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Friday, April 30, 2021

Salute! Farewell My Friends



Jess Steven Hughes

    Author Jess Steven Hughes



 To my friends. After a lengthy bout of soul searching, I have decided to take a hiatus from my writing of at least six months, maybe more. Years ago, my goal was to write a historical novel about ancient Rome and Britain; I wrote five. I did not expect to go beyond the first novel, which became part of the Britannia Romanus Series, published by Sunbury Press (www.sunburypress.com).




Although I am in the middle of book six, I cannot go on at this point. I need a break and will be pursuing other interests for the time being. Many of you know that I have a passion for outdoor model railroading and have for the last thirty years. With few interruptions, I have been in model railroading since I was five years old.




Along with photography and traveling, I will continue to pursue my first hobby. I will continue to follow my fellow Authors/Writers and my intense interest in Roman history and other historical aspects. This is not farewell as I will stay on FB. Still, I am pursuing another road for want of a better word.





Thank you for your understanding and support.












10:55 am pdt          Comments

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Thank you Authors!




February Blog 2021




It is time for another personal blog. I want to thank the following authors I interviewed for my monthly blogs during the past seven months. They are Patty Wiseman, Timothy Donald Pilmaier, Andrew Boyce, Linda Hughes, Judith Arnopp, Matthew Olney, and Kate Braithwaite. The interviews have been informative, revealing several different techniques used by these authors to write and publish their novels. I wish them all the most tremendous success. I will conduct additional author interviews in the future.





The Emperor's Hand Roman Britain

                                                              Roman Britain





Creating the sixth historical novel in the Britannia Romanus series, The Emperor's Hand moves along slowly. I have had to rewrite the first twelve chapters several times. Usually, after I have written a chapter draft, I will leave it alone anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. When I return to review the pages, I have a fresh perspective. It allows me to see the flaws, and sometimes there are many, making the necessary changes.


After I underwent left knee replacement surgery, I did not look at my new work for nearly two months. When I returned to the writing, I discovered so many glaring errors that I almost gave up. Fortunately, I changed my mind. I recently emailed the chief editor of Sunbury Press, informing her that I have continued writing. It is my goal to complete the novel by late Summer or early Autumn. Wish me well.






Amphitheater in Nimes, France  Ampitheatre Nimes France

                                                         Ampitheatre in Nimes, France



"Circa 27 B.C., the emperor Augustus resettled the veterans of his Egyptian campaign on a fertile plain at the Cevennes Mountains foot in present-day France. The colony was given the name of Nemausus and is now known as Nîmes. There are several examples of Roman architecture in Nîmes. Constructed about the same period as the Colosseum in Rome (A.D.70), the amphitheater, or Arena, was built in the town center. 24,000 spectators gathered here to witness games and gladiatorial contests. It has been preserved nearly intact. Today it is a venue for rock concerts and bullfights." www.chi-rhogroup.com







Pont du Gard Aqueduct  Pont_du_Gard_aqueduct_France

                                                                                      Pont du Gard aqueduct



"A beautiful example of the Romans' architectural and engineering skills lies about 32 km to the northwest of Arles. It is the world-famous Pont du Gard, which was a part of an aqueduct system supplying water to the city of Nemausus (present-day Nîmes). The source of the water was a group of freshwater springs near Ucetia (present-day Uzés). The water was carried more than 50 km through tunnels and channels along a curving route dictated by the land's lay. At the canyon carved by the Gardon River, it was necessary to bridge the gap with an aqueduct 456 meters (1,496 feet) long and 48.8 meters (160 feet) high at its highest point. The triple-tiered archways of the Pont du Gard were completed circa A.D. 60 and have withstood several floods which would have swept away lesser structures. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site." www.chi-rhogroup.com







Roman QVORVM (Quorum)  Roman_senators_making_up_quorum

                                                                Roman Senators




QVORVM (Quorum) is a Latin word that originated in ancient Rome. It was first coined by Senator MARCVS PAIVS MVTILVS (Marco Paio Mutilo). Its meaning is "Of which," then it is passed to indicate "the minimum number of participants or voters necessary for a vote to be valid. In an assembly which is needed to deliberate ".


The term is borrowed from the Latin QVORVM (quorum) (of which), implying the suffixal sentence a presence or favorable vote is required.





Personal Thoughts and Comments  



Because of COVID19, all book signings are still on hold. The earliest dates for any events would probably be in the Fall, and that is still tentative. I have kept in contact with the Barnes and Noble Booksellers stores, who have become my regulars. Unfortunately, despite the sending of several emails, there are a couple from whom I have not heard. I will have to play the situation by the proverbial "ear."


