Thursday, November 10, 2016

Virtual Tour - Roma Amor A Novel of Caligula's Rome by Sherry Christie

Roma Amor
A Novel of Caligula's Rome
by Sherry Christie
Publication Date: April 15th 2016
Published by: Bexley House Books
Genre: Historical Fiction 
02_Roma Amor

From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Roma Amor. . .
When I picked this one up, I got much more than I was expecting. I got an in-depth read of a time and place that has been talked about over the history of this world. Rome. The intricacies of the rise and fall, the makings of the politics involved, the allegiances, the backstabbing, the loyalties.  You can feel the world painted come to life with the words and the detailed paid to the surrounding atmosphere. 

I found this to be one of the best if not the best book on ancient Rome that I have ever read. The richness and depth of the research that went in to such a project. The details made the various scene stand out. 

I loved Nina and Aurima. Even with them being woman in ancient Rome. I loved these two women for the strength they showed. The battles that had to endure just to be heard. The characters breathed into them. I would love to learn more about both these women. 

Christie did a fabulous job bringing this time to live and giving a realness to the drama and intrigue that took place. The hints of romance. The acts of action took thing over to a more profound level. This was once reading experience that will hold close to the soul. This taste if history was reviving and filling. 

Marcus Carinna hears a voice whisper, "Your turn," as he rides past his family tomb. An unseen presence also startles the Germanic priestess Aurima, whom he is bringing to Rome. But hardheaded Romans scoff at ghosts, and Marcus can't believe it's a warning from his brother, who killed himself three years earlier. 

37 AD: To great acclaim, 25-year-old Caligula Caesar has become Rome's new master. No one is more pleased than Senator Titus Carinna, who helped him succeed to the throne. It's a shame the Senator's older son--Caligula's closest friend--committed suicide after being charged with treason. But that still leaves Marcus, his second son. 

Headstrong and hot-tempered, Marcus would rather prove his courage by leading legions against Rome's enemies than take his brother's place. Yet when his father orders him to befriend Caligula, he has no choice. 

Caught in a web of deceit, conspiracy, and betrayal, he will uncover a secret that threatens his family, the woman he desires, even his life... and may bring chaos to the young Roman Empire.

"The first installment in a page-turning saga that revisits the heroes and villains of the grandest city of the ancient world.... Comes alive with the long gone characters who were its lifeblood" -Kirkus Reviews
''Combines current political concerns, the wide lens of the serious historical novel, and emotional maturity and realism with an utterly splendid grasp of what it must have been like to live in Rome under Caligula's reign.'' -Sarah Smith, Agatha Award winner and New York Times Notable author
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03_Sherry ChristieBook Junkie, thanks so much for the opportunity to visit with you on The Book Junkie Reads! I know historical fiction is one of your passions, so I’m especially grateful to introduce an unusual new historical novel to your followers: Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula’s Rome. In Roma Amor, a headstrong young Roman is ordered by his father to aid the erratic new ruler of Rome, Caligula Caesar, despite being haunted by the suicide of his brother, once Caligula’s closest friend.

How would you describe your style of writing to someone who has never read your work?
I aim for transparency—a writing style that doesn’t call attention to itself. Because I’m telling the story of Roma Amor in the first person, I want the reader to mind-meld with Marcus, the hero, experiencing what he experiences without any authorial filters.

For example, instead of writing, “I noticed that her eyes were the pale green of aminea grapes…” or “I heard the Marcomanni women shriek from their wagon like Harpies...”, I’ll simply tell what Marcus sees (“Her eyes were the pale green…”) and hears (“The Marcomanni women shrieked…”). Working toward this transparent style hasn’t been intuitive, but the prize is being able to forge a stronger emotional connection with an audience. My goal is for you, the reader, to feel that you’re there taking part in what’s happening, not watching a movie on a screen.

