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Footloose?

Footloose?

 

Yes, you are in the right place! The new website and blog of C.C. Humphreys. Click on any of the links above, or the covers to the right, to go to any of the novels. On their pages you will also find podcasts, galleries of photos… and the odd film!

 

NOW, HOT OFF THE PRESS… He’s here at last! 13 years after publication in the UK, Canada and around the World…

 

 

 

THE FRENCH EXECUTIONER COMES TO AMERICA

UScoverThe year is 1536, and notorious French executioner Jean Rombaud is brought in by Henry VIII to behead Anne Boleyn, the condemned Queen of England. But on the eve of her execution, Rombaud becomes enchanted with the ill-fated queen and swears a vow to her: to bury her six-fingered hand, a symbol of her rumored witchery, at a sacred crossroads.Yet in a Europe ravaged by religious war, the hand of this infamous Protestant icon is so powerful a relic that many will kill for it.

Bloodthirsty warriors, corrupt church fathers, Vikings, alchemists, and sullied noblemen alike vie for the prize as Rombaud, a man loyal to the grave, struggles to honor his promise. From sea battles to lusty liaisons, from the hallucinations of St. Anthony’s fire to the fortress of an apocalyptic messiah, The French Executioner sweeps readers into a breathtaking story of courage, the pursuit of power, and loyalty at whatever cost.

“A wonderful saga of magic and heroism. If you can find a first impression, hoard it and wait till it rises in value like a first edition of Lord of the Rings. This is as good.”—Crime Time, UK

“This unusual tale conjures visions of an Errol Flynn-type Hollywood swashbuckler…the tale’s well-told, engagingly written, and includes a colorful immersion into a time when life was cheap and danger or death literally waited around every corner. A gory but fascinating…look at the world in the early 16th century. ” – Kirkus

“Set against the backdrop of the Protestant Reformation, his superbloody Princess Bride-like adventure is, at its heart, a tale of redemption, well earned and hard-won.” – Library Journal

How about buying from the publisher?

Sourcebooks:

http://tiny.cc/ycobnx

or Barnes and Noble

http://tiny.cc/veobnx

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THE FRENCH EXECUTIONER!

And then there’s…

A Book Trailer for my new novel, PLAGUE

And a Toronto TV interview:

http://globalnews.ca/video/1468351/author-c-c-humphreys

The first reviews are in. A few snippets:

‘Think 48 Hours in the 17th century… Plague is almost an embarrassment of riches… the sort of book you open when you have a spare couple of minutes, and look up from hours later, only after the last paragraph is read.” Robert Wiersma, Vancouver Sun and nationally.

“This novel screams “summer reading.” – Susan Cole, Now Toronto.

“With kings and cripple, rats and rotters, Highwaymen and loose women, you’d never think a lethal virus could be so much fun.” Jon Wise, Sunday Sport UK

Stand by all. Plague is coming… to a city near you!

JULY 15TH 2014: The release of my new novel in Canada and the UK.

The Canadian cover on the left, UK on the right.

HumphreysV8L51YkitiHUoL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-48,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Humphreys’ expressive writing style and ability to weave a tale from these engaging characters’ respective points of view makes for a rich and addictive read, ideal for fans of historical fiction.” Publishers Weekly

SYNOPSIS

London, 1665. A serial killer stalks his prey, scalpel in his hand and God’s vengeance in his heart.

The Plague is back. Thousands are dying, thousands more imprisoned in their own houses, red crosses painted on their doors announcing the pestilence within. While on a dark road outside London, a simple robbery goes horribly wrong. The highwayman, Captain Coke, discovers that his intended victims have been brutally slaughtered.

Suspected of the murders, Coke is forced into an uneasy alliance with the man who pursues him—the relentless thief-taker, Pitman. Clues lead both men to the theatre and to the players who entertain Charles II and his libertine courtiers. There, two actresses—the spirited Sarah Chalker and the beautiful young Lucy Absolute— help to uncover a plot by a fanatical cult planning to kill King Charles and replace him with King Jesus. Love grows between the captain and Sarah, only for both murderer and plague to come between them. And as Death moves remorselessly through the glittering court and the fetid alleys, from the raucous playhouse to the barbarous prisons, can a highwayman, an actress and a thief-taker unite to stop it?

(Click HERE to order from Amazon in the UK)

(Click HERE to order from Amazon in the Canada)

Quite the contrast, eh? Would love to get people’s opinions.

But for my US friends don’t despair. The latest JACK ABSOLUTE novel is out:

Honour

The Good Book Guide in the UK called Jack Absolute:

‘The finest series of historical novels since Patrick O’Brian’

“An absolute delight! Swashbuckling adventure, eighteenth century wit, hugely entertaining plots, and one of the most appealing military gentlemen ever to wear a sword.” – Diana Gabaldon, Author of ‘Outlander’ and the Lord John Grey series.

Here’s the link to Amazon.com:

http://tinyurl.com/m58ve57

Oh and in the UK and Canada, the paperback of ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ is now out!

Cover finalClick HERE to buy in UK

A new video of Fight Night in Vancouver: Here’s me talking about my greatest ever theatrical exit!

http://cchumphreys.com/c-c-s-blog/

(Click here and look for ‘A Theatrical Tale’ )

A Novel launched at Bard on the Beach! Watch the video. Click FIGHT

And for my Jack Absolute Fans, hear me introduce the novels here:

http://cchumphreys.com/books/historical-fiction/the-jack-absolute-books/

This was amazing! A night of swords and words at one of Canada’s premier Shakespeare festivals!

