My novel is now available on Kindle e-book, full volume.
I haven’t posted anything for quite a while and intend to catch up on posts soon. But here is a fabulous review that a reader sent me about SHADOW OF THE LION.
Ruth, I have read “Shadow of the Lion” and went too leave a review and found that Amazon won’t allow me ro leave a review. I have contacted Amazon to find out what exactly I did wrong that forbids me from leaving a review because I will want to leave one there for you.
Is there anywhere else I can leave a review?
Your novel is absolutely excellent. I actually found it better than Renault’s “Funeral Games”. The characters are all clearly delineated and one can truly see the despair and growing hatred on the part of the Successors toward one another in their bid to have the empire Alexander left behind.
I really liked that you gave us a more fully rounded out view of all the individuals affected by Alexander’s death. Some that I usually found unappealing, such as Meleager more human and can see more clearly the way his mind worked re Alexander’s death and Philip Arridios and little Iskander.
I found myself so hooked into each character’s actions. Some of it is very sympathetic such as Roxshanak and Iskander. Your Roxshanak is a much stronger and easier to understand her motivations. I feel for her and her tremendous loss. While I don’t particularly agree Alexander was truly in love with her, I do like that you show that there was a sincere devotion toward her on his part.
What comes through so clearly and shows the tremendous tragedy of his death is the breakdown of the commradery among all the generals. I find it full of unackmowledged personal grief not just for Alexander’s death, but the great loss to humanity caused by his early death. This comes through clearly with Nabarzabes and Thettelos characterizations. They have been close enough and smart enough to see the tragedy in Alexander’s early death not just for his army but in the loss of his dream for humanity. We are still affected by the loss of his dreams, his belief in a brotherhood of man.
To me your novel speaks clearly to us today of the horrible cost humanity has paid because of the selfishness and lack of vision on the part of the Successors.
Thank you for writing such an incredible book. Lysis.
It’s been a busy few months with promotion and workshops all related to SHADOW OF THE LION and historical writing. Since January 2018 I have been invited to conduct several writers workshops as well as the two writers groups I instruct each week. From January to May several writers groups asked me to do readings of SHADOW which sometimes included workshops for “Creating characters and Settings” or other subjects related to historical fiction writing. In May there was a Write On Vancouver event at the Vancouver Public Library that I attended, with a table to promote my books. In June I went on a holiday to the Interior of BC to visit friends and while there I did a reading/workshop for the Kamloops Writers group and one for a group at the Vernon public library.
This month, August, I was invited to read at the Dominion Reading Series downtown. This was a particularly interesting reading with a lot of very positive audience interaction. For the next coming months I will be busy doing the same. September I have a reading a Renaissance Books here in New Westminster and Oct 4, a reading at the Victoria Public Library.
Meanwhile, GOOD NEWS FOR E-BOOK READERS: The full manuscript of SHADOW OF THE LION has been made ready to put on Amazon Kindle as an ebook. Watch for it in the coming months!
Another year is coming to a close and it’s been a busy one, although because of a mid-year move I wasn’t able to do quite as much promo for SHADOW OF THE LION as I’d like to have. I did a couple of readings in Vancouver and for some suburban writing groups but for next year I’m hoping to get more readings/workshops lined up.
The book promo highlight of the year was the trip I made to Athens in late September/October – a short trip this time but it gave me a chance to do some readings there which I always enjoy. Shortly after I arrived in Athens I went for a three-day trip to my favorite camp site on Naxos, and then on to Crete to visit the Minoan site of Knossos. While in Iraklion I had the pleasure of meeting one of my writing mentors for the first time in person. Dr. Jack Dempsey and I have been on-line friends for several years and as he has now moved to Iraklion from the US I was able to meet him. We spent a pleasant afternoon at a seafood restaurant by the Venetian Harbor talking about archaeology and our books.
The first reading was at the Canadian Institute to a good sized audience of interested people, many academics as well as some friends, and a nice reception afterwards. I read mainly from SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES
The second reading I was at the Athens American School. I’ve visited there a couple of times in the past and always enjoy reading to the kids there. This time it was a class of 50 grade nine students and later a smaller class of older students where I presented a writer’s workshop which included readings from SHADOW OF THE LION (both volumes)
The following week I was invited to read at the Athens Centre. I titled this presentation “In Alexander’s Footsteps”. This was also a large audience with many academics attending and, as with the others, included a question/answer discussion and a reception later in the courtyard.
