Monday, January 3, 2011

In Cleopatra’s Shadow

by Christie Kelley


Please help me welcome a wonderful writer and friend of mine, Stephanie Dray. She has a new young adult historical fiction book, Lily of the Nile out this month.

Cleopatra VII of Egypt is the most famous woman in the history of the world and if you’ve never seen Cleopatra, starring Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison and Roddy McDowell, do yourself a favor and rent this big splashy Hollywood drama. Though it’s overwrought and there are a few howlers, the dialog is sharp and the cinematography created some of the most iconic imagery we have of this intriguing queen. Though the movie makes no mention of Cleopatra’s daughter, the protagonist of my forthcoming debut novel, Lily of the Nile, the ending of the movie left me with some powerful emotions.

The movie adopts the traditional view of the queen’s suicide, which is that having conquered her, Octavian wished to drag Cleopatra behind his chariot as a chained prisoner, so she cheated him by killing herself. This scenario has come under fire by modern scholars who protest that Rome’s first empero
r probably killed Cleopatra or forced her to kill herself. But what if it happened just the way the ancients said it did?

What impact would that have upon the psyche of Augustus, who was denied his war prize? What mark would Cleopatra’s suicide leave upon the ten year old daughter that she left behind? These are the questions I
asked myself when writing Lily of the Nile, the first of a planned trilogy about the as-yet-uncelebrated life of Cleopatra Selene. She was taken prisoner by the Romans and dragged through the streets in her mother’s stead, but Augustus spared her. He even went on to make her the most powerful client queen in his empire.

And yet, Cleopatra’s daughter is virtually unknown unknown to us, her life obscured by her mother’s shadow. I imagine it must have been this way for her even while she was alive. Raised in the emperor’s household, she would have been subjected to all the propaganda against her parents--the legends upon whic
h Augustus built his empire. She was the daughter of the Egyptian harlot, the daughter of drunk and licentious Antony. She would have had to live with that stigma.

What is remarkable is that the evidence of her life archaeologists have uncovered shows that she was one of Augustus’ favorites. He not only made her a queen, but apparently indulged behavior he would have condemned in any other ruler. Though Augustus opposed women in power, Selene was an effective co-ruler with her husband and could mint her own money; she did so, glorifying her mother and Egypt and Isis, all without reproach. So why did the emperor indulge this ambitious young girl, making her the wealthiest woman in the world? Why would Augustus spoil, coddle, and elevate this child of his bitteres
t enemies?

That’s the question I attempt to answer in this series of novels, which is as much about Augustus as it is about Selene. Historical accounts tell us that he was shocked to find Cleopatra dead--so much so that he sent for snake-healers to revive her. Historian Diane E. E. Kleiner has described Augustus’ obsession with Cleopatra after her death in a way that seems to go beyond the political. I simply imagined that he transferred this obsession to Cleopatra’s daughter and all the other pieces of the puzzle fell into place.


The theory not only solved several mysteries but create
d a compelling drama in which a clever young girl is pitted against a ruthless and cunning ruler, historical giants battling for the future of the ancient world and our own. This is the kind of larger-than-life epic that I love most and I hope readers will love it too.

In addition to the new book, Stephanie is sponsoring a literary contest for aspiring young female writers (www.cleopatracontest.com).

Do you love reading about antiquity? If so, what's your favorite book or movie set in antiquity? And what time period do you just love to read about?

Stephanie is giving away a copy of Lily of the Nile to one lucky poster today.

71 comments:

mariska said...

:)

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, man, I thought he was MINE!!!! Mariska, you snuck in ahead of me!

Stephanie, what a fascinating subject for a book. As a girl who loves sword and sandal epics (badly dubbed Italian ancient epics were a staple of Sunday afternoon TV in Australia when I grew up - a favorite was Girl Gladiators with Louis Jourdan in a skirt, seriously yummy!), my ears pricked up the moment I heard about your book. And wow, talk about two strong protagonists!

Oh, apart from that classic Girl Gladiators, what ancient movies do I love? Spartacus is wonderful. Gladiator is fantastic, as is Ben-Hur.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Stephanie, welcome to the Lair. What an intriguing and interesting story! Can you tell us a bit about the research you did for the books?

