Winning Wednesday: Poster

This week’s Winning Wednesday winner is Sherrinda Ketchersid. In order to win the Behold the Dawn mug, she answered the question “What was a bailey?”

Castles in the Middle Ages

The term bailey applied to both the outermost wall surrounding a castle and the courtyard inside the walls. Some interesting facts about castles:

  • A man’s wealth could be calculated by the thickness of his walls. Castles dating from the eleventh century often had walls more than six feet thick.
  • The complete lack of sewers or drainage systems meant that a prolonged rain could transform the courtyards into swamps.
  • A busy castle would reek with the smell of blood, freshly tanned hides, roasting meat, and the odors of horses, dogs, hawks, and men.
  • Any windows at ground level were kept very small on the outside to protect against arrow fire. They were wider on the inside to allow as much light as possible.
  • Some gatehouses featured holes in the ceiling, through which stones or boiling water could be poured on the heads of invaders.
  • Carpets were basically nonexistent, but the floors of personal rooms were sometimes covered with fresh straw, rushes, or sweet-smelling grasses.

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

Behold the Dawn by K.M. WeilandThis week’s prize: A Behold the Dawn poster.

This week’s question: “What was a scriptorium?”

A) A writer of religious texts.

B) A room in a monastery for writing or reading.

C) A preacher sanctioned by the church.

D) The personal secretary of a bishop.

Excerpt From Behold the Dawn

In Behold the Dawn, Marcus Annan and the Lady Mairead discuss his past:

She looked back at him, and the softness of her hair tickled against his neck. “And I prayed for peace and for happiness and for joy.” She looked away, and he laid his chin on top of her head.

“Those are things that I have never found—save with you.”

“What about when you were yet a child? What about before—” She stopped, and he could sense her embarrassment.

He would have said before St. Dunstan’s. But she had no knowledge of the ill-fated monastery. Her meaning was more along the lines of before you became the monster you are now. She did not think those words, of course. But they were there, nonetheless, lurking in the blank, unread depths of her.

“Yes. I was happy before.” Even after the fight with his brother, and the deaths of his sister-in-law and her unborn children, he had found happiness. The fiercest, most spectacular joy he had ever known had been in the dark scriptoriums of the monastery, reading and learning from the sacred manuscripts as he copied them. He had drunk them in, making the words of Heaven so much a part of him that even now they sometimes echoed in his head.

But that time was long past. And the irony of it bit hard.

To enter this week’s contest, use the form at the bottom of the left-hand column to email your best guess. Deadline is Tuesday, September 22, 6:00 p.m. MST. One name will be selected from the correct entries and announced next Wednesday.

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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. Awwww, something to drink my morning coffee in! Woohoo! I am thrilled!!!! Can’t wait to read your book!!!

  2. Congratulations, Sherrinda! I’m excited that you won!

  3. I love reading about your book – I need to try to get my hands on one. 🙂

  4. Thanks, Sheila! Only nine more days!

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