Condemned as heretics by the Catholic Church, the 13th-century Cathars are persecuted, tortured, and finally burned alive at Montségur. But according to legend they hide their riches and relic beyond the castle walls on the eve of their demise.
In the 1930s, Otto Rahn dedicates his life to recovering the long forgotten relic, and coerced by Himmler joins the SS to find the ‘Holy Grail’ for the Nazis. Exposed as both Jewish and homosexual, Rahn commits suicide. But not before he entrusts his notes to his niece. Notes that have never been found.
Seeking a challenge after retiring early, businessman Steve Jackson embarks on a modern-day search for the fabled Cathar cache. With French girlfriend, Manon Lubin, they locate Rahn’s abandoned clues in the Black Forest. The notes become a key to locating a religious discovery even greater than the Dead Sea Scrolls, and unleash a 750-year old time-capsule of revenge that threatens to shake the Church of Rome to its foundations.
The massacre of the Cathars and the true story of Otto Rahn are interweaved and then continued with the fictional search for the treasure and relic. Rich in historical detail, this fascinating and absorbing story, set in France and London, climaxes with a thought-provoking and controversial conclusion that brings The Heretics’ Revenge.
Meet Martin Barrett
After reading about the treasure of Montsegur it was apparent that no one had written a complete account of events, and more particularly no one had imagined whether the treasure and relic could be located today. Even more importantly just what might that turn out to be? I was intrigued enough to make several research trips to Montsegur, Berlin, and other places. The result is a story with a mix of robust history and a very plausible religion-changing discovery.
Born in London, I am a retired design engineer and live in the old gold-mining town of Arrowtown, New Zealand
Meet Joseph H Wycoff
PRANKS. OIL. PROTEST. JOKES BETWEEN NEWLYWEDS. AND ONE HILARIOUS SIEGE OF A MAJOR CORPORATION.
Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of “merry men” carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops of off the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.
Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood’s well.
Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:
“We need the world’s greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that’ll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don’t got no consequences, right?”
:: PRAISE FOR LANCELOT SCHAUBERT AND BELL HAMMERS ::
“Schaubert recounts a mischievous man’s eight decades in Illinois’s Little Egypt region in his picaresque debut. Remmy’s life of constant schemes and pranks and a lifelong feud with classmate Jim Johnstone and the local oil drilling company proves consequential. This is a hoot.”
— Publisher’s Weekly
“BELL HAMMERS is written in a style not unworthy of John Kennedy Toole and William Faulkner – the vivid characterization of Southern ethnography commingled with stark, episodic spectacle breathes with the spirit of quintessential Americana. It is a text I would happily assign in an American Novel class and would expect it to yield satisfying discourse alongside works in the canon, whether beside the sardonic prose of Mark Twain or the energetically painful narratives of Toni Morrison.”
— Dr. Anthony Cirilla
“Schaubert’s words have an immediacy, a potency, an intimacy that grab the reader by the collar and say, ‘Listen, this is important!’ Probing the bones and gristle of humanity, Lancelot’s subjects challenge, but also offer insights into redemption if only we will stop and pay attention.”
— Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl
“Myth, regret, the lore of our heritage and the subtle displays of our castes — no one so accurately and imaginatively captures the joys and sorrows of life in the Midwest as Schaubert does here. BELL HAMMERS is a Tree Grows in Brooklyn as told by Gabriel Garcia Marquez if Marquez lived in rural Illinois and only told stories to his grandkids. Seriously a delight to read.”
— Colby Williams, author of the Axiom Gold Medal winning book Small Town, Big Money
“Loved BELL HAMMERS because Lancelot wrote about people who don’t get written about enough and he did it with humor, compassion, and heart.”
— Brian Slatterly, author of Lost Everything and editor of The New Haven Review
“I’m such a fan of Lancelot Schaubert’s work. His unique view and his life-wisdom enriches all he does. We’re lucky to count him among our contributors.”
— Therese Walsh, author of The Moon Sisters and Editorial Director of Writer Unboxed
First came “My Splendid Concubine” December 2007; then came the sequel “Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine” in 2010. Both novels have now been combined as one in “My Splendid Concubine’s” 3rd edition.
Robert Hart (1835 – 1911) was the ‘Godfather of China’s modernism’ and the only foreigner the emperor of China trusted. In fact, Hart played a crucial role in ending the bloodiest rebellion in history—the Taiping Rebellion—and he owes this success largely to Ayaou, his live-in dictionary and encyclopedia, his Chinese concubine.
About a year after arriving in China in 1854, Robert Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Wesleyan-Christian upbringing and almost breaks him emotionally. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese and soon finds himself thrust into China’s Opium War, where he makes enemies of men such as the American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier.
“My Splendid Concubine’s” 1st and 2nd editions earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2008 London Book Festival; the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival and the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival.
“Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine” earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival; 2009 Nashville Book Festival; 2009 London Book Festival, 2009 DIY Book Festival and was a Finalist of the National Best Books 2010 Awards in historical fiction.
“My Splendid Concubine’s” 3rd edition [formerly “The Concubine Saga”] picked up honorable mentions in fiction at the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival; the 2012 New York Book Festival, and the 2012 London Book Festival.
The Midwest Book Review says, “Many nations adopted modernism in their own ways. ‘The Concubine Saga’ is a historical fiction novel from Lloyd Lofthouse, following famed modernizer Robert Hart, a man who has contributed greatly to China’s advance in the nineteenth century, gaining much power and influence for a foreigner during the period. Drawing on heavily researched passages with great dramatization, ‘The Concubine Saga’ is a strong pick for historical fiction collections, highly recommended.”
* Warning: The first-half of this novel contains graphic-sexual content that reflects Robert Hart’s lifestyle while attending college and during his early years in China that may be considered soft-porn and offensive to some readers. If you think you might be offended, please do not buy and read this novel.