Ben's Blog

A new book! A Day Of Fire…

About a year ago, I got approached by Kate Quinn, an American author who also writes about ancient Rome. She had a fantastic proposition: to write a 6 part novel, from multiple points of view, about what happened in Pompeii during the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It took a while to come together, but after some writing, and lots of emails, and even an online Google discussion, A Day of Fire had been written. Together with myself and Kate, we had an impressive selection of other historical fiction authors: Stephanie Dray, Sophie Perinot, Vicky Alvear Shecter and Eliza Knight. We were lucky enough to get a great cover quote from Simon Scarrow, who loved the book.

A brief description:

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets.
An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.
An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.
A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.
A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.
A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others’ path during Pompeii’s fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

The book is available at the bargain price of £3.15 from and $5.04 from It’s also available for $4.99 at B&N, and as a print book from Amazon. It’s not currently available in book shops, although that may change.

I hope you like it!


Cover of ADOF

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A fascinating archaeological find…

More proof that the Romans continued to campaign deep into Germany for years if not centuries after the Kalkriese/Varian disaster…read about it here.
(with thanks to Adrian Murdoch for the link)

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Romani Walk sponsorship packages

For some time, we’ve wanted to offer sponsorship packages for those who’d like to support this year’s Romani Walk. Have a look at the options below. Hopefully, one of them will take your fancy. Remember, you can donate from anywhere in the world: the giving site can accept donations in any currency, by converting them to pounds sterling.

Many thanks from Ben, Tony and Russ.

Reward packages for sponsoring the Romani Walk:

£25 wins you a DVD of the finished documentary, ‘Mud, Sweat and Tears: the Romani in Italy’; your name mentioned in the credits, and a signed photo of the three lads.

£50 wins you a framed 4”/10cm square of chain mail from the mail shirt worn at various stages by all three authors, a replica bronze phallus amulet, and all of the above prizes.

£100 wins you two tickets to the premiere of the documentary, a signed set of all the books by each author, and all of the above prizes.

£250 wins you four tickets to the premiere, a day’s walk along Hadrian’s Wall with at least one of the authors, and all of the above prizes.

£500 wins you all of the above prizes, and a replica Roman sword worth more than £125 (Note: only three swords available.)

There are also packages available for donations greater than £500. Please ask Ben for more details.


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Would you like to be a character in my next book?

Would you like to star in my next novel, Eagles at War, which is about the massacre of three Roman legions in the German forests in 9 AD?

A £10 donation to the charitable Romani Walk buys you one chance to win the chance to become a minor character in Eagles at War. If you donate £20, you get two chances and so on. (The Romani Walk is about me and two other authors walking 170 km / 110 miles in Italy in full Roman military kit, for charity. Medecins sans Frontieres and Combat Stress are the two charities)

All you have to do to enter is to donate on the link below, and message me to say how much you donated. YOU CAN DONATE FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

Check out the attached pic, which is my note at the back of Clouds of War. This is your chance to be famous – or infamous!

(Please note: I’ll make every effort to make the character look like and sound like you, according to what you tell me. However, I retain the right to do whatever I like with that character. If you wish your character to be a woman, I may only be able to make her appearance very short – that’s the nature of this book, I am afraid – it’s virtually all on campaign.)

Good luck everyone, and get donating! Thank you very much.


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