But wait, there’s more!

The Historical Novel Society is a ” literary society devoted to promoting the enjoyment of historical fiction.”

They also reviewed Into the Flames and The Wrath of a Righteous Man, bless ’em.

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Of Into the Flames they said:  “In this second book of the series, Roy Griffis continues where he left off in the first volume – the violence and dreadful conditions of war, the cheapness of life and the cruelty of man – and all without overstating the gruesome parts… the writing is excellent and easy to read, and the plots are well crafted. Recommended.”

BTHOM3 Front Cover

And the reviewer had this response to The Wrath of a Righteous Man:  “In this third volume, Roy Griffis explores the character …

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Feels like bragging

But here is a nice review for “The Old World” from an English website dedicated to Historical Fiction.  Griffis_BTHOM_cover

“Without ever sinking to graphic descriptions, Roy Griffis captures the horror and brutality, the terrible injuries and the severe conditions under which those men and women lived for so long. Can love survive these trials?

“With its excellent characterisation, tenderness amongst the carnage and with a fast-paced style, I can thoroughly recommend this book.”

 

(just as a side note, I find reviews like this fascinating because of things like “with a fast-paces style.”  It’s not how I think of my writing…I just write the story I’m hearing in my head, if that makes any sense.)…

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The Wrath of a Righteous Wife

The Rib and I at a family reunion two years ago.

The Rib and I at a family reunion two years ago.

 

Had shoulder surgery last Friday.  I was trying to be tough on Monday and skipped the pain meds, figuring I’d only need those to sleep.

I was sadly incorrect.  When the ortho doc heard my story, he encouraged me to use them.  So I dutifully swallowed them down when I got home.  Damn, what a difference.

So I’m writing this while under the influence.   My son happened to be home from college this weekend, and so he and I spent some time watching movies and chatting, as the shoulder surgery rendered me useless for our usual pursuits (bike riding, getting pizza, that sort of thing).  Tuesday, as we …

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Today in weird

A photographer, I ain't.

A photographer, I ain’t.

 

A few weeks ago, I commented on a book (“The Sword and Shield”), which covered, in 732 pages, the KGB archives that came out with a Russian Defector.  It dealt with nearly 80 years of the USSR’s attempts to influence and coerce.  The scarier tidbits (and there were a lot) covered how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration was riddled with communist agents, the stories the Reds planted with the press to derail Presidential candidates (a job the press now does cheerfully for free against the “wrong sorts”).  Assassination (both character and mortal), overthrows, plots, millions of dollars a year to the “innocent” American Communist Party, to say nothing of their insanely focused efforts to steal technology

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I received a nice and unexpected fan letter today.

“I devoured your “By the Hands of Men” trilogy last week, and am pleased to say that my first thought was to consider how long I should wait until re-reading those three. That has not happened in a very long time.

“High praise intended for you; I’m a life-long voracious reader, with most of my books on paper. I’ll read one, and it might be decades before the same volume floats up again during cleaning or re-arranging to surprise me with a fond memory that inspires a visit.

“Double praise in that when I find a book on the kindle platform *really* good, I’ll purchase it in print. All of your efforts meet that standard.”

Those make my day.

(Oh, …

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No Writing Today

No Writing Today

Just research.  In fact, as much as work as I have to put into these particular novels, one of the delights of the work is the research.  What I look for in the books I read about regular people in those time (the more obscure the better) is the telling detail, the little facts or quirks or annoyances of daily living that help make that time period feel real and relatable to anyone who’s entered my story.

The joy of research is in discovering something like this:

alcoprohibition07

A police officer stands next to a member of the “Black Legion,” an underground organization separated from the Ku Klux Klan and actively fought blacks, Jews and Catholics.

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Mid-western modesty

Tends to forbid me from singing my own praises.  It’s not natural for me to tout reviews for my work.

Back in Nebraska (the Nebraska of both my youth and my imagination), understated acceptance of praise was an art form in itself, because, hell, everybody who worked the fields, everybody who had to get up before daylight to feed the animals before going to school, everybody knew the work was hard.  So when someone complimented your efforts, there had to be a touch of humility in your reply, along with a very wry acknowledgement that it was just your luck to be noticed.

“Good job getting that calf out of the well by yourself.”

“That wasn’t anything, she didn’t weigh …

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