Some of the world’s top swordsmen slashed it out, while Bard buffs discussed and explored the turbulent times that Shakespeare lived as he struggled to give birth to  the greatest game changer in literature:

THE TRAGEDY OF HAMLET

Here’s my final thoughts on the night:

http://cchumphreys.com/c-c-s-blog/

Have a look at the new gallery: http://cchumphreys.com/slideshows/shakespeares-rebel-the-fight-night-gallery-2/

John Lawley takes on the vast Spaniard!

John Lawley takes on the vast Spaniard!

And here’s a terrific interview on CBC’s North by North-West.

http://tinyurl.com/mdq9dsp

Go to 12.52 minutes for Me, unless you want to hear the others.

Some Reviews:

“This is a spectacularly good historical novel. Lewd, debauched and pungent on the one hand, but genuinely romantic, honourable and deeply felt on the other.

- The opening of the first review for my new novel – on Goodreads. From Richard Lee – founder of the Historical Novels Society. Here’s the rest:

I think what will stay with me longest is the vivid portrayal of Elizabethan Southwark in ferment, and Shakespeare, and the context of some of his plays. But there’s spying, rebellion, and adventure, and it’s a real page-turner too. I’m ashamed to say this is the first C.C. Humphreys I have read. Now for some more.”

I’m considering: ‘Lewd, debauched and pungent’ for my tombstone!

Here’s another review, on Amazon.uk, from one of London’s best booksellers, Parmenion Books:

5.0 out of 5 stars Book of the Year 2013, 16 Mar 2013
By Parm (A bookshop near you) – See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
This review is from: Shakespeare’s Rebel (Hardcover)
Review

When I get to the end of a book I’m always eager to sit and write the review, to express my opinion and feelings of the work I have just finished. I think this is probably the first time I have been intimidated by the process, worried that I didn’t have the right words or the eloquence to do justice to the book. Yes the book is simply that good.

I have read many stories where the authors love of the subject is clear in the telling of the story. But this time its more than that its a passion for the tale, for the time, for the people and for the subject. This passion leaps from every word, every utterance of every character the very bones and soul of the story.

The synopsis will tell you enough about the plot I’m certainly not going to spoil a single line of it for you. What my utmost desire is by writing this, is that you go and buy a copy. Because this story has it all; a love story, a family story, History, mystery and intrigue, passion, sex, plots, fighting, infighting, backstabbing…the list could go on and on. Its is the complete package.

A book this good comes along only rarely and deserves to hit the bestseller list.

Highest recommendation!

Release dates:

UK: March 14th 2013

Order here in UK:

http://tiny.cc/4uebsw

Order here in Canada: http://tiny.cc/0qebsw

JACK ABSOLUTE RETURNS TO AMERICA!
Yes, he’s back. What the Good Book Guide in the UK called: ‘The finest series of historical novels since Patrick O’Brian’ is published in the USA on May 7th.

Meet the real Jack Absolute – not the comic captain from Sheridan’s play ‘The Rivals’. Meet the Redcoat. The Mohawk. The Lover. The Spy.

Jack US Front Cover

You can buy at your local bookstore or online at:

Barnes and Noble

Amazon.com

A Rather nice early blog review: ‘Imagine if Dan Brown were to write historical fiction starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. Got that? Now throw in a heavy dose of Shakespeare and theatre humor and you have this novel. From the first page, it is a rush of a read. Jack is a great character – sexy, smarmy, and suave.’ Tara’s Book Blog

Full review: http://tarasbookblog.com/2013/05/16/jack-absolute-by-c-c-humphreys-a-review/

And like this one too:

“Humphreys attention to detail is unparalleled in today’s historical fiction novels. Down to the smallest of things, the author endeavors to be true to the time period and to the historical accuracy that is expected in good historical fiction. Jack becomes everything from an impersonated soldier to a spy during this novel that is for all intents and purposes a wonderful adventure story. Humphreys excels at both character development and advancing the plot. His story certainly doesn’t drag. Jack is a captivating character that readers won’t soon forget.” Deb’s Book Blog.

Full review at: http://tinyurl.com/khaaq67

Film Possibilities: I don’t usually allow myself to get too excited about film news. But this, in Hollywood’s Daily Variety, did make me at least crack a grin:

‘Game of Thrones producer joins French Executioner’:

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/mark-huffam-on-board-the-french-executioner-exclusive-1200330853/

And in the US!

Here’s the press release from my US publishers for my latest there:

New Novel Details Epic Clash of Civilizations

Author C.C. Humphreys Weaves Dramatic Tale of the Fall of Constantinople

You know how the siege of Constantinople ends. It’s written in the history books.

But what was the human toll? What are the stories of the people involved? How did they experience this epic battle that tore apart cultures, religions, and families?

That is what you will discover in author C.C. Humphreys’s new novel A Place Called Armageddon: Constantinople 1453 (ISBN 9781402272493; SEPTEMBER 2012; $25.99; Fiction; Hardcover).

The year is 1453. The city of Constantinople is at the center of a clash of civilizations. For the Greeks, it’s their home that has withstood attacks for centuries behind mighty walls. For the Turks, it’s the prize they have spent centuries trying to win.

Humphreys features a wide cast of characters from both sides of the rampart in A Place Called Armageddon. At the center are Gregoras and Theon. Twin brothers from Constantinople. One an exiled mercenary who has vowed never to return. The other a rising diplomatic star hiding a secret of betrayal. A woman who has captured one’s heart, but is married to the other as a trophy. Two brothers fighting for glory and redemption.

