THE AGE OF ARTHUR, PART THIRTEEN: ARTHUR’S NORTHERN CAMPAIGN

The following is a reblog of THE AGE OF ARTHUR, PART THIRTEEN: ARTHUR’S NORTHERN CAMPAIGN by Barry C. Jacobsen on one of the fascinating blogs on historical warfare. It is fascinating how history and legend blend King Arthur.

The Deadliest Blogger: Military History Page

Unique among the territories of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, Britain succeeded in holding back and even reversing the tide of Germanic conquest for nearly two centuries. This was an age of heroes… It was the Age of Arthur!

This is the Thirteenth-part of our discussion of Britain in the so-called Age of Arthur: the 5th though the mid-6th Century A.D. It is a fascinating period, with the Classical civilization of Greece and Rome giving way to the Germanic “Dark Ages”. It was the sunset of Celtic-Roman culture in Britain; it was the Age of Arthur!

(Read Part Twelve here. Or start from the beginning, with Part One!)

ARTHUR’S NORTHERN CAMPAIGN

In the last few parts of our discussion we have attempted to create a hypothetical reconstruction of Arthur’s rise to power. In part we have based our hypothesis upon clues found in the narrative…

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The Arthurian Realm: The Madness of Merlin

This is a reblog of the JUNE 19, 2019 article entitled, “The Arthurian Realm: The Madness of Merlin,” by ZTEVETEVANS at his website UNDER THE INFLUENCE. This is a fantastic website on myths, legends, and folklore around the world. The post is based on “Vita Merlini,” written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century. It tells the story of Merlin after the Battle of Camlann where he ruled over South Wales, had a wife named Guendoloena and a sister named Ganieda. Unlike many Arthurian stories, instead of glorifying war, it tells of the horrifying effect of war trauma on the individual and their families even one as famous and powerful as Merlin.

Under the influence!

Artist: William Blake – Public Domain – Source

This was first published as a two part article titled, British Legends: The Madness of Merlin (Part 1), on #FolkloreThursday.com, 24th, January, 2019, and British Legends: The Madness of Merlin (Part 2) on 31st January, 2019 by zteve t evans. Here it is published as one piece and the ending is different.

The Vita Merlini

The Vita Merlini, written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century, tells the story of Merlin after the Battle of Camlann where he ruled over South Wales, had a wife named Guendoloena and a sister named Ganieda. Unlike many Arthurian stories, instead of glorifying war, it tells of the horrifying effect of war trauma on the individual and their families even one as famous and powerful as Merlin. The work was originally written in Latin and presented here is a retelling of…

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Upcoming Events NY Book Expo America and Denver Pop Culture

Upcoming Events and Awards

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be signing my books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series at the following events this week: 1) Book Expo America in New York City and 2) Denver Pop Culture. If you plan to attend these events, please drop by and say hi.

Book Expo America in New York City

My first event this week is the Book Expo America (BEA) at the Javitz Center in New York City on May 29 through May 30. Book Expo is where authors, booksellers, distributors, librarians, literary agents, publishers and more unite to build relationships, learn ways to bolster books, and to understand today’s shifting marketplace. The event focuses on the global publishing industry and celebrates storytelling in all its forms.

While there, I’ll be signing free copies of my latest book, Dagger’s Destiny, at Booth 1003 (Ingram Pavillion) from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29th.  Book supplies will be limited. I’ll be available to speak with book buyers, librarians, the press, and readers at the booth. Drop by and say hi.

For more information about the event, click Book Expo America.

Denver Pop Culture

My next event this week is the 2019 Denver Pop Culture Con at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver at 700 14th Street on May 30 – June 2. This is a 3-day, family-friendly pop culture fan extravaganza, featuring the best in pop culture entertainment. Denver Pop Culture Con is a program of the Colorado nonprofit Pop Culture Classroom, whose mission is to inspire a love of learning, to increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through pop culture education. The proceeds from this annual event benefit Pop Culture Classroom’s overall educational endeavors.

Come and meet Colorado authors from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, including myself. You can get my signed books of Book 1: Apollo’s Raven and Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings at a discount. I’ll be at Table 19 along with authors Brenda Hardwick and Dacia Arnold.

