April 22, 2011
For the last day of my blog tour, I'm over at "Enchanted By Josephine" with a post on Roman style marriage and divorce - rather different than we do it nowadays . . .
"Roman wedding vows were simple; a recitation that began `Where you are Gaius, I am Gaia.' Much better than these dreadful personalized vows that start with “You are the rock in my stormy sea” and only get worse. The priest follows up with a sacrifice for good luck, a sow or maybe a goose. I'm not really in favor of dead animals, but at least it wouldn't put me to sleep the way the inevitable reading from Corinthians does. And after the wedding banquet, the bride gets to light the fire in her new home for the first time – and toss the wedding torch to the unmarried girls in the crowd; the one who catches it will be the next bride. If you're the bride and you want to really nail that one slacker bridesmaid, I'm betting you could do a lot more damage throwing a torch at her than a bouquet."
For the rest, click here
And a big thank you to everybody who followed me around on my blog tour - and to all the bloggers nice enough to have me!
April 20, 2011
I'm at "Over the Edge Book Reviews" today, doing a Q&A with Christine who (thank God) has some wonderfully original questions. There's only so many answers to give to "Where did you get your ideas?" so it's lovely that Christine wanted to know things like "What's the most interesting thing you ever learned by Googling yourself?" and "What fictional hero would you want to hang out with?" My answer to that last one:
"C.S. Forester's Captain Horatio Hornblower. I first read the Hornblower series at about nine years old, and I had such a crush on the moody swashbuckling Horatio that I was completely ruined for boys my own age. Not one boy in my fourth grade class had sunk a Spanish warship, escaped a French firing squad in a rowboat, or battled four enemy two-deckers to a standstill – I was so disappointed."
For the rest of the Q&A, click here
. And thanks for having me, Christine!
April 19, 2011
Giving the guest blogger thing a rest today as I head over to British Weekly. I've got a Q&A there, covering everything from why "Daughters of Rome" is unlikely ever to become a movie, to what the hell my shorthand notes mean:
"My shorthand makes perfect sense to me, but anyone from the outside would assume I went completely nuts, like Russell Crowe finding imaginary codes in the newspaper in `A Beautiful Mind.' Fortunately my husband was very good about it all, merely inquiring mildly from time to time why there was a Post-It with ‘Google headless Romans York’ on our fridge.”
to read more!
April 18, 2011
I admit it - I love "Sex and the City." I treated myself to a marathon after turning in Daughters of Rome
, and I started to see certain similarities between the TV show about four girls from New York, and my book about four girls from Rome. So when "Historical Fiction Connection" invited me over today to guest blog, I decided to make a category by category comparison . . .
The Romantic Escapades
"Carrie and the girls managed, over many seasons and two movies, to rack up four marriages, one divorce, three children, and countless lovers. I'm sorry, but my heroine and her posse have them beat with eleven marriages, six divorces, eight children, and countless lovers. Those racy Romans . . ."
To read more, click here
April 17, 2011
Now this is a weekend treat: I got to wake up to a rave review for Daughters of Rome
from none other than C.W. Gortner, whose marvelous Confessions of Catherine de'Medici
was one of my favorite reads of the year. Chris was also nice enough to have me as a guest on his blog "Historical Boys," and we agreed on a topic that fascinates us both: women in power. A sample . . .
"No matter what kind of power she wielded behind the scenes, Augustus's empress Livia was smart enough to present herself publicly as a simple Roman matron; Augustus was constantly bragging that his wife wasn't too proud to weave his tunics with her own hands, Empress or no. (I always picture Livia getting up from her desk full of official dispatches when she heard guests coming, weaving exactly two bands of cloth until they went away again, and then going right back to work while the servants finish the weaving.)"
For more - and for Chris's fabulous review - click here
April 15, 2011
A brand new blog for me today: I'm over at "The Maiden's Court" where Heather asked me all about Roman fashion. I say, let's bring it back:
"The Roman ideal of female beauty is something I wouldn't mind seeing brought back on modern magazine covers. Thin, tan, and toned? You'd be told to eat some more stuffed dormice, stay out of the sun, and for Jupiter's sake get rid of those leg muscles before people mistake you for a slave girl. Soft, tan-free, and voluptuous was the ideal Roman look – and speaking as a girl who's always looked more Joan from 'Mad Men' than Blair from 'Gossip Girl,' the Roman way is a look I can get behind."
For more, click here
. And thanks to Heather for having me.
April 13, 2011
A two-for-one special today as I pop up on two different blogs: Daphne's "Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books" and Lizzy's "Historically Obsessed." For Daphne I've got a post on the four men who starred in the Year of Four Emperors - a cranky old man, a metrosexual party boy, a rabid sports fan, and an EveryDad; read here
for more details. And for Lizzy I've got a post - ok, maybe a rant - on the perils of writing historical fiction while on a diet: "Obsessed with Roman food? Scratch that. While writing my historical fiction novel Daughters of Rome, I was obsessed with any food, because I wasn't getting any. I was on a diet while writing the second half of the book, and it was a form of torture I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy." Read here
April 12, 2011
Hmm, I'm not sure if this is Day 6 of my blog tour, since it's the sixth day I'm a guest for another blogger, or Day 9 since it's been three days since the last blog post. Whatever. You can see why I'm a writer and not a mathmatician.
