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February 29, 2020

"Good character development and well-done action scenes. Looking forward to more books"- Michael G

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On the Homefront

This weekend we helped our youngest daughter move into her new house. To make matters worse, the snow decided to come with a vengeance last night, leaving much shovelling to be done. This was not the first time we’ve helped someone move, nor, I dare say, will it be the last, but one thing is for sure, we’re not as young as we used to be!

On the plus side, Carol and I went out afterward to celebrate in a typically Canadian way, by having ice cream in February! At least with the weather we’re having, the maple syrup is now running. Soon, it will be time for pancakes, and I can hardly wait!

Leap Year

Every four years, we tack on an extra day to February. This is, of course, to make up for the quarter day we lose each year as the earth makes its way around the sun. February 29th is sometimes called Leap Day, so I thought I’d do a little research and discover what things have happened on this day over the years.

In 1504, Christopher Columbus frightened the natives of Jamaica using a lunar eclipse, not a very nice thing to do, but not as bad as Salem. In 1692, the first people were accused of witchcraft in that historic location.

In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt created a commission to complete a canal in Panama, something you might have heard of. Perhaps of more interest, the 12th Academy Awards were held on Leap Day in 1940. Gone With the Wind was the big winner, with eight Oscars.

In 1968, the Beatles won a Grammy for Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, for Album of the year, making history as the first rock album to do so.

On the sports side of things, Leap Day in 1972 saw Hank Aaron become the first baseball player to earn $200,000 a year, while in 1980, Gordie Howe scored his 800th NHL career goal.

Finally, in 2004, the 76th Academy Awards awarded the Best Picture Oscar to the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Many other historic events occurred on Feb 29th, but I guess I’ll have to wait another four years to write about those!

Defender of the Crown: Pre-order today on Amazon or Nook
Pre-order coming soon on Apple Books, Kobo and Google Play

As peace settles across the land, two great kingdoms prepare for a royal wedding. With all eyes focused on the celebrations, the unexpected arrival of a Norland delegation throws everything into chaos.

For generations, they have laid claim to the throne of Merceria, yet now they want to negotiate?

With her own nobles council in constant conflict, Queen Anna is forced to question the motive of this visit. Is it a trap, or a genuine desire to end hostilities?

Settle in for a wild ride with Defender of the Crown, and give peace a chance!

Magic Revisited

With Defender of the Crown now on pre-order, I thought it might be time to revisit magic. Why, you ask? Well, mages play an essential part in Defender. (Don't worry, the other characters are just as important!)

To quickly recap, there are four elemental 'schools' of magic; Earth, Water, Fire and Air. In addition, we have Life Magic, Enchantments, Death Magic (often called Necromancy) and Hex Magic. Merceria, the main setting for Heir to the Crown, only has a few mages, and these fall into only a few categories. Albreda and Aldus Hearn are both Earth Mages, though the term Druid is sometimes used. Revi Bloom and Aubrey, on the other hand, are Life Mages. Added into the mix are Kiren-Jool, a Kurathian Enchanter, and Kraloch, an Orc Shaman.

The term 'Shaman', in these books, is used to describe any Orc that uses magic. In this case, Kraloch is actually a Life Mage, able to heal wounds and regenerate tissue. He also practices a sub-category of Life Magic known as Spirit Magic. This type of magic deals with the spirits of the deceased and the other world (some might say plane of existence) that they occupy, the ghost realm if you will. Through this magic, the Orcs can communicate with their Ancestors, seeking their advice.

Spirit Magic enables the Orcs to talk to other tribes across the Continent, allowing events in one location (such as Merceria) to make their way elsewhere (such as the Continent). Thus, Orcs are aware of what is transpiring in both regions.

Have I said too much? Hopefully not, but this will come into play in Defender of the Crown, which is coming soon.

Win a FREE eBook! To enter, all you need to do is answer Daisy & Tilly's question below.

Congrats to Harry who won last week. Only a few of you guessed Merceria is in the Netherwoods!

Sword of the Crown Still FREE, but only until March 1!

Sword of the Crown is a FREE for only 1 more day, until midnight March 1, 2020!

Thank you to everyone who already downloaded it, as it became the number #1 download in many genres, from Historical Fantasy to Sword & Sorcery, and reached #60 in the Amazon Bestseller ranking!

If you haven't already, don't miss this chance to Download up your FREE copy and join the battle today!!

Every other Monday at 5:30 PM EST (-4UTC)
Next Session - March 9

Did you miss my last Facebook Live Video about how my characters grow from an idea to full-fledged people

Check it out here on Youtube!

Work in Progress Update

After much planning and outlining, I have finally started in on writing Temple Knight, and at 13,000 words, I am well into the first act. This book sets the tone for future stories in Power Ascending series, so there is a lot of groundwork being laid out. For those who have read my other stories, you may see one or more familiar names in this book.

In addition to mapping out the storyline, I took the time to design the outpost that the characters are based. Once that was complete, I then had to do some research on knightly orders considering that I, myself, am not a Temple Knight. 

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information out there on the various fighting orders, including the Knights Templar, the Hospitaliers and the Teutonic Knights. Perhaps of more interest are some of the lesser-known orders, but information on those is not as common. All of these were associated with the Catholic church (at least the major ones), but my story revolves around an order of Temple Knights dedicated to Saint Agnes, part of the Church of the Saints.

One of the advantages of writing Fantasy is the ability to invent new concepts or re-invent ideas from history. Before the time of the Roman Empire, many cultures allowed women to occupy positions of influence. Could such a society have resulted in a religious fighting order of women, and if it did, what would it look like? Thoughts like this help keep me intrigued when I’m writing.

Until next time, Happy reading!

Author Spotlight!

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

A day will come, when curses will be broken, the lost shall be found, the found shall be lost, and the rift between mortal and celestial will cease to exist.

Prophecy of Erinyes - Maeve of Carn is a warrior of warriors, but she’s no hero. Born with superhuman strength she sells her abilities to mercenaries and warlords in exchange for wealth.

Until the night of the full moon. . .

The Hidden Princess: 
In the Empire of Rei-Een, tradition is everything and magic means death. 
Lis has spent her life hidden away from the hunters of the Empire. But when the crown prince dies, Lis’s magic is at risk of discovery.

When Lis is summoned for the Choosing of the Hidden Princess, she soon discovers not all magics are the same. Some seek revenge for a war that ended a lifetime ago, amidst whispers and visions of a different future for Rei-Een. But who can she trust?

Assassin's Blade:
Fia supports her family by transporting rich people from one city to another on the back of her garnet dragon, Ryelleth.

When Fia flies her father to the peace talks in Siena, he's grabbed off the back of Fia's dragon, and Fia barely escapes with her life.
So Fia turns to her grandmother, a former assassin, and they plunge into the dark world of Italia crime, but time is running out.

Fia has to take the gamble of a lifetime but it may destroy her family and the life she's fought so hard to preserve.

Enchanted Kingdoms - 20 book collection: 

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Cherish this mesmerizing set of 20 classic tales retold by a collection of best-selling and award-winning authors. Each novel-length story features a different take on your favorite fairytale.

All proceeds benefit Puzzle Peace United, a children's autism charity.

Book Deals & Giveaways

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

Did you miss any past Giveaways & Deals?
Epic & High Fantasy Giveaway
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Giveaway
All Genres - Boxset Sale
Magic & Mayhem - Free Fantasy Books
February Fantasy Freebies
All Genres- Short Fiction Stories
Free Fantasy Reads for February
Free Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books
Women in Fantasy Stories Giveaway
February Fairy Tales and Fantasy

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Paul J Bennett


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