Some good news, my wife, Liz, and I received our first vaccination, Moderna, for COVID19. We will get our second shot in March. It's a relief, but we plan to keep wearing our face masks indefinitely.






After six months, the remodeling of our home is finished.



Back on November 4th, 2020, I had a left knee replacement surgery. Fortunately, I experienced only a minimum of pain and discomfort. After that, I went to physical therapy every other week. In between, I did daily exercises given to me by my physical therapist. Thursday, February 25th, 2021, was my last session. I have had no problems walking and can bend my knee in the usual manner. The final movement to return was kneeling on the floor. That came back faster than I had expected, thank goodness! Now, I can resume my physical fitness training twice a week, which I had been doing for three years before surgery. It was because of the exercising that made me fit enough to have the procedure.




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






8:45 pm pst          Comments

Tuesday, January 19, 2021



I am happy to have Patty Wiseman as my guest today. Thank you, Patty, for joining me on my website.


Author Patty Wiseman

    Author Patty Wiseman




Patty, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?

Thank you for having me, Jess. I’m really excited to be here. We’ve been friends for a long time and navigated this journey together. Look how far we’ve come! I’m retired from a 25-year career with an investment company. I enjoy traveling, attending festivals with my husband, Ron, who creates beautiful animals out of Freon tanks. We love selling my books and his art together at the many festivals around Texas. We have a crème lab. His name is Cutter, and I actually wrote a children’s book about him. Between us, we have 3 children, 11 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. My upbringing was in Seattle, Washington. I went to college in Bartlesville, Okla., and moved to Texas 40 years ago. Love the weather in Texas!




What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?

An Unlikely Arrangement Historical Romantic Suspense (Book one of series)

An Unlikely Beginning Historical Romantic Suspense (Book two of series)

An Unlikely Conclusion Historical Romantic Suspense (Book three of series)

An Unlikely Deception Historical Romantic Suspense (Book four of series)

That One Moment Stand-a-lone Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Somewhere Between Stand-a-lone Historical Suspense

Rescue at Wiseman’s Pond Childrens Book – true story – for 0-10 years old (It rhymes!)

Silver’s Redemption Stand-a-lone Contemporary Romantic Suspense – targeting women over 40.




      The Velvet Collection



That One Moment

           That One Moment



Somewhere Between   

       Somewhere Between




Rescue at Wiseman's Pond

    Rescue at Wiseman's Pond




Silver's Redemption

      Silver's Redemption




 Links to view Trailers:


The Velvet Shoe Collection - https://youtu.be/ZMyYkK49yKI

That One Moment - https://youtu.be/qMUfVl2BZKE




What prompted you to write what you did? [or Where do you get your writing inspiration?] What message(s) do you want readers to take away?

I was very young when the writing bug bit. But life got in the way—college, marriage, children. Finally, when I retired, I was free to pursue my passion, and I haven’t looked back. My grandmother told stories about her days as a flapper in the 1920s, and those stories stayed with me and inspired the historical romances of my 1st four books. From there, I just wrote what was on my heart at the time. I write about strong women who face tough odds but manage to pull through. My children’s book was inspired by our dog, Cutter, who was instrumental in saving two baby foxes who almost drowned in our pond. I’m waiting for him to do something else so I can continue the stories he inspired! My books all have happy endings and show what women can do once they put their minds to it. I hope my readers will see how strong women really are!



Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?

I have written short stories, and I have a blog. You can find them on www.pattywiseman.com

I also have a podcast where I tell short stories. You can find that on https://anchor.fm/patty-wiseman



What do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?

The hardest thing for me is research. I love it, but it is time-consuming. I try to make sure the settings are correct, so they don’t throw the reader off—especially historical books. The easiest thing is sitting in my office and letting the story flow. I tend to get it down on the computer and do my editing later. I love those sessions where the words come easy.



What’s next for you after An Unlikely Elegance?

This book is the fifth book in my series. I want to go back and try to write another children’s book next. I have so many other stories I want to write, as well. So many ideas. They come faster as time goes on.



What special thing about yourself would you like to share with readers?

Special thing? Well, I love to mentor new writers. I’ve been the President of the East Texas Writer’s Association for the past three years. I love to answer questions about writing, how to get started, etc. To watch them publish their first book is a great reward for me!



How can we follow or contact you?

