Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Gina Danna, and her characters from Love & Lies (Book #2 of The Gladiators series). It’s a fantastic historical romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Ganius, the hero from Love & Lies.
Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
<shuffles, then stops and gives rakish grin> Romance
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Enjoy my luxurious wife.
Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
I believe so, unless you have gladiatorial fights now?????
Do you like the way the book ended?
Extremely so. Though I frankly would’ve taken pleasure bringing that legionnaire to prayers…
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
The gods have willed it! There is one in the works as we speak!
What do you do for a living?
As a freeman, I was a hunter in my village but, thanks to the Romans, I am now a gladiator, for their fun and sport <grumble>. Though I do stand as champion – apparently, I’m equally hard to kill…
What is your greatest fear?
That my love for Aurelia might push her beyond her abilities and she will perish in the lands of my people.
What do you wear when you go to sleep?
<puzzled expression on his brow>
What is your most prized possession?
My horse…which the Romans took.
What do you think your greatest weakness is?
My greatest weakness was to lose sight of my purpose to gain my freedom.
What do you think is your strongest attribute?
My strongest would be my abilities on the sands of the Colosseum…
What do you find most appealing in men/women?
The most appealing thing is their own strengths and how they can find that wealth of power when it is so desperately needed.
What do you find most unappealing in men/women?
What word makes you the happiest?
Recently, it is my darling Aurelia.
What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of Roman trumpets as the legions approach and the death that will follow.
What other profession would you like to try?
Gladiatorial trainer…or what you call butcher.
What’s your favorite animal?
Horses – fast creatures, good to battle from.
Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo, what would it be and where? If not, what if you had to?
<chuckle> I do have a inked mark, point driven into my upper arm by the priestess of my village. It is a sun, a symbol of strength and power to my people. The sun portrays light and fire and together, that means naysayers can be found.
Rome 100 CE
Conquered, beaten, sentenced to die in the Colosseum, Ganius 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…
Rome 100 CE – The Colosseum
Aurelia sat rigid on the bench, quiet as a mouse, like the rest of the crowd. The Celt, condemned to die with his countrymen, stood victorious on the sands. He was the one with that mark upon his arm. Her gaze riveted to him, amazed, appalled and so attracted to him that it sent a thrill through her.
Suddenly, the stands burst into applause and demanded for him to live.
The man stood, in the midst of a filthy, blood-covered arena, the remains of the dead and dying lay around him. He was covered in sweat, blood and sand. His muscles—prominent from fighting the gladiators—were corded, detailed like the statues of the gods, and the effigies of dead victorious gladiators, both forms standing virtually nude throughout the city. But he was living, breathing, on fire. When he shot a glance up at the podium, where the Emperor’s appointee sat in his absence. Even Aurelia could see the flames of violence tangible in his stare. She could not pull her eyes off.
Aurelia’s brother had secured them the box seats next to the podium, quite a sign of position she usually didn’t give a moment’s consideration, but today was more than thankful because they were very close. She gazed at the Celt and in the sunlight, despite his dirty appearance, his eyes glowed, the color like amber in the brightness.
He looked like a god.
“Caius,” she whispered to her brother. “Don’t you need a new man for your stable of fighters?”
He laughed. “What a strange thing for you to say, dearest.” He looked beyond her to see her fascination. “Aurelia…”
“Oh Caius, can you imagine? He defeated three gladiators! The odds stood against him!”
“They were not from the best house…”
“But they were gladiators,” she argued and bit her lip. “Brother, the man must be blessed by the gods to have won so, and to win over the crowd to spare his life.” She gave him her innocent but pleading look. With the exception of severing her betrothal, he never denied her anything.
“She is right, Caius,” Aulus joined in. “I could have him trained. His winnings would bring you considerable coin.”
Caius looked at her. His eyes narrowed. They darted to the Celt in the arena and back to her. The air grew heavy as she waited, though the longer he took to say a word usually meant she won. Holding her breath, she silently prayed to Jupiter.
Caius’s lips slowly curled up into a smile. “So be it. Aulus, let us see if we can’t alleviate the state of her impertinent prisoner.” He kissed her cheek. “And my darling sister, don’t push me for any more extravagant dresses or jewelry, for I fear this animal may take many coins to train before I see the favorable results.”
As he walked away, Aurelia’s gaze returned to the man on the sands. As the property of her brother, a slave, she’d have easy access to see the mark on his arm. Her lips curved at what other opportunities might be available to own a man so blessed by the gods…
Coming February 24th to Amazon, Nook, iBooks and Kobo!
A USA Today Bestselling author, Gina Danna was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she has found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels.
Now living in Texas, under the supervision of her dogs, 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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As a special treat, Gina is giving away an e-book copy of Book I – Love & Vengeance to one lucky commenter! So be sure to leave her a comment!
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!