Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Dancing With The Lion by Jeanne Reames - Blog Tour with Author Guest Post and Giveaway

Xairē! That’s ancient Greek for “Howdy.” [KHAI-rae]

Welcome to my blog tour for Becoming, Book 1 of the Dancing with the Lion duology, about the young Alexander before he became “the Great.” It’s an historical coming-of-age tale with a love story embedded.

Best known for conquering most of his known world before the ripe old age of 33, Alexander made even Julius Caesar weep (for not being him). But who was he before his meteoric rise? And how did his best friend and lover, Hephaistion, give him the emotional support needed for him to become Megalexandros (the Great Alexander)?

Dancing with the Lion Website:
Contains everything from cut scenes, to videoblogs of Macedonia (Northern Greece, where Alexander grew up), to audio pronunciations of those weird Greek names!

For our GIVE-AWAY, I’m going to offer something a bit different. Yes, there’s a $10 gift certificate from Riptide Publishers. BUT, for the lucky winner, you get your very own scene request. Want to see a scene in the novel from a different character’s point-of-view? Want to know what happened after a scene ended, or before it began? Or is there something you’d like to see that wasn’t in the novel? Ask for it! I’ll write it just for you.

About Dancing with the Lion: Becoming

Two boys, one heroic bond, and the molding of Greece’s greatest son.

Before he became known as Alexander the Great, he was Alexandros, the teenage son of the king of Makedon. Rather than living a life of luxury, as prince he has to be better and learn faster than his peers, tackling problems without any help. One such problem involves his increasingly complicated feelings for his new companion, Hephaistion. 

When Alexandros and Hephaistion go to study under the philosopher Aristoteles, their evolving relationship becomes even harder to navigate. Strength, competition, and status define one’s fate in their world—a world that seems to have little room for the tenderness growing between them. 

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.

About the series Dancing with the Lion

Alexandros is expected to command, not to crave the warmth of friendship with an equal. In a kingdom where his shrewd mother and sister are deemed inferior for their sex, and his love for Hephaistion could be seen as submission to an older boy, Alexandros longs to be a human being when everyone but Hephaistion just wants him to be a king.


I love coming-of-age stories, especially about people you know will go on to do amazing things.
Yet authors of historical fiction usually avoid making a famous person the chief protagonist. It’s likely to tick off readers if your vision doesn’t match theirs, especially if you go into the character’s head.
In my case, however, it’s precisely Alexander’s fame that led me to focus on him. He was enormously complex, the source of continued fascination throughout history, but everybody has a different Alexander. To some, he’s a hero, to others, he’s a monster. He’s also not really what one would expect in the man who’d go on to conquer most of his known world before he was 33: the fresh-faced kid with a “melting gaze” (so the ancient authors), who liked to present himself as a “philosopher in armor.” He’s a feisty bundle of contradictions.
But whatever people think about him, he seems larger than life.
Which is exactly why I wanted to write about him. I want to humanize him.
Alexander is the poster child for what happens when a famous father produces an even more famous son. We don’t hear about Philip of Macedon much today because Alexander took up all the air in the room. But when he was a boy, nobody knew what he’d become. He grew up in the fishbowl of palace life, son of “the greatest of the kings of Europe” (so one ancient writer). What must that have been like? Supposedly, he used to complain to his friends that his father wasn’t leaving anything for him to accomplish. Even in his teen years, he had a hunger for glory. Today, we prefer our heroes humble, but the Greeks didn’t.
It’s easy to assume he was a golden boy from the very beginning, he did everything early and easily—got it all right on the first try. Or one might prefer the contrary camp that claims he was lucky and Not All That.
Neither of those play for me. The truth is, I think, in the middle. He made mistakes, did stupid stuff—not just polically, but militarily, despite his reputation as a military genius. The measure of success isn’t making no mistakes, but learning to recover from them quickly, which he did. And it’s that guy I want to explore in my fiction, not the larger-than-life hero.

About Jeanne Reames

Jeanne Reames has been scribbling fiction since 6th grade, when her “write a sentence with this vocabulary word” turned into paragraphs, then into stories…and her teacher let her get away with it—even encouraged her! But she wears a few other hats, too, including history professor, graduate program chair, and director of the Ancient Mediterranean Studies Program at her university. She’s written academic articles about Alexander and ancient Macedonia, and does her best to interest undergrads in Greek history by teaching them (et al.) to swear in ancient Greek.


One lucky person will win a $10 voucher for Riptide. But this giveaway also includes something much more personal:
Your very own SCENE.
I’ve committed to write, for the give-away winner, a scene of her/his/their choice.
Would you like to see X scene described from a different character’s POV (point-of-view)?
Or would you like to know what happened just before X scene, or right after?
Or maybe there’s something I didn’t write about at all, but you’d like me to write it for you?
There are some parameters, especially for the third category (write a scene not included). The request is subject to my agreement that the characters would engage in the requested behavior. So keep that in mind. (I wouldn’t write a scene wherein Alexander beat his dog, for instance.)
But I look forward to the winner’s scene challenge!
I have some “cuts scenes” as well as “missing scenes” (in the year between the novels) that will be available on my website ( after July 1st
When done, this one will join them.

Each tour stop is a chance to enter by leaving a comment below. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 6, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 


  1. great blog post today....
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  2. Usually the truth is somewhere in between.
    jlshannon74 at

  3. I love your blog articles. They should be complied into one place to accompany the novel so readers can better understand your research and your choices in the novel (more points than your author's notes I feel)
    freyall at gmail com

    1. When the blog tour is over, they will all go on my personal blog. :-)