Storytellers On Tour is a Blog/Instagram Tour organising service. It was born out of Justine’s (Whispers & Wonder) and my love and dedication toward SFF indie books and authors. Our goal is to give as much exposure to our clients as we can, while we also build a community among our Roadies. Find out more about us on www.storytellersontour.online!
When Justine and I first queried the people of Twitter whether they’d be interested in a blog tour organising service dedicated to indie SFF, Phil was the first reaching out to us to ask for our help to celebrate the upcoming Audiobook release of Under Ordshaw. I think it was that point where the both of us just looked at each other (well, in a metaphorical way, we are still living in two different continents and everything) and thought “Okay, that’s it, where are doing this then.” We definitely feel honored we could bring this tour together and though we had some ups and downs – what with the actual release date of the Audiobok being pushed out to a yet unknown date – we learned a lot about our process and fine tuned some things.
And now it’s time to close this show, shall we?
Phil Williams was born in the commuter-belt of Hertfordshire, where he learnt to escape a comfortable life through sinister fantasy fiction. His erratic career has variously involved the study of language and relationships – and took him to such locations as Prague, Moscow and Abu Dhabi. He finally settled on the quiet Sussex seaside, where he lives in Worthing with his wife and his fluffy dog, Herbert. He divides his time between writing educational books that help people better understand English and fantasy books that help people better escape reality.
So he tells himself.
Phil’s novel series include:
Ordshaw: a collection of urban fantasy thrillers set in and around the UK city of Ordshaw – a place where dark secrets threaten the modern world. The Sunken City trilogy follows card sharp Pax Kuranes’ introduction to a labyrinthine conspiracy, starting with Under Ordshaw. Expect monsters, diminutive fairies and a mystery that’ll take a lot of late nights to unravel.
Estalia: starting with Phil’s debut novel, Wixon’s Day, in 2012, this post-apocalyptic series explores a dystopia powered by steam. With reconstructed steampunk machines and an anarchist government, Estalia is a deadly place that gets more tense and chaotic with each instalment in the series.
His work also includes stories set in the post-World War 3 dystopia of Faergrowe (including A Most Apocalyptic Christmas and an upcoming five-book action-thriller arc starting with The Worst Survive), as well as various standalone stories and screenplays.
Welcome to Ordshaw. Don’t look down.
Pax is one rent cheque away from the unforgiving streets of Ordshaw. After her stash is stolen, her hunt for the thief unearths a book of nightmares and a string of killers, and she stands to lose much more than her home.
There’s something lurking under her city.
Knowing it’s there could get you killed.
Pax had not slept. Years of enduring poker games that stretched into oblivion had taught her you could always find a second wind if you waited long enough. Or a third, or fourth. Rather than struggle to rest, she studied Rufaizu’s book while she waited for the Ministry offices to open. After reading about glogockles and surveying tunnel layouts, she decoded notes on other unnatural creatures, taking satisfaction in solving the puzzles. She decoded the headings for The Drummer Horse, Invisible Proclaimers, and Tuckles before focusing on the entry for the Sickle in detail. Its image was a thing of nightmares, a humanoid torso atop four canine legs, with long, curved claws instead of hands. Its face had no eyes, just a jagged-toothed jawline that ran from top to bottom rather than left to right. The short misspelt paragraph curating it gave her the idea that Apothel was not exactly a scholar.
Sickles patrol on set lines. Strongest sense is touch; they look for vibrashans from movement. No eyes, no nose, no ears. Stay still and quiet, they mite not know your there. If cornered by a sickle, get the back legs, they lose balance easy. Sickles are very fast. Teef and claws rip flesh. Avoid – do not fite.
In the margin she found a clue to another person’s involvement in this strange enterprise. A triumphant addendum read: Tell that to Citizen Barton!
