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Friday, December 30, 2016

The Broken Lance Update



The Broken Lance and The Peacekeeper - Latest Developments The Broken Lance


I am pleased to announce that Sunbury Press (www.sunburypress.com) has accepted my two latest historicals, The Broken Lance and The Peacekeeper for publication. This is a two book series which be released three/six months apart probably starting sometime this Summer.


Below is some brief information on the main character, Marcellus Tiberius Reburrus, and a synopsis of The Broken Lance which will appear on the back cover.


The main character is Marcellus Tiberius Reburrus a Spaniard in the Roman army's auxiliary cavalry. When the story opens he is a junior cavalry officer, Sesquiplicarius. Since I am writing this for a general audience, I don't want to stick them with that mouthful. I use it once and the rest of the way, I use the term, sergeant. This book is not just for Roman re-enactors by a long shot. The picture enclosed is a work in progress of an auxiliary cavalryman. The picture enclosed is a work in progress of an auxiliary cavalryman, The picture was painted by artist, Tal Dibner, who did the covers for The Wolf of Britannia, Part I & Part II.  It still has to be completed and changes made. Again, don't bash it and besides, art is in the eyes of the beholder. This will be the book cover for The Broken Lance. 


The Broken Lance - Jacket - Back Cover


In Rome, when shaking hands with a stranger, you'd best count your fingers to see if they are still attached. 


44 A.D. Ancient Britannia is wild, unpredictable, and merciless. The dusty streets of Rome are chaotic and dangerous, home to incredible opulence, deplorable poverty, and a political web that catches anyone who dares to question the empire. Both places call to young Roman cavalry sergeant Marcellus Reburrus, who must survive a world of political treachery in which one’s life can be taken in an instant—by friend or enemy. 


After enduring a ravaging storm, Marcellus’s boots hit the shore of Britannia under the orders of Roman Emperor Claudius only to face deplorable conditions and a commander who would rather see Marcellus dead than reporting for duty. Despite the circumstances, Marcellus quickly makes a name for himself, earning awards for bravery, promotion to centurion, and further alienating himself from the evil commander. 


Marcellus’s return to Rome brings a whole new set of problems, the least of which is dodging assassination attempts, unraveling conspiracies, and falling in love. From the underground caves of beggars beneath the city to the magnificent homes of the Roman elite, Marcellus uncovers an elaborate plot of betrayal, one that can bring down the entire city. Can he find the conspirators before they find him . . . and destroy everything he holds dear? 


This beautifully descriptive novel brings to life the remarkable worlds of ancient Britannia and Rome—while following the brilliant Marcellus, whose entire life is turned upside down as he must solve a complex mystery . . . and stay alive amongst backstabbing senators, murderous traitors, and an extraordinary city whose legacy is both inspiring and duplicitous.


Book Signing Successes Abigail B&N Isaac B&N Spokane Valley  Michelle B&N Northtown  Sarah B&BN Northtown Spokane

                                           Abigail B&N Spokane Valley                                    Isaac B&N Spokane Valley                               Michelle B&N Northtown Spokane                              Sarah B&N Northtown


With the exception of one date between September 17th and December 18th, my book signing events were a success. Barnes and Noble, Spokane Valley, Washington store manager, Leslie, said that I have "Cart Blanche" privileges to sign at her store anytime I want. I am already the unofficial resident writer at their Starbuck's cafe, inside the store. Barnes & Noble Northtown Mall, Spokane, Washington store manager, Kelly, said that I could sign at their store every month if I so desired. Yoke's Fresh Market, Liberty Lake, Washington store manager, Dan Dicicco, said I could sign at his store as often as I wanted. It is flattering that these good people feel so strong about my successes at their stores. I will definitely be returning. However, I will be returning to B&N stores in Woodinville, Washington and two stores in San Jose, California, this Spring, too. I will looking to add other stores this Spring as well.


Publisher Update NetGalleySunbury Press


On Wednesday, December 28th, I spoke to the publisher of Sunbury Press, Lawrence Knorr, about what we can do to promote my future novels, The Broken Lance and The Peacekeeper. I explained that with the current three novels of The Sign of the Eagle Trilogy, book signings have been the most successful way for me to sell books. I am very outgoing at my events and that works for me. I will continue to do that with my next two novels. However, we are going to add another approach called, Net Galley. "This is the top online service for getting upcoming releases in front of reviewers all over the world. Publishers post ARC's (Advance Reader Copies) to be reviewed. Note, that an ARC is not completely edited, but good enough for the reviewer to render an opinion. Net Galley subscribers are some the key book reviewers in the industry. They will now be able to discover and access our galleys via their account and read (securely) a PDF, ePub, or Mobi version of the file." This will mean longer lead times before publication so reviewers will have a chance to read the advance copies. In my case, Lawrence and I decided to have a three - six gap between publishing The Broken Lance and The Peacekeeper. The wonderful thing about this that the publisher is paying for this subscription process. Authors don't pay anything.


Saturnalia Saturnalia Festival


December 17th - The "Saturnalia"


This day is for special religious observance, being the first day of the Saturnalia, the Roman festival that honors Saturn (Cronus), and which is one of the most festive and uninhibited that the ancient Romans celebrated.

The holiday began celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: The poet Catullus called it "the best of days." For further reading go to the Ancient World Notes page for the complete article.


Personal Note


During the month of November, we had two pet tragedies within a period of twelve days. We lost our beloved Border Collie, Joe, who was fifteen years old from basically old age and our beloved horse, Mo. He was only  21 years old but suffered badly from arthritis. Despite all the veterinarian's effort, he could not control the horse's pain. We could not let him suffer an longer and had him put down. It was a tough time for both my wife, Liz, and I. But we have many pictures of both of them and so they will always be in our loving memories. 


That's all for now. Until next time Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!



Jess Steven Hughes




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