Hello and welcome to the blog this bright and sunny Friday! Mark Patton is here to tell us about his forthcoming book, Omphalos.
Mark Patton was born and grew up on the island of Jersey. He studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, and completed his PhD at University College London. He has taught at several universities in the UK and Europe, and currently teaches at the Open University. He is the author of three published historical novels, Undreamed Shores, An Accidental King and Omphalos, all published by Crooked Cat Publications, and all of which can be purchased from Amazon
Omphalos is a novel comprising six stories set in different time periods. “Jerusalem” is set in 1517, and the protagonist, Master Richard Mabon, is a Catholic priest from Jersey, undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Here they arrive at Jaffa (close to modern Tel Aviv):
“A week after setting sail from Crete, Master Richard to the sound of joyous cheering and shouting. He hurried onto the deck, keen to know what the fuss was about. With the first light of dawn, the shore of the Holy Land had been sighted … The land itself was parched and brown, with hardly a trace of green, and few buildings, apart from two ancient towers rising up from an isolated hill less than a mile behind the coast. In front of this hill, people were gathering, setting up tents, lighting fires. Heralded by a dust cloud, a large group of horsemen arrived from the east, and poles were erected, with bright green and blue banners from them. As night fell, Master Richard breathed in the aromas of roasting meat, and heard the haunting music of drums and lutes, pipes and bassoons …
A trumpet sounded, and Master Richard followed the captain outside. A fleet of small boats approached from the coast. Master Richard boarded the first boat, along with the captain and Tomaso. Their shoes wet from the sea, they stood on the beach watching as the pilgrims came ashore. He youngest among them leaped over the gunwales of the boats. The oldest, along with the few ladies, were lifted from the boats and carried ashore by their companions. All fell to their knees to kiss the ground. A young Florentine produced a reliquary box and scooped sand into it …”
Catch up with Mark on http://Author.to/MarkPatton