My name is Mike Evers and I live in the small West Yorkshire town of Mirfield. Last year I put together three novellas (or long short stories) into a trilogy called The Hopfield Tales. These were inspired and based upon some interesting facts that I'd unearthed about my home town. You see, I'm not originally from this area, but grew up in South Wales, spending quite a few years living in various parts of the UK (and Poland). Anyhow, to cut a long story short, I did a teacher training course in Huddersfield and ended up settling down in Mirfield in 2005. I quickly took a shine to the town and during my many rambles hither and thither I discovered a few things, and soon decided that I just had to write about them. 'Hopfield' is an amalgamation of Mirfield and a neighbouring settlement called Hopton.
But what are the facts and where is the fiction?
Well of course, the books are works of fiction - unless you really do believe in the spirit of Robin Hood, for instance. However, there is more than just a grain of truth behind them, too. So, without further ado, let's have a look.
The Spirit Archer
This story is about a boy called Jamie who chances upon the grave of Robin Hood and forms a friendship with the legendary English outlaw.
Spirit Archer Facts
Robin Hood's grave is in Kirklees Priory, near Mirfield. While many may question the existence of the outlaw - he is, after all, one of Britain's most enduring legends - the story of Robin being murdered in Kirklees goes back at least 500 years. It is mentioned in the old English ballad A Gest of Robyn Hode.
The inscription in the book is the actual one on Robin Hood's grave. The description of the burial site is as accurate as possible. This grave was built in Victorian times, as the then landowner was quite taken with the legend so decided to build this memorial. He also added the inscription.
During my research I discovered that there was a prioress called 'Marion'. The usual name, 'Maid Marian', is not used in my story for the sake of genuine historical authenticity. Scan the image below for Marion Pinkerly. The time period in the book remains true to this precise period.
Jamie's street, Nook Lane, is called Nab Lane in real life. The Nook Lane chip shop is actually Nab Lane Fisheries.
The public house, 'The Laughing Nun' was the Three Nuns in real life. The pub is located quite near to Robin Hood's grave and gets its name from its connections with the former Kirklees Priory. Rumours about the nuns would probably make another story, so there you go!
*The pub is now a Miller and Carter steakhouse and has changed its facade.
Campaign of the Gods
This story involves Norse gods playing a fabulous board game in Asgard (a bit similar to Risk), which unlocks events in present day Hopfield, and a gives hapless local policeman a very BAD DAY when Vikings and creatures from the Norse underworld run amok.
The Hopfield Stone in the book is actually the Mirfield Stone. This wonderful artefact is from after the Viking period, believed to be from the late 11th Century. It is, however, a worthy objective in the game Campaign of the Gods.
In fact, the final battle takes place in the grounds of St Mary's Church, which is where the stone is located. It's a great location, don't you think?
Again, many locations in the book are from Mirfield and Hopton. Here is the local cricket ground where the dramatic first confrontation takes place. In the background is some of the woodland where the time-transported armies arrive.
Mark of the Legion
In Mark of the Legion a modern-day monk meets an old man as part of a friendship programme, who claims to have had a past life in the Roman IX Legion. But, what is real, and what isn't?
Mark of the Legion Facts
The monastery is real and is actually Mirfield's Community of the Resurrection. Furthermore, the care home (The Autumn Leaves Care Home) Brother Bentham visits is real, too, and is across the road, just like in the book. I live quite near to the monastery, and walk past it quite often. In the book I've tried to make the location and characters as authentic as possible. Within reason, of course.
Incredibly, the Holy Relic mentioned in the book is actually real!!! The Community of the Resurrection does indeed have a fragment of the cross Jesus was crucified upon. It is a gift from the Orthodox Patriarch (just like in the novella). You can make your own mind up about the provenance, but it's a great coup for Mirfield nonetheless. I was told this intriguing revelation by a monk during a monastery open day. I just had to write it into a story.
Anyway, just about all of the locations in the three stories are real, and are a tribute to Mirfield and Hopton. I hope you consider reading them. The trilogy is now available on Kindle at the lower price of $0.99.
The urban fantasy trilogy the Hopfield Tales is now available for under a dollar, less than a pound and lower than a euro.
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to snap it up! Don't just take my word for it...
Campaign of the Gods This riveting tale is about a British constable, his pregnant wife Anna and his partner Mark and their strange run-in with Norse Vikings.
This takes place in modern day England with Constable Stuart and his wife fretting over the imminent birth of their son. While out on a routine patrol, Stuart encounters a group of Vikings that he assumes to be a part of Mark's reenactment group. Little does he know that thanks to Loki, the God of Mischief, a board game between Thor and Tyr is being played out in their small town of Hopfield.