Once back home and settled into my cozy new bachelor suite I have been back at my writing, working on another novel titled DRAGONS IN THE SKY which I began long before writing SHADOW. In this novel, a Celtic tale in first person, I introduce Alexander as a youth.
My plan for 2018 is to focus on putting SHADOW OF THE LION into an ebook. I have hoped the publisher would reprint both volumes in soft cover for better marketing but that may not happen. Neither will the hoped-for translation. This means I’ll have to be diligent with my marketing and I have sent out requests to as many writer’s groups and organizations as I can find Province-wide to do readings and workshops. Hopefully this will up the sales. Remember, both volumes SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON and SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES are available on Amazon.com and the Book Depository.
I’ve been doing a lot of book promo this past month. I attended an all-day event for writers at the Vancouver Public Library. I did a short reading from THE FIELDS OF HADES. Lots of people stopped by to chat and take brochures about SHADOW OF THE LION (both volumes. No book sales but a great way to promote!
On June 20 I had a book launch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES, held at the Kitsilano Public Library (in the old Greek area of town) I was thrilled that the new Greek Consul General Mr Thanos Ioannou came with his wife. It was a good sized group, lots of books signed and sold. And we had an after-party at the Olympia Taverna on Broadway.
The Greek Consul General, Mr Thanos Ioannou and his wife.
After -party at the Olympia Taverna
On June 25, GREEK DAYS, I had my own booth on Broadway for the all-day event (11 am – 9 pm). Lots of interest shown in my books here and I sold three. Lots of people stopped by to chat and take info about them.
This weekend, on Canada Day (July 1, Canada’d 150th birthday) I was invited to take part in a book fair at old Fort Langley. I shared a table with fellow Scribbler, Wayne Gatley and enjoyed a full day 9 am – 3 pm promoting SHADOW. Though there were no book sales, it was fun and a lovely day.
ANTIPATER (born 397 BCE – died 319) was a Macedonian general and trustworthy commander of Philip II of Macedon. Following the Battle of Charonea in 338, he was entrusted with the task of accompanying young Prince Alexander to Athens to take the remains of the Athenians killed in the battle. He was one of the leading figures in Macedon and afer the assassination of Phil in 336, he helped to secure the succession to the throne for Alexander. When Alexander was named king at age 20 and left for his conquest of Asia, he left Antipater in charge as Regent.
Antipater’s main task was to hold down the northern frontier against hostile tribe and keep order among the Greek states. He was unpopular in Greece because he supported the oligarchic governments. There also conflicts with Alexander’s indomitable mother, Olympias, who he described as “a sharp-tongued shrew” Her attempts to meddle in government affairs forced Alexander to intercede and eventually she returned to her home in Dodona, Epirus in exile.
After Alexander’s death, when Perdikkas became leader of the army, Antipater too control of Macedon and Greece. After Perdikkas’ death,he was named Regent of the Macedonian Empire for the two joint kings: the intellectually disfunctional Philip III and Alexander’s infant son, Alexander IV (Iskander).
Antipater died in 319 BCE aged 80 after he had named Commander Polyperchon as Regent, inciting anger with his eldest son Kassandros who would eventually take control and was responsible for the fall of Alexander the Great’s dynasty.
We are driven by greed to win fame and power in unrighteous ways, and the more we have, the more we covet, until greed and blind ambition finally destroys us.
These are the closing lines of SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES. Volume Two of the SHADOW OF THE LION duo is out soon. I know you’re all waiting anxiously for it and you won’t be disappointed! This is the most exciting part of the story of the fall of Alexander the Great’s dynasty When I read through the proofs I was on the edge of my seat. It seemed surreal that I actually wrote all those words, I know my Muse, Alexander, was there with me as I told his story through the characters that he loved and trusted. And I hope you enjoy his story as much as I did writing it!
Watch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES to come out soon. And in the New Year I’ll be holding a special book launch!
