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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Interview: Historical Fantasy Author Luciana Cavallaro + giveaway

Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I am a first-generation Australian Italian; my parents came to Australia as children with my grandparents in the 1950’s. I grew up in a country town called Waroona, where my parents still live. The town is about one and half hours south of Perth. (see maps below). I was the first to go to university in my family and studied Secondary Education (high school teacher degree) in Information Science and later Ancient History. I’ve been teaching for over twenty-five years, and taught in public and private schools. I had transferred to a new public school when I was in car accident and couldn’t work for three months. This was when I developed mental health issues and to try and heal myself, I began to write. That was when I realised I had a passion for writing, and I could channel my thoughts in a creative way rather than take a darker route. Writing became my lifeline and which is why I keep writing.
Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I do a few different activities depending on how I am feeling. I like to go out and take photos when I can. I find it distracts my thoughts and I enjoy being in the moment, focussing on taking the perfect shot, which can sometimes take ten to twenty photos. I am so grateful for digital cameras, so easy to delete images that didn’t work. I’m a bit of purest when it comes to what I use for taking photos. I treated myself to a good camera, with various lens for different shots and a tripod. I prefer to take photos of landscapes, animals and action shots. Some of my favourite photos are of surfers taking waves in Margaret River.

I also like to read, and try to read books by fellow indie writers especially in the Historical Fantasy Fiction genre. I do have an eclectic taste in genres, but tend to favour Historical Fiction, Thrillers/Suspense, Mystery, Humour, Sci Fi, Fantasy and Crime.

I enjoy doing crossword puzzles, and find it helps with diversifying word use when writing, in addition to increasing my vocabulary! I like to get into the garden as well, planting vegetables and herbs for eating, though the bugs do get their fair share. It’s such a nice feeling harvesting the seasonal vegetables and herbs to use for dishes that haven’t been sprayed, picked green or sitting in a cool room for days before hitting the markets.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Loyal, ethical, justice seeker and sporty.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
A few readers have commented and emailed me they can easily see Books 1 and 2 in the Servant of the Gods series made into a movie. Recently, a fellow teacher at my school mentioned my books were cinematic. A lovely compliment as my colleague has a doctorate in literature! Though I would have to say, The Guardian’s Legacy Book 1 in the Coin of Time series could easily be made into a movie or a television series. It reached the quarterfinalist stage in the 2022 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition, Finalist round in the 13th New Media Film Festival and Page Turner Awards, which is quite amazing as the pool of talent is extraordinary, and recently I have been informed it has been awarded a Silver Medal in the Suspense/Thriller category in the Global Book Awards.

Search For the Golden Serpent (Servant of the Gods Book 1)
by Luciana Cavallaro
Genre: Historical Fantasy Fiction
A true page-turner, in a similar vein to Wilbur Smith and David Gemmell, is an action-packed adventure story catapulting a reluctant hero from one dangerous encounter to another.

Evan has been having some very strange dreams.

The Perth-based architect dismissed an unexpected phone call from an entrepreneur in Greece, asking him to restore his family home, as the ravings of a crank. Until, that is, the dreams begin, each more vivid than the last. A dream encounter with a mysterious character called Zeus sees him catapulted back in time to 500 years before the birth of Christ.

Evan finds himself quickly embroiled in a plot to prevent the birth of Christianity, an unwilling player in an epic struggle between the old gods and the new, fighting for his life.
Book Trailer:

