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Friday, December 4, 2015



Book signing Update - November 


Of the three book signings for The Sign of the Eagle Trilogy, in November, I conducted two  successful events (Albertson's, Liberty Lake, Washington, Nov. 7th, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Spokane Valley, Washington, Nov. 28th/29th). Unfortunately, the signing at Hastings Books, Music & Videos, Moses Lake, Washington (November 20th), was disappointing, especially, since I had conducted successful events there in the past. The book manager, Yelena, said book sales in all categories  have been like peaks and valleys from one week to the next. I will give the place another try during Spring, 2016, to see if sales improve.


Yes, I did an encore at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Spokane Valley, Washington, on Saturday/Sunday Nov. 28/29. Thanksgiving weekend is a great time for a signing, and I met lots of people, gave out lots of flyers and signed lots of books. This time I had the portrait of the book cover, THE SIGN OF THE EAGLE, on display which was painted by my niece, Artist, Katrina Hughes Brennan. This received a lot of praise and compliments. I will be rotating the portraits of each book cover at future events.


I want to thank Albertsons assistant store manager, Donna; and Barnes & Noble store manager, Leslie; assistant manager, Kasey, and weekend manager, Kelsey, for their assistance in making Nov. 7th and Nov. 28th/29th successful events.


I am in the process of arranging  book signings in 2016, Nine dates have already been confirmed starting January 15, 2016. For those interested in my schedule, go to my website JessStevenHughes.com  for details. Nine dates are listed and more will be arranged.


New Reader Seneca  I am signing a copy of THE WOLF BRITANNIA, PART I, for new reader, Seneca (how Roman is that!).

               New Reader Seneca


Review - The Wolf of Britannia, Part II


For those of you who still have not purchased or read a copy of The Wolf of Britannia, Part II, below is a review by renowned author of historical fiction and fantasy, Janet Morris.


Brilliant historical novel of Ancient Britain and Rome


By Janet Morris


This review is from: The Wolf of Britannia Part II


Jess Steven Hughes is a real talent floating in a sea of wannabees. Books of vivid and evocative historical fiction about ancient Britain clashing with Rome come few and far between these days, requiring as they do deep research and a sensibility that will put you in the minds and souls of characters long buried. Jess Steven Hughes has these skills, and more. This is the third Hughes book I have read, and I hope for many more. His prose is always crisp, his scholarship fine-honed but never obtrusive. But these qualities alone don't make a book exceptional or unforgettable: a story must have the ability to grab you by the throat and not let you go until the last line on the very last page. Hughes has the gift of breathing life into his characters, which is a skill that a true historical writer must have, or fail in the task of transporting the reader into a vanished world.


Read The World of Britannia II and you will be transported into the mind of a great Celtic warrior, Caratacus, as he fights for freedom against the whole of Rome. Wolf of Britannia II has war and death, mystery and betrayal, love and glory, and an intrepid band of men and women fighting a battle that may be hopeless -- but then, perhaps not...


Here's a sample from Hughes' brilliant Wolf II: "Caratacus watched as wave after wave of his and Fergus ap Roycal's charioteers hurtled through the roiling dust, working opposite sides of the Roman column and hurling spears at the Roman shield-wall. Several penetrated and a few soldiers went down screaming. But the wall instantly closed around the dead men."


Read this prequel to The Sign of the Eagle slowly if you can. Take your time. Savor it. Delight in Hughes' deft plotting, his ability to breathe life into his characters. If you love historical fiction, I can nearly guarantee you will devour this books and its sequels and hope for more.


Below is an article about Roman Cavalry Forts along Hadrian's Wall in England. 



 roman cavalry stables barracks

              Roman Stables


The Mysterious Absence of Stables at Roman Cavalry Forts 


Many barracks have been found in Roman cavalry forts, such as Chesters on Hadrian’s Wall, but few stables – and visitors often ask where the horses were kept. Until recently it was believed that there must have been separate stables, but these have only rarely been found. Now, thanks to recent excavations, we can understand why.


In 1998–2000 the first complete modern excavations of cavalry barracks on Hadrian’s Wall took place at Wallsend and South Shields. At both sites, each of the contubernia – the pairs of rooms into which barrack blocks were divided – contained a centrally placed, elongated pit in its front room. Corresponding with each front-room pit was a hearth in the rear room.


This arrangement was immediately recognized as exactly resembling that found in some Roman fort buildings on the Continent, where preserved hay and fodder showed that horses had been stabled in the front room. The pits, covered with boards or stone slabs, collected horse urine and kept the floor dry.


For further information, go to the following link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/learn/story-of-england/romans/absence-of-stables/




The following is a an interesting if somewhat smelly story about sanitation in the Roman World


Roman Toilet

           Early Roman Sewers


What Toilets and Sewers Tell Us About Ancient Roman Sanitation 

November 19, 2015 by Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, The Conversation


I've spent an awful lot of time in Roman sewers – enough to earn me the nickname "Queen of Latrines" from my friends. The Etruscans laid the first underground sewers in the city of Rome around 500 BC. These cavernous tunnels below the city's streets were built of finely carved stones, and the Romans were happy to utilize them when they took over the city. Such structures then became the norm in many cities throughout the Roman world.


Focusing on life in ancient Rome, Pompeii, Herculaneum and Ostia, I'm deeply impressed by the brilliant engineers who designed these underground marvels and the magnificent architecture that masks their functional purpose. Sewer galleries didn't run under every street, nor service every area. But in some cities, including Rome itself, the length and breadth of the main sewer, the Cloaca Maxima, rivals the extent of the main sewer lines in many of today's cities. We shouldn't assume, though, that Roman toilets, sewers and water systems were constructed with our same modern sanitary goals in mind.


Full Article by Anna Olga Koloski-Ostrow,: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-toilets-sewers-ancient-roman-sanitation.html


Ancient World Notes 


Click onto Ancient World Notes for the latest installment of Maintaining the Public Safety of Ancient Rome - Part XXII 



Book Signings 


Check the book signing page for the list of book signings, Winter/Spring 2016. This is a partial with more signings to be arranged. Besides Barnes & Noble and the Hastings Entertainment Group, I plan on events at Albertsons Grocery Stores in the Spokane, Washington area as well. 


Personal Note




Early Winter at the Author's Home & Otis Orchards

Winter has arrived at the Hughes residence with snow falling in late November. Being the holiday season is upon us I want to wish all of you Happy Holidays in whatever manner you celebrate them. From my house to yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Until Next time, Ave Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!




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