Mask of the Gladiator
By Georgie Lee
Rome, 41 AD
Livia Duronius is driven to seek out a gladiator after watching him triumph in the Colosseum. His touch arouses a sense of hope she hasn't felt since Rome fell under the tyrannical rule of Caligula—and her late husband betrayed her. Though in danger of losing more than her heart, she vows to see him again, even after she learns her uncle has arranged her marriage to a senator.
Senator Titus Marius cannot resist indulging in a passionate encounter with the veiled woman who waits for him after the games, though he faces execution if his true identity is discovered. Bound by honor to wed another, and embroiled in a plot to free Rome from madness, he never expects to see the mystery woman again.
When the fates reunite them in the marriage bed, Titus vows to protect Livia at all costs—even from the lecherous eyes of the emperor...
About Georgie Lee
A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Avalon Books. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press. Look for her novel of love in the golden age of Hollywood from Avalon Books in 2012.
When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com for more information about Georgie and her novels.
Jillian: How often do you get lost in a story?
Georgie: Not as often as I’d like, but every chance I get. I always have a book with me to read while waiting in line or at the dentist. I try and read every night before I go to bed. It relaxes me, but as every reader knows, sometimes I have to be careful what book I choose or I’ll stay up too late trying to finish it.
Jillian: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
Georgie: I love Bugs Bunny. I grew up watching Loony Tunes, and while studying film and television in college, I even wrote a term paper on classic Warner Bros. cartoons. During the golden age of Hollywood, Warner Bros. was known for making dark, gritty movies and Loony Tunes were produced to play before these movies, not for children. It’s what gives them their adult humor and wit. I love watching the old cartoons and seeing references to the different Warner Bros. actresses like Bette Davis. The use of music in the cartoons is great too. Every year, the Hollywood Bowl does Bugs Bunny on Broadway. The cartoons are projected on a big screen and the orchestra plays the soundtrack. My first trip to the Hollywood Bowl was for this event. It was a blast watching the cartoons while listening to the orchestra play in the same venue where many of the original Loony Tunes soundtracks were recorded in the 1940s.
Jillian: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
Georgie: Mask of the Gladiator is set in ancient Rome, so I listened to soundtracks from different historical movies when I was brainstorming certain scenes. The theme song from 300 is a great one to listen to while reading Mask of the Gladiator, as well as Gladiator, and King Arthur.
Jillian: What was the first story you remember writing?
Georgie: I wrote a short story for a contest in sixth grade. At the time, I was fascinated by Greek mythology so I created a myth about the Greek gods and the creation of the silver swan constellation. The story won first prize.
Jillian: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Georgie: Gone with the Wind is my favorite movie of all time. I first saw it in 8th grade, and Scarlett’s belief in “Tomorrow is another day” really gripped me. I love her ability to pick herself up and carry on after so many disappointments. She’s a flawed character but her determination to survive and succeed makes you want to cheer for her.
Jillian: Who’s your favorite villain?
Georgie: I love John Malkovich as the Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons. He’s sexy, wicked, witty and just downright evil. It makes his redemption and regret at the end so powerful.
Jillian: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
Georgie: I’m a major history buff so choosing just one time period is tough, but I have to pick ancient Egypt during the reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. She was the most powerful female ruler in Egypt and they were co-rulers for some time. Once she died, Thutmose became one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs. It would be wonderful to see the dynamics that made her reign possible, to watch her rise to power and to know why, so many years after her death, Thutmose decided to remove her from the historical record. Also, I’d love to know more about the ancient Egyptian’s daily lives. Although we know a great deal about their funerary practices, very little is known about their daily lives. I would love to see the court of Pharaoh, to see how he and the noble women spent their days.
Jillian: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why?
Georgie: Most? I love reading about Georgian England, but I wouldn’t want to live then. The dresses were gorgeous but the lead-based face powder and the mile high wigs are a real turn off. I’d love to experience late Victorian fashion, especially the gorgeous Worth gowns. I’d be willing to suffer in a corset to have a smaller waist and a beautiful wardrobe.
Georgie has a question for readers: In Mask of the Gladiator, Emperor Caligula is the villain. I had a blast drawing from ancient sources to create a realistic version of this hated man. Who is your favorite villain from history or fiction and why? One commenter will be selected at random to win a copy of my digital novella Mask of the Gladiator. Good luck everyone!
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Mask of the Gladiator - http://ebooks.carinapress.com/1C1CE451-9420-4E12-8657-AE8CE6C6F330/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=561AB37C-9999-418D-A4DB-219BD27E7D11
***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.