I find ancient Rome a very compelling setting for stories. The relationship between Egypt and Rome was filled with so much political machination I imagine you found writing the books very satisfying.

jo robertson said...

Whoa, Anna, you missed by a cat's whisker LOL!

Congratulations, Mariska.

I loved all those gladitorial games storie, Anna. Movies like The Robe, Spartacus were so exciting.

Cath's Chatter said...

as a child of the 70's/80's I grew up watching (now cheesy) classics like 'King Solomans Mine', 'Indiana Jones' and 'Jewel of the Nile'!!!!!
They were full of treasure, adventure, bad guys and of coarse romance:)
cbcowley@gmail.com

Laurie Faelan said...

This series sound fascinating. I've never heard of Cleopatra Selene but her story really sparks the imagination.

I do like stories about ancient races - Native Americans, Saxons, Celts, Vikings, Romans, and Egyptions. There is the Sano Ichiro mystery series by Laura Joh Rowland set in ancient Japan that is on my list to read.

Congratulations on your upcoming release! The cover is lovely.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Congrats Mariska - watch out for that wiley GR. I'm told that today he has a Ceasar complex (grin).

What a fabulous debut! About time we had some different locations for historicals. For some really odd reason, I had a thing for reading Greek plays in high school. Yup, I like stories set in antiquity. As for movies, some good ones have been mentioned. Let me add TROY to the mix. I loved the HBO series ROME from a few years ago. I've been watching SPARTACUS, but can't seay that I enjoy that one as much as ROME.

Helen said...

Well done Mariska have fun with him

Congrats on the release Stephanie the book sounds awesome I really like reading stories set in very different locations (I get to travel that way LOL).

As Anna has already said here in Australia Saturday afternoon at my place was spent around the TV watching a lot of the older movies Spartacus, Ben Hur and I loved them.

Thanks Christie for inviting Stephanie along today
Have Fun
Helen

barb said...

Well done Mariska.... enjoy GR

Hi Stephanie... yes I remember all those old movies.... and it is a long time since I have read a book based in ancient Egypt... I love reading any peroid books but mainly regency

Tura Lura said...

I adore books with historical settings! Ancient Rome is a particular favorite. (Well, really anything pre-Christianity.)

Alice Borchardt's Wolf series (Night of the Wolf, The Silver Wolf, and The Wolf King) is a particular favorite for its paranormal aspects. I really need to get a copy of that series... (I borrowed it from a friend to read originally. Luckily, my favorite used book store usually has at least part of the series.)

I actually just saw the Ben-Hur movie for the first time this past year. I loved the book so much I almost didn't watch the movie. ^_^

mariska said...

*grins* sorry Anna, didn't mean to steal the GR from you :)

okay, my two boys is sleeping now, mommy can comment something :)

Hi Stephanie ! welcome to the lair !
i've been wondering about 'Lily of the Nile' since couple weeks. i saw that this book will be out 'next year', i mean this year (read about it on a blog on December 2010)
Very happy when i know The Banditas bring you here (YAY!)

My favorite movies, Cleopatra. love it ! Ben-Hur is GREAT !
And I Love Cleopatra's Daughter book by Michelle Moran.

Christie Kelley said...

Congrats on nabbing the bird, Mariska!

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, I can't wait to read this book, too. It sounds fascinating. And I had never heard of Cleopatra's daughter until I starting talking with Stephanie.

And Ben-Hur was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up. I haven't seen it in many years.

Christie Kelley said...

Jo, you're so right about the gladiator movies. Hmm, I do wonder what time period Joanie will prefer :)

Christie Kelley said...

Cath's Chatter, I love the Indiana Jones series. They are still some of my favorite movies to watch.

Christie Kelley said...

Laurie, you reminded me that I haven't read a good viking story in years. I may have to see what's out there now. I have two book store gift cards burning a hole in my pocket.

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, I have heard so many great things about the Rome series but I never watched it. I may have to see if Netflix has that series.

Christie Kelley said...

Helen, it's funny but I never watched movies on Saturday afternoons. I guess I was too busy reading. We used to get the old movies on Saturday night. My parents always insisted on watching the classics.

Christie Kelley said...

Tura Lura, that paranormal series sounds wonderful. I've never heard of the author but I'll check into her.

Christie Kelley said...

