December 20, 2007

From the Depths author Gerry Doyle in the Chicago News-Star

December 12, 2007
the Chicago News-Star

It's night, and somewhere off the East Coast of the United States, the Dragon, a defecting North Korean submarine surfaces in the dark water of the Atlantic Ocean. When the U.S. Navy sends a boarding party to investigate, they discover the sub is filled with the mutilated and poisoned bodies of its crew.

Those images surfaced crystal-clear in Lincoln Square author Gerry Doyle's mind a couple years ago and, being a journalist, he decided to pursue and see where those images led.

Trailing a tale

The trail led Doyle, who originally planned a short story about the sub, to writing his first novel, From the Depths, (McBooks Press, $23.95), a thriller published on Nov. 1 to positive early reviews. On the other hand, the very first review of the novel in Publisher's Weekly left something to be desired.

"It started off in fairly glowing terms and then quickly took a turn to the snide that was a little unpleasant," said Doyle, 31. "But there have been a couple very favorable reviews in Booklist and Library Journal. They were both very positive and I had that feeling of, "Wow, I don't know these people and they're saying something nice about my book.' It's a gratifying feeling."

Doyle and other local mystery novelists are scheduled to sign copies of their books at 7 p.m. Dec. 19, at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave.

Striving to solve the mystery of the crew's death is Dr. Christine Myers, a CIA forensic scientist accompanying a party of Navy SEALs. But as she pieces together the clues CSI-style, things get even stranger, and the SEALs begin dying.

Doyle cites the influence of Stephen King and Elmore Leonard, master novelists whose books have frequently made the transition to the silver screen. Having From the Depths turned into a movie is something that Doyle has allowed himself to dream about.

In the role of Christine Myers, Doyle envisions Grace Park, an actress best known for playing Sharon Valerii on "Battlestar Galactica." "The story is very cinematic in a lot of ways, so I think it will lend itself well to the screen," he said.

Friendly advice

Doyle wrote his first draft in 6-8 weeks, then spent the next year polishing the novel and whipping it into shape. A former police reporter and current metro copydesk editor at the Chicago Tribune, Doyle knew exactly where to go to research areas such as a sub's mechanical operations. And he said he is very fortunate in having friends, colleagues and family members with expertise that he could draw from.

"A good friend of mine is a doctor and she was able to hold my hand and walk me through a lot of the medical aspects of a forensic examination," he said. "There are many important elements of the story, like the forensics and how the cause of death is determines and why a body is lying in a certain position. Making sure you get all those details correct and believable is important. If readers don't believe what you have to say, the whole story is going to look like window dressing."

With his creative juices pumping, Doyle has just completed the first draft of his second novel, one that he likes even better than From the Depths. But then again, there's nothing quite as special to an author as a first novel.

"The fun thing for me was that I sold the book two weeks before my 30th birthday," Doyle said. "I'll always be able to say I sold my first novel before I turned 30."


7 p.m. Dec. 19, at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave. (773) 293-2665.

December 14, 2007

Alan Lewrie Naval Adventures #7 - A King's Commander available now!

Synopsis: It's 1793 and Alan Lewrie is now commander of HMS Jester, an 18-gun sloop. Spoiling for adventure as always, Lewrie sails into Corsica only to receive astonishing orders: He must lure his archenemy, French commander Guillaume Choundas, into battle--and personally strike the malevolent spymaster dead! With Horatio Nelson as his squadron commander on one hand and a luscious courtesan who spies for the French on the other, Lewrie must pull out all the stops if he’s going to live up to his own reputation and bring glory to the British Royal Navy any way he can . . .

“You could get addicted to this series. Easily.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Fast-moving at sea, nicely lewd ashore, a hugely likeable hero, a huge cast of sharply drawn supporting characters; there’s nothing missing. Wonderful stuff.”
Kirkus Reviews

The NYT Book Review of Lewrie #5, The Gun Ketch:

Up to now, Alan Lewrie, the hero of Dewey Lambdin's sea going series, has been a figure whose libido governs his behavior. So what is he doing at the beginning of THE GUN KETCH ? Getting married, that's what. Can so notorious a young rakehell find happiness with just one woman?

