...a little late, but still full of lots of interesting tidbits. View in browser

January 26, 2020

"Bennett does a fine job of intertwining the characters with the story. Eagerly awaiting book 7." - Martyn

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On the Homefront

This week went a little sideways when Carol's sister got into a serious car accident on Friday. She is okay but was supposed to be moving this weekend, so we ended up having to step in and do it for her.

Needless to say, the newsletter is a little late this week, but still full of interesting little tidbits! Daisy and Tilly snuggled together on the floor while we were busy packing and unpacking all weekend.

What's in a name?

Have you ever heard of Luke Starkiller? Believe it or not, that was the original name of Luke Skywalker. When I’m working on a new series, it can often take some time to come up with the names of characters. Usually, I pick something that I simply like the sound of, but often, what I choose has a deeper meaning.

When I created Gerald Matheson for the Heir to the Crown series, I purposely picked the name Gerald because I wanted his name to seem normal rather than heroic. He is, after all, an average man who has worked his way up to a position of moderate power and influence. Gerrald is, in fact, a warrior's name, meaning “rule of the spear”, though I didn’t know that at the time.

For my new series, Power Ascending, I needed two names for the main characters. Originally they were named Ludwig and Margaret, but since Margaret was taken by Anna’s sister in Heir to the Crown, I had to come up with a new name. It took some time to find one, or in this case, to create one. It was actually Carol that came up with the solution, and so she became Charlaine. I like this name simply because it sounds like Charlemagne, thus evoking the imagery I was looking for.

I have some basic rules when naming characters. First of all, it must be relatively easy to pronounce, and so I tend to use more common names, although Carol says I am not allowed to use William anymore as I used it 13 times in my first book. When I invent names, I try to give them attributes that would match the race in question. Thus, Orcs have names like Laruhk, and Kraloch, which are more guttural in their sounds. I also have a preferred way of pronouncing these names though the reader is free to make their own interpretation. Laruhk is pronounced Lah-Rook, and his sister Shaluhk is Shah-Look.

What are some of your favourite names from books or movies?

Have you Pre-ordered your copy yet?

Kargen stared into Athgar’s face. “Two years ago, when I brought you here to Ord-Kurgad, I knew the tribe would never be the same.”

“Are you saying that I brought disaster?”

“No,” said Kargen, “but you signified a great change. For generations, the Orcs have been a diminished people, our territory shrinking in size as we decrease in numbers. We have, as a race, been driven to the far reaches of the Continent, but something has changed of late."

"For the first time in centuries, we count Humans among our allies, both here and to the west. Great change is coming, I know, but with great change comes great sacrifice. Orcs will die, of this, I have no doubt. The real question, in the end, will be whether or not it is worth the price we must pay.”

Immerse yourself in a land steeped in magic and mystery as Paul J Bennett's The Frozen Flame series continues in his newest tale, Embers!

Pre-order Embers today!

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

Congrats to Jerry who won last week's Giveaway. Orson Well's radio version of The War of the Worlds was the winner with more than 50% of the vote!

Character Inspiration – Sir Preston

Sir Preston first appears in Sword of the Crown. He was one of the other knights being inducted into the Order of the Sword and had trouble remaining in the saddle. Beverly helped him during the procession, preventing him from falling and embarrassing himself further. It was Sir Preston that directed Beverly toward the practise yard when she was first assigned to barracks, but he had nothing to do with her attempted humiliation. He was, essentially, the comic relief, but everyone deserves a chance, so I brought him back in Shadow of the Crown.

Warning, Spoilers below!

In Shadow of the Crown, as the characters are escaping the dungeons beneath the palace, they come across a group of knights. I wanted someone to help them, and Sir Preston immediately came to mind. In Burden of the Crown, Beverly needed someone she could trust for a special assignment and, having proven his loyalty, he was a natural choice. In reward, he is made a Knight of the Hound.

As a knight, he is quite good at what he does, his horsemanship notwithstanding. I have also fleshed him out a little more in Defender of the Crown, where we get to see his bravery and dedication in battle, but I can’t say more at this time without giving away some plot elements. He is a member of a select group of knighthood and plays a significant role going forward, and all because I needed some comic relief for Beverly’s induction ceremony!

Every other Monday at 5:30 PM EST (-4UTC)
Next Session - January  27
  - Learn all about my Favourite Historical Movies - had too many TV shows last time, so i had to save movies for this episode!

Did you miss my last Facebook Live Video about my favourite historical TV shows?  

Check it out here on Youtube!

Work in Progress Update


I’ve spent some time this week going over outlines for future books. With four series on the go, it’s important to fit them all into a general timeline. To add to the difficulty, I have two different year notations, Mercerian Calendar and Saints Reckoning. To make things easier on myself, they share the same month and year-end dates, the difference being that the Mercerian Calendar dates from the founding of Merceria, whereas Saints Reckoning dates from the founding of the Church of the Saints and is used throughout the Continent. There are multiple overlaps between series, at least those that take place on the Continent, and characters from one series can show up in other stories, hence the need for an overall master schedule.

In addition to this, I’ve also had to spend some time mapping out the Petty Kingdoms. The intent is to slowly reveal the borders of these kingdoms over time, as each is introduced in a story, but I must have the complete map so I can make reference to things going forward. At the moment, I am playing with several drawing programs for just this purpose. Today, for example, I was playing with an interesting product called Wonderdraft.

What about you? Do you make maps for books or RPG games? If so, what software do you use?

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.

Mother of Drackan: It's only a matter of time before she ends the hunt. Part human, part drackan, Keelin E’Kahlyn has made it halfway across the land, hunting down the human traitor controlling her blackouts for as long as she can remember. By her side stands Rokien of Asread, the rogue who echoes hints of Keelin’s past—the only other who rivals her in skill and instinct...

Journey to Aviad: Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come...

All books .99 - For an imperial assassin, assignment as a courtesan in the Floating World seems like a waste of her talents... until killers target her clan sisters.
In the legendary Floating World, wars are waged with wit, the strongest soldier can be bound with threads of silk, and flesh is the currency by which life, death, and freedom can all be purchased.
Half-elf Jie doesn’t mind her temporary assignment as a Night Blossom in the most sought-after house. It’s perfect cover for her real work as an assassin in the emperor’s service, and keeps her close to one who matters most. Her life belongs to her clan, but her heart lies with clan junior, Lilian.

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?

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