Location:
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street
Denver, CO

Hours:
Friday, May 30 – Sunday, June 2
Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm

For more information about the event, click Pop Culture Denver

Book Awards Dagger’s Destiny

I’m honored to announce that Book 2 of the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series, Dagger’s Destiny, has won the following awards in both the genres of historical fiction and fantasy.

Dagger’s Destiny sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. The story of Catrin, daughter of King Amren, and King Amren’s sworn enemy Marcellus, who through a wicked twist of fate has become Catrin’s lover. Catrin must prove her loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending her kingdom—even if it could ultimately mean her death.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best Wishes,
Linnea Tanner

Author Interview TH Leatherman

TH Leatherman, Author, Science Fiction

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce TH Leatherman, author of the Burning Son series. I met TH at the 2018 Comic Con in Denver. He described the characters in his science fiction series as space pirates, which immediately drew my attention. He also showed me a picture of his cat that had vampire-like fangs. Intrigued, I read and reviewed his first book, The Burning Son, in his series which reminded me of the author—lots of kinetic energy and engaging.

Below is TH Leatherman’s biography, author interview, and contact information. Click on the book covers below for a direct purchase link to Amazon.

Biography

TH Leatherman is an author from Firestone, Colorado. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, winemaking, and the Rocky Mountain lifestyle. When not busy writing his next book, he can be found hiking with his wife and two sons or walking his rescued dogs. He worked as a stock broker for twenty years before he started writing full time. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis University with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Psychology. He has released four books, The Burning Son, Marque of the Son, Son Rise, and The Son Set (an omnibus edition of the first three books).

For more information, visit his website

Author Interview

Would you provide an overview of the books you’ve published in The Burning Son series?

The Burning Son – is about Mark losing everything, and has to leave his father behind. Mark is forced to start life over as part of a smuggler’s crew. A lot of the book has to do with him trying to find his place in that crew.

The Burning Son Book Cover

 

Marque of the Son – is about Mark building his new life. He starts the book on a foreign world with no ship and half a crew. His driving goal continues to be finding his father. That goal seems a long way off.

Marque of the Son Book Cover

Son Rise – Mark has a ship and crew, but his one safety net, the pirate port, is taken away from him. Worse, everyone that should be allies are fighting with each other. Mark must pull it all together and get all his allies moving in the same direction.

Son Rise Book Cover

Son Set – is an omnibus edition. Books 1-3 under one cover.

Son Set Books 1-3 Under One Cover


What inspired you to write the space pirate odyssey, The Burning Son?

I had been working and reworking the same novel for ten years: Cat’s Tale. I couldn’t get it quite right. It continues to be a work in progress. Frustrated, I pushed it aside and began a new project. I wanted something that felt like the action adventures of Clive Cussler married with a Star Wars like space opera. That grew into The Burning Son.

Are there any characters or sub-plots in The Burning Son that have modern-day parallels? Explain how. 

Like many sci-fi authors before me, I use fiction to address social problems we face today. I touch on a wide variety of issues important to me, but the biggest one in The Burning Son is religious extremism. The Erethizon are on a mission to unite the galaxy under their Theocracy. Most of the galaxy views them as religious fanatics, which the Erethizon encourage. If everyone focuses on the maniac in the middle of the room, no one will see the manipulation going on in the behind the scenes. Some of my readers mistakenly think that I’m anti-religion, but that isn’t the case. I only have a problem with people forcing their beliefs on others. Another big issue is artificial intelligence. What will it look like when it becomes a reality? Will it be a tool we control, or will it control us? What if it could rationalize or moralize?

Is there any sub-character in The Burning Son who is your favorite? Explain why.