A Place Called Armageddon also imagines what the battle meant for two real-life historical figures—Emperor Constantine and Mehmet, sultan of the Turks. Both men fighting for their people and for God. Both sides tasting victory and defeat before the final showdown. Among those fighting is engineer John Grant, a Scotsman brought to Constantinople to recover the formula for Greek Fire, and Achmed, a Turkish farmer lured into service by the promise of the spoils of war. Lurking in the shadows is Leilah, a sorceress who plays a dangerous game with both sides.

From sword fights with pirates to explosions in tunnels and towers, secret rendezvous in the enemy camp, and the religious and moral dilemmas of war, Humphreys once again uses his dramatic flair and meticulous research to weave fiction into fact.

Click on the book’s cover to the right, or its title above to go the page for synopsis, reviews … and even a short film!

Here’s a great review from Publisher’s Weekly:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4022-7249-3

And in other news…

THE BIG ONE! I AM MOVING PUBLISHERS!

Click HERE to see the announcement in The Bookseller.

118 Responses to Home

  1. wade kuhn says:

    Hi Chris, I just finished your soon to be published A Place Called Armageddon whic I won on goodreads.com. I put up a favorable review of the book and look to read some of your past work. If you were located in the US I would really want to send my copy to in hopes you would sign or inscribe it for me. I guess there is no book mail rate to Canada? In any event. I really liked the book. Keep up the great writing. Sincerely, Wade Kuhn

  2. Neil Pearce says:

    Hi, just a quick question, will there be any more Jack Absolute novels? I have enjoyed them immensely and am in fact re-reading them. Good luck with your future projects.

    • Thanks, Wade. I’d be delighted to sign it for you. Any way you can make one of my upcoming US dates? See ‘Appearances’. Anyway, so glad you liked the book.

      And, Neil: Strange you ask. My publishers have had me on a different track for years. But I love Jack and have just begun dabbling with a sequel to the original Jack Absolute. Early days and very busy but… watch this space!

      • Neil Pearce says:

        Hi Chris, Many thanks for your prompt reply to my enquiry concerning Jack Absolute. I too love the character and was hoping we hadn’t seen the last of him. I have a keen interest in that particular historical period and would love to see Jack continue his adventures in America. I can understand your affection for Jack having played him upon the stage, but you have done a brilliant job of expanding his character beyond ‘The Rivals’ and have really brought flesh to his bones so to speak. I find myself very sympathetic to him as he is so human and therefore full of all that entails. I shall indeed look forward to another Jack Absolute book, and wish you the very best of luck!

      • So pleased to hear that, Neil. It is like meeting up with an old friend right now.

      • Neil Pearce says:

        Hi Chris, yes I imagine it must feel like meeting up with an old friend concerning Jack. If and when you do continue his adventures will he still be involved in the American Revolution? I personally hope so as this is my favourite historical period. It’s refreshing to read a story/character from the British perspective. I too am writing a book from this period, though I am using a real life person-the infamous Banastre Tarleton, who of course appears in the first Jack Absolute novel. I am writing in the first person, as if he is recounting his life, and I have become immersed in his character. I have nearly completed the manuscript, and would like one day to be published but have primarily done it for my own pleasure. Tarleton, as you know was a much maligned figure, but considerable research has shown to me that he was very unfairly labelled a butcher by the rebel propaganda machine. I hope to show another side to him, and give to the reader (if in fact anyone actually gets to read it) that he was quite some character. Anyway, thanks for your time, look forward to the next Jack Absolute, and as I said would love to see him continue his time in America. Kind Regards, Neil.

      • Neil Pearce says:

        Hi Chris, in reference to my enquries concerning Jack Absolute, when you do write the sequel to ‘Jack Absolute’ will he soldier on in the American Revolution? Or do you think you will be taking him elsewhere for his adventures? Would love to know.

      • Still in planning stage. But it would be immediate sequel to original ‘Jack Absolute’ and would follow Jack’s recovery in Canvas Town (New York City) of both sanity and good name. No battles but spies, reunions… and cricket!

      • Neil Pearce says:

        I am intrigued, especially concerning the cricket!!! Will he be meeting the subject of my interest, a certain Banastre Tarleton once again? As you probably know Tarleton was a renowned cricket player, a notable bowler by all accounts, so would love to see them encountering each other once again. Tarleton was stationed in New York around this time, and like Jack he also served in the honourable 16th Light Dragoons before becoming the field commander of the infamous British Legion. I know they fought their duel in the original ‘Jack Absolute’, but actually, I think they would have got along quite well. Far be it for me to make such a suggestion, for you are after all the creator of Jack Absolute beyond the original Sheridan character, but to my way of thinking Jack has such ‘legs’, and could have such adventures during and beyond the revolution. Like your good self I have such an affection for Jack, and frankly another book still wouldn’t be enough! I look forward greatly to his continuing saga, for he truly feels like an old friend. Bravo Jack Absolute!

  3. Craig in NH says:

    I picked up a copy of Jack Absolute and ended up reading on a trip, right after attending the re-enactment of the Battle of Oriskany. I could easily see Jack there, and it made the story that much more exciting. I believe I was also at the re-enactment of Saratoga when you were doing your research. I could knit-pick a few of the musket firing descriptions but that had little impact on the whole story. I was surprised at the very tragic ending. If Jack goes back to the Indians, there is more tragedy waiting as the Colonials fought west to ‘cleanse’ the country for expansion. The New Hampshire Regiment I re-enact with was a major part of that, and we believe that had a enormous impact on General Sullivan. But I’d love a sequel that takes Jack anywhere in the new world.

    • So pleased you liked it. Did they renact Oriskany at the real location? So cool. I am toying with the sequel to ‘Jack Absolute’ so watch this space. Yes, I buggered up the musket loading! Will be addressed for the reissue in the US, circa 2014.

