Ysbyty Cynfyn

Ysbyty Cynfyn was a hospital of the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. It is located along the pilgrim road to St. David’s and, later in history, to Strata Florida Abbey. It consists today of a church, dedicated to St John, situated within a wall that incorporates ancient standing stones. This is one of three standing stones built into the churchyard wall. Their presence indicates that the medieval church may have been built over a pagan site. The fact that the churchyard is circular is a further indication that worship has taken place here for possibly thousands of years. On the other side of the Rheidol gorge (accessed by a stiff hike, not for the faint of heart!) are the remains of a bronze age burial mound that has eroded away to reveal the stone circle Read more…

The Unlikely Spy available now!

The fifth Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery, The Unlikely Spy, is available now in both ebook and paperback! The Unlikely Spy August 1146. Prince Hywel has called all the bards of Wales to him for a music festival to mark the third anniversary of his rule over Ceredigion. He has invited all the lords of Wales too, including his father, his uncle, and his neighbor to the south, King Cadell. But with the highborn also come the low: thieves, spies, and other hangers-on. And when a murderer strikes as the festival starts, Gareth and Gwen are charged with discovering his identity—before the death of a peasant shakes the throne of a king. The Unlikely Spy, the fifth Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery was released on 17 June 2014. It is available at Amazon US and all Amazon stores, the Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.  

Welsh Names and Places from the Books

  Aberystwyth –Ah-bare-IH-stwith Bwlch y Ddeufaen – Boolk ah THEY-vine (the ‘th’ is soft as in ‘forth’) Cadfael – CAD-vile Cadwallon – Cad-WA/SH/-on Caernarfon – (‘ae’ makes a long i sound like in ‘kite’) Kire-NAR-von Dafydd – DAH-vith Dolgellau – Doll-GE/SH/-ay Deheubarth – deh-HAY-barth Dolwyddelan – dole-with-EH-lan (the ‘th’ is soft as in ‘forth’) Gruffydd – GRIFF-ith Gwalchmai – GWALK-my (‘ai’ makes a long i sound like in ‘kite) Gwenllian – Gwen-/SH/EE-an Gwladys – Goo-LAD-iss Gwynedd – GWIN-eth Hywel – H’wel Ieuan – ieu sounds like the cheer, ‘yay’ so YAY-an Llywelyn – /sh/ew-ELL-in Maentwrog – MIGHNT-wrog Meilyr – MY-lir Owain – OH-wine Rhuddlan – RITH-lan Rhun – Rin Rhys – Reese Sion – Shawn Tudur – TIH-deer Usk – Isk

The Fallen Princess Available now!

The next Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery, The Fallen Princess, is now available at Amazon US and all Amazon stores, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, the Apple iBookstore and in paperback.  If you haven’t read the first book in the series yet, it’s available for free everywhere: all Amazon stores  Kobo  Smashwords  Apple iBookstore  Barnes and Noble   The Fallen Princess Hallowmas 1144. With the harvest festival approaching, Gareth has returned from fighting in the south, hoping for a few months of peace with Gwen before the birth of their first child. But when an innocent foray to the beach turns up the murdered body of Prince Hywel’s long lost cousin, a woman thought to have run away with a Dane five years earlier, it is Gareth and Gwen who are charged with discovering her killer. The trail has long since gone cold, or so Gareth and Gwen think, until their investigation threatens to expose dangerous Read more…

Maps from the Books!

A reader suggested I post the maps from the books on my web page, which is a really good idea. This is the main map for the After Cilmeri Series:   For Cold My Heart. It is much the same, except I use the old name for Aber, which is Garth Celyn:   The Last Pendragon Saga: The Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries. Carreg Cennen from The Bard’s Daughter is not shown, but it forms a triangle with Dinefwr and Dryslyn:

Brother Cadfael’s Penance (review)

Ellis Peters began her Brother Cadfael series in 1977 with A Morbid Taste for Bones. Twenty books later, she wrote Brother Cadfael’s Penance, my personal favorite.  She saved the best for last, as she died in October, 1995. Ellis Peters was the nom de plume of Edith Pargeter.  Although she began the Brother Cadfael mysteries towards the end of the life, she had a long career in many other areas.  Although she left school at fifteen, she taught herself Czechoslovakian, and then translated a number of works into English.  http://www.dawleyheritage.co.uk/unpublished-articles/342/biography-of-edith-pargeter-by-p-wolfe Here’s the pitch for the final book:  “For Brother Cadfael in the autumn of his life, the mild November of our Lord’s year 1145 may bring a bitter–and deadly–harvest. England is torn between supporters of the Empress Maud and those of her cousin Stephen. The civil strife is about to jeopardize Read more…