Selected Works

Historical Fiction
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.
Caught in the deadly world of the Renaissance's most notorious family, three outsiders must decide if they will flee the dangerous dream of power.
The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web.
The lives of an ambitious soldier, a patrician heiress and a future emperor fatefully intersect.
The Year of Four Emperors - and four very different women struggling to survive
A brilliant and paranoid Emperor, a wary and passionate slave girl – who will survive?

Ave Historia: An irreverent look at historical fiction today: books trends, historical tidbits, and random tangents

Meet My Main Character

April 15, 2014

Tags: lady of the eternal city, blog hop

I've gotten tagged for another blog hop, and this one is “Meet My Main Character.” I'm currently writing the sequel to my ancient Rome novel “Empress of the Seven Hills,” and if you've read that then you won't be too surprised to know that the main characters there—gladius-swinging legionary Vix and his rival's subtle wife Sabina—will be back for many more adventures.

But I have another heroine who will be elbowing Vix and Sabina out of the way so she can have her share of page time, and I've been keeping her quiet up till now. Want to learn a little more about her?

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Her name is Annia, a young heiress of ancient Rome. And she is a historical figure, but I'm not giving you her full name because I don't want you running to Wikipedia and finding out what happens to her before the book is even out.

2) When and where is the story set?
Second century Rome, under the reign of the fascinating, mercurial, ever-traveling Emperor Hadrian. The same guy who built that big wall across the top of England because he took one look into Scotland and said, very sensibly, “Hell no.”

3) What should we know about your main character?
“She had big blue-gray eyes with red lashes, like a sword-blade with a fan of blood on it and every bit as piercing.” That about sums Annia up. She may be a rich girl in a silk dress, but she's tough as nails and no one to mess with.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
Annia will find herself embroiled in all kinds of Imperial hot water—plots, assassinations, poison, and mayhem. She's just a young 'un, but she'll find herself having to put her life on the line to save the Empire when the adults have totally screwed things up.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
She has an arch-enemy she'd love to put in the ground, because he's been bullying her all her life. And she has a bookworm best friend who has been proposing marriage since she was four, and she really wishes he'd knock it off.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
“Lady of the Eternal City” is the title, but there's no blurb yet because I haven't had time to write one!

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
March 2015, if I can meet my deadline. Which is rushing at me like an oncoming train, so I'd better get back to work.

Paula Lofting tagged me, and now I've tagged three authors to follow and post about their main characters . . . which I happen to know include at least one fascinating and famous set of historical lovers, so be sure to check them out on the 22nd!

1. Sherry Jones
2. Christy English
3. Donna Russo Morin

Happy Release Day!

April 1, 2014

Tags: elizabeth loupas, red lily crown, the flower reader, the second duchess

I'm giddy—Elizabeth Loupas has a new book out today. This is her third, “The Red Lily Crown,” and normally I'd be sprinting to the bookstore for my copy, but I've already got one. One of the nicer parts of being an author is getting sneak peeks at the books you're dying to read—and a few months back, Elizabeth contracted me to see if I might be willing to read her upcoming Medici romp and offer it a quote.

Did I, ever.

I first swooned for Loupas's talent when I devoured her debut, “The Second Duchess,” featuring a whip-smart Duchess of Ferrara heroine investigating the mysterious death of her husband's first wife. Gorgeous prose, a fabulous mystery, and one of the sexiest, scariest heroes around. (I got the chance to meet Elizabeth at my first Historical Novel Society conference shortly afterward—a lovely lady who listened to me rave about her Alfonso d'Este ad infinitum. He really is very rave-able.)

Sophomore novel “The Flower Reader” was another hit with me; a lady-in-waiting to a young Mary Queen of Scots, caught in a hellish court conspiracy. But “The Red Lily Crown” might just be Loupas's best yet—I devoured it in a matter of days. My review:

“Machiavelli meets The Brothers Grimm: a dark fairy tale with the addictive allure of a poison dream. Renaissance Florence springs to life in all its gorgeous, treacherous glory when a brave street urchin finds herself neck deep in Medici blood-lust. A dash of magic, a maze of murder, a heroine to root for, and a villain who needs to die--this is historical fiction at its most compelling.”

Buy this book. You will not regret it.