Kindle Countdown Deal – Men of the Cross

21878750 Just a friendly reminder that Men of the Cross is on sale all this week for Kindle (Amazon US & UK). The sale will end on Sunday, so now is your chance to indulge yourself and curl up with a book that Professor Andrew Latham, author of The Holy Lance, calls “a vivid picture of the Third Crusade . . . filled with excitement, passion, and plenty of action.” Christopher Monk, aka The Anglo Saxon Monk, describes it as “Trauma and passion in a battle of bodies and souls.” C’mon, you know you want to read it!

Sweeping battles, forbidden love, and 2 knights
fighting for Richard the Lionheart
A 2014 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree and Readers’ Favorite
Buy the book: Amazon

And don’t forget – the Big Gay Fiction Giveaway (#BGFG) is ongoing through the end of the day Sunday, too. Choose from 80+ authors writing m/m fiction in multiple genres: historical fiction (like mine), literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and more.

Free books, short stories, and sample chapters are just a click away.

Yes, free! Opt into an author’s mailing list and you can download something new to read just in time for the long holiday weekend. So many freebies in just one place.

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Charlene Newcomb is currently working on Book III of her Battle Scars series, 12th century historical adventures filled with war, political intrigue, and a knightly romance of forbidden love set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart. There will be more to come, so sign up for Char’s Newsletter. It will be used – sparingly – to offer exclusive content and and to let you be the first to know about special offers.

History comes alive – this week on #EHFA – May 7

ehfaMay7

Read EHFA this week!

Medieval war and the common people.
And three kings:
the early years of the Merry Monarch,
the king who returns to England to secure his kingdom,
and the king who is crowned without the usual celebrations.

The Doubtful Triumph of James VI and I, May 7th 1603
By Mark Patton

The Battle before the Battle
by Barbara Gaskell Denvil

Richard the Lionheart and the Siege of Nottingham, 1194
by Charlene Newcomb

Charles Stuart, Prince of Wales
By Cryssa Bazos

And from the EHFA Archives

Godiva: Her Literary Legend
by Octavia Randolph

19th Century Artist in London Residence James McNeil Whistler and visiting friends from across the water
by Michelle Shine

feeling war through a character’s eyes

Let me take you to Outremer with the knights of Richard the Lionheart…

ignore the enemyThe term PTSD  – post-traumatic stress syndrome – was given its name in the 1970s during the Vietnam conflict. Shakespeare has a scene in Henry IV, Part 2¹ (written in 1597) that describes it, though generations have ignored or glossed over it for hundreds of years. During World War I, it was called “shell shock.” While PTSD is commonly associated with the effects of war, any traumatic event can trigger it.

War is a central theme in my novel. War leaves its scars on young Henry de Grey. Henry’s idealism about the mission to take Jerusalem back from Saladin and his naiveté about war fade as he sees brutal acts done in God’s name.

“Midst war atrocity and soldier camaraderie, [the knights] force themselves to question their own stolid values and their relationships. Their life and lifestyle decisions are as hard fought as those of the battlefield. The scars of war cause them to rethink everything about their lives – except loyalty to their King.”
(from a review by Mark Rogers, Fiction House Publishing)

I had to put myself there. See what Henry saw. Feel what he felt. I also had to see Henry through Stephan l’Aigle’s eyes:

[Stephan] had walked through battlefields where men lay sprawled, eyes blank, staring at the sky with lance, bow, or sword at their sides. He’d never really seen those men, never felt their deaths or thought twice of the carnage until he’d met Henry and felt Henry’s pain.

Can a writer who has never been in the thick of battle even come close to imagining what it must be like? The words did not come easily, but I hope you will find that I captured the fear, the exhilaration, and the horrors or war in Men of the Cross.

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¹Thank you to Sharon Kay Penman for mentioning the Shakespeare reference in one of her own blog posts.

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Men of the Cross is available in print and for Kindle on Amazon & Amazon (UK) and other Amazon sites worldwide, for Nook via Barnes & Noble, and via Smashwords in multiple formats.