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Medieval Musings. Paul J Bennett's Weekly Newsletter

On the Homefront

Summer is officially at its end, but so far, the autumn has been relatively mild. We’ve taken to spending our breaks outside for the last few days, sipping our tea and snacking on homemade cookies (or banana bread) in the mild weather. Carol typically reads over my WIP manuscript, which she now prints out for review purposes. I, meanwhile, typically read Facebook posts or play games on my phone.

Of course, the dogs both love this as they get to hang out in their favourite place, our back yard. Daisy likes to soak up as much sun as she can, turning into a warm lump of dog fur. Tilly, on the other hand, prefers the milder temperatures and typically sits in the shade. She, however, feels it her duty to guard the fence, lest any squirrels or kitties attempt entry into her domain.

Even though we are taking longer breaks these days, my word count remains steady at 4,00 words a day. I find the breaks are good, as they allow me to think over scenes prior to putting down the words. (I was going to say putting pen to paper, but let’s face it, I work almost exclusively on a PC.)

Want more Athgar and Natalia?

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This Week's Review: Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes, a new movie featured on Netflix, stars Millie Bobby Brown as the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. Based on the series of Young Adult books by Nancy Springer, specifically The Case of the Missing Marquess, we get to see the early childhood of Enola as she is raised by her widowed mother, played by Helena Bonham Carter. The real story, however, begins on her sixteenth birthday, when her mother disappears. (I don’t consider this a spoiler as it’s given away in the preview).

The mystery itself isn’t too difficult to unravel, though the path to get there throws you a number of curveballs. If you’re expecting a Sherlock Holmes mystery, you do not understand the premise of this storyline. It is Enola’s story and, as such, is explicitly told from her point of view, other than a few scenes of her brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. What makes this movie entertaining is the fact that Enola herself breaks the fourth wall, talking directly to the camera.

You may have seen Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things, but this is an entirely different type of story. She does an excellent job with the tongue-in-cheek humour, and with any luck, we’ll see her reprise the role in future movies (there are currently six books to the series).

I should also point out that it’s nice to see an actual teenager playing a sixteen-year-old, rather than the twenty-something actresses that seem to fill the screen in other features. Some may scoff at the historical inaccuracies, but the story is kept engaging and entertaining. It’s also a very suitable family-oriented movie, a rare find these days.

If you like the ‘old-time adventure’ style of movies with a modern twist, I highly recommend Enola Holmes.

Tempered Steel's getting 5-star reviews!

'Excellent fantasy' - Lisa

'Sign me up for the series!' - Kix

'One of best prequels ever' - GR Mar

'Just the right amount of everything' - Sky

'This author never fails to deliver a great story' - BR

'I couldn't put the book down till it was done.' - Sean O

'I found myself totally enthralled from beginning to end.' - Will

'Join me and dive into this magical tale - you won’t be disappointed.' - Lady J

'Once again Paul J Bennett weaves his magic so prepare to be caught up' - LM

'Paul is a master storyteller and Tempered steel is another in a
long list of impressive works of fantasy.' - Lisa H

'I can’t wait for the next book.' - Jill

'Totally awesome' - Fiona

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I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to follow me on Goodreads, and post a review or two on your favourite books in the series while you are there!

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A Look Back at 

Shadow of the Crown

In May of 2018, I had just finished writing Sword of the Crown and was busy outlining the next book, which would become Heart of the Crown. In Sword, I introduced the character of Albreda and the fact that she 'owed' Baron Fitzwilliam for something. My notes contained all sorts of information on that very subject, and yet Sword didn't feel like the right place to reveal it. Thus was born the idea of telling some 'background' stories, with the four-part story entitled Fitz and the Witch becoming the anchor for the book

The second tale I included was a rough storyline that I had initially intended for Sword but removed to allow for better pacing. Beverly and the Bandit King was the result.

I could have written this as a simple book of short stories, but I felt the need to connect them somehow. That way, I could explain a few things that might not be apparent. The interludes, as I called them, place the book firmly between Sword and Heart (Book 2.5 to be precise), and yet the stories are all in the past, hence the name of the book.

I think the most challenging and rewarding of the stories was A Dogs Tale. I had always had a background in mind for Tempus but needed some way to tell it. Albreda's presence, and the fact that she could communicate with animals, not only led to a unique recounting but also contributed to the later book, Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic.

