Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for 'Snippet Sunday' every week and guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Cairns Of Sainctuarie - Book Blast Tour and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Cairns of Sanctuarie: Volume I - The Bleikovat Event

Among the close-kin clans of western rural Malfesian Murians, farming and gelf ranches are long held traditions. Times are good…full barns, fat gelf calves and large families thrive among the sprawling grain fields and hamlets and the river from which they derive their name—the Feldon. Word comes with the trade caravans that times are not so good in the regions far to the east of the Feldon River: tumultuous changes stir among the remote province of Bleikovia. Old timer Feldovats shrug it off as one more squabble between clans over boundaries or water rights…too distant to affect the Feldovats.

The western clans learn too late, however, it is no local squabble. Outnumbered and unprepared, Feldovats resist a hoard bent on plunder and conquest. Days of battle along the Feldon River stain the riverbanks in green Murian blood. In the finals days of exhausted fighting, Judikar Klarvko Celo, leader of the Clan Klarvkon and the Feldovats, is fatally stabbed with the slow-acting sevon poison. The Judikar’s consort, Etikaa Klarvkaa, becomes Regentkaa,
and with Celovat Field Commander Korvo Celo serving as her advisor, she leads the demoralized Feldovat survivors on a gruesome ill-prepared winter trek through high mountain passes of ice and blizzard snow in an attempt to elude the Green Dragon forces of the Bleikovats.

Etkaa’s only son, Klarvko Celo II, helps spirit Feldovat young across a remote mountain exodus to the west toward Eedov Province. The battered, starving Feldovats reach the Malfesian coast at Eedov City only to be confronted with their implacable enemy determined to destroy the remaining Klarvkon rabble. Taking passage on crowded lumbering Maalonovion freighters, Feldovats and Malfesian refugees set sail. On arrival in Maalon City they are welcomed among their Maalon hosts, and settle into a new life.

But famine and a pandemic pestilence stir old hates and nurse former ambitions. The enraged Overseers of Bleikovia move against the Klarvkons, this time bringing bloodshed to Maalonovia. The exiles from the Feldon must fight once again, but starvation and plague across the Planete Myr make it a different war from the battles along the Feldon…a na’รค blikovat…the Bleikovvat Phenomenon…an event with unexpected consequences and outcomes none could have foreseen.

Before the vendetta killing is exhausted, the Regentkaa Klarvkaa and her son are swept onto the Maalon throne, setting the Klarvkon Dynasty and the Murians toward an intergalactic golden age, and a star-flung destiny the once-agrarian Feldovats could never have envisaged.

Enjoy an excerpt:

There had been warnings…far from the Feldon River, across the flat prairies and far-flung farming settlements, in the grain fields and remote gelf ranches of the far-west reaches of Feldon provinces. Most dismissed them, “…idle gossip from those with too little to do.”

The onslaught struck late and faraway during the last harvesting moons of the growing season, and once again unsettled whispers passed. Among the markets and along trade routes far from the fields and farms of the Feldovat fiefdoms the word spread. That was before dispatch riders and message runners on ponderous muscled claks brought more disturbing rumors: “Heavy raids and ambushes all along the hinterlands this side of the Bleikov-Bormeikovat frontiers.”

One grizzled Murian farmer’s slit-pupils narrowed to thin slivers. Gently tightened the reins. Hooked to the plough, the lumbering gelf plodded to a stop. He laid the planed-wood handles of the plough sidewise onto the fresh furrow. Without moving from the trenched rows the gelf reached its thick neck to nibble the green tufts around its feet. The weathered work-aged farmer carefully slipped the reins off his shoulder. Fingered the split creeping along one sweat-stained handle, “…get this to the woodworker before spring ploughing times. Get it braced before I have to barter for a new plough handle.” Pulled off his wide-brim woven hat; wiped his forehead. Uncorked his gelf-leather water pouch; took long slow swallows. Spit a bitter-chewed slurry of brown chakklu; scowled, "…ill-tempered uplander Bleikovats." Another long swallow…re-plugged the pouch. Bit off another twist of dried chakklu.