This short story is packed with action from beginning lines through to the end of the book. The small town is plagued with time-transported Vikings; lead by their hero Ivar the Boneless, in a pitched battle with a pack of wolves lead by Fenrir, the wolf god son of Loki.
As Stuart becomes folded into the game\war he receives a phone call from his wife - the baby is on its way. As he and Mark rush home to deliver her to the hospital the encounter rogue groups of blood thirsty wolves and battle hardened Vikings. All the while their small, puny lives are being put at risk, Thor and Tyr are trying to find a way to end this deadly game they are now being forced to play.
Will the Gods be able to end this bloodshed on the planet they are sworn to protect? What of Stuart and Anna - will they make be able to make it to the hospital alive? If so, will it be in time to have a healthy baby? What will become of the Vikings and wolves - who will win this horrible battle and what will happen afterwards?
Waiting for the answers to these questions and more will keep you from putting this book down until you reach the stunning conclusion.
By Kendell K. Jordan
Format: Kindle Edition
Mark of the Legion
The last story, Mark of the Legion, tells the story of an unambitious
man who decided to become a monk by way of escaping life... Or at least I would
call it escaping life, considering that he wasn't exactly pious. That said, I
want to say that there is really nothing wrong with that. We are all entitled
to living the way we like and as far as I'm concerned, he's not a criminal and
he does not beg. Brother Bentham enjoys his life in the brotherhood, he
cherishes the silence he gets while tending to the gardens and he does his job,
even when he doesn't like it. In the end, this story alone made reading the
entire book worth the trouble, because it was just so good. Brother Bentham has
his shortcomings, but he's a responsible and hardworking man and one who is
open to suggestions and ideas. I absolutely adore him. And I think that this
story delivers some very strong messages about responsibility and never
ignoring messages. This one earns 5 stars ★★★★★
When young Jamie discovers an ancient burial ground not far from his
home, little does he know what he's about to encounter. Set in a small town in
Northen England, Mike Evers blends the lessons of the past with the trials of
living in the modern world. The key to writing a good historical story is to
make it interesting enough to intrigue the reader to want to not only enjoy
reading the story in it's entirety, but to want to learn more when they have
finished the fiction and explore the factual. This novella does just that.
Although is begins
a little slow, it quickly picks up the pace and delivers an exceptionally warm
and emotional story. The characters are fully formed and the conflicts are
real, despite the paranormal aspects of the tale. I recommend that anyone with
children get their kids to read this book, it will encourage them to learn more
about the past and possibly want to engage in reading if they do not already.
But this is an enjoyable read for all ages. For a quick read with an emotional
and entertaining punch, please check out this book.
In Roman religion, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is commonly thought that the month of January is named for Janus.
Auld Lang Syne, My Dear...
God, I hated parties - and this party was
no exception. I really didn’t want to come to it, but one has to one’s
duty sometimes.I can still remember the
exact words on the invitation:
THE PRINCIPAL CORDIALLY INVITES YOU
TO A NEW YEAR’S EVE FANCY DRESS PARTY.
Theme: Fantasy & Sci Fi
Time: 8 till late
Place: The university main hall
A bar and buffet will be provided
So here I was, dressed in an orc outfit -
very Lord of the Rings, I thought. A dead ringer for one of the foul creatures,
I believed, though one or two people had already asked me what I was meant to
be. God, I detested parties – especially since the accident happened three
years ago. Emily would have loved this. “Cheer up! It’s a real blast,” she would
have said. But she was dead.
I would have preferred to have stayed at
home. I always do. If you are going to mark the occasion of the calendar
advancing and getting nearer to our graves, then why not stay at home and do it
quietly and without a fuss. But the job has called me – it always does - and
I’ve got to be here tonight, mingling and chatting, and generally pretending to
have a good time in a stupid costume. At least the drinks were quite cheap at
the university. I headed over to get one.
Tony, there you are,” said Professor Deakin - someone I didn’t want to talk to
right now.I pretended I didn’t hear him
over the noise of the music. I knew it wouldn’t work.
how are you my dear boy?” asked Deakin, placing his drink down next to me on
the bar. I drank a bit of beer before turning and hitting him with my best fake
just dandy Professor Deakin, thank you. How are you doing on this fine
just wonderful - thank you. I see you’ve come as some sort of dreadful creature
from the dark recesses of Tolkien’s brain,” he said, giving my costume the once
you. You’re the first to spot it.” I replied, smiling and quaffing more ale. I
looked over his outfit. He was dressed as Gandalf the Grey, which didn’t
surprise me a bit. “Or should I say – thank you Gandalf, and hope you don’t
smite me,” I said.
