Circus and Carnivale

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Highlighting facts behind Historical Romance with Aubrey Wynne and Karma’s Karnivale

The Big Top, Ring Master, clowns, acrobats, tightrope walkers, animal acts. The circus is still a beloved show, though its form has changed over the past centuries. Circus comes from Latin word for ring or circle. Public entertainment such as chariot or boat races took place at Rome’s Maximus Circus, often attended by over 150,000 eager spectators. The entertainment form evolved into a traveling show, like a theatre troupe, often stopping at large towns and hoping for the chance to perform for a royal or noble court. In the 9th century, King Alfred was said to have been entertained by a wild beast show. In the 11th century, William the Conqueror traveled from England to France with rope dancers, tumblers, and contortionists.

Phillip Astley, a retired major sergeant and enthusiastic trick rider, is known as the father of the modern circus. He discovered that riding in a circle, while standing on horseback, created a centrifugal and centripetal forces that kept him balanced. Experimenting with sizes and shapes, he eventually came up with the perfect dimensions for the circus ring still used today. 

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Astleys Amphitheater Circus

Carnevale, a pre-Lenten festival, began in Italy and spread to Spain and France and included masks and performers. The word itself means “farewell to meat” or “farewell to flesh.” It is the “farewell to flesh” that inspired the title of my Regency Gothic story, Karma’s Karnival, set in Purgatory.

About the Book

One never escapes their past…

Ellie knows she will never convince her husband to listen to his conscience. Instead, she quietly goes behind Percy’s back and repairs the damage whenever possible. When their lives are tragically ended in a terrible carriage accident, Ellie finally has the opportunity to save her husband’s soul.

The Earl of Karmaughton cares about two things in life: power and his wife, Ellie. His investment decisions indirectly caused suffering to so many innocents. He was not oblivious, but as Percy’s father had always said, “It’s business.”

The callous nobleman soon learns that for every action there is a consequence. In order to avoid his punishment in Hell, he must spend his time in Purgatory helping other souls repent or find their way to eternal damnation. With Ellie’s help, Karma’s Karnival becomes an eerie last stop for those who need to find their humanity… or suffer in perpetuity.

Note: Included in the Soul’s Day boxset.

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About the Author

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. Obsessions include wine, history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas. Her Chicago Christmas series hasreceived the Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and twice nominated as a Rone finalist by InD’tale Magazine.

Aubrey’s first love is medieval romance but after dipping her toe in the Regency period in 2018 with the Wicked Earls’ Club, she was smitten. This inspired her spin-off series Once Upon a Widow and the Scottish Regency series A MacNaughton Castle Romance with Dragonblade Novels.  

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