Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Guest post from David S. Brody, author of CABAL OF THE WESTFORD KNIGHT

I'm delighted to welcome David S. Brody, author of CABAL OF THE WESTFORD KNIGHT, a modern-day thriller about recently-discovered ancient artifacts left by Templar Knights during a secret mission to North America in 1398. Attorney Cameron Thorne is thrust into a lethal battle involving secret societies, treasure hunters and keepers of the secrets of the Jesus bloodline. PW Weekly says, "Brody does a terrific job of wrapping his research in a fast-paced thrill ride that will feel far more like an action film." This is a non-stop thrill ride of a story that fans of Dan Brown, Steve Berry, and stories about the Knights Templar will enjoy. Please join me in giving David a warm welcome.

Experts stubbornly cling to the outdated notion that not a single European explorer visited our shores during the 500 year gap between the Vikings and Christopher Columbus. Numerous artifacts scattered around New England tell us otherwise:

• Rhode Island’s Newport Tower—a round stone tower built in medieval fashion—has long been thought to be a colonial windmill. But a mortar sample from an archeological dig was recently carbon-dated to the mid-1400s. And astronomers studying the seemingly randomly-placed windows and niches of the tower have identified dozens of astronomical alignments, including a spectacular winter solstice illumination, that are reflective of medieval religious practices.
• Maine’s Spirit Pond Rune Stones are shoebox-size stones inscribed with medieval runic lettering. The stones have been dismissed by many scholars as a 20th-century hoax. However, linguistic experts have recently discovered that the stones contain a rare, previously undiscovered runic character that links the stones both to 14th-century Gotland, an island off the coast of Sweden, and to other North American rune stones.
• The Narragansett Rune Stone is a runic inscription engraved on a boulder in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. The inscription, visible only for 20 minutes a day at low tide, contains the same rare, medieval runic character that links the Spirit Pond stones to the island of Gotland.
• The Westford Knight is a carving of a medieval battle sword pecked into a rock outcropping in Westford, Massachusetts. (Some claim the inscription also depicts a medieval knight carrying a shield, but these inscriptions have largely faded.) This carving may have been left as a memorial to a fallen knight by a group of 14th-century Scottish explorers led by Prince Henry Sinclair. Details of this journey are recounted in a 16th-century chronicle known as the Zeno Narrative, written by the descendants of the original captain of the Sinclair fleet, Antonio Zeno. Cartographers comparing U.S. Naval maps with the map contained in the Zeno Narrative—often dismissed as fake because the Narrative’s map displays islands in the North Atlantic where none today exist—have discovered startling similarities between subsurface land masses and the islands portrayed on the Zeno map.

The authenticity of these artifacts was recently buttressed by research conducted on Minnesota’s Kensington Rune Stone, a tombstone-size slab dated 1362 and inscribed with medieval runic lettering similar to that found on the New England rune stones. A renowned geologist studying the weathering patterns of the minerals within the rock’s inscriptions determined the carvings predate the earliest European settlement of Minnesota. Since Native Americans in Minnesota did not speak the runic language, logic dictates that the inscriptions must therefore be medieval. And if medieval explorers made their way to Minnesota, it stands to reason they landed first on or near the New England shoreline.

So what do these artifacts tell us about the medieval explorers and why they were here? Much evidence corroborates the Zeno Narrative and points to Scotland’s Prince Henry Sinclair, drawn by North America’s vast natural resources at a time when Black Plague and war ravaged Europe. Digging deeper into Sinclair’s motivations, we uncover a fascinating version of history that one commentator describes as The Da Vinci Code crashing ashore in America. There is some evidence and much informed speculation indicating that Sinclair—clan chief of the prominent Knights Templar family made famous by Dan Brown as carrying the blood line of Jesus—led a band of outlawed religious warriors to the New World in the late 1300s to escape Church persecution and form an alternative, liberalized version of Christianity reflective of the burgeoning European Renaissance movement. Sinclair’s grandson later built Scotland’s Roslyn Chapel, a monument to pagan imagery and iconography.

It is from this fertile ground that Cabal of the Westford Knight sprung. It has been a ton of fun researching and writing this story. I hope readers are fascinated by this secret history of North America as well.

Giveaway Alert! Thank you to Historical Boys for hosting me today. As a special thanks to the readers of this blog, I will be offering a free copy of Cabal of the Westford Knight to one lucky person who comments about this post. This giveaway is open to anyone residing in the United States and Canada. Please be sure to leave a working email address in the body of your comment so that we can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Thank you, David. We wish you much success with this intriguing novel. For more information, please visit David at

David S. Brody is a Director of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA). CABAL OF THE WESTFORD KNIGHT, a modern-day thriller, features the ancient New England artifacts mentioned above.


Cheryl said...

Thanks for hosting David today, Christopher. I managed to avoid the whole Da Vinci Code craze, but I have to admit that skimming through David's book to coordinate his tour and reading his interviews and articles has left me curious about his book.

I've added it to my TBR pile instead of offering it as a giveaway at my blog.

Best of luck with your tour, David!


Linda said...

Wow, interesting stuff. I was esp. intrigued by the picture of the Newport Tower in RI. I'd love to read this book, and hope that I win it. Thanks for the opportunity.

Unknown said...

interesting information, and the tower for instance is very close to those left by the knights at places like Malta


Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Well, I'm very choosy about my historical fiction but as a life-long RI girl, I'm intrigued! I'm in for a read.

Amanda said...

Wow! I have never heard of the theory that medieval explorers came to America. It sounds fascinating. I love all the artifacts' descriptions like the Newport Tower. Thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to read this book.

BurtonBookReview said...

I am so intrigued about the Tower in Rhode Island! I love learning about great hints at what people's beliefs were back in those days, how things were so different before books and science and data. A wonderful sense of magic!
Please enter me in your giveaway, and I appreciate the guest post!

C.W. Gortner said...

Hi everyone, Thanks for commenting. Best of luck with the giveaway!

Linda C. McCabe said...

If it is not too late, I'd like to enter my name into the giveaway as well. My email address is

I love the title of your book.

I'm going to forward this post to some medieval bloggers who I think will find it of interest.

Christopher, I see that Blogger is up to its old tricks again by creating phantom links. At least this time when it created a link to my blog it wasn't to a post I wrote back in August.


Cheryl said...

I am pleased to announce that has selected Amanda as the winner of this giveaway. I'll be contacting you via email soon to get your mailing information.

Thanks to everyone who participated. David received many excellent reviews during his virtual book tour. If you would like to see which blogs he stopped at you can visit and click on April 2009 in the lefthand sidebar.

Thanks also goes out to Christopher Gortner for hosting David on his tour and for running this giveaway.