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Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Kingdom of Mercia - three kings, three love stories

During the 7th Century, three kingdoms vied for dominance in Britannia: East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria.

The Kingdom of the East Angles was dominant at the beginning of the century, followed by the Kingdom of Mercia. After that, the Kingdom of Northumbria rose into power, bringing this fascinating century to a close.

The KINGDOM OF MERCIA series follows the reigns of three Mercian kings: Penda and his two sons, Paeda and Wulfhere. It's a three book series (which can be read as stand-alone novels), spanning 17 years (641-658 AD).

Penda of Mercia - my favorite villain

The Kingdom of Mercia became a dominant power due to the efforts of one man: King Penda of Mercia.

He ruled from around 626 until his death in 656 AD. No one had heard of Mercia until Penda took the throne but that was soon to change. Not content to live within his borders, he began campaigns against his neighbours shortly after becoming king.  Northumbria, East Anglia, Wessex and Gwynedd - none of them escaped him. He was also Britain's last resolutely pagan king.

Penda appears in four of my novels (Nightfall till Daybreak, The Deepening Night, The Breaking Dawn, and Darkest before Dawn). A ruthless, cold man who will do anything for power - he never fails to steal any scene he appears in. His only saving grace is the love he bears his wife, Cyneswide. No one except her sees his softer side - not his sister, his daughters, nor sons.

Penda made a complex, fascinating villain and I was sad to finally see him go in Darkest before Dawn (Book #2 of The Kingdom of Mercia).

The series in a nutshell

The Breaking Dawn is Book #1 in the series. This is the story of Merwenna, a Mercian village-girl, and Prince Cynddylan of Wales. It follows the burgeoning love between a man and woman from different worlds, set against the backdrop of the Battle of Maes Cogwy in 641 AD - which saw Powys (Wales) and Mercia unite against Northumbria.

Darkest before Dawn is Book #2 in the series. It starts in 655 AD, a year before the Battle of Winwaed, in which Northumbria defeated Mercia. It's the tale of Alchflaed, a Northumbrian princess, and Maric, a Mercian warrior. Duty and deception separates them. Alchflaed's father has given her a terrible choice: if she wants to choose her own path, she must marry the son of his bitterest enemy - and then murder him.

Dawn of Wolves is Book #3 in the series (and a Kindle Scout Winner). This is the story of Ermenilda and Wulfhere. She's a Kentish princess determined to take the veil. He's an exiled Mercian prince. She wants to live out her days as a nun, in peace and solitude. But he wants her for his wife - at any price.

Special promotion: get Book #1 in THE KINGDOM OF MERCIA series for just 99c!

To celebrate the completion of the series - and the upcoming release of Dawn of Wolves (Aug, 23 2016) - the novel that starts the series, The Breaking Dawn, will be discounted to 99c (from $2.99) for 6 days only - from 18-23 August 2016.

Not only do you get a full-length novel but the prequel novella to the series, Night Shadows, is also included in the Kindle Edition - a really good deal!

Get your 99c Kindle copy of The Breaking Dawn from Amazon! (Note: Kindle Countdown deals are only available to Amazon US and UK customers)

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