Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Add to Technorati Favorites Well, 2017 is drawing to a close and it's time to recap the year with all the writing related and travel that I did. It was a busy year, partly because mid-way I had to move out of the place where I'd been for the past year which was unsuitable, unsettling and a hindrance to my creativity. Fortunately I was able to find a quiet place in Sapperton, the old part of New Westminster which is the city next to Vancouver. It is a quiet, serene place in a friendly neighborhood and finally I was able to get back to my writing. During the summer I didn't do much book promo but I did have my book launch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES in June and later a table at Greek Days to display it.
At the first of July I had a table at a book festival in Fort Langley, a suburban town outside of Vancouver. Since then I've done a couple of readings but now the new year approaches I'm making more effort to apply for readings and workshops.
Meanwhile, I'm working on my other novel DRAGONS IN THE SKY and would like to complete it for sure this year! I have also negotiated with my publisher to try and get him to put SHADOW OF THE LION (both volumes) into soft cover but the plan he has proposed is not suitable so I am facing this big decision for the first of the year of what will happen. I am not going to rewrite it or chop it to pieces to put it into an 'Abridged' version, but I will try to get it published as an ebook. I also still instructing a couple of writing group and I'm considering advertising for others including more travel writing workshops. My travels were limited this year to three weeks in Greece so I haven't done much travel writing. I am sorry to say that the Greek Islands ebook I worked on for over a year came to a halt suddenly when the American publisher dropped all contact with me. I will eventually publish it myself when I get time to finish it. My other ebook ATHENS AND BEYOND is avaiable on Kindle.
The highlights of my time in Greece were the three readings I did, one at the Canadian Institute, one for the Athens centre and I read to a grade nine class of 50 students at the Athens Community School as well as giving a writer's workshop for a smaller group of older students.
The biggest thrill of all was my three day visit to Iraklion Crete when I finally got to meet one of my writer/mentor's in person after many years of being only in contact on-line. Dr Jack Dempsey is an authority on the Minoans and has been a great supporter during my writing and publishing of SHADOW. We spent a wonderful afternoon together talking and sharing our writing stories and adventures. I'm hoping to see him again next year as he now lives in Crete (was originally from US).
So this about wraps up the activities and plans for the future in my writing career. And I hope to be more diligent in posting blogs in the coming year as well.

Friday, November 03, 2017


Three weeks was hardly long enough, but I made the best of it.  I spent three days at my favorite place, the Maragas Camping on Naxos.

From there I took the sea-jet ferry to Irakleion, Crete.

 Venetian harbor

The Lion Fountain

 I visited some of the sites, including Knossos, and met my writer/mentor friend Dr. Jack Dempsey, for the first time in person. (We've been communicating for a number years on-line). We spent a wonderful few hours talking about our writing at a seafood restaurant by Iraklion's Venetian Harbor. He's an authority on the Minoans and has written two books about them: Ariadne's Brother and People of the Sea. 
Jack and me


I got around town there on the hop-on-hop-off bus which took me to several sites over two days including the Archaeological Museum and the Natural History Museum.

 Finds from Knossos

 Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum

 I also visited the grave site for writer Nikos Kazantzakis up on the city wall where he was buried because the Orthodox Church wouldn't allow his burial in the cemetery.

Then I returned to Athens for two busy weeks of book readings at the Canadian Institute and the American Community School where I read to a class of 50 grade nine students and conducted a writing workshop/reading with a smaller group of older students.  The following week I did another successful reading at the Athens Centre with a lecture titled 'In Alexander's Footsteps'.  All three centres have invited me back next year!

Reading at the Canadian Institute, Athens.

 The class of Grade 9 Students at the American Community School

 writer's workshop

 Reading at the Athens Centre

My time sped by there. I didn't didn't get much chance to travel around.  We did see the new Niarchos Community Centre in Pireaus.

 Then I went to Salamina for a few days where I explored a few new archaeological sites.

The monument to the warriors of the Battle of Salamis

 Then it was time to head home.  Too fast, but a successful trip nonetheless. And for sure I'll return next year!

Monday, September 11, 2017


I'm heading back to Greece for three week and while I'm there I am schedule to do three readings of SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES at the American Community School, the Athens Centre and the Canadian Institute. I'll read segments from SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON as well.


This year I'm not staying for as long as usual, but I still plan some trips  -  a few days on Naxos and then on to Iraklion, Crete where I want to visit Knossos and spend some time visiting with a writer/mentor friend of mine, Jack Dempsey who writes about the Minoans.  The rest of the time I'll be in Athens and will make some short trips to Salamina and around Athens.

