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I Belong


Deadly Destinations: Sarah Jane Stratford’s Mors on Rome

*Visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Deadly Destination tour of Alyssa Day’s Atlantis & a chance to win VAMPIRE IN ATLANTIS**

When in Rome, do as the Romans do…or not.  Our tour guide for today’s Deadly Destinations is Sarah Jane Stratford’s Mors, from her Millennial dark fantasy series (THE MOONLIGHT BRIGADE will be available on August 2nd from St. Martin’s Griffin).  Mors is taking us on a tour of ancient and modern Rome, which is the beautiful, yet deadly setting from the book.  THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN is the first book in the series.  Thanks to Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, three of you who comment on this post will win a copy of the second book!  See details below.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Mors’s Guide to Ancient and Modern Rome

So here I am, back in Rome, 1600-odd years after I left. I never intended to return, but my city of my birth needs me. I was born here twice, as both a human and a vampire. It changed a lot in my time – Augustus was a fine exterior decorator, and many followed his example. Seeing as it’s now 1941, I was prepared for a few differences. Some are marvelous, such as the Piazza Navona:


Others are mind-boggling. It’s rumored the Italians retained their good taste, but one glance at the excrescence that is the Palazzo degli Uffici sends that theory straight to the vomitorium:


I would say it looks like a prison, only I’ve seen more attractive prisons. And they say it’s supposed to look Classical! An architect who tried to foist that on ancient Rome would have been tossed down the Gemonian Stairs. Worst of all is this bas-relief of Mussolini:


Look at him, using the salute used by Augustus. Oh my dear Il Duce, I knew Augustus, and you sir, are no Augustus. Neither will you govern an empire. My intent is you won’t govern long at all. About that – this building houses information I need for my plan to work and I must get inside. Unfortunately, it is sealed to vampires. For now.

But never mind, Roman history still stands. The Pantheon doesn’t look quite as it did when Marcus Agrippa built it, but it’s still rather nice, don’t you think?


Back then, it was a temple to all the gods in the heavens. Today, it’s a tomb. That seems fitting, since all those gods are considered dead. Are they, though? Perhaps they are only sleeping. Perhaps someday, when this human war is over, I’ll find a way to set off the alarm clock.

Talking of the gods, it’s a shame the temple to Minerva on Aventine Hill is gone. It was there for so long. When I knew it, it was used by a guild of writers and actors, which suited both Minerva and myself, though of course I never went inside. You can get a sense of it here:

But a stretch of aqueduct wall still stands close by. There is a door hidden in the wall, which leads down into a lovely apartment. After all these centuries, the archaeologists haven’t found it. Lady Luck is so very sweet on me. And her sweetness knows no bounds. Underground the apartment may be, but we still get excellent radio reception.

I’m also delighted to see the Ara Pacis Augustae still standing (that’s the Altar of Augustan Peace, for those who don’t speak Latin). They’ve moved it near Augustus’s mausoleum – Mussolini apparently hopes to create some sort of Ancient Rome “theme park.” I’m not sure how he thinks that honors the nation’s past. Nor would I be surprised if he adds Dodgems and a roller coaster.  The war has slowed him up, however, and the worst he’s done is build a ridiculous wall around the altar. The doors are locked at night, but it’s a lock that’s easily broken if you know how. They don’t really think they could keep me away from vestiges of my own past, do they?

As for the Imperial Palace, well, those of us who loved the republic have the last laugh. The ruin has its uses, however. This patch in particular:

Archaeologists are unsure as to whether it was a stadium or a garden. Far be it from me to tell them – that would spoil their fun. What matters is that they ponder it in their sleep, leaving it deserted at night. Because whatever it was then, here in these treacherous times, it is the perfect training ground for my new legion of fighters.

My legion. A legion that would have astounded many back in my day, including myself, because it is mostly comprised of women. But it is a foolish man who underestimates the real power of women. And I am not foolish. Nor, of course, a man.

Women had more power in my Rome than you would think. Especially the Vestals. I suppose I’m not surprised to see that this is all that remains of the Temple of Vesta:

It once represented the domestic hearth of the city and the Vestals kept the fire going within that protected us all. I’m glad I wasn’t here the day the fire went out. Is it any wonder the empire itself went to pieces soon after?

Don’t worry, Rome. I shall rekindle your old flames.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

About Sarah Jane:

After having earned an MA in medieval history from the University of York, Sarah Jane Stratford quickly found that the best use for such a degree was writing fake history. The Moonlight Brigade is Sarah Jane’s second novel and a sequel to The Midnight Guardian. She also adores theatre and writes plays – again, mostly playing with the past. She enjoys hot clothes, hot tea, and cold weather.

You can visit Sarah Jane around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Sarah Jane Stratford?

