Friday, August 31, 2012
12 Caligula, Emperor of Rome 37-41, was born. He was noted for his insanity and cruelty.
161 Commodus, Emperor of Rome 180-192 was born.
651 St. Aidan died. A monk at Iona, Scotland, Aidan became the first bishop of Lindisfarne.
1056 Byzantine Empress Theodora became ill and died suddenly a few days later without children to succeed the throne, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty.
1314 King Håkon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo.
1422 King Henry V of England died of dysentery while in France.
1422 Henry VI became King of England at the age of 9 months.
1535 Pope Paul II deposed and excommunicated King Henry VIII.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
1181 Pope Alexander III died. He is noted in history for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris.
1464 Pope Paul II elected.
1525 Treaty of the More signed between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. England agreed to give up some territorial claims on France. In return, France was to pay a pension and was to prevent the Duke of Albany from returning to Scotland.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
28 John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod at the request of his stepdaughter Salome.
70 The Temple of Jerusalem burned after a nine-month Roman siege.
284 General Gaius Aurelius V Diocletianus Jovius became Emperor of Rome.
1350 Battle of Winchelsea (Les Espagnols sur Mer): The English naval fleet under King Edward III defeated a Castilian fleet of 40 ships. Between 14 and 26 Castilian ships were captured, and some were sunk, while 2 English vessels were sunk and many suffered heavy losses.
1387 King Henry V of England was born.
1475 The Treaty of Picquigny ended a brief war between France and England. Louis XI of France paid Edward IV of England to return to England and not take up arms to pursue his claim to the French throne. Edward's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), opposed the treaty and refused the pension Louis offered.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
430 Saint Augustine, the great Christian theologian, died at age 75.
476 the western Roman Empire founded by Augustus in 27 BC ended at Ravenna, where Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the barbarian leader Odoacer (Germanic chieftain).
489 Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths defeated Odoacer at the Battle of Isonzo, forcing his way into Italy.
1189 Third Crusade: the Crusaders began the Siege of Acre under Guy of Lusignan.
1296 After the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Dunbar, Edward I had the Scottish land owners, churchmen and burgesses swear their allegiance by signing the The Ragman Rolls.
Monday, August 27, 2012
550 BC Confucius, famous wise man of China is believed to have been born around this date.
479 BC Greco-Persian Wars: Persian forces led by Mardonius were routed by Pausanias, the Spartan commander of the Greek army in the Battle of Plataea.
410 The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ended after three days.
1172 Henry the Young King and Margaret of France were crowned as junior king and queen of England.
1626 The Danes were crushed by the Catholic League in Germany, marking the end of Danish intervention in European wars.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Welcome to Meet The Author! Today Maggie Secara has stopped by to give us a little insight into her life and her books. So let's get started.
Let’s see. I have a Master’s degree in English and, before you roll your eyes, I actually make a living at putting words in a row. Not fiction, no, alas—but I am a technical writer, which is almost as good. Currently, I’m working on contract for the Los Angeles Police Department. I live in N. Hollywood, CA with my very supportive husband, the amazing JimDear, and our cats: a champagne and buff tabby called Mister, and Coco, a very fluffy torty. Everything else, as they say, is subject to change without notice.
I wrote a little poem when I was about 8, which I can still recite. It began: Spring is in the flowers, Spring is in the air...” And they haven’t been able to shut me up since.
The Dragon Ring, my first fantasy novel, came out in March as an e-book from Crooked Cat Publishing. It’s Book 1 of the Harper Errant series, and concerns Ben Harper, an American reality show host who finds himself on a mission for the king of Faerie. The paperback will be available August 31, and I'm very excited about that. I recently turned in the manuscript for Book 2, King’s Raven. We'll be starting the editorial round shortly, then they can schedule the release. Since small publishers have much shorter lead times than the big guys, it shouldn't be too long a wait.
I've self-published two projects: Molly September, a romantic adventure novel set in Port Royal and the Spanish Main (2011) and A Compendium of Common Knowledge 1564-1603, a little handbook of Elizabethan daily life for writers, actors, and re-enactors (2008). I've also written poetry now and then, and have been fortunate enough to have a few poems published here and there in little magazines.
