Saturday, September 19, 2009

Author Guest Post - Michelle Moran (and a Giveaway!)

* Congrats to lucky winner - Beth *

Readers, please join me welcoming Michelle Moran, author of Cleopatra's Daughter who will be guest blogging here today!
 



 
Michelle Moran has traveled around the world, from Zimbabwe to India, and her experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction. A public high school teacher for six years, Michelle Moran is currently a full-time writer living in California with her husband. She is the author of the bestselling historical fiction Nefertiti and its standalone sequel, The Heretic Queen. Her third novel, Cleopatra's Daughter, released September 15, 2009.

Three Princesses


For every novel I have written, I can look back and say that there has been a very specific moment of inspiration - usually in some exotic locale or inside a museum - where I’ve said, “Aha! That’s going to be the subject of my next novel.” I never began my writing career with the intention to write books about three different princesses in Egypt. In fact, I had no intention of writing about ancient Egypt at all until I participated in my first archaeological dig.

During my sophomore year in college, I found myself sitting in Anthropology 101, and when the professor mentioned that she was looking for volunteers who would like to join a dig in Israel, I was one of the first students to sign up. When I got to Israel, however, all of my archaeological dreams were dashed (probably because they centered around Indiana Jones). There were no fedora wearing men, no cities carved into rock, and certainly no Ark of the Covenant. I was very disappointed. Not only would a fedora have seemed out of place, but I couldn’t even use the tiny brushes I had packed. Apparently, archaeology is more about digging big ditches with pickaxes rather than dusting off artifacts. And it had never occurred to me until then that in order to get to those artifacts, one had to dig deep into the earth. Volunteering on an archaeological dig was hot, it was sweaty, it was incredibly dirty, and when I look back on the experience through the rose-tinged glasses of time, I think, Wow, was it fantastic! Especially when our team discovered an Egyptian scarab that proved the ancient Israelites had once traded with the Egyptians. Looking at that scarab in the dirt, I began to wonder who had owned it, and what had possessed them to undertake the long journey from their homeland to the fledgling country of Israel.

On my flight back to America I stopped in Berlin, and with a newfound appreciation for Egyptology, I visited the museum where Nefertiti’s limestone bust was being housed. The graceful curve of Nefertiti’s neck, her arched brows, and the faintest hint of a smile were captivating to me. Who was this woman with her self-possessed gaze and stunning features? I wanted to know more about Nefertiti’s story, but when I began the research into her life, it proved incredibly difficult. She’d been a woman who’d inspired powerful emotions when she lived over three thousand years ago, and those who had despised her had attempted to erase her name from history. Yet even in the face of such ancient vengeance, some clues remained.

As a young girl Nefertiti had married a Pharaoh who was determined to erase the gods of Egypt and replace them with a sun-god he called Aten. It seemed that Nefertiti’s family allowed her to marry this impetuous king in the hopes that she would tame his wild ambitions. What happened instead, however, was that Nefertiti joined him in building his own capital of Amarna where they ruled together as god and goddess. But the alluring Nefertiti had a sister who seemed to keep her grounded, and in an image of her found in Amarna, the sister is standing off to one side, her arms down while everyone else is enthusiastically praising the royal couple. From this image, and a wealth of other evidence, I tried to recreate the epic life of an Egyptian queen whose husband was to become known as the Heretic King.

Each novel I’ve written has had a similar moment of inspiration for me. In many ways, my second book, The Heretic Queen is a natural progression from Nefertiti. The narrator is orphaned Nefertari, who suffers terribly because of her relationship to the reviled "Heretic Queen". Despite the Heretic Queen's death a generation prior, Nefertari is still tainted by her relationship to Nefertiti, and when young Ramesses falls in love and wishes to marry her, it is a struggle not just against an angry court, but against the wishes of a rebellious people.

But perhaps I would never have chosen to write on Nefertari at all if I hadn't seen her magnificent tomb. At one time, visiting her tomb was practically free, but today, a trip underground to see one of the most magnificent places on earth can cost upwards of five thousand dollars (yes, you read that right). If you want to share the cost and go with a group, the cost lowers to the bargain-basement price of about three thousand. As a guide told us of the phenomenal price, I looked at my husband, and he looked at me. We had flown more than seven thousand miles, suffered the indignities of having to wear the same clothes for three days because of lost luggage… and really, what were the possibilities of our ever returning to Egypt again? There was only one choice. We paid the outrageous price, and I have never forgotten the experience.

