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Nov 30, 2019

"I have read all the books in this series and I have loved every book." - Wendy S.

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On the Homefront

This week Daisy and Tilly were treated to a trip to their favourite store, Petsmart. Daisy loves going there so much that she howls, trying to greet every single person, hoping for a pet.

TIlly, however, ignores them unless they have a delicious treat hidden somewhere. Daisy was willing to wear a Santa hat and beard, happily posing for a picture. TIlly, however, was NOT interested at all.

I hope this picture of Daisy brightens your day. :)

Character Inspiration: Aldus Hearn

Originally, Aldus Hearn was intended to be a hermit that lived near Mattingly. In the RPG (Role-playing Game), he was an Earth Mage that helped protect the children of the village when Royal Troops were garrisoned the place during the civil war.

When I wrote Servant of the Crown, I had Anna writing to several mages, whose names had been given to her by Andronicus, the Royal Life Mage. Hearn was mentioned, with a note that he lived in the woods near Mattingly. He was later detailed out in Fate of the Crown, with additional information being provided.

When fleshing out the character, I needed to decide how he learned his magic. I had already developed Albreda as an Earth Mage and wanted to make Hearn different in some way. Albreda, of course, is a Wild Mage, someone who discovered their powers without formal training, but Hearn was taught in the traditional way, by a mentor. Some of his background is revealed in Hayley and the Beast, a short story in Mercerian Tales: Stories of the Past.

Early in his career, before learning magic, Hearn was a scholar trained by a man in Shrewesdale called Mezin, a name that may familiar if you’ve read The Call of Magic. Albreda is a no-nonsense type of character, but Hearn is more interested in knowledge than interacting with people. Their respective magic abilities are also different. Though they both practise Earth Magic, Albreda is much more adept at handling animals, including being able to communicate with them. Hearn, on the other hand, prefers to use spells that work with plants. Of course, there is some overlap, as they are, after all, using the same school of magic.

A fascinating fact is that Aldus Hearn will be returning in Defender of the Crown.

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

Congrats to Theresa who won last week's Giveaway where the correct guess was Wincaster!

The Army of Merceria - Part III


The mercenaries that landed in Terengaria (the Three Kingdoms) from across the Sea of Storms were mostly footmen, roughly 80% of their force, armed with a variety of weapons, including bows, spears, swords, but only a small portion had any armour of significance. The remaining 20% consisted of horsemen and archers. The archers were using relatively small bows, not the larger, more effective weapons that we would today refer to as Longbows. Their cavalry at that time was used for little more than skirmishing and scouting. The dominant force on the battlefield was the shield wall, so all of the mercenary footmen companies were skilled in its use.

The main tactic in the early days was to form the infantry in a solid line, with the archers on the flanks. Horses would generally be held in reserve until an opportunity for pursuit arrived. This led to many stagnant battles, with little room to manoeuvre. However, over the intervening years, as armour and weapons improved, cavalry became more dominant on the battlefield, and leaders began experimenting with new tactics.

The first Mercerian Chargers were bred in the early 600’s, but it wasn't until 839 that calvary became so effective on the battlefield. Until that time, the horsemen of the realm were considered a valuable part of the army, but still a role fulfilled by commoners. The introduction of expesive heavy armour changed all that, making it the domain of the rich, and the position of the knight was created. Knights came under the exclusive command of the king after the Farmers Rebellion in 893 MC, when their true potential was realized.

Up until the ascension of Queen Anna, the typical deployment of a Mercerian army mirrored tactics that had been deployed for centuries; footmen in the middle, with archers on one or both flanks, and using the knights, who counted on shock and awe to smash through enemy lines.

It is worth noting here that the armies of Norland are less disciplined than those of Merceria, so these tactics have proven quite effective over the years. Weldwyn, on the other hand, has well-trained troops of their own, to the effect that neither side could deal their enemy a crushing blow in past encounters.

These tactics have remained in effect until the development of new ideas under Gerald Matheson, who was appointed Marshal of the Realm when Queen Anna took the throne.

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Work in Progress Update

It’s been a slow week from a writing perspective, but the pace is about to pick up as I get into the meat of the story. I was actually writing a chapter thinking something was missing, then realized I forgot an entire sub-story! Thankfully, that is all corrected now, and I’m ready to get back at it.

The Heir to the Crown series is rather complex to write because I laid down groundwork way back in book 1 that is only now coming to the forefront. I’ve also had to take some time developing the Norland culture, as it features quite heavily into Defender of the Crown. More work is required, but I expect to be back in full swing by next Tuesday.

Of course, that isn’t the only thing I’ve been working on. I’ve been tweaking the outline for Flames, the third book in The Frozen Flame series. (Book two, Embers,  is currently awaiting edits.) The process of setting up my third series has begun, tentatively entitled Power Ascending, and I have quick outlines (a paragraph or two) detailing what will happen.

As far as writing goes, after Defender, I shall begin the chapter by chapter outline for Power Ascending, a process that will likely take a week or two. This series will delve into the mysteries of the Church of the Saints in more depth as it traces the career of a Temple Knight. Running parallel to that will be the story of a noble as he climbs the social ladder to become a king. How are these two stories related? You shall have to wait and see!

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 Weapon Takers Saga: A mission to retrieve a stolen relic becomes an epic quest to locate the seven weapons of Madria. Can telepathic twins Belwynn and Soren find all seven weapons before dark forces destroy their world?

Riders of Fire: A dragonet’s past murder throws Ezaara into a war between dragons and the monsters enslaving Dragons’ Realm. A fast-paced award-winning epic-fantasy series by multi-award-winning author Eileen Mueller. In Lush Valley, it’s a crime to even talk about dragons…... 

Songs of the Eternal Past: The merciless city streets… against Fiona’s demon-pommel blade. Haygarden is in turmoil. Nobles vanish in the dead of night, and nobody can agree which shadowy faction is to blame....

Part-TIme Monster Hunter: There’s a ghost inside in my head… And I need to slay three monsters by lunchtime. What could go wrong? Well, I’m also trying to pass college, make friends, and find the man who killed my parents. And I’ve got rent to pay, a cat to feed, and I’m pretty sure the local grocery store is haunted...

The Black Hussars: They killed a saint. King Behan sits upon a tyrant’s throne. His endless wars and oppressive regime have cast Greater Virren into an age of darkness… and then he kills a saint. Worshipped as a god, Bartolomeu Kezia stood for everything the king does not, and the people loved him for it. With his death...

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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