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Guest Post: Stephanie Julian talks Etruscan and Giveaway

Please welcome Stephanie Julian  to Stephanie is the author of  some very HAWT series, like the LUCANI LOVERS series and her just recently released WHAT A GODDESS A WANTS of the Forgotten Goddess series. Both series, I've read and enjoyed! It's a pleasure to host Stephanie today and to find out more about the ETRUSCAN race.

When I first got the idea to write a paranormal with magic, I didn’t really have any idea I’d end up creating an entire civilization that’s taken over my writing life.

About six years ago, I had an idea for a story about witches. Of course, witches use magic, so I needed a magical tradition.

I knew about Celts and, by association, Wiccan, but that was pretty much the extent of my magical knowledge.

Then I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to somehow tie this magical tradition into my Italian heritage? So I started researching. I found some information on La Vecchio Religione, the Old Religion of Italy, and discovered that there’s a history of Italian magical folk traditions.

Okay, that’s great. But where did that come from? Some came from the ancient Roman civilization, which every child learns about in elementary school.

But some were remnants of an even older civilization called the Etruscans.

Historically, the Etruscan civilization appears around 700 BC in the Tuscan region of Italy. Florence is in Tuscany, if you’re looking for a frame of reference.

What first caught my eye about the Etruscans, though, was that scholars can’t agree on where the race came from. They just kind of appear in Tuscany. Their language isn’t like any other in the area and much of it is still untranslated. Even more interesting, there aren’t a lot of texts remaining. And no one really knows why.

Fascinating stuff for a writer who’s looking to build a mysterious civilization.

Even better, the Etruscans used rituals, curses and spells in everyday life. They inscribed curses on led tablets. The children of royal families wore gold capsules called bullae around their necks as charms to ward off evil. There are even hints that the ancient Etruscans practiced ritual sacrifice, based on the burial of bones under certain buildings.

Since they were highly superstitious, the Etruscans had priests called haruspices who read sheep entrails for hints on their fate and watched the skies, in particular the flight and behaviors of birds, for messages from the deities.

The Etruscans worshipped an entire pantheon of deities, including Uni and Tinia, the equivalent of Jupiter and Juno in the Roman pantheon. But unlike the Romans and Greeks, who were pretty damn chauvinistic, the Etruscans worshipped male and female deities equally.

Much of what we’ve learned from the Etruscans has come from their tombs and the painting of blue Underworld demons with claws and fangs and sometimes wings can be found on the walls of several tombs.

All of these facts make for great fodder for books about magic.

I did write that story about the witches. It’ll be releasing in the next few months.

Right now, though, you can read about the Etruscan goddesses in WHAT A GODDESS WANTS, the first book in the Forgotten Goddesses erotic romance series.


Tessa, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is losing her powers and now there's an Underworld god determined to run her down. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her power. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary...


Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample hearts after they've had their fun. But there's something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa and he knows he's her only change to escape the encroaching darkness...

And on Wednesday, July 20, you can read the fifth book in the Lucani Lovers series, GRACE IN MOONLIGHT.

Kaisie Giliati is the lucani king’s best tracker. He’s used to hunting and capturing his prey with little resistance. He’s also old enough to know exactly what he wants, and the feisty redhead who stirs him like no other is at the top of his list. Too bad she’s the enemy and seemingly impervious to his charms.

Grace Bellasario has a target on her back, two children to protect from
their evil father and she’s in love for the first time in her life. With a man who should hate her—a man she has no business craving. But does she ever. Grace doesn’t have a chance in hell of shaking Kaisie off her tail. Now he just needs to keep her alive to live happily ever after…

Hope you find the Etruscans as fascinating as I do.

The spanktacular Ms. Julian has magnanimously offered up TWO copies of her recently released title WHAT A GODDESS WANTS to two lucky commenters.


  1. One Winner chosen by rafflecopter
  2. Prize: 2 WHAT A GODDESS WANTS (US and Canada only)
  3. Comment to win: What makes a ROMANCE sizzle for you? What makes a ROMANCE fizzle?
  4. Giveaway ends 7/31
  5. Use RAFFLECOPTER to tally up your entries & extras (but still comment!)


