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July 25, 2020

"Another amazing series from an amazing author. I highly recommend this to anyone." - Heather P.

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On the Homefront

Daisy wanted some snuggle time this week, so we posed for some snapshots!

Like many people, I have an Android phone, and I must say I quite like it. One thing that has always bothered me, however, was the difficulty in copying files between my PC and phone. I used to use something called Samsung SideSync, but apparently, that’s now been discontinued. I installed its replacement, Samsung Flow, and it seems to be working much better, allowing me to easily drag files to my phone, ideal for updating my music, which I keep on my PC.

Now the real issue for me is that I’ve ripped most of these tunes from the CD’s (yes, I still buy CD’s from time to time), and that means they do not contain the album art. I used to use a program called Album Art Grabber, a free utility available in Google Play, but it appears it has issues with the newest version of Android and keeps crashing.

I usually use the Samsung Music app to play my tunes, so I put it out to you, my newsletter readers? What program do you use, if any, to acquire the correct album cover art for your music?

Congrats to Tim for winning last week's eBook Giveaway! Many of you, like me, love The Marvel Cinematic Universe the best!

Remember, all you need to do to choose which choice you prefer, and you will automatically be entered into the Giveaway to win your choice of any of my ebooks, even the upcoming Temple Knight!

The Pig War of 1859 - 2 July 2020

Yesterday, I was thinking of my Canadian history. There are all the usual things, of course, from the founding of the country to the world wars, but one of the more interesting stories I can recall is that of the Pig War of 1859. Now, I know what you're thinking, 1857 is prior to Canada's founding in 1867. Correct, but we don't celebrate Upper Canada Day, so here goes anyway.

This confrontation erupted due to a boundary dispute over some islands that exist between Vancouver Island (part of British Columbia) and the State of Washington. It had its roots in the 1846 Oregon Treaty that defined the US/Canada border as being along the 49th parallel, then south through the middle of the channel separating Vancouver Island from the mainland. The only problem with this definition is that there are two straits there, something we now take for granted, but in 1847, those in the area were still using maps that were created by George Vancouver, way back in 1798. As a result, a small group of islands fell into the gap.

This wasn't helped by the American and British diplomats who, in their ignorance, did not address the issue of the unclaimed islands. Soon after, the Hudson's Bay Company began operating off of the San Juan Islands, while at the same time, American settlers appeared on the scene, thinking the land theirs.

Thirteen years after the treaty, an American farmer found a large pig in his garden. He was so upset, he shot and killed the pig (who, by the way, ended up being the only casualty of the war). The owner of the pig, being British, claimed compensation, which the American refused. This led to an escalation ending with the Americans calling for military protection from the US government.

Both sides took action, leading to the deployment of a Royal Navy Ship and the construction of an American artillery battery. The US, dealing with tensions internally that would eventually lead to their Civil War, were eager to settle the matter and sent General Winfield Scott to negotiate with the British Governor of the region (This is the same general that rose to fame in the War of 1812). In the end, it took twelve years to resolve the issue. In 1866, the colony of Vancouver merged with British Columbia, and in 1871, they both joined the Dominion of Canada. That year, the US signed the Treaty of Washington, finally settling the dispute by asking for arbitration. It was actually Kaiser Wilhelm that created a three-man arbitration commission. In the end, the Americans got the island while the British withdrew their troops.

And all this because a pig was caught eating someone's plants!

Pre-Order your copy of Temple Knight to receive BONUS content!

Still thinking about pre-ordering Temple Knight?

I have some extra content for Temple Knight that will only be available to those who preorder. The best part is that you don't have to do anything special. Simply pre-order your copy, and when you download the book, the bonus content will be included.

The first bit of bonus content is an alternate beginning to the story. It was the first chapter for quite a while until the Beta team's questions made me realize I needed to change how I introduced Charlaine and Temple Knights to the reader.

Here are some of the Beta Readers comments after they read the new first chapter (They got to read it after reading half the book):

"This is a much better beginning to the book."
"The original opening was good, but this much more powerful. Great beginning."
"Well done, by the way. Added depth to the story.

Pre-order Temple Knight Today!
Do you have a free moment or two to spare?

I know that when I am searching for a new book series, I look at the reviews to help me decipher if I will like it. I even check out both the top and bottom reviews, as what somebody doesn't prefer in a story may be exactly what I am looking for.

If you have read Ashes, or any of my other books, I would be so grateful if you could take a moment to share what you liked most about the story, or even just a quick 4 or 5 stars!

Thank you for takingtime out of your busy day to do this. I truly appreciate your kind words, and they really do motivate me to write more everyday.

