On a weekend in June 2014, I visited my family. It was that weekend when my youngest sister stated that she and my younger brother didn’t know much about book one of The Common Kingdoms Series, The Royal Gift, even though they knew a lot about the series as a whole – everything that happens between Raneth and Aldora, all the funny things Prince Pedibastet does, the downwards spiral of the Giften Kingdom, and Aldora’s greatest failure in the series.
She asked if we could read The Royal Gift whilst I was there. Thankfully, I had my trusted Samsung tablet and searched for copies of The Royal Gift in my email, eventually finding an email from 2010 to myself that held the first three chapters of the 2009 version and the cover letter to accompany it to agents.
We crept away to read the three chapters, taking turns and doing voices.
“Is he going to eat Chelsea?” I said, in the highest squeakiest imitation of a five year old I could muster. My sister started laughing uncontrollably and I couldn’t help but join in.
The scene where this question is asked saw Royal Official Raneth Bayre knocked out by his assigned murderer in a garden. When he came to, he found himself being cared for by the family that owned the garden. Their little girl was concerned about their missing pet chicken which the criminal had stolen to eat.
That afternoon with my sister made me confident it was time to work towards getting The Royal Gift published independently – she was 14 years old, within the recommended readers’ age for The Common Kingdoms Series.
Now, over a year since it’s ebook release in 2015 which was followed by the paperback in 2016, 14,639 copies have been downloaded or purchased (as of 30/12/16). A few times it has been second and third in its Amazon categories too.
Just before Christmas 2016, I discovered a review of The Royal Gift by Jo Linsdell on Youtube:
I wasn’t even looking for reviews when I found it, but it made my Christmas!
I reached out to Jo and thanked her for the review and gave free copies to everyone that expressed interest in reading The Royal Gift in the comments below her video too. This resulted in Jo and I organising a giveaway of three paperback copies on Jo’s sites.
I’d love to give you a free copy of The Royal Gift, so head to one of Jo’s sites to take part in the giveaway, which runs from the 8th to the 15th. Good luck!