Too graphic? Second guessing the words you write

One of the ideas behind publishing the anthology Betrayal was to introduce readers to authors they may know little about. Twelve stories – 12 authors – multiple time periods. A tasty treat, right? Sample the works, find a new author to read.

My contribution to the anthology is “A Knight’s Tale.” This prequel to Men of the Cross is a pretty blunt look at Stephan l’Aigle’s bed-hopping ways. I have been using the short story as an exclusive for my Newsletter subscribers which you probably know if you follow my blog. Most subscribers follow me after they read Men, where the intimate scenes – while steamy – usually fade-to-black.

But “A Knight’s Tale” is more graphic than the novel, and may turn off some readers who find me because of the Betrayal anthology. Not exactly what I was aiming for. But the bittersweet short story sets up the man you meet in Men. Stephan’s relationship with the knight Geoffrey changes him, though he hasn’t quite figured that out at the end of the short story.

I questioned whether I should have toned down “A Knight’s Tale” for Betrayal. But then I see a review like this, and from a long-time reviewer at Historical Novel Society reviews:

“…a gritty, unabashedly sexy portrait of a 12th-century knight’s gay relationships, with a bittersweet edge.”

Thank you, Ms. Uhl at HNS reviews.


Charlene Newcomb is the author of the Battle Scars series, 12th century historical fiction filled with war, political intrigue, and a knightly romance of forbidden love set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart.

Char also writes science fiction. Echoes of the Storm was published in July 2020.

Download the free short story, A Knight’s Tale, when you sign up for Char’s Newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about book news before everybody else, and take part in giveaways and special offers.

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