Author: thomasmdbrooke

Out now!! Audio version of Roman Mask!!

  Yes, it’s true! You can now get the Audio version of my novel, Roman Mask.  Due to the success of the book, the Publisher Tantor decided to create an unabridged version of my work.  You can buy the Audio CD from Amazon and other retailers, or listen to it on Audible, or from Apple iTunes. Audio books, made for companies such as Audible, have become an increasingly popular way to enjoy novels.  Audio books bring their own form of magic to the literary world.  When listening to a work through a headset, it is easy to lose yourself in the woven spell of audio.  You can immerse yourself totally, through the hypnotic sound of the narrators’ voice, into the writers’ world.  Audio books are also sometimes better at fitting into our busy lives.  So if this is your medium of choice, you can now transport yourself to Ancient Rome before delving into the dark forests of the Teutoburg, by listening to my novel Roman Mask. I have been incredibly fortunate to have my work …

War chariots!!

We are quite used to the dramatic use of ancient cavalry and horses in both historical and fantasy novels.  However, riding on the back of horses actually came quite late in history (roughly 700 BC), before then the chariot held sway.  Horses were domesticated from around 3500 BC in the Eurasian steppes and used for farming and simple wagons with solid wheels.  But we need to wait until the invention of the spoked wheel in 2000 BC before the first chariots started to appear in the Indo-Iranian cultures of modern day Russia and Kazakhstan.  Quite quickly this light vehicle, with two wheels, drawn by one or more horses, spread throughout the ancient world and dominated the ancient battlefields between 1700 BC and 500 BC.  Surely there is scope here for some fantastic historical and fantasy novels to exploit these wonders of the ancient world?  Here are a few types. traveltoeat.com Hittite Chariot The first references to chariot warfare came in the ancient Near East where forty chariots were used at the siege of Salatiwara.  The …

Another Brick in the Wall. Guest post by Rahul Gandhi

Today, I am incredibly happy to introduce an immensely talented young author.  Rahul has already completed three works of non-fiction, spoken at conferences for young historians, and now is about to enter the historical fiction genre with his new novel – Another Brick in the Wall. He explains in this post the motivation behind this novel and I’m sure you’ll agree, that it is a fascinating concept and a incredibly original idea.  So without further delay, I will pass you over to Rahul… Thomas M D Brooke J.K. Rowling conceived the Harry Potter series while on a train from Manchester to London. What has that universe turned into? A multi-billion dollar entertainment industry that includes everything from books to movies to merchandise. The only word I have for that is wow! It is amazing that a simple idea, created in the most mundane of ways, has morphed into this massive worldwide phenomenon. I am an author, and no I am not enjoying the success of the likes of Rowling. But, I was struck by an …

Sale 0.99!!! Roman Mask Winner of Readers’ Favorite 2016 Gold Medal award.

My novel recently won the Readers’ Favorite 2016 Gold Medal award for Fiction/Action.  To mark this event, I have decided to reduce the cost the Ebook\Kindle version of the novel for the rest of the week.  The price will return to normal on Sunday, so grab it whilst you can!  This will apply to the Amazon Kindle version, the iPad version, and the Nook version which you can buy at Barnes & Noble or Kobo.   “The classical world is brought vividly to life in this novel by Brooke, a new voice in the crowded chorus of historical fiction. Set at the height of the Roman Empire’s power, Brooke’s writing brings us both the decadence that eventually undermined and destroyed the seemingly invincible Romans, and the merciless military action that won Rome its mandate to rule in the first place.” Daily Mail – UK National Paper “I loved this book. There’s no other way to say it. Filled with action and adventure, Roman Mask will keep you on the edge of your seat. Focused on …

Great Ancient Warships!