The period is the late 1780's, and Lieutenant Lewrie has taken command of H.M.S. Alacrity, a ketch assigned to the Bahamas squadron. His major job will be to hunt down pirates. So off to the Bahamas he sails, his new wife on board.

Mr. Lambdin follows the Horatio Hornblower tradition of C. S. Forester. There is detailed knowledge of the British Navy, the age of sail, warfare at sea and even the customs of the gentry. Of course the dialogue abounds in naval talk: "Take a second reef in the gaff courses, now we've unbalanced her by taking in the flying jib. Trim her until you're satisfied. Hank on a storm trys'l and bare the tack corner for a balance on her head. Able seamen only out on the sprit tonight, mind."

And while Lewrie is not so complicated a figure as Horn blower, he is an agreeable young man, highly competent, brave and imaginative. There are sections where the author is laying the foundation for a Lewrie legend. It may be that the action in "The Gun Ketch" is predictable. But it is also lively and amusing.

December 11, 2007

Literary Inspiration with Photographers Derek Doeffinger and Gary Whelpley

Visual Inspiration: Photographers of Finger Lakes Splendor

Editor's Note: This is a photographer's version of the Literary Inspiration column of the Ithaca Journal, which runs in Saturday's Life section.

Derek Doeffinger & Gary Whelpley

What is your favorite place to photograph?

Doeffinger: No secret hideaway, no back road vista, but simply the spectacular Taughannock Falls whose open expanse from the overlook makes you feel like you leap out and fly with the flock of pigeons that soar by.

Whelpley: In the Finger Lakes I find the glens that are throughout the hills provide interesting photographs of waterfalls, beautiful leaf patterns, and colorful reflections in the fall.

When do you get most of your photo editing done?

Doeffinger: On dark, dreary winter nights when you flick on the outdoor light and see the snow flying.

Whelpley: With digital photography such a big part of my life, I do a quick edit of my work and then put the best images in a folder that identifies the particular subject. If I didn't do this I would have hundreds of images lost in digital space!

Name two photography books that have inspired you?

Doeffinger: Jeff Wignall's “The Joy of Digital Photography” and Naomi Rosenblum's “World History of Photography.”

Whelpley: There are two books that I find inspire my personal work today. Both of these photographers work in black and white. “25 Years of Photographs” by Keith Carter and “Witnesses of Time” by Flor Garduno

Favorite photographer?

Doeffinger: Ansel Adams, who could manipulate images with chemistry almost as effectively as we do today with Photoshop.

Whelpley: While Ansel Adams has always been at the top as my favorite photographer, Keith Carter is my favorite. He inspires me to see the people and spaces in a new way.

Digital or film?

Doeffinger: Digital with Photoshop. A digital camera gives you amazing power to improve images during picture taking and Photoshop afterwards.

Whelpley: For commercial work and the book project I use Nikon digital cameras, but for personal work I shoot Tri-X film and scan the negatives with A Cool Scan 4000 scanner. They are then printed with an Epson 2400 printer.

What do you want people to take away from your work?

Doeffinger: Another five books for their friends.

Whelpley: As people view the “Finger Lakes Splendor” book, I hope they realize the diversity and beauty of this place we call home. We must protect and preserve these treasures. I have traveled all over the world on assignments and have come to realize how fortunate we are to live here.

What do you love most about being a photographer?

Doeffinger: Getting outdoors to see the spectacular sights. Not the money—there isn't any in this kind of work.

Whelpley: I love the fact that photography gives me a vehicle to explore and capture the land and the people. I so often find that taking the photograph is the high point of the process. Many times it's several months or years later that the images appear as special as the moment I pressed the shutter release on the camera, and I truly appreciate that moment in time.

What are you working on now?

Doeffinger: Finishing up a how-to photo book by the title of “The Complete Guide to Ultimate Digital Photography.”

Whelpley: My current personal work is a black-and-white project in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Each winter I spend a month there photographing the people and their traditions as well as the beautiful architecture.

Derek Doeffinger & Gary Whelpley are the photographers of “Finger Lakes Splendor,” a photo book published by McBooks Press located in Ithaca.

