A bloody past...and a dangerous future...***
He won his fame--and his freedom--in the gory pits of the arena. Yet the greatest challenge for legendary gladiator Caros Viriathos come to him through a slave. His slave, the beautiful and mysterious Pelonia Valeria. Her secret brings danger to his houseshold but offers Caros a love like he's never known...
Should anyone learn she's a Christian, Pleonia will be executed. Her faith threatens not only herself, but her master. Can she convince a man who found fame through unforgiving brutality to show mercy? And when she's ultimately given the choice, will Pelonia choose freedom or the love of a gladiator?
THE GLADIATOR is your debut novel. How long have you been writing and why did you choose the Roman time period?
I've been writing historical romances for about seven years. I sold THE GLADIATOR to Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Historical line two years ago. I chose ancient Rome because the people and place fascinate me. As much research as I do, I always find out more about the Romans that amazes me.
What other unusual settings have you written about?
My next novel, THE DUKE'S REDEMPTION, is out next month. It's set during the last days of the American Revolution in Charleston, South Carolina. My heroine is a Patriot spy and the hero is a dark and mysterious English duke.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love learning about unusual settings and history. I strive to create characters who seem like real people. That's my main goal anyway since they seem so real to me while I'm writing them. I also really enjoy traveling to the places I write about. I went to Italy for three weeks while researching THE GLADIATOR and I've visited Charleston several times to make THE DUKE'S REDEMPTION as authentic as possible.
Do you find certain themes making recurring appearances in your stories?
Yes, my stories always have the theme of forgiveness in them. Mostly because forgiveness is what makes the world go round, in my opinion. Without it, we'd all be lost and no one could love each other fully. At the same time, forgiving someone is often the hardest thing to do.
Please tell us about your current project.
It's a sequel to THE GLADIATOR called THE PROTECTOR, scheduled for release in July 2010. It's about a rich young widow named Adiona whose life of privilege hides a secret and pain-filled past, and Quintus, a Christian who's lost everything of value and been sentenced to die for his faith. When a threat is made on Adiona's life, Quintus becomes Adiona's protector in order to earn his freedom. Hoping to have a Christian wife someday, Quintus thinks Adiona is the exact opposite of the kind of woman God would want him to have, but he soon learns she's the greatest gift God will ever give him.
Thank you, Carla, for visiting with us! Remember to leave a comment to be put in the draw for a signed copy of THE GLADIATOR. Carla would like to know: What is your favorite historical time period for a romance? When was the last time you read a new book set in this era? We'll be curious to hear your feedback!
I'll draw a winner at random next Sunday. Void where prohibited. Good luck!