What could be more exciting than ancient warships?  The great monsters that prowled the ancient seas, who spread fear and exuded power with deadly grace. Nation’s fortunes were both made and destroyed by the success or failure of their fleets, and here are a few of the types that used to rule the seas… Trireme.  someinterestingfacts.net The classic Trireme first appeared during the eight century BC, as part of the Greek city of Corinth’s great fleet.  It would take a dominant role in the seas of the Mediterranean for the next thousand years and beyond.  The name derives, not from its oar decks, although it did indeed have three, but instead the number of oarsmen lined in banks of three.  The skilled oarsmen were tightly packed, one near the base (thalamois) the next overlapping slight above in the middle (Zygios) and the uppermost (thrantis) on the upper deck.  By arranging the oarsmen in this tight formation, which was repeated down the long length of the ship, they could keep the beam of the vessel narrow, thus maximising its power …

ROMAN MASK. 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal winner for Fiction – Action

My book ‘Roman Mask’ has won an award!  Hooray! My novel has won Readers’ Favorite 2016 Gold medal award for Fiction – Action! Reader’s Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies. It was a complete surprise, as I never even considered myself being an award winning novelist.  So how did this come about?  Well, when I released Roman Mask just over a year ago, I decided I needed to get an impartial review from a world recognised body, who are known for complete impartiality and honest reviews.  So despite a lot of nervous trepidation, I submitted Roman Mask to Readers’ Favorite, and was delighted to receive 5 stars! As my …

Great Fantasy Prophecies.

Prophecies can add a fascinating plotline to a novel, giving the book depth, mystery and intrigue.  It also instills the story with a great sense of importance – as if the ages were just waiting for this one conjuncture of events, or particular character to come to prominence.  It can sometimes be found in historical novels, but it is fantasy writing that the use of prophecy is far more common, becoming almost an art form in itself.  Many readers may think that creating a fictitious prophecy would be straightforward, but it certainly isn’t, and it is especially difficult if you wish to imbue it with a high level of mystery and complexity.  After sprinkling prophecy throughout Game of Thrones, George R R Martin said ‘Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword.  You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy…’ http://www.adriasnews.com escume.deviantart.com George R R Martin, Game of Thrones So let’s look at how …

Ancient Weapons of War!

It is great to have a castle, or large fortress, to set a scene in a historical novel.  The high curtain walls, the gatehouses, the murder holes and cunningly placed arrow slits.  All give the writer great scope in describing formidable bastions that appear all but impossible to penetrate.  However, history teaches us that the appearance of impregnability can be illusory, as ever since people started building walls to protect their buildings, others have been devising ways to get in – by fair means or foul. Ancient siege weapons – the Greek Catapult. When I started writing my first novel on Alexander the Great, I spent plenty of time researching the early catapults that Alexander used in besieging the many cities of Persia, in his conquest of the Persian Empire.  I proudly presented a long chapter to my father (who was helping me edit the novel) which held long explanations of the mechanics of the engines, describing them in great detail.  My father promptly put great red crosses through all the pages and scribbled “Too …

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Some stories just cannot be told in one book.  Many historical and fantasy epics span several volumes, taking well known characters through countless adventures, as the twists and turns of their stories unfold through multiple novels.  Sometimes starting such a long journey can be daunting – do I really want to commit myself to such a long story?  When will it ever end? However, recently, I began to miss the involvement such an immersive story gives you, so decided to start Steven Ericksen’s long fantasy epic – Malazan Book of the Fallen.  The story starts with the novel, Gardens of the Moon.  Just reading this series is an ambitious project as it spans nine books and promises to take up a lot of my time.  Now I should point out, that at the time of writing this, I’ve just read the first of these novels.  So I’m unqualified to speak on the series in its entirety, but I was pleased with the start that Gardens of the Moon has made in taking me into this journey. …

Magical Swords

What is it about magical swords and fantasy fiction?  The concept of such weapons seem perfectly natural in a fantasy realm, and they feature as a centre point to many classics of the genre.  They fill readers’ minds with wistful thoughts of holding such weapons themselves, and being able to smite adversaries with the ease of the heroes (or villains) who wield them in the books.  Despite the regularity of such swords turning up in fantasy novels, the idea never grows tired, as a succession of authors have invented new modifications or types of mythical blades, seamlessly interweaving new flavours of mystery and interest into the forging of their weapons. The list of them all would be endless, so instead I have just a few of my favourites. Excalibur – numerous authors. Where else to start but the mythical blade of King Arthur, King of the Britons, and one true King of its shores.  Also referred to by its Celtic name, Caliburnus, it is interwoven into the legend of King Arthur almost as strongly as the Round Table, …