Welcome Back, Jess Steven Hughes!

Returning author Jess Steven Hughes has some important updates for us since my interview with him last August. He tells us about them below in his write-up for the 2017 Where Are They Now? series.

Interview with Jess Steven Hughes, Author (August 2016) includes Jess’s complete bio, background and research for his books, book signing photographs, and book trailers.

2017 Where Are They Now?

by Jess Steven Hughes

During the past year I have had two historical novels and a short story accepted for publication.

My short story, “A Body in the River,” has been accepted by the literary publication Conceit Magazine and will be published in their September 2017 issue. This story will probably be part of the sixth historical I am currently writing, Return to Britannia (working title). In that story, we see Macha (The Sign of the Eagle) returning to Britain with her husband, Titus, who has been dispatched by the Emperor Vespasian to investigate the murder of three bureaucrats. In the short story, they are sailing up the Thames River when Macha spots a body floating in the river.

The two newest novels, The Broken Lance (released July 13, 2017) and The Peacekeeper (releases November/December, 2017), published by Sunbury Press, are a duo-logy set in the wilds of 1st Century AD Celtic Britain at the time of the Roman invasion (44 AD) and among the incredible opulence and deplorable poverty of Imperial Rome (44 – 69 AD).

Description of The Broken Lance

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.

Books by Jess Steven Hughes

Pre-publication book review of The Broken Lance

by Janet Morris
Author of 20 historical novels, including I, The Sun and The Sacred Band

On the last page of the Broken Lance by Jess Steven Hughes, the legend reads: To Be Continued. When you reach that point, you’ll be thrilled and relieved that another volume is coming. Hughes, whose Celtic Britain historicals has everything a man or woman could want: love, hate, revenge betrayal, and pathos. This book is staggeringly good, as historicals go. You fall asleep holding it; you awake thinking about it. Your normal life fades to a pale shadow of the world Hughes creates. If you’ve read “The Sign of the Eagle, or the two-volume World of Britannia, I don’t need to say more. If you haven’t yet read Hughes, what are you waiting for? Start here, and have your faith in the novel restored.

No part of this book lags; it grabs you by the throat, with women as compelling as the men. He brings politics at their worst to life, and teaches you why things were the way they were then.

So, without giving away the story, I must tell you that if you are a man, woman, boy, girl, searching adventure and a better understanding of human nature, The Broken Lance is your book. Once you’ve read it, you’ll go looking for the previous volumes in this series, wondering how you could have missed these stories. And you’ll read the Broken Lance and its precursors more than once, for the sheer pleasure of it. I said of a previous volume, Hughes is an American Ecco, writing for his time. His background as a Marine, a horseman, a police detective, all enhance his stories.

SO, if you love historical adventure, heroes of both sexes, and a story to make you think differently about modern life, here it is. Grab it and run—and get it autographed if you can.

The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, helped a woman diagnosed with Breast Cancer

I received a note from a friend of mine who had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer (thank goodness, she is now in remission) which nearly brought tears to my eyes. My own wife, Liz, is a fourteen-year survivor, so I certainly knew what he and his wife were going through.

The note:

My wife was voracious reader (and we have the multiple book cases filled to overflowing to prove it) of all genres, both fiction and non (she has a screenplay about Captain Cook she is shopping for which she did extensive research) however . . .

This all came to an end when she was hit by breast cancer. The cancer was bad enough but the treatment, as you may know, is very much a race to see who dies first—the cancer or the patient. So it was that on all the medications she lost her ability to concentrate and reading was no longer the joy it once was.

And then she saw your post about The Broken Lance and the critic’s reaction to the language. “I’ve got to read that book” was her reaction. Of course, it was not yet available so we picked up a copy of The Wolf Of Britannia. She read it cover to cover and enjoyed it immensely.

Your book helped her breakthrough the logjam of medication and rediscover the joy of reading that she once knew so well.

Just wanted you to know that your book was a hit, and I expect more of your volumes to find a home on our bookshelves in short order.

Thank you.

*          *          *

Author Jess Steven Hughes

Jess Steven Hughes is a retired police detective sergeant who holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a minor in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations from the University of Southern California. His travels and extensive studies bring his historical novels to life. Jess lives with his wife, Liz, and their horses in Eastern Washington.

If you follow Jess on Facebook, you will be treated to his book and publisher news, book signing photographs, the history of Rome, his own 6,500-foot G-scale railroad model with 660 feet of track, and even baseball updates.

Feature: The longest chapter
The Spokesman-Review
Sat. Aug. 18, 2012

Man’s longtime dream realized with publication of first novel
by Rebecca Nappi

Jess Steven Hughes published his first novel, The Sign of the Eagle, at age 70.

Confirmed US book signings (summer/fall 2017)

April 8, 2017 at Barnes & Noble, Spokane Valley, signing Wolf of Britannia, Part 1, for new reader Christine.

Sat. Aug. 5
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
18025 Garden Way NE
Woodinville, WA 98072
Assist. store manager: Dan Tuberville
(425) 398-1990

Fri. Aug. 11
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Yokes Fresh Market
1233 N. Liberty Lake Rd.
Liberty Lake, WA 99019
Store manager: Dan DiCicco
(509) 927-0330

Sat. Aug. 12
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
15310 E. Indiana Ave.
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Store manager: Leslie

June 9, 2017 at Barnes & Noble signing Wolf of Britannia, Part 1, for new reader Kristina.

Sat. Aug. 19
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Barnes & Noble – Northtown Mall
4750 N. Division St.
Spokane, WA 99207
Manager: Kelly
(509) 482-4235

Sat. Sept. 30
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
5353 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA 95118
Comm. rel. manager: Ally
(408) 979-0611

Sat. Oct. 7
12 – 4 p.m.
EntertainMART
101 Best Ave.
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
Book manager: Marie
(208) 664-0464

Where can we buy your books, Jess?

My books can be purchased from the publisher, Sunbury Press, or from Amazon. Below are the links for The Broken Lance.

How can we follow or contact you?

These are the links to my website and social media:

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction and fantasy, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning difficulties and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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