Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sebastian's Way Shortlisted for HNS Editors' Choice!


Sebastian's Way has enjoyed uniformly excellent reviews since its publication in October last year. But this week the novel got its first endorsement by a well-known and long-time literary authority: The Historical Novel Society, which reviews thousands of books each year in both England and America. The HNS gave Sebastian a "Highly Recommended" rating and said,



"The narrative is constructed with such ease and style that readers will feel not only as though they know Sebastian well, but also as though they have spent time in the Middle Ages. If subsequent books in this series are this good, they are to be eagerly anticipated."

(Read the full review here.)



And, to top it off, the book made the shortlist of "those novels that deserve to have some extra recognition as possible Editors' Choice selections," which means it was one of the twenty best books chosen out of hundreds by HNS's Indie reviewers over the past quarter year. Helen Hollick, Britain's Managing Editor of HNS Indie Reviews said on presenting her first-ever shortlist of Indie Editors' Choice books. "I'm thrilled that the HNS is now in the position to prove that indie novels can be every bit as good as mainstream published ones."

So, yay for Sebastian's Way, one of the breakthrough novels making a difference for independently published works.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #17


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour concludes at Sir Read-A-Lot, where it received a nice review! Stuart said:


This is a boy's own adventure that will keep you interested from beginning to end.  I know little about the life and times of Charlemagne but found myself looking him up and finding out more about this most fascinating character. 

This independent novel is a solid debut for Colonel George Steger and I look forward to the next volume in the series.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #16


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Reading the Ages, where it received a lovely review! Kathleen said:

George Steger has crafted a fine piece of work as a first novel, and he enjoys as well as develops his character . . . He is a top notch medieval scholar, as the descriptions of 8th century fortifications as well as agricultural developments of the times are superb.

I personally am looking forward to the next installment in Sebastian's life and recommend this for historical  and medieval novel fans.

The tour comes to its conclusion today with a review at Sir Read-a-Lot.


Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #15


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Cynthia Robertson, Writer with a giveaway! 

In a dark age of unending war and violence, one young warrior opposes a mighty king to forge a new path to peace…

During the savage Frankish-Saxon wars, the moving force of his age, Karl der Grosse, King Charlemagne, fights and rules like the pagan enemies he seeks to conquer. But in the long shadow of war and genocide, a spark of enlightenment grows, and the king turns to learned men to help him lead his empire to prosperity.

One of these men is the unlikely young warrior Sebastian. Raised in an isolated fortress on the wild Saxon border, Sebastian balances his time in the training yard with hours teaching himself to read, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life during an age when such pastimes were scorned by fighting men. Sebastian’s unique combination of skills endears him to Charlemagne and to the ladies of the king’s court, though the only woman to hold his heart is forbidden to him. As the king determines to surround himself with men who can both fight and think beyond the fighting, Sebastian becomes one of the privileged few to hold the king’s ear.

But the favor of the king does not come without a cost. As Charlemagne’s vassals grapple for power, there are some who will do anything to see Sebastian fall from grace, including his ruthless cousin Konrad, whose hatred and jealousy threaten to destroy everything Sebastian holds dear. And as Sebastian increasingly finds himself at odds with the king’s brutal methods of domination and vengeance, his ingrained sense of honor and integrity lead him to the edge of treason, perilously pitting himself against the most powerful man of his age.

This fast-paced adventure story brings Charlemagne’s realm to life as the vicious Christian-pagan wars of the eighth century decide the fate of Europe. Filled with action, intrigue, and romance, Sebastian’s Way is a riveting and colorful recreation of the world of Europe’s greatest medieval monarch.

Click here to enter to win a copy of Sebastian's Way.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues today with reviews at Sir Read-a-Lot and Reading the Ages.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #14


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Jorie Loves a Story with an interview! Jorie asks:

What impressed you the most in your research of Sebastian? And, what did you take away with you from those readings? And is Sebastian a fictional account of another man’s life? Or, did he truly live?

In researching for the book I was impressed by what Charlemagne accomplished during his long reign. He unified most of Europe and gave it an identity. He made Rome secure from its enemies and empowered the pope so that he could stand up to the emperor in Constantinople, who was his theological and doctrinal rival. He was the architect of the strongest breath of cultural reawakening since the fall of the Roman Empire and presided over a period of art, architecture and learning that was so impressive that it has been dubbed “the Carolingian Renaissance.” Just one little example from that renewal is the Carolingian miniscule, which featured punctuation and spaces between words, a revolutionary change that made Latin the lingua franca of Europe for centuries more and advanced literacy dramatically.

