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Here's looking at you, Janus.

Have you ever wondered how the Ancient Romans celebrated New Year? Well, they initially celebrated it on March 1, until they smartened up and added January and February to the calendar. It’s fun to realise that we have Julius Caesar and his Julian calendar to thank for a January New Year’s Day. Apparently when you’re not dividing and conquering Gaul, you have lots of time to redesign the year.

On January 1, Ancient Romans would offer sacrifices to Janus, the god with two faces—one looking forward and one backward—who represents transitions, time, duality, and beginnings and endings. The perfect god for the end of one year and the start of a new one. In addition to giving Janus sacrifices, Romans would hold parties (when didn’t they hold parties?) and decorate their homes with laurel branches. It was also common for friends and neighbours to exchange gifts such as figs and honey, and well wishes, starting the year with positive intentions. Sound familiar?

My positive intentions this year include not spending any money, not eating any crap, and actually finishing the second book in the Valerius Mysteries series. I’m going to be totally honest here, but going on previous years, the chances of the first two actually happening are slim to none, but getting the next book finished? Hell yes, that’s going to happen.

Meanwhile, the first book will be going back and forth in edits, and I can’t wait until I have a preorder link and some cover art to share with you guys. Sub Rosa has been a long time coming—it’s the book I kept putting in the bottom of a drawer and ignoring for years until I finally got my shit together—and I’m beyond delighted that 2023 is the year it’s going to happen!

So, from my household to yours, I hope that you are well, and that you have a very happy new year.

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Thanks, Jennifer! Can’t wait to read Sub Rosa and follow along on Valerius’s adventures. If Janus was always looking to the past and the future simultaneously, I wonder if he kept misplacing his keys (“I knew where they were yesterday, and I know where they’ll be tomorrow…”).

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20 ene 2023
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Thanks so much, John! I think the best place to hide something from Janus would be right underneath him. We know he looked backwards and forwards, but could he look down???

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