Excerpt – Search for the Golden Serpent | Book 1 Servant of the Gods The words on the paper blurred, and his head fell forward, eyes closing. He jerked his head back and stifled a yawn. He jiggled from side to side to wake up and thought an infusion of caffeine might do a better job. He suppressed a groan as he got up from the desk and headed over to the coffee machine. Evan emptied and cleaned the basket, refilled the cradle, slotted it back in place, slipped a cup underneath and pressed the button. While it processed the coffee, he leaned against the bench, pinched the bridge of his nose and yawned again. ‘Did you have a big night?’ a colleague asked. ‘You could say that,’ he said, glancing over bleary-eyed. ‘Where did you go?’ His co-worker looked at him with an eager expression. Because he was the only single guy in the office the others often asked what he did on the weekends and who he dated. They’d go out for drinks on Friday nights after work but after a few rounds the others left to go home to their wives and children. He stayed on till late. He gave his workmate a wry grin. ‘Nowhere exciting.’ ‘Aww… come on, you must have. Look at you, can’t even stay awake.’ ‘Let’s say this place is way beyond the normal haunts.’ The man’s eyes sparkled. He leaned closer and said in a quiet voice, ‘Who was she?’ ‘Nothing like that,’ he said. The machine finished and the smell of rich caramel filtered upwards. He grabbed the cup and took a sip. ‘Ahhhh… nectar of the gods.’ ‘What did you say?’ his associate said with a laugh. ‘Well, if they had known about coffee perhaps they’d still be around,’ he said, trying to cover up the faux pas. His mobile started to ring. He pulled it out of his pocket and checked to see who was calling. ‘Sure,’ his colleague said, shaking his head and smiling. ‘Next time you see Aphrodite, tell her to work a little of her magic on the missus.’ He walked away, grinning. What made me say that? Crazy enough with the dreams but now I’m saying weird phrases too? Maybe I need to see a shrink. He headed back to his desk, coffee cup in hand, sat and answered the phone. ‘Hi Max… yep, I have the plans drawn up, proofed and ready for presentation on Thursday. I’ll be at your office at 10am. I think you’ll like our proposal. The specs meet your requirements and will add value to the building… Okay, see you later.’ He swivelled in his chair. ‘Jerry, is the PowerPoint presentation ready?’ ‘Almost, I just have a few extra points and images to add.’ ‘Make sure it’s error free too,’ he said. ‘Alex, are the big plans printed?’ ‘One left to complete. I’m still waiting for electrics and plumbing for the library wing to be finalised.’ ‘Follow it up and get it sorted. I want the plans completed by ten o’clock.’ Alex picked up the office phone and nodded. He turned back to the stack of papers and began the arduous task of filtering requests for the next architectural job. Their reputation for delivering on time and on budget was one of the reasons companies requested their service. It was that, and the unusual designs. Inspired by the engineers of the ancient past, he wanted to emulate many of the buildings that stood the test of time. Their current project was the biggest, one that reflected the grandeur of an organisation responsible for gathering knowledge from the greatest thinkers of the time. Drawings of the Alexandria Library no longer exist, apart from artists’ representations. Inspired by those works, he created a unique version of the library. He hoped this project put the company on the world’s radar. It took many years, a lot of late hours and hard work to build the business but it was worth the sacrifices made along the way. To be the best in this industry it takes dedication and in the early stages establishing the business, he had worked alone. Now he had twenty employees and a portfolio other architectural firms envied. ‘Boss… there’s a man wanting to speak with you regarding a job in Greece,’ Jerry said, his eyes wide. ‘Greece? What have you been smoking, Jerry?’ He snorted. Jerry waved the phone at him, hand over the mouthpiece. ‘His name is Zeus um… his last name is unpronounceable.’ ‘Zeus? His name is Zeus?’ He looked at Jerry, brow raised. This had to be a joke. Jerry nodded and thrust the receiver at him. His expression was serious. Evan took the phone from him. ‘Hello, Evan Chronis of EC Architectural Services, how may I help you sir?’ ‘Hello Evan, my name is Zeus Pantokratora.’ His English was perfect, with a hint of an accent. There was something familiar too. ‘I have a job that requires your expertise. My family’s home needs help and you are the person who can protect it from further ruin.’ While Zeus spoke, Evan had the oddest sensation. He was not sure how to explain it but it reminded him of being light-headed after a hard game of basketball or a tough workout at the gym. Then you felt great, those endorphins having spread their magic through your body. That’s what he was getting from Zeus. ‘Mr Pantokratora, what you need is a structural engineer,’ Evan said. ‘I could recommend a company that can address your concerns.’ ‘No Evan, I need the services of an architect,’ he said. The hair on his nape tingled. Zeus, it seemed, did not get rejected often. ‘We’re rather busy and my calendar doesn’t free up until six months from now,’ Evan said, flicking through his diary. ‘That will not do. My home doesn’t have long,’ he said. ‘Mr Pantokratora, what is the nature of the problem?’ ‘The foundations are weakening and if not attended to right away, it will cease to exist.’ From the tone of his voice it was evident the condition of the dwelling was dire. ‘From what you have just told me sir, a structural engineer is your answer. I have a contact in Athens I can refer you to, to assess the damage.’ ‘Evandros,’ Zeus said. A chill went up Evan’s spine. ‘I am calling upon you.’ Nothing he said changed Zeus’ mind. A dull ache started at the base of his skull. Great, a headache is not what I need right now. ‘Where is the building, Mr Pantokratora?’ ‘On Mount Olympos.’ Evan’s mouth fell open. ‘Did you say “Mount Olympos”?’ He sensed Jerry and Alex had stopped working, their attention now focussed in his direction. ‘Yes.’ ‘Right.’ I’m dealing with someone who needs to be hospitalised. ‘Evandros, the Family needs you, time to come home.’ *** Evan was no longer sitting at his desk with the phone in hand. Seated before him, on a purple-lined massive throne, was a towering figure of a man. He had long, wavy blonde hair and a beard. His eyes were blue and so pale they were disconcerting. He wore a silver dress, leaving one muscular shoulder bared and on the other, a gold pin held the material together. On a throne next to him was a gorgeous woman, with long golden hair and the same coloured eyes. She exuded power and the way she stared at Evan made his skin crawl. She wore a similar outfit though the bodice displayed a generous figure. It was then he became aware of the others. They too were sitting on thrones, flanking the man and woman, all twelve looking at him. Evan’s stomach churned. Bile rose and his mouth watered. He took a step back. ‘He looks unwell,’ the woman said with a slight smirk on her face. A man, trident in hand, sat perched on the edge of his seat. He too was fair haired. His hair was short and he had a beard. His outfit was as blue as the sky on a clear sunny day, and he shared the eye colour of the two seated on the central thrones. Evan squirmed. Their attention was intense and unnerved him. ‘Does he remember?’ the trident-bearer asked. The man next to him shook his head. ‘Not yet.’ ‘Should we help him recover his memory?’ the woman said, standing up. ‘That could prove problematic,’ another said. Evan spun on his heel and came face to face with a younger man. He hadn’t heard or noticed him move. ‘Why so?’ asked the woman. ‘If we speed up his consciousness, it may cause irreparable damage to his brain.’ ‘Hold on here,’ Evan said, managing to find his voice and backing away. ‘No one is laying a hand on me. Who are you? Where am I? And how the hell did I get here?’ ‘At least we know he can speak and think,’ the woman said, her tone wry. ‘You are on Mount Olympos.’ He blinked, and the cogs in his brain clicked. ‘You’re Mr Pantokratora?’ The man on the largest throne stood. ‘I am. This is the Family.’ Evan swallowed. ‘What in the name of the...’ He blinked, unable to complete the sentence. Zeus grinned and finished, ‘…gods, I believe you were going to say.’ His legs wobbled. ‘I need to sit.’ Evan’s knees folded beneath him and he collapsed to the floor.

