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The Original Myths And Legends

Luciana Cavallaro Author Interview

Minotaur’s Lair, and the entire Servant of the God’s series, are intriguing fantasy novels. Why was it important for you to write this book series?

Great question. Firstly, I love ancient history and mythology, and studied ancient history for years and still consider myself a student. There is a lot to still learn about ancient cultures, and I consider these ancient civilisations much more clever and far more innovative than we are today. This is one of the reasons why I wrote Servant of the Gods, to hopefully inspire my audience to read the original myths and legends and the various ancient civilisations from which they came from. I don’t advocate going back in time, like Evan was forced to, and in particular the terrible way women and slaves were treated. I like to create stories where readers can immerse themselves and vicariously experience the highs and lows felt by the characters, and in the process make ancient history a vibrant and interesting subject to learn through storytelling.

As this book wraps up the series, were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel?

Yes and no. The series changed a lot from its initial conception and even when I was writing Minotaur’s Lair, there were elements in the story that deviated from what I had planned. The characters deemed the flow of the narrative and I had no choice but to let them dictate. Afterall, it is their story. What I wanted to discuss through the story was what if we had an alternative religion, so very different to one’s today and not one mandated by a patriarchal system. And would it change the way we view life, work and gender inequality in all its forms?

What was your favorite character to write for and why? Was there a scene you felt captured the character’s essence?

Hmmm… I had a few favourites, but if I had to choose, it would be Dexion, the young Sicilian boy and seer. Despite his street smarts and behaved somewhat more maturely than that of a twelve-year prepubescent teenager, Dexion was still a young boy who wanted the love of a parent.

There was the scene where Dexion tries to reach out to Evan and gives clues to help him remember why Zeus sent him from the Twenty-first Century to the Seventh century B.C.E. It shows his maturity but also that he’s alone and yearns for the fatherly connection he and Evan had created in Books 1 and 2.

The Servant of the God’s series took readers on an exciting quest to stop the Dark Master. What will your next novel be about, and what will the whole series encompass?

I am currently working on a thriller/suspense/timeslip series titled Coin of Time and it’s about two coins infused with magical powers first owned by Herakles, and passed down from generation to generation of a family who once were the bodyguards of Helen of Sparta and her family. One coin disappears during crusades and Nik’s predecessors, the Zosimos’ were the guardians of the coins, try to find the missing one.

The story is set in the present, Nik and his grandfather go looking for the sister coin in France, where a neo-Nazi group led by Konrad Resnik, are also seeking the coin. Book 1, The Guardian’s Legacy is published and has received multiple nominations for awards, and Book 2 is drafted and almost ready for beta readers to evaluate. If anyone is interested in being a beta reader, email me! authorluciana@outlook.com

I am also working on a historical fiction based on the life of Hypatia, the astrophysicist and mathematician who lived in ancient Alexandria and was killed by religious fanatics.

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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.

Minotaur’s Lair

Minotaur’s Lair – Servant of the Gods – Book Three by Luciana Cavallaro is the final installment in the trilogy, which follows Evan, who must face Queen Antioche and stop the Dark Master from becoming a deity. If the Dark Master successfully gains this power, Evan and his alliances face an uncertain future. There are many unexpected twists throughout his journey and fate, making this book an incredible read.

The story maintains a consistent pace that conjures excitement from the start. Cavallaro creates an action-packed tale with elements of ancient mythology and mystical places, contrasting with time travel and modern technology. Evan must quickly adapt and learn how his quest shifts from one challenge to the next, whether Queen Antioch attempts to entice him with tempting gifts and promises or he becomes face-to-face with a new enemy. He must also follow his father’s legacy by locating a sacred artifact while defeating his captors.

Cavallaro’s fantastic writing style is sharp and descriptive without slowing the story’s pace. The author thoroughly researches the architecture, landscapes, and scenarios in mythology. It’s a fantastic adventure full of exciting developments and lively characters. As the story delves into the thrilling mythology of an ancient world, Evan becomes eager to find a way home to his time in the future.

