Win a Robin Hood adventure novel

To celebrate my starting the writing  of the third book in The Chronicles of Robin Hood series, We’re giving away THREE SIGNED COPIES of my novel Loxley on Goodreads.

The giveway competition will run for about a month, so do visit the Goodreads site at http://www.goodreads.com and enter.

There’ll be lots of writing news on this blog as the new novel progresses, so please do follow. There’ll be other giveways as well.

And lots more about Robin Hood…

So please share this with any other fans of Robin Hood or historical fiction you might know. You can’t keep a good outlaw down.

And if you haven’t read the first two books in The Chronicles of Robin Hood, here are the links.

LOXLEY

1198 A.D A hooded man brings rebellion to the forest…

Loxley New CoverLionheart’s England, with the King fighting in Normandy… For the oppressed villagers of Sherwood there is no escape from persecution and despair. They exist under the sufferance of their brutal overlords.

When a mysterious stranger saves a miller’s son from cruel punishment, the Sheriff of Nottingham sends the ruthless Sir Guy of Gisborne to hunt him down.

His past life destroyed, Robin of Loxley must face his greatest challenge yet. Deadly with a longbow and a sword, he will fight tyranny and injustice, encounter allies and enemies old and new.

The vast Sherwood Forest with its hidden glades and ancient pathways is the last refuge of wolfsheads. Here their bloody battles will be fought, friendships forged and loyalties tested.

Loxley will become Robin Hood. Notorious leader of outlaws.

Their daring deeds will become legend.

This is the first in a four-part series The Chronicles of Robin Hood, and includes an historical note on the origins of the famous outlaw. Read the sequel Wolfshead now.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loxley-Chronicles-Robin-John-Bainbridge-ebook/dp/B00WMJXRUC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475403357&sr=1-1&keywords=Loxley

WOLFSHEAD

1199 AD – The fate of a silver arrow brings blood-soaked terror to the peasants of Sherwood Forest. Wolfshead Cover_edited-5

England faces uncertainty as the king falls in battle. Nottingham Castle is seething with intrigue as the Sheriff’s power is threatened and Sir Guy of Gisborne faces an old nightmare.

Robin’s fight is more desperate than ever. Friendships are tested as the outlaws confront a new depth of evil.

When even the villagers have turned against him, Robin Hood discovers the true cost of being made wolfshead.

A hunted man – and this time it’s personal…

Wolfshead – complete in itself – is the second in a four-novel sequence The Chronicles of Robin Hood.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01D09B6LO/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZRNJX4FXD6JYAWYFFKJT

 

Talking about the Penny Dreadful

A big thank you to American crime writer Marni Graff, who features me today as a guest blogger on her splendid crime writing blog auntiemwritesfolly_ditch

I’m talking about my new book Deadly Quest and how the writers of today might learn from the writers of Penny Dreadfuls in Victorian times.

Do visit and follow Marni’s blog which is always full of fascinating news about crime writing, book reviews etc.

Thank you Marni!

Click on the link below to visit Marni’s site.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/5968535/posts/1205250119

A Walk to Robin Hood’s Grave

A couple of years ago we walked up from the village of Orton, in Westmorland, to visit Robin Hood’s Grave. The other day we went there again, not least because it features in the opening of the new Robin Hood novel I’m writing at the moment.

Orton Church (c) John Bainbridge 2014

Orton Church (c) John Bainbridge 201

It was a grand day for a country walk of several miles, with good clear view of the Lakeland mountains and the Pennines.

We left Orton early, passing the ancient pillory, where wrongdoers, or perhaps just the

Orton Pillory (c) John Bainbridge 2014

Orton Pillory (c) John Bainbridge 2016

unfortunate poor, would have been subjected to punishment and humiliation, and the even older parish church, taking the footpath that eventually leads to Crosby Ravensworth, crossing a number of old stiles in stone-walled fields.

Old Stile at Orton (c) John Bainbridge 2014

Churchyard Stile (c) John Bainbridge 2016

After a long ascent we reached an old lime-kiln and then the edge of Orton Scar. Thankfully, this area of moorland, with some outstanding limestone pavements, has now been put into the Lake District National Park – not before time.

At this point the old track becomes more defined, wider and you can see the wheel ruts of carts, which perhaps carried the refined lime down to Crosby.

