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Blogging from A to Z: G is for Gladius

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Pompeii gladius, via Wikimedia CommonsToday’s entry in my series of facts about Pompeii is gladius. Most of the time, when we think of a gladius, a specific type of Roman short sword comes to mind. Interestingly enough, though, the word is simply Latin for “sword,” and would have referred to any such type of weapon. It is also the word from which gladiator, meaning “one who fights with swords,” is derived.There are four verified types of Roman gladius, one of which was found at Pompeii. Rather than describe the differences myself, I thought I would share this video made by a Roman legionary reenactor. Enjoy!Original link
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Blogging from A to Z: F is for Fiorelli, Giuseppe

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Giuseppe Fiorelli. Public domain photo via Wikimedia CommonsHi, everyone. Today, I want to tell you about Giuseppe Fiorelli (1823-1896). An Italian archaeologist, Fiorelli’s methodical approach to excavation is largely responsible for the level of preservation we see at Pompeii today, although his work there stopped in 1848. Fiorelli was actually imprisoned for a while, having run afoul of Naples’ King Ferdinand II, because he believed that art and artifacts should be studied in situ rather than being looted for palaces and private homes.Fiorelli found that art and artifacts could be better studied and preserved if sites were excavated from the top down. Of course, many important items were ...
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Are We Fighting the Planet’s First Biological War?


The other day I received a fascinating commentary declaring that the COVID-19 virus all of us are dealing with is a result of a planned attack by China.Do I believe that? No, I don’t. At least not based on the inadequate evidence to support that assertion that I have seen so far.But the narrative, which was entitled “China Was Ready” did make some compelling arguments in support of the charge that China was, and is behind this devastating pandemic.The first assertion was that the Coronavirus has traveled all over the world from Wuhan, but has not made it to Beijing or Shanghai.“Can anyone explain that?” it asks.I can’t. But then, I have no way of knowing if that assertion is true. I have not...
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Special Guest Interview with Author Catherine Kullmann


New on Amazon UK and Amazon USWhen Arabella Malvin sees the figure of an officer silhouetted against the sun, for one interminable moment she thinks he is her brother, against all odds home from Waterloo. But it is Major Thomas Ferraunt, the rector’s son, newly returned from occupied Paris who stands in front of her.I'm pleased to welcome author Catherine Kullmann to The Writing Desk:Tell us about your latest bookThe Potential for Love is a continuation of my ‘Waterloo arc’—books that are set against the background of the Napoleonic wars. It is set in 1816. The heroine, Arabella Malvin is mourning the loss of her brother at Waterloo and the hero, Major Thomas Ferraunt, has returned to Englan...
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Music Monday: “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and More

Hi, friends. Here’s John Fogerty doing a mini-concert of Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes as part of Rolling Stone magazine’s “In My Room” series. Enjoy!Original link
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Blogging from A to Z: E is for Eumachia

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Statue of Eumachia, Naples Archaeological Museum. Smuconlaw. / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, women didn’t have much place in public life in ancient Roman times. There were a few exceptions, though, and one of them was Eumachia.Eumachia was a priestess of the Imperial cult, dedicated to Venus Pompeiiana. Her father was Lucius Eumachius, who made his fortune manufacturing bricks, tiles, and amphorae. Her husband was Marcus Numistrius Fronto, who was a duovir (the next level of magistrate above aedile), and came from one of Pompeii’s most prominent families.Eumachia was a patron of the fullers’ guild; these were the tanners,...
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A bit more Rambling…

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As always, my intention of posting regularly is not happening; as they say, (whoever ‘they’ are), the highway to hell is paved with good intentions!Even now, in lockdown or self-isolation or whatever you may be calling it, my life is far too hectic to guarantee I post in any other way than at random intervals.Generally, my posts tend to be informative, either about publishing or to give insights into writing or ‘being indie’ while trying not to get too technical and academic… hence boring.This post is not focused on any of the above, it is simply me ‘Rambling away’ about what has taken my time over the past… however long it has been.So, without further ado this is it.If you are a follower or...
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My first ‘Voice Actor’ Performance is Now Available…

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My first ‘Voice Actor’ performance “Forever’s Too Long” is now available as an unabridged audiobook, exclusively through the author’s webstore.You have a choice between MP3 Downloadable Zip File for $12.99, or if you prefer  available as a 4 CD set for $20.00 (which includes shipping).                  This book has already been earning rave 5 Star reviews both locally and internationally in audio, paperback, and e-book forms: 5.0 out of 5 stars – Well-crafted and hard to put downReviewed in Canada on November 12, 2019Format: Paperback“Relatable characters, evocative scenery, and engaging dialogue make this book a lot of fun to read…” 5.0 out of 5 stars – A Great TwistReviewed in the United ...
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Book & Film Recommendations During Quarantine…

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My love goes out to all who are suffering during this crazy quarantine. Please let me know if I can help you with prayers.While you’re grounded at home base, books and films can be your best friends. Here are some of my recommendations. Click on book images from each of the following categories: Non-Fiction, Novella, Short Stories, and Novel. The links will take you to my reviews of them. Click on film images for trailers of award-winning stories of awesome children being leaders during difficult times. (*The Whale Rider is FREE right now on tubi.)BOOKS                    FILMSOriginal linkOriginal author: Robin
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Blogging from A to Z: D is for Dogs

