The Broken Lance-Update
I recently completed the rewrite of chapter one. The main character, cavalry sergeant,
Marcellus Tiberius Reburrus, and his squadron of thirty men and horses, make a stormy crossing of the British (English) Channel
in a leaky old merchant ship. The ship's keel is ripped out on a hidden reef and men and beasts have to swim ashore in freezing
water and rain.
The "book doctor," a former editor with Harper-Collins/St. Martins Press, advised that
I start the chapter in the "middle of the action," the storm rather than the staid first scene, their departure
from Gaul. She said use that as background information in chapter two. I have given the rewrite to my mentor, Patricia DeMarrs
Pfeiffer, to critique and will submit copies to members of the Spokane Novelist Group as well for their review. Once I have
reviewed their suggestions and make possible changes, I will resubmit the chapter to the book doctor for further review. In
the meantime, it is on to the next major change.
Book Store News
Some of you know that the majority of my book signings are conducted at Hastings
Books, Music & Video stores. This is a store found in the Midwest, Northwest and the Southwest. Company headquarters
is in Amarillo, Texas. They recently filed for chapter 11, bankruptcy. This was necessary because they have a potential buyer,
but the store needed to reorganize. At this time all stores remain open and it appears there is no intention to close any.
Below is a partial copy of the company's intentions:
our mission is to bring you the array of entertainment products, collectibles and basics that have made us a fixture in our
local communities while also creating experiences that delight you and grow with you over the years. We have been working
diligently to transform our stores with these objectives in mind and already have completed 20 refreshed stores with overwhelmingly
believe we are on the right path, but we need additional financial support to fully execute our plan for the future. That
is why we have initiated a comprehensive process to evaluate potential buyers for our business and, as part of that sale process,
have filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code along with our corporate parent (Draw
Another Circle) and sister brands (Movie Stop and SPImages). The Chapter 11 process will help to prepare our business for
the intended sale while also providing additional protections and financing to allow us to serve you as usual.
Please be assured that Hastings stores and e-commerce
business remain open and continue to bring you the superior selection of multimedia and entertainment products you have come
to expect from us. In addition, our Passport program is continuing with all your accumulated benefits intact, and we continue
to launch exciting new promotions on an ongoing basis.
At this time, we will be changing a few other programs, as outlined below:
- Hastings will no longer accept nor honor
customer deposits for future movie purchases. Instead, existing deposits may be applied towards additional purchases
in the store.
- Game rentals will no longer be available.
- Gift cards will expire on July 13, 2016-30
days from today's announcement.
- Hastings' buyback program has been suspended. "
I have been in contact with several store
book managers. At this time all book consignments have been removed from their shelves and authors have been asked to pick
them up. Book signings have currently been suspended. The managers believe that eventually that book signings will resume
and consignments allowed. I am not scheduled for a signing in any of their stores until October. I'm keeping my fingers crossed
the situation will be resolved.
When the Romans invaded Britain in 43-44 A.D. one of their greatest battles was fought at Maiden
Castle in Dorset, England. Below is a description from the FB page, Prehistoric Mind:
Maiden Castle in Dorset is huge! It is the largest Iron Age hillfort in Britain, and by some accounts,
the largest in Europe, spanning a humongous 47 acres/19 hectares! Starting life as a Neolithic causewayed enclosure in around
4,000 BC, Maiden Castle grew into one of the most fiercely defended forts in Iron Age Britain. A formidable sight for miles
In my forthcoming historical novel, The Broken
Lance, I describe my version of the battle for Maiden Castle. Much of the information, I used is based on the latest
10 Things You May Not Know About the Byzantine
Empire (Eastern Roman Empire)
and his court
"476 A.D. is usually cited as the year that the Roman Empire came crashing
down, but its eastern half lived on for another thousand years in the form of the Byzantine Empire, a mighty kingdom centered
in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). This Eastern Roman Empire had many of the facets of its western counterpart—high
culture, a booming economy, dazzling architecture and vicious, power-hungry leaders—and it served as a bulwark against
invasions of Europe until 1453, when it was finally toppled by the Ottoman Turks. Below, explore 10 fascinating facts about
the medieval empire that bridged the gap between the classical world and the Renaissance."
See the enclosed link for more information
Byzantine Empire-unknown facts
"History tells us what people do; historical fiction helps us imagine how they felt."
On a Personal Note
From left to right: Chris,
Veronica, my wife, Liz, and yours truly
Our son, Chris, and granddaughter, Veronica, recently visited
us. They were here to check out Washington State University and Gonzaga University as possible schools for Veronica to attend
once she graduated from high school. Besides that, we took them several places including a Spokane Indians (affiliated with
the Major League Texas Rangers) minor league baseball game.
Front to rear: Liz, Veronica and Chris
Also, we took Chris and Veronica fishing at Williams Lake, Washington and much more. I hope Veronica will go to college
up here in the Spokane, Washington area, but we will have to wait and see.
That's all for now. Have a great July! Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!
Jess Steven Hughes