Website: www.pattywiseman.com

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/patty-wiseman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PattyWisemanAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PattyWG

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pattywg/

MeWe:  https://mewe.com/i/pattywiseman


Where can readers buy your books?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Draft2Digital, my website: www.pattywiseman.com




Awards & Recognition

 National Literature Award 



 2013 Authors Show Award

 Fifty Great Writers You Should be Reading 2013



 2014 First Place Romance



 Indies Rising     




 Texas Authors










Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!









10:57 am pst          Comments

Friday, December 18, 2020

Guest Author: Timothy Donald Pilmaier



I am happy to have Timothy Donald Pilmaier as my guest today. Thank you, Tim, for joining me on my website.



Timothy Donald Pilmaier

Guest Author Timothy Donald Pilmaier





Timothy, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?


I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. After joining the United States Navy at 19, I spent six years in the Naval Nuclear Power Program. I served aboard the ballistic missile submarine, USS Tecumseh SSBN-628. After leaving the Navy, I had a 32-year career in the domestic and international commercial nuclear power industries.  During that time, I completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bellevue University.

My wife of 36 years, Joni, and I have raised two beautiful kids.  Samantha and Joseph are both in the medical field. My daughter is a physician, and my son is a nurse.  We have one grandson, Jack, who is a year old.

I am now retired and write full time.  When I am not writing, I enjoy hunting, fishing, golfing, and cooking.  I am the cook in our house and truly enjoy making a meal for friends and family.  A perfect day starts with a cup of coffee and the smell of homemade tomato sauce simmering on the stove.  Beyond that, I enjoy reading, specifically, WWII history and historical fiction.


What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?


My first novel, titled "Flight of the U-463," is the first in a series of historical fiction adventures. The book was a finalist for the 2019 Forward INDIES (Fiction-War & Military) and the 2020 Next Generation INDIE (Historical Fiction) book awards.  The book also reached #1 on Amazon for Military Thrillers. The story chronicles the daring escape of a young American, Peter Teufel, from Nazi Germany.

The book "Flight of the U-463" is a coming of age story and an escape story.  Against his parents' wishes, Peter stays in Germany to finish college as the European war breaks out. He meets a beautiful female Associated Press photographer, Marilyn Miller, and their relationship grows. Unfortunately, he is mistakenly identified as a German, detained by the German Army, and conscripted into the Kriegsmarine.  Stationed aboard a U-boat, he must find a way to escape back home to the woman he loves before his true nationality is discovered.

I am currently working on the second, third, and fourth books in the series. The series follows Peter as he enters the Office of Strategic Services and takes on hazardous missions for the United States during WWII.  The entire four-book series interweaves the fictional Peter with real events and real people during the second world war.

The book is intended for those who love WWII history, those who enjoy fictional thrillers, and those who like well-developed characters.  It is much more than "just a war novel." I have received tremendously positive feedback from women and men concerning the book.



Book Cover Flight U463

 Book Cover to" Flight of the U-463 "



Here is a description of the book:


In the dark days before World War II, a young American named Peter Teufel makes the fateful decision to remain in Europe as the clouds of war descend. Steamrolled by the Nazi onslaught and mistaken for a German citizen, he finds himself conscripted into the vaunted German Navy. Forced to serve on a U-boat, his odds of escaping back to America are slim. If his true identity is discovered, he would be executed as a spy.

​Peter must find a way to escape, yet he is thwarted at every turn. Hounded by a brutal Nazi, Klaus Lübeck, who suspects that Peter is not what he appears to be, the American avoids detection at all costs. A chance meeting with the head of German Military Intelligence, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, may just be the key to his deliverance. With the odds of escaping stacked against him, the young American devises a bold and daring plan. Once in motion, there is no turning back.


What prompted you to write what you did? [or Where do you get your writing inspiration?] What message(s) do you want readers to take away?


I have long been interested in WWII history, especially submarine history.  As a former submariner, it seemed logical to write about something that I am very familiar with.  I knew that I wanted to write a book that involved submarine operations, but a storyline didn't materialize until a random discussion with my Father.

I was inspired to write "Flight of the U-463" after discussing it with my Father over coffee.  We routinely have coffee together every Saturday and talk about the books we have read. On one of those Saturdays, Dad recounted the story of Yang Kyoungjong.

In June of 1944, during the invasion of Normandy, an oriental man wearing a German uniform was captured by the Americans.  First thought to be Japanese, it turned out that the man, Yang Kyoungjong, was a Korean conscripted into the Wehrmacht.  During the war, he was captured in Manchuria by the Japanese and forced to fight for the Imperial Japanese Army.  He was subsequently captured by the Russian Army and then the German Army.  After each capture, he was conscripted into the Army of his captors.  As such, he unwillingly wound up defending the Normandy beaches on D-Day.