I wouldn’t do that. It’s not in Gandalf’s interest to smite just any old thing,
of course not,” I said. He was a right one, Professor Deakin. This is what
being head of the English department must do to you over the course of time.
professor twiddled his beard and I could visualise his mind searching for more
things to say. Eventually, his lips opened: “You haven’t produced any papers
lately, and your last book was published over three years ago. Is there
anything wrong Tony?”
there was nothing wrong. Only my darling wife had died, and there were the
constant demands of the university to deal with: The endless rounds of
lectures, tutorials, meetings, petty administration, and marking to do. And now
I had to suck up to colleagues and senior college bigwigs. There was nothing
wrong at all.
I glanced around the hall, looking for
somewhere I could go and sit by myself. It was then that I noticed another
Gandalf.If the professor’s wizard costume
was good, then this one was truly magnificent. It had a real ethereal quality
to it and you just couldn’t keep your eyes off it. Talk about charisma.
think you’ve got a bit of competition, Professor,” I said, nodding over to the
other wizard, “Gandalf the White is here.”
made my excuses and walked over to an empty table in the corner of the room.A quick glance at the clock told me it was 10
o’clock – thank goodness for that – only 2 hours to go.
Perhaps it was the drink, but things were
starting to get better. The dance floor was filling up and I spotted quite a
few attractive lovelies dressed as elves, warrior maidens and robotic
replicants. There was even a very fetching Princess Leia, who, I’m sure smiled
at me.I smiled back and immediately
then I saw him again – the person dressed as a wizard. What an amazing costume,
Avoiding Professor Deakin, I went the bar,
bought another drink and sat back down on my mercifully empty table.I knew I was meant to be chatting to people,
but I really just didn’t feel up to it.I imagined Emily sitting next to me, and for a fleeting moment I heard
her laugh once more. And then I felt sad - so I went to the bar again.
I got back I was surprised to find Princess Leia sitting at the table.
said Leia, smiling and offering me a bowl of cashews. “You’re Tony from the
English department, right?”
I am. How do you know that?” I asked, grabbing a couple of nuts and gobbling
spoken before. You don’t remember?”
was right – I didn’t remember. I hate to say it, but I might have been a bit
tipsy that night.
let me help you out. My name’s Liz and I teach in the Politics department.” She
said. Now she mentioned it – I did remember her a bit. She looked very
different in the Star Wars costume though.
to meet you Liz... again,” I said, before adding: “I hope you don’t mind if I
call you Leia.”
at all Mr Orc,” she replied, laughing.She seemed to like me, which was very strange indeed. I looked at the
clock again, which read 11.50pm.In a
moment I was going to have to make a break from the crowd.I couldn’t really face talking to Princess
Leia anymore and there was no way I was going to sing and hug people at
midnight. No way. I made a break for the gents’ toilet.
I arrived in the loo in the nick of time.
I could hear somebody announcing the build up to midnight on a microphone. All
I had to do was sit it out for the next 15 minutes or so. Nobody else would
come in to the washroom at this time. And then Gandalf the White came in. Drat!
Mr Gandalf,” I said, slightly mirthfully, before turning. I was going to go
into the cubicle to be left alone.
then he pulled down his cowl, stopping me dead in my tracks. It was the most
hideous sight I had ever seen. He...or it...had two faces. Two faces side by
side on the same head. I nearly fainted, but my rubbery legs somehow kept me
you know who I am?” asked the creature with the mouth on one of its faces.
couldn’t be, could it?
you...um... Janus?” I replied. What on earth?
do you know what I do?” it said, using the other face.
the god of beginnings and transitions. January is named after you.” I said, the
words coming out as a whimper.
do you know the song Auld Land Syne?” asked Janus.
We sing it at midnight to mark the coming year.” I responded.
what does it mean?” asked the god.
song asks us whether it’s right to forget the past and to remember old
friendships.” I said. I had always liked Burns’ old Scots verse, despite not
singing it very often.
do you think we should do this?”
hesitated slightly, before replying. The answer came out:”Yes, I do.”
the moment music started playing in the main hall – the build up to the song.
IT!” said Janus, with an unfathomable depth and power. I started singing:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
“SING IT LOUDER
AND WITH FEELING!” boomed Janus.The
words suddenly seared into my brain, flashing up like the HUD in a fighter
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
“SING IT LIKE YOU
MEAN IT!” said the deity. I began singing the chorus. Suddenly, a terrific
energy pulsed through me.
For auld lang syne my dear,
for auld lang syne,
was all becoming clear: I had to let go of Emily and move on with my life. The
tears started rolling down my cheeks.
We’ll tak’ a cup of kindness,
For auld lang syne.
went on to the next verse. Janus nodded and started to smile on both faces.