Review on Retailers
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This past week I shared my process for how I prepare to write a book, including the creation of series overview, book overview, chapter breakdown, and much more. Check it out here

Work in Progress Update

This week saw me making a start on The Beast of Brunhausen, a Chronicles of Cyric story. As with most of my side stories, I intended this to be more of a short story, but it's shaping up to be longer, perhaps 30-40,000 words or even a little more.

I had originally outlined the storyline for this murder mystery a few months ago, but when I read over it, I discovered I'd forgotten to add in other suspects. I took a day off, working on the outline for Fury of the Crown, then came back to it on Thursday to overhaul the outline.

Now, I'm much more satisfied with the storyline and can't wait to see what Carol thinks when she reads the first draft. I don't tell her who did it so that she can guess as she reads it. She got the suspect wrong in A Midwinter Murder, so I am hoping for the same things this time! (Shhh, don't tell her, but I also mixed up the clues and suspects, so she doesn't know who the true culprit is anymore).

Next Monday, I shall get cracking on the actual text, with an aim to finishing this one off in two or three weeks, depending on how long it ends up being. After that, it's on to Fury of the Crown. (Truth be told I'll likely be working on that at the same time as I often find it easier to outline in the late afternoon.)

Until next time, enjoy another passage from Temple Knight. Book One in the new Power Ascending series.

“Is that our new member?” asked a voice. The youthful woman stepped from the stall, a brush still in her palm. She transferred it to her left, then wiped her hand on her cassock, before extending it. “I'm Sister Danica,” she said, “I took care of your horse if you remember. She’s been rubbed down, watered, and we’ll soon get some food into her.”

“Thank you,” said Charlaine. She looked at the girl in surprise. “You look young for a Temple Knight?”

“I’m seventeen,” said Danica, defensively, “old enough to serve.”

“I meant no insult, you just surprised me.”

“She is our youngest member,” offered Cordelia.

“I find it strange that the complement here is so young,” said Charlaine. “Are there no older sisters?”

“Normally, there would be,” said Cordelia, “but no one with influence wants to be posted here, so we only get raw recruits. Still, it’s not all bad. The area is pretty peaceful, barring the odd sea raider.”

“Sea raider?”

“Yes,” said Cordelia, “we’re on the coast of the Shimmering Sea. Have you not seen it?”

“No, I’m afraid I’ve had little free time since I’ve arrived in the area.”

“Well, we’ll have to see if we can get you down to it tomorrow.”

“Is it very far? I’ve never seen the sea.”

“It’s close enough to walk to,” offered Danica, “but we usually take our horses.”

“Why is that?” asked Charlaine.

“We’re required to keep up on our riding,” explained Cordelia. “It's the captain's idea.”

“Anything else I should know about?”

Her guide laughed, “Lots, but let’s not overwhelm you.”

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.

The Other Magic: Forbidden magic, swords, a university, and lots of schemingDarkness stirs in a world that is ill-equipped to confront it. 

A prophesied king is born, but not all will benefit from his foretold conquests. In a realm where only clerics are permitted to practice magic, Kibure, a mere slave, draws the attention of much more than just his master after wielding an unknown force in a moment of desperation. In a twist of fate, Sindri, the priestess hired to strip Kibure of his power, defies the law, revealing designs of her own. But trust is in short supply in a land ripe with deceit. This wayward pair will have to work together if they hope to evade capture at the hands of the Empire's...  MORE

Cloak of the Two Winds Pirates, sorcerers, and witches battle for an ancient magical treasure. Amlina the witch has fled the city of the tyrant Archimage of the East. She plans to return the fabled Cloak of the Two Winds to its rightful owners. But Amlina’s ship is waylaid by barbarian pirates at the South Polar Sea. 

Lonn the Iruk skipper has led his boat away from the hunt after dreaming of fabulous treasure. When his crew captures the witch’s ship, they get more than they bargained for. After carrying off her possessions, they are robbed in turn. Worse, one of their crew is taken—Glyssa, the woman Lonn loves... MORE

Children of the Shaman: When their aunt is taken ill, thirteen-year old Annat and her brother are sent from their small coastal town to live with their unknown father. Like Annat, Yuda is a Shaman; a Wanderer with magical powers, able to enter other worlds.

As Annat learns more about her powers, the children join their father on a remarkable train journey to the frozen north and find a land of mystery and intrigue, threatened by dark forces and beset by senseless murders that have halted construction of a new tunnel. But Annat’s doll, her only remembrance of her dead mother, may hold a dark secret - and when her brother Malchik is kidnapped, Annat and her... MORE

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