‘The Order of the White Boar’

Welcome! To all new members of the Order!

The group of friends who have sworn lifelong loyalty – to each other and to their good lord, King Richard III.

Read about their adventures in The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man (out 26 May 2018). The paperback and ebook can be ordered from Amazon at myBook.to/WhiteBoar and mybook.to/TheKingsMan, from Blurb at http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/8167813-the-order-of-the-white-boar and http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/8770224-the-king-s-man or by contacting AlexMarchant84@gmail.com.

The Order of the White Boar follows the adventures of Matthew Wansford, 12-year-old page to Duke Richard of Gloucester, at Middleham Castle and in Westminster, from the summer of 1482. The King’s Man picks up the story in the spring of 1483, as the Year of the Three Kings unfolds . . .

And don’t forget, if you and/or your young people enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon, GoodReads or elsewhere – thank you!

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Books for pupils – to celebrate their links with King Richard III

Before heading off to the Middleham Richard III Festival last Friday, I had a date with the Northern Dales Richard III Group and two primary schools in their base of Barnard Castle.
Kim Harding and her group had very kindly decided to donate a copy of ‘The Order of the White Boar’ to every primary school leaver in the town to celebrate King Richard’s links with the town, and asked me along to give a little talk to the children and present the books.
It was a lovely experience to be welcomed into the classrooms of these Year 6 pupils and see them fascinated by the story of King Richard that we told, and the reading from the book (the episode of the bolting horse, which you may remember if you’ve read it). And also to see their enthusiasm on receiving the books – and to try to answer as well as I could the fantastic questions they asked!
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After the Barnard Castle visit, it was on to Middleham Castle, where another 100+ children from four local schools were enjoying an education day about King Richard as part of the Festival. And once again I was there to present books donated by the Northern Dales Group, this time with the kind help of Fiona Reed.
I was put on the spot a little when His Grace King Richard himself (or perhaps it was his Friday stunt double?) introduced me, but once again it was lovely to see how delighted the children were who had been nominated to receive the books for their hard work, loyalty, dedication to friends, throughout the previous year (all of course aspects that King Richard himself, and the members of the Order, value highly).
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His Grace was kind enough to himself present the books to the children as you can see in the photographs kindly taken by Fiona and Debbie Hindhaugh.
The children were then treated to the story of how King Richard’s grave was found delivered with her usual verve by the inimitable Philippa Langley.
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All in all a great day – and a marvellous start to a memorable weekend.
Many thanks to Kim and her group for organizing and funding it all, and to the schools themselves and to Gill Savage and her team at the Castle.
Loyaulte me lie 😀🐗
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Middleham Richard III Festival weekend

What a fantastic weekend at the Middleham Richard III Festival!
Thank you to the organizers for a terrific programme as ever. I sadly couldn’t attend the talks at the Key Centre but I gather they were interesting and challenging as usual. All the members of the public I spoke to seemed to be having a great time – whether they were Ricardians or not (or as I prefer to see them, not-yet-Ricardians  )
The weather couldn’t have been better – though I was very thankful for the shade of the gazebo that Marla Skidmore very kindly allowed me to share. Somehow I managed to keep my medieval ‘page’ costume on the whole time despite the searing heat – though I had to abandon the hose rather quickly and resort to the not very authentic unclad legs. Apologies to anyone who witnessed that! Particularly of course His Grace the King, who deigned to visit my stall, and was as ever very diplomatic in not mentioning it and in fact carefully looking away – though he would probably have been entitled to haul me off to be executed for the indiscretion!

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Thank you to everyone who came along to the stall and said hello – and for your very kind words about the books – and of course for parting with your cash to buy them! It was lovely to meet so many wonderful people, so interested in and knowledgeable about King Richard and his life. 

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(The stall I shared with fellow Ricardian author Marla Skidmore, author of ‘Renaissance’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Renaissance-Marla-Skidmore/dp/1912183293/ , seen here with His Grace and various members of his retinue over the weekend.)

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Joining the dots – and Indie Showcase Presents….

It’s a busy old time at the moment for this indie author.

There are times when I just wonder to myself why I don’t plan ahead a bit more. Is it because my head is so firmly set in the past – about 500 years in the past recently? Or is it perhaps just that I’m the world’s worst organizer – rarely proactive, unable to keep one plate spinning, let alone several, and totally unable to join the dots any more?

Take this summer, for instance. Did I check my diary when setting publication day for ‘The King’s Man’ and think ‘Hmm, is it wise to launch my sequel just a couple of weeks before the world’s biggest party kicks off in Russia?’ I mean the football World Cup, of course. And not just ‘any’ World Cup – but the one where ‘football comes home’ – to my spiritual international footballing home, that is – Russia. (To explain why is a very long story that I won’t bore you with here as it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Order of the White Boar, King Richard III, children’s books, indie authorship, or anything else relevant to this blog… I may, however, muse on it in a future piece…be warned!) (Whether the World Cup will ‘come home’ in any other, more Anglo-centric way remains to be seen – I’m writing this between the second round matches and the quarter-finals… I know much of my country is holding its breath at the moment.)

And then there are all the events I’m attending – several on days when crucial World Cup matches are happening. The first begins tomorrow – the Middleham Richard III Festival – the next at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival – on the weekend of the World Cup final itself. There have been times when I’ve asked myself – why didn’t I put off publishing ‘The King’s Man’ until next year…? Join the dots next time, Alex!

So if you attend any of the events over the next couple of weeks, please do come and say hello – and please forgive me if I’m looking a bit distracted… one or another of my teams may be about to win or lose on penalties!