  4. Raymond Brown says:

    Hi Cris
    I was introduced to your book Vlad-The Last Confessions, by members of the Conn Iggulden Forum, I found it an amazing read, when I saw the Place called Armaggedon and it was the seige of Constantinople which has a particular intrest for me I immediatly downloaded it to my Kindle, I will give your Jack Absolute series a try. Thank you for the great reads, and I hope many more to come.

  5. David (Man of Kent) says:

    I am half way through ‘The Blooding of Jack Absolute’ and enjoying the novel, such that I would like to read the other two? Novels, in their correct sequence, so in which order should I read them – Jack Absolute and then Absolute Honour?
    Also in the above response you talk of ‘toying with the sequel to ‘Jack Absolute’ would that not have been Absolute Honour?

    • Dear Kentish Man,

      It’s a little complicated – I wrote Jack Absolute first for various reasons. It is set in 1777. I then went to The Blooding, the prequel -1759. Absolute Honour is set immediately afterwards and thus is the sequel to the prequel. So I’d read AH next then Jack.
      I am hoping to write the sequel to JA soon.
      Clear as mud?
      All the best
      Chris

  6. Sonny Crowley says:

    HI Chris,
    Just finished the Jack Absolute trilogy.. love this Character and you simply HAVE to complete his story. I’m sure a lot of his fans want more.
    I have read ALL your other novels , keep up the excellent prose.

    All the very best

    Sonny

    • Thanks, Sonny. Jack is very dear to my heart and you are part of a small but dedicated movement who want to see him back. Now I just need to persuade my publishers…

      • Dear Chris
        After reading the above with delight about another Jack Absolute novel I wondered if you would ever cosndier having Jack meet Molly Brant. At the time she was argubly one of the most famous Indian leaders organising Indian resistance who was loathed by the the Rebels/Congress . Yet now she seems rather forgotten.
        Also could the battle of Wyoming Valley ever be in the works for Jack. It was called a massacre by the Patritots but as survivors testify no civillians were harmed only soldiers. It would seem a fair fight for Jack to be in.
        Also if you have not read it I can reccomend Liberty’s Exiles by Maya Jasanoff on the Loyalists as worth a read.
        Yours sincerely
        Geraint
        P.S This is for Neil above but he might like to try this excellent website on Tarleton http://home.golden.net/~marg/bansite/_entry.html
        The guy was arrogant and cocky and he liked a fight but he was not a nazi as portrayed in the Patriot. While his impersonation of George Washingtons cousin to Patriot militia leader was nothing short of brilliant.

      • Still in the negotiating stage for Jack – but I think Tarleton will figure again and may even make him a good guy this time!

      • Neil Pearce says:

        Hi Chris, nice to hear that Tarleton may be making an appearance in the next Jack Absolute novel, and also that you may even make him something of a ‘good guy’. So much dirge has been written about him, and the painstaking research I have done has shown that although very far from being an angel he was certainly no devil. I’m curious, what is your opinion on Tarleton? Kind Regards,
        Neil Pearce.

      • I am keen on the idea of a meeting between Jack and Ban that involves spying and not a woman. Oh, for the time to begin that novel now!

      • Neil Pearce says:

        Dear Chris, wishing you a very happy Christmas and new year, and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. All the best. Neil.

  7. Adam Sweitzer says:

    Dear Chris,
    I just finished Vlad and I’m an instant fan of your writing. I love historical fiction and I’m currently working on a few things, none of which are in that genre but i would love to get into it. i was wondering if you could offer any advice to a young aspiring author that wants to become an “expert” on a particular time or place in history? Do you do online research, read, visit actual ancient sites? What is your favorite method for researching a topic?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much and hope to hear from you soon!
    Adam S.

    • Dear Adam,
      Sorry its taken a bit of time to get back to you. Crazy busy!
      My big advice is: persevere! Sometimes we let our demons dissuade us. Don’t strive for ‘good’ in the first draft. Let your characters develop and tell you their story. (Never show anyone your first draft)
      I do a mix of research – online less, a lot of books – and if I can go I do. It will change a book, being there.
      All the best
      Chris

  8. Lube Panovski says:

    Dear Chris,

    Just finished re-reading Absolute Honour. Thank you for the hours of enjoyment.

    During the reading of the Jack Absolute series I note that you hint to adventures in India and a plantation. As well as a possible love child with the widow Simkins. It would be nice to have novels filling in these stories. Any chance of this happening?

    Regards

    Lube

    • Thanks for the appreciation, Lube.
      I am always plotting the return of Jack – even though my publishers hijacked me into medieval world! In fact I have the sequel to the first ‘Jack Absolute’ already started, and a time slot to write it later in the year. And – spoiler alert – it will feature the Widow Simkin.
      Meantime, ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’, out in March in the UK, may satisfy some cravings. ’nuff said!
      Hope you can have patience with me, all the best,
      Chris

      • glenmal says:

        Quite excited about the return of Jack Absolute. Watched President debate the Marquis de Lafayette and a Colonial Williamsburg function for donors to the Colonial Williamsburg foundation.last night. It was apparent the Marquis was unimpressed with Virginia wine. The Marquis, believed his help was essential at the Battle at Yorktown.

      • Geraint says:

        Hi glenmal,
        Sorry to jump in but when you mentioned Lafayette I couldn’t resist. For another more critical look at the man try John Graves Simcoe in his memoirs History of the partisan corp operations of the Queens Rangers, he is much more critical of Lafayette and thinks he blatantly lied about what happened at the battle of Spencers Tavern.
        Yours sincerely

      • Good! Love the debate!