Um, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid. Do I have characters I enjoy writing more than others, again I love them all. I love Racy’s big heart, War ‘n Pace’s mischievousness, Nephie’s awe and wonder as she explores who she is becoming, and Sophie’s sarcastic wit. There was one surprise, however. As I was writing The Burning Son, I decided I wanted more than just science to exist in this universe. I wanted some mysticism. So, I wrote in Pythia. OMG. What started out as an add-on character just took off. I think more than any other secondary character, she is the one that has grown the most throughout the series. My readers know that sometimes characters die. It’s war, and in war, bad things happen to good people. I receive more “you absolutely can’t kill Pithy!” emails than for any other character.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Every day! I never know what insult is going to fly out of Sophie’s mouth, what creative cussing Ike will come up with, or what crazy stunt Racy is about to pull. That’s part of the fun of writing these characters. To me, they are the imaginary friends that live in my home office with me. They make me laugh, they make me cry, and I want my readers to live in their world, if only for a brief while.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

As a writer, you come to expect a bad review from time to time. You develop a thick skin. You hope everyone who reads your work falls in love with the story as much as you have, but that’s just not the case. The longer you write, you learn what your strengths are and what you can improve upon. Every once in a while, you’ll run across haters who will say mean things, just to be mean. One time a reader berated the alien races I had created for The Burning Son. I put a lot into each race’s ideals, goals, mannerisms, language, societal norms, politics, food, and how each race’s biology and homeworld environment, plays into that. That one left me scratching my head.

Then there are the awesome surprises. Having been part of the writing community for the past twelve years, I’ve made several friends who are also writers. Whenever one of them writes a review for one of my books, I get butterflies. These are the people I most admire and respect. For them to tell me, in a public forum, how much they enjoyed reading my story, there’s nothing else like it.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

Marketing. Like most writers, I struggle to reach new readers. You know that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there that would fall in love with your work, if only you can get in front of them. I know that if I can get most sci-fi readers to read the first three pages of my book, they’ll continue reading. It’s just getting in front of people and getting them to invest that first five minutes, that’s the struggle.

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a wine snob. I love fine wines. I make wine and mead for fun. There was a time before I became a published author that I thought I would open a winery. I went so far as to start an LLC and still have two winery business plans on file.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Having breakfast or dinner on the porch with my wife Stephanie. She’s the most awesome person I ever met, and I’m the luckiest man alive because she’s my best friend and I’m married to her.

You can contact TH Leatherman and learn more about his books at:

Amazon Author Page

Website/Blog

Twitter

Patreon with exclusive stories

Facebook

Utube

 

Book Review The Burning Son by TH Leatherman

The Burning SonThe Burning Son by T.H. Leatherman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fasten your seatbelts for the action-packed space odyssey, “The Burning Sun,” by T. H. Leatherman. The story starts in breakneck speed over Yale’s night sky where navigator Mark Martin witnesses the Erethizon forces (known as the “procu-bears”) ambushing his home settlement. Mark helps his sister, Sophie escape, but he can’t save his senatorial father who’s been captured by the enemy. To flee their desperate situation, the brother-sister team hooks up with a female captain in need of a medic and navigator on her pirate spaceship called the Leonard Fox. And with an “aye, arrr,” they burst through the enemy blockade. Escaping danger, at least for the moment, Sarah and Mark become acquainted with the motley crew, including the foxlike Muscats who oversee the engineering bay. To his dismay, Mark learns his homeland’s republic has been transformed into a monarchy under the control of the Erethizons. He is determined to find a way to free his father and his home planet, but he faces threats from unknown forces lurking among the crew. The twists are unexpected in this riveting odyssey, and the ending will make you hunger for the next adventure in the series.

Author Leatherman’s space odyssey is told from first person point of view of Mark Martin. The story effectively captures the humor in his voice to make this a fun read. The story is fast-pace and the dialogue is snappy. The narrative is lean but adequately describes the characters and the interstellar worlds. The competing races of the humans (the Terran Confederation), the engineering-minded Muscat, and the amphibian, psychic Dru are unique and intriguing. They must join forces to defeat the Erethizon, whose crusade is to seize control over every world and to spread their fanatical religious beliefs. Action dominates the beginning of the story. It is not until later that I feel grounded in the interstellar worlds and can fully understand the stakes.

“The Burning Sun” is recommended for science fictions readers who love their tales fast-paced and full of action. The additional bonus of a spaceship full of quirky characters makes this book a fun and entertaining read.

View all my reviews

Author Interview Eric Schumacher

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce Eric Schumacher, author of the Hakon’s Saga. I became acquainted with Eric’s work when I voluntarily reviewed War King, Hakon’s Saga Book 3 for the Historical Novel Society.What makes Eric’s tale rise above others in this genre is his skill in vividly capturing the Viking culture, engaging the reader with the characterization of King Hakon Haroldsson, and showing the battle scenes and tactics with clarity.

Below is Eric Schumacher’s biography, author interview, and contact information. Click on the book covers below for a direct link to Amazon. Also check out his website and learn more about him as an author and his passion for Viking lore.

Eric Schumacher, Author, Hakon’s Saga

Biography

Eric Schumacher (1968 – ) is an American historical novelist who currently resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife and two children. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended college at the University of San Diego.

At a very early age, Schumacher discovered his love for writing and medieval European history, as well as authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Those discoveries continue to fuel his imagination and influence the stories he tells. His first novel, God’s Hammer, was published in 2005. His latest, War King, released in October of 2018.

For more information, visit his website: www.ericschumacher.net

Author Interview

Would you provide an overview of the books you’ve published about the Vikings in the Hakon’s Saga?

All of the books tell the story of Hakon Haraldsson, who is also known in the Norse sagas as Hakon the Good. He is the youngest son and bastard child of one of Viking Age Norway’s greatest kings, Harald Fairhair. Hakon eventually wins the throne of Norway for himself and rules the kingdom for decades. I have taken what little we know about this fascinating figure and woven it into what I hope is a rousing story of warfare, religious strife, and tested friendships.

Book 1 God’s Hammer by Eric Schumacher

Book 1: God’s Hammer

What inspired you to write about the legendary King Hakon Haraldsson in the series?

Actually, Hakon is far from legendary in modern times, and is often overshadowed by many of his contemporaries, such as Gorm the Old, Harald Fairhair, and Erik Bloodaxe. Yet his deeds are no less heroic than those others. He is, in many ways, an unsung hero, which is part of my fascination with him.

While we don’t know all of the facts of Hakon’s life, we do know that even if marginally true, Hakon’s story is not only incredible, but it takes many of the norms of Viking literature and turns them on their head. In many ways, Hakon is the anti-Viking. Rather than the Beowulf-like champion we think of when we think of a challenger to the throne of Norway, Hakon is young, inexperienced and reliant on his counselors, at least at first. He’s also a Christian in a “heathen” land. I wanted to understand how he could have risen to the High Seat of the North with so many cards stacked against him, which is why I chose to write about him in this trilogy.

Book 2 Raven’s Feast by Eric Schumacher

Book 2: Raven’s Feast

One of the most interesting aspects in Book 3: War King is Hakon Haraldsson is a Christian, but he leads Viking warriors who still hold pagan beliefs? Is there historical evidence that Hakon was a Christian and how did religious differences impact the history of the Vikings?   

The specifics of Hakon’s story are clouded by time and a lack of contemporary written sources. We know only from the sagas that Hakon was raised as a Christian in the Wessex court of Athelstan, and that when he returned to Norway, he continued to practice Christianity and shun Norse religious practices, such as sacrifices. We also know from the sagas that he invited Christian clergy to erect churches and preach in his realm, though many of the churches were burned and many of the clergy murdered. Hakon’s staunch beliefs led to strife with the men who helped him win the throne, most notably Sigurd, the earl (or jarl) of Lade. We have no reason to believe that these things were untrue, since similar missions and conversions were happening elsewhere in the Scandinavian realms in roughly the same time period. What is unclear is whether Hakon converted back to the Norse religion later in life or whether he died a Christian.

The second part of your question is difficult to answer. Some say that the Viking’s initial attack on Lindisfarne was religiously motivated, and that this is what began the Viking Age. Which would mean that the Viking Age might never have occurred if we hadn’t seen the clash of two religions. I have not seen any hard evidence to support that theory. There is stronger evidence, however, to suggest that the spread of a new religion into Scandinavia caused strife. Hakon’s religious convictions led to turmoil with his jarls, and, if the sources are accurate, almost led to warfare. In Denmark, Harald Bluetooth’s conversion helped broker peace between his realm and the Christian Saxons to his south. Had he not converted, we might have seen a more protracted war between the Danes and Saxons, and possibly a different border emerge. I could point to other instances, too, but that might get too lengthy for this answer. I would put forth, though, that the spread of Christianity and eventual conversion of the Scandinavian people did not bring about peace during the Viking Age. Converted Scandinavian kings still went a-viking or attacked other kingdoms, just as Christians fought Christians in other parts of Europe. It was a violent time.