This is actually kind of a funny story, but only if you know my friend Ari, who’s a college professor. He’s a brilliant scholar and folklorist, and a gifted writer with a devastating wit—and I’ve known him since he was a teenager. Well, I’d been wanting to tackle a mystery for some time, and was racking my brain for a starting point, when late one night in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere, a question popped into my head: “What if Ari had to solve a mystery?” That tickled me so much I knew it was the start of a great idea. For one thing, if he was in it, Faerie had to be involved. There had to be a puzzle worthy of his talents. And there had to be something precious at stake to be worthy of his time. I stayed up all night scribbling on anything I could find, asking “what if...” and “what about...” until something like a plot started to gel.
What are you currently working on?
Here's three...I once worked as an office assistant for Harlan Ellison (Deathbird Stories, Dangerous Visions, Strange Wine, etc.). One of the strangest, most bizarre years of my life, but definitely a learning experience.
Find out more about me and all my books, with background material (including video links for most of Ben’s music) at http://maggie-secara.com.
The paperback versions are all at Amazon and most other online booksellers. Molly September and The Dragon Ring are also available as e-books in all the usual places, including Amazon, the Apple Store, and Smashwords. And you can get Dragon Ring direct from the publisher's book store at Crooked Cat Books.
55 BC Julius Caesar and his Roman Legions invaded Great Britain.
1017 Turks defeated the Byzantine army under Emperor Romanus IV at Manikert, Eastern Turkey.
1346 Battle at Crécy - King Edward III and the Black Prince defeated the French; cannons were used for the first time in battle.
1429 Joan of Arc made a triumphant entry into Paris.
1466 A conspiracy against Piero di Cosimo de' Medici in Florence, led by Luca Pitti, was discovered.
1498 Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pietà.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
357 Julian Caesar defeated the Alamanni (alliance of German tribes) at Strousbourg in Gaul.
608 Boniface IV became Roman Catholic pope.
1270 King Louis IX of France (Saint Louis) died in northern Africa while leading the Eighth Crusade.
1346 Edward III of England defeated Philip VI's army at the Battle of Crecy in France.
1549 Kett's Rebellion was a revolt in Norfolk, England during the reign of Edward VI. The rebellion was in response to the enclosure of land. It began in July 1549 but was eventually crushed by forces loyal to the English crown when the Earl of Warwick attacked and entered Norwich on August 25.
Friday, August 24, 2012
49 BC Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio was defeated in the Second Battle of the Bagradas River by the Numidians under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia. Curio committed suicide to avoid capture.
79 Mount Vesuvius erupted. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae were buried in volcanic ash. Pliny the Elder died of asphyxiation at age 56 while witnessing the scene from the coast.
410 Alaric, leader of the Visigoths, sacked Rome, but spared its churches. This was first hostile occupation of the city since the fourth century BC.
1113 Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and ancestor of the Plantagenet kings of England was born.
1200 King John of England, signee of the first Magna Carta, married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
79 Mount Vesuvius ( a stratovolcano on the Bay of Naples, Italy) began to stir, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
93 Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman Governor of Britain died.
406 Battle at Florence: Stilicho's Roman army beat Radagaisus' Barbarians. Radagaisus King of the Goths (East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin) was captured and executed.
476 Germanic warrior Odoacer was elected King of Byzantium.
686 Charles Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne, was born.
1305 William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was executed for high treason by Edward I of England.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
392 Arbogast (Frankish general of the Roman Empire) had Eugenius (a Christian who was the last Emperor to support Roman polytheism) elected Western Roman Emperor.
476 Odoacer was named Rex Italia (King of Italy) by his troops. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the classical Roman Empire in Western Europe and the beginning of the Middle Ages.
565 St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness, Scotland.
851 Erispoe, King of Brittany, defeated Charles the Bald near the Breton town of Jengland.
1138 Battle of the Standard where English forces repelled the Scottish army led by King David I of Scotland.
1485 Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and Henry VII became the first king of the Tudor dynasty.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
1165 Philip II (Philip Augustus) the first king of the Capetian dynasty in France was born.
1689 The Battle of Dunkeld in Scotland was fought between Jacobite clans supporting the deposed king James VII of Scotland and a government regiment of covenanters supporting William of Orange, King of Scotland, in the streets around Dunkeld Cathedral, Dunkeld, Scotland, and formed part of the Jacobite rising commonly called Dundee's rising in Scotland.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
To purchase Leah’s books:
(Local folklore has it that the above poem was found in the pocket of a slain soldier.)