      • glenmal says:

        I will look for the Book, but by-the-by, I would lay lots of blame on Admiral Grave’s overly complex signals which were misunderstood by his captains as well as Compte De Grass’s ability to capitalize on Grave’s debacle.
        If the British reinforcements had arrived in Yorktown, the rebellion would have been put down and the Monarch would have kept the Colonies for several more years? But the same results would have occur, but at a later date.

  9. R E Wood says:

    Just finished Armegeddon on my Nook….most enjoyable. Thank you.
    Vlad is next and then Rebel. Life is good when you have a book you want to read.

  10. C. S. Jackson says:

    I just getting started into Jack Absolute. It looks like This may be one book I may read when I’m on vacation. ENJOYABLE!

  11. Naseem says:

    Yo home slice!! I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!

  12. Austin McCarville says:

    i have just read your book a Place called Armageddon and i loved it the way you are able to intertwine the charectures lives with history without changing any of the facts is a merical and i have never seen literature such as yours. i have always loved dickensian literature without becomeing some mellowdramatic book and its becoming harder and harder to find it in today’s novels but you were able to pull it off. i will definetly be heading to the book store to purchase the rest soon.

  13. I am a Canadian historical fiction author, and I just discovered A Place called Armageddon at my local library. I want to say that I enjoyed your writing very much, and will start searching out the rest of your books. I am excited to find a new (to me) author that I really enjoy.

  14. glenn@weathergauge.org says:

    Just bought your newest novel and excited to read it (it is possible my wife will grab it before I finish my current novel).
    Still hope your publisher will allow you to complete Jack Absolute. Yorktown needs to be visited to complete the series.
    Glenn
    In Williamsburg, Virginia

  15. glenn@weathergauge.org says:

    I used Hatchards for years and all of a sudden, Goldsboro ( 4 or 5 years ago) appeared with a far better website and many more signed editions.

  16. glenn@weathergauge.org says:

    By the way, I was raised in North Carolina and Tarleton was a cursed name in the state and our history books in the late “50s” painted a quite ugly picture of the man.
    The battle I copied below was my greatest recollection on NC revolutionary success:

    Moore’s Creek Bridge, Battle of

    by Daniel W. Barefoot, 2006

    See also: Highland Regiment, North Carolina.

    Moores Creek National BattlefieldMoores Creek National Battlefield. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.Fought in present southwestern Pender County on 27 Feb. 1776, the engagement at Moore’s Creek Bridge was the first battle of the American Revolution to take place in North Carolina. In early January 1776 exiled Governor Josiah Martin received notification from London that his plan to restore royal authority in North Carolina had been approved. Two commands of British regulars, one composed of seven regiments under Lord Charles Cornwallis and the other made up of 2,000 troops led by Sir Henry Clinton, would sail from Ireland and New England, respectively, and converge on the Lower Cape Fear River near Brunswick Town. There they would be joined by an army of Loyalists who would assist in putting down the rebellion.

    On 10 Jan. 1776 Martin issued a call for loyal subjects to serve as troops and a proclamation ordering the Royal Standard to be raised in North Carolina. By mid-February approximately 1,600 Highland Scots and other Loyalists had assembled at Cross Creek (now Fayetteville). Commanding the troops was Brig. Gen. Donald MacDonald, a veteran of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

    As the Loyalist forces finalized preparations for their march toward Wilmington, Col. James Moore, commander of the Patriot army in southeastern North Carolina, masterminded a strategy to foil MacDonald’s rendezvous with the British regulars. When MacDonald began his advance on 21 February, Moore was able to block the initial route taken by the Highlanders. MacDonald altered his movement by crossing the Cape Fear River en route to Corbett’s Ferry on the Black River. There he anticipated slipping past the militiamen of Col. Richard Caswell; his army would then proceed over the bridge at Moore’s Creek and hasten on to Wilmington.

    When Moore learned that MacDonald had won the race to Corbett’s Ferry, he ordered Caswell’s force to Moore’s Creek, where they were joined by additional Patriot troops under Col. Alexander Lillington. Caswell and Lillington found that the narrow bridge, located on a sand bar, offered an excellent defensive position. Situated at the highest elevation in the area, the bridge crossed the dark, swampy creek at a place where the waterway was 50 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Also known at the time as Widow Moore’s Creek because it flowed past land owned by widow Elizabeth Moore, the creek flowed into the Black River about ten miles above the river’s confluence with the Cape Fear.

    On the night of 26 February, Caswell manned the west bank of the creek with 800 soldiers while Lillington stationed 150 men near a slightly elevated knoll on the east bank. Moore positioned his 1,000 troops between Moore’s Creek and Wilmington. While the Patriot forces assumed their defensive positions, MacDonald convened a council of war with his officers at his camp about six miles from Caswell on the same side of the creek. The decision was made to attack, but MacDonald fell ill, and command of the Highlanders devolved to Lt. Col. Donald McLeod.

    At 1:00 a.m. on 27 February McLeod put his 1,500-man army on the march through the swamps in bone-chilling temperatures. After struggling through the wilderness for hours, the Highlanders caught sight of Caswell’s camp, which had been abandoned during the night. To deceive the enemy, Caswell had left his campfires burning while he moved his force to the east bank. Following the night crossing, the Patriots had removed the planks from the bridge, greased the girders, and positioned artillery to cover the road and bridge.

