Monday, May 8, 2017

Outremer blog tour - Extract

Outremer by D.N. Clark
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication date: May 9, 2017

Outremer I
Who Controls The Past Controls The Future
 An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines, as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.
Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles; religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.
Sometime between 1110 AD and 1120 AD in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights — the founding knights Templar — recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former, advanced civilisation, beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.
Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms — from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives ever be the same again.
The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic, which sweeps across England, Scotland and France, to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth — and crack the ancient code — behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself.

About the author: After strange and vivid experiences whilst living in Cyprus as a child, author D N Carter has been fascinated by the history, myths and legends of the Middle Ages and mankind’s past. As he got older travels to Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Languedoc region of France and the deserts of Arabia fuelled his enthusiasm. While not decoding maps and mathematical codes D N Carter enjoys adventure sports from parachuting to microlight flying. Today he divides his time between East Anglia in the UK and the south of France with his family.


This scene follows immediately after the original founding knights of the Templar's locate and enter a secret chamber beneath Jerusalem and recover ancient artefacts in 1109 AD.

Megalithic Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, Malta, 1109 AD.

    No sooner had the Count knelt down to pick up the ornate necklace in Jerusalem, when at that exact same moment, across the Mediterranean Sea upon a raised artificial plateau near the shore on Malta’s East coast at the site of a buried Megalithic Hypogeum, a tall, clean-shaven middle aged looking man dressed in a full-length white mantle stood motionless beneath a single standing, large and very ancient Holm Oak tree. The tree shaded an even more ancient stone burial mound. The man sensed something, like a soft wave of water gently hitting him. The setting sun was reflecting hues of crimson and red off the white undersides of the Oaks leaves to beautiful effect. His long tied back hair matched the white of his clothes. His eyes were closed tightly, his hands resting upon a staff as he breathed in deliberately slowly, held his breath for a moment, and then exhaled even more slowly. A slight breeze blew his mantle tunic top open revealing a black and yellow striped cord with a hexagonal pendant replete with a depiction of a stylised bee hanging around his neck.

Fig 1:

    The staff was unusual in that it had a dark polished metallic type horse shoe at the top positioned above a round ball of identical colour. As the Sun sank slowly over the horizon, it cast long shadows across the small open clearing within the woods where the great Oak tree stood separate from the rest. The round ball section of the staff appeared to glow from the inside and a pale bluish green light began to emanate from it shining through his fingers. The man opened his eyes wide revealing large piercing blue eyes that reflected the silhouette image of the tree he stood before. His gaze slowly moved downwards to look at the small figure of a young blonde haired girl of no more than four years of age approach him. Her smile was mesmerising as she stood before him and looked up. He sighed softly and returned the smile. She outstretched her hand for his and when his hand met hers, he knelt down and looked intently into her clear youthful blue eyes.
    “We are but the last few of our kind! You cannot understand me, nor grasp what I say to you yet, but now, as my work can again continue, so too is your journey just beginning my child; so come, we have much to do,” he said softly.
    The little girl squeezed his hand tightly, and simply smiled back at him.

Port of La Rochelle, France, Melissae Inn, Spring 1191.

    A tall figure cloaked from head to toe in a dark grey, almost black, ankle length over tunic with a bright blue sash wrapped around his middle and over his right shoulder stood with his back to the main entrance door of the two storeyed Melissae Inn. A former manor house, it was situated alone at the top of a raised outlet of land that jutted into the harbour opening of the protected straits of the Pertuis d’Antioche, part of the Bay of Biscay to the south of La Rochelle. The port echoed with the sounds of traders, sailors and builders working upon the new half completed outer harbour wall and castellated towers that flanked the entrance. Several large Genoese galleys were berthed alongside Hospitaller and Templar ships along with several merchant Cog vessels; their sails were being furled away.
    With stables, a sizable bunkhouse and a natural fresh water well, it was a haven for travellers and pilgrims to stop and rest as many passed by on the path named the ‘Allee Stella Maris’ due to several myths and stories that surrounded it being named as such, which the inn fronted onto. It had commanding views north across the sheltered harbour and west overlooking the open Atlantic ocean beyond. The sun was casting its last rays on the horizon creating bright shimmering starbursts of light upon the calm waters, which silhouetted him to those inside the inn. A chilly breeze gently blew and he raised the hood up over his head. He stood a while longer gazing out towards the open ocean as raised voices and laughter filled the air with a cacophony of noise he would rather not hear. Stephan, the inn’s proprietor, exited the door looking more like a blacksmith than an innkeeper with his oversized boots and dark leather apron and sleeves rolled up on his arms. Large in both size and character, his receding ginger hair gave away his older age despite his face being youthful and kind looking.
    “I think it’s about time you came inside and warmed yourself. That wind will chill you before you realise it,” he said loudly to be heard above the noise. He wiped a small drinking goblet with a cloth as he waited for the man’s reply and adjusted a small sign that hung bearing the name of the inn and an image of a bee, a beehive and a scallop shell.
    The man raised his right hand in acknowledgement but carried on looking out across the har­bour. A horn blew in the distance and echoed out as workers constructing the harbour entrance fortifications were called to stop their day’s work. The regular and repeated thuds and metallic clanging sounds started to cease almost at once. Only the noise of several horses tied up near the inn neighing and making the odd snort as a Mareschal farrier tended them now punctured the air, plus the occasional laugh and female shriek coming from inside the inn. As the last rays of the sun set in bright crimson and orange hues on the long streaks of cloud on the horizon, the man turned slowly, pulled the hood and cloak around himself tighter and walked toward the inn’s main entrance. Built from both local sandstone blocks and with large wooden beams, the inn was a solid refuge against the bitter Atlantic winds and weather that could batter the shoreline during the winter months, but mostly the bay afforded La Rochelle a temperate climate all year, almost identical to its southern French ports on the Mediterranean. It made for an ideal location as a major Freeport for traders.

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