17 April 2015

Blog Tour: Guy Erma and The Son of Empire by Sally Ann Melia with Review, Interview and Giveaway

Good morning folks,

Today we are featuring, reviewing and interviewing the author of the book, Guy Erma and The Son of Empire. Moreover, there's also a giveaway of a 50 dollar Amazon Gift Card and a copy of this book at the end of this blog post. So what are you waiting for, scroll below to join the adventure!

Book: Guy Erma and The Son of Empire: A Young Adult Science Fiction Thriller Novel by Sally Ann Melia

Category:  YA Fiction,  440 pages

Genre: Science-fiction and Fantasy

Publisher: Dickson House

Release date: November 2014

Content Rating: PG


The story starts with a boy:
"I don't want to go, mum."
"You must..."
How long can a mother regret the last words to her son?

This story is a space opera adventure and a kidnap thriller… A young prince is kidnapped, a galactic Empire in peril for the Prince has fallen into the hands of the ruthless yet charismatic Chart Segat, a populist politician, he is also head of the crack space warriors: the Dome Elite.

Teodor’s mother, Regent Sayginn of Freyne 2 will use every resource at her disposal: military might, security surveillance, battle cyborgs and insider intelligence to find her son. She will call on the Valvanchi, the telepathic shape shifting aliens to free him … The only question is can they get to the Prince in time?
Meanwhile in the shadow of the Dome, living a life of desperate poverty is another boy: 13-year-old Guy Erma. His only dream is to join the Dome Elite, and the only way he can do that is by ‘doing whatever Chart Segat says. ’ Whatever he says!'

A tightly plotted thriller, Guy Erma and the Son of Empire is a complex space opera with a cracking science fiction storyline, told with verve and pace.

The book will delight those who love • Science Fiction • Space Operas • Star Wars style Adventures • Galactic Empire stories • Young Adult Science Fiction • Young Adult Space Opera • Young Adult Thrillers • Young Adult Action Adventure

And is inspired by the works of • George Lucas • JJ Abrams • Steven Spielberg • J R R Tolkien • Frank Herbert • Iain M Banks • Peter F Hamilton


My Review:

“Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about.”
                                                                                                                                      ----Ray Bradbury

Sally Ann Melia, an English science-fiction author, pulls off a great adventurous and thrilling science-fiction in her new book, Guy Erma and the Son of Empire which is the story of two 13 year old boys- one a poor boy and the other- an heir of two kingdoms. 

Guy Erma wants to be a warrior of a planetary protection group called, Dome Elite. He belongs from a poor background, who is unsure about his parents' identity and lives with a lot of his siblings. But Guy Erma is good with blade fighting and also has a good luck medallion which finally helps him join the force.

Prince Teodor grew up inside a kingdom and is already an heir to his kingdom after his father's early death. But that doesn't make him a pampered guy, instead he works hard for his position and for his people. He is good with a kind of feline creatures, gorans and he loves to take care of them. And these two protagonists' fate entwine with one another, when Guy Erma is kidnapped and finally falls under the feet of a bad politician for his survival.

Firstly, I'll begin with how much I loved the cover of this book, which holds a special meaning to the underlying storyline of this book. The writing is absolutely fantastic and I was engrossed into this edgy adventure from the very first page. Well, in the beginning, the author intricately layed out the story and the cast before us, which some might find it difficult to grasp so much introduction right at the start of a story.

The story is set across in a parallel universe to ours where the author have drawn each and every details of that world with enough realism to make us believe in it. The pace of the book is really fast and with so many events and thrilling adventure, I was never left out feeling bored or out-of-the-world. And for that I would like to applaud the author for her brilliant imaginative skills who draws reality and fantasy equivalently.

There are a lot of characters in this book which are very strongly-developed and since this is a YA fantasy genre book, I was met with a lot of shape-shifters, giant cats etc. This compelling cast of characters are what which keeps the story building with every turn of the page. The protagonists, Guy Erma and Price Teodor are like two ends of a magnet- one born lucky with means and resources but not with much skill, whereas the other born with less resources, but with great strength.

In a nutshell, this book is a complete roller-coaster ride filled with bone-chilling adventures and power-packed actions and thrills that is surely going to keep you on your edges.

Verdict: This brilliant story is a must-read for all YA lovers.

Courtesy: I received the book for a blog tour. 


Book Purchase Links:

Author Interview:

Me: Hello and welcome to my blog, Sally. Congratulations on your new book, Guy Erma & The Son of Empire. Can you please share with us the story behind, Guy Erma & The Son of Empire?
Well, this is the book I never intended to write!
Sally: I started ‘writing’ as a child, and though I always knew I was ‘writing novels’, for years it was just chapter after chapter of material documenting the life of Guy Erma. Finally, I decided that enough was enough. I had to write something that other people might recognise as a novel with a beginning, a middle, and an ending - and yes, it had to have a cover. However, I was overwhelmed at the prospect of writing the entire story, but in one of my notebooks I had written a phrase, something like:
Guy Erma never forgot how he met Teo in the dark backstreets of the city, and how they had been firm friends ever since.
I was curious about this one phrase and realised there was a much shorter story there. It was the story of Guy Erma’s and Teodor Freyne’s first meeting.

Me: What was your source of inspiration for writing, Guy Erma & The Son of Empire?
Sally: So first of all I had to think of a premise. How could Guy Erma, an impoverished orphan living on the backstreets of the city meet with Teodor Freyne the highest born prince in the Empire? Moreover, how would they ever meet in the dark backstreets of the city? Why were they such firm friends? Clearly, Teodor would never normally be ‘in the back streets of the city’, I mean on foot? No, he would be flying over the city in a hovercraft or riding through in a procession of cars. Therefore, Teodor had to outside of his ‘natural habitat’ of luxury and privilege, and I thought of a kidnapping.
In addition, one of the first drafts of this story was written back in the eighties when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister in England. There was a little reported incident that occurred during her first stint in power and before the Falklands War had established her reputation as an Iron lady. Her son, Mark Thatcher was an avid fan of fast cars, and decided to take part in the Paris Dakar rally which is a race taking place over 4-5 days ( I think) and involves crossing the Sahara desert. In the UK, it’s seen as a very romantic, very Casa Blanca / Laurence of Olivier. It is a race, which attracts those adventurous, hardy souls who are crazy enough to lock themselves in a car and face three days crossing the Sahara.  In any case, Mark Thatcher disappeared.
This was not an unusual occurrence of the Paris-Dakar race, I mean this was years before sat-nav, mobile phones, or indeed any kind of phone in sub-Saharan African. Indeed part of the adventure of the rally, was that competitors did get lost, but had to rely on their own resources, and yes in the spirit of  A cold one in Alex survive on petrol and dried biscuits until they found civilisation again. What followed was a tense political storm where there were fleeting radio reports that it was thought that Algerian terrorists were involved.  Perhaps MI5 or the SAS or indeed both had been despatched to find mark. There was even a question in parliament about whether Margaret Thatcher could continue as Prime Minister, or when if her son was held hostage she would inevitably have to give up her power.
And you have to bear in mind, Margaret was the first female prime minister of the UK, and there was a strong undercurrent of the male establishment jumping on a chance to ‘get her out’.
This story really spoke to me, a lone woman, her son in peril, her own power in the balance, standing firm, despite everything. So that is how the story of Teodor’s kidnapping evolved enter 31-year-old Regent Sayginn, the young and beautiful widow of a murdered king, whose only son is kidnapped and who must fight not only to get him back, but also to survive.
For the record, Mark Thatcher reappeared after about a 2-3 day disappearance, pretty much in the normal way of all Paris Dakar racers and I never heard anything more about the story. What? How? Why? Who? Nothing. To be honest, I already had my inspiration. I did hear one thing, sadly for Mark Thatcher, he never allowed to race again while his mother was in power.

Me: How did you research for your book, Guy Erma & The Son of Empire?

Sally: I write Science Fiction.  I like to base the technologies I describe in plausible technological fact. I try to look at contemporary technologies and extrapolate. I try to keep all the planet science correct, and I don’t do magic. Except that as Arthur C. Clarke said:  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
For me, the story and the characters drive the plot. The SF setting sets my imagination free.

Me: How will you describe your journey so far as an author?

Sally: Well if I had to choose three adjectives, I would go with painful, long, and tedious, by tedious I specifically refer to all the spell-checking and grammar-proofing.
In the last year, the journey has significantly changed in that I have started working with artists to create artwork concepts for the books. This has brought a whole new dimension to the project. On one hand I now have the most amazing visuals of the characters and the settings, on the other hand it is great to share this world this story with other artists.
Here for instance is a picture of Prince Teodor riding his beloved Gorans.
And another which captures the ethereal otherness of the heroine Nell Valvanchi.

Me: Was it always your one true dream to be an author?

Sally: No, I wanted to be a ballet dancer. Age 16, I was spending 14 hours a week in  ballet studio, bleeding into my points  and steeling my body to create elegant arabesques and light jetes.
Later I wanted to be an amazing businesswoman and carve a career in the world of finance, and I did work in the City of London for many years, but alas, in the end it was not for me!
I have always written, and if nothing else I want to write this one story, and write it well.