 Plaka Beach, NAXOS

It's been a hectic last year with problems at my old home and a move mid July. But I'm all settled again in a quiet, peaceful apartment in a lovely suburban neighbouhood.  During the past year I had little incentive work on my current novel DRAGONS IN THE SKY. Instead I spend almost a year writing an ebook on the Greek Islands for a US publisher, under contract. I was almost finished it and he suddenly abandoned me. So I have shelved the project and will finish and self-publish it later.

Now that I'm resettled, I have started back on DRAGONS after a year's break from it. A tricky project trying to get back into the cadence of the prose but I am forging ahead and after my trip I will dedicate all my time to it.

Be sure and order my SHADOW OF THE LION double volume novel.  A good place to get it (with no shopping costs) is the Book Depository.  But if you check prices you can sometimes get deals on Amazon including second-hand copies which are in almost new condition. One that I ordered had even been previously signed by me!

Meanwhile,  you can also get my travel guide ATHENS AND BEYOND on Kindle.

Sunday, July 02, 2017


 On June 20 I had a successful book launch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES. It was held at the Kitsilano branch Public Library.  A nice group attended including the new Consul General of Greece, Mr Thanos Ioannou and his wife.

Reading from The Fields of Hades

The Greek Consul General Mr Thanou Ioannou and his wife.

I've been doing a lot of book promo this past month.  On June 25 I had a table at GREEK DAYS on West Broadway in Vancouver and spent a long day ( 11 am - 9 pm) enjoying chats with passersby and a friend I'd invited to join the table with me.  Lots of people stopped to ask about my books and I sold three which was great.

On Canada Day (July 1, Canada's 150th birthday!) I had a table at the Book Fair at Ft. Langley.
I shared the table with Wayne Gatley from my Scribblers group.  It wasn't as busy as Greek Days but a few people stopped by to check out my book,  no sales though. But it was a nice way to do promo and I enjoyed the day.


More readings coming up.  On July 15 there'll be another table display at Queens Park in New Westminster and on August 5 I'm dong a workshop/reading for the Pt. Coquitlam Tri-City Wordsmiths.  Hope to get a few more readings/workshops ofer the summer as well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Launch and Readings: Promoting SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES

 This past weekend I spent a delightful day at the Vancouver Public Library at a Writer's event.  We had tables to display our books and spent most of the day chatting to passersby.  I did a short reading from the Epilogue of SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON.

My books didn't arrive on time but I had brochures printed up to advertise both volumes of SHADOW and this proved practical, as people who had books for sale weren't making many sales.  It was a fun day though, hanging out with other writers. And a good chance to promote my books.

I have organized my book launch for SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES.  This will be held at the Kitsilano library branch in the week preceding Greek Days on West Broadway. I wasn't able to obtain the room at the Hellenic Centre even though the Greek Consul agreed to sponsor me, because they were charging a lot of money for rent.  But this library setting should be great and we will have an after party down the road at the Olympia Taverna afterwards

The launch is on Tuesday, June 20, at 7 pm. It's a small room so if you want to come, be there early to get a seat.  I'm looking forward to reading from THE FIELDS OF HADES and seeing everyone!
And thanks to my son, Steve, for making me this nice poster!

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Thursday, March 09, 2017


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It's been a while since I blogged here and a lot has happened since my trip to Greece in Sept/October 2016.  The second half of SHADOW OF THE LION was published in January 2017 and is now available on Amazon.com and the Book Depository (which doesn't charge shipping!)

The second half of the novel is subtitled SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES and it is an exciting end to the tale of the fall of Alexander the Great's dynasty with the battle lines drawn not only with the Successor who vie to take over the Empire but also the women who vie to take over the throne.  I'll post more details on this but for now, here's the book as it is. I love the cover and I know you'll love the content.

As the after-shocks of Alexander’s death bring disorder to his Empire from Macedon to Persia, a deadly power struggle is waged over who will dominate to rule.
Alexander’s Generals ‘The Successors’, contest who will emerge to rule the vast expanse of Alexander’s Empire. The ‘Royal Women’ Alexander’s mother Olympias and niece Adea-Eurydike also vie for control.
SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES, is Book Two of an epic story of political intrigue and ruthless ambition, complete with all the ingredients of a Greek tragedy. It is also a story that happens to be true.