Jess Steven Hughes’ latest novel, “The Broken Lance,” draws high praise

Jess Steven Hughes’ latest novel, “The Broken Lance,” draws high praise

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Sunbury Press has released the Jess Steven Hughes’ The Broken Lance, his fourth Roman historical novel.

About the Book:

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

In 44 AD 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 arrival in Rome brings a whole new set of problems, the least of which are 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.

About the Author:

Jess Steven Hughes brought his lifetime’s fascination with ancient Roman history into his debut novel, THE SIGN OF THE EAGLE. Jess is a retired a police detective sergeant, Long Beach Police Dept, Long Beach, CA. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Southern California in Public Administration with a minor (my first academic love) in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations. He also served four years United States Marine Corps (1962/66). As a retired person, Jess believes in keeping very busy. You must stay active mentally, physically and socially. These are a few of the keys to a long and healthy retirement. Writing novels has contribute greatly to my quality of life. He lives with his wife, Liz, on a four acre mini-farm in Eastern Washington. His hobby is outdoor model railroading. He has an outdoor model railroad that was featured in the June/July, 2010 issue of the regional magazine PRIME NORTHWEST (www.primenw.com). Check their website for the article.

Jess is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA), the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) and is active in two writers groups in the Spokane, WA area (Spokane Novelists and Spokane Valley Writers).

Praise for Jess Steven Hughes:

Brilliant Celtic Britain historical novel

By Janet Morris

This review is from: The Broken Lance (Kindle Edition)

I read this novel as an Arc. 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 to know another volume is coming. Hughes’ Celtic Britain historicals have all a reader craves: love, hate, revenge, betrayal, and pathos. This book is staggeringly good. 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 “Wolf of Britannia,” I needn’t say more. If you haven’t yet read Hughes, start here, and have your faith in the novel restored. 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. If you are 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.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.

Review by Michael Connery, The Written Word, July 23, 2017

By Michael Connery

This review is from: The Broken Lance (Kindle Edition)

Jess Steven Hughes’s The Broken Lance is a fascinating glimpse into the Roman military, politics, and culture of the mid-first century. From the wilderness and outposts of Britannia to the dangerous streets of Rome, Hughes’s latest venture into the ancient world is a gripping read.

The tale centers around a young Iberian cavalry sergeant, Marcellus Reburrus, who is swiftly rising through the ranks. In turns battle-hardened and compassionate, clever and foolish, Marcellus is dedicated to the men he leads and the empire he serves, even as he faces racial prejudices and a commanding officer with a family vendetta. Marcellas is an engaging protagonist, swift-thinking, relentless in battle, and driven to uphold his family’s honor. Fallible and passionate, he is a hero who is fully human, and all the more so relatable for it.

The amount of thorough research Hughes undertook for the story is evident on the page as the reader is drawn into the ancient world. The streets of Rome are as dangerous as the wilds of Britannia, and the culture of the era and the varying people groups are described in vivid detail. Hughes excels at creating memorable, rounded characters and at lacing the pages with subtle humor. While there are some anachronisms, the author manages to convey a sense of the era while still making it accessible to a modern audience.

Filled with murder, politics, and danger, the tale is a gripping, compelling read that breathes new life into an intriguing era. The Broken Lance is a tale of adventure and intrigue with an end that will leave the reader anticipating the next installment in Marcellus’s story.

The Broken Lance
Written by Jess Steven Hughes

List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm) 
Black & White on Cream paper
292 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067192
ISBN-10: 1620067196
BISAC: Fiction / Historical / General

Also available on Kindle

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Broken-Lance-9781620067192.htm

Celtic Prince Caratacus rallies the tribes of Britain to face the invading Romans

SPOKANE, Wash.Sunbury Press has released The Wolf of Britannia, Jess Steven Hughes’ prequel to the bestsellingThe Sign of the Eagle. The novel has been released in two parts.

About the Part I:
twob1_fcThe Wolf of Britannia, Part I, is a breathtaking historical novel of action and suspense set in the wilds of First Century AD Britain. A young Celtic warrior, soon-to-be-legendary Prince Caratacus, must unite the southern tribes of Britain to fight an enemy more cunning and powerful than either he or Britain has ever faced, the juggernaut of imperial Rome.

As the prince fights alongside his wife, Rhian, a warrior princess who takes no prisoners, Caratacus must also outsmart a traitorous brother determined to take the throne with the support of Rome.

The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, is the story of a courageous man who must save his country not only from internal strife and treachery, but from the tyranny of Rome or die trying.