Autumn Day at Orton (c) John Bainbridge 2014

The Lune Valley (c) John Bainbridge 2016

You follow this track through some splendid heather moorland, keeping in the hollow and ignoring cross tracks until you reach the pile of stones that is Robin Hood’s Grave.

It almost certainly isn’t, but it is a very dramatic setting.  If you read the best historical work on the outlaw, by J. C. Holt, you will discover that Robin Hood, or more often RobinHood as one word, became a generic term for many an outlaw.

There’s quite a tradition of Robin Hood in Westmorland and Cumberland. Where the stories originate is debateable. The old ballads suggest Barnsdale, but they are the first versions actually written down – it’s likely there were earlier oral ballads, probably with a different location.

Robin Hood's Grave (c) John Bainbridge 2014

Robin Hood’s Grave (c) John Bainbridge 2016

They might have first gained ground here or in Sherwood Forest or Wakefield or wherever. The great local outlaw in Inglewood Forest, nearer to Carlisle, is Adam Bell, some of whose adventures are very similar to Robin Hood’s.

There are several purported Robin Hood graves scattered across England.

From the grave we followed the Coast to Coast Path, created by the almost legendary Alfred Wainwright, an easy walk across some wild countryside, following the trail back into Orton.

We had to walk some of the route again as we dropped the map. Happily we found it again. A good walk this and interesting to see another reminder of the Robin Hood legend.

If you’re looking for something to read this week, do try my Robin Hood novels. Here’s the link for the first book Loxley. The sequel Wolfshead is also available and can be found by following the same link:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loxley-Chronicles-Robin-John-Bainbridge-ebook/dp/B00WMJXRUC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1476458001&sr=1-1&keywords=loxley

Loxley New CoverWolfshead Cover_edited-5

Joe Bainbridge

Had he lived, my father – Cecil Joseph Bainbridge, only ever known as Joe – would have been one hundred years old today. In fact, he had a good long life, making 92, and being fit and healthy until the last few months. So fit, in fact, that he could walk up hills faster than I could until he was well into his late eighties. Many of his friends didn’t see such long lives.

joe-bainbridge-copy

Private Joe Bainbridge

Like many of his generation, he was called to serve in World War Two, having to give up five years of his life to fight Hitler. Dad landed in Normandy in June 1944 with the rest of the lads in the Worcestershire Regiment. They were involved in the very heavy fighting around Caen, Hill 112 and the Falaise Gap, as they fought their way across Normandy. The regiment was scarcely out of contact with the enemy until the end of the war, fighting battle after battle across France, Holland, Belgium and into Germany – where Dad took part in the battle at Tripsrath – finishing his war on Luneberg Heath. He had some very near misses, but came home unharmed.

As kids we took the war very much for granted, the parents of most of my generation having fought. I only became aware of much of Dad’s wartime life after he had died. Like most of his generation he never talked about it until he was very old. But I remember, as a child, a Christmas card coming every year from a family in Holland whose farm he’d helped to liberate. A tradition those lovely Dutch people kept up until the day they died.

My father was born in 1916, a few months before his father – also Joe Bainbridge – went off to fight in the trenches of the Great War. He came safely home. My father’s uncle, Harry Howl Jeffs, was killed just a fortnight before the Armistice. My father probably grew up thinking that war was a thing of the past.

Dad was very clever, a natural intellectual, well-read. But being a working class lad he was written off. He actually won a scholarship to go to college, but his parents needed a wage coming in so he was apprenticed into an enamelling factory in the Black Country of the English Midlands. A pity I always think.

When I was growing up I remember seeing his books, mostly Shakespeare and Dickens. He encouraged me to read. In those days, British children were taught to read long before they started school. When I was about three he brought home some “Janet and John” reading primers. I can remember the day, for my memory of pre-school years is very good. I started reading his Shakespeare and Dickens books when I was about six. Dad knew most of Shakespeare by heart. I’m certain that, but for Dad’s interest in literature and history, I’d be a very different person.

He certainly went through a period when he wanted to be a writer. Growing up, I found books on how to write tucked away. It was not to be. He worked for a while as a printer, even having a little printing business operating from his garden shed in the years after the war. He worked as a milling engineer in later life. He worked long hours, and then came home to garden.

He was always fantastically fit, and a swift walker too. In his eighties he began globe-trotting, with trip to New Zealand, where my brother lives, and Egypt, which triggered a new interest for him in Egyptology. He was a voracious reader, right until the day he died.