This story got me to consider a "what if" scenario. If a Korean could wind up in the Wehrmacht, could that also happen to an American?  That is how the book's main character, Peter Teufel, the son of an American diplomat who gets caught up in WWII, came to be. 

When his parents return to the United States, Peter is attending college in Germany. He elects to stay behind.  Defying his parent's wishes, Peter remains to finish college and, as a result, is caught up in the outbreak of the war.  Mistaken as a German citizen, he is eventually conscripted into the Kriegsmarine and forced to serve onboard U-boats. After realizing that he has made an error in judgment, he secretly tries to find a way to return to the United States.

The story of Peter Teufel is a coming of age story and a harrowing escape story.  My intent as a writer was to intertwine real historical people and events into a fictional account of a plausible outcome that differs slightly from recorded history. I want the reader to believe that the story is possible and that the places, people, and equipment are accurate.  I believe that it is a fun and exciting story.


Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?


While I have dabbled in writing most of my life, "Flight of the U-463" is my first and only published work so far.  I have a web page, Twitter account, and Facebook presence.  They can be accessed at:


Facebook: Timothy Donald Pilmaier, Author @timothypilmaier

Twitter: Timothy Donald Pilmaier @timothypilmaier

Instagram: @timothypilmaier


What do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?


The hardest part of writing a novel is the editing process.  For me, every word that I wrote was perfect in my mind.  I knew exactly what I intended to convey to the reader, and once I had written it, I didn't want to go back.  My editor read the draft that I considered "finished" …she had a different opinion. 

She carved up my draft pretty good.  I will admit that I had a few hurt feelings, yet I could not fault her comments when I cooled down.  As painful as it was, I revised and rewrote many sections of the book.  It was ultimately a tremendous learning experience.  She basically had me rewrite the main character throughout the book to clarify its involvement with the escape.  I had a fundamental plot element that was weak.  She helped me with that.

The most natural part was research.  I love reading and learning about WWII, so conducting the research to make the book accurate was a complete joy.  I pulled information from books, naval archives, a WWII U-boat web page, the internet, and of course, my Father.  I even used submarine video games as a source of information. All of that was just a blast to do. 

I tried extremely hard to make the historical places and military hardware correct.  For example, not many people know that the Nazis conducted flights during the war from Petsamo Finland to Japan.  This was a too-long flight, but it was accomplished with an FW-200 Condor variant fitted with extra fuel storage.  It took me hours to find this information and only minutes to write about it.  The effort was worth it to make the book historically accurate in a fictional story.


What's next for you after [Your Book]?


Great question!  The "Flight of the U-463" is the first in a series of books about Peter Teufel.  I currently have plans for three additional books in the series. I have started writing books 2 and 3, tentatively titled "The Valkyrie Variant" and "Flight from Flossenburg."  As yet untitled, the fourth book has been mapped out in a timeline, but I have not started writing it.  The four books take Peter through WWII.  After those four books, I intend to have Peter involved in the cold war, but I have not developed any storylines for subsequent novels.

Book two, "The Valkyrie Variant," has Peter, now an OSS agent, interceding with the July 20th, 1944 bombing plot to assassinate Hitler.  The villain from book one, Klaus Lubeck, and several fictional and historical figures, return for this book. 

Book three has Peter entering the Flossenburg concentration camp as the European war comes to an end to rescue a high-ranking Nazi intelligence figure about to be put to death. Again, Lubeck, with eyes on revenge, seeks to foil Peter's mission.

Book four sees Peter returning to Japan's boyhood home to rescue an American nuclear scientist being held at the infamous Ofuna prisoner of war camp.

That is the plan…after that, we shall see. 


What special thing about yourself would you like to share with readers?


Wow, a rare moment to reflect on my life. Let's see, I am a proud Navy veteran, serving six years, one month, and 24 days on submarines.  I am quite pleased that I served my country and feel that my government owes me anything.  In fact, my military experience was a crucial part of my education.  I earned two years of college credit in the Navy.  I took those credits, completed a BS in Marketing, matriculated onto an MBA, and was the Graduate Student Speaker at commencement for my MBA.  My two children were there to witness that.  To this day, one of my prouder moments.

I have been lucky enough to travel the world for work and fun: South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East.  My wife and I lived in the United Arab Emirates for 18 months.  It was a unique cultural learning experience for me.

I guess that I would want readers to know that I am a lucky guy.  I have been fortunate in my life so far, and I believe that it has been a combination of hard work and a bit of luck.

Finally, I am thankful for my relationship with my Father.  At 84, he is a tremendous source of information and inspiration.  We play golf together every week and coffee together on the weekends.  He always asks me, "how is the next book coming"?  A real motivation for me.


How can we follow or contact you?


Facebook: Timothy Donald Pilmaier, Author @timothypilmaier

Twitter: Timothy Donald Pilmaier @timothypilmaier

Instagram: @timothypilmaier


Where can readers buy your books?


The "Flight of the U-463" can be purchased on Amazon in Hardback, Paperback, or Kindle form.  You can find a link on my webpage at https://www.pingerpublishing.com


Awards / Recognition


I am proud to announce that my first novel has been named a finalist for two independent book publishing awards. "Flight of the U-463" is a finalist for the following:

The 2019 Foreword INDIES War & Military (Adult Fiction)

The 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award (Historical Fiction)




Flight_U463 Book Cover



Photo from an event or other


Below I have attached a couple of photos from recent book signings.  The first is from an Omaha neighborhood book club who enjoyed the discussion of the book.  The second is from a presentation that I conducted at the Waterloo, Nebraska Public Library.  I am always honored and humbled to speak about my novel.




    Omaha Book Club







  Waterloo Book Presentation



 Thank you for joining me to meet Guest Author Timothy Donald Pilmier, until next time.



 Merry Christmas and  Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!










9:54 pm pst          Comments

Monday, November 23, 2020

Andrew Boyle




Guest Author Interview


I am happy to have Andrew Boyce as my guest today. Thank you, Andrew, for joining me on my website.



Author Andrew Boyce

        Author Andrew Boyce





Andrew, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?

I am from Glasgow, Scotland. I work in a bookshop and enjoy reading, and so it looks as if it was inevitable that I would write the book I had always wanted to write! I have always been interested in the Romans, and slowly my book idea came together.


What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?


Antonine Romans Golden Torque


I started off with "The Antonine Romans, and The Golden Torque" and self-published it on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Amazon. Being around 18,000 words, this seemed a nice short size and gave me the idea of making a series of these Antonine books.

Set in AD144 in the Antonine Wall area of Western Scotland, the books follow the Romans and the Natives. It is historical fiction, and I put age 18 on it as battles and sword fights!



What prompted you to write what you did? What message(s) do you want readers to take away?


I have always been interested in the Romans invading Scotland. The Antonine Wall ran across central Scotland, and there are remains of ditches, roads, forts, bathhouses, and numerous museum exhibits. As they say, you should begin writing about what you know or what interests you. The Antonine stories are the result.

In terms of what message I would like readers to take away, I simply want the readers to enjoy my books. If someone is interested in the Romans, then my books provide another author they can read.


Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?


Yes. I started a blog on my page at goodreads.com. On any site I am on, I try to write a bit about myself.

My main writing is the Antonine series, but I can imagine other projects developing as I enjoy writing so much.


What do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?


I enjoy writing! I have these characters and stories that come into my head, and then it is a case of writing it down, a little at a time. The next part then comes into my mind, and then I write that down and so on. I don't try to rush it.

The hardest part for me is after the story is complete! I started out by self-publishing using KDP Amazon, then promoting it by joining Facebook groups, Goodreads, and anything else I could google! A tip for aspiring authors with a completed book is to watch not to spend too much on sites promising you miracles!


What's next for you after The Antonine Romans and The Golden Torque?


For me, it's all about building a little series of Antonine books, and then we will see what happens after that.

I never thought I would ever manage to write an actual book, and so the next goal was to write a series of books.


What particular thing about yourself would you like to share with readers?


Accidentally, I left a clue in a previous answer when I said, "I don't try to rush it." I have always enjoyed the music of Rush, rock music, and music in general.

Maybe I shouldn't have admitted the "I don't like to rush it." clue was accidental, and everyone would have thought that was really smart, but I think this answer shows the magic of writing, where you can write something down, and it leads to something else.


How can we follow or contact you?


For the following, you can follow me on Amazon and Goodreads.com.

To contact me, my email address is andrew.boyce5@btinternet.com.



Where can readers buy your books?


Keeping it simple, you can buy my ebooks and paperbacks on Amazon.

It is incredible for me to see people buy from around the world! Please purchase and enjoy, just as I enjoy Jess Steven Hughes's work!


Antonine Romans and The Golden Torque






11:25 pm pst          Comments

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