My Téa Time Treat has an ancient flavour today ... I've invited Eva Scott over to celebrate the release of her second book in the Romancing the Romans series - BARBARIAN BRIDE.
Welcome back, Eva!
I’ve often wondered what a gal like me would make of Ancient Rome. I love the history and the splendour but what would it have been like to actually live there? Women in Ancient Rome didn’t have much by way of autonomy or freedom as we know it. I expect most were accepting of their lot in life – after all, just about every other civilisation around them treated women the same way. I’m sure there must have been some women who chafed against the yoke of male dominance, who wanted to be free to make their own decisions and to run their own lives.
Klara, my heroine in Barbarian Bride, is not Roman. She comes from an Ancient Hun tribe where women often fought alongside their men in battle. Don’t get the wrong impression here. Hun women had their place and were expected to remain it in, however they had a much freer life than those of your average Roman woman. In Barbarian Bride Klara loses that freedom and has to fight to win it back.
The question is: What’s a nice Hun girl doing in a place like Rome? I do hope you want to find out.
On the bloody ground of the Colosseum, she fights to save her life. In the treacherous boxes above, he fights to save their love.
Though Klara didn't love the man who was to be her husband, she didn't want him murdered, and she vows to track down the man who committed the crime. Sickened that she'd been attracted to the mysterious Roman, Klara tracks Lucius Aurelius to the fringes of the Roman Empire, only to find that they've both been trapped in a clever plot to overthrow Klara's father, the Chief of the Huns.
Klara is separated from Lucius, captured by slavers and sold to a gladiator school. She is the only one who can save herself, by fighting for her freedom. Lucius can ensure her battle is easier, but only by sacrificing himself. How much is he willing to give up for the fiery woman he's come to love?
Oh yes, we want to find out especially if the excerpt's anything to go by...
Settling back, Klara surveyed the room for the candidate most likely to know Lucius Aurelius. With so many unwashed, bearded rascals to choose from it was hard to pick. Finally her gaze alighted on a burly old man whose eyes reminded her of Lucius. Abandoning the revolting beer she made her way cautiously to where the man sat alone. He was intent on a dish of stew and didn’t notice her approach. Klara stood before him, awkward in her uncertainty of what to do next.
She cleared her throat. The man shovelled another spoonful of stew in his mouth and did not look up. She tried again, a little louder this time, and still the man ignored her. Sliding her knife from its sheath Klara slammed the point down into the table where it quivered menacingly. The spoon stopped half way to the old man’s mouth. He looked up under busy eyebrows and regarded her for a long moment before the spoon continued its journey. Chewing slowly he simply sat and looked at her.
Klara put her hands on her hips. Now she had the man’s attention starting a conversation about Lucius seemed even harder than she thought it would be. The man lowered his gaze, scooping up another spoonful of stew, and she found herself dismissed.
“Hey!” she slammed both her hand down on the table. “I want to talk to you.”
“So talk.” The fact he didn’t bother to look up infuriated Klara. The man has no manners— and they call Hun barbarians.
“I’m looking for a man.”
He looked up then. “Really?” Pushing the bowl away he leaned back in his chair, letting his eyes roam over the curves of her body. “I’d be happy to oblige.”
Klara swept the empty bowl off the table with the back of her hand. It clattered on the floor and rolled under the table. Her chest heaved with suppressed anger.
“Might I suggest you would do better with men if you tempered your aggression? So unattractive in a woman.”
Klara wrenched the knife out of the table and held it towards the man. “Do you know a man named Lucius Aurelius?” she hissed.
The old man’s bushy eyebrows shot up and disappeared into his hairline. “Lucius? How on earth do you know Lucius?” He narrowed his blue eyes and leaned forward, his hand shot out grabbing her wrist. “Who are you?”
She tried to reclaim her hand but the man was too strong. Cleverly he’d grabbed her hand holding the knife so there was very little point struggling. She raised her chin and said, “I am Klara...”
“The Hun,” the man finished softly. He let her go and settled back. “I’ve heard about you. Sit down. You’re in luck.”
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Eva lives on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia in the town which brought the world the Bee Gees. When she’s not writing romance you can find her out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee (and old Bee Gees records).
You can find her on Facebook, @EvaScottWriter or at her website.
Thanks for treating us today, Eva!
K.M. Jackson's latest book BOUNCE is my Téa Time Treat today. The tagline and the cover alone are enough to send it straight to my TBR pile! Love it!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today Téa to talk about BOUNCE.
Have you ever felt out of place in your own skin? Like your life is spinning out of your control and you don’t know what to do to slow it down to get it to rights?
That’s what’s happing to Sabrina Jacobs, my heroine in my latest novel, BOUNCE. Sabrina is a wife and working mother who on the outside seems to have a charmed life and have it all together, but in reality her world is falling apart. Here is a peek into BOUNCE.
Oh, and I forgot to mention there's a $50 GC up for grabs!!