November 30, 2007

Running around Belgium with Douglas W. Jacobson

We arrived in Belgium yesterday and in between grandparent stuff a lot is happening for NIGHT OF FLAMES. On Friday I'm meeting with Cobb Rogers of The American Club of Brussels to plan a presentation & book signing for February. Later that day, I'll be meeting with the US Embassy in Brussels who are interested in the WW2 Belgian Resistance groups I wrote about in the book. They're planning an exhibition in February/March on US-Belgian relations. Monday is the meeting with Comete Kinship Belgium, the organization of WW2 heroine, Andree de Jongh and the Comet Line escape organization. unexpected adventure in Bastogne. I was contacted by an old friend who will be in Belgium next week along with several WW2 veterans of the 101st Airborne Division - Easy Company - that fought in the Battle of the Bulge. They'll be attending a festival commemorating the epic battle and the opening of a new museum in Bastogne. I'll be joining the group in Bastogne next week Friday.

Polish Heritage review of Night of Flames

Night of Flames received two recent reviews in Polish-American publications. POLISH HERITAGE, the quarterly newsletter of the American Council for Polish Culture, in their fall, 2007 edition said, "...the story is a great reminder of the courage and fortitude of those who lived through those times...a lesson in history with a love story - love of country and family". The AM-POL EAGLE, the weekly Polish-American newspaper in New York state, described the story in great detail (the reviewer being quite well informed about WW2 history) and concluded that the book was, "...released just in time for Christmas and all Polish-Americans should buy it and learn about our heroic and tragic past". I couldn't have said it better myself. -DWJ

Gerry Doyle's author reception at Lake Point Tower, Chicago

Dear Mayor Daley: Thanks for the fireworks

Yeah, that's right--not only did the KU football team celebrate the release of "From the Depths" with a victory over Oklahoma State, but Hizzoner (The Second) made sure there were some festive explosions down near the museum campus... in other words, in perfect view of Lake Point Tower.

The release party on Saturday was a lot of fun, full of good cheer and good books and good friends and good wine. Technically, the good friends were full of the good wine, not the party. But you know what I mean.

Here are some destined-for-the-cover-of-People shots from various Friends (and Relatives) of the Blog:

Well-behaved attendees, less than 15 bottles of wine in and before the first television was defenestrated.

James, Former College Roommate of the Blog. What you can't see is that I'm stomping on his foot as hard as I can.

I rest my signing hand as several friends try to explain to me why "have a great summer" doesn't make sense on the title page of a novel.

Kristen, Cousin of the Blog, makes sure I know how her name is spelled.

People dressed more stylishly than I was also had a great time.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this such a fun and wonderful night. And stay tuned for information about coming events featuring "From the Depths," and possibly its author.

Author Gerry Doyle's book reception at Scents and Sensibility

A touch of class for a submarine full of dead people

Friday's reading at Lincoln Square little-bit-of-everything boutique Scents and Sensibility went swimmingly. There weren't even too many complaints that Dr. Myers had a Johnny Cash-esque speaking voice. But hey, you give people enough wine and they'll applaud if you read the back of a cereal box.

Here are a couple of photos from the event, taken by Owner of the Boutique Julie:

Tastefully decorated book lovers browse the tastefully decorated store.

That's right, I'm sitting behind a fence.

Thanks to everyone who came by! Next stop: The Book Cellar, Dec. 19. Be there to pick up the bestest Christmas present ever!

November 21, 2007

Historical Novels Review of Tomorrow the World

From the Historical Novels Review's November '07 issue:

