So glad to have an opportunity to introduce readers to Jean Rabe’s new book, The Bone Shroud. I’ve been lucky to feature an interview with Lev, who believes he is a major character in the book. Enjoy! And look below the interview for more info on where you can find Jean and win a beautiful fused glass necklace or a $25 gift certificate.
Good morning Mr. Levent Kartal-Madigan.
Lev: Just call me Lev, please.
Certainly. Good morning, Lev. Can you tell us how you came to have a major role in Jean Rabe’s novel The Bone Shroud?
Lev: I’m the main character’s brother. I’m also the reason why she travels to Rome, which starts her entire dangerous adventure. I’d asked her to be the “best man” in my wedding. I’m not a very traditional soul, so I didn’t need a man to be my best man. I wanted the person I was closest to, who’d stood by me for a good chunk of my life…and that was my older sister, Irem. She’s seven years older than me—thirty-two, single, and she should be looking for love, right? That biological clock is tick-tick-ticking. I never liked the guy she was living with in Chicago, even though I didn’t meet him. I didn’t need to meet him. I knew Reggie was a rat. I’m hoping she finds love in Rome. I did. She almost didn’t travel to the Eternal City. She turned me down at first, but changed her mind…spurred by her break-up with Reggie, got an expedited passport, and bought a plane ticket. I was a little surprised, since my sister hates flying. But I was very happy.
You’re American, right?
Lev: Well, sort of. I was born in Chicago. My father’s Irish, my mother’s Turkish—both of them coming to the U.S. and meeting there. That makes me first-generation American. I loved Chicago … so much to do and see. I studied art there, graduated at sixteen from the High School of the Arts, was always going to the art museums—Art Institute of Chicago, where I studied for a while; the Museum of Contemporary Art; and the National Museum of Mexican Art. Art is my life. Anyway, I was accepted into RUFA—The Rome University of Fine Arts. I have a bachelor’s in sculpture and I’m in a graduate program for oils and portraiture. Rome is art. I never want to leave this amazing city. I just realized I didn’t finish answering your question. I’m going to be an Italian citizen. So, I’m American. But soon I will give that up for my Italian citizenship. I am fluent in Italian, and I even read mystery books printed in Italian to wholly immerse myself. I’m marrying an archaeologist who teaches here in Rome. We share a beautiful apartment, the second bedroom of which is my art studio.
Do you really are a major character in the book.
Lev: Certo! I’m not the main character, as I mentioned earlier. But I’m the whole reason the book exists. If I wasn’t getting married, I wouldn’t have pressured Irem to come to Rome. And if she hadn’t come to Rome and joined my fiancé on a dig under the city … hadn’t gotten involved in something she probably shouldn’t have … there wouldn’t have been a book. I guess that makes me the most important character, right?
What do you like about Rome, and all of Italy?
Lev: The art, of course. The buildings, the people, the sun, the wine. The chief financial backer of my fiancé’s dig owns a vineyard. So I traded my beer and pretzel taste for wine and lamb hors d’oeuvres. And everything is made more beautiful and amazing and perfect because I am in love. I truly enjoyed taking my sister on a tour of the city, though we didn’t get to see it all, and showing her an art gallery where some of my paintings were on display. I also like Rome’s McDonald’s restaurant—the one across from the Colosseum. Cheap coffee. Good coffee. Irem and me used to go to McDonald’s in Chicago all the time. But the ones in Rome are better … because they are in Rome. Ha!
Is there anything else you care to add?
Lev: Certo! The novel The Bone Shroud is a love story wrapped in an archaeological mystery set in and under Rome. It is available in print and ebook from Amazon, and in a few months will be available on other sites, too. You will see how handsome and charming I am in the book.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Irem Madigan’s wedding trip to Rome turns into a desperate search for an archaeological prize, and a struggle to stay ahead of a killer.
Set in and under Rome, The Bone Shroud is a love story wrapped in a perilous relic-hunt.
Irem flies to Italy to be the “best man” in her brother’s wedding. He’s marrying an archaeologist bent on revealing the graves of some famous ancient dead. Irem, an archivist at the Chicago Field Museum, becomes obsessed with the centuries-old mysteries.
Unfortunately, Irem discovers there are other players in the game, and some of them are playing deadly. Can she survive and uncover the ancient secrets?
“Intrigue, romance, and danger amid the relics of Rome’s storied past, with compelling characters and building tension that will keep you turning pages!” Gail Z. Martin, bestselling author of Vendetta
“Strong characters, shady dealings, ruthless villains, a beautiful setting, an ancient mystery–The Bone Shroud has ’em all. Don’t miss it!” New York Times bestselling Richard Baker, author of Valiant Dust
Amazon Kindle Link:
Jean Rabe is the author of three dozen novels published by small and major presses, has been on the USA Today bestseller’s list, and is a former crime reporter. Jean lives in a tiny town in central Illinois that boasts a gas station, Dollar General, and a pizza place with slow service. She writes with dogs wrapped around her feet while listening to the “music” of passing trains. She is active on Facebook and Twitter, blogs, and maintains a website: jeanrabe.com. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the International Thriller Writers, and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.