    At Caswell’s abandoned camp, McLeod’s troops regrouped and waited for daybreak to pursue the rebel army, which they thought was in retreat. But to the contrary, nearly 1,000 Whig soldiers were waiting across the bridge. The stillness of the swamp was broken at sunrise when 500 Highlanders, broadswords in hand, stormed toward the bridge. Bagpipes played in the background as the attackers shouted, “King George and broadswords!” Only a few Highlanders managed to make their way over the slippery remnants of the bridge, and they fell rapidly from the heavy fire coming from the Patriot breastworks. Within three minutes, the battle was over. About 70 Highlanders were killed or wounded. Among the dead was McLeod, a bridegroom of only a few weeks. The officer’s body was riddled with 9 bullets and 24 swan shot. About 850 soldiers were taken prisoner, including General MacDonald, who was captured in his tent. The booty claimed by the victorious Patriots was substantial: 150 swords, 1,500 rifles, and £15,000. In the battle, the Whigs lost only one man, John Grady, who died four days later.

    Called the “Lexington and Concord of the South,” the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge was significant for several reasons: it marked the permanent end of royal authority in North Carolina, it prompted the Provincial Congress meeting at Halifax on 12 Apr. 1776 to instruct North Carolina’s delegation to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia to vote for independence, and it prevented the British from seizing control of the South at the onset of the war. The site of the battle, including the reconstructed bridge, has been preserved within Moore’s Creek National Military Park. The 86-acre complex, operated by the federal government since 1926, is located one mile southwest of Currie.

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  18. Marissa says:

    Hi Chris!

    I have a question regarding the opening lines of the Fetch (…and then what will we do? What terrible things will we do?). I’d like to use those lines at the beginning of something I am currently writing as it’s quite fitting, but want to make sure I credit it correctly. I’m about 99% sure the words are yours, but on the off chance they are from some archaic tome or what have you, I didn’t want to make a mistake.

    Thanks! (and thank you for writing such wonderful books!)
    Marissa

    • Interesting! What project are you using it for?
      Yes indeed, my lines. The first things I ever wrote on the novel actually, before I knew anything about it. Just had these feelings, sat down and wrote them. I told my eventual editor and she said, ‘that’s how we start the book.’
      Let me know how your using, credit away, and have fun.

      • Hello! I appreciate the quick response. I’m glad they’re your lines! They will indeed be credited then as such. I’m using them as an epigraph for my own novel I’ve recently completed, though I’m still in the stage of first-draft editing. It’s interesting that you wrote those lines as a beginning before you ever wrote the Fetch–the prologue in my story happened very much the same way!

        Thanks again! I really appreciate it.
        Marissa

  19. glenmalGlenn says:

    Shakespeare’s Rebel was fantastic. For an American raised person, the history was rich and the attempted coup was gloriously told. Wonderful novel!!

  20. Suzanne Coates says:

    I like the way you take your characters from history and build upon them. I have yet to read one of your books but hope to soon.

  21. glenmal says:

    Absolute satisfaction guaranteed!

  22. flatlet says:

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  23. Pat Patterson says:

    Is A Place Called Armageddon a formal alternate reality? I was jarred by the multiple references to the followers of Islam as the sons of Isaac. I had to stop reading the narrative and refer to the historical and author’s notes, but found nothing that explained the discrepancy.

    No indeed. It was simply one way Turkish Muslims referred to themselves in some of the sources I used. Since I am a novelist rather than a historian I don’t provide footnotes. Hope you still enjoy the work!

    • Pat Patterson says:

      I’d love to see the source. Abraham’s first son was Ishmael, born of the bond-woman Hagar. His second son was Isaac, born of Sarah, and it was through Isaac that God blessed him. While there is a physical lineage factor, with the Arabs descending from Abraham by Ishmael, and the Jews descending from Abraham by Isaac, the more significant matter is who are the ‘children of the promise.’ If the Turkish Muslims claim to be children of the promise, it would add a wonderful new dimension for me personally.
      With respect to my enjoyment of the work: I love the form, it’s well written, the characters are real. However, I had to stop reading it because of the unexplained dissonance of the ‘sons of Isaac’ reference. I’d love to go back and read the rest of the work, and if I can gain an enormous cultural insight by discovering the basis of the Turkish Muslims’ claim to be sons of Isaac, it will open up new fields of research for me.

      • Pat Patterson says:

        I’m about to write a review for Barnes and Noble. Do you have any more information you can share about the sources for the “Sons of Isaac” claim by Turkish Muslims?

      • Hallo Pat! Sorry to be slow about this – two books ago and had to dig out my sources. Here’s what I found:

        Isaac (Ishaq) is revered as a prophet and patriarch by Muslims.

        ‘So God looked on the sons of Israel and God took notice.” … It speaks of the prophetic office as having been entrusted to Isaac and Jacob and their descendants.’

        ‘The prophet himself was represented in the Sacred Traditions as holding converse with Allah respecting the capture of New Rome and was told that the Great Day of Judgment would not come before Constantinople had been captured by the sons of Isaac.’ Edwin Pears, ‘The Destruction of the Greek Empire and the Story of the Capture of Constantinople by the Turks’

        Hence the Turks did think of themselves as ‘Sons of Isaac’ – I still can’t find the Haditha reference, perhaps you have better luck. But it speaks of the city not falling till ’20,000 sons of isaac are gathered there. (in fact, Mehmet brought 100,000.)

        All the best,
        Chris

  24. Nelly says:

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It’s the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Alba says:

    Hola, me encanta su libro ”El último unicornio”. Me parece una historia estupenda. Lo único que no me gusta, es el final. Acaba con un ”Pues…”. Deja intriga. Me gustaría saber si hay un libro que continue esta historia. ¡Estaría genial! Por favor, contésteme cuanto antes. Un cordial saludo.

