Guest Post by Vicky Alvear Shecter + Giveaway of Cleopatra's Moon

I am so pleased to welcome Vicky Alvear Shecter, author of Cleopatra's Moon, to Passages to the Past!  I had the recent pleasure of reading Cleopatra's Moon {you can read my review HERE} and enjoyed it immensely!

Thanks to Vicky I also have 1 copy of Cleopatra's Moon up for grabs, so be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post.

Take it away, Vicky...

Isis and the Jackass Roman

We know a little about Isis worship in the ancient world thanks to a man who became an ass. No, seriously. The Roman writer Apuleius wrote about his initiation into the Mysteries of Isis in his novel, The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, commonly known as The Golden Ass. 

Apuleius’s main character had many adventures, one of which was being turned into a jackass. He had tried to use magic to turn himself into a bird but it backfired. The Goddess Isis, the Great Lady of Magic, eventually became his salvation. He was so grateful for her help, he entered her mysteries to become a priest of the goddess. 

The Goddess Isis
Although Apuleius described his encounter with Isis after cleansing himself in the sea, he never revealed the details of the actual initiation rites. The ancients must have taken this vow of silence very seriously because no one has uncovered anything that describes the actual rites. 

Most scholars believe, though, that the rites contained some kind of dramatization or re-enactment of death and re-birth. After all, it was Isis (with the help of Anubis) who brought her murdered husband, Osiris, back to life in the Egyptian religion. 

I used Apuleius’s account of Isis as a starting point for describing the goddess as she shows up in Cleopatra Selene’s dreams in my novel about her life, Cleopatra’s Moon. I also created a death/re-birth rite for her to undergo, imagining the details as they might have occurred. 

The concept of dying to our old selves and being reborn in the light of a god’s love had its roots in Isis worship (as well as in Mithras worship, but that’s another post!). Also, many believe that the classic Christian iconography of Mary nursing the infant Jesus was appropriated from the very common depiction of Isis suckling her son Horus. Apuleius also explained that roses were closely associated with Isis. Thousands of years later, roses are still the sacred flower associated with the Virgin Mary. 

Christianity eventually toppled Isis worship, replacing all of the old pagan gods throughout the Roman Empire. But this fascination with the powerful, loving, redeeming goddess, apparently, was never completely conquered. 

For more information please visit Vicky Alvear Shecter's Website and  Facebook Page.


"The Luxe" meets the ancient world in the extraordinary story of Cleopatra's daughter.

Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Antony—the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, & when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies—until she reaches out to claim her own.

This stunning novel brings to life the personalities & passions of one of the greatest dramas in history, & offers a wonderful new heroine in Selene.


- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- Giveaway is open to US and CAN only!
- For +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- For +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- For +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on August 28th.




  1. I haven't read anything regarding Cleopatra's daughter before so I am interested in reading this! I have seen a few books with her in the spotlight so maybe she is the new "It Girl".

    +5. GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
    +3. Facebook follower (Colleen Turner).

    Thanks Amy!

  2. The cover is really beautiful, and I think the story sounds really good. I would love to read it.

  3. Recently I read a novel about Cleopatra, and I would love to read about her daughter. Thanks for the giveaway.

    extra entries - Google follower


  4. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds very interesting. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  5. This sounds fantastic and I'd love to read it...especially after the mini-series "Rome" dropped the ball and ended the series right where this book begins. I've never read anything about any of Cleopatra's children and this sounds very interesting.

  6. Already a follower of this blog. Sorry but I no longer have a facebook account but I did share this giveaway on Twitter ;)

  7. Just added this giveaway to my sidebar:

  8. I would love to read this novel! Anything about Egypt is always so exciting. :)

    +5 GFC follower
    +3 Facebook follower
    +1 Shared on Facebook
    +1 Shared on Twitter

    Thanks to you both for the giveaway!


  9. Wow. That was an interesting post on Isis. Its cool to see how she got her ideas.
    I follow you and I posted the giveaway in my sidebar.
    Thanks for all the awesome giveaways!

  10. I'm a huge Cleopatra fan! Would love to read this one! Thanks!

    I'm an old follower.


  11. Please enter me. I am a follower and on FB.


  12. What an intriguing background history Vicky gave of the Roman time period. It certainly helps the reader to understand the rites and beliefs of the people from that time period. In addition, the synopsis of Cleopatra's Moon grabbed me immediately and I am going to put that book on my wish list. Thanks!
    Connie Fischer
    +5 - I am a follower of Passages to the Past
    +3 - I follow Passages to the Past on FB
    +1 - I shall share this on FB

  13. I would love to read this.

  14. I have had my eye on this one.

    +5 google follower
    +1 posted in sidebar


  15. Thanks for having me here, Amy! I love this blog!

  16. I follow on google
    I belong to the facebook group
    I shared on:
    google buzz

    thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  17. +1 I would love to read about Cleopatra's daughter.
    +5 I am a follower
    +3 Joined your fb page
    +1 Shared this giveaway on fb-mamabunny shelor

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  18. I would love to read this book. It sounds so interesting. Please enter me in the give-away.

    Marjorie Stewart Cullen

  19. I have heard some great buzz about this novel and am excited to pick it up! I totally love everything Egyptian and am always looking for a good read. Please enter me.

    I am a follower, follow the FB page and tweeted!/dolleygurl/status/104348680659812354. And shared on google buzz.

  20. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony are one of the most fascinating and famous couple in history. I'm interested to see what their daughter, Selene is all about!

    I am GFC follower.

  21. So awesome! I've been wanting to read this since I read about it on Shelf Awareness.

    I follow via Google, I follow on Facebook and I shared on Facebook and Twitter (vegasbookgirl)


    libraryofmyown at gmail dot com

  22. I would love to read this book! Although I'm sure I will eventually, the sooner the better right? And I'm a follower

  23. I love anything to do with Cleopatra and Egypt so I'm so glad to see that you liked this -- and thanks for the chance to win a copy! :)

    jmartinez0415 [at] gmail [dot] com

    +5 for being a follower (GFC)
    +3 for being a part of the FB page

  24. I'm interested in entering, and as you know can provide a US address.

    +5 I'm already a follower
    +3 I'm already a FB follower

    beth-martin AT live DOT com

    Looks intriguing!

  25. I'm on a Cleopatra kick right now, so the timing is perfect, haha. :)

    Already follow on Google.

    lauren.minton AT gmail dot com

  26. I love Cleopatra Selene's story and I would love to read this. Thank you for the contest!

    +5 gfc follower
    +1 tweeted:!/in_the_hammock/status/104691998694445056

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. I never knew that Cleopatra had a daughter. The novel sounds interesting - please enter me!

    I am a GFC follower

  29. Thank you for the information on Isis. Interesting. What little was available about the rituals seems to have been enough to allow you to create your own versions. The cover draws the browser/reader in beautifully.

    +5 I am a longtime GFC Follower as librarypat.

    +3 I already joined the Passages To The Past FB Page as Patricia Barraclough.

    +1 I tweeted this giveaway.!/pbbearclaw/status/105133886882848769

    I shared this giveaway on Facebook

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  30. I would love to read this book.

    +5 gfc follower


  31. I love reading about Selene, can't wait to read this one!

  32. Isis and the Jackass Roman. Love it

    GFC follower & facebook follower as Leigh Ann Gregoire!/ashenowl/status/106853666102845440 - tweet

  33. I just recently read another book about Selene & would enjoy reading this one as well.

    +5 - Already a GFC Follower
    +3 - Member of the Passages to the Past FB page

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com


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