**Surprise Surprise** Giveaway and a Guest Post!

Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Nefertiti [my review] and The Heretic Queen graciously accepted to do a guest post for me! Can’t tell you how excited I am!

A hearty welcome to this talented author.
Here you go~~

Why Cleopatra’s daughter?

It all began with a dive. Not the kind of dive you take into a swimming pool, but the kind where you squeeze yourself into a wetsuit and wonder just how tasty your rump must appear to passing sharks now that it looks like an elephant seal. My husband and I had taken a trip to Egypt, and at the suggestion of a friend, we decided to go to Alexandria to see the remains of Cleopatra’s underwater city. Let it be known that I had never gone scuba diving before, but after four days with an instructor (and countless questions like, “Will there be sharks? How about jellyfish? If there is an earthquake, what happens underwater?”) we were ready for the real thing.

We drove one morning to the Eastern Harbor in Alexandria. Dozens of other divers were already there, waiting to see what sort of magic lay beneath the waves. I wondered if the real thing could possibly live up to all of the guides and brochures selling this underwater city, lost for thousands of years until now. Then we did the dive, and it was every bit as magical as everyone had promised. We saw the blocks that once formed Marc Antony’s summer palace, came face to face with Cleopatra’s enigmatic sphinx, and floated above ten thousand ancient artifacts, including obelisks, statues, and countless amphorae. By the time we surfaced, I was Cleopatra-obsessed. I wanted to know what had happened to her city once she and Marc Antony had committed suicide. Where did all of its people go? Were they allowed to remain or were they killed by the Romans? And what about her four children?

It was this last question that surprised me the most. I had always assumed that Cleopatra’s children had all been murdered. But the Roman conqueror, Octavian, actually spared the three she bore to Marc Antony: her six-year-old son, Ptolemy, and her ten-year-old twins, Alexander and Selene. As soon as I learned that Octavian had taken the three of them to Rome for his Triumph, I knew at once I had my next book. And when I discovered what Cleopatra’s daughter lived through while in exile – rebellion, loss, triumph, love – I absolutely couldn’t wait to start writing. I can only hope that the novel is as exciting and intriguing as the research proved to be. It may be two thousand years in the past, but a great love story, as they say, is timeless.

**~~**

Michelle Moran is also giving away a copy of a signed hardcover copy of latest novel Cleopatra’s Daughter as well as a signed paperback of The Heretic Queen!

In her own words ~~

Although the book is being marketed as adult fiction, it’s my greatest hope that it will appeal to young adults as well. Because Cleopatra’s children were taken to Rome when they were ten years old, the narrator of the novel (Selene) begins the story as a prepubescent girl. The woman we cast for the book trailer really embodies what I envision Selene to be: young, hopeful, and ready for a challenge. I have a longer description of the novel here.

From Michelle Moran’s Site ~~

Coming September 15, 2009

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s vengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome, but only two—the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander—survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra’s Daughter. Recounted in Selene’s youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters:

Octavia: the emperor Octavian’s kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra
Livia: Octavian’s bitter and jealous wife
Marcellus: Octavian’s handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir-apparent
Tiberius: Livia’s sardonic son and Marcellus’s great rival for power
Juba: Octavian’s ever-watchful aide, whose honored position at court has far-reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals

Selene’s narrative is animated by the concerns of a young girl in any time and place —the possibility of finding love, the pull of friendship and family, and the pursuit of her unique interests and talents. While coping with the loss of both her family and her ancestral kingdom, Selene must find a path around the dangers of a foreign land. Her accounts of life in Rome are filled with historical details that vividly capture both the glories and horrors of the time. She dines with the empire’s most illustrious poets and politicians, witnesses the creation of the Pantheon, and navigates the colorful, crowded marketplaces of the city where Roman-style justice is meted out with merciless authority.

Based on meticulous research, Cleopatra’s Daughter is a fascinating portrait of Imperial Rome and of the people and events of this glorious and tumultuous period in human history. Emerging from the shadows of history, Selene, a young woman of irresistible charm and preternatural intelligence, will capture your heart.

Published September 16, 2008

In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past, and remake history.

The winds of change are blowing through Thebes. A devastating palace fire has killed the 18th dynasty’s royal family—all with the exception of Nefertari, niece of the reviled former queen Nefertiti. The girl’s deceased family has been branded as heretical, and no one in Egypt will speak their names. A relic of a previous reign, Nefertari is pushed aside, an unimportant princess left to run wild in the palace. But all of this changes when she is taken under the wing of pharaoh’s aunt, and brought to the Temple of Hathor where she is educated in a manner befitting a future queen.

Soon Nefertari catches the eye of the crown prince, and despite her family’s history, they fall in love and wish to marry. Yet all of Egypt opposes this union between the rising star of a new dynasty and the fading star of an old, heretical one. While political adversity sets the country on edge, Nefertari becomes the wife of Ramesses the Great. Destined to be the most powerful pharaoh in Egypt, he is also the man who must confront the most famous exodus in history.

Here is how you enter~~

  • Competition is only open to followers of this blog only. So if you’re not a follower then just click on the follow button in the column on the right. Let me know, which book you are interested in winning.
  • For an extra entry post about this give-away on your blog/blog sidebar!
  • You must leave your email address in the comments section and a sensible comment, on the guest – post, otherwise you won’t be eligible. This competition is International and will be drawn on Sept. 10th and the winner will be announced on this blog on Sept 11th.

I hope you are as excited as I am!

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  1. I had no idea that Cleopatra's children had survived. The underwater city sounds amazing! But I'm still not sure I could do the whole diving thing! I'm a follower. I'd love to read "Cleopatra's Daughter."litandlifeATblogspotDOTcom

  2. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.I love reading about Roman and Egyptian History – and these books only feed that hobby.This was a real good guest post – its always interesting to know what motivates authors to choose the stories they doPosted this on my blog here, and am a follower.Don't mind either bookkillemall9 at gmail dot com

  3. What a fascinating guest post! I imagine that the author had to do quite a bit of research for this one.I'm already a follower of this blog. : )I would especially like to win the new book, Cleopatra's Daughter.I'll post about this giveaway on my sidebar.

  4. Great Veens. I so want to read her books.You know I am mesmerized by her book covers and would like to know the story behind those beautiful covers.Her method of meticulously researching a plot and all the historical characters are seen well on her personal blog ,which is a great source for history lovers like myself.I follow ur blog and I have posted about it on my sidebar.shwetavnadig[AT]rediffmail[DOT]comHope I win this time 🙂

  5. This is so exciting! I don't have either book and would love to win this!I can't believe Michelle went scuba diving. I think I'd be chicken. My big question would have been, what happens when the tank stops delivering oxygen!Anyway, I am fascinated by Cleopatra. I always wonder what would have happened if Cleopatra hadn't forced Marc Antony to divorce Octavian's sister. And what did happen to the kids? Usually such individuals were executed after the triumph. So interesting to think about the children in the new Caesar's Rome.I subscribed to your blog in my Google reader, but I now also follow through Blogger.BFish (dot) Reads (at) gmail (dot) comThanks so much for hosting this fabulous giveaway.

  6. Am not sure if I qualify for this,I've been quite busy and missed this one! :(Would love to read the Heretic Queen!!! I am a follower of your blog and a subscriber in Google Readerpratima[dot]jayaram[at]gmail[dot]com

I love to hear your thoughts!