He was of a generation that served his country in many ways. The rewards they got for their endeavours and sacrifices were pretty thin on the ground, I’ve always thought.

Cecil Joseph Bainbridge – Born in Ironville, Derbyshire on 7th October 1916

Powered By Indie

poweredbyindie_cmyk-_v278794777_Powered By Indie

I’d published a number of books through traditional publishers over the years, but had become wary of offering my fiction novels to an agent or publisher. The old publishing industry isn’t what it used to be. The days of gentlemen publishers are over. Most publishing firms are now not family-owned, but come under the remit of multinational corporations.

I’d heard horror stories from fellow writers. There was a time when publishers had publicity departments to promote your work. Now you are expected to do it – and fund it – yourself. Publishers urge you to promote your work in bookshops, libraries and literary events, but they seem reluctant to fund these promotions.

Quite well-known authors, selling moderately well, are finding themselves dropped by their publishers. Celebrity memoirs and cook books are in – interesting fiction is having to struggle. More and more well-known writers are now Indie publishing their back list.

Then there’s the matter of royalties. Unless you’re a bestseller it’s usually around 10% per copy at a traditional publishers – often as low as 5%.

So we decided to go Indie , just like musicians did a while ago, putting out our work in paperback and Kindle e-readers.

Indie publishing gives us greater editorial control, allows us to take risks with our writing, and brings in a welcome royalty of a staggering 70%. So much that we are earning a living from our fiction alone. We are selling more books than we ever dreamed of and building up a steady readership we couldn’t have imagined. The whole process is far quicker than traditional publishing, allowing us to put out more books every year.

You can see our books in the sections above. The latest Deadly Quest was published last week to very promising sales. We now Indie Publish our crime novels, thrillers and a historical series featuring Robin Hood in a gritty medieval setting.

As Indie Publishers we feel that we are in on the start of a wholesale change in the way that writing and publishing works.

 

 

 

 

A Robin Hood Giveway

To celebrate my starting the writing  of the third book in The Chronicles of Robin Hood series, We’re giving away THREE SIGNED COPIES of my novel Loxley on Goodreads from today.

The giveway competition will run for about a month, so do visit the Goodreads site at http://www.goodreads.com and enter.

There’ll be lots of writing news on this blog as the new novel progresses, so please do follow. There’ll be other giveways as well.

And lots more about Robin Hood…

So please share this with any other fans of Robin Hood or historical fiction you might know. You can’t keep a good outlaw down.

And if you haven’t read the first two books in The Chronicles of Robin Hood, here are the links.

LOXLEY

1198 A.D A hooded man brings rebellion to the forest…

Loxley New CoverLionheart’s England, with the King fighting in Normandy… For the oppressed villagers of Sherwood there is no escape from persecution and despair. They exist under the sufferance of their brutal overlords.

When a mysterious stranger saves a miller’s son from cruel punishment, the Sheriff of Nottingham sends the ruthless Sir Guy of Gisborne to hunt him down.

His past life destroyed, Robin of Loxley must face his greatest challenge yet. Deadly with a longbow and a sword, he will fight tyranny and injustice, encounter allies and enemies old and new.

The vast Sherwood Forest with its hidden glades and ancient pathways is the last refuge of wolfsheads. Here their bloody battles will be fought, friendships forged and loyalties tested.

Loxley will become Robin Hood. Notorious leader of outlaws.

Their daring deeds will become legend.

This is the first in a four-part series The Chronicles of Robin Hood, and includes an historical note on the origins of the famous outlaw. Read the sequel Wolfshead now.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loxley-Chronicles-Robin-John-Bainbridge-ebook/dp/B00WMJXRUC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475403357&sr=1-1&keywords=Loxley

WOLFSHEAD

1199 AD – The fate of a silver arrow brings blood-soaked terror to the peasants of Sherwood Forest. Wolfshead Cover_edited-5

England faces uncertainty as the king falls in battle. Nottingham Castle is seething with intrigue as the Sheriff’s power is threatened and Sir Guy of Gisborne faces an old nightmare.

Robin’s fight is more desperate than ever. Friendships are tested as the outlaws confront a new depth of evil.

When even the villagers have turned against him, Robin Hood discovers the true cost of being made wolfshead.

A hunted man – and this time it’s personal…

Wolfshead – complete in itself – is the second in a four-novel sequence The Chronicles of Robin Hood.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01D09B6LO/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZRNJX4FXD6JYAWYFFKJT