Winning Wednesday: Grand Prize!

Behold the Dawn by K.M. WeilandThis week’s Winning Wednesday winner is Sheila. In order to win the Behold the Dawn poster, she answered the question “What was a scriptorium?”

The Church in the Middle Ages

A scriptorium was a room in a monastery for storing, copying, illustrating, or reading manuscripts. The Dark Ages ruled nowhere more fully than in the medieval church, which was crippled with corruption, ignorance, and superstition. The Pope delivered the final word on all doctrinal (and social) matters, but most people, including even many bishops and lower officers of the church, lived in profound ignorance even of Rome’s teachings, much less the Bible. Some facts about the medieval church:

  • The church taught that participation in a Crusade would absolve one of all past and future sins.
  • Whenever a traveler passed a roadside shrine, he had to pause and cross himself.
  • The pope alone had the power to punish kings (although it was often ignored, although never so famously as by Henry VIII).
  • The sacraments had to be administered only by the church of which one was a member.
  • Upon confession by a penitent, the parish priest was expected to probe for further, undeclared sins and to inflict a lengthy cross-examination.
  • Many monks flocked to the holy orders of the mendicant (or begging) friars and the hermits, in no small part because it freed them from the stifling rigors of parish life.

Congratulations, Sheila! Your prize is in the mail! Please feel free to enter again.

Next week, the final Winning Wednesday (or Thursday, in this case) will mark the release of Behold the Dawn. In celebration, I’m revealing our grand prize!

This week’s prize: Autographed copy of Behold the Dawn, poster, mug, keychain, and pen.

Runners up: The winning starts on Tuesday and Wednesday, when I’ll draw for the two runners up, who will each receive an autographed copy of Behold the Dawn!

This week’s question: “A misericorde was what kind of weapon?”

Excerpt From Behold the Dawn

In Behold the Dawn, Marcus Annan, the Lady Mairead, and Annan’s servant Peregrine Marek are set upon by pursuing enemies:

Annan and Marek were watering their horses, the reins looped over their elbows as they knelt beside the animals’ heads and drank. The Baptist led his donkey along the brim of the oasis to a spot clear of rocks. But Mairead stayed behind to straighten the ache from her bones and wait until Annan or Marek brought her the wineskin.

She watched Annan’s broad shoulders as he shrugged out of his ruddy jerkin before again dipping his hands into the water. The animosity that had clogged the air between him and the Baptist had been suffocating— so thick she could have reached out a hand and squeezed it with her fingers.

Marek had said the Baptist trusted Annan. But it had not been trust she had seen in the man’s flashing eyes. It was closer to hatred.

Gooseflesh prickled on her arms, and she reached to rub her sleeves. For as long as she had been Lord William’s wife, months before she had even known the name of Marcus Annan, she had trusted the Baptist.

How was it then, that in the short time she had known this tourneyer, he had gained the power to make her doubt the brave devotion of the monk in whom she had so long put her faith? She bit her lip, her gaze shifting to where the Baptist urged his donkey to the edge of a clean shallow.

Pounding somewhere in the back of her head, she heard thunder. She turned to look. Rolling down from the edge of the valley, already close enough for her to see the flash of the crosses on their tabards, charged a dozen knights on horseback.

Her breath caught so hard it felt like someone had tried to tear her breastbone from her chest. “Annan—”

“Annan!” Marek repeated her shout, and Mairead spun around, heart hurtling against her ribs. “It’s him—” Her fingers clenched in her skirt. “It’s Hugh—”

Annan, his jerkin a forgotten splash of red on the ground behind him and the cold fire of his eyes raging to life, yanked his sword from its sheath on the saddle. “Get behind me.” Not once did he look at her. All his focus was on the approaching riders. “Marek! Give me that misericorde, and get the countess on her horse.”

Marek hesitated. “What about y—”


To enter this week’s contest, use the form at the bottom of the left-hand column to email your best guess. Deadline is Monday, September 27, 6:00 p.m. MST. Three names will be selected from the correct entries and announced on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Sign Up Today

hwba sidebar pic

Sign up to receive K.M. Weiland’s e-letter and receive her free e-book Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Introduction to Bringing Your Characters to Life.

About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I am just drooling over your book excerpts! I can’t wait to read it!!! FYI…I recieved my mug yesterday and had such a nice cup of coffee this morning, looking at that helmet, dreaming of my knight who is returning home to me today! (he’s been out of town!) Thanks so much!

  2. Thanks, Sherrinda! I’m so glad you liked it. Methinks I’m going to have to get one for myself too. 😀

  3. This drawing, I’ll enter–I’ve restrained myself this far from all the other drawings, but I can’t resist this one!

    A misericorde is a knife, long and thin enough to stab between plates of armor and finish off a downed enemy knight.(Something I didn’t know just a few minutes ago :-D!)

    Can not wait to hold your book in my hands!

  4. I just love your questions! A misericorde was a long, narrow knife, used in medieval times to deliver the death stroke (the mercy stroke, hence the name of the blade, derived from the Latin misericordia “mercy”) to a seriously wounded knight. The blade was thin enough so that it could strike through the gaps between armour plates.

  5. This is so great – thanks for the fun win!

  6. @Linda: ‘Bout time. :p Jump right in.

    @Sheila: You’re so very welcome! I hope you enjoy the poster.

  7. Awww, I missed out on the winning wendesday.

    Very interesting reading on Wikipedia about the misericorde.

    More interesting reading the excerpts from your book. Congrats, Katie.

  8. Thanks, Chris! Sorry you missed out the drawings!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.