ParaJunkee said...

Thanks for visiting Stephanie! I find the Etruscans very fascinating thanks to your books. I remember studying them in school, but the focus always switched quickly to the Romans.

Gwenny said...

I rarely read romances anymore because they are so set...boy meets girl...boy pisses of girl...boy and girl have passionate moment...boy or girl freaks out and runs away...boy and girl make up and make out at the end...THE END...blah!

I love when a romance strays from this base. When characters don't fall madly in love when they first meet, when they aren't the perfect looking couple, and where there is serious substance to their relationship. That's what does it for me.

Vidisha said...

wow sounds like a great read!!!

Moonlight Gleam said...

Great post!

I still really enjoy reading romance novels, whether they are adult fiction or young adult. I specifically enjoy paranormal romance most. I do also enjoy reading some classics by Danielle Steel (my mom's doing) lol. My recent favorite romance series would have to be JR Ward's Black Dagger brotherhood, Woosh those were some sizzling reads!

What makes Romance Sizzle for me, would be the chemistry between the characters described in the novels. Personally, I want to see connections based more than just lust, (although lust is wonderful ;) ) especially in romance novels. Love at first sight can be a little cliche but I still enjoy reading about that never the less.

Thank you for sharing!!!

Ellie716 said...

Great giveaway thanks!!!
When the characters have great chemistry and nothing feels forced is when romance sizzles. It fizzles when I don't like one of the characters which sadly happens sometimes.


Victoria said...

What makes it sizzle is really good chemistry between the two. Lots of hardship getting there adds to the sizzle too.
What makes it fizzle for me is hopping into bed for no real reason as well as the falling in love right off the bat. They need to work for it.


Rain Maiden said...

I love when a romance builds up. I just feel things are better when they are seasoned. :). It's been awhile since I picked up an erotica novel, this looks good.

Jnmt3 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Very interesting information on the Etruscans. We have a WIP on goddesses of the sex temples, ancient pagan era in Mesopotamia. The research is awesome and it's fun to learn tidbits of other cultural legends. Great interview!

Victoria Zumbrum said...

Romance sizzles for me when there is chemistry between the characters and you can feel it. When you feel that they were met to be together. That it is true love. I dont like when it feels fake or forced. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

Stephanie Julian said...

Thanks for having me Parajunkee! It's always a pleasure to be here.

And who knew I was spanktacular? LOL

Chemistry is oh, so important in romance. If your lead couple doesn't have it, you're doomed to a lackluster story.

C.H. Admirand said...

Hey Stephanie! Great blog post. I'm a big fan of research and love that you used the Etruscan Pantheon...a very nice change of pace. ;)

What sizzles for me? Definitely the characters...if I don't care about them, then it doesn't matter if there is chemistry between them or not. IMHO ;)

Julie said...

What makes it sizzle is chemistry, no unnecessary erotic scenes (the ones thrown in for no other reason than because the author thinks there need to be a set number, and not because the story flows into it naturally), and two interesting main characters. What makes it fizzle is the opposite of what makes it sizzle!!!

Thanks for a great giveaway:)

jwitt33 at live dot com

Ronda (Queentutt's World of Escapism) said...

Great post and giveaway. I think What makes a ROMANCE sizzle for me is the build up of the characters personality in a sexual sense, like how they talk or their sexual vibes in their actions/movements and when the author can describe that in a way where the reader like myself can visualize it then I am going to love it.

So What makes a ROMANCE fizzle is the characters build up and their interaction between each other but most important is how the author can describe the erotic scenes between them. I am too old to be guessing and am very blunt and love to have my stories blunt as well - if it is an erotic book then dont skimp out on the erotic stuff.

I would love to win.

Denise Z said...

I have to say I have been only slightly interested in this book, until I read Julian's post. Now I think it is a must read. Thank you for the lovely giveaway opportunity and for sharing today.