What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
Good question! To start (or resume) working on a novel, a writer needs to be able to dive into a different world and pull it up over her head. But it’s difficult to immerse myself in first-century Rome when I’m surrounded by 21st-century assignments with deadlines, bills to be paid, etc. Three techniques are helpful: rereading the previous several manuscript pages, checking my notes to remind myself where the story is going, and playing the right music. (My current favorite is the Outlander soundtrack.) I also try hard to make sure no one will interrupt and pull me out of the zone.

Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
Characters often tell me about themselves. For example, when I started thinking, “Hmm, what am I going to do about Marcus needing a personal slave?”, up popped Rufus, who originally belonged to someone else and was so ill-mannered that he was regarded as “a hill-country yokel” suitable only for mucking out the stables. By the end of the book he surprised both me and Marcus, who marvels, “The boy was a lionheart.”

Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
Personally, I have nothing in common with a headstrong, militaristic, aristocratic hothead, but I’ve bonded closely with Marcus Carinna. Had I lived back then, I doubt I’d have wanted to marry the guy, but… well, I don’t think I’d have said no to a fling.

Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Not so much, but I do sometimes hear from characters that I haven’t done justice to them. For example, as I’ve worked on Lost Eagles, the next book featuring Marcus and the Germanic priestess Aurima, Aurima has complained that she hasn’t been able to tell enough of her story. So I know I’ll have to make this a priority in the next revision.

Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
Uncontrollable? I would say it’s the characters again. I may think it would be cool for them to do something, and they’ll decide to do something else. For instance, in an early draft of Roma Amor, Aurima puts on makeup and an elegant gown in order to impress Marcus at a friend’s dinner party. I had fun with her impressions of Roman high society, but in a later draft she made it clear that she was much too reserved and wary of Marcus to put herself out there like that.

I got this one from a friend. If you could have dinner with 7 fictional characters, who would they be?
Haha! An interesting question—although I’d choose to have seven dinners that were one-on-one, to get more quality time with each guest. I would invite Jamie and Claire Fraser (separately), Achilles, Han Solo, Gandalf, John Galt (from Atlas Shrugged), and Clara Allen (from Lonesome Dove).

Can you share your next creative project? If yes, can you give a few details?
In addition to working on Lost Eagles, the second in the Roma Amor series, I’m collaborating with psychotherapist Olivia Mellan to edit a hundred or so of our money psychology magazine articles into two books for financial advisors.

Thank you again, Antoinette! I would just add that Roma Amor is only $2.99 in ebook, or your followers can enter below for a chance to win one of two paperback copies that I’m giving away. Enjoy, Book Junkies!

Author Info
After earning a Phi Beta Kappa creative award in college for an early draft about a nobly born charioteer, Sherry Christie spent many years of research and revision developing ROMA AMOR into the story about fathers and sons that it wanted to be. It's a joy to immerse myself in the lives of first-century Romans--and a distinct change from my day job as a . In addition to writing, Sherry is a professional copywriter. She lives on the coast of Maine with a native-born Viking and two cats.
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To win a paperback copy of Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula's Rome by Sherry Christie, please enter Roma Amor. 2 copies are up for grabs! Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.  
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 24 Kick Off at Passages to the Past 
Tuesday, October 25 Review at Historical Fiction Obsession Guest Post at Let Them Read Books 
Wednesday, October 26 Review at Kinx's Book Nook 
Friday, October 28 Guest Post at What Is That Book About 
Monday, October 31 Spotlight at Just One More Chapter 
Tuesday, November 1 Review at Bookfever 
Wednesday, November 2 Review at Book Lovers Paradise 
Friday, November 4 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views 
Monday, November 7 Interview at Jorie Loves a Story 
Wednesday, November 9 Review at Bookramblings Review at The Book Junkie Reads Interview at A Literary Vacation 
Thursday, November 10 Interview at The Book Junkie Reads 
Friday, November 11 Review at Beth's Book Nook Review at Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post at The True Book Addict
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