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What's next for the Hood
Greeting, reader friends!
My official launch promotion for Rogue wrapped up a few weeks ago with visits to three writers' blogs:
The official launch for Rogue may be over, but in December (date TBD), the North Shore Writers Group is planning a book signing event at the Giddy Up Coffee House in Folsom, Louisiana. I'll have print copies of Rogue, Men of the Cross, and Echoes of the Storm available for purchase. I'll provide details of the event in a future newsletter.
I am settling back into life in Louisiana, and I'll try not to complain about the humidity. Fall and winter are coming, right?
Last year was pleasant here if I recall - except that I used space heaters to heat my house on cold winter days. Yes, it does get cold in Louisiana! But hopefully I'll have a new furnace by December.
Other than the humidity, this is a beautiful area where I am surrounded by trees and countryside. The image above isn't Louisiana, but is Sherwood Forest's Major Oak, which is a nice segue to...
What is Next for The Hood?
I promised an update on the work-in-process. Rogues and Kings is my working title. The opening chapter is set in Sherwood Forest and one or more of the Hood gang will be in Lincoln, so I've pulled out my notes on that location. I continue to explore the events of the First Barons' War during the - ahem, slight spoiler - last few weeks of King John's life.
I'm still flying by the seat of my pants on Robin and the Hood's adventures - those middle 90,000+ words of the book - but I will tell you Robin's youngest son Richard will be a main character.
Scroll to the bottom of this email to see an excerpt from my upcoming short story featuring Robin around the time of King Richard's death in 1199. "A King's Man No More," in the anthology Exile, is being published in November by Taw River Press.
If you're a fan of historical fantasy fiction, check out Search for the Golden Serpent. It's currently on offer for $.99.
Search for the Golden Serpent
by Luciana Cavallaro
An action-packed adventure story catapulting a reluctant hero from one dangerous encounter to another.
Evan has been having some very strange dreams.
The Perth-based architect dismissed an unexpected phone call from an entrepreneur in Greece, asking him to restore his family home, as the ravings of a crank. Until, that is, the dreams begin, each more vivid than the last. A dream encounter with a mysterious character called Zeus sees him catapulted back in time to 500 years before the birth of Christ.
Evan finds himself quickly embroiled in a plot to prevent the birth of Christianity, an unwilling player in an epic struggle between the old gods and the new, fighting for his life.
About the Author
Luciana Cavallaro’s alter ego is a high school teacher where she plugs away educating teenagers the merits of reading and ancient history. When not in the classroom, she is a historical fantasy and thriller/suspense author, who creates fast-paced, action packed series for her readers. Born and raised in Western Australia, she currently resides in Perth. Find her online at https://lucianacavallaro.me/
Times of Turmoil
by Anna Belfrage
It is 1718 and Duncan Melville and his time traveller wife, Erin, are concentrating on building a peaceful existence for themselves and their twin daughters. Difficult to do, when they are beleaguered by enemies.
Erin Melville is not about to stand to the side and watch as a child is abused—which is how she makes deadly enemies of Hyland Nelson and his family.
Then there’s that ghost from their past, Armand Joseph Chardon, a person they were certain was dead. Apparently not. Monsieur Chardon wants revenge and his sons are tasked with making Duncan—and his wife—pay.
Things aren’t helped by the arrival of Duncan’s cousin, fleeing her abusive husband. Or the reappearance of Nicholas Farrell in their lives, as much of a warped bully now as he was when he almost beat Duncan to death years ago. Plus, their safety is constantly threatened as Erin is a woman of colour in a time and place where that could mean ostracism, enslavement or even death.
Will Duncan and Erin ever achieve their simple wish – to live and love free from fear of those who wish to destroy them?
Some articles you might enjoy...
Medieval Mythbusting: Nottingham's Oldest Pub
by James Wright
Despite the evidence presented by buildings archaeologist Wright, I'll still use You Olde Trip to Jerusalem as a drinking and gathering place for my characters in the 12th and 13th centuries! :)
Anglo-Saxon Women with Attitude
by Annie Whitehead
Annie tells us about several fascinating and feisty women from Anglo-Saxon England. Their stories are incredible.
“A King’s Man No More” - an excerpt
I rode out taking one last look at the keep. “Goodbye, Nottingham. May our paths never cross again.”