Blurb thanks to River Hills Press:
Growing up as a young girl, Sabrina Jacobs could only dream her life would be this good. She has a successful career, a famous sexy husband, two children, a house in an affluent Westchester suburb and a shoe collection worthy of a magazine spread. Too bad it’s all a façade.
It has been almost a year since her husband admitted he had an affair with a younger and bouncier coworker. Follow Sabrina as she tries to rein in her out-of-control life by kicking her husband out on his rear, chucking her career and even firing her too-cute-for-the-job nanny. But how will she survive as a stay-at-home mom in the land of designer clothes, designer kids’ parties and designer babies? Hmm… maybe the hunky young French teacher, who has been flirting shamelessly with Sabrina, is just what she needs to take her mind off her problems. Well, not if her husband has something to say about it. Will Sabrina be able to forgive and still be true to herself?
I look Lucy over in her boot cut jeans and v-neck tee. The tee is in a size made more for a 10-year-old boy than a 20-year-old girl and shows her full breasts to their fullest advantage. The outfit is quite a contrast to my black business suit. Suddenly, I feel like the narc in the room and out of place in my own sunny kitchen.
Sean walks in, dressed in shorts and a tank on his way out for his morning run. His outfit shows off his strong legs and muscular arms. He still looks so young and fit and when I think of how I tensed up when he touched me this morning I can’t help but feel like a fool. I know I need to let this anger go and just enjoy being with my husband. If this marriage is going to have any chance, it’s what I have to do.
He leans down and kisses Mackenzie again then ruffles the top of Zach’s head. “Dad, I’m tired,” Zach grumbles through a mouthful of cereal. He looks like a mini, skinny version of his father, down to the same striking green eyes and strong eyebrows.
Sean laughs and pokes at his side. “You’d better wake up, boy, the day is waiting.” He turns and says hi to Lucy, and she beams back at him.
“Good morning, Mr. Sean,” she says with her wide, full-lipped smile. The girl has lips to rival Angelina Jolie. Ple-ase. I force back a head shake. I really can’t believe I’ve got a twenty-year-old coming into my house to watch my kids all day. Shoot. Half the reason I chose Isabel to be my nanny was her unassuming looks and middle-aged pouch. I know it sounds shallow, but I swore that when I got a nanny she would look like Alice from The Brady Bunch and now I’ve practically got a swimsuit model living here. With Sean’s recent history?
Maybe Mama did raise a fool.
K.M. Jackson’s Bio:
A native New Yorker, K.M. Jackson spent ten years designing for various fashion houses before pursuing her dream of being a writer. She currently lives in a suburb of New York with her husband, twins, and a precocious terrier named Jack that keeps her on her toes.
Places to keep up with K.M. Jackson:
K.M. can be found on her site at www.kwana.com
On Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/KmJacksonAuthor
On twitter at: https://twitter.com/kwanawrites
Bounce Buy links:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/K0FcVJ
The holiday season is pretty much over and it's time to get serious.
I've got two special guests here today Dr Sylvia Greene a general medical practitioner and Mark Bastian a naturopath and acupuncturist both characters from Juliet Madison's new book THE JANUARY WISH. They'll be sharing their top health tips for writers with the help of their creator who has a health science degree in complementary medicine and is a qualified naturopath.
(PS They've also got a bit of a giveaway for you too!)
Welcome to Téa Time Treat Juliet, Sylvia and Mark I can't wait to hear your top tips!
Dr Sylvia Greene’s Top 5 Health Tips for Writers:
1. Follow a balanced routine and take regular breaks. Allocate time for each important part of your life, and don’t forego sleep or exercise for your writing.
2. Sleep eight hours a night if possible and use an eye mask to maximise your melatonin levels for better quality sleep (if you have young kids that wake you up, take the odd nap when you can to catch up, though try to stick to the same bedtime and waking time each day). Also get a dose of sunlight first thing in the morning both for vitamin D and for setting your body clock.
3. Be consistent with exercise, make it a priority and schedule it in your diary each week. Treat it like an appointment you have to attend. Writing involves a lot of sitting and you need to counteract this to help prevent obesity and cardiovascular problems.
4. Have an annual health assessment with your GP. Also have regular blood pressure checks. Just like actors, writers’ bodies can undergo physiological changes as they experience different emotions during the writing process, and sedentary occupations or stress can lead to a higher incidence of high blood pressure.
5. Don’t overdo the alcohol, keep to the recommended guidelines for adults based on your gender, and be sure to have two or more alcohol-free days each week. Remember, alcohol inhibits brain function and results in reduced concentration and planning skills. Save it mostly for celebrating those publishing contracts and writing achievements.
Right, I hope you've taken those in - especially #5!
Mark Bastian’s Top 5 Health Tips for Writers:
1. Stay hydrated. Inadequate water intake is a common cause of fatigue and poor concentration. Aim for 6-8 glasses a day and use a quality water filter. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to help normalise pH levels in the body and counteract acid-producing foods such as grains, meats, and dairy. If you forget to drink water, set a reminder beep on your phone or computer every hour.
