Galleys and Sailing Ships, oh my! View in browser

May 9, 2020

"Incredible series and a must-read for sword, sorcery and fantasy lovers." - Ljp

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On the Homefront

Just as spring finally arrived, a Polar Vortex decided to descend on us. As I write this, snowflakes are falling, thankfully small ones that aren’t sticking around, but snow nonetheless. On the brighter of things, warm weather is promised so perhaps it will soon be possible to go outside without having to wear jackets? We can but hope.

Being a new month, the streaming services are offering up some new fare. We’ve been slowly watching season 4 of The Last Kingdom, trying to savour it over time rather than binge-watch it. The books on which it is based make up one of my favourite series, so it’s interesting to see these characters come to life. The only unfortunate thing is that this will be the last season! I did notice that Robert the Bruce is now available to rent, unfortunately not for free on Netflix, though. This was a movie made in 2019, not to be confused with The Outlaw King (which is a Netflix original). The trailer looks interesting, but I’ll hold judgement till I see it.

What about you? Any upcoming shows/movies that have piqued your interest?

Read Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic for FREE!

I wanted to make sure that everybody had an opportunity to read Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic, so here it is again just in case you missed it last week!

Spoiler alert - Although you can read this as a standalone, it will give you a better experience to read it after Shadow of the Crown, book four in the Heir to the Crown series.

Galleys and Sailing Ships, Oh My!

With the end of Temple Knight looming, I have been putting some research into naval battles. The use of Galleys (i.e.: rowed ships), dates back to ancient times and continued well into the Renaissance. The last great battle to use them in significant numbers was the Battle of Lepanto, fought in 1571. During that battle, an alliance of European states defeated the might of the Ottoman Empire in a fight that, in essence, became a land battle fought on ships.

I decided, when developing my fantasy world, that I would pull different elements from earth’s history, and the thought of an epic battle along the lines of movies like Cleopatra was too tempting to resist. Thus it is that the great powers of the Continent use galleys as their ships of war. The evolution of naval vessels is slower in the world of Eiddenwerthe, thus we have biremes (two banks of oars) as the main warships, the new triremes only having recently been developed. This slow development (compared to earth’s history) is mainly due to the influence of magic. Imagine how effective a ship at sea can be with a Fire Mage on board!

I experimented with this process in Ashes (The Frozen Flame: Book One), but in Temple Knight, it comes to the forefront, playing a vital role in the fate of the Continent. I can’t give much more away at this point since I don’t want to spoil the storyline, but let’s just say that magic plays a huge part!

Paul's Entertainment Pick of the Week - Upload

Every once in a while, a new show comes along that takes me by surprise. I had seen a new show listed on Amazon Prime called Upload, but hadn’t really paid much attention to it until I saw a trailer for it. The story takes place in the near future, where people can upload their consciousness into a computer, giving them a sort of immortality. Various companies vie for customers, each promising a different experience. The hero of the story, if you can call him that, is uploaded in the first episode, having been severely injured in a car accident. The other main character is his ‘angel’, the living person responsible for providing them with a smooth adjustment to their new ‘life’.

This series is part comedy and part drama. There are many references to existing companies, tied up in unusual combinations, along with subtle nods to the limits of technology. As the series progresses, however, the tone of the story gets darker, leading to an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

The show stars Robbie Amell as Nathan Brown, the newly digitized main character, and Andy Allo as his angel, Nora Antony. These two play their parts well, revealing little tidbits about their personalities as the story progresses. By the end, you will be rooting for both of them, but I will warn you, there is (hopefully) another season coming, so don’t expect everything to be wrapped up this year.

By the way, be on the lookout for some familiar faces, including the cigarette smoking man from the X-Files (though he’s playing a different character here.)

I will be restarting my Live videos on Monday, May 11, 2020 at my usual time of 5:30 pm EST. Please take a moment and shoot me an email with your questions. or simply reply to this newsletter.

Work in Progress Update

Temple Knight is moving inexorably toward its finale, with the stage now set for a titanic struggle that will determine who dominates in the Shimmering Sea. As the story approaches the end, I am taking time to consider the fate of the many interesting characters that now inhabit this new series. And just like in Heir to the Crown, there are characters that you are introduced in book one that may not reappear until book four or five, so you can rest assured that I will not be tempted to kill them all off as occurs in some fantasy series. I also have to look to the future and the continuation of Sister Charlaine’s remarkable career.

Of course, if you have read The Frozen Flame series, you know at least one who survives, for Sister Cordelia features prominently in Book Two, Embers, a story that takes place some years after the events of Temple Knight. Just because I’ll have penned the epilogue (or should I say typed) doesn’t mean I’ll be done with it, thoug., I still have edits and a read-through to look for inconsistencies and errors. It’s amazing, even in this age of spell checkers and grammar tools, how much can get by you.

What’s next? There’s still some debate about that. I will either be starting on Fury of the Crown (Heir to the Crown: Book Eight) or Flames (The Frozen Flame: Book Three). And there’s always the chance I might write a short story, as I often find these work well as a ‘palate cleanser’ before switching series.

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.

Faith & Fury: She's a holy warrior. He's a demon hunter... and they have one HELL of a problem. 

Vacinne LeDroux, a Rift Warden, a champion of the Light, and a defender of the mortal realm, is tasked with finding the whereabouts of a missing Warden and his company. When she finds herself face to face with a powerful demon, she seeks out a sell-sword, but the Black Blade is no ordinary bounty hunter.

He's a Rift Hunter, one skilled enough to track down rifts and the demons that step through them. With time running out, he's Vacinne's only hope at accomplishing her mission—but he will cost her more than coin...

Crystal King: An army has overrun and destroyed the royal council and much of the kingdom of Riland's leadership. Now, Gavin Stoutheart’s father the baron is missing, along with Gavin’s brother the heir- both presumed dead. 

After tormenting his instructors and father for years with his rebellious antics, Gavin must step up to lead his people as they flee before an invading army, one that can outpace his motley collection of castle staff, peasants, and children. 

Gavin’s only hope for survival is the forbidden animal magic wielded by his closest friends combined with his gift for strategy as he searches for allies along their trail. Will it be enough to keep them alive as they desperately trek through a fractured, leaderless kingdom? 

Pawn - Audiobook: Maeve of Carn is a warrior of warriors, but she’s no hero. Born with superhuman strength, she sells her abilities to mercenaries and warlords in exchange for wealth... until the night of the full moon.

In the midst of a raid, led by the warlord she just might be falling in love with, Maeve is taken by the Dark Fae.

After leaving her to rot in the dungeon of the damned, they offer her a deal. Freedom. If she finds a divine relic rumored to have the power to break all curses. Left with no other choice, Maeve sets off on a perilous quest, guided by the Scholar.

Eve of Redemption Series: When Citaria falls under the shadow of a demonic incursion, only a legendary hero can stop them. 

For Karian Vanador, though, being resurrected comes with a price. Not only is she in a different time and place, but the world has changed in her absence, and she must face the dark demons of her past once again. 

Partnered with allies who would've been her enemies in her past life, she must adapt to this new world and lead these young heroes to fulfill their potential - to stop a civil war being stoked by demonic influences. If they fail, Citaria may fall to a war that dwarfs the Apocalypse.

Featured Book Deals & Giveaways

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