Book of the Week

'Non-stop action from page 1! I couldn't put the book down and read it in one sitting. This is a fantastic addition to the series! The twists will flip you around and turn the story upside down. Cannot wait for the next book!' - Kathy

Shadow of the Crown: Treachery! Treason! Trolls?

Fooled into thinking they are returning heroes, the entourage's royal welcome is cut short when they mysteriously collapse; all but Nikki, the one nobody trusted.

Lady Nicole Arendale's past is shrouded in mystery, but it's slowly unravelling as secrets long buried are exposed, threatening everyone's future. Never one to rely on anyone's help, she has no choice but to return to her previous life if she has any hope of saving them.

Set on a path she neither expected, nor wanted, they are running for their lives, searching for a safe haven in the midst of the coming storm. She could simply slip into the night, but something keeps her with them, yearning for a glimmer of hope.

Driven to see this adventure through to the end, she must now choose; her future or theirs?

Shadow of the Crown is the fourth book in the Heir to the Crown fantasy series. If you like epic battle scenes, mythical races, and a captivating story, then you will love Paul J Bennett's tale of a rogue who turns the tables.

Pick up your copy of Shadow of the Crown, and prepare for a day of reading!

Read Shadow of the Crown today

Congrats to Linda for winning last week's eBook Giveaway! She, like most of you, thought both Daisy and Tilly are cute!

Remember, all you need to do answer the question below, then you will automatically be entered into the Giveaway to win your choice of any of my ebooks, even the recently released Tempered Steel!

Work in Progress Update

Fury of the Crown is in the final stages now, with only a few chapters left to write. The journey with this story has been quite fascinating as I have changed my outline not once, but twice, coming up with what I consider a much more compelling ending. I know the changes have been worthwhile when Carol, who is reading the manuscript, blurts out, "I didn't see that coming!"

Now, of course, she's pushing me to complete the rest quickly, so she can see how it ends. All in a day's work for a fantasy author, I suppose. Fury of the Crown is an apt name for this book since there are multiple scenes that involve people getting rather upset over things. (I shan't say more lest I give away plot points.)

Once I'm done, sometime next week, I shall take a well-earned break (all of an hour or so) before I embark on my next project, Warrior Knight. That tale, telling the story of Ludwig Altenburg, will require a lot of planning, and though I already have a rough outline, there is much polishing to be done before I begin writing. I shall also have some additional research to do, as, like Temple Knight, some of it is based on aspects of medieval life.

Well, that's it for now. I better get back to work before my characters begin to complain, and Carol stops feeding me homemade cookies (She might just be buttering me up, trying to get me to write faster).

Until next time, here's your first excerpt from

Fury of the Crown

Heir to the Crown: Book Eight

Jack Marlowe sat on his horse, surveying the distant enemy lines. "I don't mean to alarm you, Your Highness, but we appear to be significantly outnumbered."

Prince Alric smiled. "Don't worry. Fitz has it all in hand."

The cavalier turned to look at his master. "We are outnumbered two to one. Granted, the fellow has some experience, but I think this time he might have bitten off more than he can chew."

"The baron knows what he's doing."

"Then why is he being advised by a smith?"

Alric chuckled. "You mean Aldwin? He's a lord now, remember?"

"Yes, but hardly a military adviser."

"I doubt the baron's seeking advice, more likely he's taking the opportunity to teach his new son-in-law a thing or two about battle." The prince shifted his gaze to the cavalier. "Why so glum, Jack? I thought you lived for combat?"

"I do, but I'd feel much better knowing we had our own cavalry here instead of these..."


"I've nothing against them as a people, but I can't accept that a bunch of commoners could make effective horsemen, and even then, we have so few of them. Why couldn't we have the Queen's Guard?"

"You mean the Guard Cavalry?" said the prince. "That's simple. They were needed elsewhere. You know there's still a frontier to guard, so they can't send everything they have here, to Eastwood."

"But the Norlanders have had all winter to rest, while we've  had to march through rain and mud."

Alric chuckled. "We'll win, just you wait and see."

"I admire your faith," said Jack, "but I'd rather trust in the power of a good blade."

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