2. Eat small, low GI meals or snacks every 2 hours or so. This will help keep your blood sugar levels steady which will help concentration and energy. Good meals include protein like lean meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, along with high-fibre vegetables or salad and a small amount of carbohydrate. Snack on fruit, nuts and seeds, a little dark chocolate even, and try homemade healthy muffins made from almond meal and sweetened with either Xylitol or stevia. You can also use these natural sweeteners in place of sugar if you drink tea or coffee, though I recommend minimising intake of those beverages. Caffeine actually reduces blood flow to the brain. Dandelion tea is a good substitute.
3. Take quality nutritional supplements for overall health including a good quality multivitamin & mineral, and fish oil for brain function and concentration. A naturopath can advise you of the best formula for your needs, as not all are created equal and some cheaper brands are not well absorbed by the body or may have synthetic ingredients. A naturopath can also test your zinc levels through a simple taste test. Zinc deficiency often results in poor concentration too, among other things.
4. Reduce intake of artificial additives including preservatives, flavour enhancers, colours, and artificial sweeteners as they can affect behaviour, mood, and concentration, and put an extra load on the body to process them. Stick to basic, natural foods at least 80% of the time.
5. Keep good posture while writing to prevent structural problems and pain. Stretch regularly, exercise daily, and use massage and acupuncture for those niggling pains in the back, neck, and hands.
So there you go, writers, some great tips to help you maximise your concentration and overall health! Why not give some a try? But of course, these are not a replacement for individual medical advice so remember to see your health professional with any concerns you may have.
There's a serious absence of chocolate. It definitely maximises my concentration!
To see Sylvia and Mark in action in their chosen fields, and in their relationship conflicts with each other, grab a copy of THE JANUARY WISH today from any of the following ebook retailers:
Amazon - Amazon UK - Amazon Aus - iTunes/iBookstore - Kobo - B&N/Nook - GooglePlay - BigW ebooks - Booktopia - JB HiFi - ebooks.com - All Romance ebooks
THE JANUARY WISH
When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it's the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.
A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia's small coastal town with secrets that can't be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia's well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.
They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.
You could also win a $25 Amazon gift voucher and a coastal photographic print of the setting of THE JANUARY WISH. Competition is open worldwide and the winner will be drawn at the
beginning of February.
That's only a week away - don't miss out! Thanks for stopping by Juliet and friends - I am heading off to put all your advice into practise....tomorrow!
Juliet Madison is a naturopath-turned-author with a background in dance, art, internet marketing and perfume sales (yes, she was one of those annoying people in department stores who spray you with perfume). Nowadays she prefers to indulge her propensity for multiple careers by living vicariously through her characters. She likes to put these characters into extraordinary situations and take them on a challenging journey to discover their true passion and inner strength, weaving in some laughs, tears, romance and sometimes a touch of magic along the way.
Living near the beach on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales, Australia, Juliet spends her time running her internet business, raising her son, writing as often as she can, and doing her best to avoid housework.
Visit Juliet online at her website, blog, facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.
So here's another great blog hop from an all Aussie contingent... leading up to a celebration of Australia Day. Lots of wonderful posts from some great Australian writers...you can catch up with any you may have missed at the bottom of this post.
Don't forget to call in every day and visit the blogs, leave a comment, enter the raffle copter for the fabulous gift basket.
$100 and 26 e-books (some print) from our generous authors Drawn Australia Day
One of my favourite places to spend Australia Day is Sydney. Yes in the city! However Sydney is a city like no other. The Australia Day celebrations run over the long weekend from 25th to 27th January. Lots of the action takes place on or around Sydney Harbour and the beaches with a concert and fabulous fireworks to finish it off. My favourite Sydney beach is Balmoral. I love the retro feel of the place, the restaurants for lunch and the fact that it is only a few minutes by boat from all the action in the evening.
Lunch at the famous Bather's Pavilion is a real treat though I'm not sure their Passionfruit Pavlova is a patch on the one Jeanie's grandmother serves in PASSIONFRUIT & POETRY. I couldn't resist slipping Balmoral beach and the Bather's Pavilion into that story!! How cool is this place? This is where Xander takes Jeanie for one of their photo shoots - wonder why? Mind you the beach wasn't as crowded when they went for a swim...
And just to tickle your taste buds this Australia Day here's the Passionfruit Pav that made the lovely Xander Fitzgerald turn to poetry! (You can find the recipe here!)
I'm really excited that PASSIONFRUIT & POETRY - the print book will be available very soon - late January, early February! If you'd like to be in the draw to win a copy leave a comment below and sign up for my newsletter here. Meanwhile the ebook is available on Amazon and at all good etailers if you'd like a dose of pure_ Aussie romance.
There's a rafflecopter below for Grand Prize - $100 GC and 26 books from Aussie authors. Don't forget to call back you can enter every day!
$100 and 26 e-books (some print) from our generous authors
drawn Australia Day
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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