Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Recommend, or otherwise, books on Alexander (fiction or non-fiction). Promote your novel here!

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Jeanne Reames
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Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:11 pm

It's open for preorders!
https://riptidepublishing.com/collectio ... h-the-lion

They're still concealing the covers, but they're spectacular, especially for book 1. That said, preorders are now available on Riptide's site. It is not yet available on Amazon, and I assume it won't be until the covers have been revealed. They do "reveals" as part of publicity stuff.

So yes, it's really going to be out there. Book 1 is out July 1st, officially, but Riptide will release it on their own site at midnight the Friday before. (SO if you preordered it, it'll download to your device on Friday.)

CORRECTION: I had to have this 'splained to me by the book people, but the "bundle" doesn't mean the two books are combined into one (as I'd thought), but that you're essentially preordering both at once. So you'd get the first book when it becomes available, and the second book when it becomes available, and both covers. You WANT both covers. They're pretty spectacular, although yes, there is a detail error on the second cover; folks at the AAH spotted it immediately, of course). It's minor, but the artist didn't tell me she was using architecture. If she had, I could have given her a great visual pun for the second book.

Why preorder? It contributes to algorithms that raise or lower the prominence of a book in marketing. So it actually DOES help authors. If enough preorders come in, especially for a new author, it suggests "buzz" and they invest more money in promotion, which gets a book more visibility. So if you do plan to buy it, preordering instead of waiting till it comes out will help the book (and me).
----
Dr. Jeanne Reames
Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Graduate Studies Chair
University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Sat May 04, 2019 9:43 am

Any chance of just the tiniest taster?

I get that the blurb is designed to appeal to people who maybe don't know much about Alexander, but it sounds a very modern take on Alexander's character (my parents don't love me - only you do). Is that a fair assessment?

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Sat May 04, 2019 6:58 pm

It's written to be a romance teaser because that's the publisher, so they want to emphasize the relationship between the two boys. And it is central, but by no means the only significant one. The novel is really a coming-of-age story, as well as about fathers and sons (Philip and Alexander, Amyntor and Hephaistion, and the contrast). Other significant POV characters include Kleopatra and Ptolemy, as well as Aristotle (although the latter more sparingly). There will be another female POV addition, but not until the second novel (half). I'm not sure if you'd call it a modern take, or not. I don't follow a lot of familiar modern themes (there's no Oedipal complex or anything like it; Olympias and Philip don't get along, but largely as a matter of status, not jealousy--and it's stated in several places that sometimes the *do* get along). So I wouldn't call it especially modern, but the characters do have to be people readers can relate to. I've made Alexander less prominent than some takes that emphasize he's PRINCE. Here, he's A prince, and the novel really begins with Philip's decision (by hiring Aristotle) to move him forward as the heir apparent.

Teaser .... Okay, here's the first scene:

His father would’ve been given his message by now. There was no going back, even had he wanted to.

Pulling off his sun hat, Hephaistion wove through the morning crowd, mount trailing behind. He’d set out at dawn with nothing more than his stallion, a pack for clothing and personals, his armor, and his hounds. His growling stomach reminded him that he should have packed some breakfast.

People thronged the narrow streets of the capital city: men at business, slaves on errands, and packs of laughing boys trundling hoops and scattering pigeons. Women headed to public fountains with pots balanced on their heads, whilst here and there a dog sat, awaiting its master. Someone’s fugitive goat had climbed a wagon to nibble at a spade-leafed fig. Overhead, the Mediterranean sun beat down like the judgment of Zeus. This was the time of year when armies marched and shepherds sheared their sheep.

The main road wound up to the royal palace perched atop a fortified akropolis, or high city. Pella’s akropolis was more a bump in the plain than a real hill, yet Philippos’s palace didn’t need height to impress. Hephaistion had heard it said this was the largest building in all Hellas. Maybe so. Portico columns rose up like ossified pine to a marble sky in garish shades of lapis and vermilion, and a gold-leaf Victory crested the monumental entrance. Hephaistion halted to gawk. The last time he’d visited Pella some years back, this place had been unfinished, squatting on the rise like the bones of some great beached leviathan.

Behind, someone cursed him for blocking the way, then shoved past. Embarrassed, he glanced about for a place to tie his stallion so he could present himself to the king. He should’ve stabled the horse at his family’s town house, but he had no intention of going there. His mother’s cousin would return him in disgrace to his father like a boy chased by a nurse instead of a youth who’d be sixteen come autumn. He should’ve been made a Page two years back; time and past time to fix that. He had a vow to keep and a vow to make. Then it would be done.

His father couldn’t make him forswear the king.
----
Dr. Jeanne Reames
Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
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University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Sun May 05, 2019 1:45 pm

Thank you. The style's a little unexpected. :)

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Sun May 05, 2019 5:14 pm

Is "unexpected" good or bad? Ha. My general style (training) is in lit fic. In the past, I've published short fiction/poetry in that genre.
----
Dr. Jeanne Reames
Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
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University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Sun May 05, 2019 10:03 pm

I wouldn't call it a literary style. Punchy, colloquial maybe. It might be a style that takes a bit of getting used to.