Anyway, Svea over on "Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog" has been nice enough to give me her blog space today. My guest topic: if I have four heroines in "Daughters of Rome," then which one is the most like me. Answer: all of them. A sample . . .
"Marcella is my second heroine, and she's a lot like me: an antisocial booklover who would rather be writing up in her study than partying any day of the week. Marcella was not a stretch for me to write. And we share something else besides a passion for scribbling – an hourglass figure, which is a great inconvenience to a smart girl. It's hard to be taken seriously as a brain when you're over a C-cup. “Contrary to popular opinion, breasts do not preclude a brain,” Marcella tartly informs a man in "Daughters of Rome" who is surprised to find she has actual ideas. I remember telling a boy in high school the same thing."
For more, click Click here
. And thanks to Svea for having me.
April 8, 2011
Day 5 of my blog tour, and the last one until after the weekend. Today I'm over at "Luxury Reading," with a guest post on that ever-popular question "Where does your inspiration come from?" Plus their standard question - what is your ultimate luxury? My answer -
"My ultimate luxury is the glass of Yellowtail chardonnay I pour for myself after a full day of writing, as I turn on the Red Sox game and sink into a dilapidated chaise so obscenely comfortable I’ve nicknamed it the Sybaritic Chair. A glass of wine after 6,000 words worth of new chapter, as I watch Big Papi swagger up to the plate with the game on the line . . . ahhh."
to read more! They're also posting a giveaway, so be sure to enter for a free copy of Daughters of Rome
April 7, 2011
Day 4 of my blog tour - it's been great to talk to so many readers online. Today I'm over at "Booking Mama," with a guest post on a few of the things I wish I'd known when my first book came out. Tip #3:
"For the love of God, hide all negative reviews from friends and family. My mother nearly gave herself a stroke last year when she read Mistress of Rome
's first one-star review; she was still fuming about it days after I'd forgotten the whole thing. As for my husband . . . well, I had one Amazon reviewer who complained that “some friend of the author's wrote snide comments all over my review; how unprofessional; I will never read this author's work again if this is how I am treated!” Listen, don't blame me – you're lucky you got away with a few snarky comments, because my husband was so mad he wanted to punch you in the nose."
to read more! Julie at "Booking Mama" has also been kind enough to post a giveaway, as well as lovely review of Daughters of Rome here
. Thanks Julie!
April 6, 2011
Day 3 of my blog tour - so far I'm managing to keep everybody and their blogs straight. Today I'm over on Darlene's blog "Peeking Between the Pages" - one of my favorites! Darlene is hosting a giveaway for a free copy of "Daughters of Rome," so be sure to sign up, and has been kind enough to let me be her guest blogger for today. My topic: what happens when a modern 21st century girl takes a time machine back to 1st century Rome? A sneak peek . . .
"Miss 21st Century is pleased to look around her and realize that Roman women clearly don't hit the gym to stay beautiful. The desired look here is less Elena from `The Vampire Diaries' and more Joan from `Mad Men:' voluptuous, white-skinned, and muscle-free. And the men are even better: clean-shaven and short-haired is in for Roman men, so no moody goatee boys or wannabe musician-types who think a soul patch is the height of fashion."
to read more!
April 5, 2011
My second book Daughters of Rome
is finally out! Since this is my second trip around the block, I know a few more things now than I did last year, when I spent Mistress of Rome
's pub date anxiously refreshing my Amazon page to catch that first review. This year I know enough to keep myself away from the computer (ok, almost), have another book on hand to read for distraction(thank you, Michael Grant, for publishing the fourth book in the "Gone" series today), and most important of all - drink lots of champagne.
It's also Day 2 of my blog tour, and the lovely Amy has been kind enough to have me over to her blog "Passages To The Past" for a guest interview. A sneak preview:
"The Year of Four Emperors - it’s an instantly fascinating combination of words to any bored history student looking desperately for passion and bloodshed between all the dry lists of dates and treaties."
to read more! Amy is also hosting a giveaway, so be sure to enter to win a free copy of Daughters of Rome
April 4, 2011
Publication day for my new book "Daughters of Rome" isn't until tomorrow, but my blog tour has already begun! I'm very excited to be visiting some new blogs as well as returning to some favorites, either as a guest blogger or for an author interview. I'll be updating daily here, so check in if you want to follow me around the blogosphere.
I'm starting off my blog tour with the lovely Marjolein Book Blog. Marjolein has a great review of "Daughters of Rome," and invited me to be a guest blogger as well. My topic: Young Adult Historical Fiction. A teaser . . .
"One of the first things that drew me to historical fiction was my envious realization that kids and teenagers in other eras actually got to do
stuff. I might be stuck in middle school, bored senseless by my algebra homework, the biggest crisis of my day being how to cover up a zit. But in a historical fiction novel, I was old enough for anything!"
To read more, click over to Marjolein's book blog here