    • Hola! me lociento, mi espanol no es muy bueno. Pero, gracias por su felicitades por ‘El Ultimo Unicornio’. Espero ecriber un otro a continuar – con uncornio y Dragon! Una dia, espero!

      • glenmal says:

        Eureka, I found a copy signed by you of “The French Executioner” We are currently watching all 38 shows of “The Tudors”

      • Alba says:

        Thanks! I have encouraged. What then attempt to write the next?
        Sorry, but my English isn’t very good. Thank you very much again. Best regards. Have a nice day.

  26. Glenn Krochmal says:

    Very disappointed that Goldsboro no longer has copies of “The King’s Spy” signed by you. I bought an unsigned copy from Amazon (UK). Very disappointed, but a day late and a dollar short?

  27. Warren Jollimore says:

    Just finished ” Shakespeare’s Rebel. ”
    As you’ve quoted, ” Simplicity is efficiency’s best friend. ”
    So. Thank you. Thank you, for a compelling and great trip with John and his associates and/or contacts,
    Warren Jollimore, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

  28. Tom Durham says:

    Dear Cec, Having just reread Nothing Like The Sun – our very own Anthony Burgess – I was prompted to read Shakespeare’s Rebel – recommended at our local seaside library by a passionate advocate. As I hope you know I really enjoyed the fuller adventures of Jack Absolute and marvel at your ultra theatrical gifts. Now, back to Elizabethan Southwark. Fond memories, Tom.

    • Tom! How lovely to hear from you after all this time. So glad you are enjoying Southwark et al. Let me know what you think when you are done.

      • Tom Durham. says:

        Dear C.C. – ‘Thereby death or life shall be the sweeter’. Shakespeare’s Rebel now read. It was so enjoyable, the confrontations in particular. Ch. XXX1 The Eve of Destruction was the highpoint for me in imaginative conjuring – and the handkerchief motif was brilliant. A little worried about Cecil’s ‘letter of guarantee’ and Tess’s appearance on the wall! but some contrivance is necessary, and you fill out the facts of history so persuasively. Britten’s GLORIANA makes more sense now.
        Interesting about your taking 17 minutes off Hamlet when fired up – I had to take on a distinguished actor’s Richard III at half an hour’s notice and apparently took off 10 minutes – I hope for the same reason.
        I wrote a poem about Will’s younger brother Edmund who followed him into the theatre. Did he not meet Ned Lawley. Where will the swashbuckling family appear next?

      • Thanks muchly, Tom. I think you are one of three people in England who read it. Spread to the Bard community if you can. Will reply to your email more fully.

  29. Christopher Clattenburg says:

    Dear Mr. Humphreys,
    I just finished reading Shakespeare’s Rebel and, while I have always enjoyed your writing, this to me, is your best. The time and place came to life and your characterization of Shakespeare rang true.
    Lawley deserves a break but I am sorry to see his exploits end after just one book. Perhaps someone will be paying attention and make your book into a film. It would be good to see some skilled sword fighting for a change.
    Thank you for a great story,
    C Clattenburg

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  33. riley sasseville says:

    I would like to thank you for the writing the storey “The Hunt of the Unicorn”. I read it aloud to my wife who was in the hospital, who has since passed away from cancer. It was her favourite book of the many that I read to her, while she was admitted. Her and I both felt transported to another world while I was reading. We were excited every time the book was opened. Your book allowed us to feel free from our reality for a little while. Again, thank you very much for your storey. It meant a lot to us.

    • Dear Riley, What can I say? Thank you so very much for this. It means so much to me to know I touched someone in this way with my book. Far more important to me than any good review in a newspaper, because I write for individual readers, one at a time. I am happy the novel helped you both a little at such a difficult time. Please accept my condolences for your loss. I wish you all the best in your own recovery.

  34. Chris Kelly says:

    Hi Chris,

    I adore the French Executioner and have read it multiple times. The sense of adventure that runs through the tale from opening to close is amazing and is one of few books that I wish I could read again for the first time.

    If you have time to reply to this comment, could you elaborate on how you create such rich characters? I’ve read “The Writers Journey” which has some very good tips but I would love to know what drives your character development.

    I’m from Australia so I won’t be able to attend one of your appearances but I wish you luck on all future writing and acting, and well, sword fights too, you know if the need arises.

    • Wow, Chris, thanks for that. Always glad to hear that my first child still has the power to move.
      Big subject, beyond the scope of a reply, alas. I think I teach this over a three day workshop! I know with French Ex I just loved the characters, good and evil and – I know this will sound strange – let them tell me what they want to do.
      See? No use!
      Get someone down there to invite me to teach. Then I will reveal all!
      All the best
      Chris

  35. Greig Robertson says:

    Hi Chris,

    Firstly, nice site and blog. It’s great that you reply to everyone who posts on here. I have recently discovered the treasure that is Jack Absolute in less than flattering circumstances.

    I was perusing in my local library’s discontinued section and happened upon what I first took to be a Mills and Boon type romance novel judging by the cover. It was bashed and battered and for sale at the lowly sum of 20 pence. Being an avid fan of Conn Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell, Stewart Binns and Simon Scarrow I decided to at least read the back cover and was immediately drawn to the plot. I ventured into my pocket and as fate would have it I did indeed have the vast sum available to purchase the book. I must say that I rate this as the best decision I have made in 2013. I can’t wait to read the other Absolute books but I need the sequel before I start the prequel!

    Keep up the great work, I will be adding this site to my list of favourites for 2014 ;).
    Best regards,
    Greig Robertson

    • Thanks Greig! Though I hope you pay full price next time – I’ve a kid to put thru university!
      Alas, sequel is a way off – I need a publisher to pay for it. You might want to try some others of mine – not from the bargain bin!