The Labyrinthine Journey (Servant of the Gods Book 2)
Book Trailer:

Minotaur's Lair (Servant of the Gods Book 3)
**Releases on Dec 13th! PreOrder Now for Only $1.99!**
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About the Author
Luciana Cavallaro
· Award-winning author of The Labyrinthine Journey

· Nominated for book awards in the Action/Adventure and Historical Fiction genres

· Drove her first car at the age of three

Luciana Cavallaro’s alter ego is a high school teacher where she plugs away educating teenagers the merits of reading and ancient history. She often looks for a brick wall to bang her head when faced with disinterested looks from her students. She’s also a historical fantasy and thriller/suspense author, who creates fast-paced, action-packed series for her readers.

Born and raised in Western Australia, residing in Perth, Luciana loves to travel and since getting her passport at the ripe old age of twenty-four has toured parts of Europe, a legacy of her Italian heritage. She enjoys being active, going out with friends, reading and tries to grow her own vegetables. She dreams of travelling again and visiting the ancient sites that inspired her stories, that is when she’s not spending time being an unofficial stunt person and knocking herself out in the process. Visit her website at https://luccav.me/

Giveaways
$10 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Extra Giveaway!
The author is currently offering a giveaway of a signed ARC and bookmark plus deleted scene in exchange for screenshot of a receipt for pre-ordering a copy of The Minotaur's Lair!
More details in the following video:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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