The Midnight Guardian The Moonlight Brigade

__________________________________________________________________________________

This giveaway is provided by Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin

Three winners will each receive a copy of The Moonlight Brigade by Sarah Jane Stratford

Available on August 2, 2011 from Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin

About the Book:

When a vital member of the British millennials’ mission goes missing after an intense firefight with Nazi-supported vampire hunters, Mors, the mission’s powerful leader, vows to discover the truth behind his disappearance. The perilous search takes Mors from Berlin to his own ancient stomping grounds – Rome.

Mors was once one of the Roman Republic’s greatest generals – until his rebirth as a vampire under unprecedented circumstances – and when he sees Italy under Fascism, he forms a new mission: to return the country to a true republic, and perhaps guide its people into the light himself.

But it will take collaboration with human partisans to achieve his new dream, a dangerous alliance that most vampires would never attempt, made even more unstable by his growing love for the partisans’ beautiful and brave organizer, Giulia. As the Allies prepare to invade Italy, and hunters and Nazi-collaborators start to encircle him, Mors’s quest for vengeance, intense passion, and hunger for power force him to confront the demons of both his past and present. A very different war is about to begin…

Click HERE to read an excerpt

Pre-Order from

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:

1. Leave a comment for Sarah Jane.

2. +3 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter and Facebook.

3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).

4. Giveaway is open to U.S. only/No P.O. Boxes.

5. Please include your email address in your comment.

6. All Deadly Destinations winners will be announced on August 7th.

7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.

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36 Responses to “Deadly Destinations: Sarah Jane Stratford’s Mors on Rome

  1. Rain maiden JenNo Gravatar
    1

    I love the sound of this series..raw and gritty. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I follow on GFC, Twitter and Facebook.

    moc.liamtohnull@3tmnJ

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  2. kelsey. dobbinsNo Gravatar
    2

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’m following the blog.

    Tweet https://mobile.twitter.com/#!/itzKelseyD/status/96972825696538624

    moc.liamgnull@deryvinsioP

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  3. StephanieNo Gravatar
    3

    Nazi supported vampire hunters?? Could the bad guys be any more evil I don’t think so. This book looks great and intense, I’d love to read it :).

    +3 GFC,and FB follower

    ten.tsacmocnull@99nietskce

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  4. Ali DaniellNo Gravatar
    4

    brilliant! Totally love your books, SJ. Can’t wait for this one to come out

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  5. Diana (@Offbeat Vagabond)No Gravatar
    5

    Stephanie took the words right out of my mouth LOL! But this sounds amazing. A book set in Rome is definitely new to me. Thank you for the pictures, I always wanted to go to Rome. This book sounds pretty hardcore and insane, I can’t wait to start this. Great cover by the way. Thank you for the tour of Rome and for the giveaway :)

    +3
    GFC Follower: drharleyquinn87
    Twitter follower: @harleyquinn0887
    Facebook follower: http://www.facebook.com/Diana.Ramsey87

    +2
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/harleyquinn0887/status/97040409439633408
    Button in sidebar: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/
    (on the right hand sidebar)

    drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  6. Tanyaw1224No Gravatar
    6

    Beautiful pictures. I’d love to visit that area one day. The book sounds fantastic…please count me in. Thanks. +3 gfc follow as Tanyaw1224, twitter as @Tanya1224, FB as Tanya Wires
    +3 tweeted at https://twitter.com/#!/Tanya1224/status/97058347634794496
    Total = 7

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  7. Brooklyn AnnNo Gravatar
    7

    Mmmmm… Mors. I fell in love with him in THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN. Cannot wait to read this one!

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  8. AmyNo Gravatar
    8

    I’ve always wanted to go to Rome one day. There is so much history and beauty there. Thanks for the post and pics of Rome! Modern Rome still looks beautiful.

    +3 GFC follower

    angeldream3[AT]gmail[DOT]com

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  9. Barbara ElnessNo Gravatar
    9

    This is the first I’ve heard of this book and the author. Thanks so much for featuring it on the blog, I’m definitely going to be checking it out because it sounds fantastic.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower

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  10. Mickie TNo Gravatar
    10

    I somehow missed Midnight Guardians when it first came out, but I’ve got it now so I’ll be caught up when The Moonlight Brigade comes out. Can’t wait!

    mdturett at juno dot com

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  11. Anne RNo Gravatar
    11

    This book sounds really good, it is definetly on my to read list.