I found this book, and the trilogy, an excellent story that’s engaging and enjoyable from start to finish. The author does a fantastic job of creating an intricate world with layers of fascinating developments and characters that keep the reader moving from one chapter to the next. Minotaur’s Lair – Servant of the Gods – Book Three by Luciana Cavallaro is an excellent read for science fiction and fantasy fans. I recommend the trilogy and look forward to more books from this author.

Pages: 396 | ASIN : B0BFGW1Z6S

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It Was A Twisted Path

Luciana Cavallaro Author Interview

Luciana Cavallaro Author Interview

The Labyrinthine Journey follows Evan on his continued quest to locate a sacred object and stop the advent of Christianity? What were some themes you wanted to bring over from book one and what were some new ideas you wanted to explore?

I wanted to explore the concept of what if Christianity never happened, and what events may have prevented the birth of Christ. What if the Greek gods were to learn they would be superseded by a single divinity? How would they react and what would they do? Are their powers omnipotent or are they impeded by restrictions and what are they? This is what I wanted to delve into in the trilogy, and offer an alternative. If Christ wasn’t born, then which deity would prevail?

The main theme is self-enlightenment, growing and learning from experiences whatever the challenges or situation. As each book is written, it is my hope Evan and his companions continue to grow and become more self-aware and enlightened. Destiny is another theme I wanted to explore and develop further in each book. Was Evan destined to be the hero, go back to his past and prevent the rise and birth of Christ? Or does his destiny and the world’s change once he makes a decision or when he acts? Is he controlled by forces that he cannot see or feel? In essence, I wanted to explore the idea of whether destiny shapes who we are, how we think and what we do. Family was another theme I wanted to include, Evan is very close with his parents and deceased sister, and mentions in book one various familial experiences. In book two, his recollections of his family are still there, however his surrogate family, Dexion and Phameas, and half-brother, Homer, who he discovers at the end of book one, become pivotal in the story. He and Homer are Zeus’ offspring, and the family ties are even stronger with the High Priestess, who is his sister. Darkness and light are another theme, which is hinted at in book one, grows in book two, something that I will explore more in book three. The darkness is within Evan, his transformation evident when he gets angry and his eyes turn black, a characteristic he shares with the High Priestess, though she tends to use her particular abilities when they are in trouble.

How did the idea of the gods from Greek mythology fighting monotheism develop into a story for you?

It was a twisted path, much like the journey the characters go through in book two, the original concept for the story looked very different to the books I’ve written. It was meant to be about how the Atlanteans re-emerge from the destruction of their home and re-discover the world in which they once inhabited. It didn’t have enough for me to explore or write, so I re-read Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey. They are my go-to books for inspiration as is Joseph Campbell’s books. Then I had an epiphany, if the gods created such havoc through one war and for one individual who tried to return home, what would they do if they discovered that their existence, their omnipotence, their control over humans was threatened? I didn’t think they’d like it at all! And that is how my idea for the story evolved.

I think you did a fantastic job of building great characters in this story. What is your writing process like in developing your characters?

Thank you very much for the compliment! I tried very hard to make sure each character had his/her own personality and I wanted each to stand out, even if their role was a minor one.

I have in mind what they look like, how they sound, how they walk, the colour of their skin and hair, how tall they are or short. I then write their details out on a proforma, similar to the old index cards, a character biography. I have three separate documents: one for master characters, major and minor. On each of these ‘cards’ I have their names and age; their pertinent biographies including occupation (if they have one); physical features; distinctive language; goals/motivation; fatal flaws and saving grace. These help me keep the characters consistent and ‘flesh out’ who they really are. I got this strategy from reading: The Writer’s little helper by James V. Smith Jr.

When I am writing, I visualise the characters, how they interact, what mood they are in, their body language, speech inflections and little quirks they have. For example, Phameas, who likes to keep his hair and beard curled, a Phoenician style and sign of a man’s virtue, is upset when Evan has radical haircuts and shaves. However, the characters don’t always allow me to write how I want the story to go, they interfere, a lot. I guess that’s only fair, as it is their story I am writing.