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by eclipse » Sun May 05, 2019 10:51 pm

Thanks for the teaser! I'll be preordering for sure. I've been looking forward to this since you first mentioned, and like the style. Took me right there to those lively streets.

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Tue May 07, 2019 5:45 am

Thanks, Alexias and Eclipse.

FWIW, the official website is open, although it's still a work in progress as I have fun things to add, but need to learn how to write HTML code for audio, etc. :-) Yet I note it here for the "History to Story" page in particular, as that's the Author's Note at the back of Book 2: Rise, which won't be available with Book 1. The average reader won't care, but those who know Alexander and Macedonia very well may want to read it earlier. So it's there. The usual applies: Spoilers possible for Book 2 (and for Book 1 as even that's not out yet). But if you do buy the book and would like to read the author's note before it's available with book 2, it IS available on the website. There's some other fun stuff there, including my niece's beautiful map of Macedonia (under the Vlogs and maps) There's additional material in the back of Book 2, but I particularly wanted to point to the author's note for those here who'd like to read it with Book 1.

Dancing with the Lion Website
----
Dr. Jeanne Reames
Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Graduate Studies Chair
University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Tue May 07, 2019 10:15 pm

Thanks for the videos - it'll take a while to work through them all!

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Wed May 08, 2019 1:19 am

Ha, yeah. There are rather a lot of them. One is sideways and I don't know how to rotate it, and another I rotated while taking it, and can't fix that, either. Definitely don't have a future as a video person. LOL.
----
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Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Graduate Studies Chair
University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Fri May 10, 2019 1:01 am

Now that I've posted the covers on social media, I can put them here. I expect everybody will catch the historical error on cover #2. ;) I didn't realize she was going to use architecture or I could have given her a visual pun by suggesting the Temple to Hephaistos in the Athenian agora. Ha.

Both of these are lovely and the artist (L.C. Chase) did a splendid job trying to match up stock models to statuary. The main statues for the first cover are, of course, the Akropolis head and the Yannitsa head. The statue for the second cover is the Prado bronze. I know, it's been re-identified as Demetrios Poliorketes, but I remain unconvinced. I just don't think it looks enough like his other (identified) statuary. So I'm still calling it Hephaistion and used the bronze to find a modern model, settling on Brazilian Vick Correia: https://i.mdel.net/newfaces/i/2012/12/IMG_2631.jpg as suitably Mediterranean, but as a commercial model, he can't be used. Ergo, she went out to find a stock-model match. In both cases, she did pretty well and these are *very* nice covers. I'm particularly pleased with Alexander. :-)

(If the images aren't showing up, you can find them here: https://jeannereames.net/Dancing_with_t ... books.html )

Image Image
----
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University of Nebraska, Omaha
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http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by historyjunkie » Fri May 10, 2019 5:11 pm

Congrats on the books! Beautiful covers :)

Look forward to reading them!

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Sat May 18, 2019 3:11 pm

Jeanne, on the video at Pella showing the temple of Eukleia (sorry, haven't checked the spelling of that), you can see mountains in the background. This is presumably the Chalcidike peninsula, and the haze is the sea. Can you actually see the sea from Pella? There was a lake on the plain and it would have been more marshy in Alexander's day, but I was trying to get an impression of whether you could see the sea/ships from Pella's palace.

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Jeanne Reames » Sat May 18, 2019 11:02 pm

That's at Aigai, not Pella (check the header above the video *grin*). And yes, you're looking towards the Khalkidike's Pallene peninsula way in the distance.

There are only 3 videos from Pella, all in the lower town, and 3 from Vergina/Aegae. Most of Aegae was shut down, as they're doing restorations, but in retrospect, I wish I'd done one or two more at Pella, including the Sanctuary of Aphrodite and the Great Mother that we WADED through weeds to get to, although it's Hellenistic and wouldn't necessarily be what was there in ATG's day. Same with the agora, which is now HUGE compared to ATG's day. The whole site is about twice as large now as when I was there in '97, but isn't in as good a shape. Once can see all over the effect of the economy.)

You can't see the sea from Pella. Pella is very flat. I wish I'd stopped and taken some video while we were driving the backroads between Nea Pella and Nea Malgara. It reminded me of Florida, in some ways, as the roads are elevated above the surrounding fields, because it's all drained swamp. (Central Florida is the same way.) When it rains hard, the fields flood. We were there in May, so we saw a lot of late afternoon storms.
----
Dr. Jeanne Reames
Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Graduate Studies Chair
University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
http://jeannereames.net/cv.html

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Re: Dancing with the Lion: preorder is open

Post by Alexias » Sun May 19, 2019 6:30 pm

Thanks.

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