    I am new follower on GFC (areeths), twitter and facebook.

    areeths @ new dot rr dot com

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  12. SusanNo Gravatar
    12

    Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the tour and giveaway.

    sab5723 at hotmail dot com

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  13. LexiNo Gravatar
    13

    Ooooh what a great combo going on, and its in Rome! Love the cover.
    Thanks for a chance to win!

    eyesofblueice(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. Gidget BuchananNo Gravatar
    14

    Sounds like a great series. I love how much history Rome has. The pictures are beautiful. I would love a visit.

    tytysmommy21(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  15. Audra HoltwickNo Gravatar
    15

    Great interview
    I am a follower
    moc.ssenrekciwnull@eidua

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  16. Julie S.No Gravatar
    16

    Ooh Rome, I’d love to read an UF that takes place in Rome :)
    +3 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter and Facebook.
    juliecookies(at)gmail.com

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  17. erinNo Gravatar
    17

    Great interview! I hadn’t heard of this author/book but I’m heading right over to Amazon to add to my wishlist :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    moc.liamgnull@1rednefe

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  18. TheresaNo Gravatar
    18

    Sarah Jane-
    I absolutely loved the pictures of Rome!! I’m so excited about this book! Can’t wait to read it and the others. Thanks for doing the giveaway!
    Theresa
    moc.liamgnull@2namrontr

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  19. TheresaNo Gravatar
    19

    I”m a follower of this blog and on FB and on Twitter.

    3 pts.
    Theresa
    moc.liamgnull@2namrontr

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  20. TheresaNo Gravatar
    20

    Posted a tweet about this contest.
    3 pts
    Theresa
    moc.liamgnull@2namrontr

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  21. LingeorgeNo Gravatar
    21

    Sounds great — I am putting both of these books on my TBR list.
    I follow
    linda at gordonvalley dot com

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  22. AmandaNo Gravatar
    22

    I loved “The Midnight Guardian” and I am excited that this book is so different, yet involves my favourite characters — & Italy! Even though they are sucking blood instead of chianti and gelato, you can’t beat the location!

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  23. Lisa RichardsNo Gravatar
    23

    Read and love the Midnight Guardian. Off to add The Midnight Brigade to my wishlist

    +3 GFC-Lisa Richaeds/alterlisa
    Twitter@alterlisa
    FB-Lisa Ann Richards
    +3 http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/97446467266035712

    (\___/)
    (=’.’=)
    (“)_(“)

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

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  24. Lisa RichardsNo Gravatar
    24

    (please delete my earlier comment as I linked the wrong tweet-thanks!)
    Read and love the Midnight Guardian. Off to add The Midnight Brigade to my wishlist
    +3 GFC-Lisa Richaeds/alterlisa
    Twitter@alterlisa
    FB-Lisa Ann Richards

    +3 http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/97449132066742272
    \___/)
    (=’.’=)
    (“)_(“)

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

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  25. Bethany C.No Gravatar
    25

    A couple friends of mine went to Europe and said Rome was the best city they visited. It’s on the top of my list of places to go if I ever get to actually travel.
    gfc, fb and twitter follower Bethany C. Bethany Cardone @bcardoo79

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  26. Robin DNo Gravatar
    26

    This looks really good!

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  27. VivienNo Gravatar
    27

    Fantastic, thanks!
    +1 GFC follower
    +3 spread here
    http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/126552-deadly-destinations-sarah-jane-stratford-s-mors-on-rome

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  28. Audra HoltwickNo Gravatar
    28

    Awesome
    moc.ssenrekciwnull@eidua
    I follow on GFC, Blog and FB

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  29. HollyNo Gravatar
    29

    I like the story of this book sounds really interesting

    trustjesus7771 at yahoo dot com

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  30. Marlene BreakfieldNo Gravatar
    30

    I’ve always wanted to visit Rome. thanks for the giveaway
    Follow all three ways twitter @mbreakfield
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  31. Tabitha JensenNo Gravatar
    31

    I just recently visited Rome on my honeymoon in June. I definitely like the countryside better.
    Following all +3 and tweeted +1
    http://twitter.com/#!/Pabkins/status/98165696818720769
    =5
    tlabunski /at/gmail

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  32. Brittany HardyNo Gravatar
    32

    Nazi’s and vampires and Romans oh my!

    Count me in!

    +3 following on all

    brittanynoelle at gmail dot com

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  33. Low KeyNo Gravatar
    33

    I think you had me at “Nazi-supported vampire hunters.”

    This sounds epic.

    Thank you for the tour and giveaway!

    moc.loanull@eikrahsditziwt

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  34. Little Lamb LostNo Gravatar
    34

    I had to smile as I read the opinion of Mors on the various things touched upon in the post. Would love to learn his story.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  35. SarahMNo Gravatar
    35

    I haven’t read any of Sarah Jane’s books yet but this sounds like a good one :-)

    smaccall AT comcast.net

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  36. Jennifer KallhoffNo Gravatar
    36

    Sounds like a good read! :3

    Following on GFC, Facebook, Twitter =)

    Kalliandra2007(at)gmail(dot)com

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