Monday, 15 May 2017

#BlogTour: Outremer by D N Carter @Authoright @gilbster1000

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.

Purchase from Amazon UK

Character Spotlight: Tenno. 


A Japanese master sea farer and naval navigator. Powerfully built and 6’5 tall, he was well travelled and highly skilled in the art of war. Fierce looking, rarely seen to smile, always ever vigilant and never appearing to sleep. A very deep thinker, Tenno was a man pained and haunted by his past yet had a soft side to his nature. Despite his fighting prowess and skills, he favoured peace first always. After his own plans to return home were disrupted, he vowed to protect both Paul and Alisha, the main central characters in Outremer, for as long as he was able to and for as long as they needed him.

A no nonsense pragmatic individual who spoke little; however when he did, was clipped and at times blunt, often appearing rude even when not meaning to. Fluent in Chinese, French, English, Spanish and High Dutch, he exuded supreme confidence with an air of authority about him. Often non-intentionally humorous in his observations, he missed nothing, was highly intelligent and physically strong as well as morally courageous.

He came from the ‘Ainu’ people, the first inhabitants of the northernmost islands of Japan called ‘Hokkaido.’ But the majority in Japan nowadays came from a later group known as ‘Yayoi’ who were mostly farmers and after who most still look like ...small in stature and oriental looking.

Tenno had been a boat builder in the service of his countries naval forces and as a highly skilled navigator, was charged with making detailed maps and set sail for mainland China as part of a ‘peace and exchange of knowledge’ delegation. During a joint operation with Chinese sailors, who were some of the best boat builders and navigators there has ever been, he sailed from the far eastern fringes of mainland Asia across seas full of icebergs eventually making landfall in what is now Alaska. Whilst there, a tsunami, destroyed their vessel and killed most of their hands. With no other option left, and trusting ancient maps in his possession, he headed east on an epic journey that lasted over a year covering what is today called Canada and parts of the USA. Eventually he met Nordic seafarers on the eastern coast who in turn took him and his fellow surviving hands on to Greenland, then Iceland and down to Alba, modern day Scotland. From there he headed off alone on to France and his hopeful journey onward home and to his family. With his love of boats and maps, he had much in common with Paul and taught him much about ship designs and navigation but also about other details of his past and his people.

Details such as the ancient Yayoi warriors, weapons, armour and a code of honour that became the centrepiece for the Japanese Samurai; being the name given to a class of warrior. Tenno still had all of his weaponry and armour and his code of conduct, which he followed devoutly and totally, had developed from the Chinese concept of the virtues of warriors doing battle, to the Samurai code of chivalry known as ‘Kyuba no michi’, which means ‘The Way of Horse and Bow’ to the Bushido code, which means ‘Way of the Warrior’. The philosophy of Bushido is ‘freedom from fear’ to transcend the fear of death giving Samurai the peace and power to serve his master faithfully and loyally and die well if necessary. ‘Duty’ is a primary philosophy of the Samurai and Tenno personified this to the full. Having resin out of continuous battles for land among three main clans in Japan, the Minamoto, the Fujiwara and the Taira, the Samurai eventually became a class unto themselves shortly after the 9th century, called by two names, Samurai, who were knights-retainers, and Bushi, warriors. They gave complete loyalty to their Daimyo, feudal landowners, and received land and position in return. Each Daimyo used his Samurai to protect his land and to expand his power and rights to more land. This is how Tenno ended up being sent upon his trade and discovery mission. The Samurai became expert in fighting from horseback and on the ground. They practiced armed and un-armed combat, methods Tenno would teach both Paul and Alisha for their own protection. Tenno wore two swords. One was long, the other short. The long sword ‘daito’ or ‘katana’ was more than 24 inches. The short sword, ‘shoto-wakizashi’ was between 12 and 20 inches. The Samurai often gave names to their swords and believed it was the ‘soul’ of their warriorship.

Tenno only wished to return home to his family once more ...that was all. He had come from a long line of noble warriors, his lineage coming from the legendary Jimmu Tenno himself, Japans first Emporer around 660 B.C. who had set up the ruling Yamato State. But that soon became dominated by the Soga clan. Then reforms during what was called the Taika period, then Taiho law codes established what became known as the ‘Great Council of State’. That made way to the Nara rule which began with Japans first permanent Capital. But the Emperor Kammu moved the capital to Kyoto when he came to power and when the Heian period began in around 794 AD. Eventually the Fujiwara family gained control of the Imperial Court and Tenno’s family tree became entwined with those of other ruling families until his great grandfather was involved with helping Taira Masakado revolt and proclaimed himself ‘The New Emperor’ in 935 AD. Other Samurai leaders exerted their influence across Japan and changed its history but the codes of conduct and way of the Samurai were much honoured, admired and respected. Many tales from their country have filtered down via the spice and trade routes into Arabic myth and legend and ultimately into European myths, especially the codes of conduct and chivalry and ultimately Arthurian legend.

Tenno quote: “The stronger you become, the gentler you will be!”

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.

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