Book 3 War King by Eric Schumacher

How much research was involved in writing your books? How did you go ABOUT researching the history, myths, language, and culture of the Vikings in the 10th Century?

The short answer is, a lot! With my first book, God’s Hammer, I spent five years researching. I read older works, such as the sagas, the Poetic Edda, Gesta Danorum, and Beowulf, but also many contemporary books about the Vikings. These were invaluable resources for piecing together things like possible events, chronologies, agricultural methods, living conditions, etc. Where many of them fell short, though, was in capturing the mindset of men and women who lived at that time because we simply don’t know. What did Scandinavians know about the events in others lands? What did they truly feel about other religions and people?  Those are the subjects I continue to research in order to get into the minds and thoughts of my characters.

Is there any sub-character in the Hakon’s Saga series who is your favorite? Explain why.

I love several, but two are my favorite to write, both of them mentors in their own unique way to Hakon. Sigurd, the jarl of Lade, is larger than life, loud, a tad unruly and uncouth, yet shrewd, capable, and not afraid to go against his king if he thinks he can profit from it. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Egil Woolsark, a man of war and honor and duty who knows battle and lives for the fight. He is dedicated to his king yet not afraid to knock him upset the head if he thinks it’s deserved. They are both fun characters to bring to life.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

While writing the first book, God’s Hammer, it happened more often, probably because I was still developing my characters and learning about them. I welcomed it, in truth, because it was such a fun surprise. The exercise of letting them do that taught me more about them and helped me hone them so that in subsequent scenes, it happened less often.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

It takes courage to put your creative work out into the wild for others to read and hopefully enjoy, but also to pick apart. You think you have written something worth reading, but it still surprises me to get praises from other writers I respect. I did receive one review that said, “author didn’t do adequate research into the era.” That one made me laugh! 🙂

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

Respect yourself. Respect the earth. Respect others.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Our children.

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

Mutual respect. Trust. Understanding.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

Time travel, without a doubt (so long as I don’t have to stand in a shield wall).

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

I have epilepsy. I was diagnosed when I was 18.

What makes you laugh?

My daughter just sat next to me and answered this question for me. She said “You’re looking at her,” and I laughed.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Rubbing my dog’s belly.


You can contact Eric Schumacher and learn more about his books at:

Amazon Author Page

Website/Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

 

Book Review War King by Eric Schumacher

War King (Hakon's Saga, #3)War King by Eric Schumacher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hakon’s Saga Book 3, War King, is a riveting Norse historical action adventure set in 957 AD. The saga continues for King Hakon Haroldsson, who wrested Norway’s throne from his murderous brother, Erik Bloodaxe, but mercifully spared Erik’s family. This is a mistake Hakon regrets later when he must face the sons of Erik, who are bent on avenging the wrong done to their father and family. Erik’s sons ally with the Danish king, Harold Bluetooth, and wreak havoc on the region with their brutal raids and plunder. The book is divided into three parts in which Hakon must defend his realm against all odds in three major military campaigns. He uses sound strategy and battle tactics to overcome his enemies. But, as a Christian king, he begins to question if the bloodlust to defend his realm has only resulted in fear and sorrow for his people and those he loves.

Author Eric Schumacher masterfully tells the story from the point of view of King Hakon, an engaging character who demonstrates strength, loyalty, and self-reflection. What makes this tale rise above others in this genre is the author’s skill in vividly capturing the Viking culture. Through graphic detail, readers are immersed in the chaos of fighting, but the battle scenes and tactics are presented with clarity. The saga not only captures the excitement of battle but is also character-driven. Extra bonuses in the book include regional maps and a glossary of Viking terms which are used in the narrative.

War King immediately draws and keeps readers immersed in the legendary tale of King Hakon through rich details of the Viking culture, landscape, and clashes. Highly recommended for those seeking Viking adventure.

I voluntarily reviewed this book for the Historical Novel Society, and the review is also posted in the Historical Newsletter HNR Issue 88 (May 2019).

View all my reviews