Today I welcome Eva Scott to my chair... and make sure you keep reading to see the fabulous cover of her latest book!
Just last week there was an amazing discovery under the City of London – a second “Pompeii” they call it – the most extensive collection of Roman artefacts ever discovered in Great Britain. Including an amber Gladiator amulet almost two thousand years old. I was transported! Many years ago I worked in the shadow of the Southwark Cathedral near London Bridge. An old warehouse was pulled down to reveal the remains of a Roman farm. I spent far more hours than I should gazing out the window at the bobbing heads of the archaeologists as they went about their business.
I’ve always had a love affair with history and archaeology. I studied anthropology which borrows from both disciplines. People fascinate me. If I could be a time travelling anthropologist I would be in seventh heaven. Rome reaches out across the millennium and touches our everyday lives in a myriad of ways we don’t even think of. The framework for our modern society was constructed out of the ashes of the Roman Empire (okay, so Ancient Greece helped a little bit as well). But what was it truly like to live in Ancient Rome with its public baths, high rise housing, markets, taverns and games in the great Coliseum? We can only ever speculate based on writings left to us, remembering we are looking at the past through a filter of personal opinion.
And what about those people who came into contact with the Roman Empire? Researching for my stories I became fascinated with Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns and Alans. Of course Britons were influenced by Rome too. There are so many tribes and ethnic groups with fascinating cultures and customs who came into contact with the Empire. In The Last Gladiatrix, the heroine Xanthe is a Sarmatian. She would have been used to riding horses, wearing leggings or trousers, fighting side by side with her men folk when required and probably knew how to handle a bow and arrow with a level of skill. A very different life from that of a Roman woman. The contrast is fascinating.
So for now I’ll stick to Ancient Rome and stories of how it impacted people who lived in that time. I’ll also be keeping a watchful eye on the dig in London, eager to see what more they can tell us about this amazing culture.THE LAST GLADIATRIX
BY EVA SCOTT
RELEASE DATE: 1ST APRIL 2013
The Last Gladiatrix
In the dust and death of the Coliseum, a slave fights for freedom, a soldier fights for his life, and they both fight for the love that has been forbidden
Captured and enslaved by a Roman legion, Xanthe never expects to end up training for the Coliseum floor, but every night after the day’s march, she is put through her paces by a Roman solider who challenges her, tests her, and excites her.
Titus is drawn to Xanthe, her fire and her spirit, so he breaks one of his rules and brings notice on himself, offering to train her as a gladiatrix to spare her a courtesan’s role. But training her, working with her, soon becomes too much. Titus knows the penalty for taking property that does not belong to him, but how long can he resist?
The flash of her green eyes in the candlelight reminded Titus of the verdant wild forests of Northern Italy, which they had recently left. He rubbed a smear of dirt from her cheek with his thumb, and then taking her hand, he raised Xanthe up to stand. With deliberate, slow movements he unfastened her tunic, letting it fall from her shoulders to pool on the ground at her feet.
Xanthe made no move to stop him, their eyes locked, her fear and trust clear to see. He slid his fingers beneath the waist of her leggings and tugged them down over her hips, leaving her naked, standing there before him.
Titus took a sponge and dipped it into a bowl of warm water, letting it soak before applying it to Xanthe’s flesh. He washed her with firm yet gentle strokes, and as the water ran over her skin it dripped deliciously from her breasts. The centurion bent his head and licked at a droplet, pleased to feel her shudder in response. Her nipple hardened, inviting him to explore further. He needed no invitation. Xanthe had to summon all her self-discipline to stand still while Titus explored the curves of her body. His touch turned her core to molten fire; she could barely contain her need.
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I live on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia with my fabulous husband and gorgeous little boy. When I'm not writing romance you can find me out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee.