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Updated Copies

This weekend, for some bizarre reason, I decided to purchase a Kindle copy of Orestes: The Young Lion to see exactly what readers see when they have the whole book ahead of them.  Are the headings correct?  Can the reader leap around via a table of contents?  If an update is made, how do they access it?  From what I saw, I had to make a few formatting changes.  I haven't yet been notified via Kindle about changes, but I will report as soon as I hear.

I still think Kindle has a way to go with making extra materials such as maps and family trees more accessible.  I have not yet had to consider exactly how I will incorporate these into Knossos, because maps showing the progression of the settlements on Kephala Hill should be present, and I love to do maps.

I am working on Chapter Four, "Daidalos."  That may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that the novel currently stands at 91,000 words and is not quite halfway finished, that IS a lot.

The novel won't read quite as everyone expects, with a familiar retread of old legends; those legends will be addressed and interpreted in ways that make sense in terms of the 8,000 year story arc.  For example, the imprisonment of the Minotaur in the Labyrinth will not involve a bull-man, although a character named Asterios will come into it.  Did you know that the temple complex of Knossos was based on Mesopotamian complexes of the same type?  What about the myth of Europa and the Bull?  What does the bull worship of Neolithic settlements like Catal Huyuk have to do with ancient Crete?

Orestes Needs Love, Too

May has seen an upsurge in the number of sales for Helen's Daughter, which means word of mouth is getting around.  But the same is not true for the first two books of the Orestes Trilogy.  If you liked Helen's Daughter, you might also really enjoy The Young Lion and The Outcast, and The High King, when it is finished early next year.  The trilogy covers more of the period (1263 - 1193 B.C.), features strong women characters, visits more locations, and deals with aspects of Mycenaean life such as hunting, kingship, warfare, and building that Helen's Daughter barely touches on.

Please, check out the trilogy, and spread the word about it, too.  The Young Lion and The Outcast are both available through Amazon Kindle and Smashwords, and the newer version includes a map of Mycenae.

Coming On Sunday

Sorry to have been gone so long, but I was hard at work finishing and editing The Outcast, and am proud to say it will be released this Sunday.  I also took the opportunity to clean up a few typos in The Young Lion, and to add a map of Mycenae.  If you own The Young Lion on Kindle, then you already have this cleaned-up version.  All you have to do is download it.

Linear B: Man and Woman

𐀪   𐂁

Linear B ideograms meaning “man” and “woman,” respectively.


As a correction to a statement I made in an earlier post, Linear B does appear to have had some diphthongs, but they are separate signs, and the script still does not represent all the sounds (such as the liquid /l/, /g/, and /h/) that the spoken language must have had.

I am slowly working on Orestes: The Outcast, the second book in the trilogy, but also trying to get the word out there about The Young Lion and Helen’s Daughter.  If you read and liked either book, please pass the word along (and let me know your thoughts, of course!).

First Review!

Orestes: The Young Lion has its first review, and it's a five-star one.  Wow!  I was having such doubts over whether people would like the book, and whether it was worth it to start the second one, but this fires me up again.

I normally don't find "the early years" parts of historical bio very interesting, but Ms. Gill makes the telling of Orestes, son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and scion of the cursed house of Atreus, very compelling. In particular, I think the author does two things very well...

First, the author does a very good job dealing with the psychology of Orestes. Orestes reveres his absentee father, and at times, has to come to grips with the fact that Agamemnon was not a very nice man. His interactions with his mother and stepfather are also interesting from a psychological standpoint. Orestes' relationship with his tutor was also heartwarming. But the most interesting aspect, I thought, was Orestes' attempting to come to grips with his destiny, namely that he is cursed to kill his own mother.

Secondly, I was surprised at how, at least in my mind, accurately Ms. Gill was able to get into the mind of a young boy. As a dabbling writer myself, I always find it daunting to attempt to narrate from a feminine point of view, but Orestes rings true as a very compelling boy and young man, with all the emotions, impatience of youth, and flaws portrayed beautifully.

I eagerly await the second installment of this story!

Go forth and see for yourself!  Orestes: The Young Lion is available on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.  I am already 9,000 words into the second installment, Orestes: The Outcast.

Mycenaean Lions and Cover Artwork

A few weeks ago, someone asked why I had used Minoan artwork for the cover art of The Young Lion, the point being that the novel is set in the Mycenaean culture.

The lazy answer is that my stock photo choices were rather limited.  The other answer is that the lion/griffin figure on the cover actually is Mycenaean artwork.

The Mycenaeans took over Knossos in 1450 B.C., two hundred years before the Trojan War, and it was a Mycenaean king, Idomeneus, who led the second-largest contingent to Troy.  So the ruling class that commissioned the artwork you see today at the reconstructed Knossos and in the nearby Heraklion Museum was Mycenaean.

Young Lion Update

Orestes: The Young Lion is now available through Smashwords, in a variety of e-formats.  More readers should be able to enjoy the story now.


Note:  I know none of my readers would engage in file-sharing or any other illegal activity, but I am obliged to mention it anyway.  I am self-published, which means 70% of the royalties go to me, not to an agent or publisher.  I worked a long time on this book, and worked very hard.  For six months, it was the equivalent of a full time job.  There is no such thing as an advance in electronic publishing, so my sales are it as far as income is concerned.  People who participate in file-sharing are engaged in theft, no matter what the reason, and thus they are depriving me of the fruits of my labor. 

If you liked the book, mention it to your friends, but don't give them free copies.  Smashwords allows readers to preview sample chapters for free.  $3.99 is a small price to pay for an ebook of 105,300 words.

Young Lion Update, Plus Bonus Artwork

I just submitted The Young Lion to my beta reader at 106,000 words.  We'll see what he thinks.  I am simply exhausted after 16 days of editing, and need a nap.

Meanwhile, have some artwork.  A Mycenaean woman standing outside in the courtyard seeing two men off.  You just know she's about to tell the man talking to her that, "My eyes are up here."  Unfortunately, I don't know who the artist is.


I am not neglecting my journal on purpose, but am busy editing The Young Lion, which, at roughly 110k, is a very demanding job.  It still has to be beta read, and additional changes may need to be made, but you should be seeing it on Kindle within the next four weeks.

Below: a view of Mycenae from the Chavos ravine.


At last, a genealogical chart I can be satisfied with.  Note: the actual image is larger, and will show up clearer in the book.  (I hope).

Also, I should be finishing the rough draft of The Young Lion this evening.

The Young Lion

It looks like I will be releasing the first Orestes book, The Young Lion, sometime this summer, once the drafts and editing are completed.  My only concern is the readers on Fiction Press and Fanfiction.com who are waiting for more chapters, and whether they'll resent having to pay to read the edited version, plus the rest of the story.  I don't view the situation as being that mercenary, and have no intention or desire to appear cutthroat, but they might see it that way.  I have posted a note on my profile page explaining the new development.

So expect to see a cover in the coming weeks.  I'm not far from the end of Book One, but foresee having to go back and flesh things out.

Meanwhile, have some Blue Ladies from Knossos.

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