Heir to the Crown Box Set is here!

Welcome to Merceria

'Another amazing, well told tale of epic adventure.' - Rachel

In this week's Medieval Musings:

  • A Brief History of Westland (Weldwyn)
  • Heir to the Crown Box Set 1 
  • Beverly's Character Inspiration
  • WIP update & tidbit from Athgar's story
  • Author Spotlight - 6 new books
  • Book Giveaways - Over 150 books

A Brief History of Weldwyn

The history of Merceria and Weldwyn(Westland)  are closely linked. Prior to the arrival of foreign mercenaries, the land known as Terengaria was inhabited by numerous human tribes. There was no centralized government or leadership of these tribes, though trading between them was not unknown. All that changed when foreign mercenaries landed on the southern coast.

These mercenaries quickly established a foothold and began pushing their way inland with the intent to conquer all that lay before them. In response, one of the chieftains of a local tribe, a man by the name of Loran, took it upon himself to organize a defence. He began travelling from tribe to tribe, convincing them to work together to protect their land. In his journeys, he met a mage named Weldwyn, and the two became fast friends. With Weldwyn’s help, Loran forged an alliance of tribes to help repel the invaders.

It all came to a head when the mercenaries marched north, into the area now known as Summersgate. Here, the alliance held fast against the invaders, defeating them, but during the battle, the mage Weldwyn died. The remainder of the mercenaries fled east, across the great river into the land now known as Merceria. With the threat of invasion still in existence, the tribes decided to unite under Loran, who became their first king. It was King Loran’s idea to name the land Weldwyn, after the illustrious mage that won them the battle.

Since that time, Weldwyn and Merceria have had a volatile relationship. Both have been guilty of attempting invasions of their neighbours, but neither has been successful enough to change the borders. At the time of Heir to the Crown, both kingdoms are wary of their neighbours, though they are not at war.

To the west of Weldwyn lies the Twelve Clans, a loose coalition of ‘wild men’ not unlike Weldwyn’s ancestors. These clans have long coveted the rich farmland of their eastern neighbour and regularly raid across the border, but do not present much of a threat.

Heir to the Crown Box Set 1 now available

It all begins with Gerald…

    …a forgotten old warrior who discovers a hidden royal heir.

After tragedy tears Gerald's world apart, he serves as a soldier for years, until a single act of self-sacrifice cuts him off from all he knows.

Seeking a new purpose, a fateful meeting with another lost soul unmasks a shocking secret, compelling him to take up the mantle of guardian as the kingdom erupts into civil war.

Enter Dame Beverly Fitzwilliam, who has trained for this moment since she first held a sword. Swearing to protect their lives, they travel across the kingdom fighting desperate battles, all the while surrounded by powerful enemies who conspire to bring down the crown.

Their destiny will be determined in a monumental clash of forces where success can save the kingdom, but failure can only mean certain death.

Heir to the Crown is an action-packed medieval fantasy series that takes ordinary people and puts them in extraordinary situations! If you like epic battles, compelling characters, and a gripping story, then you will love Paul J Bennett's tale of a kingdom on the brink of war.

Pick up your boxed set today, and watch the battle unfold!

Character Inspiration: Dame Beverly Fitzwilliam

I have always been intrigued by the stories of King Arthur's Knights. Though somewhat dated, they are, in essence, fantasy stories, with fantastic stories that can only be the product of a vivid imagination. They are full of archetypes, however, and the one that I always found interesting was the concept of Sir Galahad, said to be the purest of knights.

In my campaign, I had already decided that the realm would be ruled by a tyrant king and that knights were symbols of his oppression, but I wanted a counter-point; a character that would represent what a knight could and should be. Though Dame Beverly’s background is, of course, much different than Galahad, she is still imbued with the virtues of honesty, chivalry and honour.

Originally, she was introduced into the RPG game as NPC (non-player character), to be controlled by the GM (Game Master – that’s me). Her role was to protect the princess, a young girl who had no combat skill. As the game progressed, her character was handed over to Carol, who also created and played Anna.

It was actually Carol that gave Beverly more dimension, while still staying true to my original concept. She added the personality quirk that the knight was a bit brusque with people, especially those who abused power and also developed her into an accomplished warrior and loyal bodyguard.

When it came time to write the book, I had always liked the idea of exploring Beverly's background in more detail. Why had she become the way she was and where did she learn her craft? It seemed natural that her father would have raised her, and, since Gerald had already been established as the Sergeant-at-Arms, everything fell into place.