I’d heard raves about John Biggins’s novels set in the last fifty
years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now I understand why. If you enjoy an
author who writes with authority (like Michael Pearce, and with the same
depth of knowledge and dry wit), and who has the outsider’s eye for noticing
and observing, then Biggins is for you.
Tomorrow the World shows young Otto Prohaska becoming Cadet
Prohaska, in what is left of the Hapsburg Empire’s navy. The joy of the book
is that it is not a young man’s voice retelling his adventures, but Otto,
the old man, waiting to die in the strange Welsh retirement home for Polish
refugees, run by Polish nuns. He records his stories, with comments and
critical asides added by the older Otto’s hindsight and later analysis. The
result is often hilarious, always devastatingly acute. One despairs and
wonders, as he does, if humans will ever learn from past mistakes. As a
record of what happened to turn Germany into the bigot of white supremacy
that resulted in Auschwitz, it is horrifying.
The sailing details of S.M.S Windischgratz, the descriptions of
people and places, are so vivid you come to believe you are indeed reading
memoirs. I stand in awe, not only of Biggins’s research, but also his
ability to turn it into something so tangible. His skills as a writer are
one of the pleasures of this novel.
If Otto has a creed, it is “Lord, what fools these mortals be,” and
the novel gives us both comic and pathetic examples as a hapless Cadet Otto
sails on the weird and wonderful voyage from Pola (now Pula, Croatia)
ostensibly to the South Atlantic, but eventually to Africa, New Silesia and
across the Indian Ocean to Pola again. Enjoy it. It’s a book to cherish and
reread. -- Patrika Salmon

November 8, 2007

Night of Flames author Douglas W. Jacobson podcast interview

Night of Flames author Douglas W. Jacobson was interviewed at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, WI by the Door County Daily News' Nick Freimuth, who produces an Arts and Entertainment podcast series.

Doug discusses researching for and writing Night of Flames, and provides fresh insight into key historical events that took place in Poland and Belgium during WWII.

Click here to listen to the podcast interview.

November 6, 2007

“From the Depths” launches!

BOOKSELLERS AND LIBRARIANS: Whether you sell books or let people check them out for free, send an e-mail request to receive your free review copy and more information about the book. "From the Depths" is sold to the book trade by Independent Publishers Group, and published by McBooks Press.

Whether you're a book club member, a bookseller, librarian or would just like to drop me a line, shoot me an e-mail and I'll get right back to you. Please note that plot points will not be given away under any circumstances. Unless those circumstances involve briefcases full of cash.

So run out and grab a copy so you can find out what happens to Dr. Myers and the Dragon. You’ve got the candy to fuel a long reading session left over from Halloween.

Just be ready for immersion in a little bit more fear... and not the kind that will go away when you close the front door.

October 23, 2007

Robin recommends serving "spotted dick" for dessert at your next Patrick O'Brian party - or at the very least, a "floating island"

A couple of months ago I received an email query from a local woman who was looking for someone expert enough to discourse intelligently on early 19th c. naval life. She knew a lot of people who all enjoyed Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels, and so had the bright idea of throwing a party at which they'd all drink coffee and eat toasted cheese and generally wax enthusiastic together. I couldn't think of anyone to recommend as a speaker at her party, but I did come up with a few suggestions to make the party more merry (besides supplementing the coffee with grog): first, I was delighted to inform her that one of our local supermarkets sells imported, canned spotted dick.

Aubrey/Maturin aficionados will remember this as one of Jack's favorite desserts. Anybody ever had floating island? Second, I came up with what I thought was a really great idea for an Aubrey/Maturin party game. I was kind of hoping she'd invite me to the party, since I was immodestly certain it was a terrific idea, but she didn't. So I'll share it here -- maybe somebody reading this would like to play.

Here is my favorite quotation from the Aubrey/Maturin novels. Can anyone guess who is the speaker, and identify the context?

"Sir, you have debauched my sloth!"

(Of course, the best part about this game is that it sends one back to the novels....)
Leave a comment if you think you know who the speaker is.


October 8, 2007

Fight for Rome - great review in Roman History Books

book review – the fight for rome: a gladiators of the empire novel

in association with, click here “ Time stopped. Quintus was suddenly in some hellish painting from the hand of a demented artist. The image was too brutal to be real. Had he really contributed to this catastrophe? Could he have possibly fought this battle even more savagely than the battle-hardened barbarians in his ranks? Could he possibly have taken so many lives? He had thought he knew the power of Taurus, but he had never considered him capable of killing on such a massive scale.”€

The Fight for Rome, the second novel in the Gladiators of the Empire series by James Duffy takes the story of Quintus Honorius Romanus, the gladiator going by the name of Taurus, to a new level and involves both protagonist and antagonist in the politics of civil war.

