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Friday, May 29, 2015

Update on The Wolf of Brittannia

A Brief Summary of The Wolf of Britannia The Wolf of Britannia, Vol. I



For those of you who still have not clicked on to my book sites on Amazon, Sunbury Press, etc and read about The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, below is a summary and an excerpt from chapter one.


The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, is a breathtaking historical novel of action and suspense set in the wilds of First Century AD Britain. A young Celtic warrior, soon-to-be-legendary Prince Caratacus, must unite the southern tribes of Britain to fight an enemy more cunning and powerful than either he or Britain has ever faced, the juggernaut of imperial Rome.


As the prince fights alongside his wife, Rhian, a warrior princess who takes no prisoners, Caratacus must also outsmart a traitorous brother determined to take the throne with the support of Rome.


This is the story of a courageous man who must save his country not only from internal strife and treachery, but from the tyranny of Rome or die trying.


The following is an excerpt from chapter one.


Caratacus’s wicker chariot bucked and hurtled across every dip and rise in the track. Two lathering ponies strained at their harness as the young prince urged them ahead. Man-sized wooden targets sprinkled the course. Caratacus struck each through the heart with his casting spears. Now he raced for the finish line in a swirl of chalky dust, blue eyes ablaze with excitement.


Tawny hair whipped about his sunburned face. He sweated profusely in a woolen, short-sleeved tunic and tartan breeches, dust muting their colors. A gold collar burned his neck, but to rip it off would bring bad luck. The earthy musk of horse sweat blotted out all other odors.


Behind him, clattering wheels and thudding hooves roared in his ears. Four other chariots steadily gained on him. His horses responded to the stinging touch as he slapped the reins. Caratacus leaped from the flimsy cart onto the center drawbar between his team when another chariot nosed into the lead. He struggled for a foothold and looped the dragging reins about his wrists. Barefooted, he deftly edged his way forward on the jouncing bar and catapulted onto the back of his favorite beast. Kneeling on the bay pony, he bellowed encouragement, calling for even greater speed.


Sucking dust and screaming, urging the racers to ever greater strides, throngs of men, women, and children circled the large, rutted oval, which served as a race track below the great hill fortress of Camulodunum.


A small boy chasing a dog darted from the crowd and crossed in the front of Caratacus’s path. A woman screamed. He sucked in his breath—Damn! In a flash he kicked the pony’s side, sharply swerving the team, barely missing the child. The chariot bounced, arcing one wheel off the ground and back to the earth with a thud. Violently wrenched from the beast’s back, Caratacus grabbed its yoke collar and yanked himself up on the withers. A throbbing pain shot through his loins from where he caught the horse’s knotty backbone between his legs.


For an instant, Caratacus glanced at the jostling throng. He caught sight of flaxen-haired Rhian, daughter of the king’s champion. The young woman screamed encouragement. His team leaped ahead and stampeded towards the finish.


Caratacus heard a pop and then a rumbling noise. He turned and saw the left trace rein on his other pony had snapped loose from an iron holding lug. It whipped back and forth along the animal’s side. The mare squealed, terrified by the bridle’s lashing. She strained at leather bands around her girth and neck, trying to lurch free of the yoke collar.


For further information and book purchases, check one of the following links:


Caratacus rallies the tribes of Britain to face invading Romans 

The Wolf of Britannia, Part I


Amazon: The Wolf of Britannia, Part I 

(check out the four reviews on Amazon of this book)


UK Amazon: The Wolf of Britannia, Part I

You can also order copies from your brick and mortar book store as well.


Signed copies are available at the following Hastings Books, Music and Video Stores:


1. 101 Best Ave., Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (208) 664-0464.

2. 2512 E. 29th Ave., Spokane, Washington (509) 535-4342.


Copies are also currently available at the following Barnes & Noble Booksellers:


1. 15310 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley, Washington (509) 922-4104.

2. 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick, Washington (509) 736-1414.

3. 5353 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, California (408) 979-0611.


Book Signing Update 

New reader Rachel at B&N Kennewick,WA New reader Rita The Sign of the Eagle  New reader Lindsey The Sign of the Eagle
New Reader Rachel                      New Reader Rita & Lindsay The Sign of the Eagle     

With the exception of the signing at Barnes & Noble, Kennewick, Washington, May 2nd, I met with only moderate success at the Hastings Books, Music and Video stores in Spokane Valley, Washington (Sat. April 25th) and Missoula, Montana (Sat. May 16th) and Barnes & Noble, Spokane Valley, Washington (Sat. June 23rd). At Missoula, I was going head-to-head with the graduation class of 2015 at the University of Montana (Missoula is a big-time college town) and at Barnes & Noble Spokane Valley, it was the Memorial Day weekend. Regardless, I did well enough that management wants me to return to all the stores and I am in the process of setting up future dates for this Fall. 


Good News from Sunbury Press 


According to the publisher's latest newsletter, I am  pleased to report that all three of my novels, The Wolf of Britannia, Part I & II and The Sign of the Eagle made the top thirty of the publication's best-sellers list for the month of April. Keep buying books, folks!


The Pompeii Exposition in Seattle, Washington
 Man from he Garden of Fugitives Pompeii Exhibit Seattle Gladiator equipt from the Pompeii Exhibit Seattle
        Cast of the dying man         Gladiator Armor and dining utensils

Tuesday, May 12th, I had the pleasure of visiting the Pompeii Exhibit, inside the Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington. Despite having to deal with bumper to bumper traffic, detours, etc., I made to the center and the visit was worth the wait. It seems as if all the pictures I ever saw of Pompeii (besides my visit there over 30 years ago) came to life. Below are only three examples of what I saw at this impressive display. (L/R):The cast of a man from the Garden of Fugitives (one of 13 victims caught by the volcanic ash, dining utensils and gladiatorial armor. All these were found in the ruins of Pompeii which was buried under 12 feet of volcanic ash. I will add more pictures in future blogs.


The Broken Lance Roman Cavalryman The Broken Lance

For the first time since February 28th, I attended the Spokane Novelist Group and read from chapter 51 of my ongoing historical novel, THE BROKEN LANCE. I have been absent from their meetings because of my book-signing schedule.


In this chapter, the main protagonist, Marcellus, is a Spanish tribune in the Roman army. His patron is Senator Titus Flavius Sabinus, brother of future Emperor, Vespasian. In this segment, Marcellus who was spending the Summer in Spain with his family receives an urgent message from Sabinus, now Urban Prefect of Rome, to return to the capital at once. The city has suffered a catastrophic fire (64 A.D.) and Marcellus has been commanded to investigate the fire's causes, etc.not realizing this will have major political consequences.


The group found only minor problems with the writing. Considering how tough this group can be, I am flattered they found so few mistakes. Although I have completed the novel, which will be another duoology, it will be a least another year before I submit it for publication. Nine more chapters require review by the group before I submit this to my book doctor for a professional opinion.


That is about all for now. Until next time, Ave Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!


Jess Steven Hughes




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