The rest of the Sword of the Crown was crafted to explain her character in more depth. Aside from Gerald, she is probably the most detailed character in the book, perhaps not physically, but from the standpoint of what motivates her.

She is undoubtedly an interesting character to write, and I look forward to including many more stories of her and her companions in the future.

Full-Time writing keeps getting better and better!

I have been a full-time author now for six weeks, and I’m having the time of my life!

When I look back on my word count over this time, I’m surprised by how many I managed to put on paper, nearly 120,000, which is a complete book's worth.

This last week the numbers were a bit lower as I have been laying the groundwork for my new series, but don’t worry, Heir to the Crown will still continue, with Fate of the Crown launching May 21. The next two books are already outlined and once Ashes, the first book in The Frozen Flame series is complete, I will be back with more Gerald and Anna!

I intend The Frozen Flame to concentrate on two main characters, and started with their backgrounds. I’ve already written a prequel to introduce the first, Athgar, and this coming week I will be complete the second about a young woman named Natalia. These help me flesh out the characters prior to their debut novel, Ashes.

Although these stories do not take place in the land of Merceria, they are in the same world. This, of course, requires me to plan out more kingdoms, duchies, baronies etc. The main section of the new series occurs in what are referred to as the Petty Kingdoms, a number of smaller states that exist in the shadow of a great empire.

Who knows, maybe somewhere down the line, the Mercerians may meet them?

Until next time, here is a little snippet featuring Athgar and his slightly younger sister, Edwith:

“I can’t help it if I’m popular with the men of the village,” she said. “After all, I’m quite the catch.”

“You are?”

“Of course, what other woman can out-shoot her brother with a bow.”

“That’s only because I spend more time making the arrows than actually using them,” he defended. “You, on the other hand, seem to go through them faster than I can make them. How many have you lost in the last week alone?”

“More than enough,” she confessed, “but now I must be off.”

“To waste more arrows?” he asked.

“No,” she replied, “I have more flirting to do.”

Author Spotlight!

Here are a few featured books that are free, discounted, or new releases. These authors are returning the favour by sharing Servant of the Crown with their readers. Thank s in advance for checking out their books! 

In Lush Valley, it’s a crime to even talk about dragons…

When Ezaara meets Zaarusha the Dragon Queen, she’s swept up in a blaze of color and they imprint, forming a deep bond. She must give up her home and family to become the new Queen’s Rider. Ignorant and unprepared, how can she possibly succeed?   ...More

Only the lost magic of Dragon Songs can save the world.

The Dragon Singers of old summoned typhoons and routed armies, liberating mankind from the orcs before fading into legend. Now, with the world again teetering on the brink of a cataclysm, the power of music stirs in Kaiya, a gangly misfit with the perfect voice.  ...More

A sorcerer king, his wise advisor, and a young sorceress hiding her growing powers race to find an ancient power once thought lost. - The power to control the universe... or to destroy it. 
Gudrunn, entrusted with one of three magical artifacts, amplifies his terrifying power and quickly elevates  ...More

A dragon can be loyal forever, if you tame her first. But Sigrid would sooner be dead than tamed.
Dragon shifter Sigrid of Wildewyn has spent her life in a cage, quite literally. Whether she's hidden from her own people, or masked so they cannot see her face, she's dedicated her life to her country and king.  ...More

Sixteen-year-old Alecia doesn't know anything about goblins or magic.

She’s never even heard of Alfheim. She's just trying to get through high school and get her driver's license. And then she meets a faerie creature who needs her help. One impulsive bargain later and ...More

Emma was a normal teenage girl before her twin nearly burned her to death

When Emma and her brother discover they have magic, they are visited by an archmage of a school for mages. They embark on a journey, but it becomes fraught with peril as a deranged cult captures them. ...More

Book Giveaways

Here are some FREE books, short stories and samples from other authors in the SciFi and Fantasy genres. Please give them a try.

Each Giveaway is a collection of authors who want to share their stories with you. Feel free to send links to friends and family!

  • My favourite authors, and an opportunity to share yours!
  • Character origin of Gerald Matheson as opposed to how he is in the book.
  • Cover reveals
  • Gamers Corner - Tidbits about my roleplaying rules, interesting tips, and stories about past gaming sessions.
  • Pre-order for Fate of the Crown
  • Sword of the Crown audiobook sample

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Happy reading from Paul J Bennett,
Author of Epic Fantasy in the Land of Merceria and beyond!

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Paul J Bennett Newsletter: Land of Merceria and Beyond!