Tag Archives: Having fun with the Romans

More Romans…

cover picture for Eagle's Honor: Ravished, by Sandra SchwabToday it’s all about these two: Adelar & Livia, the hero & heroine from my second Roman romance. Eagle’s Honor: Ravished is due at my editor’s at the end of this month, so I better knuckle down & get on with the story.

Eagle’s Honor: Ravished is set about 70 years after Eagle’s Honor: Banished, and the heroine is the great-granddaughter of Marcus & Lia (and yes, there are references to the first book in this one). After the death of her parents and her siblings, Livia comes to Rome to live with her aunt and uncle. She has been raised in a fort at the border of the empire and thus finds it very difficult to adapt to life in Rome. Here’s a snippet from her first meeting with Adelar (raw & unedited):

One morning, when she had spent almost a month in Rome, Livia was shaken out of her reveries by her aunt’s excited shouts. A moment later, Aunt Floria burst into her room. “Oh, my dear! It is the most exciting thing ever!” She beamed at Livia. “You must come and see. I insist upon it!” She held out her hand. “Come, come.”

Livia let herself be dragged from her room to the gallery that surrounded one of the house’s inner courtyards.

“It is the best surprise,” Aunt Floria said. “Truly, I have the best of husbands! Look, look!” She pointed.

There in the courtyard stood a man surrounded by two of the male household slaves, his hands bound. He wore a rough, sleeveless tunic that clung to his muscular frame and left the brand on his left shoulder in clear display.

At the women’s approach, he raised his head, and Livia found herself staring into the coldest blue eyes she had ever seen. They were, she thought numbly, such a curious contrast to his hair, which shimmered in the sunlight like burnished gold.

Despite the warmth of the day, a curious little shiver raced down her spine.

“Isn’t he glorious?” her aunt whispered. “I saw him in the arena when we last attended the games, and I knew from the first that I simply must have him. — Yoohooo!” She waved to the man and didn’t seem to notice the hostile expression that flickered over his lean, narrow face nor the subtle tightening of his lips.

Writer’s Desk, 1 September 2014

Dictionary, Survival Guides, & the AlphaSmart

Dictionary, Survival Guides, & the AlphaSmart

Very short writing session (just a teeny-tiny hour) in the morning, followed by grading. Here’s a snippet of the scene I was working on today. Marcus & his optio clash, and Marcus loses his temper. 🙂

For a moment Marcus was seriously tempted to club the big oaf to death right then and there. “Are you mad? Why would I risk my own life if I wanted you dead?”

The other man just shrugged, wincing as he did so.

“I assume that with me being Roman and all that, I must take great enjoyment in perverted pleasures, is that it?” Marcus asked sarcastically. “By Mithras, just for that I will let you do guard duty with your damned tunic unbelted for the rest of your damned service! — Gods!” he added, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I will kill Titus! F*cking kill the bloody bastard!”

From the corner of his eye, he saw the optio’s lips twitch.

“What?” Marcus snapped.

The other man’s mouth stretched into a broad grin. “Why, centurion, I didn’t think you had it in you to lose your cool like this.”

More from Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus

A sketch of the military standards at the Saalburg museum

Roman military standards at the Saalburg

I’m having a lot of fun with my centurion (in the past few days, when I was so worried about my Mum, he was a real life-saver). Here’s the next bit from that conversation with the prefect of the auxiliary fort in the north of Roman Britannia.

Gannius read through another section of the report. “It says here that you were popular with the men under your command; fair and strict; that you received your vine-staff at the tender age of 28 upon the retirement and explicit recommendation of your former centurion Gaius Loreius Sylla, who had made you his optio when you were just 23 and had served in the Eleventh for a mere six years. In addition” — he flipped to the next tablet — “the tribune takes great pains to point out your excellent fighting abilities as well as the outstanding quality of your unflinching leadership of your men in battle.”

Closing the report and shoving the bound tablets to the side, Gannius looked up. “So tell me, Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus, what exactly did you do?”

“Sir?”

“Heavens, man, you must have done something to get demoted to a centuria in a mere auxilia.”

“Ah,” Marcus said slowly.

“Yes, ah. And I want to know what it is and whether it’s going to bite my cohort in the arse one of those days.”

🙂

P.S.: That something has to do with the heroine.

Introducing my Centurion

A pile of research books about ancient Rome

The Results of Sandy’s Meltdown

With my life being a tad difficult at the moment (my mum had to undergo major surgery a few days ago), I went into full melt-down mode earlier this week & ended up buying a whole pile of new research books (see picture above). You might have noticed that these are neither about the Regency era nor about the Victorian Age (but hey, a few of them are about Britain!).

I have decided to indulge myself and jump into a fun new project.

Yup. And it’s set in Roman times.

123 AD, to be exact: my hero is a centurion who is sent to northern Britannia during the building of Hadrian’s Wall. Have a look:

Six weeks later Marcus presented himself to Flavius Gannius, prefect of the 10th cohort of Batavians at Vindulum. Gannius was a broad-shouldered, bulky man, his hair liberally sprinkled with gray, his grayish green eyes piercing as he studied Marcus from head to toe. He was not the kind of man with whom you wanted to fall into displeasure.

“You are rather later, centurion,” he finally said. “Is it a habit of the Eleventh Pia Claudia Fidelis to let her men move about at a snail’s pace?”

Marcus stiffened. He forced himself to take a calming breath before he answered, “I apologize for my late arrival. My ship was delayed by storms in Gaul. I assure you it was by no fault of my training at the Eleventh that I’ve arrived this late at Vindulum.”

“Hm.” The other man glanced down at the tablets on the table in front of him. “You gave your name as Marcus Florius, but this report I have here from the senior tribune of the Eleventh gives your name as Marcus Florius Corvus.”

Of course. It had to.

“A name I acquired from the men serving with me.”

Gannius stared at him, prompting Marcus to elaborate, not without an internal sigh. “A small joke on account of my nose, sir.”

One of the dark, bushy brows rose. “Corvus?”

“The men didn’t think ‘Aquila’ would do it proper justice, sir,” Marcus said dryly. “Hence, Corvus.” Raven.