While breathing in some of the most expensive air in the world, I saw a tomb that wasn't just fit for a queen, but a goddess. In fact, Nefertari was only one of two (possibly three) queens ever deified in her lifetime, and as I gazed at the vibrant images on her tomb - jackals and bulls, cobras and gods - I knew that this wasn't just any woman, but a woman who had been loved fiercely when she was alive. Because I am a sucker for romances, particularly if those romances actually happened, I immediately wanted to know more about Nefertari and Ramesses the Great. So my next stop was the Hall of Mummies at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. There, resting beneath a heavy arc of glass, was the great Pharaoh himself. For a ninety-something year old man, he didn't look too bad. His short red hair was combed back neatly and his face seemed strangely peaceful in its three thousand year repose. I tried to imagine him as he'd been when he was young - strong, athletic, frighteningly rash and incredibly romantic. Buildings and poetry remain today as testaments to Ramesses's softer side, and in one of Ramesses's more famous poems he calls Nefertari "the one for whom the sun shines." His poetry to her can be found from Luxor to Abu Simbel, and it was my visit to Abu Simbel (where Ramesses built a temple for Nefertari) where I finally decided that I had to tell their story.
It’s the moments like this that an historical fiction author lives for. And it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that my decision to write Cleopatra’s Daughter came on an underwater dive to see the submergd city of ancient Alexandria. Traveling has been enormously important in my career. My adventures end up inspiring not only what I’m currently writing, but what I’m going to write about in the future.




Visit CleopatrasDaughter.com

Check out Michelle's blog at michellemoran.blogspot.com

Thank you for stopping by here today, Michelle. It was a pleasure to host you! And I look forward to doing it again, perhaps for your next book (hint, hint!).

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A hardcover copy of Cleo's Daughter as well as an ancient Roman coin complete with certificate of authenticity (like the one on Michelle's website here) will go to one lucky reader of this blog.

To Enter
  • Just leave a comment with your email address in the body of the comment itself telling me : which historical figure you'd like to see featured in Michelle's next book?
  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.


Deadline   Midnight CST of October 19, 2009.

Eligibility  Open WORLDWIDE!

Please read the Disclaimer.

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And lastly, remember to visit Michelle as she's hosting several contests on her website. The prizes include signed copies of Cleopatra's Daughter, gold Cleopatra earrings, and Roman artifacts.

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176 comments :

  1. Wow, I am really excited about this giveaway. I'm a big Michelle Moran fan.
    I'd love to see her do a book on Elizabeth (from her birth through Anne Boleyn's death and after).

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  2. I'm a follower, too

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  3. I subscribe to your updates on gmail
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  4. I also subscribe to you diary feed.

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  5. I'm a subscriber!

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  6. And a follower!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. I love the Egyptian theme - one of the women pharoahs of Egypt? Nitocrus, Hatshepsut, Ta-wesert, Sobek-nefru...

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. What historical figure...ummm...Ben Hur.

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  10. I subscribe by email.

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  11. I follow on google friend.

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  13. I would like to see a book about Laura Secord.

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  14. I am an email subscriber.

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  15. I adore Michelle Moran. I'd like to see Napolean's sister, Pauline in her next book.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. I love your blog and wanted to let you know about my first published book called "Life In A Week". Keep up the great work!
    Have a fun day!
    Mike Keller
    author
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  17. Catherine of Valois wife of Henry V and Owen Tudor
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  18. i get your emails
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  20. Oh hard question... I think any historical person from Greece, Egypt or around that area would be great!

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  21. I look forward in reading this book. I love to read books with ancient Egypt settings. Sticking with the same theme, I would love to read a book about Ramses.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

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  22. I have subscribed to Blogger’s Diary Feed (as booklover0226)

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  25. Commented on “Author Guest Post-Allyson Roy

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  32. Commented on Julie Kenner's post!

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  33. Commented on Randall Lang's post!

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  34. I'd like to see Marie Antoinette featured. Thanks.
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  35. email subscriber
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  36. I follow your blog.
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  37. Please enter me. Thanks for the chance. I would like to see James Wallace in a book.

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  38. I am an email subscriber and would like to win
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  39. Left comment #1 on Jimmy Root post!

