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"This story series will keep you spellbound, literally. A beautifully written tale that will engulf. Well thought out story lines and characters will keep your mind engaged" - Denzel

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On the Homefront

      Can you spot the seagull?

This week, when we decided to take a day off, Carol suggested we go to the beach, so we set off on Friday morning to a place called Ipperwash, which is about an hour’s drive for us. The plan was to meet some friends of ours, which led to some slight confusion when we arrived, for we hadn’t realized there were four different entrances to the beach. Eventually, we got it all sorted and made our way down to the beach itself.

It was nice to see everyone practising social distancing, and so we settled down to enjoy the sand beneath our feet. Carol immediately took to the water, which was fine with me, as it allowed me to catch up on my reading. There were quite a few dogs there, though we didn’t take Daisy and Tilly. Now that we know it’s a dog-friendly beach, we’ll have to head back with them. I’m not sure if Daisy will like the water, but Tilly most likely will.

More Bonus Content for Temple Knight!


Ohhhh, more pre-order goodies just for you!

All you need to do to receive these goodies is to pre-order the Temple Knight eBook on your favourite retailer and the bonus items will be included in your copy.

Last week I shared that you will receive the alternate beginning when you pre-order. 

This week, it's a new map! I recently started using a map-making program that allows me to create the inside of buildings, so Carol and I are working on designing the Outpost that Charlaine is posted to at the beginning of the book.

Unlock My Bonus Content Today!

Technology in a Fantasy World

Writing fantasy has always been enjoyable for me, but even though it takes place in a world that never existed, readers expect certain things. A case in point is technology. Now, I’m not talking about modern devices, like phones or computers, but rather things like water wheels and ploughs. Very often, we might think that something doesn’t belong. I had one person comment that glass bottles shouldn’t be mentioned in the Heir to the Crown series, even though glass bottles first appeared in southeast Asia as far back at 100 BC. Of course, modern bottles and glasses didn’t really gain prominence until the 1600s, but part of the fun of fantasy is bending history in various ways.

As for the water wheel, there is an excavation of one in Northern Ireland, which has been dated back to 787. These may have been common in monasteries, a fact that I find fascinating since some people seem to think the church suppressed technology. In reality, some of these monasteries were quite advanced for their age.

By the time of the Doomsday Survey (basically the first official census, taken in 1086) by William the Conqueror, there were over six thousand mills spread across England. Not all of these were necessarily using water wheels, but it does illustrate that the process of milling flour was very commonplace.

Daisy & Tilly's eBook Giveaway!

Answer the question below to enter.       

Congrats to Wendy for winning last week's eBook Giveaway!

I was blown away by the wide variety of TV shows that everybody loves. NCIS was by far the top pick, followed by these, in no particular order: Firefly, Big Bang, Bones, Merlin, Vikings, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, Blue Bloods, Death in Paradise, Murder She wrote, Midsommer Murders.

Remember, all you need to do to is choose like or dislike and then you will automatically be entered into the Giveaway to win your choice of any of my ebooks, even the upcoming Temple Knight!

Walled Cities

While I was playing Minecraft this week, which is definitely not an uncommon occurrence, I located a village, and over several sessions, built up defences to keep out all those nasty things that wander about in the night. We’ve done quite well for ourselves in our little piece of the computer-generated world, so I decided to expand the area, building an outer wall and towers to allow for more space. This then got me to thinking; how long have cities had walls in the real world? Now, thanks to the wonders of Wikipedia, I have my answer.

One of the oldest walled cities in recorded history is that of Uruk in the ancient kingdom of Mesopotamia, also called Sumer. The Sumerians built it on the banks of the Euphrates River, and by the year 3100 BCE (Before Common Era), it may have housed upwards of 40,000 people. In addition, another 80,000 lived nearby, likely in farms and smaller communities. I couldn’t find any mention of when the walls were first constructed, but the city itself was believed to have been founded as far back at 5000 BCE.

