Julia: A Romance: Goodreads Giveaway Opens Today:
Today the Goodreads Giveaway began for the Dora Benley historical romantic thriller Julia: A Romance. The giveaway will continue from today until Monday, April 9 when the prizes will be awarded. 51 people have already entered the contest on the first day. Will you join them? Be one of the first to receive and read the new novel about romance in Republican Rome.
Julia has every reason to wish that she had not been born the daughter of a Roman senator during the Roman Civil Wars of Marius and Sulla. Her father, Rufus, is trying to escape the proscriptions lists and save his life by betrothing his only daughter in marriage to Marcus Sisenna. Marcus Sisenna is the right hand man of Marcus Sulla, one of the leading men of Rome of the day. Rufus needs his armies and the protection both Sulla and Sisenna can provide. But Julia does not want to marry a man who has already had five wives and who is just marrying her for her father’s money and estates. She does not want to be added to his collection of trophies. Julia wants personal happiness despite the time period into which she has been born. Her father thinks only of keeping his wealth and estates together. Her divorced mother is interested only in her own lovers. To whom shall Julia turn for assistance? The answer may surprise you. For it is obviously just the opposite of what the desperate Julia might expect.
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New Book Cover For Julia: A Romance:
Julia is rushing down the hallway of Marcus Sisenna’s mansion in republican Rome of about 85 BC. The hallway is filled with Greek statues of the classical time period lining the walls on both sides. But on a shelf in front of her she sees a strange two foot statue of a type she has never seen before. She stops cold and stares at it with her hand clapped over her mouth. A bare-chested snake priestess with a flounced skirt has snakes coiling around her arms. She glares straight back at Julia.
What are we describing? The new book cover for Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley to be published by Cheops Books LLC on Monday, April 9, of course. Look for the unveiling on our website soon. Next week enter the Goodreads giveaway contest for a free ebook copy of the new historical romantic thriller.
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Julia Visits The Forum in Julia: A Romance:
One of the most perennial Roman monuments associated with the days of the Republic and Empire was the Roman Forum, or Forum Romanum in Latin. It was located in the valley between the Capitoline Hill and the Palatine Hill where all the aristocrats and the Emperor lived. This was the central meeting place of the city where the Senate House was located as well as numerous shops. Triumphal processions were held here by conquering generals. This was where Roman citizens came to vote for candidates for office. Public speeches were also held here where everyone gathered around to listen. It was the site of criminal trials even those politically motivated such as Catiline. Even gladiatorial matches could be held here. And nearby and convenient to the Forum were the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum. And important temples such as the Temple to the Vestal Virgins were nearby.
In the romantic historic thriller Julia: A Romance, the heroine makes many trips to the Forum and through the Forum in her efforts to evade either her evil, interfering mother, Octavia, or the man who wants to marry her at all costs, Marcus Sisenna, the second most powerful man in Rome. It is also a good place to hide since it was so crowded. It is part of the color of such novels that they are set against the backdrop of such historic settings where the likes of Juliius Caesar and Augustus Caesar walked.
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Greece Plays A Role In Julia: A Romance:
Sulla conquered Athens in 87 and 86BC. A stream of slaves was sent to Rome to fill the houses of the patricians with tutors, governesses, and secretaries. For the Greeks were known to be better educated than other slaves from other countries. And in fact Greek was considered a prestigious language that only aristocratic Romans spoke. To have a higher education back then meant to go to Athens and enroll in a school of philosophy or rhetoric.
But the Greeks were troublesome and likely to create plots and revolutions, too. Marcus Sisenna, Sulla’s right-hand lieutenant and political ally in Julia: A Romance, must help to ferret out the origins of a Greek conspiracy rife in Rome at the time of his dictatorship. Delphi becomes a hotbed of rebellion along with the island of Crete and the Palace of Knossos. Who knows where it ends? Look for Julia: A Romance next year from Cheops Books LLC.
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Ancient Roman Saturnalia in Dora Benley Novels:
The Saturnalia was the ancient Roman Christmas and New Year’s season. It was held in honor of the god Saturn from December 17 to December 23 as marked by the Julian calendar. He was the god of seed and sowing, and it was now the end of that season with the approach of the winter solstice on December 25 of the Julian calendar.
It might not exactly be Christmas, but it sounded like it. Romans put up trees in their houses and might even have decorated them. They exchanged gifts. Charity to the poor was emphasized as well as role reversals such as slaves sitting in the master’s chair and visa versa. It was a time of charity and good will to men. The Forum in Rome must have been very busy with all the shopping that went on.
The festival called the Saturnalia does not take place in the historical romantic thriller Julia: A Romance. That novel takes place in the summer time. By December Julia would be a bride of about six months in her new household. But the festival figures in the historical romantic thriller by Dora Benley entitled Cleopatra’s Stone. It takes place right before the hero of the novel, Lucius Antonius, flees with his bride to Roman Britain where he sets up the dynasty that will eventually lead to Edward Ware, the hero of the Edward Ware Thriller Series.
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The Roman Banquet In Classical Times:
The second day of the Roman wedding was often a Roman banquet or reception for the guests which meant feasting. What did the Romans eat?
You might be likely to find them gathered on the couches and sofas around the banqueting table devouring a pork roast the way you would associate with Henry VIII. For the Roman aristocracy liked pork as much as the later day English aristocracy. But alas they did not have forks, which were an invention of later times. They had to content themselves with only spoons and knives. And more than their modern counterparts they ate with their hands.
If they were not serving pork they would probably be serving fish, which was a favorite of Romans. They had their own favorite fish sauce, too. It was called either garum or liquamen. It has often be compared with American ketchup in its popularity.
And what about dessert for the Roman banquet? For the wedding banquet you were not likely to be served a wedding cake. In fact in the aristocratic form of marriage that was reserved for the bridal couple only during the ceremony and was fed to them by the priest in a ceremony resembling what later became the Roman Catholic wedding ceremony. But they were likely to enjoy fruit, honey, and nuts mixed up in some kind of custard or even cookies. And while they ate they were likely to be entertained by jugglers, musicians, acrobats, and actors.
In Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley, and soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC, you will find a full-scale banquet after the wedding ceremony. This all takes place before Julia and Marcus Sisenna, the groom, depart for a mysterious honeymoon trip to Greece where they will meet untold adventures.
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