Mariska, I've heard Michelle Moran's book is fantastic too. Oh, wait, I think I heard that from Stephanie :)

Stephanie Dray said...

Good morning everybody and thanks for the kind remarks! I'll be in and out all day--I'm sitting in the parking lot across from a bookstore waiting for it to open so I can sign my books even as I type this. I'll try to respond to everyone individually but I wanted to start with a thank you for having me here today!

Stephanie Dray said...

Ana I'm a big fan of the sword and sandal epic. I love Ben Hur and The Robe but Spartacus (the original) will always have a special place in my heart. Some people like to nitpick these films to death but I appreciate any attempt to bring the ancient world to life. As for Gladiator, I used the soundtrack to write to when drafting my debut!

Stephanie Dray said...

Jo, I researched for years because much of the source material for Selene's life hasn't been translated into English. To some extent though the first book took less research than the second because we know a lot about Augustus and Rome whereas we know virtually nothing about Mauretania (the kingdom that Selene would transform and rule for at least twenty years).

Nancy said...

Stacy, welcome to the Lair and congratulations on your release! This was a fascinating post. I'd never heard of Cleopatra Selene even though one of the tracks I took to complete my history major was Ancient History.

Of course, we spent most of the quarter on Alexander the Great because the professor loved him, so a lot of people got short shrift. Until I read a review of the new Cleopatra biography, I wasn't even aware she and Antony had a child.

Did you see that biography on this week's NYT list? It was #12 or thereabouts.

Yes, I love reading about antiquity, and I still remember a YA called Mara, Daughter of the Nile from my youth.

I'm also a sucker for costume dramas. I've seen Cleopatra, though it has been a while. Picking a favorite period is hard for me because I like so many.

The Golden Age of Greece is a favorite, as is Rome during the Pax Romana. Or Wessex under Alfred the Great. Or Britain in the Age of Arthur. So picking is really, really hard.

The last costume drama I saw, which I liked enough to buy, was King Arthur, with Clive Owen. So for today, I'll pick the Arthurian age. :-)

Stephanie Dray said...

Donna, HBOs Rome is WONDERFUL. I loved it in spite of what they did to my beloved Cleopatra. ;p I hate that it was cancelled for budgetary reasons. Grr.

I hear dumped that there will be a movie though. I'll watch anything with Kevin mckidd in it now :)

Nancy said...

Stephanie wrote: I researched for years because much of the source material for Selene's life hasn't been translated into English.

What language is most of it in? Latin? Where and how did you research it? I'd love to hear the detective story.

MsHellion said...

The movies/shows mentioned so far are great ones: Gladiator, Rome, Troy. (I haven't seen the older epics like Ben Hur, Spartacus, or Cleopatra--I watch old movies, but mostly the screwball comedies.)

I know it's not quite antiquity, but my favorite "antiquity" movie is Braveheart. :)

Linda Henderson said...

I like Greek mythology. I just watched Percy Jackson last night and it reminded me of how much I love the mythology stories.

traveler said...

What a lovely post today. It is fascinating. A favorite era is Renaissance Italy. I find it intriguing. A novel that I enjoyed greatly is The Glassblower of Murano.

petite said...

Excellent post which I find so appealing. The book sounds incredible. Many novels that take place during The Spanish Inquisition have captivated me, especially The Ghost of Hannah Mendes.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Welcome to the Lair, Stephanie!

I've been hearing some great buzz about Lily of the Nile. I'm not much of a YA reader, but this sounds like something I'd love to read.

We watched Spartacus this past year and loved it. Am looking forward to the prequel.

Christie Kelley said...

MsHellion, I'm with you. I loved Braveheart!

Christie Kelley said...

Linda, I'm very unhappy that both my boys saw Percy Jackson without me. I still might have to rent it from Netflix.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi traveler, I've heard The Glassblower of Murano is excellent. I went to Murano with my husband and it was a beautiful place.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi petite, who wrote The Ghost of Hannah Mendes?

Christie Kelley said...

We watched Spartacus this past year and loved it. Am looking forward to the prequel.

There's a prequel coming out? When?

Inara Scott said...

Hi Stephanie! Your books sounds fabulous -- I do love a strong and cunning heroine, and I'd never heard any of this history before. I love delving into new time periods.

