And the countdown to Defender of the Crown begins! View in browser

March 16, 2020

"An extremely well written book which held your attention and resulted in some very late nights."- C.

Did you miss a past newsletter? Click here to go to the newsletter archives.

On the Homefront

This weekend we were both a bit under the weather, but thankfully, nothing serious. Unfortunately, it left my newsletter coming to you a little late, but better late than not at all!

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.

Defender of the Crown: Pre-order countdown!
Pre-order Defender of the Crown
Editor's Pick of the Week!

My wife, Carol, does the preliminary editing of all my writing, Each week, she shares her favourite scenes from what she is working on. This week's pick is from Defender of the Crown!

"Harry!" Nikki called out as she ran down the stairs and hugged him, then held him out at arm's length. "For Saxnor's sake, Harry, you look so thin."

He shrugged, "What can I say, Nik, the pickings aren't so good these days."

"Well, we must feed you, Harry. Come in, and I'll get Marrianne to prepare something."

She led him into a small side room where seats waited.

"You've done well for yourself," said Harry.

"I'm a lady now," she said, "as well you know."

"How's Arnim doing?"

"He's in the north, travelling with the queen," said Nikki, reverting to her old pattern of speech. She moved to a side table, "Something to drink, Harry?"

"Certainly," he replied, taking a seat.

She poured him a goblet, handing it to him before taking a chair opposite.

"It's good to see you, Harry. Tell me, what have you been up to?"

"You know, the usual," he said. "I had a fair run at a visiting lady from Shrewesdale, but her father showed up and ruined everything."

Nikki laughed. Harry was a notorious rogue, an expert at charming the jewellery off a woman, but the laughter died when she suddenly realized that she was now one of the very women he would target. The thought sobered her.

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

Congrats to Jan D who won last week.

What is a Temple Knight?

In medieval times, there were a number of religious fighting orders, perhaps the most well known being the Knights Templar, whose full title was “The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon.” There were others, including the Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights, but the Templar’s are, perhaps, the most well known. They are shrouded in mystery and the topic of many conspiracy theories, which only makes them even more interesting. They were founded in 1119 by a small group of knights dedicated to protecting pilgrims going to the holy land.

The Templar’s are a favourite topic of fiction, from the twisted plots of the DaVinci Code to the completely fictionalized version portrayed in Knightfall. All of this makes for an interesting topic, but what is often forgotten is their discipline and effectiveness in battle.

Heir to the Crown makes only minor references to the Saints or Temple Knights, but in The Frozen Flame, they become more prominent, some as villains, others as allies. Power Ascending lets me explore the world of the pious warrior in more detail, with the Templars and the Teutonic Knights being a strong influence.

Every other Monday at 5:30 PM EST (-4UTC)
Next Session - March 23

Feel free to email me any questions you would like me to answer in my next Video!

Check it out ll my past Videos on Youtube!

Work in Progress Update

Temple Knight is currently sitting at 44,000 words and is progressing well. The overall story is starting to unfold nicely, with the action beginning to pick up. Overall, this is not just a story about a knight, it is also about her rising through the ranks of the Church, which by itself is a rather complex organization.

The story takes place in 1096 SR (Saints Reckoning), a number of years before the events of Ashes, and the Church of the Saints figures more prominently for obvious reasons. Groundwork is also being laid for later stories, though I cannot reveal the details without spoilers.

The setting of the book takes place in a kingdom called Ilea. It lies on the Shimmering Sea, though far west of Corassus, the city which featured so prominently in Ashes. Charlaine, the main character,  is settled into her new duties as a Sister of Saint Agnes, but events are starting to spin out of control. She and her fellow Temple Knights will have to band together to defeat that which threatens the land. Will they be successful? You’ll have to wait to see.

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.

Retreat Kell: The four highland clans have fought each other for as long as history remembers.

Killop & Keira, the twins of fire have grown up amid constant tribal warfare, each destined to become the champions of their clan. As Keira’s powers have grown, so too have her people’s expectations of her.
When their homeland is invaded in an overwhelming attack aimed at the destruction of their culture and the enslavement of their families, together can they unite the clans to defend their land?
Or will the old rivalries tear them apart?

The Nibiru Effect: A cryptic dream. A strange symbol. A magical ring. Will’s life will never be the same.

Lured away from his life at the orphanage by the promise of a family reunion, fifteen-year-old Will Save unwittingly embarks on an adventure through time and space.

Catapulted into the distant past. Struggling to survive a dinosaur-infested land. Plagued by a mysterious shapeshifting ability. These are only some of the challenges Will faces as he battles mythical creatures in a desperate attempt to save a race of prehistoric humanoids from a deadly plague.

The Knights of Alana: The Complete Series

When Knights attack the town of Skystead, seventeen-year-old Pela is the only one to escape. Her mother and the other villagers are taken, accused of worshiping the False Gods. They will pay the ultimate price – unless Pela can rescue them.

Pela has never left the safety of her town, let alone touched a sword. What chance does she have against the ruthless Knights of Alana? She’s not a hero.

But she knows one.

Ghosts of the Sea Moon: Monsters lurk under the ocean… and above. Even gods should be afraid.

In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.

Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel rescue drowned souls from ravenous sea monsters and ferry them to the After World. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, to defending the islands, but the tides have shifted, bringing perilous danger.

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?
Magic & Mayhem
Free Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books
Hidden Magic
Fantasy Blowout

, 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.

Do you like the newsletter? Share it!
Paul J Bennett

You received this email because you signed up on my website or gave me permission to email you through a book giveaway.