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Nov 16, 2019

"One of the best writers of our time! Don't believe it try, book one of this series."

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On the Homefront

Poor little Tilly must have the cone of shame on for a couple of weeks to heal a hot spot in an awkward place. She is not happy, but does so love her extra cuddle time!

This past week we started to get into the Holiday spirit, visiting a Christmas store with friends. Yes, it is a little early, and to be honest, we usually wait until the last minute, but this year we have been bitten by the holiday spirit already. We might even put the Christmas tree up this weekend! (a month earlier than usual)

Character Inspiration: Prince Alric of Weldwyn

In Heart of the Crown, I began the story through the eyes of Prince Alric. As the third son of the King of Weldwyn, he is struggling to find his place in the world. In my RPG game, this character first appeared in Summersgate, the capital, and, if the book had progressed the same way as the game, he wouldn’t have been introduced until almost a third the way through the book.

Credit for developing Alric as an integral part of the story goes to my wife, Carol, who played the character of Anna. It was her that decided there was more to this young man than just a third son, so I had to spend some time ensuring his character was more fleshed out.

After I had written Sword of the Crown, I already knew I’d be sending the characters to Weldwyn. I had recently read an article online about writing (sorry I can’t remember the web site), explaining ‘show not tell’ and using action and dialogue to illustrate things.

This inspired me to write the first chapter of Heart of the Crown such that Alric’s interaction, particularly with his mother, would reveal his situation, rather than having a large info dump. Once I had that first chapter complete, the character was well-formed in my mind, and the story progressed from that point.

Alric, of course, becomes very important as the series progresses, and he plays a vital role in Defender of the Crown, which will be out early in 2020.

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

Congrats to David D who won last week's Giveaway where Sean Bean was the choice to play Gerald!

The Army of Merceria - Part 1


When the mercenaries first landed on the shores of the area now know on as Weldwyn almost one thousand years ago, their weapons consisted mainly of swords and spears while the typical soldier's armour tended to be leather strips, only occasionally reinforced with metal. Chainmail was expensive and rare at the time, though some senior officers were equipped with it. On the continent that they had left, the heaviest armour consisted of overlapping small metal scales, but the mercenaries bore no such defense upon their arrival.

After their failed invasion, the mercenaries were driven eastward into what is now called Merceria, where they found a land deficient of iron. This situation was not rectified for two centuries until the discovery of large deposits in Redridge. Unfortunately, as mercenaries, they lacked expertise in terms of mining and smelting, and it took some time for them to master these new skills.

The main opponents of Mercerian troops were Norland and Weldwyn. Norland, also being poor in iron, were lightly armoured, but made up for this lack by developing fast-moving cavalry and employing a more mobile form of warfare. Weldwyn, already having fought Merceria, moved rapidly to match their traditional adversary, leading to an arm’s race of sorts, ever-evolving where armour was concerned.

The principle weapon of all three nations is a sword with a length averaging between two and a half to three feet. This developed from a shorter blade that was in use at the time of the Mercerian's arrival and became known as a long sword, a term not seen on the continent, where they often refer to such blades as arming swords.

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Work in Progress Update

Defender of the Crown is progressing nicely, currently sitting at about 30,000 words out of a projected 120,000. Writing a series of this length is a challenge mainly due to the large number of interesting characters I have to work with. Each book will, of course, make mention of pretty much everyone, but usually gives one or two characters a more prominent role. Defender is no exception, though I won’t say where the focus will be. That will be for you, the reader to discover.

I also find it interesting to write the development of the characters, for they are, in a sense, real people affected by their decisions in life. They grow as individuals or couples as they mature, get married, and so on. Of course, this is not a romance series, but people live, love and lose, and I want to reflect that in my stories.

The Heir to the Crown series has three major story arcs, the first having been resolved in Fate of the Crown. Burden kicked off the second major story arc, which will be concluded in Book 10, and Defender of the Crown gives some strong hints as to what that overall arc might be.

I am flattered that so many people have enjoyed the series so far, and I look forward to seeing people's responses to Defender once I’m done.

Shhh, don't tell Carol, but below is a sneak peek at a beginning of the rough draft for Defender of the Crown. (She hasn't even read it yet!)

Until next time, Happy reading!


Albreda, Mistress of the Whitewood, entered the room only to notice that the other mages were already gathered.

“I see everyone is present,” she said, taking her seat.

“Everyone except for Master Revi Bloom,” corrected Aubrey.

“Yes,” Albreda agreed, “the very subject of this emergency meeting.” She looked at each mage in turn. It was a small council, consisting of only four members now that the Royal Life Mage had gone missing, a reminder that magic only existed in Merceria by a most tenuous thread.

“The Queen has asked Albreda to oversee this council in Revi’s absence,” explained Aubrey.

“Fine by me,” remarked Aldus Hearn, the elderly Earth Mage.

“As it should be,” agreed the Kurathian Enchanter, Kiren-Jool.

“I should start by saying that we keenly feel Revi’s absence,” said Albreda, “even though he was often distracted by his studies of late. I understand that he was last seen by you, Aubrey. Is this correct?”

“It is,” Aubrey replied. “I visited his house in Wincaster when I was doing research on the shape-shifters.”

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.

Crown of Chaos: High in the mountains, Pela and Ruebyn have finally escaped the deadly Knights of Alana. But the future remains uncertain, their only way forward the forbidden lands of Trola. Buoyed by their recent victory, Pela is confident they can overcome... 

The First Fear: The Supreme rules the world. For centuries the Supreme has reigned with an iron fist. The people are slaves to her whim and at the mercy of her followers who revere her as their goddess. Using a supernatural ability, known as the 'Power'...

Faith & Fury: She's a holy warrior. He's a demon hunter.
... And they have one HELL of a problem. Vacinne LeDroux is a Rift Warden, a champion of the Light, a defender of the mortal realm. It's something she dreamed about her whole life. After five years... 

The Ancient Realms Collection: This is a complete collection of 6 Ancient Realms Collection novelettes and 17 bonus stories. Viking magic is real, not all knights are honorable, and Ancient Magic comes with a price in these incredible epic fantasy tales...

Call of the Elements: Magic can’t be real, right? Tell that to the werewolf glaring at me with his near-black eyes or the handsome vampire lounging in the corner. Did I enjoy growing up rejected by everyone I encountered because of my physical abnormalities? Hell no! 

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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Paul J Bennett

11 Constable Street, London

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