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  40. My comment on the "Author Guest Post - Jimmy Root Jr." Post. I found it interesting to hear how he always kept in mind, while blasting away on his keyboard, to always keep things plausible...believable.
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  41. My comment on the Author Guest Post - Allyson Roy POST. First I love how the couple works together. I so love her style and I know I will be like you and not be able to put the book down. Thanks.

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  42. My comment on the "Book Excerpt - In the Garden of Sin by Lousia Burton" Post. After reading the post, I have to read this book...17th-century maidens, vampires and sexually explicit stuff....yap. Thanks...I'm getting it.

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  43. Marie Antoinette would be an interesting character to read about.
    dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

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  44. Joan of Arc

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  45. I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed
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  48. First comment on Shobhan's post!

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  49. Commented on In the Garden of Sin book excerpt post!

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  50. Comment #1 on Between Me and the River post!

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  51. My comment on the Book Excerpt - Between Me and the River: Living Beyond Cancer Post. This book is something I am going to get. We all learn from struggles. Our own and others. I happy she wrote about hers. I have to read it now.

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  52. Comment # 1 on City of Refuge post!

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  53. benjamin franklin
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  54. i subscribe to the feed
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  59. i would love to see her write about Elizabeth I
    thanks

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  60. I left a link here:

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  62. I left a link here:

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  63. I left a link here:

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  64. I left a link here:

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  65. I left a link here:

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  66. I left a link here:

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  67. I left a link here:

    http://greenearthjourney.blogspot.com/2009/10/daddyd-recipe-baked-mac-and-cheese.html

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  68. I left a link here:

    http://greenearthjourney.blogspot.com/2009/10/daddyd-recipe-baked-mac-and-cheese.html

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  69. I left a link here:

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  70. Comment #2 on Once in Blue Moon post!

    delilah0180(t)yahoo(dot)com

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  71. I'd like to see Belle Starr (The Outlaw Queen) in a novel by Michelle. Please add my name to your giveaway...I'd love to read Cleopatra's Daughter. Thank you!

    Sandee

    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  72. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    Thanks for this wonderful giveaway I have wanted to read this book for quiet sometime!!

    I would LOVE to see Michelle write about "Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919) - Prisoner of war during the Civil War, writer, doctor, fashion trend-setter and the only female to receive the Medal of Honor".

    ReplyDelete
  73. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    1 ENTRY - I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed.

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  74. Shawna L
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    1 ENTRY - I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary Email Updates

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  75. Shawna L
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    1 ENTRY -I Added A Book Blogger's Diary text link to My blog roll http://booksaremoviesinthemind.blogspot.com/

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  76. Shawna L
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    1 ENTRY - I Added A Book Blogger's Diary to myt Technorati Favorites

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  77. Shawna L
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    1 ENTRY - I Become a fan of A Book Blogger's Diary on Facebook

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  78. Shawna L
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    1 ENTRY - I Follow this blog

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  79. Shawna L
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    1 Entry -I follow on twitter & Tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4702747046

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  80. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    10 ENTRIES - I Bloged about this giveaway including the link to the Sponsor and this giveaway~ -http://booksaremoviesinthemind.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  81. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on the The Sari Shop Widow (by Shobhan Bantwal) review & interview Loved it by the way!!!

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  82. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on Allyson Ray's Book Babydoll

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  83. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on Author Julie Kenner, the Demon Hunting Soccer Mom Series book review & mini interview!! Loved it love the cover too!!!

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  84. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on Once in a Blue Moon by Eileen Goudge

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  85. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on City of Refuge by Valerie Farber

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  86. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on Between Me and the River: Living Beyond Cancer by Carrie Host

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  87. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on In the Garden of Sin by Lousia

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  88. Shawna L
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    I commented on Author Randall Lang

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  89. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on this Review - Kaleb Nation's Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse.