Alexander’s half-sister, THESSALONIKE is one of the more ‘tragic’ women figures of ancient Macedon. She was born about 345 BC, the daughter of king Philip II by his Thessalian wife or concubine, Nikesipolis, from Pherae, a Thessalian of noble origins. Her birth fell on the same day that the armies of Macedon and the Thessalian league won a significant battle over the Phocians. Philip is said to have proclaimed “Let her be called victory in Thessaly”. Thus, her name is made up of two words Thessaly and nike” translated to mean “Thessalian Victory.”rpk-tramplin
Her mother died shortly after her birth so she was left in the care of OLYMPIAS, mother of Alexander. At the time she was born, Alexander was under the tutelage of Aristotle and she was only six or seven when he left on his Persian expedition. When Alexander died, Thessalonike would have been just twenty-one years old.
She had spent her childhood in the queen’s quarters and endured a lonely life with the formidable queen. Philip had been assassinated before he could chose a husband for her so she seemed destined to be a spinster.
Eventually she fell under the seduction of KASSANDROS who sought to entice her into marriage so that he would gain more power. He promised to name a city after her if she agreed to the marriage. This is the source for the elegant city of Thessaloniki, which in modern times was known as “the Paris of the North.” And this is Thessaloniki’s only claim to fame.
During her undoubtedly tumultuous marriage to Kassandros, THESSALONIKE gave birth to three sons, Philip, Antipater and Alexander. After their father’s death, she had a great deal of influence over them. One of the sons, Antipater, became jealous of Thessalonike’s favour shown to the youngest brother and as a result he murdered her. Thus ended a tragic life and to this day she is remembered only by the city named after her.
At the time of Alexander, women were expected to be stay-at-home moms, spending time at the loom and tending their children. Marriage was a social transaction aimed at creating relationships between families and the bride was seen as a valuable commodity. The wife of the king was mistress of his household and responsible for managing his residence, attend to the hospitality of guests and was sometimes present at the drinking parties for the men but mostly spent time in the women’s quarters ((gynaikonites) spinning and weaving in the company of her handmaidens.rtisnab
Because legitimate offspring were essential to ensure the inheritance of property and status, women were devoted to managing domestic affairs and bringing up children and were excluded from political life. Women did not take part in symposiums even when they were held at her home. If a woman lived in a rural area she often shared arduous tasks with the men and enjoyed a greater independence. But city women lived a fairly pampered and sheltered life. Intellectual pursuits were exceptional and girls did not go to school. Women of the more common folk enjoyed greater independent, frequenting the marketplace (agora) and some women worked as midwives and nursemaids. The only truly independent women were the courtesans (Hetairai). They circulated freely, attended symposia, entertained whomsoever they pleased and managed their own property. Many of them worked as temple maidens and entertainers.
In the Classical period of Macedonia the lives of the women of the royal house were well documented. Marriages of princesses were celebrated with great pomp which included state banquets and games. These marriages were arranged by the king for military and political reasons. Polygamy was customary for the Macedonian kings, serving their military and political purposes as well as ensuring large numbers of male offspring.
The everyday life of the women of the royal house was simple. they helped in preparation of the daily meals, wove cloth, and participated in formal banquets. Macedonian women seem to have been fascinated by magic as indicated by the wishes and curses they inscribed on lead strips (katadesmoi) placed in te tombs of the deceased. Plutarch refers to the surreptitiousness of Olympias who took part in licentious rites with large tame snakes coiled around the thrysoi and wreaths.
However, they also played an important role in state affairs. Women such as Eurydike and Olympias – mother and wife of Philip II – had their statues set up in the Philippeion at Olympia . These women enjoyed special treatment and were permitted to be the regents of kings who were still to young to rule and were actively involved in matters of state. Often they were the target of scandal-mongering as in the many tales told about Alexander’s mother, Olympias. When Alexander was away in Asia, she had general supervision of his kingdom and represented the Macedonian state. After Alexander’s death she issued decrees on behalf of the joint-kings and herself as well as ‘in the name of the house of Philip and his son Alexander’. Even so she failed to unite the royal house and her life story has been embellished with many scandals, most likely to be untrue as they express the defamation and hostilely that had broke out between her supporters and her opponents who were supported by Kassander.