About the Author:
Welsh and Scottish Hawk MacKinney grew up in northwest Arkansas, and wrote for his school newspaper. Hawk served over twenty years as a Special Staff Corps Officer with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, a Naval Academy Blue and Gold Recruiting Officer, a Navy Recruiting Command Liaison Officer, and Commanding Officer of units attached to the U.S. Marine Corps bases at Parris Island, South Carolina and Twentynine Palms, California. Along with his postgraduate degrees, he studied English and Russian history and foreign languages. As a faculty member in major medical and veterinarian universities, he authored professional articles and taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem. In addition to his SF series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie, Hawk MacKinney has authored the Craige Ingram Mystery Series and Moccasin Trace, a historical romance nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award.

www.hawkmackinney.net
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m-H8pfoh-A
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Sage Words Publishing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, 25 August 2014

Monday's Welsh legend - King Arthur in Wales

Although all corners of the British Isles, lay claim to King Arthur and his knights, they regularly appear in Welsh mythology and folklore and I, for one, believe him to have been Welsh. (Naturally :) ) Sites throughout Wales are connected with the mighty king and Merlyn his magician - Myrddin ab Morfryn as he is know  in the Principality. (and who features in my Welsh historical fantasy 'Dancing With Fate')

The County Library at Mold is home to the world’s largest collection of books on Arthur, comprising nearly 2,000 volumes.

Arthur’s fame lives on in everyday place names. Caerfyrddin, (Carmarthen) a town in mid west Wales, is believed to  be Merlin’s birthplace, and is named after him. (The name means The fortress of Merlin) There’s Maes-y-Camlan or Camlan Field; Bryn y Cleifion (Hill of the Wounded) which marks the area where the casualties may have been laid and Nant-y-Saeson (Stream of the Saxons) is reputed to be where Arthur's enemies pitched camp. These place are centuries old. The name Arthur comes from the same root as the Welsh word ‘arth’, meaning bear.

He is also supposed to have fought his last battle at Bwlch y Saethau - the Pass of Arrows - which is below the summit of Snowdon and the lake into which Arthur’s sword Excalibur was thrown after his death, according to legends, is called Llyn Llydaw.


Arthur’s Stone stands on the Gowar Peninsular and is said to be a ‘pebble’ that he removed from his boot on his way to the battle of Camlan in AD 539. He threw the stone over his shoulder and it landed seven miles away on Cefn Bryn Common near Reynoldston.

Arthur is said to be buried in the Preseli Mountains, in Pembrokeshire and it is rumoured that if you listen long enough, you can hear him groaning.

File:Site of Old Oak, Carmarthen.jpgMerlin’s Oak stood in the centre of Carmarthen,  and according to legend, the  famous wizard placed a protective curse on it – until it was poisoned, leaving only a stump. The legend said Carmarthen would 'drown' if the oak was ever removed, and some folk even said a curious, pointed notch in the tree was the face of Merlin himself. Sadly, the tree was poisoned in the 1850s by a local parson, who objected to young lovers meeting beneath it, and to the noise made by people holding meetings there, but its trunk was preserved within iron railings.
Merlin's Walk, Carmarthen
 Giving my age away,  I am glad to be able to say that I actually saw that stump, all that was left of the magnificent oak, shortly before it was removed, when someone set it on fire at the end of the 1970s.

Carmarthen then suffered its worst floods for many years. It was later replaced by a young tree on the site of the old one, and there is also a wooden statue of Merlin in one of the Carmarthen streets.


These are just some of the connections King Arthur and Merlin have with Wales, and the Holy Grail, (sometimes known as the Nanteos Cup, which his knights went in search of, is said to have been taken to  the monastory at Strata Florida,where it was guarded by the monks before being taken to Nanteos, a mansion just outside Aberystwyth.  I've seen the grail myself too (or what was left of it) but that's another story.


What do you think?  Is there enough evidence that Arthur and Merlin were Welsh, or do you have another theory?