Friday, September 11, 2009
Walk the streets of Rome with Selene... Cleopatra's Daughter
Congrats to the Winners Heidi & Hayden! Heidi won the signed copy of Cleopatra's Daughter! Hayden won the signed copy of The Heretic Queen! And a Thank you to EVERYone who joined in on the fun!
One of the most passionate and tragic love stories of all time is that of Antony & Cleopatra! As Egypt was being conquered by Octavian's Roman armies the lovers committed suicide and became immortalized for all eternity. They also left their children orphaned and in the hands of their enemy....
Michelle Moran writes Cleopatra's Daughter in the voice of Selene, the 10 year old daughter of Antony & Cleopatra. Selene is a keen observer as we are swept up in the Roman triumph over Egypt and the story of Selene and her twin brother Alexander becoming the prisoners and responsibilities of their captors, who take them back to Rome...
"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"
It is a story written in such wonderful rich detail that you feel as though you are walking beside Selene as she observes her new surroundings..."Is this Rome? Selena asked. There was no Museion gleaming in the afternoon light, and the villas that hugged the vast stretches of shore were plain, without columns or ornamentation. There was nothing to distinguish one squat white building from the next except the colors of their wind-beaten shutters." Meet the historical cast of characters from the era including Octavian, the emperor of Rome, his sister Octavia, who was once married to Antony (before he left her for Cleopatra), and the poet Vergil, and even experience the building of the Pantheon. Michelle's background in archaelogy and her love of history is apparent in her writing -making Cleopatra's Daughter not a dry retelling of Egyptian/Roman history. I love historical fiction and was captivated by this book. Writing the story with Selene as narrator, gives the story an interesting viewpoint, as we get to see the wonders and horrors of this era thru the eyes of a young girl- something us girls can relate to!
"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... 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."
Michelle majored in English at Pomona College. Following a summer in Israel where she worked as a volunteer archaeologist, she earned an MA from the Claremont Graduate University. Michelle has traveled around the world, from Zimbabwe to India, and her experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction. A public high school teacher for six years,
Michelle Moran is currently a full-time writer living in California with her husband. She is the author of the bestselling historical fiction Nefertiti and its stand alone sequel, The Heretic Queen.
A few insights into Michelle...
How long did it take you to get published?
My first attempt at getting published was in seventh grade, when I was twelve. So I guess I can say it took me fifteen years. I had written a full length book that was probably pathetic but everyone praised it and my father hailed it as the Next Great American Novel.
Where are some of your favorite places to travel?
France tops my list, and I mean anywhere in France. Paris, the Riviera, Normandy, Saint Symphorien, the Languedoc region. Then Italy, particularly Venice, and finally Vienna in Austria. I could live in any of those places easily, and someday probably will.
If you weren't a writer what would you want to be?
A teacher. I taught in a public high school for six years and nothing could be more rewarding than exposing young adults to historical fiction and many other kinds of reading and writing. Many people talk about teaching with an abundance of clichés. You can change lives, you can open doors, you can etc etc. But for me, those clichés were all true.
If you love historical fiction, do not miss reading Cleopatra's Daughter! Or Michelle's other books, Nefertiti, The sweeping story of a powerful Egyptian family telling the tale of two sisters, the first of whom is destined to rule as one of history’s most fascinating queens, and The Heretic Queen, In ancient Egypt, a forgotten princess must overcome her family’s past, and remake history. Want to learn more about Michelle and her books? Here's the LINK to her website! Cleopatra's Daughter will be released on Sept.15th! You can become a Literary Archaeologist that day and search the shelves of some independent bookstores for some prizes! Find out how at Michelle's website HERE!
But wait! Not only is Michelle a wonderful writer, she's also a generous one! She is going togive away a signed hardcover copy of Cleopatra's Daughter to a lucky reader of Chick with Books! AND a signed paperback copy of The Heretic Queen to another lucky reader! The book will come directly from Michelle and she say's she'll ship it ANYwhere in the world! So that means all you international readers of Chick with Books can join in on the fun too!
Here's the Giveaway Details...
Since we are giving away a copy of Cleopatra's Daughter AND a copy of The Heretic Queen, I'm going to randomly pick TWO names for this giveaway!
First name picked will receive the signed copy of Cleopatra's Daughter in hardcover, second name picked will receive the signed copy of The Heretic Queen in paperback!
To Enter this Giveaway..
*For one entry leave me a comment with your email address!
*Get an extra entry for following my blog! Just leave a comment letting me know you're a follower! ( Not a follower yet? No problem, sign up by clicking on the 'followers" button! Just let me know you became a new follower!)
*For another entry Blog or tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link.
This giveaway is open to EVERYONE! As long as Michelle can send a book to you - you can join in on the fun! Contest ends 11:59 pm EST on Sept. 26th. I'll randomly pick the winners the next day and email the winners. Please check your email... winners must reply to me within 3 days...
Thank you so much Michelle for sending me the review copy of Cleopatra's Daughter! And for the wonderful giveaway to the Chick with Books readers!
Good luck everyone!