Denise Z said...

OOPS for got to say what makes romance sizzle before hitting post - Tenderness, tenderness, tenderness - need I say more :)

Chelsea B. said...

Sweetly smexy makes it sizzle, infidelity makes it fizzle :-)

Anonymous said...

To me a romance sizzle when there is a build up of sexual tension between the characters. It fizzles when they look at each other and 2 minute later, they are madly in love.

I follow on GFC under Bethie

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Megan@Riverina Romantics said...

Great giveaway!
Sizzle = believable connection between the characters and great love scenes

Fizzle = something that seems fake and characters that are jerks

rootml1 AT hotmail DOT com

Jen B. said...

I really want to read this book. Love the God based stories and this one is from a lesser used pantheon.

Vanessa theJeepDiva said...

Love her books! not entering the contest. I have already read & fell in love with Cal. I love the Etruscan world that is in her series. They are such sexy reads. Now I know where the idea came from. Thanks for sharing!

Maria (pronounced Mariah) said...

I wanted to read this book from the title that I know what it is about I really want to read it!


Chi Kittie said...

Thank you so much for this giveaway! :) I have never read her book before but would love to.

Sizzle - When a man and woman make love not just have sex. I believe the feeling of the two people being in love with each other makes it better.

Fizzle - When the man and woman fall into way to fast without even getting to know each other. I hate when the author rushes the romance along.


Anonymous said...

Sizzle - Chemistry of course! And I love the build up of the romance.

Fizzle - When The romance is rushed. If the love happens almost instantly, theres no hot build up of the romance

Great giveaway!

Teresa K. said...

Hi great interview. I especially like how you took your heritage and enveloped into your books.

To me what makes a romance sizzle is the build up of the hero & heroine. They can start out hating each other and yet you can see there is a spark there. I love when the relationship starts to form and when they finally admit there is something between them and they both decide to see where it will lead.

What makes a romance frizzle to me is to put the main characters into bed right away. I mean wheres the sense of adventure and mystery of getting to know each other. There's just nothing.

Good luck with this series. I feel you have a great world here.

Teresa K.

jeanette8042 said...

A romance sizzles when a couple has a hot relationship within a good plot line. A romance fizzles when the couple just keep son having sex and the story isn't moving at all.


Stephanie Julian said...

Thanks so much for reading my interview, ladies. I love reading everyone's comments about sizzle. I have to agree with everything you've said.

Thank you Teresa. I really appreciate hearing that.

Vanessa, smooches!

Audrey said...

Hmmm... I think the characters have to have equal amounts of similarities and differences. I especially love it when they are at odds at the beginning of the novel.

Sherri said...

The character's chemistry makes a romance sizzle for me.

Wimpy, whiney characters area always a fizzle for me. Nothing about that screams sexy for me.

VamperFan said...

For a romance to sizzle the story has to be believable. The main characters have to be ones I can relate to or like. You have to have a good build up. You don't want to just dive into all the sex and love within the first chapter or so.

For a romance to fizzle when there's too much going on. Makes it confusing. And like someone else said you don't want nothing but sex. How is that believable?

Great contest. Love the book covers. I love book covers, they are what draw me in so i can buy them. I haven't read anything from Mrs. Jilian. I hope I win.

Anonymous said...

I like it when the two characters have tons of sexual tension (think "Moonlighting"--Sorry, I might be a tad but when the actual act of sex ruins the storyline or the author/writer can't come up with new ways to take the "new" couple (again, think Moonlighting) then I just have to shake my head, attempt to continue to the end and then find something else.

Thanks for the contest.


Liras said...

I love the sexual tension in romance novels and lots of it, maybe even a few love triangles in the mix.

Mickey @ imabookshark said...

Thanks for the giveaway!!

melissa said...

this book looks hot! a must read for sure. thanks for the chance to win,

Romance is to be before the act of sex its the leading up to it, the effort made. Don't just through sex in there where it doesn't fit. It has to belong with the story the characters have to be in that place where its right.


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