Dark clouds loosed a torrent of rain as I crossed the open fields north of town. I pulled my woolen hood over my head and my cloak closer to ward off the stinging cold deluge.
I did not know how or when, but I would see Allan again. I admired him for choosing to stay in Nottingham, but I had tired of saying goodbye and someday to Marian. The thought of falling asleep with her in my arms sent ripples of pleasure down my spine. We would have a life at Castle l’Aigle, even if we must forever hold the secret of our family there.
Unplowed fields gave way to Sherwood Forest. I slowed Fer to a trot, wary of roots and ruts on the road. Birch and oak rose like an army around me. Bracken and evergreens carpeted the forest floor.
Allan’s gang had eyes on the road for riders traveling alone like me no matter the weather. At close inspection, an outlaw might believe my purse was heavy with coin.
The rain dwindled to a drizzle. The clop-clop of Fer’s hooves on fallen leaves and the song of woodlarks filled me with a peace I had not felt since learning of the king’s lethal wound. Rest his soul.
Bushes half up a hill rustled, but not from a breeze. The outlaws were here. Watching. I reached for my wineskin, lifted it to them and then uncorked it to take a swallow. Would Allan’s men know me?
I saw the archer from the corner of my eye. Then two more in plain sight, and a fourth man brandished a sword in the road ahead of me. Every one of them, including a boy who looked no older than fifteen summers, dressed in brown from head to toe. All but the boy were broad through the chest from years plying their skills with bow.
I reined in, both hands held high to show I wasn’t reaching for my blade.
“We’ll have your coin, friend.” The sword-brandishing outlaw was brash and confident.
I nodded, tossing my hood back and slowly resting my hands on the pommel of my saddle. “True on both counts.”
That drew a frown, and I noticed the other men blink, confounded by my response.
I locked eyes with the outlaw, certain I could be as bold as him. I’d been accused of it, teased about it, often enough through the years by friends and foes. “I’ve just left our friend Allan packing his goods at the castle.”
I’d have missed the slight tilt of the outlaw’s head had I not been watching him.
Three more men with bows appeared at the edge of the road. I didn’t recognize any of them but Allan trusted them, and so must I—at least to a point.
“I had a token engraved with a hooded falcon—do you know that sign?” Years earlier, we used the wooden token to signal friend. My mind on family, I’d forgotten to ask Allan if carrying that would give me safe passage through Sherwood. At least I knew the Hood gang wasn’t in the habit of murdering travelers. “Or mayhap Allan exchanged it for another?”
The outlaw took a step towards me, his face no less stern. “He’s packing you say?”
“King Richard was mortally wounded in Aquitaine. John, who will be king, has no kind thoughts of Allan or me.” I brushed raindrops from my cloak. “I am—was—Robin du Louviers, and would ask you to forget my name.”
My journey to York was only for me and my closest friends to know and I’d tell them no more. The old Robin must disappear. For Marian and my children—it was the only way to keep them safe.
With a shrewd smile, the man eyed me. “King Richard’s man. Tales of your exploits are near legend.”
There were past times I would revel in that, but I cringed. I did not need my name waved over John’s head.
The outlaw signaled one of his archers forward. I gave his gang a quick look. They stood firm, arrows trained from my head to hip. Did they believe me?
Exchanging his sword for the archer’s bow, the outlaw nocked it and drew back the string. His men relaxed, some even grinned. “Prove you are who you say.” He loosed the arrow, his shot penetrating an oak a hundred feet away.
The archer offered me an arrow. I shrugged, and then slid from the saddle. The outlaw handed over the bow. I tested the string, nocked and let fly. The arrow hissed through the air. And missed!
The outlaws raised their bows again.
“Well.” I shook my head. “That doesn’t happen very often.” Rather than give back the bow, I extended my hand for a second arrow. I wasn’t about to offer any excuses. “May I?”
The archer graciously pulled one from his quiver and passed it to me with a sly grin.
Nock, loose. Before the arrow struck a tree three times the distance from the first, I’d reached for a third arrow. Eyes wide, the outlaws gaped and then cheered as my shot split the second.
* * *
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt. Exile, an anthology featuring short stories from thirteen historical fiction authors, will be published in November.
I hope you have a great October. Happy reading!
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