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Blog Tour and Book Excerpt - "The Scribe" and "The Land of God" by Elizabeth R. Anderson

Author Bio:

Elizabeth R. Andersen's debut novel, The Scribe, launched in July of 2021. Although she spent many years of her life as a journalist, independent fashion designer, and overworked tech employee, there have always been two consistent loves in her life: writing and history. She finally decided to do something about this and put them both together.

Elizabeth lives in the Seattle area with her long-suffering husband and young son. On the weekends she usually hikes in the stunning Cascade mountains to hide from people and dream up new plotlines and characters. Elizabeth is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

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Book Info:

Book Title: The Scribe

Series: (The Two Daggers, Book 1)

Author: Elizabeth R. Andersen

Publication Date: 18th July 2021

Publisher: Haeddre Press

Page Length: 360 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Title: The Land of God

Series: (The Two Daggers, Book 2)

Author: Elizabeth R. Andersen

Publication Date: 8th November 2021

Publisher: Haeddre Press

Page Length: 350 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Blurbs:

The Scribe - Book 1

All Henri of Maron wanted was to stay with his family on his country estate, surrounded by lemon groves and safety. But in 13th century Palestine, when noble-born boys are raised to fight for the Holy Land, young Henri will be sent to live and train among men who hate him for what he is: a French nobleman of an Arab mother. Robbed of his humanity and steeped in cruelty, his encounters with a slave soldier, a former pickpocket, and a kindly scribe will force Henri to confront his own beliefs and behaviors. Will Henri maintain the status quo in order to fit into a society that doesn’t want him, or will fate intervene first? The first book in The Two Daggers series, The Scribe takes readers on a sweeping adventure through the years and months that lead up to the infamous Siege of Acre in 1291 CE and delves into the psyches of three young people caught up in the wave of history.

The Land of God - Book 2

Pain. His sister’s screams. And a beautiful face in the jeering crowd. When Henri of Maron woke, he had only a few memories of his brutal flogging, but he knew the world had changed. He had changed. Now, as he grapples with the fallout from his disastrous decisions, war with the Mamluk army looms closer. To convince the city leaders to take the threat seriously, Henri and the grand master of the Templars must rely on unlikely allies and bold risks to avoid a siege. Meanwhile, Sidika is trying to find a way to put her life back together. When she is forced to flee her home, her chance encounters with a handsome amir and a strangely familiar old woman will have consequences for her future. The Land of God weaves the real historical figures with rich, complex characters and an edge-of-seat plot. Readers who enjoyed the Brethren series by Robyn Young and The Physician by Noah Gordon will appreciate this immersive tale set in the Middle East in the Middle Ages.

Trigger warnings:

Torture, violence, sexual assault, sexual content.

Book Buy Links:

(The Scribe, Book 1)

(The Land of God, Book 2)

Book Excerpt:

Excerpt from The Scribe (The Two Daggers, Book 1) Excerpt 3 – Chapter 2

“Stop crying!” the soldier shouted. “Stop, or I will silence you myself, pagan!”

He leaned over the boy, a tower of angry flesh and creaking leather, with spittle flying from his mouth onto the child’s soot-smudged face. He spoke in a thick Kipchak accent which the boy, who had lived his entire life in the mountains of southern Cilicia, had trouble understanding, but the man’s meaning was clear. The boy had watched the soldier club another child with the pommel of his curved sword for trying to escape the tent. He could do it again.

The boy, whose parents called him Emre, shuddered, gulped his tears back, and held his breath. The air inside the large, wool-felt tent was hot and damp, and the little light that crept through the cracks around the stitched seams inadequate. The tent had belonged to the tribe’s elder, but now the old man lay just outside, a headless corpse collecting flies in the late afternoon while the invaders used his beautiful, prized house as a prison.

A frigid gust of mountain air pummeled the side of the tent, and dozens of bells, pots, hooks, and other metal pieces jingled. The sound of it used to bring Emre comfort – the sounds of home for a nomad boy in the hills, along with the bleating of goats and the wind soughing along the tree-stripped hillsides. Now the noise just sounded ominous. Outside, Emre knew that the rest of his tribe’s tents still burned.

He took a deep drag of air to steady himself, but it felt like breathing through a wet blanket.

The soldier grabbed the front of his tunic and shook him. “There is worse coming for you. Save your tears for when they are really needed… when you reach Cairo.”


Emre jerked at the sound of another man’s voice. He looked up and felt himself go cold and still with fear. The amir stood just inside the tent, his arms crossed. Clad in a blood-spattered blue tunic and surcoat with his scale-like armor covering his chest, he leveled Wahid with a disapproving stare. It was this amir who had pulled Emre from the warm corpses of his parents and tossed him into Wahid’s tent full of frightened children hours earlier.

“I asked you to prepare them for inspection and load them into the wagons, not to terrorize them.”

“Many pardons, Amir. It was not possible to inspect them while they were all crying like babes.”

