The writing of Defense of the Crown has officially begun! View in browser

Nov 3, 2019

"A wonderful book in a series that is hard to put down, and whets the appetite for the next one." - Mlv

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On the Homefront

This week, our excitement was Halloween, especially for Tilly as she really enjoyed meeting all the kids in their costumes. Here she is sitting, waiting for the doorbell to ring, which it did about 25 times.

Daisy, on the other hand, just lounged on the couch, more interested in pets from us as we got up to answer the door.

To celebrate the successful launch of Burden of the Crown, Daisy & Tilly demanded that I give away another 2 signed copies! To enter, all you need to do is answer Daisy & Tilly's question below.

Congrats to Joy and Keith T. who won last week's signed copies of Burden of the Crown!

The Tradition of Jousting in Weldwyn (Westland)

For many years, the land of Terengaria (Weldwyn, Norland and Merceria) was ruled by independent chieftains, who often warred with each other, fighting battles for local supremacy. All that changed in what is now known as Westland, when the invasion of mercenaries occurred almost one thousand years ago. Under the leadership of Lord (later King) Loran and his advisor, the Mage Weldwyn, the tribes banded together in a defensive pact. After the battle of the Plains, where the mercenaries were pushed east, the chieftains permanently united in their desire for security, knowing that they could be invaded again at any time.

Loran, in his wisdom, knew that once peace was attained, old prejudices would surface, so he set out a method of conflict resolution. The lord (chieftain) of any region could choose a champion to fight it out with a rival's champion. The winner of the conflict would then be considered the winner of the argument,  with the King and the other nobles there to ensure that the rules were followed.

In the early days of the kingdom, the champions met regularly,  but as time went by, there were fewer and fewer conflicts. Also, with access to Life Mages, the matches were seldom life-threatening, and the fighting soon became more ritualized and organized.

These matches eventually drew spectators, and in the year 93, the King of Weldwyn invited all the champions of the realm to come together in a grand tournament. This proved so popular that it became an annual event, with the king awarding the winners with gifts. As the tournaments, which they are now called, grew in popularity, the number of events increased beyond the original single melee combat, as well as inspiring similar contests in other cities.

With the kingdom almost one thousand years old, the tournaments have evolved considerably. Young men will often compete to win fame in regional events, hoping to gain a berth in the yearly games in the capital, Summersgate. However, nobles can still send delegates from their cities to take part in whatever events they deem desirable. The most prestigious of these competitions is jousting, the introduction of which coincided with the development of chainmail protection.

The warriors who compete in the jousting are referred to as 'Cavaliers', so named because of their association with cavalry. For the most part, they tend to be haughty and arrogant, but no one can question their bravery. In order to earn the honorific of cavalier, they must be successful in a tournament. This usually means placing in the top three of a regional competition.

The rules of the joust are straight forward; an opponent must be unhorsed, or, after three passes, the champion will be determined by the competitor who has the higher number of points. These are earned by hitting different parts of their opponent.

Jousts are considered the most dangerous of sports and are not allowed to take place unless a Life Mage is present. Even so, there have been deaths over the years. The art of jousting has grown to become a profession on its own, and jousters now frequently travel the land practicing their craft at regional competitions.

My apologies for no Facebook LIve Video this morning. Weekends are proving a bit tough, so I will be hosting them every other Monday from now on.

Upcoming Facebook Live Schedule:
Monday, Nov 4 - 5:30 PM EST (-4UTC)
Monday, Nov 18 - 5:30 PM EST (-4UTC)

Ask question for my next Facebook Live Video!
Check out my previous videos on Youtube
Work in Progress Update

Itโ€™s been an interesting week. I outlined and finished a short story (25,000 words) Iโ€™d been working on, called 'A Midwinter Murder'. Itโ€™s now ready for editing and should be out in time for Christmas.

I have also been making some changes to The Making of a Man, based on feedback from our wonderful BETA team. In addition to all of this, I began working on some adjustments to my outline for Defender of the Crown, which I should start writing next week. All of this, and a book signing at Chapters in London too!

This month marks another NaNoWriMo, which, for those uninitiated, is the National Novel Writing Month. I donโ€™t generally participate in this, even though Iโ€™ll likely write far more than 50,000 words in November. The whole idea of recording my word count just feels too stressful to me, but if it works for you, then more power to you. Of course, the strange thing is I report on my progress through my newsletter, but hey, Iโ€™m an author, I'm allowed to have a few quirks.

What about you? Do you like NaNoWriMo?

Until next time, Happy reading.

Author Spotlight!

Check out these featured books that are free, discounted, or new releases. The authors are returning the favour by sharing my books with their readers.

The Chronicles of Altaica: 'Look at her - she's Hill Clan. Even the Matyrani don't like them...' Isaura - little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life...

Windwalker: Winged raptors, deadly sand-warriors, and a rebellious girl who will stop at nothing. Sixteen-year-old Kiva Fariq has always dreamed of soaring on the four-winged raptors that scour the desert skies. But women are strictly forbidden from joining the Windwalker Sect. What's more, the aggressive predators are said to kill any woman attempting to bond ...

Smoke & Rain: What happens when heroes are as broken as the world they must reforge? A mad kingโ€™s genocide destroyed Alea's home and left her sanity in tatters. Caught in the crossfire between the gods and their creators, Alea realizes the darkness inside her is the only thing that can end the bloodshed...

Quest: Sylvalla escapes Avondale castle, and the life of a princess, in search of the adventure sheโ€™s always wanted. Once found, adventure bites back. Fortunately Sylvalla is not alone โ€“ Unfortunately, her new-found companions are less than heroic. Jonathan would rather make money. Dirk would rather live a long... 

Book Giveaways & Deals!

While you wait for the release of my next book, here are some great stories for your TBR pile!

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