Happy New Year & a January Giveaway

To start off 2017 I am offering one ebook of Men of the Cross or For King and Country to one lucky person. Just sign up for my Newsletter by

midnight (CT) on January 10

to enter the giveaway. I’ll do a random drawing for the winner. I’ll confirm which book and what format (epub or Kindle) when I contact the winner.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. -1.11.2017

men_full-side

I had a lovely holiday except for dislocating my ring finger in a spill down some stairs. It was a rude wake up call on Christmas morning for my daughter and her husband. It could have been worse – at least I can still type (sort of). I lost one day of writing time, but otherwise made very good progress on Book III. With luck, my first (rough) draft will be done by early summer. Once I get to that point, Newsletter subscribers will get an early peek at the book cover! At Chapter One! There will be other goodies in store for subscribers, too! Sign up now (and before end-of-day January 10) to put your name in the drawing.

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Charlene Newcomb is currently working on Book III of her 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.

Visiting with author Helena Schrader about my novel For King and Country

5fd8e47ed036ac5eb5bd484b32302357-1-2 Join me on Helena Schrader’s blog today as we talk about For King and Country. I “met” Helena virtually when Battle Scars I, Men of the Cross, was published and Helena was writing her trilogy on Balian d’Ibelin covering the years prior to the Third Crusade. Our common interests in that time period led to conversation and interviews, so I am delighted to continue that tradition and thank Helena for inviting me back to her blog. I hope you will enjoy the Q&A!

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For King and Country is a B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree and has been selected as a Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice. It is currently available on Amazon in ebook and print formats.

#luckyseven – excerpt from Battle Scars II: For King and Country

I am editing away on For King and Country. Did I mention this book is coming in at more than 600 pages? (Almost twice the length of Men of the Cross!)  I am at the 75% mark on my edit, with a goal of finishing one chapter a day. That would bring me up to November 3. Keep your fingers crossed! I am so ready to get this in readers’ hands. Of course, I still have to get the cover art, write an author’s note, format for ebook and print, etc. etc.

In the meantime, how about a #luckyseven meme?  The rules for #luckyseven are:

  • Go to a page ending in a 7 in your current manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Post the next 7 lines or sentences – as they are – post on your blog or on Facebook!
  • Tag 7 other people to do the same

So here goes. Scene set up – without spoiling too much – knights Henry, Stephan and Robin have uncovered information about Count John’s traitorous operations in the Midlands, but…

“You’ll have me tending sheep to keep me from harm’s way.” Henry was on his feet. “I will not stand by while you—any of you—are in danger. Let me help. The wagons laid up in Grantham a few days back. That ginger-haired guard—”

“Henry, about Tuck…” Stephan’s eyes flicked to Robin. How much should he say?

“You know him from Normandy. You didn’t think to mention that?” Henry looked hurt. He swallowed hard. “Was he one of your lovers?”

“Tuck? He’s as chaste as most priests. Mayhap more.”

Let’s see if these folks want to participate:

Anna Belfrage, Alison Morton, Derek Birks,
EM PowellES MoxonMatthew Harffy, Steven A. McKay,

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men_small for blogSweeping battles, forbidden love,
and 2 knights fighting for Richard the Lionheart
MEN OF THE CROSS
A 2014 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree
and Readers’ Favorite
Get it from Amazon

Book II of Battle Scars: For King and Country
will be published in 2016.

Rocky Mountain highs amidst the Historical Novel Society Conference

What a way to begin my first HNS conference – a 3 hour broadsword workshop with writer/actor/swordsman David Blixt and his associate Brandon St. Clair Saunders.
david and brandon

These two gentlemen were superb swordsmen and were incredibly patient with some of us who were a bit uncoordinated, i.e., me!

Sword and shield

 Mary (from Iowa) and me!

Sparks flew. (Yeah, right.) We had a blast. And no humans were maimed in the process.

Even better, I met authors Sharon Kay Penman (Lionheart;and, A King’s Ransom; and many more) and Patricia Bracewell (Shadow on the Crown; and, The Price of Blood) in the workshop.

Sharon is such a lovely woman. I’d ‘met’ her through social media a couple of years back. She emailed me about 2 weeks before the conference and invited me to have lunch with her. Novelist Priscilla Royal joined us. This was the best conference moment ever! We talked of our love of the Angevins, of writing, deadlines, and marketing, of our favorite medieval fiction writers, and of the books we were working on and had already written.

me and Sharon Kay Penman
Me & Sharon Kay Penman
Priscilla Royal & me
Priscilla Royal & me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at the indieBRAG booth
with Geri & Stephanie at the indieBRAG book

 

And if that wasn’t enough, I met Geri & Bob Clouston and Stephanie Moore Hopkins of indieBRAG, who are extremely supportive of indie-published writers and made me feel so much at home. Stephanie also writes and hosts LayeredPages.

 

I’ll save the description of sessions I attended for another post – and there were many I enjoyed. It was surreal stepping into an elevator with two of my favorite authors: Diana Gabaldon and Patricia Bracewell. But the absolute highlight – beyond lunch with Sharon – was spending time with two individuals I’ve come to know through Twitter and Facebook: Anna Belfrage and Alison Morton. Both are indieBRAG Medallion honorees (multiple times!) and were such fun. Two of the warmest people I know.

Anna & me
Anna & me
with Alison Morton
me & Alison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-conference blues hit when you have to say goodbye to friends, but I headed north to Rocky Mountain Park to enjoy some time with family and great scenery.

Rocky Mountain National Park

I <3 libraries…

The internet is cool, ya’ know. Information galore on the web. Information overload.

But it’s still a great place to start research for historical fiction. Did you get that? Start research. But give me a library!! I can’t tell you how great it is to actually work at an academic library. Not only do I have 2+ million volumes to peruse, but I have authoritative databases to search that lead to articles on my given topic.

I came home with 4 books from my library on Friday.


I’m looking for a couple of details: the whereabouts of two historical figures (John & Eleanor) during Lent of 1193* when Prince John was in cahoots with King Philip of France to invade England.

All of this for one short story. All of this for a detail I probably won’t even use.  Why? Because I’m just that way.  Happy researching!

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*ignore the 1194 in the Google search; I realized after I’d already created the graphic that it should have been 1193.