I have to be honest, with the exception of signings at Hastings, Moscow, ID (March 12) and Barnes & Noble, Spokane
Valley, WA (April 9 & 10), the other signings were mediocre at best. That is why I am looking forward to the virtual book
tour (see below) that is taking place in May. I am keeping my fingers cross that will be successful. In the meantime, I still
will conduct signings at Hastings in Helena and Billings, Montana (April 15 and 16), Barnes & Noble, Woodinville, Washington
(April 23) and Barnes & Noble, Blossom Hill, San Jose, California (April 30). My most successful signings have been at
Barnes & Noble stores this year.
Virtual Book Tour - The Wolf of Britannia, Part I
Starting May 5th, my historical novel, The Wolf of Britannia, will be on a virtual
book tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book: Virtual Book Publicity Tours. Pumpupyourbook This group was recommended to me by my publisher, Sunbury Press.
"Pump Up Your Book is an award-winning
publicity company placing first in the P&E Readers Poll for Best Book Promotion Company in 2014, 2013 and 2012."
They handle all of the aspects of virtual book touring
from pre-buzzing my book before the tour starts to making sure buyers will find out about my book long after my tour is over.
They take care of everything so a writer doesn’t have to. They set the tour up with book bloggers who will
advertise my book by way of interviews, guest posts and reviews. They act as the go between so I can write. All of their
tour hosts’ blogs have passed crucial tests so my book won’t end up on blogs that aren’t worth my
time. Not only do they advertise my “stops,” but the book bloggers do, too. It’s a win-win situation
for them as they get more hits and a win-win situation for the author as well.
A virtual book tour is all
about getting your book information to as many people as they can and minimizing the bruises along the way. One of their company’s
secrets is that I don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to get the same top-of-the-line performance I can get from
us by paying less. Pump Up Your Book has quite a few authors whose books have become Amazon bestsellers and we’re happy
with the results.
They will be promoting my book to their over 8,000 genuine Twitter followers and
over 6,000 genuine Facebook followers (which means these are genuine likes and not bought) and they will be sending my book
information to their email list with over 800 bloggers with high standards in virtual book tour policies.
looking forward to seeing the end results. Wish me good luck!
Book Review - The Sons of Zeus
In my last blog, I had
mention I was reading the historical novel, set in ancient Greece, The Sons of the Zeus. Below is my review which
can also be found on Amazon. Amazon Review of the Sons of Zeus
Review - The Sons of Zeus
"If you like action, suspense, political intrigue and romance, set during an actual historical
event in Ancient Greece, this novel is for you.
The author took a little known but important event that started
the Peloponnesian War in 431 B.C., marking the bloody war between the democracy of Athens and the tyranny of Sparta which
lasted more than twenty-five years. This was the sneak attack by Thebes, aligned with Sparta, against Athens ally, Plataea.
Caught between these superpowers, the independent city-state became the arena where their battle for control of all of Greece
In this mix we find the young Greek Nikias, who dreams of glory in the Olympic games as he trains
for the pankration―the no-holds-barred ultimate fighting of the era (much like today's cage fighting but far brutal).
Unfortunately, he accused of raping the woman he loves by her family and killing one of her brothers. He is arrested and imprisoned.
While in jail, a traitor opens the city gates to a surprise attack force of Thebans.
As the Plataeans fight for their lives, Nikias makes a daring escape from prison and flees to the
countryside. He gathers the city's border guards and a hodge-podge of volunteers and leads them into a suicidal battle at
the gates of the citadel.
I will not tell you the story's ending. However, it is obvious the author has
conducted a masterful job of research, not only about the political events, but everyday life in ancient Greece. He brings
his characters, historical and fictional, to life. You either love or hate them. He uses the five senses of sight, smell,
feel, taste and touch to maximum effect.
But above all else, Noble Smith tells a masterful story. Again
I say, STORY, not HISTORY. Keep this in mind when reading the novel. If you want to read a history of the Peloponnesian War,
I suggest you look elsewhere, e.g. The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides or a book by a more contemporary author."
This novel rates a genuine five stars.
How ancient horse-dung bacteria is helping determine where Hannibal crossed the Alps
DESPITE THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF HARD WORK BY BRILLIANT
SCHOLARS, THE GREAT ENIGMA OF WHERE HANNIBAL CROSSED THE ALPS TO INVADE ITALY REMAINED UNSOLVED.
now it looks like we may just have cracked it – all thanks to modern science and a bit of ancient horse poo. As a microbiologist,
I was part of the team that carried out the research.
Hannibal was the leader of the Carthaginian
army during the Second Punic War with Rome (218-201BC). He famously led his 30,000 assorted troops (including 37
elephants and over 15,000 horses) across the Alps to invade Italy – bringing the Roman war machine to its knees. While
the great general was ultimately defeated after 16 years of bloody conflict, this campaign is now regarded as one of the finest
military endeavours of antiquity. We can say, in retrospect, that these events ultimately shaped the later Roman Empire and
therefore the European civilization as we know it.
For more than 2,000 years historians, statesmen and academics
have argued about the route he took. Even Napoleon is known to have shown an interest. But until now, there’s not been
any solid archaeological evidence. For further reading see the following link." -excerpt from author Chris Allen,
Senior Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology, Queen's University Belfast Heritagedaily.com
The Broken Lance - Update
On March 30th, I emailed the manuscript
of The Broken Lance/The Peacekeeper to my "book doctor" for review. She is a former editor who was with
St. Martins Press for eight years, and I used her for The Sign of the Eagle Trilogy. She will take one month to review
it. However, less than a week after sending the project to her, I received a message from her. She said this was "...the
best you have written so far and has been a real pleasure to read." I will keep my fingers cross that will continue
to be the case as she works her way through the script. It will be divided into two stories. I have asked for her advice on
where I should make the break. I will have to write an new opening chapter for the second one, The Peacekeeper.
- Return to Britannia (Working title only)
The research for new novel is progressing slowly. Unfortunately
projects around our four acre home have gotten in the way of my writing. I have written a crude draft of chapter one but must
complete a better draft before reading it to the Spokane Novelist Group. The story is about Macha returning to Britannia with
her husband who is investing the murders of government officials. There is more to the investigation than meets the eye.
On a Personal Note
You have probably seen the pictures in my bio section of my Liz and my horses.
Those were taken last winter. Enclosed is the latest picture of (L to R) Mo, Kit and Annie grazing in the paddock between
the house and barn, taken April 11, 2016.
That is about it for now. Hope you can make to one of the remaining
book signings or will at least purchase one of my novels. In the meantime, Ave At Que Vale! Hail and Farewell!