Pax leafed through the book, looking for other names. She reached a long section with no images and a single solitary note in the margin: Probably inaccurate. She translated the title, Layer Fae. One to come back to. Following that was a list, with pictures of different containers: jars, cylinders and an elaborate flagon that gave Pax a yearning for a medieval banquet. Nothing like the object she’d taken from Rufaizu’s place, though.
Continuing, she found a couple of pages stuck together and peeled them apart. She hadn’t seen this one before, when she’d been looking for clues to the cypher. The image made Pax pause.
A full-page sketch depicted the insignia from Casaria’s business card. There were symbols around it, passionately thick and underlined. It seemed Rufaizu, if the annotations were really his, wanted whoever found this book to know what this page had to say, because he’d already translated each block of text in small lettering:
Do not trust the Ministry of Environmental Energy.
“Jesus Christ,” Pax said. She turned the page, but there was no more information. The book devolved into the half-dozen pages of short riddles, then, with their scattered words around them. Apparently Rufaizu had been trying to solve them.
And there ended the book.
Pax sat back and stared at the leather-bound tome. It was pure fantasy, except that it had thrown doubt on her plan of getting in touch with the Ministry.
The Rest of the Tour
As always, this tour wouldn’t have been so awesome without our incredible Roadies. If you missed the stops of the Under Ordshaw tour, please take a bit of time and check their posts out:
APRIL 19TH – THE WELCOMING
Whispers & Wonder – review
“Under Ordshaw is a gleaming example of what the Urban Fantasy subgenre has to offer, and it surpassed all the expectations I had when I first began flipping through its pages.”
“The writing is fantastic, and fast-paced throughout. The interconnecting stories are played out with expertise and as hard as it was to believe, I get the feeling I’ve only gotten a glimpse into what’s really happening.”
Out of This World SFF Reviews – review
“This is a read for those who enjoy their urban fantasy with a healthy dose of the fantastic, as well as some sarcastic humor and grittiness. I couldn’t help but crack a smile as I turned the final page knowing that I will absolutely wish to continue with the following two volumes of this fun and captivating series. UNDER ORDSHAW is definitely a book that you will want to check out!”
Parsecs & Parchment – review
“Overall I enjoyed Under Ordshaw. At it’s best it’s awesome, just top-notch devourable urban fantasy with great character work, world-building and dialogue.”
Susy’s Cozy World – review
“It was a fascinating reading, that kept me busy for an enjoyable couple of days! If you are in for something original and captivating, this one could be the right reading for you!”
Knapsack.news – review
“Setting out in a new world can be tricky for an author, and Phil Williams goes for the approach that – when done right – can make for a fun roller coaster ride.”
“This book made me think of a detective film noir style meets Men in Black and Neverwhere.”
Dream Come Review – review
“Overall, this was a well-crafted start to an urban fantasy world with a healthy dose of dark and creepy. You won’t find any heroes, but there are plenty of monstrous things, murderous fae, and morally questionable characters. I’m looking forward to picking up book two!”
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – review
“The fae in this world aren’t your typical fae that you see in the YA world, which works for this adult urban fantasy. They aren’t the kind of fae you want to make angry, or even look at them the wrong way. They will mess you up, and not in the fun way.”
@the.littlest.bookshelf – review
“This book is a combo of both urban fantasy as well as a on the edge of your seat thriller that will keep you turning pages until the end and leave you wanting more.”
“Under Ordshaw is full of twists and gave me a bit more of a taste of Urban Fantasy. I’ve read some Butcher and a couple one-offs, but this book is a good immersive tale that gripped me from the start and I’m excited to continue the series.”
Fantasy Book Critic – review
“Under Ordshaw is a unique urban fantasy that stands out for its well-rounded characters and disturbing settings. Williams has given readers plenty of thrills and mystery to keep the pages turning, but his novel sings loudest when he explores human-fae dynamics. Consider me hooked. Under Ordshaw won’t work as a standalone so bear that in mind before starting it.”
If you like the above excerpt of Under Ordshaw and would like to get in contact with Phil Williams, you can find him on social media:
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