For King and Country official launch day!

Congratulations, Char! A day to celebrate! I raise a glass of ale (actually, wine. I would have made a better Norman.)

Charlene Newcomb

king and country_small

Traitors to the crown pit Henry de Grey and his friends against dangerous enemies.

For King and Country

is now available on Amazon in print and for Kindle

Read Chapter One
Read The Review. Comment there for a chance
to win an e-copy of For King and Country.

Let me take you away to life in 12th century England.
Henry de Grey has come home a changed man.


Political intrigue, family loyalties tested, forbidden love
sweeping battles

Enjoy a tale that offers a different look at the origins of Robin Hood.

Find For King and Country on Amazon
sites worldwide.

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About For King and Country

England 1193
Civil war threatens as battle-scarred knight Henry de Grey returns from the Crusades. King Richard languishes in captivity, a prisoner of the Holy Roman Emperor. Traitors…

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Excerpt from For King and Country

Here is the opening to a rousing book…knights in love, battle in England, Count John (AKA bad brother to King Richard) and roots of Robin Hood legend. Congratulations, Char!

Charlene Newcomb

king and country_smallChapter 1

Drums. Dear God, not the drums.

Henry de Grey shuddered and blinked against the mid-afternoon sun. Streaks of light shimmered through the trees like blades of a hundred broadswords. Stephan l’Aigle stirred beside the young knight, but then lay still, like Henry, listening. At the water’s edge, the knights’ horses perked their ears. A distant rumble sounded. Not drums, but wheels grating along the old Roman road on the far side of the River Witham.

“One wagon,” Henry muttered and exhaled sharply.

Stephan brushed Henry’s hand. His fingers lingered on an old battle scar. “Thinking of the war?”

“I am fine.” He smiled, dismissing memories of the Holy Land conjured by the play of light and sounds. “Go back to sleep.”

“Your father expects us. You said we’d not far to go.”

“Not far.” All the while he’d been on crusade Henry dreamed of coming home. He left…

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For King and Country – Giveaway on English Historical Fiction Authors

Such a pleasure to see this novel come together! Congratulations, Char!

Charlene Newcomb

king and country_smallComment on the Giveaway post on English Historical Fiction Authors blog for a chance to win a Kindle or epub version of my upcoming release For King and Country. The giveaway will be open April 18 – 24.

Double your chances by commenting on my earlier announcement!

The story:

England 1193
Civil war threatens as battle-scarred knight Henry de Grey returns from the Crusades. King Richard languishes in captivity, a prisoner of the Holy Roman Emperor. Traitors to the crown pit Henry and his friends against dangerous and unknown enemies.

Loyalties will be tested, families torn apart. Friend or foe? It is hard to tell one from the other.

The king’s brother John and his allies plot to usurp Richard’s throne. With the knights Sir Stephan and Sir Robin, Henry fights for king and country. But he must keep his feelings for Sir Stephan l’Aigle secret. Sure as arrow or…

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Giveaway – Coming May 2 – For King and Country

Fantastic, Char! Congratulations!

Charlene Newcomb

11313088_10102867963460201_8701581433964500015_oPrint proofs have arrived!
There are only a few events in life that are more awesome than seeing your book in print. I could rattle off a number and let you add a dozen of your own. But holding a copy of the book you have spent hours researching, writing, revising, editing, editing, editing, and proofing & more proofing has to be pretty high on the ‘awesome’ list for most writers. (Did I mention editing? And proofing?)

You cannot order your copy yet – these are the print proofs that must go through another round of proofing. I am working on the ebook now – proofing and fixing formatting issues – and 3 readers have received that version as ARCs (advanced review copies).

For King and Country
will be available on May 2 on Amazon

Comment for the Giveaway
To get things rolling, I am  offering a signed paperback copy. Comment here…

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Visiting with author Anna Belfrage and other news

Kudos to our Pen in Hand colleague, Charlene Newcomb!

Charlene Newcomb

sex-lastjudgementthelustful388Anna Belfrage invited me to visit with her last week (on her blog, that is). We talked “Of sodomists, sex, and sin in the Middle Ages – not as clearcut as you think.” We take a look at the Church’s definitions of sexual sins and talk a bit about how we have handled gay characters in our medieval novels. Anna’s new series takes place during the reign of Edward II who was accused of having intimate relationships with his favourites. I reviewed Book I last week.

