I’ve been tagged by my friend and fellow author Sophie Perinot (“The Sister Queens”) for something she calls Author Tag. I’m always keen for weekend fun, so let’s see if I can figure this out:
1. Go to the 77th page of my latest book.
2. Count down 7 lines.
3. Copy the 7 sentences that follow, and post them as a teaser.
4. Tag 7 other authors.
Okay, page 77 of “Empress of the Seven Hills” . . . counting down . . . aha. A scene where a Roman senator and his wife (some of you who read “Mistress of Rome” might remember Marcus and Calpurnia!) are preparing to have Emperor Trajan to the house for dinner, and are watched with considerable amusement by bodyguard Vix:
“I don’t see what all this fuss is,” Senator Norbanus said mildly, looking up from his scrolls at his madly rushing wife. “Emperor Trajan is a soldier; he’s easy to entertain – put a slab of meat on his plate and enough beer in his mug, and he’s happy.”
“But Empress Plotina notices everything,” Lady Calpurnia groaned, “and I won’t have her wrinkling her long nose at my housekeeping.” Very heavy under her swollen belly now, Calpurnia went lumbering about the house trailing lists and menus and worried slaves – even the daughter of the house was pressed into service, and I saw Sabina down in the kitchens with her hair tied up in a rag and a smudge of flour on her chin, wrestling gamely with a lump of bread dough. “Show me,” she said, watching the cook’s expert hands pummeling and punching. “How interesting.”
I hid a grin because she’d said the same thing to me last week, in exactly the same tone of voice, when I showed her something under the blankets (never mind what).
Now, let’s see who else I can tag on Facebook . . . Happy Friday 13th; you’re it!
Under a week till publication day for Empress of the Seven Hills. Who’s nervous? Well, me. This might be my third go-round, but somehow this never gets any less nerve-racking.
Fortunately, I’ve got company for my first in-person event this time. Mark your calendars: a historical fiction triple threat is set to hit the Washington DC metro area on April 21st!
Book Signing and Discussion
The marvelous Stephanie Dray and Sophie Perinot will be joining me for an appearance at Barnes & Noble in Reston, VA. God knows what we’ll end up talking about, but the three of us know how to have fun. If you’re a fan of Stephanie’s whip-smart series on Cleopatra’s daughter Selene (Lily of the Nile and Song of the Nile) or Sophie’s cracking debut novel on the medieval version of the Middleton sisters (The Sister Queens), stop by to get a book signed, ask a question, or just say hi. I promise you it will be a wild time!
Barnes & Noble
1851 Fountain Drive
April 21st, 1-3pm
As soon as pub day hits I’ll also be hopping aboard a two-week whirlwind of a blog tour, guest blogging on everything from sexual mores in ancient Rome to the various books and movies that first turned me into a historical fiction junkie. If you’d like to follow me around the web for a few laughs and a chance at a free book (giveaways galore!) then see below.
April 3rd: Luxury Reading blog
Topic of the day: What really happens when you end up putting your husband in a book by accident?
April 4th: Passages to the Past
Topic of the day: Why Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum would have a heart attack if they ended up in ancient Rome.
April 5th: Tanzanite’s Castle
Topic of the day: The books that got me hooked on historical fiction; what are yours?
April 6th: Peeking Between the Pages
Topic of the day: A typical day in a writer’s life, and it’s NOTHING like “Castle”
April 9th: The Maiden’s Court
Topic of the day: How women in ancient Rome managed to get what they wanted despite all the laws against it.
April 10th: Historical Fiction Connection
Topic of the day: How to make historical characters a) interesting, when your readers can jump on Wikipedia to find out what happens to them, and b) sympathetic, when they have a documented historical taste for bear-baiting and slavery.
April 11th: Muse in the Fog
Topic of the day: still undecided. Hey, I’m a bit behind on my blog posts!
April 12th: Judith Starkston Book Blog
Q&A: Sample question: which of my characters would I choose to be, if I had a chance?
April 13th: Historical Boys
Q&A: C.W. Gortner and I chat about everything from dream movie adaptations to the eternal dilemma of historical fiction novelists.
April 16th: The Secret Writer Blog
Q&A: Find out why I have a fridge door full of Post-It notes with jottings like “Headless Romans York”?
April 21st: Enchanted by Josephine
Q&A: Who knows what she’ll ask, but Lucy always has great questions!
A huge thank you to all the book bloggers, reviewers, and readers who have invited me onto their blogs! I can’t wait to get started. Who’s nervous?
Well, still me.