Finally, the unification of Europe under Charlemagne provided a model that is still pursued by the present-day European Union. It is why the annual EU award for the best contribution to unity in Europe is called The Charlemagne Prize . . .

Click here to read the full interview.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with reviews at Cynthia Robertson, Writer and Reading the Ages.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #13


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Jorie Loves a Story, where it received an in-depth review! Jorie said:

I appreciated getting into the internal mind of the characters, both major and minor combined, as it allowed me to step through an invisible time portal. Given the distance is greater than 1,200 years between then and now, it’s the descriptive nature of Steger’s writing which gave the visceral experience more depth in meaning! Steger has blissfully launched himself on a platform of quality story-telling interspersed with bang-on brilliant dialogue and narrative!

Click here to read the full review.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow at Jorie Loves a Story with an interview.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #12


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour stops at HF Connection with a guest post!

The Trouble with the Women

Writers are always warned not to project onto the past the rationality, attitudes, and customs of the present. Writers who do so are disingenuous and at risk of exposure. Nevertheless, observing that rule can be a severe handicap. So it was for me. 

You see, over my lifetime, I was lucky to have been close to some very strong women who wielded a great deal of influence and made a significant difference in my life, and I wanted to use my experience of them in the book. The problem, however, was the same that it has been throughout most of history up to the modern era: women do not show up so well or as often in history as men do. And the farther back in history one goes, the worse it gets. That seemed especially true when I began to write about the eighth-century world of Charlemagne. 

A popular philosophical view of women in that era was that they were innately weak and soft, unable to learn complexities, reason well, or control their sexual urges. Therefore they were subordinate to men. What is commonly known is that prostitution and concubinage were common and the double standard prevailed in the household. Unions of limited duration were recognized, and a man could divorce his wife for bad conduct (the particulars of such accusation being provided by the husband.) As for education for women, there wasn’t much available outside of convents, and that life was largely for widows, women wanting to escape a dreaded marriage, or those who were being discarded by their husbands. At the convent, it was possible for a woman to learn, but the fruit of her learning rarely had impact outside the cloister. 

Not much of that fit what I wanted the women of Sebastian’s Way to be.

Keep Reading>>>


Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with a review at Jorie Loves a Story.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #11


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Closed the Cover, where it received an excellent review! The reviewer said:

A heavy story arc with challenging depth Steger manages to write an incredible historical epic without weighing it down with unnecessary details or complex medieval politics.  The medieval historical fiction genre is a very specific and, sometimes, overwhelming era but Steger writes about it beautifully; fans of this historical era will love Sebastian’s Way . . . It’s a fast-paced tale of love, honor, intrigue, romance and the allegorical war of brute strength versus high intellect.  It’s a thrilling story and one worth reading.


Click here to read the full review.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with a guest post at HF Connection.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #10


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour stops at Book Nerd, where it received a lovely review from Diana! She said:

I loved many different elements of this book . . . If you’re looking for adventure, struggle, and coming of age with the backdrop of history, you can’t go wrong with this wonderful story.

Click here to read the full review.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with a review at Closed the Cover.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #9


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour stops at The Musings of a Book Junkie, where it received a great review from Allison! She said:

This book was a great study of Charlemagne's court. I liked how Sebastian was portrayed so differently than those around him. I also appreciated how the problems that he struggled with are still relatable to today. The book pace was good, even in the slower portions of the book. I really enjoyed the book. 

Click here to read the full review.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with a review at The Book Nerd.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #8


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Bibliophilic Book Blog with a giveaway! 

In a dark age of unending war and violence, one young warrior opposes a mighty king to forge a new path to peace…

During the savage Frankish-Saxon wars, the moving force of his age, Karl der Grosse, King Charlemagne, fights and rules like the pagan enemies he seeks to conquer. But in the long shadow of war and genocide, a spark of enlightenment grows, and the king turns to learned men to help him lead his empire to prosperity.

One of these men is the unlikely young warrior Sebastian. Raised in an isolated fortress on the wild Saxon border, Sebastian balances his time in the training yard with hours teaching himself to read, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life during an age when such pastimes were scorned by fighting men. Sebastian’s unique combination of skills endears him to Charlemagne and to the ladies of the king’s court, though the only woman to hold his heart is forbidden to him. As the king determines to surround himself with men who can both fight and think beyond the fighting, Sebastian becomes one of the privileged few to hold the king’s ear.

