Monday, November 20, 2017

Realm Explorers Part XCXVII: Visit Alternate Italy with Juli D. Revezzo

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name: Juli D. Revezzo

Title of book and/or series: Frigga’s Lost Army

Brief summary of the story: 
An Army cook is taken prisoner in the second world war, only to find a divine benefactor he never thought to encounter.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Frigga’s Lost Army takes place mainly in and around a POW camp in Naples, Italy after the Battle of Tunisia that happened in 1942. Though this is an “alternate Italy”, so to speak, tried to create the look and feel of the Naples area as much as I could. Some parts of the story also take place in Frigga’s castle, Fensalir, and that was easier to play with. So Ben (the main character) shifts between the world of WWII to the more Medieval-type world of her castle of Fensalir when she summons him.

If we were to visit Fensalir as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
I would look for the cats. Frigga’s cats can be very helpful and generous. Also, she has this magical music room you won’t want to miss. J Oh! And if you head down to Ben’s pow camp in Naples, Italy, check out the umbrella trees (a.k.a. stone pines). Weird, fascinating things. They really do resemble umbrellas! Man are they cool.

What dangers should we avoid in Fensalir and Ben’s real world?
In Frigga’s world, the forest leading up to Fensalir can be tricky to navigate. Also, back in the “real world” Ben is under the thumb of the Fascist army so, yeah, with them, you’d want to be careful what you say and do around them. You (or he, rather) wouldn’t want to anger them, when they’re basically holding the power of life and death over him.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in this world?
Being as Benjamin’s “real life” takes place in Italy, and he’s the platoon cook, he’s become very proficient at all types of Italian food. In Frigga’s world, she shows him how to make big fat cheeseburgers that are to die for. Definitely, we’d want to try those out. J

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common here?
Being in the Army, Benjamin was taught to handle an M1 machine gun, but… throughout his captivity, he’s denied that. Until he meets a guard (who, like him, has ties to Frigga) who teaches him a little more about hand-to-hand and fighting with any available weapon. I have a brother who teaches Self-defense so referred to him when necessary.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to  the area?
Oh, well, in Italy, it’s the usual Jeeps and transport trucks. Ben gets around Fensalir by good old foot power. As for animals, Frigga’s cats are able to help him hide things when necessary, and can fetch and deliver, more than your average cat will. ;)

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in alternate Italy that we don’t see on Earth?
Oh, let’s see…Even though we’re on Earth, here in Italy, there are Frigga’s cats, which as I’ve said can cross the realms easily enough at her behest. They also pull her chariot in battle. She also has Valkyries and berserkers in her army and a few assorted other mythical creatures.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in alternate Italy?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Huge. While Frigga can’t do everything here, like free Ben and his friends, she sends her cats, like I said, to our realm to assist him, and she uses her to ease Ben’s pain, when it’s necessary. She also amasses an army when it’s necessary.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in alternate Italy?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Not specifically, but 1942-43 was the first use of Sherman tanks in battle. And Ben and his comrades in the POW camp fashion stoves and working radios out bits and pieces, (that’s actual period; POW’s in WW2, did just that.)

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in alternate Italy.
One of Ben’s colleagues in the camp builds a radio out of scraps that they listen to to keep informed and pass the time.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in alternate Italy as in our world? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The same. M-F, Easter, July 4th, Christmas, etc.

Is there a particular religion practiced in alternate Italy?  Please describe what it involves.
For the most part, the usual you’d find in our world. With a touch of paganism.

What is the political or government structure in alternate Italy? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Mussolini and the Fascists, oh, boy (Which, though this is an alternate version of Italian/world history, he/they really were in charge during the time period). Whole books have been written about them! They took over after World War I and Mussolini decided he was going to restore the glory of Ancient Rome. Unfortunately, a lot of young men followed his beliefs, right into war. *grumble* Luckily, they ended up coming to their senses, and dispatching Mussolini.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Ben’s world?
For the most part, the Italians are Catholic, but… The guard I mentioned above who befriends Ben shows him that one local church is a portal into Valhalla.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
My family is from Naples, Italy, originally, the same city-state the book takes place in. So when I saw that one of the prison camps was built there, I couldn’t resist setting Frigga’s Lost Army in Naples. I also had two grandfathers and a grandmother (a nurse) involved with the Army and Navy in WWII.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
*thinks* Outside maybe the treatment of POW’s at the time, or how the Italians felt about Mussolini, I don’t think there are many.

Author Autobiography:
Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, historical fantasy Frigga’s Lost Army, as well as the Victorian romances House of Dark Envy and Watchmaker's Heart, the Gothic fantasy romance, Lady of the Tarot, and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book? 
Frigga’s Lost Army is available in Kindle book and paperback from Amazon:  http://hyperurl.co/kdw1h1

Where can readers connect with you online? 

and they can join my newsletter here:   http://bit.ly/SNI5K6

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to alternate Italy.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

1 comment:

Juli D. Revezzo said...

Thanks for hosting me (and Ben!), Annie. :) I hope your readers enjoy Frigga's Lost Army!