Excerpt:
Caratacus’s wicker chariot bucked and hurtled across every dip and rise in the track. Two lathering ponies strained at their harness as the young prince urged them ahead. Man-sized wooden targets sprinkled the course. Caratacus struck each through the heart with his casting spears. Now he raced for the finish line in a swirl of chalky dust, blue eyes ablaze with excitement.

Tawny hair whipped about his sunburned face. He sweated profusely in a woolen, short-sleeved tunic and tartan breeches, dust muting their colors. A gold collar burned his neck, but to rip it off would bring bad luck. The earthy musk of horse sweat blotted out all other odors.

Behind him, clattering wheels and thudding hooves roared in his ears. Four other chariots steadily gained on him. His horses responded to the stinging touch as he slapped the reins. Caratacus leaped from the flimsy cart onto the center drawbar between his team when another chariot nosed into the lead. He struggled for a foothold and looped the dragging reins about his wrists. Barefooted, he deftly edged his way forward on the jouncing bar and catapulted onto the back of his favorite beast. Kneeling on the bay pony, he bellowed encouragement, calling for even greater speed.

Sucking dust and screaming, urging the racers to ever greater strides, throngs of men, women, and children circled the large, rutted oval, which served as a race track below the great hill fortress of Camulodunum.

A small boy chasing a dog darted from the crowd and crossed in the front of Caratacus’s path. A woman screamed. He sucked in his breath—Damn! In a flash he kicked the pony’s side, sharply swerving the team, barely missing the child. The chariot bounced, arcing one wheel off the ground and back to the earth with a thud. Violently wrenched from the beast’s back, Caratacus grabbed its yoke collar and yanked himself up on the withers. A throbbing pain shot through his loins from where he caught the horse’s knotty backbone between his legs.

For an instant, Caratacus glanced at the jostling throng. He caught sight of flaxen-haired Rhian, daughter of the king’s champion. The young woman screamed encouragement. His team leaped ahead and stampeded towards the finish.

Caratacus heard a pop and then a rumbling noise. He turned and saw the left trace rein on his other pony had snapped loose from an iron holding lug. It whipped back and forth along the animal’s side. The mare squealed, terrified by the bridle’s lashing. She strained at leather bands around her girth and neck, trying to lurch free of the yoke collar.

About the Part II:
twob2_fcThe Wolf of Britannia, Part II, is a breathtaking historical novel of action and suspense set in the years between 43 and 60 AD, in the mysterious land of ancient Britain and the majestic palaces of Rome. In the first millennium’s early days, the Romans held power over most of the world’s people through disciplined savagery, yet many citizens fought to break from tyranny. This painstaking researched tale is of one such fight for freedom.

In the wilds of Britain, the soon-to-be-legendary King Caratacus and his tribe of Celtic warriors are facing down the seemingly unbeatable Roman army.

After winning the southern British throne, Caratacus leads his people as they strive for freedom from the iron-fisted Roman rule that has nearly obliterated their culture and lifestyle. As the king fights to keep his people free, he must also battle his beautiful, conniving, and lascivious cousin−a queen who wants Caratacus for herself. The Wolf of Britannia, Part II, is the story of one daring man, willing to risk his life to destroy the entire Roman army.

About the Author:
Jess Steven (Steve) Hughes portraitJess Steven Hughes brought his lifetime’s fascination with ancient Roman history into his debut novel, THE SIGN OF THE EAGLE. Jess is a retired a police detective sergeant, Long Beach Police Dept, Long Beach, CA. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Southern California in Public Administration with a minor (my first academic love) in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations. He also served four years United States Marine Corps (1962/66). As a retired person, Jess believes in keeping very busy. You must stay active mentally, physically and socially. These are a few of the keys to a long and healthy retirement. Writing novels has contribute greatly to my quality of life. He lives with his wife, Liz, on a four acre mini-farm in Eastern Washington. His hobby is outdoor model railroading. He has an outdoor model railroad that was featured in the June/July, 2010 issue of the regional magazine PRIME NORTHWEST (www.primenw.com). Check their website for the article.

Jess is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA), the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) and is active in two writers groups in the Spokane, WA area (Spokane Novelists and Spokane Valley Writers).

The Wolf of Britannia Part I
Authored by Jess Steven Hughes
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
328 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065600
ISBN-10: 1620065606
BISAC: Fiction / Historical

The Wolf of Britannia Part II
Authored by Jess Steven Hughes
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
264 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065631
ISBN-10: 1620065630
BISAC: Fiction / Historical

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Wolf-of-Britannia-Pa…

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Wolf-of-Britannia-Pa…