Title: Battle Scars: For King and Country
(book 2 of a series)
Current word count: @88,900 words
I am drawing ever closer to the climax of this story. My unexpected character death? With 11,000 words added since my last update, the man is still dead, and there is no hope for resurrection.
But there were weddings this week! Queen Eleanor decided to make an appearance. This was one of those serendipitous thoughts that ignited a mad search through 6 biographies of the lady and several other volumes of related materials. It is December 1, 1193. Eleanor is busy making final arrangements for the transfer of ransom money to the Holy Roman Emperor for King Richard’s release and preparing to cross the sea to deliver that money. But she holds a special place in her heart for one of the grooms. She’d met him in one of the final chapters of book 1, Men of the Cross. The young squire has served main characters Henry and Stephan, her son Richard, his wife Berengaria, and Queen Joanna, her daughter. Eleanor also brings welcome news to Henry about Stephan, whom he has not seen nor heard from since September – remember, Stephan has been on a secret mission.
I’ve spent the last few days reviewing my sources on the siege of Nottingham and setting the stage to tie all the pieces together. I have 2 minor skirmishes to write up, the king’s return, and the siege at Nottingham. For the last few months, I have also been mulling over the ending – not of the siege, of course, because you can read about that in the history books. 🙂 But how far past the dates of the siege – March 25-28 – would I take the characters? Originally, I was certain I’d need to end the book with King Richard’s departure for Normandy in May. But, to have my “happily for now” ending¹ and leave the way open for conflict in book 3 of this trilogy, I’m almost positive that the story will end as Richard heads off for a day of hunting in Sherwood Forest before he returns for business at the Council of Nottingham. Or, it may end with the Council – only time, and a few more weeks of writing, will tell.
By the way, did I ever tell you that this story was only supposed to be a novella?
IN RELATED NEWS…
On this date
I didn’t manage to write up entries, but here are a few important October dates:
4 October 1190 – Richard captures Messina, Sicily
10 October 1191 – Richard leaves Jaffa (where his troops are rebuilding the fortress) to return to Acre to settle a dispute between some of his ‘allies’
9 October 1192 – King Richard bids the Holy Land good-bye and sails for home
Vézelay, France – in book 1, after the rendezvous with King Richard’s army in Tours, Henry, Stephan and the crusaders meet King Philip of France’s troops in Vézelay in late June of 1190. (Some sources say the meeting took place on July 2.)
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy – a couple of months later, Henry sees Mt. Vesuvius as some of Richard’s fleet drops anchor in Naples.
Mortimer’s Cave, Nottingham Castle – caves, tunnels, secret entrances. Handy for a bit of spying in book 2 beginning in the summer of 1193 through the king’s return in March 1194.
And on those notes, I am back to the writing!
¹Happily-for-now endings are similar to the familiar “And they lived happily ever after.”