Winning Wednesday: Behold the Dawn Tote Bag

Behold the Dawn by K.M. WeilandThis week’s Winning Wednesday winner is Mitch. In order to win the Charlemagne Sword Letter Opener, he correctly answered the question “What famous British king led the Third Crusade?”.

Richard the Lion Heart

Richard I, popularly known as Coeur de Lion, or the Lionheart, is easily the most well-known figure in the Third Crusade. Legendary for his physical strength and courage, Richard led his troops to several outstanding victories. He failed, however, to take Jerusalem and was captured by Archduke John of Austria en route back to his holdings in Normandy. He was eventually ransomed by his lords, only to die in battle five years later. Richard has been immortalized as one of the most beloved English kings, but, in fact, he preferred his childhood home in Normandy (where he had been raised by his estranged mother Eleanor of Aquitaine) to the British Isles. He spent little time in England and never bothered to learn the language.

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

This week’s prize: A custom Behold the Dawn tote bag.

This week’s question: What did noblemen do with their trenchers—the dried bread “plates” off which they ate—when they were finished with a meal?

A) Ate them.

B) Gave them to the poor.
C) Threw them away.

D) Saved them for the next meal.

Excerpt From Behold the Dawn

In Behold the Dawn, renegade knight Marcus Annan, in pursuit of an enemy after a tragic encounter, stops for the night in Antioch, where a tournament exhibition is being held, and eats a meal off a trencher:

Annan found an inn on the edge of town, close to the tourney, where the competitors’ gossip would be rifest. He left his horse bedded down in the stable and sought an empty table amid the shouted jests and dancing lantern shadows.

Sitting with his sword arm to the door, he nursed a pot of watered-down ale and waited until the innkeeper’s wife slid a trencher onto the table before him. “Eat hearty, luv.”

He leaned back just enough to keep out of her way and grunted his reply. The simple fare of black bread and hard cheese was hardly the best he’d seen proffered during a festival week, but as he stared at it in the wavering light, it didn’t really seem to matter. His teeth ached, and even the motion of swallowing his ale hardly seemed worth the effort.

He swirled the dregs, wondering absently how much sludge he would find in the bottom. Someone at a table behind him erupted in raucous laughter, but he afforded them not a glance. It was careless to ignore his surroundings, he knew. If he’d ever caught Marek doing the same, he’d have scalded the laddie’s ears.

But he was tired. He was losing his edge. And if that was something to be worried about, he couldn’t remember quite why.

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, July 14, 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. Cute tote bag!!! And I love the excerpt from the book…a love a good teaser and can’t wait for your book to come out. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Sherrinda! I thought it was pretty cool too. Had to get one for myself in addition to the one for the contest!

  3. I am guessing C and love the tote bag too:))

  4. Thanks! I’ll add your guess (can’t say if it’s right or wrong! 😉 ) to the drawing.

  5. I didn’t realize that Richard hadn’t bothered to learn the language. I’m afraid I can’t begin to guess at the answer to this week’s question.

  6. Psst. Google it. 😉

  7. Hmmm… I learned it this way, they tossed them on the floor to feed the dogs.

  8. All I am finding is that they fed them to the dogs….


  9. I should have included “fed them to the dogs” as part of the option. But if you’ll check out this link (scroll down to the section titled “Dinnertime”), you’ll find the answer that coincides with the multiple choices.

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