On August 12, 30 BC, the most powerful woman in the history of the western world breathed her last. Some claim it was murder. Others claim it was serpenticide. (My opinions were published here in my post, How Did Cleopatra Really Die?) But however it happened, then and there perished one of the great icons of femininity, power and feminine potential. She was an extraordinary woman who commanded her own battle ships, wrote scholarly treatises, and charmed the most powerful men in the world with her wiles if not her wealth.

I found her life fascinating, moreso because it came to such an abrupt end. What inspired me most, however, was the way her daughter picked up the pieces and immortalized her mother–and her mother’s legacy. That is why I began writing the Nile trilogy about Cleopatra’s daughter, the third and final installment of which will release this winter, in December. The first chapter of Lily of the Nile begins on this very day, August 12, 30 BC when Cleopatra Selene is asked to carry a basket of figs into her mother’s tomb. Thus, it has become an important anniversary here in Drayvania.

Tonight we’ll be eating figs and making a toast in Cleopatra’s honor. I hope you’ll do the same!