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Thursday 12 May 2016

☀ Argos - Phillip W. Simpson

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Argos, a Young Adult Mythological Historical novel by (, Month9Books, LLC, 276 pages).

Don't miss our interview with author Phillip W. Simpson.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read the first two chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Author Phillip W. Simpson will be awarding five digital copies of Argos by Phillip W. Simpson (INT) to randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.  

Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


Loyalty has no limits. Raised from a pup by Greek hero, Odysseus, Argos has come to learn the true meaning of love and loyalty. Little does he know that when Odysseus leaves for the Trojan War it will be 20 years before Argos will see his master again. With Odysseus gone his wife, Penelope and son, Telemachus are easy prey for neighboring kings and the Gods themselves.

But Argos was tasked to keep them safe until Odysseus returns and that is a promise he is determined to keep—whatever the cost. Told through his eyes, Argos recounts the story of his life—his pain, his joy, his triumphs and failures; his endurance in the face of hardships that are almost too great to believe. Above all else, Argos strives to do what is right, to remain loyal to his King when all others have given up hope, and to live long enough to see his beloved master one more time.

This epic myth of love and loyalty proves that a dog really is man's best friend.

Teaser: Excerpt


So this is what it’s like to die?
     I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly isn’t this slow humiliating descent into darkness. My body aches, bruised by the fists and feet of Penelope’s suitors and servants, joints painfully swollen by age.
     Flies swarm around me, attracted by the stench of the manure pile beneath me, or perhaps sensing that death is slowly creeping toward me. If I am honest, they don’t annoy me so much. My vision is cloudy at best, eyes misted over by the passage of time. I can barely see their dark flickering shapes and I haven’t the strength to dislodge them when they land. To try and maintain a little dignity, I make the odd attempt to flick my tail or ears but both the flies and I know my heart isn’t in it.
      Two old men walk past, leading an ox and open wagon through the palace gates. I lift my head slightly in an effort to see them better, more out of habit than any great interest. I sniff the air, trying to gauge what is in the wagon. All I can smell is feces. My sense of smell, almost overcome by what lies beneath me, fails, and I silently curse my aging, traitorous senses. If I had to guess, I would say they are farmers, bringing produce for the palace kitchens, probably to feed the greedy, slovenly mouths of the suitors who buzz around Penelope much like the flies above my dying body.
      The two old men spare me a glance. Although my eyes are not what they once were, I detect sympathy in their gazes. Perhaps they recognize me for who I am or who I once was. Or perhaps not. Maybe they just see an old dog dying on a steaming pile of manure.
      Hours later, two other men pass by, dressed in finery that makes them anything but farm hands. I recognize their faces but I would know them regardless by their swagger. Two of Penelope’s suitors come to steal another man’s wife. I hate them with every ounce of my being. If I were even five years younger, I would launch myself at them and tear their arms and legs off with great bites of my powerful jaws. But I am not five years younger. I am incapable of doing anything but glare at them balefully.
      Like the two older men earlier, they look in my direction.One of them says something I can’t quite catch and they both laugh. The taller suitor reaches into a pouch at his side and pulls out an object that he throws in my direction. It lands off the manure pile, well out of paw reach. I suspect it is a piece of dried meat.
      “Here,” he says, laughing. “Eat this. If you can.”
      His companion joins in the laughter and they disappear through the palace gates knowing full well that I will not be able to reach the tasty morsel. I wouldn’t eat it in any case. I would much rather starve to death than receive salvation from the likes of them.
      Directly overhead, the sun beats mercilessly down. Heat washes over me and warms the manure pile even more. The pile of droppings from mules and oxen are a mixed blessing. For the last two nights, my bed of filth has kept me warm and soothed my aching joints. During the day, however, things are altogether different. The heat is stifling, unbearable, and even I, well accustomed to the most repulsive of scents, am sickened.
      My tongue lolls slackly from my open mouth. It is almost too much effort to pant but I will die from the relentless heat if I do not. I am no longer hungry but would give almost anything for a bowl of cool water to quench my thirst. Perhaps even a tub that I could plunge my whole body into—something I would never have done as a young pup. All my life, I have avoided baths, but now I am driven almost crazy by the thought of indulging in something I once hated.
      A bath would have an additional benefit. The fleas and ticks that infest my body would probably decide that my scrawny carcass isn’t worth the effort and depart for more luxurious quarters. I would not miss them. The flies I can tolerate, but the incessant biting of these degenerate little creatures is almost more than I can bear. If I had the strength, I would obliterate them with mighty paw strokes.
      When I was younger, Penelope or Telemachus would sometimes gently comb them from my body while I lay before the fire in the great hall of Odysseus. Just the thought of such times sends a pleasurable tremor coursing through my body.
      I daydream about what they would do if they knew I was lying here, dying and surrounded by filth and decay. Penelope would gather my head into her soft hands and gently kiss my forehead. Telemachus, my human brother, would hug me and rub salves into my open wounds. Together, they would ease my pain and comfort me like they have many times throughout my life.
      But those times are long gone. Penelope is locked in her rooms in the palace of Ithaca, besieged by unwelcome suitors. Telemachus left the island months ago to seek out his father, my master, the great hero Odysseus. It is probably a futile quest.Odysseus has been gone for twenty years and, if the words of the palace staff are to be believed, long dead. But neither I nor Telemachus believe it, cannot bring ourselves to believe it. I have heard from the gods themselves that he lives, and whilst they like to play with the lives of mortals, I want to believe them. A man like Odysseus does not simply just die. He is destined for more than death.
      It is he that keeps my soul harnessed to my body. The loyalty toward my master and a forlorn hope that he will return to me before I am claimed by death. All of my contemporaries have been in the grave for years already. Not me. It is this loyalty and hope that has kept me going for twenty years.
      What I would give to see him one last time.

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About the Author

Phillip W. Simpson has written over 50 children’s books for both middle grade and young adult readers. He has a background in Ancient History and Archaeology, and has partially completed his doctorate in Archaeology. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with his wife Rose, their son, Jack and their two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. When not writing, he works as an elementary school teacher.

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win one of five digital copies of Argos by Phillip W. Simpson (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Argos's tour at:

May 9 – Nya Reads
May 9 – The book slayer
May 10 – The Recipe Fairy
May 10 – Don’t Judge, Read
May 11 – Classy Cat Books ✍✉
May 11 – Coffee Books & Art
May 12 – BooksChatter
May 12 – Natural Bri
May 13 – Thinking To Inking
May 13 – Seraphina Reads
May 16 – Julie Antonovich Reece
May 17 – The A P Book Club
May 17 – WS Momma Readers Nook
May 18 – Illuminite Caliginosus
May 18 – Anxious Canadian Mom
May 18 – Wishful Endings
May 19 – A Book Addict’s Bookshelves
May 19 – Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps
May 19 – A Backwards Story
May 20 – Tamarack District Library
May 20 – Chapter by Chapter

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing!!