But the favor of the king does not come without a cost. As Charlemagne’s vassals grapple for power, there are some who will do anything to see Sebastian fall from grace, including his ruthless cousin Konrad, whose hatred and jealousy threaten to destroy everything Sebastian holds dear. And as Sebastian increasingly finds himself at odds with the king’s brutal methods of domination and vengeance, his ingrained sense of honor and integrity lead him to the edge of treason, perilously pitting himself against the most powerful man of his age.

This fast-paced adventure story brings Charlemagne’s realm to life as the vicious Christian-pagan wars of the eighth century decide the fate of Europe. Filled with action, intrigue, and romance, Sebastian’s Way is a riveting and colorful recreation of the world of Europe’s greatest medieval monarch.

Click here to enter to win a copy of Sebastian's Way.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues on Monday, January 27 with a review at The Most Happy Reader.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #7


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Oh, for the Hook of a Book with an interview! Erin asks:

Why is Charlemagne such a common name from history still in this day? What gave him lasting prestige? Even if most people don’t really know much about him, they know OF him. What would you tell some about the King who wasn’t historically inclined?

Well, he was called “The Great,” even before he died. Not too many monarchs got that distinction. I think he was one of the greatest rulers in European history. He was full of life and ideas. He had supreme confidence in himself and a strong sense of purpose. He firmly believed God had called upon him to create a Christian world and rule it well and justly. And when he died Christianity had indeed triumphed all over Europe. Unlike most monarchs of the time, he genuinely cared for his people and wanted to raise them up to a fuller and more prosperous life. To that end he encouraged every innovation in agriculture and revolutionized writing with the Carolingian miniscule. He instituted extensive educational opportunities and fostered learning in every way, assembling as his advisors the most impressive collection of wise men since the halcyon days of classical Greece or Rome. He pulled Europe out of its barbarian roots and gave it unity for a time. Over the 45 years of his reign, he shifted power from its old center in the Mediterranean to the promising lands north of the Alps and created almost by himself the concept of Europe...

Click here to read the full interview.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues on Monday with a review at The Most Happy Reader.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #6


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour stops at Oh, for the Hook of a Book, where it received an outstanding review from Erin! She said:

This would be a great addition to anyone’s historical novel shelf.  I give it high praise for characterization, historical research, superb plot points, and dramatic prose, highly recommending it to anyone who loves novels of the middle ages. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!


Click here to read the full review.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with an interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book, and a giveaway at Bibliophilic Book Blog.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #5


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Layers of Thought with a giveaway! 

In a dark age of unending war and violence, one young warrior opposes a mighty king to forge a new path to peace…

During the savage Frankish-Saxon wars, the moving force of his age, Karl der Grosse, King Charlemagne, fights and rules like the pagan enemies he seeks to conquer. But in the long shadow of war and genocide, a spark of enlightenment grows, and the king turns to learned men to help him lead his empire to prosperity.

One of these men is the unlikely young warrior Sebastian. Raised in an isolated fortress on the wild Saxon border, Sebastian balances his time in the training yard with hours teaching himself to read, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life during an age when such pastimes were scorned by fighting men. Sebastian’s unique combination of skills endears him to Charlemagne and to the ladies of the king’s court, though the only woman to hold his heart is forbidden to him. As the king determines to surround himself with men who can both fight and think beyond the fighting, Sebastian becomes one of the privileged few to hold the king’s ear.

But the favor of the king does not come without a cost. As Charlemagne’s vassals grapple for power, there are some who will do anything to see Sebastian fall from grace, including his ruthless cousin Konrad, whose hatred and jealousy threaten to destroy everything Sebastian holds dear. And as Sebastian increasingly finds himself at odds with the king’s brutal methods of domination and vengeance, his ingrained sense of honor and integrity lead him to the edge of treason, perilously pitting himself against the most powerful man of his age.

This fast-paced adventure story brings Charlemagne’s realm to life as the vicious Christian-pagan wars of the eighth century decide the fate of Europe. Filled with action, intrigue, and romance, Sebastian’s Way is a riveting and colorful recreation of the world of Europe’s greatest medieval monarch.

Click here to enter to win a copy of Sebastian's Way.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues on Tuesday, January 22 at Oh, for the Hook of a Book.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #4


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Let Them Read Books with a guest post and a giveaway! 