Saturday, August 18, 2012
293 BC The oldest known Roman temple to Venus was founded, starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica (festival sacred to Jupiter).
328 Saint Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, died at age 82.
410 King Alarik I, King of the Visigoths, occupied and plundered Rome, which marked a decisive event in the decline of the Roman Empire.
1201 The city of Riga (Baltics) was founded, and became a thriving center of Viking trade.
1227 Genghis Khan, the great Mongol conqueror, died at age 60.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass (Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain), at which Roland (commander of the rear guard of Charlemagne's army) was killed. The battle was romanticized by oral tradition into a major conflict between Christians and Muslims, when in fact both sides in the battle were Christian. The legend is recounted in the 11th century The Song of Roland, which is the oldest surviving major work of French literature, and in Orlando Furioso, which is one of the most celebrated works of Italian literature.
982 Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna, in Calabria.
1248 The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid.
1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.
1309 The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights established their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes.
1457 "Mainz Psalter," the earliest dated book was completed.
1483 Pope Sixtus IV consecrated the Sistine Chapel.
1548 Mary Queen of Scotland arrived in France.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
1040 Duncan, King of Scots was murdered by Macbeth, who became king.
1457 The first book ever printed was published by a German astrologer named Faust. He was thrown in jail while trying to sell books in Paris because authorities concluded that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.
1585 England's Queen Elizabeth I refused sovereignty of the Netherlands.
1598 Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford: Irish forces under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.
Monday, August 13, 2012
523 John I was elected Roman Catholic pope. He ended the Acacian Schism, bringing reunification of the Eastern and Western churches by restoring peace between the papacy and the Byzantine Emperor Justin I. He also set the rules for the Alexandrian calendar computation of the date of Easter, which was eventually accepted throughout the West.
1415 Hundred Years War: King Henry V of England's army landed on mouth of the Seine River, and organized the siege of the town of Harfleur (now part of Le Havre).
1422 William Caxton, first English printer, was born.
1516 The Treaty of Noyon between France and Spain was signed. Francis I of France recognized Charles's claim to Naples, and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor recognized Francis' claim to Milan.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Welcome to Meet The Author! Today Bill Jones has stopped by to give us a little insight into his life and his books. So let’s get started.
When did you start writing?
I first started writing poetry shortly after I finished college. I had met a number of artists, poets and musicians, and despite my accounting degree, realized I was more like them than any of the business students. I had a number of poems published, but then stopped in the name of being “responsible.” Corporate America called, and I went running.
In 2006, I started blogging, after winning a laptop in an essay contest. Again, I met writers, and realized I had been suppressing who I was. I began writing feverishly. In 2009, mostly to stop thinking about my impending divorce, I decided to try Nanowrimo. I was hooked. Not only did I finish my first novel, I wrote the second one immediately afterward.
What projects have been published?
I have published two books so far. They are books one and two of my fantasy adventure, “The Stream.” In the first book, “Discovery,” we meet Charlie and Robin, two tweens who discover they have the ability to walk in others’ dreams. It’s a story about love, perseverance, innocence, battles with evil denizens of the dream world, and of course, dragons. I also published the sequel, “Awakening,” wherein Charlie and Robin find themselves in an all-out battle against evil.
Tell us about “Hard as Roxx.”
It stars Roxanne “Roxx” Grail, a single mother of two daughters in the year 2137. She lives in a post-Apocalyptic earth, where the world’s population has been altered by disease, famine, and the collapse of central governments. Roxx has given birth to a second child, in a world where having more than one child is both impossible, and illegal. There have been no second children in decades. The penalty is simple: death – for the child, and the mother.
Now, Roxx must reach the safety of the icy north, in what was once Europe. However, getting there is only part of the problem; remaining safely tucked away is quite another. Roxx, however, is determined to meet the challenge. For her there is but one way to survive: any way you can.
Despite the theme, it is NOT a depressing tale of how crappy the world can be. Rather, it will be a tale of redemption, of hope, of facing obstacles head-on.
How did you select the title of your novel?
Frankly, I just became tired of weak female leads. I wanted a name that sounded strong, and Roxx immediately came to mind. Roxx is hard-as-nails, except with her family. Think of Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name, except prettier, and quite feminine. I liked the duality of a woman who is ferocious with enemies and nurturing with her daughters.
What was your inspiration?