It's AD 69, the Year of the Four Emperors. Galba has been killed, Otho is facing Vitellius, and gladiators are recruited – or rather their masters are forced to rent them out – as soldiers for Otho. For most of Quintus' fellow gladiators, it's just learning another way of fighting, and familiar to those who are captured barbarians. But for a handful, such as Quintus, who are Roman citizens, the dilemma is glaring: a fight in the arena is one thing, but killing other Romans in battle is another. For Lindani, the African venator, it means killing people rather than animals. What keeps Quintus going is his induction into a secret plan to keep both Otho and Vitellius from victory in favor of Vespasian.'

The story is nicely woven into the real history of AD 69 – outlined in Afterword & Historical Notes, with a number of real life personae and some surprises.

The characters introduced in the first novel, Sand of the Arena have grown and Mr. Duffy is adept at portraying their relationships, and their internal conflicts, not the least Quintus transforming himself chillingly into Taurus when the situation demands it. The emotional plight of Romans fighting Romans in a civil war is imaginatively treated.

October 5, 2007

From the Depths Chapter Excerpt no.3

Dr. Myers is beginning to understand the nature of the investigation now. The pieces are falling into place as Larsen explains . . . now go to Chapter Excerpt no.3

This is Gerry's final posting of excerpts from the book. For more, you'll have to read From the Depths, due out in November.

September 25, 2007

Douglas W. Jacobson's roadtrip report

Douglas W. Jacobson checked in with McBooks Press News following last week's book promo trip for Night of Flames, which took him down to Chicago and back up to Door County, Wisconsin.

MPN: You spoke last week in Chicago at the Polonia Bookstore.

DWJ: Yes, the group was the Chicago Society of the Polish National Alliance. It is a fraternal organization of Polish-American businessmen. There were about fifty men in attendance and they were all extremely interested in the book, especially the part about the 1939 German invasion of Poland. One very memorable moment was when an elderly man stood up and said how much he appreciated the presentation. He was one of those soldiers who was captured during the invasion and survived two years in the Soviet Gulags in Siberia. We discussed all the myths surrounding that campaign as well as Poland’s overall contribution to the WW2 war effort, which was considerable. It was a good night in Chicago, great people.

MPN: So then from Chicago you drove back up to Wisconsin, to meet with the Peninsula Belgian-American Club.

DWJ: Northeast Wisconsin is home to the largest concentration of Belgian-Americans in the US. Most are descendants of immigrants that arrived in the beginning and mid-twentieth century. The interesting thing is that many of these folks travel to Belgium on a regular basis, and every year 20 or 30 Belgians travel to Namur, Wisconsin for the annual Belgian Days festival.

MPN: Then you'll be speaking and giving presentations in Brussels this coming December.

DWJ: Night of Flames has generated a lot of interest among the members of the American Club of Brussels. This is a large organization of ex-patriot Americans working in Brussels. Brussels, of course, is home to NATO as well as the European Union and there are thousands of Americans living and working in the area.

MPN: Are you working on a sequel to Night of Flames?

DWJ: Yes. The story of Anna and Jan continues with the search for her father after the end of the war.

MPN: I should mention that Night of Flames will appear on bookshelves the first week in October. Thanks Doug.

September 21, 2007

a Teazer for Stockwin readers!

Julian Stockwin has kindly posted Chapter One from his soon-to-be-published novel, The Admiral's Daughter. Coming this October 1st - the same date [here comes one from left field] that Edgar the Peaceable became king of all England back in 959.

September 20, 2007

Interview with Broos Campbell

Chris sat down with The War of Knives author Broos Campbell this morning to check in and see how Peter Wicked is coming along, chat about Toussaint, the movie, and play a little fantasy cinema with characters in the Matty Graves novels.

C: So, what have you been up to, working on the third novel in the Matty Graves series?

B: I just turned in an extensive rewrite of Peter Wicked, book three in the series, and the glossary. I still have to finish the maps and the historical note. That last will be difficult in that I pretty much made everything up, except for the layout of the White House. Oh, and a column that Matty hides behind at one point. I don't think there were any columns on the main floor of the President's House at the time. Other than that—pure lies.