Uruk is considered the first-ever city, though the idea of a walled enclosure may have been used as early as 8000-7000 BCE, in what are now referred to as Proto-Cities. The oldest walled town in Europe is believed to be Solnitsata, in modern-day Bulgaria, and it dates to the 5th or 6th millennium, BCE.

Now, I have to get back to building my wall before the creepers get me.

Work in Progress Update

The Beast of Brunhausen is going well and is currently sitting at almost 8,000 words. Mysteries like this require far more outlining to make sure the clues fall firmly into place. As well, I have already produced a map of the village to assist me.

Complicating the issue is that I can’t really discuss the plot with Carol like I usually do until the first draft is in place. That way, she can learn the details as she reads, rather than have me tell them to her. The idea is that she will pause before the end and try to guess whodunit, or perhaps I should say whatdunit!

I’m pretty confident all the clues are there, but of course, I’ve been working on this for some time. The original outline dates back to last year when I used it in an RPG adventure. It’s gone through a lot of revision since then, but I’ve always felt it would make a good story for Cyric. In addition to changing some names, I also switched up the plot, so now there are a number of suspects for the reader to pick from.

Now all I have to do is get the darn thing down on paper, or rather on screen.

Until next time, enjoy another passage from Temple Knight, Book One in the new Power Ascending series.

When the wagon rounded a corner, a merchant square stole their attention. Charlaine watched as a man walked past, his legs enormously long.

Danica laughed. “Don’t worry,” she said, “he’s just wearing stilts.”


“Yes, he’s an entertainer. Did you not have those at home?”

“Occasionally,” said Charlaine, “but they were all musicians of one type or another.”

“There are many types here, jugglers, storytellers, puppeteers, even street magicians.”

“Mages, here? I had no idea."

“No, no, you misunderstand,” said Danica. “Street magicians aren’t mages.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Mages use real magic, but street magicians are simple entertainers. They use sleight of hand to perform tricks for the amusement of others.”

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.

The Crown of Stones: What if you were born with an addiction to magic? What if your pleasure meant their pain? 

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen race born with an addiction to magic. Enslaved and drugged to suppress their deadly desires, the Shinree live to serve their masters. After years of forced combat in Rella’s long, brutal war, Ian is desperate for peace. With defeat imminent, he defies the queen’s orders and wields the Crown of Stones; an ancient relic of untold power. Unaware of the artifact’s true nature, he ends the war, but pays a terrible price.  MORE

Dawn of Thieves: Visions of the past forge second chances for the future. Silas founded the Ashen Hawks out of anger towards a country that failed him and his younger sister, Sarra. The thieves he recruited in Helgath’s capital became his family and the guild escalated from petty thieves to planning a heist of Veralian’s treasury. Before undertaking the risky endeavor, he needs to eliminate the new tool Helgath has been utilizing to see the past and facilitate their arrests. 

Locked in a room in the basement of a military barracks, Lucca uses trinkets to see glimpses of the past. After receiving little kindness... MORE

Riweene: A clumsy school girl with the magic of a goddess. Mechanical beasts attacking her friends. Can she become a divine warrior and save the floating city?

Fifteen-year-old Riwenne is bad at school, chronically late, and lost in a daydream, but she has help from her best friend, Nexita—until the two of them get separated. During the mysterious test on Choosing Day, they both wanted to become priestesses, an important job in the sky city. But only Riwenne became a novice, and Nexita was chosen by the engineers. Now she’s on her own for the first time in her life... MORE

Chronicles of Maradoum: Swords and sorcery. Mythical creatures and unholy Demons. Battles and betrayals. Witches and Wizards. Noble heroes and ruthless villains.

From the savage steppes of Nagali to the heart of intrigue in Quing Tzu, this anthology is packed with tales of the supernatural, of action and adventure.

Set in the same world as the epic fantasy Convent Series, beginning with A Dead Wizard’s Dream, this collection of eleven original fantastical short stories explores lands heretofore unseen in the series... MORE

Featured Book Deals & Giveaways

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

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