The Fate of the Crown cover is so shiny!

Welcome to Merceria

'This is an exciting, well written novel with excellent story pacing!' - LM

I present...The cover for Fate of the Crown!

At the very last minute, even after I posted the teaser in the last newsletter, we decided to change the cover.

Although the left cover stood out more, it did not flow with the muted tones of previous covers, so it was necessary to tweak it a bit. I hope you like it!!

Kurathians: Who are these mercenaries?

Kurathia, home to the dreaded Kurathian raiders, is the name given to a collection of island principalities located far to the Southeast of Merceria. Each island is ruled by a prince, independent of the others but they all share a common culture and history. They adhere to a very rigid social structure, each person having their assigned place in the society. The relatively small islands are vastly over-populated, leaving no place for advancement or land to purchase.

The princes rule primarily by force using fierce dragons that once freely inhabited their islands but are now enslaved. With the power of dragons behind them, no one has ever dared to attack them save for other Kurathians. Though warfare between the princes is uncommon, when it does erupt it is usually bloody and vicious.

Those who seek their fame and fortune outside the islands have become feared as sea raiders or mercenaries. Kurathian mercenaries are highly sought after for they are honourable men bound by their word, and will serve until death, or until their contract is up. As seafarers, they are said to have explored more of the known world than any other nation.

They are also renowned for the dreaded Kurathian Mastiffs, huge war dogs bred to take down horses. The mastiffs are not native to the islands but were encountered many years ago during their explorations. Over the generations, they have been bred to increase their size and strength. It is not unknown for Kurathian ship captains to keep a couple of these beasts aboard ship, both to increase loyalty, but also to help protect the crew when landing ashore.

It was one of these that was shipwrecked on the coast of Weldwyn, eventually leading to Tempus’s arrival in Merceria.

What was your favourite book in the series?

By an overwhelming 55%, you choose all the books are your favourites!! What a wonderful surprise. Thank you to everyone who responded. Here are some of your comments:

"I absolutely loved every book in this series."
"They are all “keep me up late at night” books."
"I love them all."
"Each book leads me deeper into this series."
"AAAAH I can't pick a favourite!"

 And the winners of a signed book are...        Chrisette T. and Lew N

How the character of Aldwin came to be.

As the epic RPG game Heir to the Crown was winding down, I decided to fast forward five years to wrap up the storyline. Things at the borders were settled, and I had decided that the campaign was drawing to a close, so the change in date allowed the players to see what the future held for them.

I had already determined some details, for example, that Lady Beverly would be married, perhaps with a child on the way. Thinking this through, I had to decide what she would value in a husband. I felt he had to be someone removed from the politics of court, someone reliable and sturdy that could be trusted without reservation. I settled on having her marry a smith.

Of course, the whole back story of Aldwin hadn’t been written yet, that all came with the book. He was just a smith in Bodden and would have remained so if not for the intervention of one of the players. Jack Marlowe(Steve) was at court when he overheard that Beverly was married. He immediately decided he must find out who she had married and resolved, on the spot, to visit Bodden.  This necessitated some quick thinking on my part, so I hastily scribbled the name Aldwin into my notes, and thus the smith of Bodden came to life.

When I decided to write Sword of the Crown, I wanted someone who would anchor her life. Her father had looked out for her, but as she grew older, I needed someone who would always be there for her, and she could talk to about anything. I couldn’t have him be an ordinary smith, however, and so I decided he had been rescued by the baron and brought to Bodden. The rest grew naturally as I wrote the story.

He is a key character, and though he isn’t present in every book, he is mentioned in them all, save for the first. Aldwin plays a more prominent role in Fate of the Crown, for his actions will have far-reaching consequences, but I cannot tell more without giving the story away. Let’s just say he proves himself a master smith!

Listen to a sample

Servant of the Crown Audiobook now live!

I have to admit that I lost a little productivity this week when I first received my copies of the Audiobooks. I just had to hear how the narrator, Greg Patmore, had voiced all the different characters!

I know, I know, I wrote them, therefore, I should know everything they say, but it is so different listening to an actor dramatize them.

One of my favourite parts, so far, has been when we listened to Gerald lose his temper with Marcus Angelsley. Carol and I laughed so hard we had to pause it so we could catch our breath.

Greg's narration has far exceeded my expectations, and I now have the Audiobooks on my phone so that we can listen to them when driving. Please, take a few minutes and listen to the sample. You won't be disappointed!

