What Was Halloween / Samhain Like In Ancient Scotland?

Want to find out what an ancient Halloween / Samhain festival might have looked like? I wrote about it in MERLIN’S SHADOW! Here an excerpt, edited to remove some small spoilers: “Tonight, when the moon is dark, the Picts will celebrate their pagan harvest feast of Samhain. Have you not known why they work us[…]

Excalibur Has Been Made!

Yes, with a lot of help, and God’s protection, I finally did it! I have successfully bronze-cast the hilt and pommel for my Excalibur, and here are the pictures. Zondervan is going to photograph this blade for the cover of my novel, MERLIN’S BLADE, which will come out February of 2013. I will begin with[…]

To Be Revealed Soon: Zondrevan’s Book Cover For Merlin’s Blade!

Yes, I have received a sneak preview of Zondervan’s book cover for MERLIN’S BLADE, and wow am I excited! Let’s just say that it combines hints of mystery, intrigue, and a sinister enemy! And the person they chose to portray Merlin looks very close to how I had envisioned him. There are still some minor[…]

New Excalibur Art For Merlin’s Blade

Okay, so I admit it … I have been dissatisfied with the current design and quality of my version of Excalibur … so I redid it. Not only did I change the funky bolt-shaped hilt end pieces to circles (which is more authentic), but I took a cue from my son’s 3D art and used[…]

The Laity Lodge Writers Retreat: A Travelogue

I arrived back form the western foothills of Texas on Sunday night, and thought I’d write about my experience at the Laity Lodge Writers Retreat. The Laity Lodge courtyard and fountain. (The following notes are as best as I can remember, so if I have forgotten details or gotten the order of events mixed up…[…]

A Treasure Hunt Extraordinaire!

This morning I finished reading THE SKIN MAP by Stephen R. Lawhead. Last week I finished reading VENOM & SONG by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. Both of these are excellent books, and both are fun to read. Venom & Song is the CSFF Blog Tour book for next week, and THE SKIN MAP[…]

BIG NEWS x 2 for Stephen Lawhead Fans !

First of all, I announce to you that THE SONG OF ALBION will be re-released by Thomas Nelson in hardcover on August 31st! This is fantastic news for what I consider one of Lawhead’s greatest fantasy series, and one of the best I have ever read. It has been available in softcover, but now you[…]

A Pictish Ballad

I had to write a ballad in Pictish for my current work in progress, Merlin’s Shadow. The problem is that we don’t know what language, exactly, the Picts spoke. Many scholars think it was related to Gaelic, while my daughter, Adele, is of the persuasion they spoke a Germanic language older than English, and this[…]

White Stag Spotted In Missouri

Yes, it’s true. A white stag was seen near Cape Girardeau, Missouri. And the deer was photographed! It has only four points now, but imagine what it will look like with a full rack. The newspapers all say that the deer is albino, but in fact, it probably has leucism, a rare genetic alteration that[…]

Was King Arthur’s Camelot In Caerleon, Wales?

Just where was Camelot, anyway? Scholars and romantics have been asking this question for ages. Well, I ran across an online video that covers some interesting theories about King Arthur’s possible presence in Wales. In particular, they argue that Camelot was ancient Caerleon, a Roman fortress with an amphitheater. This is where Geoffrey of Monmouth[…]

The Acts of King Arthur by John Steinbeck

It is with great enjoyment that I recently picked up John Steinbeck’s The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights. This unfinished novel was a lifetime love and goal of Steinbeck, but he died in 1968, leaving it unfinished. In theme, it is almost a translation of the tales as written by Sir Thomas[…]

New Excalibur Fan Art

My son, Leighton, took my 2D Xara drawing of Excalibur and converted it to 3D using Blender (excellent free 3D software). To do this he imported the graphic, created a flat 3D model to match it, and then extruded it appropriately. After touching it up, he mapped my graphic to the proper faces of the[…]

Keep Your Writing Scraps

The other day I had the pleasure of pulling from my “drawer” an old scrap of writing and inserted it into Merlin’s Shadow. It was a dear scrap, this one, and contained an interaction with three fisherman named Ynktor, Henkter, and Crothak. They had originally appeared in my prologue of Merlin’s Blade, but the cutting[…]

Where Did King Arthur Fight The Saxons?

When King Arthur gave the people of Britain the gift of life and liberty, he did so at the expense of the invading Saxons. But where did he fight them? This is a very interesting question, and little is known for sure. Nennius wrote in the Historia Brittonum that there were twelve battles fought by[…]

Did King Arthur Fight The Vikings? A Fascinating Search For The Truth

I ran across a fun news article about Cornwall’s mid-summer Golowan Festival, which has its strongest representation in Penzance. (If you want to get a taste of the culture of Cornwall, make sure you watch the video as well.) So what was the theme of this year’s Golowan Festival in Penzance? Well… it was the[…]

Tuck By Stephen Lawhead — Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of my review of TUCK by Stephen Lawhead. Today I’m going to cover the “not so good”, the “good”, and the “genius”. Notice that there is not a “bad” list, as I found little to dislike in this volume, and much to satisfy. Reading it was like a long, cool drink[…]

Tuck By Stephen Lawhead — Day 1

So we begin at last our review of TUCK by Stephen Lawhead. This is part of the latest Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour, which has now grown to 48 active members this round! Way to go everyone, let’s keep spreading the word and promoting speculative fiction written by Christians! Well, without further delay,[…]

Was Merlin Scottish?

Apparently the people of Glasgow think he is. Despite the fact that a Merlin (Myrddin Wyllt) has been associated with Scotland, can anyone explain to me how the city of Glasgow can call Merlin a “Famous Glaswegian” when Merlin predates the city of Glasgow? The city, as they rightly profess, was founded by St. Kentigern[…]

Stephen Lawhead’s Hood – A Quick Review

This blog post is in response to a comment/question from Steven Till, who runs a most excellent blog over at www.steventill.com. His blog is about, as his title says: Medieval History (Middle Ages History) Historical Fiction Fantasy Books Fantasy Novels Fantasy Writing Writing Fiction All things my blog readers and I are fascinated by! Steve’s[…]

Where Was King Arthur’s Camelot?

I found a very fascinating newspaper article today regarding the Welsh connections of King Arthur. The article was published at the News & Star, a Welsh newspaper. Now this is not like most news articles that are full of fluff and no substance. This one contains a lot of literary and historical information about Arthur’s[…]