Me: Tell us one trait of your protagonist, Teodor, that intrigues you the most?
Sally: Teodor is so unsure of himself. He has had royalty thrust on him.  If he had a choice, if he had the money but not the responsibility he would probably be a jockey or a vet. He just loves animals, and his heart rate relaxes, his breathing slows, a weight lifts whenever he enters his stables. Yet year by year, his allocated time training and riding is forever shrunk by the demands of being a prince, by the training to become a King.
It is going to be interesting to see how his story turns out. He is in constant danger of losing his kingdom but also his life, at times of trouble we see him retreat to spend time with the animals he loves.

Me: Describe your normal writing day, and how do you get away from the stress of a long day’s work?

Sally: I get up at 7ish, and I have to make packed lunch for myself, David, my husband and the children. Then we all head off to work and school. Sometimes I drop my eldest at her secondary school, it is only ten minutes away. If I am lucky, I get to check my personal emails on my phone or tablet, or shoot off a few comments in the Elance chatroom to the artists who working on the new covers for the serialisation. You might also find me fleetingly on Social Media, but mornings are always frantic.
I then work full time as a Digital Marketing Manager. At 5.45, I pick my youngest up from primary school, we are normally back in the house at 6.30pm. I then rustle up something to eat for me and the children, David comes in later. Now I start in earnest on my emails and social media. I have my laptop and keyboard in the kitchen, and spend about two hours dealing with the general administration and social media activity of keeping my mini-publishing empire in movement.
My twitter account is @Sally_Ann_Melia has over 80,000 followers, and I tweet on average 20 times a day, since I am not actually present for most of the day, I have to spend about an intensive hour tweeting, favouriting and scheduling tweets. I sometimes post: ‘I am online now’, so look at for those times, then you can talk to me direct. I receive 300 DM through twitter every day, so sorry DMs don’t get looked at.
I am more present on GoodReads than I am on Facebook, and I would like to spend more time of the SFF Chronicles, but… time is precious. I am occasionally on Pinterest. I am a very visual writer and my Pinterest account is like a library of inspiring images, as well as references for the artists and designers who work with me. You were wondering what Teodor Freyne looks like? Check here: https://uk.pinterest.com/sallyannmelia/prince-teodor/
About nine, the kids are in bed, and the house feels calmer. Nine till one is my prime writing time, though sometimes I force myself to go to bed at 11. I can write 2000-3000 words in that time.
Sunday morning is sacrosanct, I normally get four hours to write between 8 and 11, and If I have all the house work and ironing done, and all the publishing social media admin finished, I can write from 7pm on Sundays. 

Me: What's next up on your writing sleeves? Please tell us briefly about it.

Sally: I have currently published
Aliens in Paris which is a short novella cum travel guide featuring two Aliens in Paris. I wrote this when I was practicing working with Create Space and Amazon. It’s only a ditty really.
Guy Erma and the Son of Empire is a 440pp ebook, paperback and hardback, and can be ordered for independent bookstores through Ingram
Readers now prefer to read shorter books, so I am re-releasing Guy Erma and the Son of Empire as a serialization in May 2015. The new three part series has the following titles:
Kidnap. Part 1 of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire  (186pp)
Hunted.  Part 2 of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire (162pp)
Exile. Part 3 of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire (150pp)
I am working with another writer to create a small art book: The artwork of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire, which is due for release in June 2015
I am currently writing and editing the second part of the trilogy: Guy Erma and the Araneidae Dome which is due in November 2015.
I have an outline of the third part of the trilogy, and I am hoping for an early date in 2016, but we will wait and see.
Author Info:

The author was born in Wallasey, England, in 1964, and moved to the South of France when she was eleven. She spent her teenage years living in the cosmopolitan city state of Monaco and became immersed in its many languages and cultures. An English girl in a French school, for three hours each week she would sit at the back of the class as her colleagues learnt English. To pass the time, she wrote stories. This led to a lifetime of writing novels, scripts, stories and articles.

In her working life, Sally writes marketing communications and manages large international websites.

In 2010, Sally joined the Hogs Back Writers, a club located on the outskirts of Guildford, and she set about turning an old manuscript into this novel: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire. Sally currently lives in Farnham, and she is married with two children.

Connect with Sally on:  WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookPinterest

You can win  yourself one of 10 copies of Guy Erma & The Son of Empire. And one winner will also get a $50 Amazon Gift Card (Open internationally) This giveaway ends on April 25.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think I like the sound of this. Sci-fi is a genre I love. And as an author I think I would be more present on Goodreads than Facebook as well.

  2. Thanks Olivia for stopping by!


Thanks for your feedback!