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Vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet, showing “Cave Canem” mosaicHi, everyone. Today’s entry in my series of facts about Pompeii concerns dogs. In ancient times, as now, people kept dogs as pets. There were many mosaics around the ruins showing dogs. One of the most famous is in the vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet, which shows a domestic dog with collar and leash and is labeled “Cave canem,” Latin for “beware of the dog.”There are feral dogs in Pompeii today. They are friendly, cared for by veterinarians, and available for adoption. There was, at one point, a foundation that managed all of this called “Ave Canem” (“Welcome, dog”). Unfortunately, the man put in charge of the“My...
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Authors Give Back Book Sale

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The Authors Give Back book sale is live now on Smashwords. Some books are free and others discounted for a limited time only. For one month only, thousands of Smashwords authors and publishers will offer readers exclusive discounts on their ebooks. This sale is the direct result of several Smashwords authors requesting that Smashwords run […]The post Authors Give Back Book Sale appeared first on Stephen Bentley.Original link
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Blogging from A to Z: C is for Circumvesuviana

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The ruins of Pompeii have seen a modern town, Pompei, grow up around them. Pompei largely depends on tourism for its existence. So, there are numerous hotels and restaurants. There is also a train system.The local stop for the Circumvesuviana (“around Vesuvius) train, which connects Naples to Sorrento and has numerous lines in between, was a stone’s throw away from our hotel. We were on the Poggiomarino line and used it to get to Herculaneum and Naples. We would have gone to Sorrento had I not been completely exhausted by dealing with a medical emergency on the part of one member of our party. I just needed some sleep!What I didn’t realize until yesterday is that I had taken no photos of the...
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Special Guest Post By Laura Schaefer: How to Maximize Your Collaboration with a Ghostwriter


You’ve heard about the existence of ghostwriters for years, and now you are finally ready to take the leap and hire one of us to help you tell your story. Bravo! This is an exciting decision and one you’ll be glad you made. But you want to be careful, to do it right. I get it. Investment in a skilled ghostwriter can be significant, starting at $15k for a newbie ghost on up to mid-six figures for an experienced one. Writing your book is a big deal.Perhaps the most important thing you can do at the beginning stages of your book project is to choose a ghost whose writing style you enjoy (read their website and social media content carefully and see whether it strikes your fancy). Next, you shou...
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Frequently Asked Question: How Are Things in Your World?

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it must be time for a question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The complete question is:The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?Well, I’ll tell you. Seeing the announcement yesterday that the shelter-in-place has been extended through the end of April for my region and my company was hard. I’m an introvert, to be sure, but this is starting to wear on me. I am accustomed to deciding how much time I...
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Blogging from A to Z: A is for Aedile

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On the left side of the photograph is a political graffito asking people to vote for one Helvius Sabinus, who was running for aedile. Photo by the author.Hi, everyone. Welcome to the first entry in my 2020 blogging challenge. As you might recall, I’m sharing facts about Pompeii. My current work in progress is set there, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my research with you! Wherever possible, I will use photographs from my visit to the ruins earlier this year.Our first entry is aedile. An aedile was the most junior elected office in ancient Roman times. The aedile was a magistrate, responsible for management of public roads and public buildings. He, and they were always male, ha...
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: Transfer, by Apple Gidley


Available from Amazon UK and Amazon USTransfer traces the lives of those on Anna’s Fancy, the Clausen estate on Saint Croix in the Danish West Indies, handed down through three generations. An historical novel and the sequel to Fireburn (OC Publishing 2017), Transfer sees Niels Clausen, the illegitimate child of a Danish landowner and his black mistress who both died as a result of the 1878 worker revolt, leave his adoptive mother’s sugar plantation and sail to England to continue his education.With the help of Toby, a British aristocrat, Ivy, a lady’s maid turned lady and her botanist husband, Timothy, Niels challenges the perceptions on the streets of London of a black man at the turn of t...
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AND THE WINNERS ARE … #RAFFLECOPTER #GIVEAWAY

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And the winners are … DRUM ROLL … Nancy P of Florida, United States of America who wins the hardcover edition. Lexi Paige of Texas, United States of America who wins a paperback edition. Nancy and Lexi were chosen at random from the entries in my Rafflecopter giveaway. The first prize was a spanking brand […]The post AND THE WINNERS ARE … #RAFFLECOPTER #GIVEAWAY appeared first on Stephen Bentley.Original link
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Music Monday: “Everyday People”

Hi, everyone. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how much I love Playing for Change. Their rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” actually made me cry this morning. Even though I’m an introvert, the shelter-in-place is starting to get to me. Seeing so many joy-filled faces in community felt good … even as it reminded me of what I’m missing.Original link
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Historical Fiction Spotlight: The Silken Rose: Beware the She-Wolf from Provence (The Rose Trilogy) by Carol McGrath


Available for pre-order from Amazon UK and Amazon USThey called her the She-Wolf From Provence. She'd shape the destiny of England ...1236. Ailenor of Provence, cultured and intelligent, is only thirteen when she meets her new husband, Henry III of England. A foreign and friendless princess in a strange land she is determined to please him. And she knows that when the times comes she must provide an heir, to secure the throne against those who would snatch it away.Rosalind, a commoner skilled in the arts of needlework and embroidery, catches the young queen's attention and a friendship blossoms. But she is unprepared for the dangerous ramifications of winning the queen's favour ...As closene...
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How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring

How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring
Some of the most common questions I am asked as an indie author concern book marketing. In this post I will pass on some tips of my own in addition to giving you the chance of downloading this book titled How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring for FREE. It sells for $9.99 […]The post How to Build Your Author Platform on a Shoestring appeared first on Stephen Bentley.Original link
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