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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hastings Closing and Books Signings



Hastings to close all its locations this fall  Hastings Logo


Hastings Entertainment, a 123-store music and book store chain will close all its locations this fall, last day, October 31st. The company filed for bankruptcy in June. A sale to two corporations that plan to liquidate Hastings was approved Wednesday, July 13th. For further details, see below link.


Hastings to close all its locations this fall-Spokesman Review



This has had a direct impact on my future book signings. As a result of its forthcoming store closures, I will lose approximately one-half of my book signings this fall. Many of the Hastings stores are located in Idaho, Montana and Washington State. With few exceptions (3 stores in Idaho), I have conducted book signings at all of these sites. I am in the process of contacting various indie stores (most in the Seattle, Washington area) and even local grocery stores for events. One grocery chain is on board. The manager at one of the stores, Yokes Family Foods, Liberty Lake, Washington, told me to return in September to set up a signing; more stores will follow. I now have a book signing date (Sept. 24th) with Aunties Books, downtown Spokane. This is the largest independent book store on the northern tier between Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. I will be contacting more stores next week (August 1-6). Right now, most stores are having parties tonight (July 30) for the new Harry Potter book that is being released at midnight and all their attention is on that. Wish me good luck.




Amazon-Australia Reader Review for The Sign of the Eagle The Sign of the Eagle Book Cover


Reader: Stephen Crabbe


This review is from: The Sign of the Eagle (Amazon-Kindle Edition)



"When I first noticed this book I realized I had read very few works of fiction set in ancient times. The book description told me the story took place in the classical Roman era and, as a fan of historical fiction and former university student of Latin, I decided to broaden my experience. After reading The Sign of the Eagle, I am very glad I made that choice.


The story is based on a treasonous plot against the Emperor Vespasian, which leads to murders and kidnapping. The whole narrative is infused with mystery and suspense.


The novel centers on Macha Carataca, a red-haired British Celt, who was forcibly moved from her homeland to Italy as a child and raised as a Roman. It is not only her exotic appearance that makes her stand out among the locals, many of whom look down on her. She is an intelligent and cultivated woman, with moral courage that circumstances soon drive her to balance with physical bravery. The author draws Macha in a mixture of bold and subtle strokes, engaging the reader’s empathy.


I admire the way the author depicts the time and place by putting a carefully worded phrase or sentence here and there without detracting from the focus on the story. Small details of clothing, food, furniture, architectural features and other things all keep the reader immersed in the ancient Roman world. Authorial knowledge of the times and customs is surely felt, without any sense of authorial intrusion into the narration.


For anyone prone to confusion over the Latin names, the author has provided a handy list of the places mentioned with today’s equivalent word, and a list of Dramatis Personae to remind us who each character is.


I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I am eager to read more of Jess Steven Hughes’ work. He deserves a large readership."


See link below for full reader review from Amazon Australia


Stephen Crabbe Review of The Sign of the Eagle








The Broken Lance/Peacekeeper Update  The Broken Lance


Last Saturday, I read my major rewrite of chapter one from The Broken Lance to the Spokane Novelist Group. They made minor yet good suggestions, some of which I used in a final rewrite. I emailed a copy to my book doctor who had worked as an editor at Harper-Collins for ten years. Yesterday she sent back the following response: "I really like it! I was on the edge of my seat--great job. I made a few minor edits." I made those changes.


I then sent her a couple of ideas I want to use for splitting up the novel in half. These were thoughts as to how to end the first half in an exciting manner. She liked them and told me to run with it. I will, but it will take a while to flesh them out. Anyway, onward.


Rare, priceless, 1,900-year-old Roman statue of eagle swallowing a snake found in London construction site  Roman Eagle


Archeologists digging around the site of a future hotel complex in the City of London have made a rare discovery: a Roman statue of an eagle swallowing a snake.


In perfect condition, the bust-sized funerary sculpture was found last month by Museum of London archeologists on the final day of excavations before the site could be built on. The limestone eagle is believed to have been made in the Cotswolds, England, in the late 1st or early 2nd century A.D.


“This really sits among the finest pieces of Romano-British sculpture,” said Michael Marshall, finds specialist at the Museum of London Archeology, as he presented the 1,900-year-old bird to reporters inside a cavernous storeroom. For further details see below link.


1,900-year old Roman statue found in London construction site



Roman period mosaic discovered in Cypress  Cyprus_Mosaic.jpg


LARNACA, CYPRUS—The AFP reports that a Roman-period mosaic thought to depict the 12 labors of Hercules has been discovered by sewerage workers in an area that was once part of the Roman city of Kition. So far, a section of the mosaic measuring 62 feet long and 23 feet wide has been uncovered. “The intention is to transfer it to a museum, to build a specific room [where it will be displayed]… because this is the best way to protect it,” said Transport Minister Marios Demetriades. For further details, see below link.


Cyprus roman mosaic



Thought for the day for writers (or anyone)Change the World


"If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write" - Martin Luther (or in today's world - onto the keyboard)


On a personal note GS4 crossing bridge


If you are a regular reader of my blogs, you will know that besides writing, I am avid outdoor model railroader. Recently, I submitted several pictures to Garden Railways Magazine for publication consideration. This is an international model railroad magazine. They have published published my pictures in the past in the Readers Gallery section. Friday, I received an email thanking me for the pictures and they will probably publish one or more in future Readers Gallery sections. The editor did not give me a future date, but I suspect it will be some time in 2017. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I have enclosed a picture, not one of those I have submitted because those if published will be copyrighted. 


That's all until next time. Salve atque vale! Hail and farewell!








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