Robin Hood and the Castle of Bones – coming soon!

I have finished the first draft of my tenth Outlaw Chronicles novel. I still have to edit it thoroughly, arrange for a cover to be designed, write some cover blurb, self-publish it on Amazon, and market it, but still . . . Hooray!

I love this part of the writing cycle. It’s not the end of the process by a long chalk, and I have no idea whether people will like the book or not. Maybe they are sick of my Robin Hood yarns. I won’t find out till I publish the novel as an eBook and in paperback form in a couple of weeks’ time (probably around 15 October 2020). But this milestone feels really good!

I thought I would take a moment and tell you what Robin Hood and the Castle of Bones is about, and maybe try to whet your literary appetites.

It takes place in the Burgundy region in 1192, which was then divided into two parts. On the west side of the River Saone was the Duchy of Burgundy, sort-of French speaking, usually allied with the Kingdom of France to the north; on the eastern side was the County of Burgundy, which was part of the Holy Roman Empire and the locals spoke a Germanic dialect. The County – or the Free County as it was also called – is the Franche Comté in modern France. You can see the linguistic divide on the map below . . .

The Duchy of Burgundy is roughly where the triangle labelled Franco-Provençal is, and the dotted line on the right is the River Saone. East of the dotted line (river) is the Free County. Here is another map (a screen grab) from the 14th century which shows the two Burgundies a bit more clearly.

Anyway, in The Castle of Bones, Robin Hood and Alan Dale are captured in the Duchy and taken over to the County – a rival statelet – and this is where the adventure begins. I don’t want to give away too many SPOILERS but Robin is up to his old tricks, lying, scheming, plotting, trying to advance the cause of King Richard, his overlord, and hoping to keep hold of the hoard of treasure he grabbed in Robin Hood and the Caliph’s Gold, which is the previous book. The Castle of Bones starts a few months after the events in The Caliph’s Gold, and I think of them as a pair of novels that go together.

So while Robin is scheming and playing high politics, Alan Dale goes off on a lone quest to rescue a damsel in distress. They both tangle with some pretty unsavoury characters, there is a love story, a hint of supernatural business with faeries in the wild woods and, of course, plenty of bloody action. I think it’s good, and if you are a fan of the series, you will enjoy it.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot here but I hope you’ll buy it from Amazon when it comes out in mid-October. But you can’t order it yet. However, if you haven’t read The Caliph’s Gold yet, you can get a copy here.

In other news, my final (probably) novel in the Holcroft Blood series is coming out in paperback on October 1st. You can buy Blood’s Campaign here. And my new Viking series (Fire Born) kicks off with The Last Berserker in February 2021. I’ll keep you posted about news of that one – which I guarantee is a real, rollicking rip-snorter of a blood-and-guts saga.

That’s all for now. Have an absolutely spiffing weekend!

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