Thursday, 7 February 2019

#Giveaway — Wolf’s Head, By Steven A. McKay #HistoricalFiction #RobinHood @SA_McKay




Wolf’s Head
By Steven A. McKay


When a frightened young outlaw joins a gang of violent criminals their names – against a backdrop of death, dishonour, brotherhood, and love – will become legend.

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After viciously assaulting a corrupt but powerful clergyman Robin Hood flees the only home he has ever known in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Becoming a member of a notorious band of outlaws, Hood and his new companions – including John Little and Will Scaflock – hide out in the great forests of Barnsdale, fighting for their very existence as the law hunts them down like animals.

When they are betrayed, and their harsh lives become even more unbearable, the band of friends seeks bloody vengeance.

Meanwhile, the country is in turmoil, as many of the powerful lords strive to undermine King Edward II’s rule until, inevitably, rebellion becomes a reality and the increasingly deadly yeoman outlaw from Wakefield finds his fate bound up with that of a Hospitaller Knight…

"Wolf’s Head" brings the brutality, injustice and intensity of medieval England vividly to life, and marks the beginning of a thrilling new historical fiction series in the style of Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow.

“Well researched and enjoyably written, Wolf’s Head is a fast-paced and original re-casting of a familiar legend. McKay’s gift as a storyteller pulls the reader into a world of violence, passion, injustice and revenge and leaves us wanting more!"

Glyn Iliffe, author, The Adventures of Odysseus series

As of Feb 2014, Wolf's Head is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree!


Excerpt


Little John pulled an arrow from his belt, and the two outlaws stood ready, hidden by the thick tree they’d chosen as cover.

A while later they heard a horse-drawn cart creaking along the road and, as it slowly came into sight, Robin felt his pulse quicken as he realised this might not be as simple as he’d hoped.

The friar was riding a horse. In addition to the noisy cart, which carried a roughly made, but sturdy, wooden box, there were eight hard-looking riders. These men all wore gambesons like Robin’s, for protection, with helmets in seemingly good repair, and long swords at their hips. Every one of them looked as dangerous as most of Adam Bell’s men.

Robin looked a little nervously at John. The bearded giant looked back, shrugging his massive shoulders. “That friar must have something good in his box, to be travelling with all those guards.”

As the party reached the ambush point, there was a piercing whistle from Adam Bell, hidden somewhere in the dense foliage, and the ropes at either end of the road were suddenly pulled taut, and tied to the trees, blocking the horsemen’s path. Little John and the other outlaws raced forward silently to pen the friar’s party in, although they stayed close by the thick tree trunks in case they needed cover. Robin followed, gripping his bow so tight he could feel it digging into his hands.

The friar sat back in his saddle, but didn’t look particularly dismayed by the ambush. Robin was a little worried, though, to see the guards quietly and efficiently take up defensive positions encircling the cart.

The young outlaw looked quickly at Little John, but the big man just glared grimly at the guards. He’d clearly seen this all before, and Robin again felt himself relaxing a little. Adam Bell knew what he was doing. He must do, after all these years as a robber outlaw leader.

Just then, Bell himself walked into view, and stood facing the friar. He never looked once at the stony-faced guards who followed him with their eyes. Some of them had drawn short bows and held them aimed at Bell.

“Get those ropes out of the way. Before we cut you down.” The friar’s words were cool, his voice powerful and controlled, but Robin realised the churchman probably knew this was Adam Bell in front of him. And Bell’s reputation was not a good one, when it came to how he treated churchmen who didn’t co-operate.

The outlaw leader simply pointed to the cart. “We’re taking that, friar. Those men” – he gestured to the eight soldiers –“can keep their weapons and continue along the way with you.” He spread his feet and put one hand on his sword hilt, staring at the friar.

The clergyman shook his head. “There are nine of us. Get out of the way and nothing more need be said about this.”

Adam Bell continued to stare impassively at the friar for another few seconds, before raising his hand and pointing at one of the soldiers. “Will!”

Bell jumped behind a tree as there was a snapping noise, and a thud. Robin was shocked to see the soldier Bell had single out thrown backwards off his horse, gasping and clawing wildly at the arrow that had hammered into his windpipe. Will Scaflock smoothly dropped his bow and pulled his sword from its scabbard, dropping into a fighting stance, an appalling animal grin on his wide face.

No one moved for a split second, until the shock passed, and the guards realised what had happened.

“Damn it, Scaflock!” John grunted, knowing Will could have easily incapacitated the guard with a shot to the arm or shoulder, rather than killing him.

“Dismount!” one of the soldiers shouted, realising they had no chance while on horseback, penned in as they were, and the rest followed, kneeling beside the cart, weapons drawn.

Adam Bell’s voice could be heard from behind a tree. “There’s eight of you now, friar!” He laughed coldly. “Now tell your men to drop their weapons and we’ll just take that cart of yours.” He stepped into view again, expertly drawing a beautifully forged sword.

Robin held his breath, as time seemed to stand still and the friar stared silently at Bell.

The stand-off was broken as the soldier who had ordered the dismount earlier decided he’d had enough. “Get the bastards!”

Giveaway

Steven A. McKay is giving away two ebook copies of "Wolf's Head."



All you need to do is answer this question:

“Who would win a battle between Robin Hood and King Arthur, and why?”

Leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.

Giveaway Rules

• Leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.
• Giveaway ends at 11:59pm BST on February 27th.
You must be 18 or older to enter.
• Giveaway is only open to Internatioanlly.
•Only one entry per household.
• All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
•Winners will be announced in the comments.
• Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


Wolf’s Head is currently FREE on Amazon Prime Reading in the UK and also free worldwide with
 Kindle Unlimited.





Steven A. McKay

Steven A. McKay was born in Scotland in 1977. His first book, "Wolf's Head", came out in 2013 and was an Amazon UK top 20 bestseller. "The Abbey of Death” is the final book in the Forest Lord series which has over 100,000 sales so far.

Steven's new book, "The Druid" is the first in a brand new series set in post-Roman Britain and was published on November 1st 2018. He is now finishing off a standalone novel about a slave in Roman Britain.

He plays guitar and sings in a heavy metal band when they can find the time to meet up (which isn't often these days to be honest).

Check out his website at


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6 comments:

  1. Wow! What a gripping excerpt,Steven. This will be going on my TBR list.

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  2. Assuming Arthur did not have the scabbard to Excalibur, then Robin Hood would win. While Arthur may be powerful, Robin Hood is basically a medieval sniper.

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  3. Would have to go with Robin Hood because of his guerrilla warfare tactics.

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  4. I think it would have to have been Robin Hood. King Arthur would have fought as a knight, with the knights code of conduct, where as Robin was an outlaw, I don't think he would have played by the rules.

    ReplyDelete

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Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx