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.
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The Labyrinthine Journey
Servant of the Gods Book 2
A mysterious message. A mission from the gods. Can he turn back the clock to prevent his family’s extinction?
Evan’s new life is in ancient Greece, and he fears he’ll never see his home again. Ripped from his 21st century world, his only way to return to the present is to collect god-saving sacred relics for his father Zeus. But to locate them means braving perilous seas and staring down death in search of a legendary oracle.
During their voyage, Evan and his companions come face-to-face with mythical creatures, fabled warriors, and treacherous sorcery. But despite the dangers all around them, Evan’s deadliest threat may be bound to him by blood…
Can Evan complete his quest before he and the gods are lost to history?
The Labyrinthine Journey is the second book in the fast-paced Servant of the Gods historical fiction series. If you like well-researched landscapes, suspenseful twists and turns, and mythic battles, then you’ll love Luciana Cavallaro’s heroic odyssey.
Buy The Labyrinthine Journey to sail into a Greek legend today!
Categories*Gods and goddesses*Greek Mythology*Time travel history*Greek folktales*Greek heroes*Shield and sword*Mythical creatures
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Servant of the Gods Book 3
The Minotaur stirs. Evan is drugged to forget the gods’ quest.
Evan and his companions are entrapped by the Amazon Queen Antioche and her warriors. Memories and allegiances are tested. The Dark Master’s victorious revenge over the gods is almost complete. The plight of the High Priestess is precarious, her health ailing, and unable to rescue her brother and fellow Atlanteans.
The last sacred relic, secreted in the lair of the Minotaur, must be recovered or the Dark Master’s succession plans of a new god are complete. The mystical lands of Krete, the final stage of Evan’s journey, are within his grasp. He must succeed so his father, Zeus, fulfills his promise. Then there is Queen Antioche, and the precious gifts she presents him.
Will Evan return home, and what will become of his future?
Minotaur’s Lair is the third and final book in the action-packed Servant of the Gods historical fiction series. If you enjoy well-researched landscapes, historic characters, excitement, mythical creatures and unique settings, then you’ll love Luciana Cavallaro’s heroic odyssey.
**Releases on Dece 13th! PreOrder Now for Only $1.99!**
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*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/
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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a 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!
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Interview with the author
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
My top 10 favourite authors in no particular order:
- Robert Harris
- David Gemmell
- Valerio Massimo Manfredi
- Michael Connelly
- Donna Tartt
- Terry Goodkind
- Paul Doherty
- James Rollin and Rebecca Cantrell co-writers of The Blood Gospel series
- Joan Lindsay
I would have liked to included my favourite non-fiction authors but kept it to fiction authors only.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
As my books are set in the ancient world, I do a lot of research on the civilisations featured in my novels, their culture, what the geography was like, transportation, weaponry, languages, etc. I use books, websites and documentaries to collate the information, which I then make notes to use in my stories. I aim to make the worlds of the past as accurate as I can. Of course, there is creative license and a little time bending, but mostly I try to make the setting and characters as authentic as possible to the era. In describing locations, buildings and all the sensory elements of what the character is experiencing, I hope to engage the reader and enable them to feel as if they are part of the story.
Throughout the writing process, I go back and forth to my research checking the details and how best to include into the story. The most helpful resources I have found are texts written by archaeologists and historians, primary sources such as Homer, Pausanias, Herodotos, and playrights of the time. Artist’s rendition of places, clothing, transport, food, is also very helpful in visualisation.
Do you see writing as a career?
I do see writing as a career, however I’m not there just yet. I am working on it! It takes me longer to complete a book as I teach full-time and can only write in the evenings, on the weekends and on the holidays. That is when I don’t have marking or planning to do, and fitting in time with family and friends. It would be nice to focus only on writing and publishing books.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
There are a lot of books been published every year and not just the ‘traditional’ authors giving readers lots of choices. It’s hard to get your book noticed amongst the volumes of books, however I am grateful that there is help out there for the indie author trying to get their work seen and read. Building networks is perhaps the way forward, something I am working towards, though it is difficult as most of my fellow writing friends live in different time zones! It is a great time to be an indie author, with so many options and paths to be published.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I have found when I write at night after a day at school, I prefer to write in silence. I need peace and calm after teaching teenagers! On the weekend I play a variety of music when writing. I listened to the soundtracks from Gladiator and Troy when I wrote the Servant of the Gods series. I found the albums helped to centre my thoughts for the period in which my books were set. For my Coin of Time series, I listen to albums by Tame Impala, Sash, Bond, Robert Miles, Enigma, Enya and the Temples. The series is set in the present and the location starts in my home city of Perth, Australia before jetting off to Europe. These artists, a mix of Indie Rock, Electronica/Dance, Classical and New Age I play when writing certain scenes. It’s rather interesting what genre of music works to be productive when I write and if I choose something different such as Jazz or Hip Hop for example, I can’t write, so I stick to the same artists. If it works, why change it?
Pen or type writer or computer?
I use a computer for all my writing. I purchased Scrivener some years back and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I wrote Search for the golden serpent and The labyrinthine journey on Word, and while that application has merits, but when I needed to move chapters or scenes, it was not easy. I kept every version and had to go back and forth to see what I had deleted, inserted or moved. With Scrivener, I can drag and drop chapters where I need them, and when I delete a chapter, it goes into a folder and remains there. It’s handy too for if I decide to use some sections of the deleted chapter in another scene or in the next book, it’s easy to locate.
Working on the computer also allows me to jump from my manuscript to checking information I have researched. I have two monitors; one has the Scrivener application open and the other has the research open such as websites I’ve bookmarked. I also have a lot of text books that I refer to, much easier to scan an index or contents page for the information I’m after. I tend to go down the ‘rabbit hole’ if I search the internet and get distracted by what I’ve found.
I prefer to save my work on an external drive rather than on a cloud option. I’m a bit old school in that regard and a little protective of my work. I’d rather have lots of external drives than saving onto the cloud.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
When I get ideas for a story, the first thing I do is brainstorm. This helps me decide whether the idea has any potential, and if I fill the page, then I proceed to the next stage otherwise I put the concept aside and may go back to it another time. I currently have a notepad with ideas that I’ve yet to brainstorm!
From my brainstorm, I create scenes, mainly dot points. I try not to be too prescriptive in the planning process as I prefer to let the writing flow, and this is when the characters insist on taking over. The scenes are a guide for the storyline and as long as I hit those markers, how many chapters it takes doesn’t matter. As to the chapters, they evolve from the scenes. For example, one scene in Minotaur’s Lair had seven dot points, which became nineteen chapters. I’ve used this method for all my stories, and it works for me. I have tried different strategies but didn’t find them as effective for my style of writing.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Definitely original. My work refers to Greek myths and legends, historical figures and events, and I try to remain true to the origins of the story and characters, however the narrative is original. Well, I hope it is, I haven’t read anything similar to my books, though I had one reviewer recommend my books to those who had grown up reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. For the record, I had the idea for my trilogy back in 2000 with Search for the golden serpent published in 2015. With teaching full-time and family commitments, it took a number of years to write and rewrite the books.
I’m not one for following trends or writing to the ‘market’, I prefer to write stories that I am invested in and passionate about. I know a number of authors who do write generified books that are in the top 100, and that’s their journey, I’d rather write books with characters that resonates and hopefully strikes a chord in readers who enjoy historical fantasy.
What are the unique challenges for a writer in blending history, mythology and fiction? How do you balance fact and fiction in your stories; and what type of research do you conduct to aid the development of your characters and the worlds they inhabit? Are there any particular works or references you would say have aided or inspired your own writings?
The hardest part is putting it all together and making it sound plausible. It’s like testing a new recipe you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out. I have files of information about places, people, what buildings looked like and people’s names which I refer to constantly. Depending on the scene I am writing, I always have a number of websites open and non-fiction books on hand. You can’t see the top of my desk some days. The places and culture are based on fact, with a little creative license and the story is purely fictional. My characters are taken from various myths but with my trilogy they are new characters with traits taken from legendary heroes like Akhilles, Hektor, Theseus, Herakles and others. I do refer to Homer’s Iliad, just to get the tone of the gods, and to Pausanias’ Guide to Greece books. I’m always reading and checking sources. I find morsels of information all the time and store it away. I find a use for it later on. If I can’t use in my current works in progress, then it will be considered for my next writing piece. I have a pad where I keep my ideas for stories. I think I need another life-time to write all the stories I have in my head.