In other news…

Men of the Cross was reviewed by the Historical Novel Society:

Charlene Newcomb has woven a gripping tale, recounting the crusade without ever [being] boring or laden down with pages of political detail. The five main characters are compelling, believable and likeable. Ms Newcomb does not do gore, which is a blessing for someone who does not particularly enjoy…

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Time Triptych

Here are some poignant pieces by our fellow poet, Steve Pfister.  We hope you enjoy these views of time, our mortal yet fickle companion.

Midnight Butterfly

Wings pressed against blue moon-

Your shadow soars on shifting winds-

Your image floats in starry nights.

But- on a night like this I hate to see you go

Because I know

Soon comes the snow

And frozen wings are far too slow

To bring you back to morning light.

Why can’t we grab the hands of time

And stop the clock forever?

Because I know

Soon comes the snow

And frozen wings are far too slow.

©Pfister 10/12/2015


Distant Ripples

Quiet acts of kindness come as ripples from across the lake-

A mystery that can hide on foggy distant shores

And may stop your heart and mind for a brief moment

In the wonder

Of how each ripple is like the one before

And yet is gently nudging others on

To find the silent energy that moves the surface of the lake.

These ripples make a certain rhythm as they lap against the shore

If you listen closely you can hear the songs that have been written

By those ancient acts of kindness that flow from wave to wave

In search of those waiting for a touch that will hold them tight

And bind them in the distant ripples of the lake.

©Pfister 9/7/2015


Before I Sleep

Drifting on the oceans of my yesterdays,

I wonder why all good journeys must have an end

And why it is so hard to leave a friend

And why sometimes I smile before I sleep.

Light and night embrace for a momentary love affair

As if to teach us how to understand

The secrets of eternity as found within our dreams~

©Pfister 10/14/2015

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A Writer’s Life with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Charlene Newcomb

Great interview with our Pen in Hand colleague, Charlene Newcomb!

Layered Pages

Charlene Newcomb-BRAG

I’d like to welcome back B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Charlene Newcomb to talk with me about her writing. Charlene is the author of Men of the Cross, Book I of Battle Scars. A tale of war’s impact on a young knight serving Richard the Lionheart and of forbidden love, this historical adventure is set during the Third Crusade. Book II, For King and Country, will be published in 2015. Visit Charlene’s website and find her on Facebook at CharleneNewcombAuthor, and on Twitter @charnewcomb.

Why do you write?

Growing up, I was the youngest of three children. With an 11-year age difference between my brother and me, I often was on my own. As early as I can remember I had stories floating around in my head. But it wasn’t until I was well into my 30s that I seriously put pen to paper. Back then, I…

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Traveling Times


We take to the road, sky, sea, and mountains when that old yearning returns.  Every since we were babies, we’ve needed to find out exactly what is on the other side of that door or hidden atop the table.  What is so wonderful that is just out of reach?

Join two of our Pen in Hand Bloggers to see where they have been!

Charlene Newcomb, Colorado and History Novel Society Conference  (Great Swords, Great Stories, and Great View!

Catherine Hedge, St. Augustine, Florida with Epicurean-Traveler

St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine Lighthouse



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Rocky Mountain highs amidst the Historical Novel Society Conference

High Flying Stories and Swords!

Charlene Newcomb

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…

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Pen In Hand

By Catherine Hedge

One of the best aspects of teaching writing is that inspiration flows as much from the students to the teacher as the other way around.  If I challenge the students to do a bit of quick writing and then share, the corollary is that I am supposed to do it, too!

I hope you like this memory they inspired me to write.

*     *     *

The sea wind rushes like a friend to embrace me. It tosses my hair wild. Salty strands catch in the corners of my mouth. Flying sand peppers my hair, my long eyelashes, and grinds between my teeth. Waves crash nearby, sending the sea spray cold against my skin. I shut my eyes tightly and shiver, but I don’t care. I am ten-years-old and perched on my favorite rock at Trinidad Beach in Humboldt County, California. From here, I feel the whole world…

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