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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Broken Lance Update

The Broken LanceThe 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.



Hastings LogoBook 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:


"At Hastings, 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 positive reviews. 


We 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.


  Maiden Castle  Maiden Castle


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 around.

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 archaeological information.


10 Things You May Not Know About the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) Emperor Justinian and His Court

                                                                                                                      Emperor Justinian 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




Historical Fiction HistoricalFiction.jpg


"History tells us what people do; historical fiction helps us imagine how they felt."

--Guy Vanderhaeghe




On a Personal Note


Spokane Indians Baseball Game 

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


6:53 pm pdt          Comments

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