“Then I suggest that you find a way to calm them down. After all, it was not so long ago that you were just another frightened child like them, was it not?” The amir raked his eyes along the line of terrified boys, all between the ages of eight and nineteen years old. His gaze stopped at Emre, and he pointed with his deeply curved bow. “That one. He goes with my household.”

“But my lord, Amir Qalāwūn says – “

“I know what Qalāwūn says!” the amir snapped. “This one is mine. After he is inspected, place him in my wagon.

Wahid bowed shallowly. “Yes, Amir.”

“And Wahid,” the amir paused before he exited the tent. “I do not wish to find any more bruises on him… no more than the ones I can already see.”

Wahid nodded. The boys stared, wide-eyed at the retreating back of the amir until Wahid clapped his hands loudly for attention. “You will all take off your clothes now,” he commanded. “Place them in front of you where you stand. The physician will be here shortly.”

The boys looked at him in stunned silence.

“Now!” Wahid roared, and the boys slowly began to peel away their scorched and muddy clothes, dropping them in piles at their feet.

Emre gingerly pulled his arm from the wide sleeve of his gray and red embroidered tunic, which was flecked with black holes where ash and sparks had singed the fabric. The blood on his arm was clotted and dried where he had gashed it against a rock, but the skin around the wound stung as he pulled the rough, sheepswool cloth over it. As he loosened his sash, something soft tumbled onto the ground from his tunic.

Wahid strode over and snatched it up. “So, you still play with dolls, do you? I doubt you will last long in the meydan once you arrive.”

“It was my sister’s doll,” Emre muttered.

Wahid’s face softened for a moment. “Tell me her name. I will take it to her in the woman’s wagon.”

“She is dead,” Emre answered, his voice dull.

Wahid inspected the doll. It was stitched from brown sacking and stuffed with wool, with a red embroidered mouth, braided yarn hair, and two black stone beads for eyes. The doll’s dress was elaborately embroidered in the Seljuk style, with bright colors and vivid patterns. Wahid squeezed it, feeling for weapons and hidden objects, then tossed it on top of Emre’s discarded clothes. The boy stared straight ahead, stark naked and shivering with the remnant survivors of his tribe. Each of them quietly considered the last few hours; where they had been when they first heard the drums pounding on the hill, the sight of a thousand Mamluk warriors on horses swarming their settlement, the last look they gave their fathers.

When the attack started, Emre had had barely enough time to escape the camp with Ela before the Mamluk force struck. They were unable to make it to the high forests before he heard screams coming from behind them, so he changed course, bodily snatching up his little sister and sliding down a sandy bluff to the river.

Ela whimpered and Emre shushed her harshly, forcing her onto her knees in the freezing mud at the base of a large boulder. “You stay here until I can come back,” he whispered, and Ela’s hazel eyes grew large with tears. “Do not cry, or they will hear!” Emre clamped a muddy hand over her mouth. “Here is your doll, Ela. Can you comfort your doll until I return?”

Ela nodded and clutched the doll close to her chest. Emre kissed her plump, pink cheek and peeked around the dusty rock, taking in the plume of black smoke that gathered in a stagnant haze in the plain below. Smoke and ash were all that remained of his tribe. One regiment of Mamluks raged through the village, slaughtering the survivors, while another smaller group on horseback rounded up the grazing livestock and herded them to the east.

“Emre!” he heard Ela whisper behind her. She was holding the doll out in a trembling hand. “Take Ece with you. She will keep you safe. She knows how to use a bow.”

Emre supposed that it must have worked. He was alive now, and Ela wasn’t.

The tent flap flicked open, and another Mamluk ducked inside. Instead of the scale armor and colorful robes of the soldiers, this one wore a black knee-length robe underneath light leather armor and loose blue salvar pants that tucked into his black, felt boots. After a brief conversation with Wahid, he stalked along the line of boys, checking their limbs and inspecting their teeth. Some of them he pulled out of the line as he muttered, “weak wrist. It must have broken at some point.” Or, “cross-eyed. This one will not be able to sight an arrow properly.”

Wahid rifled through the piles of clothes, pulling out the occasional coin or concealed slingshot. Then, the boys were instructed to dress and were led into the harsh winter sunlight of the Amanos mountains, toward a waiting cart.

Women and girls sat close to another nearby wagon with their hands bound, some crying, others staring silently, in shock. Emre scanned the group for his sister’s green and red dress and telltale mop of curls, but the women and girls were all so filthy with soot and dirt from their ordeal that everyone seemed to be clad in a gray of mourning.

Ela was not with them.

Wahid prodded the boys into their two-wheeled cart, or tossed them if they refused to move. Four Mamluk soldiers hopped in with them, and Wahid swatted the camel with a grunted order. The beast groaned as it folded its legs and sat, and he climbed onto the blanket saddle, shouting the animal forward. As the cart ponderously turned and made its way toward the plain, Emre looked back at the blackened bones of his tribe’s burned tents and felt his fear come rushing in. He was eleven years old. Everyone he loved and trusted was dead.

He was alone.

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1 Comment

Mary Anne Yarde
Mary Anne Yarde
Feb 17, 2022

Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for The Scribe.

All the best,

Mary Anne

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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