Available here:

Has it been four weeks already?

As I write this, I look back and realize I have been a full-time author now for four weeks. When I first started writing I would never have thought I would become a professional author, but here I am, five books published and one due out shortly. And all of this a mere 18 months after releasing my first book on October 20, 2017.

I can still remember uploading my first book to Kobo. It was so nerve-racking. Would somebody, other than friends or my family, even want to read it? Then, after a couple of days, Carol messaged me at work to tell me about the first sale. We celebrated with pizza that night.

It all started out slowly. We were still learning what to do, so we staggered the launch for each platform so that we could course correct as we went. Now, we launch on all platforms at the same time, except print, which we hope to coordinate for Fate. I look back at those early days with pride, knowing that we have come so far, yet there is so much more!

I’ve managed to add to my outlines for several new series that are in development. These stories will take place in the same world, but in different countries, some far removed from Merceria.

All in all, it’s been a busy month, but it’s also been fulfilling. On the personal side, I love working with my wife, and it’s honestly the best part of all of this. It was her idea to get feedback from the newsletter, and the results have been illuminating.

We learned what characters are peoples favourites, which books they love the most, but the most satisfying things are your emails, comments, and reviews.

I look forward to giving you more tales to keep you entertained. Here is a little vignette with Gerald, Anna, Aubrey, and the all-important sausage.

“You know,” said Gerald, “you should enjoy this peace and quiet while you can. Once you’re queen, your days will be filled with problems.”

“They will, won’t they,” mused Anna.

“Don’t worry, Highness,” said Aubrey, “we’ll keep you entertained.” She stuffed the end of a sausage into her mouth and made a face.

Gerald laughed so hard he almost choked on his food.

“Are you alright, Gerald?” asked Anna.

He held up his hand as he coughed. “I’m fine,” he finally said, “I just wasn’t expecting that.”

“Now that our general has finished almost killing himself,” said Aubrey, “what are some of your longer-term plans?”

Author Spotlight!

Each newsletter a few authors are featured. Some books will be free while others will be on special. These authors are returning the favour by sharing Servant of the Crown with their readers. Thank you in advance for checking out their books! 

An elite team of paranormal hunters. An eldritch horror. A shadow organization intent on world domination.
Penelope Hamilton is summoned by the Minister of New Britannica to assemble the Parawardens, a specialized paramilitary unit skilled in the capture of supernatural ...More

How far will a wayward Ranger go to save his only son? 
Fadis the Ranger once served an evil king. Then he rebelled, ran, and lost everything he fought for in fire and blood... except his son. Hiding him with the elves he believed he could eventually return to be what   ...More

When Shadow, a powerless mage, chose exile to preserve family honor, he didn’t expect a mysterious call to defeat psionic, camouflaging dragons - nor did he expect them to offer him a glimpse into a life wielding a mage’s power.

Surprises mount when a steampunk ...More

Death is for the dead... unless you've lived before.
After finding what appears to be an ancient, Celtic necklace, Bridget and her best friend Celena have the strange feeling they've seen the pendant before -- a long,...More

Are you ready for adventure?

Princess Sylvalla is more than ready. She's faced dragons and proven herself a hero - but her greatest trials are about to begin. Phetero, the king she accidentally kidnapped, is determined to have vengeance - and the threat of marriage to Prince Francis looms. ..More

A man who lives on the edge. A man turned to hustling to survive.

Jet Rusco lives in a far future of colonized worlds ruled by space thugs and warlords. A heist gone bad leaves him with a stash of alien tech and ruthless gangsters on his tail  ...More

Book Giveaways

Here are some FREE books, short stories and samples from other authors in the SciFi and Fantasy genres. Please give them a try.

Each Giveaway is a collection of authors who want to share their stories with you. Feel free to send links to friends and family!

  • How does the magic system work in Merceria, and some examples of your favourite spells.
  • Origin of the kingdom of Weldwyn
  • Gamers Corner - Tidbits about my roleplaying rules, interesting tips, and stories about past gaming sessions.
  • Pre-order for Fate of the Crown

, welcome to the end of my newsletter. I only email those who have given permission by signing up to receive my newsletter. As always, if you have changed your mind or are no longer interested in receiving these, please click the unsubscribe link below.

Happy reading from Paul J Bennett,
Author of Epic Fantasy in the Land of Merceria and beyond!

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Paul J Bennett Newsletter: Land of Merceria and Beyond!