C: How has writing this one compared with the others? Is this indeed a trilogy, or is this more of an open-ended serial venture?

B: I hated The War of Knives until fairly far into the revisions. Jackie Swift, who is a fantastic editor, cajoled and pushed me along until it started running on its own accord. Now I like it a lot. I'm having a similar experience with Peter Wicked. It's only now, in what I hope is the last rewrite, that I've gotten to admire it. If I can read it for the hundredth time and still like it, I figure it's pretty good.

I hope Peter Wicked won't be the last of the series. I have plans for another triplet, set in the
Mediterranean during the Barbary Wars. I wrote a rough draft of the first one a while back.

C: Regarding the movie production of Toussaint, what do you think of the casting of Don Cheadle in the role of Toussaint Louverture? Any opinions? I'd say that's great casting. I
mean, who better? Although, that Chiwetel Ejiofor's pretty sharp too.

B: They're both in Talk to Me, which I haven't seen yet but want to. Don Cheadle is an excellent choice to play Toussaint. I'm not sure who Ejiofor is cast as, but I hope it's as Christophe. He was a complex man.

Mos Def and Jonathan Rhys Meyers seem to have joined the cast, too. Mos Def would be great as the monster Dessalines, and Rhys Meyers as Sonthonax, the subtly wicked French minister to the colony. I don't know which roles they actually have, though.

Naturally I'm glad that anyone's doing a biopic on Toussaint, as it'd be a boost to me, but mostly I'm hopeful about the movie for Toussaint's sake. His is a great story, filled with glory and tragedy. I hope also that it reawakens interest in Haiti. Those poor people have had a shockingly terrible time for two centuries now. We owe them much better than we've given them.

C: Who'd play Matty Graves in the movie version of The War of Knives?

B: Dunno. Whoever the American version is of Ioan Gruffudd, who did a fine job as Horatio Hornblower. If you darkened his skin a bit and taught him to talk like Davy Crockett, he'd be a hoot. He's getting on a bit, though. He must be 30 by now.

I know who I'd want to play Cahoon, the Irish sergeant in The War of Knives—Rick Crawford, the Belfast actor who helped me with Cahoon's dialect.

-Peter Wicked will be published by McBooks Press in September 2008.

the Fight for Rome publishes, the Gladiatrix chimes in, roots for villain!

". . . it is with the villains that The Fight for Rome really excels. I have to say that as vile as our nemesis Lucius is, I found myself rooting for him almost to the end of the book. [author James] Duffy humanizes him, making him a believable character. All right, he's paranoid to the point of delusion, but then again, with the run of luck he's had one can hardly blame him."

-as reviewed in

“Children who acquire a taste for chicken nuggets, roast beef and French fries today are the cancer patients and weight-loss patients of tomorrow”

In Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly, Dr. Neil Barnard reminds us of the disaster that is the industrial American diet. Harmonious Living offers a 5/5 star review of Marty Mattare's excellent dietary roadmap for the introduction of healthy food for our children. This revised edition also offers help on the introduction of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Harmonious Living is a sharp little website itself, offering Helpful Hints on Teaching Your Kids About the Environment, resources for those seeking tips on Well Being and Spiritual Wholeness, Environmental Education, even how to make your own Biodiesel. Hats off to -

September 19, 2007

Fancy Schmancy, eh Gerry?

From the Depths thriller author Gerry Doyle will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at Fancy Schmancy, a benefit to be held in Chicago on October 5 by the gang over at Barrel of Monkeys. The highest bidder will receive a set of review copies for their book group to read, which will then be followed up by a personal visit by the author himself. A bit about the Barrel:

Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an ensemble of actor/educators that creates an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations.

BOM accomplishes this through creative writing workshops and in-school performances of children's stories. BOM also engages the broader community in support of the visions of children through
public performances of their work.

Barrel of Monkeys is currently celebrating its 10th year!

Click here

July 9, 2007

There ARE rules, y'know

"#14. As the male author of a naval or military adventure series begins to age, instances of the hero successfully cuckolding an old fool become less frequent."