The Middle Ages: A Thousand Years of Darkness or the Gateway to the Empowerment of a Continent?

The other day I was asked to talk about Sebastian’s Way at the local public library. It was a Sunday, a bright, sunny day in winter, and the NFL Division Playoffs were on. I thought that nobody would be there. The first surprise was that it was a pretty good crowd. The second was how misinformed so many of the audience seemed to be about the Middle Ages, the early part of which is the background of my novel.

Just a few preliminary questions revealed some glaring misconceptions. “The Dark Ages,” people called them. “A thousand years without a bath,” one young man said, quoting a more famous ignorant man. At best, the general consensus was that the Middle Ages were a dormant period between the golden age of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. Most people said they really didn’t know much about them.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “I bet you know more than you think you do. What about King Arthur and the Round Table? Richard the Lionhearted, Bad King John, and Robin Hood? Barbarians at the gate, Attila the Hun, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Magna Carta, Black Death, 100 Years’ War, Joan of Arc, Vikings, Mongols, Crusades?” It was at least a little gratifying to hear a few people mutter, “Oh yeah, that.”

Keep Reading >>>

Click here to enter to win a copy of Sebastian's Way.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with a giveaway at Layers of Thought.

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #3


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour stops at Impressions in Ink, where it received a stellar 5-star review from Annette! 


I found the character of Sebastian to be similar to a King Arthur-type-figure. He is a hero, a man of valor and faithfulness. Sebastian is imperfect; but he is quick to confess and repent and begin anew. He is a character who develops in the story; in mind and body and spirit.  


And she said:


I loved this story! It was difficult to lay the book down . . . I'm anxious to read book two, I must know what happens in Sebastian's next stage of life.  


Click here to read the full review.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues today with a guest post at Let Them Read Books.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #2


Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour continues at Flashlight Commentary with an interview! Erin asks:

What inspired you to write this story?


Almost half of my military career was spent in Europe. I was a Soviet foreign area specialist. I spoke Russian and German and worked in intelligence on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. One of my tours of duty, for example, was as a liaison officer to the Commander of the Group of Soviet Forces in East Germany. I had a pass in my pocket for two years that said I was on General Ivanovsky’s staff. I actually did do some liaison work with the Soviets on holidays and big occasions, like Soviet Army-Navy Day or the Fourth of July. But most of the time, that pass in my pocket enabled me to tour all over East Germany, noting Soviet military movements and taking pictures with a Nikon motor drive camera of everything that moved on the roads. We weren’t supposed to do that, and they chased us if they saw us. But even if they caught us, which was rare, they had to let us go eventually. It was all part of a World War II agreement that established such missions as a means of providing early warning against surprise attack. The Soviets had a mission on our side of the demarcation line as well . . .


Click here to read the full interview.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with a review at Impressions in Ink.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour Stop #1



Today the Sebastian's Way blog tour stops at Flashlight Commentary, where it received a lovely 4-star review from Erin! She called it "a realistic, romantic, and engrossing tale of valor, morality, and honor."

And she said:

I was further impressed with the diversity of Steger's cast and how he used characters of various backgrounds to create a comprehensive portrait of medieval society. I expected a military fiction, but what I found was a well-rounded, action-packed period drama.

Click here to read the full review.
Click here to view the tour schedule.

The tour continues tomorrow with an interview at Flashlight Commentary.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sebastian's Way Blog Tour: January 13-February 7


Sebastian's Way is going on a blog tour! I've teamed up with Amy Bruno at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours to help me reach historical fiction lovers around the world, and I'd love to have you stop by some of these lovely blogs to check out reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways. This is an exciting time in the life of a book, and I thank you all for your support!
Monday, January 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, January 14
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, January 15
Review at Impressions in Ink
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, January 16
Giveaway at Layers of Thought
Tuesday, January 21
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Wednesday, January 22
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Thursday, January 23
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, January 24
Giveaway at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Monday, January 27
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, January 28
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Wednesday, January 29
Interview & Giveaway at The Most Happy Reader
Friday, January 31
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, February 3
Review at Closed the Cover
Tuesday, February 4
Guest Post at HF Connection
Wednesday, February 5
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Friday, February 7
Review at Sir Read-a-Lot
Review & Giveaway at Reading the Ages
Review & Giveaway at Cynthia Robertson Blog