As a fellow YA writer, I find it interesting to imagine how different "young adults" were in historical periods, because they grew up so much faster than teens today. Particularly women, who might be expected to have children before today's teens are even entering high school! How do you capture the flavor of an ancient teen? Seems like a fascinating challenge!

Good luck with the book -- I'll make sure to look for it the next time I'm in the bookstore!

Stephanie Dray said...

Donna-- I always loved the Greek plays too. Medea was my favorite. I wonder what that says about me?

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Christie: There's a prequel coming out? When?

Yep! Starts Jan 21 on Starz. It's titled, Spatacus God of the Arena.

Some old favorites return and some new hunks!!

Stephanie Dray said...

Helen, it's funny you should phrase it that way. I've always felt like reading books set in other places and time periods allows me to travel without the cost of a plane ticket. I love that!

Stephanie Dray said...

Barb -- I admit to being a big regency fan myself. I actually recently wrote an article about what Augustan Age Rome and the Regency era have in common.

Stephanie Dray said...

For all those of you who are fans of Michelle Moran, I should note that I'm a big fan of hers too. Her take on Cleopatra Selene is really different than mine, but it is wonderful. It seems that we're having a bit of a Ptolemaic resurgence in fiction right now and I couldn't be more pleased.

Stephanie Dray said...

Nancy--The Stacy Schiff book is currently on my Nook and I'm really enjoying it ;) Rome during the Pax Romana is a favorite of mine because Selene had a little something to do with helping feed the Roman empire and keeping it peaceful. That she ended up being so instrumental to the man who conquered her parents is something strangely inspiring.

As for the research, most of the sources on the kingdom that Selene ruled are in French. This is because her territory was in Northwest Africa, modern day Algeria/Morocco. Because of the French colonial influence in those places, much of the information we have about Selene's kingdom is in French.

Fortunately, American scholar Duane Roller compiled most of that research and has been a valuable resource for me!

Nancy said...

Stephanie, French sounds more manageable than Latin or *shudder* Greek. This sounds like a really cool story. I like a research challenge, but only when it pays off. I'm glad you didn't have to trek all over the back of beyond to find your material.

Stephanie Dray said...

Inara, you bring up great points.

I should start by saying that I never thought of Lily of the Nile as YA while I was writing it because the trilogy to which it belongs is historical women's fiction in the tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon.

Consequently, I paid absolutely no attention to simplifying the prose or the plot for teens. My goal was simply to make ancient history as accessible as possible to a modern audience.

However, once the book was done, it was clear that it had all the hallmarks of a YA book. This is a coming of age story for a young princess who was orphaned at the age of ten and carried off to a foreign world where her life was in constant danger. While I never "dumbed down" the text (and I'm sure teens would have resented it if I did), my efforts at accessibility made it an easy read for young people. And while I wrote it with adult women in mind, whenever I spoke about Selene's story, I noticed that girls in the crowd were intrigued. So, when Berkley came out with a YA cover, it seemed like a natural fit.

Ancient adolescent--as you point out so well--weren't like modern day teens. They had to grow up fast. But at the same time, their bodies and brain chemistry weren't that different. As a result, I walked a fine line with Selene. I made her unusually intelligent and mature for her age, which I thought was appropriate for a Ptolemaic princess...and I gave her a little extra oomph from Isis. But I also didn't want to cover up her youthful flaws.

She has the temper of a child who was raised from birth to be a Princess of Egypt. She's spoiled, she lies, she makes mistakes, and occasionally she sulks like any modern teenager would. But because the stakes are so high in her world and the expectations are so different, I also gave her extraordinary gifts. She loves passionately and she hates passionately too. She has a cunning mind, a quick grasp of artifice, and an indomitable will to survive. She is not the Cleopatra who committed suicide rather than be humiliated in a military triumph; she is the little girl who survived that humiliation and went on to become a great queen anyway. I needed to plant the seeds of that kind of strength even in her youth...it was tricky!

Stephanie Dray said...

Inara, you bring up great points. I never thought of Lily of the Nile as YA while I was writing it because the trilogy to which it belongs is historical women's fiction in the tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon.

Consequently, I paid absolutely no attention to simplifying the prose or the plot for teens. My goal was simply to make ancient history as accessible as possible to a modern audience.

