Still loving being able to write every day!

Welcome to Merceria

'Adventure, action, intrigue, and fantastic world building!' - Kathy

Would you like your review to be quoted?

Starting this week, each newsletter will feature a quote from a review for one of my books, right under 'Welcome to Merceria' header.

For the chance for yours to appear there, all you need to have done is to review one of my books on your favourite site!

If you have not already done so, these handy links below are just for you.

This week's featured race is...

The Dwarves of Merceria

The Dwarven race has lived in the land for thousands of years. They are thought to have arrived the same time that Elves migrated here, though some scholars believe they predate their woodland rivals. The Dwarves commonly found in Merceria are typically from Stonecastle, the vast Dwarven fortress that lies within the western mountain ranges of the kingdom, though some have been born within the realm of Merceria itself.

Their reputation for being stubborn and proud is mainly from Humans misinterpreting their actions. Instead, Dwarves are very pragmatic people, well aware of their limitations. Although they are physically shorter than humans, they are generally as broad of shoulder, making them a naturally strong race with much higher stamina.

Dwarven warriors are amongst the toughest foes that can be faced and have a reputation for never surrendering and never retreating. As a race, they know that their opponents can move more swiftly than their own troops. To withdraw would be to invite pursuit, a tactic that could never benefit a Dwarf.

Dwarves detest slavery of any type and would rather die than submit to such punishment. Individually, they are much like Humans in their outlook, and many aspire to careers, much as other races do. It is not uncommon for a Dwarf to live to the age of 400 years, though 350 is more common. There are rare examples of some living as long as 450 years of age, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

It is well-known that Dwarven smiths are highly sought after. They perfect their art over hundreds of years and are renowned for the artistry they display in their weapons and armour. It is said that the bulk of magical weapons are of Dwarven construction, though there are, of course, other capable smiths.

Dwarves also pride themselves on their skill at engineering. The gates of Stonecastle are immense, operated by a system of gears and counterweights that let a single Dwarf operate them. When a Human sees a complex construction that they cannot understand it is often attributed to Dwarves.

Dwarves trade with other races, indeed some even live in human cities, but as a race they generally don’t spend much time away from their homes, preferring the stone of the mountains to the fields of the plains. Even those that live in human cities will typically have underground lodgings, the better to feel secure, surrounded by the stone that is their home.

They worship the same pantheon of gods that humans do with particular attention to Haldur, the God of Smiths and Metalworking.

Thank goodness for Graphic Designers...

Ever wonder what goes into designing a book cover?

Luckily for me, Carol gets the pleasure of prepping and sending my ideas to the Graphic Designer.

To begin with, our designer sends an image of the cover with just my name and the book name. Then, Carol gets to create some mock-ups to give the designer an idea of what we think the cover should look like.

For Fate of the Crown, the theme is of battles and redemption, of fighting for what's right!

I wanted to share it with you first, but it is not quite done. It needs a bit more tweaking, so it is below, in a blurred state so that you are the first to see what will become the final cover.

I will do a cover reveal on social media soon, so if you want to see it, please follow me!

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram Bookbub Goodreads Amazon Email

Game Versus Book - What really happened?

Anna’s Grand Tour

When first I ran the RPG (Role Playing Game), the players, Brad, Carol and Jeff, created a very eclectic group. There was Anna, a princess, Revi Bloom, a very inexperienced mage, Arnim Caster, a guard captain, and Jack, a cavalier from Westland, who was added half-way through the campaign.

I have run many RPG's over the years, and when I started Heir to the Crown, I wanted to do something different. I always had thought the idea of a civil war was fascinating, but I wanted a deeper background; something to leave them invested in their characters and with recurring villains, etc.

In the game, once all the characters were introduced through a couple of adventures, Anna decided she wanted to know more about the kingdom, and so the grand tour was born. This involved taking a map of Merceria and visiting each town or city of any prominence.

Interestingly enough, this was not part of what I had planned, and so I had to quickly adapt my outline, something the players, especially Carol, regularly did. We call it solution 21; as a GM (Game Master), there are twenty ways you think that the players might solve a mystery, but sometimes, they come up with an entirely different idea, and then you have to think fast to keep ahead of the action.

Several adventures (episodes) later, the trip was complete, and the rest of the plot I had mapped out could continue to develop. Most of these adventures were secondary to the central theme and so didn’t make it to the first few books, but many still contained exciting elements.

Some of these I have either placed later in the storyline, such as the visit to Wincaster, or are waiting for future books, so I can’t reveal what happens in them. The primary purpose overall was for the players to expand their characters and learn more about the kingdom in general, and to that end, they were most entertaining, but an RPG is not a book and vice versa.

I am finding that some things don’t translate well from game to book. For example, magic items were more prevalent in the game, but in the books, magic is rarer and thus more noticeable. In the game, magic swords became quite common, including a quest of the seven ancient weapons of legend, but those did not make it to the book, though I might borrow the idea for another series I’m working on.

In the end, it’s all about enjoyment. The players liked the game and, I hope, you enjoy reading the books.

I would like to invite everybody to my next book signing on March 30, in London, Ontario. Of course, I know not everybody is close enough, but if you are, I'd love to meet you.

Who is your favorite character in the Series?

For me, it would have to be Beverly or Gerald. I am a fan of their fighting spirit and no-nonsense attitudes, but they can still crack a smile occasionally. I think it may be because their personalities are the closest to mine, and I created their characters for the RPG I ran.

I am, however, curious to know who is your favourite character, and what you like about them.

My favourite character is...

You can also win a Signed Book too!

Win one of two signed first edition Servant of the Crown paperbacks when you fill out the survey. 

  1. One survey per person please.
  2. Contest runs from March 22 to April 5

The excitement to write is still there, and growing!

I’ve now been a full-time author for almost two whole weeks, and I have to say I’m loving it. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up my word count but being able to work on a story every day has been a blessing.

Writing on weekends was difficult, and trying to remember what I was intending was tough and worst of all, if I didn’t finish a scene, it was almost impossible to continue. Now, my thoughts are flowing freely and my next book, Fate of the Crown, is sitting at nearly 95,000 words out of a planned 120,000. By the end of next week, I hope to have the first draft done, which means our BETA readers will have access to it very soon after that.

The best part about this job, however, is the fact that I get to work at home with my wife, Carol. We work well together, the perfect partnership for this type of job, and I look forward to many more years of it.

It seems strange to realize that I am now on my third career. My first, as some of you know, was in the Canadian Forces where I worked on aircraft. My second was in Information Technology (IT), starting as a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and then as an Instructor at a private college.

Of course, neither of these careers led to writing, that was all the Role Playing Games (RPG’s) I’ve run over the years. This job feels much less stressful than the others, and for the first time in a long time, I’m able to get more exercise and feel healthier too!

And to all those aspiring writers out there I give this advice: Get writing. I didn’t become an author to make money; I did it because I have stories to tell. For years I dabbled with plot lines and characters, but you know what? It all paid off in the end. Happy writing and I hope you like Fate of the Crown.

I want to share a little snippet that I enjoyed writing this week. For those of you who have read Sword of the Crown, I think you will really like it!


They set off at a slow pace, waiting to clear the city gates before picking up speed. They rode in silence for some time, the two men chatting away, then Hayley turned to her companion. “Tell me, Bev, now that you’ve had time to spend with Aldwin, how was it?”

Beverly merely smiled and rode on.

Author Spotlight!

Each newsletter a few authors will be featured in this section. Some books will be free while others will be on special. These authors are returning the favour by sharing Servant of the Crown with their readers. Thank you in advance for checking out their books!

"Luan ap Garioch, second son of the house of Artran, this is the day of choosing. How do you choose?"

On the last day of the summer of his fourteenth year, Luan takes the first step on The Path of Swords. He has been told that the path will be hard. He knows that it will lead him into danger. The reality is beyond all his imagining.   ...More

To defy the king is to ask for death...
...but the young girl dreams of flying.

Encouraged by her grandfather to follow her heart, Reecah grows up to form a taboo relationship with a baby dragon. Secretly opposing the mandate of her people, Reecah tests the boundaries of unquestionable love as she and her enchanting accomplice   ...More

A feisty enchantress. A mysterious wizard. A sarcastic dragon. 

Tor Lir, the Nameless One, is unsure what he is. However, he knows he was born to bring balance to the powers of good and evil. Forsaking his birthplace and fleeing from suggestions of a dark knowledge he’d rather not discover, he decides to take his fate into his own hands.   ...More

A doomed prince. An infernal god. Whose power threatens to plunge the world into darkness?

When an ancient feud reignites between the Druids and the Black Wizards, violence and bloodshed engulf the remote land of Abaddon. Christopher flees for his life after the massacre of his royal family, taking refuge in the Druids’ Grove.   ...More

  • Digital Boxset of Book 1 & 2 with the bonus of Mercerian tales releasing soon!
  • How does the magic system work in Merceria, and some examples of your favourite spells.
  • Final cover reveal of Fate of the Crown.
  • What do you like best about the newsletter? A chance to share your thoughts.
  • Gamers Corner - Tidbits about my roleplaying rules, interesting tips, and stories about past gaming sessions.
  • Results and winner of the 'Tell me your Favourite Book' contest!

Book Giveaways

Here are some FREE books, short stories and samples from other authors in the SciFi and Fantasy genres. Please give them a try.

Each Giveaway is a collection of authors who want to share their stories with you. Feel free to send links to friends and family!

, glad to see you made it to the end of my newsletter. I only email those who have given permission by signing up to receive my newsletter. As always, if you have changed your mind or are no longer interested in receiving these, please click the unsubscribe link below.

Happy reading from Paul J Bennett, 

Author of Epic Fantasy in the Land of Merceria and beyond!

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram Bookbub Goodreads Amazon Email

Paul J Bennett Newsletter: Land of Merceria and Beyond!