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  90. Shawna L
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    +1 I commented on the Book Excerpt - The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns by Elizabeth Leiknes

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  91. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com


    I re-tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4703357119

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  92. I would love to see more about the ancient Greeks. I'm facinated with Greek god mythology, and would love to see more romantic historicals with them in it. :)

    kaylajohnson3969@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  93. Comment #1 on Mary Patrick Kavanaugh's post! Loved it!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  94. Shawna L.
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    I re-tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4755898781

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  95. Commented on The Handy Answer Book for Kids post!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  96. Shawna L.
    weloveourdogs@juno.com


    I re-tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4803113357

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  97. I just bought Nefertiti and it's next on my reading list! I think a fictional history about Anastasia, daughter of Tsar Nicolas II of Russia would be fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  98. button on left sidebar at www.thebabblingbrooks.typepad.com and on the right sidebar at my contest blog www.someluckydog.blogspot.com

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  99. text link on left sidebar blog roll(beneath buttons) at www.thebabblingbrooks.typepad.com and on right sidebar of my contest blog www.someluckydog.blogspot.com

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  100. faved you on technorati (thebabblingbrooks)

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  101. follow you on twitter (sendtocindy) and tweeted
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  102. blogged about the giveaway #1
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  103. blogged about the giveaway #2
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  110. blogged about the giveaway #9
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  111. blogged about the giveaway #10
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  112. I'd like Michelle's next book to be about Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    Sarah Emmerson

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

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  113. I'm a follower.

    Sarah Emmerson

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  114. I'm a feed subscriber.

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  115. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    I re-tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4837910137

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  116. Commented on Ruby Dominguez guest author post!

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  117. 10-13 tweet http://twitter.com/sendtocindy/status/4851128473

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  118. 10-14 tweet
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  119. I would like her to write on Josephin
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  120. I subscribe by email
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  121. I follow your blog
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  122. Commented on Dr. David Robinson author guest post!

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  123. 10-15 tweet http://twitter.com/sendtocindy/status/4901673464

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  124. tweet

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    amanda
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  125. Shawna L
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  126. 10-16 tweet http://twitter.com/sendtocindy/status/4927647873

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  127. Shawna L
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  128. Comment #1 on A Conversation with Lisa Patton post!

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  129. I left a comment in the A Conversation with Lisa Patton Post.

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  130. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

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    #1

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  131. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

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    #2

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  132. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

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    #3

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  133. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #4

    ReplyDelete
  134. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #5

    ReplyDelete
  135. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #6

    ReplyDelete
  136. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #7

    ReplyDelete
  137. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #8

    ReplyDelete
  138. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #9

    ReplyDelete
  139. I blogged and left a link here...just waiting approval.

    http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/10/oregon-chai.html

    BUT go enter that giveaway too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #10

    ReplyDelete
  140. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    I re-tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4957220043

    ReplyDelete
  141. To continue with the Egyptian theme, how about Hatshepsut. She's the Egyptian queen who dressed as a pharaoh to preserve her dominance.

    Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  142. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    I re-tweeted http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4970598714

    ReplyDelete
  143. I subscribe via Google Reader
    megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  144. I follow ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  145. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #1

    ReplyDelete
  146. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #2

    ReplyDelete
  147. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #3

    ReplyDelete
  148. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #4

    ReplyDelete
  149. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #5

    ReplyDelete
  150. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #6

    ReplyDelete
  151. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #7

    ReplyDelete
  152. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #8

    ReplyDelete
  153. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #9

    ReplyDelete
  154. Hi. I blogged and left a link BUT go and enter their giveaway too.

    http://nateandjakeandme.blogspot.com/2009/10/perricone-cold-plasma-giveaway.html

    dorcontest at gmail dot com
    #10

    ReplyDelete
  155. 10-18 tweet http://twitter.com/sendtocindy/status/4981735679

    ReplyDelete
  156. 10-19 tweet http://twitter.com/sendtocindy/status/4984554774

    ReplyDelete
  157. I would love to see a book with King Tut as the main character. I really like this type of book and I'm sure I'd love Cleopatra's Daughter.

    ryanw@mts.net

    ReplyDelete
  158. Would love to read book about Elizabeth 1st.

    cyarrow53@yahoo.ca

    ReplyDelete
  159. Shawna L
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    I am re-tweeting http://twitter.com/theblindcupid/status/4993806759

    ReplyDelete
  160. I'd love to see Pocahontas featured - I know there's tons of literature already, but I'd like to see an adult novelization that tackles some of the tricky issues that are glossed over most of the time.

    danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  161. Follow via RSS!

    danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  162. Subscribed via email!

    danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  163. I think Helen of Troy would be an interesting book character.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  164. I subscribe to your feed.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  165. I subscribe by email.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  166. I follow on Friends Connect.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  167. I would like to see more with Mark Antony

    +1 I subscribe through email

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  168. This giveaway is now closed. The winner has been notified. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete