LOVE AND RECKONING & Giveaway w/ Gina Danna

Aurelia sat on the lounge cushions, immensely pleased with herself. Now, with that wild man a slave in her brother’s gladiatorial stable,
she could see that mark on his shoulder close up. She halfway smiled as she bit her lower lip, remembering how he looked. Like a beast on the sands—or a god. His skin glowed with sweat, tinted with blood and dirt. How could she forget his chiseled chest and abdomen? Lines defined muscles in his arms and legs. Oh, she heated with thoughts of him, down to her loins.

Even a sip of her wine didn’t cool her. One thought of those golden amber eyes…she licked her lips absently.

“For all of Juno, I believe you’ve met a man!”

She blinked, washing the vision of the Celt from her thoughts. Focusing, she saw her friend, Iana, standing before her, draped in sapphire and white silk, her blond hair dripping in ringlets down her back. Iana laughed.

“You are blushing.”

Even Aurelia knew her friend was right as her cheeks warmed. She sat up and motioned to her slave to bring another goblet of wine.

“I didn’t hear of your arrival,” she said as her friend sat next to her.

Iana took a sip of her wine. “I just got here. I didn’t think I needed to be announced.” She leaned back and smiled. “What had you so hot to occupy your thoughts so? Has your general returned perhaps?”

Aurelia tensed, her lips thinned to a straight line. “Hardly. Last I was told, he was battling some area to the north, or maybe he was in Britannia. I don’t recall.”

But her terse answer didn’t wipe the grin from Iana’s face.

“Some man still inspired you.” Her fingers caressed Aurelia’s cheek. “You blush too much, like you do with men.”

With eyes downcast, she bit to keep the smile back. “Iana.”
“Well, as deliciously handsome as Caius may be, I somehow doubt you’d think of him that way.” She giggled.

“No, no, of course not, he is my brother,” she replied, but she knew her friend thought admirably of Caius. She flirted with him much
too outrageously not to be noticed.

“So it could be your general. He’ll return with all pomp and glory, Rome bending to her knee to welcome a hero.” She sighed, her eyes slanted, portraying the look of youth at first attraction. Years ago for them both…

Titus Livius Rullus, Legate of the IV Macedonia Legion, based somewhere north, if her memory had any thought on it, was her future
husband. Threads of the past, when he was in Rome, painted an unattractive vision in her head. He was tall for a Roman, his service to the Emperor and Rome clearly defined him. His arms and calves were corded with years of hard physical labor, a history of his legionnaire work. As did the cropped hair, turning pepper-like with grizzled grey. His body bore the score of numerous years of battle. Not the type the new slave wore. What a disappointment…

“What new slave?”

Love & Reckoning
Rome 100 CE
 
Conquered, beaten, sentenced to die in the Colosseum, Ganius of Gaul escapes his execution only to find himself enslaved as a gladiator. His rise to champion ensures his life, but does nothing to lessen his desire for vengeance against the Roman soldiers who destroyed all he knew.Locked into a repugnant betrothal, the beautiful Roman Aurelia turns to her brother’s champion gladiator for help. Promising him his freedom if he helps her escape, Aurelia soon discovers she wants not only Ganius’s help, but to capture his heart as he’s captured hers.

In love with his sworn enemy, Ganius realizes Aurelia is the key to his freedom. But to take her with him would risk both their lives, yet leaving her behind to be a pawn in her brother’s machinations is a wretched alternative. Ganius must choose – love of a Roman or freedom to make the Romans pay. This is a fight the champion gladiator might lose...

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.www.ginadanna.com

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Rafflecopter Giveaway: $10 Starbucks Giftcard plus an ebook copy of Love & Reckoning 

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Regency – Women’s Restricted Lives with Gina Danna

Today, women have a multitude of careers to choose from. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, business executives, sales and so much more. But it is the 21st century. So what did women do to live in the time of the Regency, c. 1816? Were any of these career paths of today open to women then? NO.

Ladies of the Regency expected to get married, preferably to a man of higher status. As wives, their responsibilities were to beget the heir to the title, continuing the male family line and if possible, she should birth a “spare” or two, in case the first born son died. Other than that, she was expected to be the perfect wife and hostess for her husband. If he chose to stray from the marriage bed and have a mistress, no one blinked an eye. Everything was discreetly done, including her irritation of being thrown aside or her celebration of no longer submitting as a brood mare. She ran the house, in charge of the servants, menus, galas, the children and any other domestic issues.

As wife, she was taken care of for the rest of her life.

For those from lower classes, the world was harsh. They expected to marry, knowing their existence rested on the man’s decisions and income. Some women did work to supplement the family’s income but these were not easy jobs. On top of running the house, she had to raise the children, school them if she had time (and the education herself), sew, cook, and anything else that needed to make the home run. If she took jobs, it were hardly any better. She could do someone else’s laundry, mending, cooking or worse, work in the up and coming factory system, textiles the top of the line in demanding workers. Slow, repetitive and underpaying jobs on top of her wifely duties.

Some women were midwives, taking care of the pregnant women, understanding how a woman’s body worked over what male physicians knew. But midwifery was as high as she could accomplish in medicine, nothing more.

Of course, selling their bodies always was an option.

Frankly, women’s choices were slim to none in careers and to even consider practicing medicine was off the table.

But what if a country physician, a widower, left with a young daughter to raise and needing to keep an eye on her, to protect her from the ‘wolves’, dragged her with him. And by doing so, taught this girl medicine because she was with him and assisted him? And after his death, what if she needed to find an income and quick, only to discover no one believed her claims to be able to medically help people or that no one would hire her without references because she arrived in London alone?

Arabella soon found a way to use her skills but only as The Wicked Bargain.

www.ginadanna.com

TheWickedBargain-GDanna-LGThe Wicked Bargain – available June 19, 2014

 London 1816  

Haunted by a past as a sex slave, nobleman Ethan Warth returns to England as a male courtesan for rich matrons and runs a brothel for wealthy lords. Arabella Covington appears on his door, trained in the medical arts but unable to practice because of her gender. He hires her to care for his ladies but her inquisitive nature and beauty make him desire to teach her the world of seduction.  

Ethan, however, never counted on falling in love…

 

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.

LOVE AND VENGEANCE in Ancient Rome and giveaway with Gina Danna

The Fun That Research Exposes for Historic Novels

I have long held a fascination with Ancient Rome. Being half Sicilian probably edged me closer to this interest. My family is Italians who moved to Sicily before then finally emigrated to the US around the turn of the 20th century. So when I was talking to a writing partner about her time-travel story, I mentioned the place I’d love to go to was Rome but feared I’d be one of those condemned to die in the Colosseum and she countered with what if someone saved me from it? Hence the opening to Love & Vengeance began.

 One of the best parts about writing this story was the research I did for it. Here are some fascinating facts about life in the Roman Empire–

 

  1. The Roman Empire was vast, spanning from Africa to the Middle East toS pain, up into Great Britain, most of Western and part of Eastern Europe. But the focal point for all in the empire was the city of Rome.
  2. Romans had their own gods but readily adapted other cultures’ and worked them into Roman religion. The Greek gods became Roman and had their names changed (except Apollo) to Roman (Zeus now Jupiter, Aphrodite became Venus, etc.).
  3. The marble statues of the time were not left as just a figure in white marble but they were painted with realistic colors.
  4. The practice up to the later 18th century in modern Europe and the colonies was to enslave your enemies when you won the battle. This is where Rome’s vast number of slaves came from, not by a particular nationality or ‘race’. Many times, these new workers were given new names verses them using their own. These names were Greek with some deviation toward nearby neighbors.
  5. A Roman could be enslaved either by the courts for offenses given though this is rare or they could sell themselves into slavery (to become a gladiator) for a set period of time to pay off debt, then be free again.
  6. Romans were big on hygiene and physical fitness. They had the public baths, which were gathering places to meet friends and conduct business. Baths were mostly segregated to female or male though a few co-ed ones existed. People bathed daily and preferred the public ones versus one at home from the social aspect.
  7. They also had gymnasiums where various games were played, many involving balls in handball, volleyball or other amusements, to be followed by going to the baths. Being physically fit was in the mindset of Roman health. Interesting is the fact what they wore during these contests were similar to today’s swim trunks Olympic male athletes wear and for the women, bikinis.

These are just a few of the fascinating facts about Rome that can give food for thought for a writer. Amazing.

 Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.

Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.

But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?

Gina is offering an ecopy of LOVE AND VENGEANCE to one (1) lucky commenter.  What time would you travel back to if you could?  Giveaway ends @12am est on 4-28-14.  Good Luck!

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Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.

Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.

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