This is book two in the Servant of the Gods series. Where will book three take readers?

In Book three, Evan and his companions find a way to leave the Isle of Hephaistos, and sail to Crete. They are a bit concerned, as prior experience has seen them shipwrecked and the Argo badly damaged. They island hop, that is Jason’s preference to ensure they don’t run into the Cyclops again. It is at one of the islands that Evan encounters the Dark Master, and have a conversation. When they arrive on Crete, they discover ancestors of the island who had escaped the deluge. One of the islanders shows them the way into King Minos’ labyrinth, where Evan will face the Minotaur. What happens in between, who knows?

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The Labyrinthine Journey (Servant of the Gods Book 2) by [Cavallaro, Luciana]

Follow Evan as he continues his odyssey as Servant of the Gods in The Labyrinthine Journey. The quest to locate the sacred object adds pressure to the uneasy alliance between Evan and the Atlanteans. His inability to accept the world he’s in, and his constant battle with Zeus, both threaten to derail the expedition and his life.

Traversing the mountainous terrain of the Peloponnese and Corinthian Gulf to the centre of the spiritual world, Evan meets with Pythia, Oracle of Delphi. Her cryptic prophecy reveals much more than he expected; something that changes his concept of the ancient world and his former way of life.

Will Evan and his friends succeed in their quest to find the relics and stop the advent of Christianity?

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The Labyrinthine Journey

The Labyrinthine Journey (Servant of the Gods Book 2) by [Cavallaro, Luciana]

Evan is a normal twenty-first century man who works as an architect. However, to interrupt his daily routine, none other than Zeus himself, has decided to transport Evan to the sixth century BCE. Evan now travels across ancient Greece with his companions, including Atlanteans, a high priestess, and his friend, Dexion, who has the power to see into the future. All of this is for a mighty cause, Evan has been chosen by Zeus to unite two powerful relics in order to save the Gods from extinction.

Stuck in the sixth century BCE Evan longs to return home. Given his precarious position between times, the juxtaposition of his wants against his reality serves to highlight the stark differences between the comfort of home that Evan is used to and what he is currently facing. For instance, walking across a sandy plain in sandals verses the want for a motorbike to make short work of the distance. His modern life’s influence over his worldview often leaves him homesick, but he must complete his mission. On the other hand, his life back home gives him ways to solve the problems he faces in the sixth century BCE, taking ideas from the pop-culture of his own time and bringing them into the past to aid his quest. This fusion of time periods makes for some brilliant innovations and cross-overs between what we as the reader understand to be ancient Greece, and the modern day.

The Labyrinthine Journey is book two in Luciana Cavallaro’s Servant of the Gods series and it follows on fluently with the events of the previous book with references here and there to book one. Something striking about the series is the relationship between mortals and Gods. With whole chapters dedicated to the musings of God’s and their society it gives the reader an insight into their intentions. Furthermore, the book proposes an alternative viewpoint on the beginnings of Christendom. The Greek Gods fear that they will lose their dominance in light of a God-sent child being born that will potentially lead to the widespread belief in a single God instead of the current pantheon.

This retelling of the birth of Christ from the God’s perspective explains why Zeus wants the relics united – to maintain his and the other Gods’ significance. However, there are some Gods trying to interfere with the mission and stop Evan’s and his companions’ journey. Evan searches ancient Greece, already in possession of the first relic, for the second to unite the two. The perilous journey over a treacherous landscape naturally reminds one of the epics of Homer.

The Labyrinthine Journey was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I give it five out of five for its sophisticated and inventive retelling of the well-known and widespread story of Christ and its ability to connect it to the overarching quest narrative seamlessly. Luciana Cavallaro’s prose fits the story perfectly, making the journey truly epic. Furthermore, the fusion of God’s, monsters, ancient philosophers, magical ancient relics and even time travel, leads to unexpected twists and turns throughout the novel.

Pages: 311 | ASIN: B075QGZQP9

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