If you’re a subscriber to my Newsletter, or follow my author page on Facebook, you’ll have heard me mention a forthcoming Sir Stephan l’Aigle short story. It’s cover reveal time! A Knight’s Tale (Passages) will be exclusive to my Newsletter subscribers and won’t be available for purchase elsewhere until summer 2019. Subscribe to the Newsletter if you’d like to receive a free copy (epub or Kindle) of the short story in November.
Here’s a snippet from the short story, which takes place while King Henry II is on the throne, about 2 years before Richard becomes king. Richard & his father are at war with each other:
Richard and the knights followed the castellan into the hall, a rectangular aisled room flanked by a massive hearth and lit by the late summer sun. Blackened beams crisscrossed the ceiling and the place smelled of wood smoke.
“The king packed the food stores—grain, dried meat and fruit. Took every candle.” The castellan gestured at the trestle, bare except for a cup brimming with wine and a bowl of berries. “This is all that’s left. What I have is yours, Lord Richard.”
Richard plucked one red-ripe berry from the table and bit into it. He motioned to Robin to try the drink.
Robin swallowed a gulp, his brows raising. “This isn’t King Henry’s usual fare,” he said. “It’s too good.”
“He absconded with his own wine,” the castellan said.
“And left this?” Robin asked.
The castellan cleared his throat. “I had it hidden, my lord.”
“A wise man,” Richard said. “My father cannot tell good wine from bad.” Off to his side, Stephan snickered. “You disagree, Sir Stephan?”
The other men directed their attention to the conversation.
Stephan didn’t shy from Richard’s question. “I’ve had the king’s drink. His idea of a good wine is something the rest of us wouldn’t bathe in.”