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When it happened, the 778 battle at the Pass of Roncevaux in the Pyrenees was not the glorious self-sacrifice depicted in “The Song of Roland” centuries later. In fact, Charlemagne’s official record-keepers did not write about Frankish soldiers being slaughtered in ambush by the Basques while he was still alive. Yet it became propaganda for the Crusades in the 11th century.

This battle, a turning point in my forthcoming novel, The Cross and the Dragon, was kept quiet for decades, at least 36 years. Visit the blog Unusual Historicals to find out why the story was suppressed at the time

A reminder: If you’re interested in helping us choose cover art for The Cross and the Dragon, check out the four contenders on the May 14 post. Name a favorite and you’ll get a chance to win an e-book.

Roland at Roncesvalles

Roland at Roncesvalles, c.1869, Odilon Redon