This morning Authorgraph informed me that this novella has suddenly jumped up over a million in the Amazon rankings, so I thought it might be fun to revisit. I had a great time writing this one, and it's received some pretty awesome reviews. If you like an unusual blend of genres, this one is an EROTIC/VAMPIRE historical... set in Ancient Pompeii, mostly, and moves into modern time..... it contains a great deal of sexual content, and historical accuracy about the decadence of the Romans of that era. It was fascinating to write, and as you can see, the cover is a stunner..... I hope your curiosity will be piqued, and you'll consider adding this one to your collection - the reviews are amazing... and I think you'll find it a satisfying read! I’ve also just put the book into print, it’s economically priced, and looks wonderful!
WHOM GODS HAVE FAVOURED
Available now at:
Pompeii lies complacent and decadent in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, the populace thriving on their depravity and their hunger for blood and Games. Within the elite aristocracy, games of another type are being played, deadly secrets are a threat to more than status, and conspiracy is a way of life for those who are unhappy.
Lucius has long been exalted as a warrior without peer. Adored and covetted by men and women alike, he is blind to the plots that are thickening around him. While total control is his on the bloody fields of war, on the battlefield of the heart, as he is about to discover, even the strongest man can be deceived by his ignorance.
Watching over it all is the majesty of Vesuvius, sputtering smoke, promising retribution. In the midst of the looming destruction, an ancient evil emerges, and will claim not only a celebrated general of Rome, but the slave girl he has slowly grown to love and cherish. A girl who will follow him into hell itself?
Pompeii—Under the rule of the Emperor Vespasian
“The Emperor is most pleased with your progress, General,” Proconsul Flavius noted as he strolled the market streets with Pompeii’s illustrious hero. They proceeded without impediment as the people of the busy city cleared a path for them.
The general, Lucius, smiled, pleased by the undercurrent of fear that marked his passage. He enjoyed the power his position gave him, and the recognition of it came in various forms. Even the proconsul wasn’t entirely at ease with him.
“And well he should be, Proconsul. Resistance is crumbling. Another victory and Gaul will truly be defeated.”
They had reached the slave market, and Lucius stopped as a scream rose above the usual noises of the area. He felt an unwelcome empathy for the terror he heard in the voice, and was annoyed by the surprising emotion.
The slave-dealer’s bellow rang out and drowned the girl’s frightened shrieks. Unconsciously, Lucius turned to look at the raised platform that displayed the slaves being auctioned off to the highest bidders. The dealer slapped the girl across the face and silenced her before he turned his attention to the gathered buyers.
“…I’m told her name is Xina,” the dealer called out. “Not part of my shipment, good gentlemen, but a last minute addition. Seems she knifed a soldier last night when he refused to pay a fair price for her.” He laughed lewdly and hauled the girl forward so the crowd could look more closely at her.
Despite her obvious desire to remain immune to what was happening to her, her cheeks flamed scarlet when the slaver tore open her gown and left her nakedness displayed for the eager bidders. Almost immediately voices rose and purses were offered. Lucius watched as she closed her eyes and tears spilled from the corners.
“She is a beauty,” the proconsul observed with a laugh. “And a dangerous one, at that.”
Lucius laughed with the shorter man, but his gaze was drawn back to the girl. She couldn’t have been more than sixteen or seventeen, if she was that old. The trader knotted his fingers in long waves of light brown hair and pulled the concealing mass away from her body so the view was unobstructed. Her eyes stayed closed, but her chin lifted and she stood with proud defiance as the raucous bids and laughs continued.
A slow, indolent sweep of her body stirred more than curiosity within the general. His gaze caressed golden flesh, noted the smooth swell of full, brown tipped breasts, the small waist that flared into sensuously rounded hips. Firm, curved thighs were topped by an enticing triangle of sand-colored curls, and the ties of the sandals she wore twined around well-shaped calves like serpents lazing in the sun. Slender arms were tensed, muscles quivering with the effort to mask her fury, and her small hands tangled in the folds of her shredded gown where it hung limply from her shoulders.
“Who is she?” Lucius asked, surprised by his own interest when the proconsul stared up at him, clearly startled by the query.
“You don’t want that one, Lucius,” he advised. “Nydia would destroy her overnight.”
The general smiled again, but let his expression grow icy. The glitter of carefully controlled, lethal rage created a distinct shudder of terror within the Proconsul of Pompeii.
“You haven’t answered my question, Proconsul,” he whispered, his tone cool.
“Xina is the daughter of one of Boudica’s whores,” the other man supplied after a moment’s thought. “She’s been in the brothel since the day of her birth.”
Lucius raised an eyebrow and waited for the official to finish his narrative.
“Her brother, Plautus, is the current champion of Pompeii. Her mother died recently, while Plautus was away from the city, and Boudica decided it was time for the girl to earn her keep until her brother’s return.”
“That woman should be fed to the crowd during games,” Lucius muttered grimly. It was quite clear that Xina was not a common whore, despite her background. Not that it mattered, he mused. Before he was through with her she’d be well versed in a great number of arts necessary to a whore’s survival.
Without warning, Lucius strode into the crowd and headed toward the auction block. He yanked a purse from his belt, threw it toward the dealer, and continued onto the platform. The crowd rumbled with subdued irritation, but none dared defy Pompeii’s most renowned general as he took the girl by the arm and led her from the marketplace.