When two cultures clash violently, how can you stop your enemies from turning the weapons of an unjust war on your family and villages?
Bone-mend and Salt, Book 1 in the Accidental Heretics series, launches an adventure of conspiracy and revenge amidst the crusade against the Cathar heresy in southern Europe in 1210.
Heresy by intent or accident?
A Moorish mercenary—mutilated and left to die, harangued by his father’s ghost—seeks revenge, since justice is impossible. A French knight, banned as a Cain, longs for respite but must use his sword to battle his betrayers. A Catalan widow holds her own fate, until a gold-sniffing priest accuses her of heresy. A hidden enemy traps these three in a crusade that’s run amok.
Dreams of love and hope become impossible when destiny propels these three into a hazardous journey across the Languedoc, where Simon de Montfort is spreading terror to flush heretics from their lairs, shouting over the voices of the troubadours.
Bone-mend and Salt is the first book in the Accidental Heretics medieval historical fiction series, deep in the spice-and-intrigue world of southern Europe, where a holocaust is being kindled to rid the Languedoc of heresy. Bone-mend and Salt includes maps and a glossary of Occitan and historic terms.
The story begins …
The mercenary, Tomás, son of the dashing Miquel of Morella, was disfigured by the cuckoo’s hatchlings who stole his father’s estates. He and his foster brother Chrétien work as mercenaries while searching for their enemies, seeking to fulfill the blood-oath made to their father.
The young widow, Isabella, granddaughter of a famous crusader, is striving to protect her family’s lands and villages, unable to pay enormous new taxes owed to Simon de Montfort, the Norman lord leading the crusade. An unknown assailant attacks her, and her brother-in-law comes to terrorize her, wanting to take her young son.
Jean-Luc, a French captain falsely accused as a thief and a Cain at the fall of Constantinople years earlier, has roamed Europe seeking the enemy who destroyed his life.
The three descendants of crusaders are under siege from unknown enemies who have plagued their families since their fathers and grandfathers first met in the Outre-mer. Their lives intertwine as they work to unwind conspiracies that test their courage and devotion to duty.
However, the French armies have returned for the summer “crusading season.” Or, as one old-time crusader sees it, Norman lords have come to steal land and replace the fortunes they lost on failed crusades in the Outre-mer. The crusade’s methods and goals increasingly interfere with the trio’s personal desires and battles for retribution, love, and safety.
ISBN and other facts
print: 978-1-939423-15-3 (500 pages; second edition)
Book store orders via CreateSpace Direct and Ingram