However, once the book was done, it was clear that it had all the hallmarks of a YA book. This is a coming of age story for a young princess who was orphaned at the age of ten and carried off to a foreign world where her life was in constant danger. While I never "dumbed down" the text (and I'm sure teens would have resented it if I did), my efforts at accessibility made it an easy read for young people. And while I wrote it with adult women in mind, whenever I spoke about Selene's story, I noticed that girls in the crowd were intrigued. So, when Berkley came out with a YA cover, it seemed like a natural fit.

Stephanie Dray said...

Also, Inara--

Ancient adolescent--as you point out so well--weren't like modern day teens. They had to grow up fast. But at the same time, their bodies and brain chemistry weren't that different. As a result, I walked a fine line with Selene. I made her unusually intelligent and mature for her age, which I thought was appropriate for a Ptolemaic princess...and I gave her a little extra oomph from Isis. But I also didn't want to cover up her youthful flaws.

She has the temper of a child who was raised from birth to be a Princess of Egypt. She's spoiled, she lies, she makes mistakes, and occasionally she sulks like any modern teenager would. But because the stakes are so high in her world and the expectations are so different, I also gave her extraordinary gifts. She loves passionately and she hates passionately too. She has a cunning mind, a quick grasp of artifice, and an indomitable will to survive. She is not the Cleopatra who committed suicide rather than be humiliated in a military triumph; she is the little girl who survived that humiliation and went on to become a great queen anyway. I needed to plant the seeds of that kind of strength even in her youth...it was tricky!

Stephanie Dray said...

Suzanne, I hate to admit it, but Lucy Lawless is my favorite in that show, so if she's in the prequel, I'm all about it!

Susan Sey said...

Hello, Stephanie! What a fabulous era you're writing in! I love all historicals--I'm currently falling in love with the american west again as I read Kaki Warner's Pieces of the Sky. It's wonderful & reminds me why I used to love Westerns so much when I was a teenager. They've been out of vogue ever since but I'm really rooting for them to make a comeback!`

Deb said...

I've seen some great reviews of Lily of the Nile and it reminds me of the diary books that were popular several years ago for middle school girls. (I liked reading those even as an adult.)

I loved the Indiana Jones movies, especially Raiders of the Lost Ark. The last one was good until the cheesy ending.

I enjoyed The Greatest Story Ever Told and King of Kings, but not sure if they are really the type of movies you are referring to?

Congratulations on your release of LOTN.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Stephanie, this sounds like a fascinating series of books. I'm definitely going to check it out as I love both history and YA and love when they are put together.

It seems that Cleopatra and those around her are enjoying a new popularity recently with several books coming out. Why do you think that is? I find it all fascinating.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I'm in the midst of watching Rome's second season now. I liked Kevin McKidd from his short stint on Journeyman, but it's Ray Stevenson's Pullo who cracks me up.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Christie! Hi Stephanie! Wow, what a great concept for a story. I love it. I've got to get this one, for sure. I love, love love the epics of Egypt and all the pagentry. Totally cool

Christie, thanks for bringing Stephanie here, but *hiss* that I'm adding to my TBR pile! (Not really, I love a new read - esp one with this kind of scope!)

Grins.

As to gladiator movies, probably Ben Hur, right along with Anna. But my fav of the era is the first part of the Ten Commandments when Charlton Heston's running around with out a shirt. Yummmmmm. Don't like him so much once he grows a beard and gets all countrified. Snork. I know, I know...it's the storrrrreeeee....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Stephanie, forgot to say Welcome to the Lair!

And Mariska, you're baaaaack! Snork. He's been larking off to wild places lately, you'll have to make him be more civilized at your house.

Grins.

Stephanie Dray said...

Trish,

Ray Stevenson was great! However, the whole of HBOs Rome was a festival of eye-candy. I think I felt slightly faint during the scene in which Antony refused to get out of bed and make his famous speech until he'd bedded someone...

Stephanie Dray said...

Jeanne-- Yay, thank you! You are my new favorite person. Except that I have one question: How could you possibly have paid any attention to Charleton Heston shirtless when there was YUL BRENNER to look at?!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Stephanie! As a child, I was obsessed with all things Egypt, including Cleopatra. I even named my cat Cleo (because she sat the the Sphinx).

