Please welcome Stephanie Julian  to parajunkee.com. 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.

IN HIS ARMS, HER MAGIC POWERS ARE ON THE RISE…

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…

AND SHE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN BRING HIM INTO THE LIGHT…

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.

DEETS:

  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!)