from Geoff Nelder

2017 BadgeLet’s be honest today. How many people out there wondered what they were going to come up with for the letter X? The twenty-fourth letter of the alphabet isn’t exactly a popular one for the first letter in a word. In fact, when lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson published his Dictionary of the English Language in 1755, he included this disclaimer at the bottom of page 2308: “X is a letter which though found in Saxon words, begins no word in the English language.” I’m looking forward to reading the creative efforts of other bloggers today to see how many will have proven the man wrong.

Today, as has happened a couple of times in this year’s challenge, I have a post up on another page where I actually found a whole lot of X words. If you visit the Anaiah Press blog site, https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/16877821, you’ll find my X-post there, eXploring your vocabulary.

This morning, I want to introduce you to the last of this year’s “new to you” authors. He’s sent along quite the bio, so here it is, in his own words.

Geoff-IOM-12Geoff Nelder is a professional liar, badass editor, and fiction competition judge living in Britain. He was awarded Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society for his research into air pollution and microclimates, shamelessly using his students as unpaid researchers to discover urban heat islands in Yorkshire towns and villages. He taught now-out-of-date Geography and IT to the ungrateful alive but escaped on his bike to write.

His publications include science fiction novels Exit, Pursued by Bee and the ARIA trilogy; and thrillers Escaping Reality, and Hot Air. A historical fantasy Xaghra’s Revenge is released by Solstice Publishing on July 24 2017.

Many of his short stories have found homes in mags such as The Horror Zine, Perihelion, Ether Books, Encounters, Jimston Journal, Delivered, Screaming Dreams and many anthologies such as Monk Punk, Science Fiction Writers’ Sampler (with Gregory Benford and David Brin), Twisted Tails, and Zombified.

Solstice Publishing released his experimental SF story, The Chaos of Mokii as an ebook in 2016.

His non-fiction include books on climate and he co-wrote How to Win Short Story Competitions.

Follow Geoff here:

Website http://geoffnelder.com

Amazon author pages

Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/geoffnelder

and tweets at @geoffnelder



XX is For Xaghra’s Revenge, to be released on July 24th 2017

The historical basis

  • One of the world’s most ancient buildings is on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. Ggantija at Xaghra, c. 3600-2500 BC predates Stonehenge and the pyramids.
  • In 1551 the Turkish buccaneer and Barbary corsair, Rais Dragut, sailed an Ottoman pirate fleet to Gozo and abducted the entire population of 5000, except a few elderly people, and sailed them to North Africa.
  • rabbatThe abducted were kept on the ships while Dragut won a siege against the Knights of St John at Tripoli. The surviving abducted were taken and sold into slavery at Constantinople, Turkey, others at Tripoli and Tarhuna, Libya.
  • Some of the abducted had relatives on Malta sufficiently rich to buy them back, but most lost contact with their families.
  • In Tarhuna, Libya, are people living now, whose ancestors came from Gozo.

The fiction

XR-frontcover ABThe spirits of the abducted cry out for REVENGE.

When Reece and Zita become lovers, past and present collide as the spirits of their ancestors force them to relive one of the greatest battles of the 16th century.

Xaghra’s Revenge follows the fate of a sixteenth century abducted family, and of two contemporary lovers thrown together by the ancients. Reece and Zita are unaware that one descends from the pirates, the other from the abducted family. While ancient Gozo spirits seek revenge, so do the Ottoman Corsairs, who intend to roll back history, and this time win the siege of Malta.

The history is real. The places are authentic. The tension and excitementXR-coverback3 are palpable.

“A gripping tale, full of energy and mystery, keeping you wanting for more with every line you read.” John Bonello, First-Prize Winner of the Malta National Book Award

“I liked it. There’s a foreground of interesting characters combined with a skilfully fed-in hint of weirdness.” Jaine Fenn – Hidden Empire series.

Xaghra’s Revenge is to be released on July 24th 2017. July 24th is the date that the population of Gozo were abducted… their time is coming.

Looks like I will be pre-ordering this one!

Please stop by the A to Z blog’s site to visit other bloggers.  A to Z Challenge Blog



About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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12 Responses to 2017 A to Z Challenge Blog: X is for Xaghra’s Revenge from Geoff Nelder

  1. Susan says:

    Thanks for the introduction to this author. X is always an A-Z challenge. Earlier this year I read Edith Wharton’s long short story, Xingu. You might enjoy it!

  2. X did present a problem for me (which I settled with the shape instead of the word). Another option would be to go into the Mayan world as many of their villages seem to begin with an “x”

  3. I have never heard of the island of Gozo. I will look at an atlas, hope it’s still called Gozo.

  4. Sounds like my kind of author. I used to teach mathematics to the ungrateful but now write and bike (and kayak). The history behind this story sounds horrifying.

    I’m doing conspiracy theories for the A to Z this month.

    X is for the X-37B Space Plane

  5. Looks like an interesting book from your excellent review here. I like that there is a bit of ancestry involved as well 🙂

  6. I always worry a little about X and Z on the challenge, but I think I was a little creative with today’s post. Thanks for introducing a new to me author and congratulations on finding a book title that started with X. Girl Who Reads

  7. messymimi says:

    A very exciting adventure!

  8. Jemima Pett says:

    I love authors who do the A to Z and end up writing titles like Xaghra’s Revenge or Zanzibar’s Rings to fill in awkward gaps. Whoops (blush) lol
    Jemima, blogging from A to Z as usual

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