Meanwhile, I’m honoured today to be featured on Richard Dee’s Indie Showcase Presents – along with Hawkwise’s Pilgrim the Peregrine of course. With many thanks to Richard for the opportunity 

https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/the-indie-showcase-presents-alex-marchant/

KRIIIVC with pilgrim 2 June

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Middleham #RichardIII Festival, 6-8th July

A packed programme of events is lined up for this year’s Middleham Celebrates Richard III Festival next weekend – and of course some cracking stalls in Castle Lane – including my own (with books also from Janet Reedman), and others for the Richard III Loyal Supporters, Sass Jane Morgan, Marla Skidmore, Joanne Larner and Susan Kokomo Lamb – a whole bevy of Ricardian authors to come along and chat to! Hope to see you there.

And I’m pleased to say that I’ll be in Middleham from early in the afternoon of Friday 6th July as King Richard himself will be presenting free copies of ‘The Order of the White Boar’ to local schoolchildren at the education day. These copies that have been very kindly donated by the Northern Dales Richard III Group (with many thanks to Kim Harding and her committee, who have also ensured that the King’s links with Barnard Castle have been similarly celebrated – every primary school leaver in that town will also receive a free copy). 

The church service at St Mary’s & St Alkelda’s will also feature a tribute to the late Dr John Ashdown-Hill from Dr David and Wendy Johnson.


Loyaulte me lie  

 

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“A book full of action, heart, fire and hope.” Review of ‘The King’s Man’ #RichardIII

“A book full of action, heart, fire and hope. A cracking read, and I highly recommend it.”

So ends author Narrelle Harris’s fabulous review of The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man. You can read the review in full on Narrelle’s blog at:

http://www.narrellemharris.com/reviews/review-the-order-of-the-white-boar-by-alex-marchant/

Many thanks, Narrelle!

Narrelle and Pilgrim KRIIIVC 2 June 2018

Narrelle Harris with Pilgrim the Peregrine (and a couple of paperbacks) at the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester.

myBook.to/WhiteBoar and mybook.to/TheKingsMan

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Local #Booklaunch event, Cobbles & Clay, Haworth, West Yorkshire, 30 June

I will be having a local launch event for The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Man deep in the heart of Bronte Country on the morning of Saturday 30th June.

If you’re anywhere near Haworth in West Yorkshire in two weeks time, do call in and say hello! 

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The event will be at the popular Cobbles & Clay cafe on the famous Main Street of the Bronte village, kicking off at 10.30 till 12.30. I’ll be selling and signing books and reading from them, and running a small colouring competition for children.

https://www.cobblesandclay.co.uk/

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And there will be cake!  What’s not to like? 

Details can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/225096158255054/

Hope to see you there!

myBook.to/WhiteBoar and mybook.to/TheKingsMan

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Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey by Jennifer C. Wilson – Happy Publication Day!

Have you ever had a moment when you think: ‘I wish I’d had that idea!’

That was how I felt when I first came across the first Kindred Spirits novel by fellow Ricardian author Jennifer C. Wilson. It’s such a clever premise – the idea that, not only do ghosts hang around places that were significant to them in their lifetimes, but they also have to share some of those places with other ghosts. And build relationships with them because, you know, you’re tied to that place for – well, for eternity perhaps.

And what if that significant place is also significant in history – and to very many other historical figures?

The Tower of London, for example. Almost a thousand years of history. And right in the centre of politics and government for much of that time. That’s a lot of people…

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And two of the most famous (infamous?) historical people associated with the Tower have to be King Richard III and Anne Boleyn – in very different ways and very different times in history. So what happens if they strike up a friendship?

As Jen says, ‘In the Kindred Spirits series, we meet the ghosts of historical characters, in a range of contemporary settings. Have you ever wondered what Richard III and Anne Boleyn might have in common, or what happens when the visitors leave some of the most popular attractions in the country? Well, here’s your chance!’

See what I mean? A great idea – and you could have such fun with it. As Jennifer does. So much fun, in fact that she couldn’t resist doing it all again – this time on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Different country, different faces.

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But today, Jen is back in London – or at least Westminster (I could go all medieval and insist it’s a different city – but let’s face it, few enough see it as that nowadays…). For today is publication day for her latest instalment – Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey – another ancient place full of fascinating characters just waiting to interact for your delectation…

As the blurb says:

‘With over three thousand burials and memorials, including seventeen monarchs, life for the ghostly community of Westminster Abbey was never going to be a quiet one. Add in some fiery Tudor tempers, and several centuries-old feuds, and things can only go one way: chaotic.

Against the backdrop of England’s most important church, though, it isn’t all tempers and tantrums. Poets’ Corner hosts poetry battles and writing workshops, and close friendships form across the ages.

With the arrival of Mary Queen of Scots, however, battle ensues. Will Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I ever find their common ground, and lasting peace?’

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Jen and I have been interacting ourselves since we shared a publication day last October (the 2nd of course, King Richard’s birthday, and that of The Order of the White Boar and Jen’s The Last Plantagenet?). We have very different approaches, with my books sticking very firmly to the lives of my characters and hers – well, I do envy the fun she can have and the downright liberties she can take when her historic characters have already faced their tragic (or not-so-tragic) ends, and can shrug off their mortal remnants and roll up their sleeves and get to grips with the afterlife. It has to beat dealing with the inescapable trajectory of traditional historical fiction!

Jen’s Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon, along with her self-published timeslip novella, The Last Plantagenet? She can be found online at her blog, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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