  36. Teresa Sharpe Bass says:

    Hello Chris,
    I was just watching a Hallmark movie and was pleasantly surprised when I recognized your voice. Took a moment, as so much time has passed, that I recognized you.
    The internet has amazing technology lol
    Looked you up and here you are!
    So happy for you! I live in New Orleans if you’re ever in the area, would love to catch up with you.
    Kindest regards, Teresa

  37. Barbara Denny says:

    I received a NOOK for Christmas; your “Vlad, The Last Confessionss” was the first book I purchased. How glad I am! AMAZING! I’ve always been interested in the historical Dracula and your book was very fascinating! Thank you for such a wonderful book!

    • First book? Why’s that? Delighted to hear that though – and you are a fast reader!

      • Barbara Denny says:

        I guess I should have said first ebookI purchased-LOL!
        Yes, I tend to read books quickly, given the time, especially when it’s a book I can hardly put down! I wasn’t sure I would enjoy reading from a NOOK as I love the feel and smell of a book……but this way, I have more available to me, quickly.
        Thank you again for such an awesome read; I plan on recommending Vlad to my friends!

  38. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.

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  40. Hovard Segelvik says:

    Just finished my advanced reading copy of your upcoming book “Plague”. It is as good as your first brilliant novel “The French Executioner”. It is in my humble opinion your best effort to date.

    “Plague” has everything a good historical novel needs; characters you care about and root for, language that rings true to the period, and most importantly a plot that twists and turns and grips you to the very end. I won’t drop any spoiler alerts for the fans eagerly awaiting the summer release of “Plague”, but some scenes in it are as written for the big screen or should I say HBO? Reading it I pictured Liam Neeson and Tim Roth out of “Rob Roy” joining up to catch the crazed killer on the loose.

    I loved it and look forward to recommending it in my book store. You will find it merchandised all over the front of Indigo Eaton Centre, Toronto.

    • Hovard, thank you so much. Thrills me that you liked it so – even putting it up there with French Ex which I remember you enjoyed.
      I am in TO in July for launch and will make sure to swing by .
      Toosen tuk!
      (Sure that’s not how you spell it!)

  41. Are you signing your new book at Goldsboro? If not where might I find a signed copy?

  42. glenmal says:

    Are you signing any copies? Goldsboro? If not Goldsboro, where might I acquire a signed copy of your newest book?

  43. glenmal says:

    Would you consider signing and mailing a copy? I would be a happy to send a cheque for what ever is required.

    • Glen, remind me in July. Hopefully Goldsboro will have them.

      • glenmal says:

        Hello Glenn,

        I’m not sure yet. I’m still waiting for confirmation. Please keep an eye on our website. Once we know more, we’ll list it.

        Best, Pavla (Goldsboro)

        From: Glenn Krochmall [mailto:glenn@weathergauge.org]
        Sent: 08 April 2014 17:18
        To: enquiries@goldsborobooks.com
        Subject: Enquiries

        Are you stocking C C Humphrey’s new book? If so, I would like a copy please.

  44. Phil Young says:

    Thanks Chris for the great reads. You had me with Shakespeare’s Rebel. A big fan of William and having played Laertes and completed the staged fight (even after a directors change caused a sad flick to catch my eye and a week of concern) this Hamlet has always stayed with me. Occasional eye twitch during reading. Into Jack Absolute series and now to Vlad. Thank you. Huzzah!

  45. Miriam Joy says:

    Just read Shakespeare’s Rebel after stumbling upon it in the library. Absolutely loved it; had shivers at the end with that depiction of Hamlet and the first performance. :)

    If the book hadn’t convinced me that I wanted to be your friend, the way you talked about Hamlet in the Author’s Note would have done, ha ha. I have something of a Hamlet obsession myself … but tell me, have you ever experienced the sheer hilarity and genius of “Hamlet! The Musical”? Because if not, there is still a gap in your life.

  46. Herman Toliver says:

    Dearest Mr. Humphreys,
    I am delighted to have the opportunity to compliment you on your performance as Sir Miles Thackery in the ‘Zorro’ series a while back. Your performance along with your outstanding swordsmanship is what got me interested in fencing. Although I have yet to attain any degree of discipline with a blade, I wanted to extend my thanks and humblest well wishes. I was totally unaware of your writing career and I share this passion with you as an author of two novels myself entitled “Vital Signs”.

    I look forward to reading several of your pieces. Thank you once again!

  47. Thomas says:

    HI CHRIS
    HAVE IN MY HANDS; “PLAGUE” GREAT MAPS ON THE INSET AND AS AN AIDE TO MEMORY.. A DRAMATIS PERSONAE LIST.(GOOD IDEA REALLY ). ! WILL RESPOND LATER ONCE I HAVE FINISHED READING ..PLAGUE
    IMPORTANT QUESTION; HAVE ANY OF YOUR BOOKS BEEN TURNED INTO AUDIO BOOKS ?
    PUBLISHERS ARE SO DAMN LAZY THESE DAYS–THEY DISLIKE AUDIO BOOKS ? (MY EYESIGHT IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE )
    THOMAS CRANE

  48. You have gained another follower! My cousin lives in Nanaimo BC and knowing my love of historical fiction, recently sent me Plague. What a brilliant read. Here in the UK, my four books, also HF, were picked up by Holland House Books at the end of last year and the first, Rust, is due out in March next year. The others are stand alone and yet also a trilogy of early English risings starting in 1381. Meanwhile, I shall now look forward to Fire. Thank you.

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