Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Janna's 3rd most entertaining book of 2008

I am so glad Janna is highlighting this book. Shadow of Colossus has been sitting on my desk since Christmas because I've wanted to mention it to you. I honestly didn't know what to expect and wasn't sure that I'd enjoy a story set so far in the ancient world. Instead, I found myself pulled into a setting that intrigued me. And I could tell that TL Higley had researched until the details were as accurate as she could make them. So if you're looking for something fresh and different, give this one a try.

447309: Shadow of Colossus, Seven Wonders Series #1Shadow of Colossus, Seven Wonders Series #1

By T.L. Higley / B & H Publishing Group

Like Colossus overshadowing the island's harbor, years of bondage on Rhodes have darkened Tessa's heart. A high-priced courtesan in 227 B.C., she's abandoned hope for liberty or love. But her wealthy owner's death offers her a chance for both---if she can conceal his absence! Will she find God's wholeness before the island's peace is shattered? 400 pages, softcover from B&H.

The 3rd Most Entertaining Book of 2008 is

Shadow of Colossus (7 Wonders Series)

by TL Higley

Dear Readers - I have discovered a very special series of books that I'm thinking some of you haven't read yet and I am hoping to help you rectify that very sad situation. For lovers of historical fiction (and even those that may not think they enjoy historical fiction) this series is amazing! Welcome to the 7 Wonders Series by T.L. Higley... each book centers around one of the Ancient Wonders of the World and sets characters and mystery/suspense against that setting. I have read the first two (Shadow of Colossus (set against the statue of Colossus at Rhodes) and City of the Dead (set against the Pyramids at Giza)) and TL actually makes the particular Wonder of the World almost a character in the book. I was attracted to the series because of a fascination with the Ancient Wonders but drawn in by the amazing story lines. I thought the first one was great, and then the second one stepped up the story another whole level... I can't wait to read the third one! I strongly encourage homeschooling moms to get these books for their high school students because it will make ancient world history come alive. I am really hoping that sales are good for this series because I would love for TL to be able to finish all 7 books!

Now let's meet TL (Tracy)...

1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

Anything with peanut butter and chocolate is just irresistible! Especially that rice-chex cereal mixture that some people call Puppy Chow. Yikes! I will literally eat that stuff until I feel sick. It’s a favorite “girls’ night” snack for my teenage daughters and me.

2) I am a fan of history and have always been fascinated by the 7 Wonders of the World so when I heard about your new series I was intrigued to say the least. How do you research for a project that is historical but most of the 7 Wonders haven't been around for hundreds and hundreds of years? Only the Pyramids of Giza are left standing... I would think it would make research difficult.

Actually, I love the research! The Seven Wonders are in various states of ruin. We have bits of some of them in museums, and some on the sites where they stood. We have the writings of historical figures like Herodotus, Strabo, Pliny and others to tell us what they were like. And with the Great Pyramid, it’s still there. There is a great body of research on each one of these engineering marvels, except for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, about which we know very little. Thus far, I’ve visited the sites of four out of the seven wonders, so that has also helped my research greatly.

3) The first book is Shadow of Colossus and takes place in the 5 days before the earthquake that knocked Colossus down. What made you decide to start with that particular Wonder? Is there a specific order to how they are released?

There is no specific order to the books. They have evolved in an order that followed my own interests more than anything else. I had already written two books with Babylon settings, so I wanted to save that site for later in the series. I had another book idea for an Egypt story, so I decided to start with the Colossus of Rhodes, which seemed to be one of the more familiar of the Seven Wonders to most people.

4) I expected lots of fascinating history in these books and I certainly got that. What I wasn't expecting but absolutely loved was the mystery/suspense threads in the storylines that kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me from putting down the books until I was done. Did you always know they would be mysteries?

Yes, this is the type of writing that I naturally gravitate toward. I love to plot! I enjoy writing fast-paced stories with tight plots, and I enjoy history. Putting them together was natural for me, though I think in the process I’ve created a unique series, one that incorporates the history into mystery and suspense.

5) Then we are transported from Ancient Greece to Ancient Egypt in the middle of the Pyramids of Giza being built where book #2 takes place. The details of engineering such a feat are fascinating without slowing the story down. I wish I had these books to read when I was in high school, it would have made studying the ancient world much more interesting and enjoyable! Did you have any educational purposes in mind when you started this series?

I think the only education I had in mind when I began was my own. I really enjoyed learning about these different cultures and places, and traveling to them was awesome! But as the series has developed, I’ve heard from more and more people that they’ve appreciated the introduction to these cultures that the books provide, plus the integration of some Old Testament history into world history. They’ve turned into an educational tool for some readers, and I’m exploring ways to expand that idea.

6) How long do you expect it to take to write and publish all 7 books (I'm assuming there will be 7 books in the series :-) ?

The books are releasing about every seven months or so at this point. As with any series, the continuation will be subject to sales. If they continue to sell well, we’ll continue with the series. Regardless of what happens with the Seven Wonders, though, my plan is to continue writing historical adventures set in ancient times.

7) Where can readers find you online?

I would love for readers to visit me at I’ve got all kinds of fascinating information on the site, including an Ancient Treasure Hunt and a free download of one of my earlier books. Plus, the first three chapters of each book are there, free.


Tracy has agreed to give away a copy of Shadow of Colossus (the only one that has actually been released so far) to one lucky reader so you know the rules...

1) Leave a comment telling Janna which ancient wonder of the world is your favorite (mine is Solomon's Hanging Gardens) with your email address and you get 1 entry

2) Blog about this giveaway yourself and leave another comment here and get 2 entries

3) Tell someone else about this interview with Tracy and when they leave a comment with your name in it you will receive 3 entries

4) Become a blog follower (on the left of my blog you can do that) and receive 1 extra entry


Linda said...

I'm enjoying Janna's 'top ten' for 2008. She's introduced me to some good reads. Give her my thanks! Enter me in your contest.


Abi said...

I love lighthouses so I guess my favorite ancient wonder would have to be Lighthouse of Alexandria

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com


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