Five years ago, while living in Europe, I accompanied other American teachers on a Nile Cruise. We visited the recently restored tomb of Queen Hatshepsut - the daughter and wife of a Pharaoh. Rather than allow her adolescent stepson to rule (through regents) when her husband died, she took control of the throne. Hatshepsut even wore a false beard to prove that she could rule as a man. Utlimately, the stepson grew up and destroyed her tomb.

Hatshepsut proved to be a formidable Egyptian woman.

Louisa Cornell said...

Good catch, Mariska!


I'M BAAAACK !!! I have missed you all terribly. I was down for a week or so with double pneumonia. Still not 100 percent, but I do feel better!

Stephanie, your book sounds fascinating!

I've always been a fan of the Taylor/Burton version of Cleopatra. Just too gorgeous a production for me not to love it.

Russell Crowe's Gladiator

Troy

300 (Gerard Butler, sigh!)

I loved to read books like Ben Hur and Spartacus when I was a girl.

Nancy said...

Louisa, welcome back! I'm so sorry you've been sick.

Pat Cochran said...

My favorite antiquities include
Honey & I and all our siblings.
All nine of us are over 61 and
I'm the eldest at 74. We all
saw the "antique," historical
films of the 40s/50s/60s/70s
during their first run,including "Cleopatra." We even saw the
film that we hear Paul Newman
wished would disappear! That was
"The Silver Chalice!"

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Stephanie said: Jeanne-- Yay, thank you! You are my new favorite person. Except that I have one question: How could you possibly have paid any attention to Charleton Heston shirtless when there was YUL BRENNER to look at?!

Ooooh, I LIKE being a favorite person! Grins. Well, see, on the Yul thing....here's the deal. I like a man with hair on his chest. All these slicked up model types ain't my thang. As a character in a star trek novel once said, in answer to why human males are attractive with hair on their chests: "Traction. Excellent traction."

SNORK!

And I have to also confess that I giggle every time Yul says "Mohhhhhses, Mohhhhhhses, Mohhhhhses! I am sick of the name of Mohhhhhhses!"

*giggling now* It unfortunately (for Yul) reminds me of "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!" from Brady Bunch. Which again, causes giggles. Hard to perv on or take Ramses seriously when he reminds you of one of the Bradys.

Stephanie Dray said...

Louisa--I've heard that Angelina Jolie is going to play Cleopatra in an upcoming adaptation, but Liz Taylor will always be Cleopatra to me :P

Stephanie Dray said...

Jeannie--

I refuse to acknowledge these comments disparaging Yul Brenner. (He looked much sillier in the King and I :P)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Stephanie said: I refuse to acknowledge these comments disparaging Yul Brenner. (He looked much sillier in the King and I :P)

Yes, yes he did. He was much manlier in 10 Commandments. No pointy shoes in sight. Grins.

He was QUITE manly in Westwood, and The Dirty Dozen.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beg pardon... I meant The Magnificent Seven, not the Dirty Dozen. Grins. Got my old movies mixed up. :>

Stephanie Dray said...

Jeanne I'm just going to stop before I give away how old I really am :P

Gannon Carr said...

Love the sound of this book! I've been to Egypt---completely amazing country---and I find the history of it's rulers fascinating.

If the story is compelling, I'll read about any time period, but I must confess I have a "thing" for the Elizabethan era. Love it!

Stephanie Dray said...

Gannon--I am so jealous of you. I'm planning a trip to Egypt next year!

catslady said...

I like anything from the past and the older the better. Greece, Rome, or Egypt are all good ones. And Yul Brynner was the first actor I fell in love with as a young girl - bald head and all lol.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Stephanie: , but Lucy Lawless is my favorite in that show, so if she's in the prequel, I'm all about it!

She is definitely back and I agree she is great. Who knew Xenia could be so evil!!

Cassondra said...

I'm so sorry I'm late to the party today, but once I got here I couldn't help but stop in to say, Wow Stephanie, you got my attention in a big way with this blog!

What an incredible story! You told me things I didn't know about Cleopatra and about the politics and people in play in that day. I've never seen the Liz Taylor movie, and I'm ashamed of that, as it's such a Hollywood staple, up there with The Ten Commandments as far as I'm concerned.

I will definitely look this up!

Christie, thanks for introducing us to this amazing author!