Cole: My comments are in purple! Welcome to the blog, Lisa
Welcome to the Riptide Publishing / Lisa Henry blog tour for He Is Worthy, part of the Warriors of Rome collection now available. The collection is available for pre-order here, as a collection or individually, and all pre-orders enter you in a drawing to win a Nook Simple Touch.
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in the draw for a copy of my two previous eBooks–Tribute and The Island–and a $10 Riptide Publishing credit. Entries close at midnight, U.S. Eastern time, on November 18, and winners will be announced the next day. The contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
And thanks so much to Cole for inviting me to The Armchair Reader today. (Welcome, Lisa!) I like it. It’s cosy. Can I put my feet on the armchair, and is there wine? (Hell, yeah! … wait, ummm sorry, I drank it all….) That’s okay—I bought a bottle. You knit though, Cole, really? I’m jealous. My mum tried to teach me to knit once. I wanted to knit a stuffed penguin. We both gave up when I said, “So, a purl is just a backwards knit, right? Wait, which way am I holding this?” She confiscated the needles and knitted the penguin for me. My mum’s awesome. (Sounds like the time I tried to invent left handed knitting … yeah, probably all that wine.)
But we were talking about Rome, right? Or we were supposed to be. So what can I tell you about He Is Worthy?
Saying He Is Worthy is kind of dark is like saying the sun is kind of warm. I wasn’t going to write something so dark, but come on…it’s Nero. It was never going to be a walk in the park Gardens of Sallust, was it? Which is not to say that that all the research I did was dark and bleak and violent and bloody. Some of it was fun, it just never made it into the book. Here’s something I picked up off the cutting room floor for you:
Polytheism: pick a god, any god…
I love ancient polytheism. A god for every occasion. If I ever start a cult based on the ancient Roman model—and it is an ambition of mine—I will have T-shirts made up that say “It’s no stupider to worship Jupiter”. What we lack in faith I expect to make up in merchandising. Here are five of my favourite obscure ancient Roman deities:
Summanus was the god of night thunder. Not just thunder, but night thunder. That has to be a niche market, right? He at least had a temple, and a feast. On the 20th of June (my birthday!) he was offered cakes. I don’t know whether that was to prevent night thunder, or to encourage more. He has been previously identified with Pluto, but that was probably only to boost his ego.
The goddess of the sewer system. Typically, a woman was in charge of keeping the place clean. Strangely, she was also the protector of matrimonial intercourse. I’m trying hard not to see the link.
The patron goddess of bees. I’m sure she had a lot free time to pursue other interests.
Cacus was originally a powerful fire god, but, fire gods being passé, was later demoted to giant. The only good thing about being a giant was that he could make cattle walk backwards. I like to think he performed this awesome party trick many times before Hercules killed him.
The god of cattle worms. Definitive proof that the Romans had a god for everything.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house a long-suffering partner, too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Rome, 68 A.D. Novius Senna is one of the most feared men in Rome. He’s part of the emperor’s inner circle at a time when being Nero’s friend is almost as dangerous as being his enemy. Senna knows that better men than he have been sacrificed to Nero’s madness—he’s the one who tells them to fall on their swords. He hates what he’s become to keep his family safe. He hates Nero more.
Aenor is a newly-enslaved Bructeri trader, brutalized and humiliated for Nero’s entertainment. He’s homesick and frightened, but not entirely cowed. He’s also exactly what Senna has been looking for: a slave strong enough to help him assassinate Nero.
It’s suicide, but it’s worth it. Senna yearns to rid Rome of a tyrant, and nothing short of death will bring him peace for his crimes. Aenor hungers for revenge, and dying is his only escape from Rome’s tyranny. They have nothing left to lose, except the one thing they never expected to find—each other.
You can buy He Is Worthy or read an excerpt here.
Thanks for stopping by Lisa! Sorry about my strange interjections! I’m still suffering from a fever and I’m pretty hopped up on cold medicine I had to delete a whole paragraph I wrote about how awesome it would be a sit up and listen to storms and eat cake on my birthday… yikes!
Also, every please remember that Lisa is offering a copy of The Island and Tribute to one commenter, and Riptide is offering a $10 Riptide Publishing credit, where you can be sure to pick up a copy of He is Worthy