First Knight of Occitan – Synopses

There some entries in here which might be interesting to those concerned with in the difficulties of developing a book structure in this way but for casual visitors they should regard this Segment as “under construction”

Well! I am in the hands of editors! once again this is complete , but all the emphasis is on volume three! Keep visiting, I think volumes one and two are must reads and I will continue to develop them regardless.

Quick ID

Ivanhoe meets Wonderwoman


Historical Romance

25 Word Pitch.

Teenage rights of passage; nurse a mortally wounded soldier, train as a knight, be condemmed as a witch and find Europe’s richest treasure.


Ximene and John Stanley find adventure and romance but place such expectations on themselves that they ultimately decide to lead separate lives. f


Beliefs and desires, pleasures and skills must be honed together, and shaped to be shared

or – We will gain in power and influence until we are able to influence Kings.

or – We will be powerful together, and though we may travel different paths we will never be apart.

150 Word Pitch 1

John Stanley, is left on a battlefield, mortally wounded and but for Ximene would have surely died. Ximene nurses him back to health in a secret room in a remote Château. John commences a training programmme to recover his full health and Ximene decides to join in. She learns the full range of knightly skills and before long has to usethem when she is captured by

500 Word Synopsis

Ximene Trencavel is trapped; incarcerated in a Château whose defenses have never been breached, surrounded by deep valleys that are manned as intensively as conventional fortifications.

Her uncle and guardian, Gaston, Compte de Foix expects to become rich and powerful by controlling negotiations for her marriage. There is a lot of interest for what is essentially an auction as Gaston declares Ximene to be the rightful heir to the lands of Occitan.

One of the bidders for Ximene’s hand is the Black Prince, son of King Edward III of England. The Prince, however makes the avoidance of marriage an art form because of his long-standing affair with his cousin, JOAN OF KENT.

Ximene’s personal objective is to create a haven for those who share her belief in the Cathar religion. She believes that she must escape from Gaston’s control to make this possible. Arrangements are made to meet the Prince during Gaston’s summer hunt at Muret, on neutral ground outside of the tightly guarded valleys surrounding Foix. Ximene identifies the Hunt as an opportunity to escape.

King John of the Franks comes to believe that the Prince is now the favoured candidate and assigns Bertrand du Guesclin, who uses terror as his secret weapon, to hunt down and murder Ximene before she can marry the Prince.

Meanwhile in England, John Stanley, a forester’s son, joins a small expeditionary force formed to protect the Prince during the journey to Muret. John learns about the purpose of the journey. He fantasises about meeting Ximene. Then as a result of his good performance he is appointed to the Prince’s personal bodyguard. This appointment makes it virtually certain he will meet Ximene.

During the hunt at Muret, Ximene’s escape plans go badly wrong and Du Guesclin takes the opportunity to strike.  John intervenes and rescues Ximene but to little avail as Gaston immediately removes Ximene to protective custody in Foix.

Ximene sets out to seduce John and win him over to her cause but quickly decides that he is totally lacking in any sexual knowledge or technique. She arranges for John to participate in a Cathar Transition, the process by which all young Cathars are given practical experience of sexual activity.

Ximene becomes convinced that Gaston’s real plan is to keep her a prisoner at Foix and gradually force himself on her. With the Prince’s help a successful escape plan is formulated and executed. The Prince allows John to travel with Ximene to act as a conduit for future communication.

Inspired by a visit to Monsegur, a Cathar Holy Place, Ximene overcomes her  inhibitions and decides she must consummate her relationship with John. They are however interrupted when the expeditionary force comes under attack from a small army, led by Du Guesclin.

In a pitched battle, the Prince’s superior tactics win the day. The expedition force looses not a single man and the field of battle is littered with the opposition’s dead and dying. However at the completion of hostilities, John fails to return to where Ximene are waiting.

Ximene insists that she must find John.  She decides that if her duty to Occitan and the Cathar religion mean that she must abandon a man who has already risked his life three times on her behalf, then they are worth nothing. As she slowly climbs the hill towards the battlefield she feels no fear, only the exhilaration of freedom; freedom to live her life as she wants to live it, freedom, if necessary, to risk her life for a just cause, freedom to give her love without consideration of cause and effect.

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The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.