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:

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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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“The Wrath of a Righteous Man” on sale today

BTHOM3 Front Cover

The Wrath of a Righteous Man

By the Hands of Men, Book Three

The epic saga continues:  After escaping enslavement in Russia, Charlotte Braninov fights to build a new life in London while the shadow of modern fanaticism looms over Europe.  Robert Fitzgerald faithfully serves the Crown in Africa until honor compels him to risk everything to overcome an ancient evil, only to discover that the greatest war rages within himself.

Available in ebook and paperback at Amazon

 Kindle version of Book One, The Old World, free until Sunday, May 29.

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Interviewed over at “A Blue Million Books.”

A fine-looking “gosh, I really love books and reading” blog, run by Amy Metz.  She kindly interviewed me, and made me look a lot more fun and interesting than I am with some very thoughtful questions like:

For what would you like to be remembered? 
Great question. At my wake there’s going to be a margarita machine, and everybody will get to stand up and tell funny stories about me. I’d like to be remembered as a decent, hard-working guy, a good father, and somebody who told some good stories.

Author Photo Bike Cropped
I bet that will be one helleva wake! Would you make a good character in a book? 
Ah, hell, yes. I’m a renaissance man, but I think I’d be

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The Reviews are In…

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For By the Hands of Men, Book Two, Into the Flames (some of them include Book One of the series, The Old World, as well), and they’re pretty nice.

My favorite so far is this one, from BookBlogger, Carrie K, who wrote:  “Wow…That is the best word I can find to describe these books. Wow!  So Good!”  I think I like that one best because she sounds so surprised (which she actually explains a bit further into the review).

A very lovely blogger known as Mrs. C wrote, “If you are a romantic, lover of history, and appreciate great writing which could be described as classic, you will enjoy this excellent work.  I have the sequel to The Old

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Nice review for “The Old World.”

By  book blogger “Mrs. C.” This is for By the Hands of Men, Book One, “The Old World.”

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My Thoughts

About the time I discovered my grandfather’s role in WWI, I received a request from this author to review this beautiful novel set during The Great War.  Author Roy Griffis has the rare talent of writing vividly descriptive narrative which places the reader inside the scene as a nonparticipating character.  His impeccable research has allowed this novel to be compared to Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms.

This novel begins on the battlefield during the Christmas Day truce, and takes off like a bullet thereafter.  Charlotte, a nurse, physically cares for Robert, an officer, man of mystery, and eventually

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