And surely ye’ll be your pint
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness
for auld lang syne.
of Emily filled my mind - happy memories. I would never forget her and my love
for her would stay with me till my dying day. We had walked upon the slopes
together, picking flowers, but that time was finished.
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine;
but we’ve wander’d mony a weary
sin auld lang syne.
epiphany reached a crescendo and I passed out.
Well, that was last New Year’s Eve and
quite a lot has happened since then.You
may be pleased to know that Liz, or Leia as I still sometimes call her, has
moved in with me and our relationship is coming along nicely. I’ve started
writing again and will have a new book out early next year.I can safely say that I have stopped being an
orc – but I am pleased to say Professor
Deakin still sees himself as Gandalf.
****************************************** Have a happy and prosperous 2015 everyone!
Mark of the Legion is still a free read. You can download it or read the whole book on the page.
Please consider adding a review if you get the time, but no worries either way.
Bentham Cawley enjoys and quiet and humdrum life as a monk at the Brotherhood of the Resurrection in Hopfield, Yorkshire. But this is all about to change - when he unwillingly embarks on the monastery's new friendship programme and meets remarkable octogenarian Ernest Teale.
Just how does Ernest know so much about the past, and how is he connected to the legendary but doomed Roman Ninth Legion?
Well, I decided to updated the cover for The Hopfield Tales, as I felt it needed a more arresting image, as well as the title on the front.
Anyway, I found some great stuff on StockFreeImages.com, particularly images with runes. After a bit of deliberation, I decided that an image called Rune of Childhood by an artist called Dimarion would be the one for the book. As well as being an intriguing and striking image, I also liked the association with childhood, which The Hopfield Tales are partly about. Also, the book is aimed at young people, which is another association.
Furthermore, the rune also ties in with the Viking subject matter and plot of the second tale, Campaign of the Gods.
Anyway, I hope you like it.
To celebrate, the book is half price on Amazon - Friday 22nd November to Monday 25th.
Today we are graced with the presence of author MaryAnn Kempher, who writes romantic fiction. As I am writing this, MaryAnn is off plotting something with Princess Ruby. I think they are planning to get rid of me, or something. I certainly hope not!
She also seems to be on first name terms with 'Him' (the Transylvanian one) which also leads me to suspect that things might be afoot.
Anyway, MaryAnn is courteous and charming, and Ruby is insisting that we all download her book for free over the next few days. What a lovely idea.
FREE Kindle Download - Tuesday 11 June to Saturday 15 June
We are extremely pleased you have journeyed to us in the Karkonose. Can you tell us something about the place where you usually dwell and your background?
Hello, I currently live near Tampa Florida, USA. I’ve travelled to a lot of different places, the only place I can say I really regret not being able to visit (yet) is London.
Are you enjoying your visit to the Citadel?
Oh absolutely. I love it here.
Tell us what is happening to you at the moment as a writer.
At the moment, I’m writing my second book.
ML: Hmm...I wonder what it is about?
Do you have anything exciting lined up for the future?
Well, my first book MOCHA, MOONLIGHT, AND MURDER, which is Romantic Suspense was released on 14 April. I’m super excited because....
Tuesday 11 June through Saturday 15 June, my book will be FREE for all Kindle users.
We employ lots of gnomes here at the citadel. They are quite rambunctious and troublesome at times, and often refuse to work. Do you have any tips on looking after them?
Well, I’ve heard that if you feed them biscuits and tea or coffee that tends to calm them down. But, be careful when you hand them their biscuits, they get very excited and might nip you.
ML: The nipping is just about tolerable. It is the cheese rampages I worry about. Cheese and biscuits rampages would be off the scale!
I have a long running feud with Vlad Dracula, who lives over in Transylvania. He thinks I stole his wife and will not let it lie. Do you any recommendations on how I should deal with the grumpy old curmudgeon?
Oh, I’ve heard all about your feud. You just don’t understand Vlad like I do. He’s really a softie, but he has a terrible ulcer. His wife used to rub his belly, now she’s gone and he blames you. Just arrange for a monthly massage, and he’ll soon forgive you.
My wife Ruby says I spend too much time in the local village and not enough time counting turnips for her. How can I keep her happy?
I’ve met Ruby and she always wants what she doesn’t have. This is just another case of her thinking she wants something she really doesn’t. If you give up your trips to the village for a little while, she’ll soon get tired of your constant company and be pushing you out the door.
I failed in my last attempt to unleash chaos on the world.Can you think ofa way I should employ my powers to redeem myself and make the world a better place?
Hmm, that’s a hard one, I’ll have to give that some thought and get back to you.
How can people find you on this Internet thing-a-me-jig? Do you have a web address or other ways that lovely book fans can read more about you?
Oh gosh, I’m everywhere. If you’d like to download my book for free (11-15 June) go here: