Mmmmmmm, pancakes and maple syrup!!! View in browser

March 7, 2020

"Once I got into it, I COULD NOT put it down. I cannot wait to read the remaining books."- Zoe

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On the Homefront

The weather has been warmer of late, though still with the odd cold day tossed in, and it feels much more like spring as I write this. To celebrate, we went out this morning for a pancake breakfast at a local Maple Syrup & Pancake Shack.

As this is THE season for Maple Syrup, and we have lots being produced in these parts, we went to one of our favourite places for a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage, ham, hash-browns and brown beans. The problem now, of course, is that I am stuffed, and likely to fall asleep for a little doze...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Mark Twain once wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.” To that end, I bring you the story of a bridge.

During the 1800’s, England became an industrial powerhouse, fostering some of the best and brightest engineers in the world. In this century, considerable advancements in science and engineering occurred, including the construction of many bridges. One such bridge was the Broughton Suspension Bridge, which is referred to as an Iron Chain Suspension Bridge, similar, though much smaller, than the Golden Gate Bridge.  Built in 1826, it spanned the River Irwell in what is now Manchester, UK.

On April 12th, 1831, the 60th Rifle Corp was carrying out an exercise, and the soldiers started crossing the bridge, four abreast, when the bridge began to vibrate in time with their footsteps. The soldiers, quite entertained by this strange event, began whistling a marching tune, accentuated their march. The vibrations of the bridge steadily increased, leading to its eventual collapse, which resulted in no deaths, but injuries to twenty, six of those severe.

The collapse led to a general distrust of suspension bridges for a time and resulted in the army issuing orders to ‘break step’ whenever crossing a bridge, a practice still carried out to this day to prevent Harmonic Resonance.

Defender of the Crown: Pre-order available on all retailers!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, and Google Play

Against the wisdom of her advisors, the queen travels north, determined to forge a new future for her people. 

Will her unwavering desire for peace lead to the destruction of all she holds dear?

Journey with Anna and discover the true motives of the Norlanders in Defender of the Crown, book seven of Paul J Bennett's Heir to the Crown series. If you like hidden agendas, desperate battles, and determined mages, then this is the book for you!

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

Editor's Pick of the Week!

My wife, Carol, who does the preliminary editing of all my writing, has asked if she can add a weekly feature to the newsletter sharing her favourite scenes from her work in progress.

Without further ado,  her favourite this week is from Defender of the Crown!

"Aye, Marshal."

"It's just the two of us, Beverly, you can call me Gerald."

She grinned, "Of course, Marshal."

"Very funny," he said. "Now, ride back to the column and let them know what's coming. I'll start picking out an area to camp."

"You know," said Beverly, "this is not unlike the patrols we used to carry out back in Bodden."

"Other than the rope bridge and the civilians, you mean."

"Good point," said Beverly, "perhaps I'd best be off."

"You've been off ever since you were knighted," he said.

"Very funny, my lord." She made an exaggerated bow, then urged Lightning into a gallop, disappearing off to the north.

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Work in Progress Update

It’s hard to believe it’s already March!

Today, as I celebrate the 1st anniversary of being a full-time writer, I am already working on my fourteenth book, and I’m making significant progress on it. Temple Knight is sitting at 30,000 words, approximately a quarter of the way through the story. I would have been a little farther along, but Defender of the Crown required some final edits this week, so it has taken precedence.

This new series sets up much of the conflict with the Halvarian Empire, something that has been hinted at in other works, but which has remained hovering in the background. Now, in Temple Knight, it comes to the forefront, giving a much clearer picture of the tactics this vast empire has used to expand its borders.

Will it continue to do so? The series as a whole, titled Power Ascending, deals with this threat in a number of ways. The Temple Books, of which there will be four, concern the church’s efforts to resist the expanding empire, while the Warrior Books, also four, deal with an attempt to unite the Petty Kingdoms in their opposition to the ever-present threat of Halvarians.

I’ve had a lot of fun developing this series, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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.

Ranger's Oath: The barrier between worlds is broken.
When a young ranger's apprentice named Owyn Lund discovers that the Arc of Radiance has been breached, he tries to warn anybody who will listen.

Zara Dennel, a mage's ward, has heard Owyn's tale—and she's inclined to believe him...

Together, they must prove that friendship is greater than intolerance, unity is more important than division, and that even the most powerful magic can sometimes not be enough.

Prophecy Tested: Everyone has their place.
Or they should. Twenty-year-old Aviana isn’t so lucky. Born to a clan that lost their way long before her time, she hid in the shadows for her own protection and watched her family’s reputation crumble.

Now that she is to undergo her coming-of-age test—a test so grueling most never finish it on their first try—Aviana must prove herself worthy.

But as the hour glass drains, and lives hang in the balance, will she live up to her family name and the expectations placed on her?

The Sylvalla Chronicles: Heroes, monsters, chases, escapes…
Sylvalla escapes Avondale castle and the life of a princess, in search of the adventure she’s always wanted.

Once found, Sylvalla finds adventure is not always about glory - and being a hero is harder than she thinks.
Fortunately, she's not alone. Unfortunately, her new-found companions are less than heroic. Jonathan would rather make money than learn wizardry. Dirk would rather live a long and happy life than confront danger. And at 150, old Capro would rather stop gallivanting, and harangue unsuspecting wizardry students about his glory days over a nice cup of tea.

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?
Free Books for Fantasy Lovers
Free Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

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