Believe it or not, the entire idea for the book came to me while watching the video for “Do It Like a Dude,” by Jessie J. I saw the video, and began wondering what a world would be like if there was a female lead like the character Jessie J plays in the video. Quickly, one thing led to the next, and the entire plot of the story came in days. (I wish the writing had too.)
What do you like to do in your free time when you're not reading or writing?
I like to count the millions I make from self-publishing my books. Then I wake up, grab my cameras, and shoot whatever is there. I also love hiking, so I combine the two, and do a lot of street photography.
Do you have any advice for other authors?
Writing is not a linear exercise. Whether you are dealing with a single piece, a novel, or your entire life’s work, the process ebbs and flows. The ideas come in a rush, they slow, then drift away. You make progress; you face erosion. They love you one minute, and critique you the next. However, that is all part of the process. You will get where you need to be with faith and perseverance. And when you reach those points where you want to quit – do so. Because if you are a writer, truly a writer, that feeling will fade. It is just a wave, clearing you of the debris left by others. Writers write. It is who we are, and we can be nothing else.
And finally, can you tell us some fun facts about yourself, such as crossed skydiving off my bucket list.
Let’s see: I used to sound like Barry White (when I talked, not when I sang). But I’ve had 7 throat surgeries (or 6, or 8, I lost count) and now I sound more like Louis Armstrong on some days.
I have been married and divorced twice, but have never spent a single penny on a lawyer. I estimate 95% of my friends in my life have been women. I have no idea why women like being my friend so much.
I walk pretty fast, something like 4 mph. Often, when I’m approaching someone younger than me, they speed up, so the old guy won’t pass them. But I’m competitive, so I pass them anyway.
I went to South Africa, Zambia, England, Austria, Mexico, and several other countries and never took a camera. I thought it would make me remember it better. I’m odd. I was also incorrect. I took my camera to the Caribbean, however. (They have beaches.)
I once had a job as a scallop shucker. I quit at lunchtime; my shoes stank so much, I had to throw them away.
In grad school, I tutored two classes I had never taken. None of my students got lower than a “B.” I needed the money.
My foot rubs will make you fall asleep. That’s how I landed my first girlfriend.
To find out more about Bill Jones, please visit his website:
To purchase Bill’s books:
“Discovery” is on sale on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005NL83I2 or from Lulu at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/billatbilljonesjrdotcom.
“Awakening” is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Awakening-The-Stream-ebook/dp/B007KD2DUU . Both are available in ebook and paperback format.
30 BC Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, committed suicide, allegedly by means of an asp bite.
1099 First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon: Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeated Fatimid forces led by Al-Afdal Shahanshah. This is considered the last engagement of the First Crusade.
1164 Battle of Harim: Nur ad-Din Zangi defeated the Crusader armies of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch.
1332 Battle of Dupplin Moor was fought between supporters of David II, infant son of Robert the Bruce and rebels supporting the Balliol claim, and is a significant battle of the Second War of Scottish Independence.
1336 England's King Edward III ended wool export to Flanders.
1480 Battle of Otranto - Ottoman troops beheaded 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
480 BC Greco-Persian Wars: Battle of Artemisium – the Persians won a naval victory over the Greeks in an engagement fought near Artemisium, a promontory on the north coast of Euboea (island of central Greece in the Aegean Sea).
355 Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II.
1492 Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI. One of the most notorious men to sit on the papal throne, Alexander VI was worldly, ambitious and ruthless. However he was a patron of the arts (Raphael, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio) and also encouraged the development of education as evidenced by the issuance of a Papal Bull at the request of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, and King James IV of Scotland, founding King’s College, Aberdeen.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
480 BC The Persian army defeated Leonidas and his Spartan army at Thermopylae, Persia.
48 BC Caesar's civil war: Battle of Pharsalus (Greece) – Julius Caesar decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey fled to Egypt where he was later murdered. As a result Caesar had absolute control of Rome.
117 Hadrian became Roman Emperor upon the death of Trajan.
378 Gothic War: Battle of Adrianople – A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens was defeated by the Visigoths in present-day Turkey. Valens was killed along with over half of his army.
1173 Construction of the campanile of the cathedral of Pisa (Leaning Tower of Pisa) began; it would take two centuries to complete.
1274 Edward I was crowned King of England.
1483 Opening of the Sistine Chapel in Rome with the celebration of a Mass.
1655 Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell divided England into 11 districts.