Yes, there are just too many rules for an author of historical fiction to consider. Sarah's Bookarama has neatly compiled Alan Fisk's All-Purpose Rules for Writing Historical Fiction/Writing Ripping Yarns.

Authors might also want to review Reading Matter's Rules for Classical-Set Fiction, also courtesy of Bookarama.

Quintus Honorius Romanus aka Taurus, Thracian fighter

The Roman History Reading Group recently held a live online chat with
James Duffy, author of The Fight for Rome
(publication date September '07).

, the hero of the Gladiators of the Empire series, is cited as an exemplary Thracian fighter. Here's the guest "editor" pictured at last year's Castra Romana, an Imperial Army Encampment re-enactment held in South Carolina.

June 20, 2007

Visit Night of Flames author Douglas W. Jacobson's Blog.

Fresh off the heels of his trip to Albany, NY to attend the Historical Novel Society's Annual Conference as a panelist, Doug is preparing for upcoming fall publicity events in Brussels, Belgium and in his home state of Wisconsin.

Visit Doug's new blog, Night of Flames for updates and information.

February 22, 2007

Publishers Weekly Review War of Knives

Publishers Weekly Review: The War of Knives by Broos Campbell
"In this entertaining sequel to No Quarter, the debut installment of Campbell's Matty Graves series of historical novels, the intrepid nautical hero, newly promoted to acting lieutenant aboard the navy schooner Rattle-Snake, finds himself out of his depth on terra firma . . . Campbell constructs an elaborate swashbuckling tale that will appeal especially to fans of high historical adventure." Will be available April 20th. read the review

February 13, 2007

Alexander Kent: new novel Heart of Oak

Onward - by Kim Reeman
An interview with Heart of Oak author Alexander Kent (pseudonym of Douglas Reeman).

Q: Douglas, you went back to the distant past to write Band of Brothers. Was it difficult to leap forward from that time back into Adam Bolitho’s life for Heart of Oak?

A: No, because I was reminded a lot of the big part the midshipmen play as I was writing Heart of Oak. So much of the action takes place on the ship, and you get to know the people so well. We have Adam’s midshipman, Napier, whom he’s sponsored, and his friends. It seemed a natural transition. read the interview | buy this book

January 17, 2007

HBO Rome TV and Sand of the Arena book

HBO: Rome TV series shares theme of James Duffy's Sand of the Arena

The highly acclaimed HBO series Rome has started its second season with a great deal of fanfare. If you like Roman history, especially gladiators, then we recommend James Duffy's book Sand of the Arena. His story occurs in AD 63 when the long arm of the Roman Empire stretches across the European continent and the gladiatorial games are awash in blood and glory. For Quintus Honorius Romanus, son of one of the richest men in Rome, everything is as it should be -- as long as he can sneak off to the arena for a little entertainment. Things go drastically wrong, however, when Quintus loses his family, his social standing, and his name to an imposter. Faced with a life of menial slavery, Quintus joins a gladiatorial school instead and begins a game of high stakes, as he vows to bring down the usurper who stole his life. see details | buy this book

January 11, 2007

Radio: Letters from author John Biggins

Found: The Real John Biggins!

As broadcast on Tony Miksak's Words on Books, KZYX radio: "Who could forget these great historical novels by John Biggins and his amusingly intelligent hero Otto Prohaska, Future Hero of the Habsburg Empire? . . . How COULD a contemporary author, writing a series of spectacularly well-reviewed historical novels published in two countries to great acclaim, disappear so completely that not even Google can find him?" see article | books by John Biggins

January 8, 2007

Publishers Weekly Review: Bodyfoods for Busy People

PW Review: Bodyfoods for Busy People

Here is a quote from the recent starred review from Publishers Weekly: ". . . Clarke provides clear, blessedly brief explanations as to why nutrients matter, and bolsters her arguments, point by point, with simple, fresh recipes that highlight particular ingredients, such as her Mango, Lime and Raspberry Juice (which provides a boost of beta carotene and vitamin C) and her high-fiber, whole grain Favorite Oatcakes." read the review | buy this book