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!
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!
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.
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 to continue!
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 mathematician.
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.
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.”
Click here to read more! They’re also posting a giveaway, so be sure to enter for a free copy of Daughters of Rome.
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.”
This month as “Mistress of Rome” is released, I am abandoning my own blog and writing guest posts for others! First up are my contributions to “Dear Author,” to Allie’s blog “Hist-Fic Chick,” Amy’s blog “Passages To The Past,” Kailana’s blog “Historical Tapestry,” Daphne’s blog “Tanzanite’s Shelf and Stuff,” Darlene’s blog “Peeking Between The Pages,” Lizzie’s blog “Historically Obsessed,” Julie P’s blog “Booking Mama,” and Ms. Lucy’s blog “Enchanted By Josephine.” Click below to read my guest blogs: one a feature on book clubs and another on historical research; one a post on fun historical fashions and one on my progression as a writer through some very bad early work, one explaining my fascination with ancient Rome and another explaining my fascination with psychotic emperors; one discussing the state of women in ancient Rome and one linking my two passions of history and opera. Allie, Amy, Kailana, Daphne, Darlene, Lizzy, Julie, Ms. Lucy, and the ladies of “Dear Author” – thanks for having me!