Author Kim Headlee is here with some thoughts on romance and a peek at her latest release, Liberty, a historical romance set in Roman Britain, a Rocking Romance.
They hailed her “Liberty,” but she was free only to obey—or die.
Betrayed by her father and sold as payment of a Roman tax debt to fight in Londinium’s arena, gladiatrix-slave Rhyddes feels like a wild beast in a gilded cage. Celtic warrior blood flows in her veins, but Roman masters own her body. She clings to her vow that no man shall claim her soul, though Marcus Calpurnius Aquila, son of the Roman governor, makes her yearn for a love she believes impossible.
Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and trapped in a politically advantageous betrothal, Aquila prefers the purity of combat on the amphitheater sands to the sinister intrigues of imperial politics, and the raw power and athletic grace of the flame-haired Libertas to the adoring deference of Rome’s noblewomen.
When a plot to overthrow Caesar ensnares them as pawns in the dark design, Aquila must choose between the Celtic slave who has won his heart and the empire to which they both owe allegiance. Trusting no man and knowing the opposite of obedience is death, the only liberty offered to any slave, Rhyddes must embrace her arena name—and the love of a man willing to sacrifice everything to forge a future with her.
AS WITH surviving her treatment among the soldiers, Rhyddes found anger to be an excellent ally for masking her fear and embarrassment. To be forced to strip and parade naked in front of this leering crowd—if the gods cared at all about their people’s plight, they would inflict a plague on all Romans and their whelps unto the third generation.
Fixing her gaze on a point at the top of the far wall while she dwelled upon happier days helped her weather the humiliation.
A pair of hands cupped her breasts, sending tingles scurrying through her body. She shifted her gaze to stare into the most alluring hazel eyes she’d ever seen, set into a tanned, handsome face crowned with close-cropped, curly black hair: the face of a god.
A Roman god, to judge by the scarlet-bordered bed linens flapping about his tall, muscular frame.
But, Roman or no, he was making her feel like a pampered goddess with his warm caresses. She closed her eyes and parted her lips in a soft sigh. When his touch became more firm, she regarded him again, puzzled by the change.
His face seemed lost in concentration. He was kneading her flesh as dispassionately as a woman evaluating the ripeness of peaches!
She worked up a mouthful of spittle, imagining how it would look adorning that arrogant face. Deciding it would buy her more trouble than she could afford, she swallowed and steeled herself to the Roman’s touch. His haughty grin rekindled her anger, dousing other emotions he’d awakened.
What surprised her, though she strove to hide it, was how hard those other emotions fought for dominance.
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from “the other Washington”) and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.
YouTube video interview: http://youtu.be/DV5iKrEIROk
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Here are Kim’s thoughts on romance.
1. What romantic event would you like to see this year?
I would love to go on an Arctic Circle cruise with my husband in the summer, and watch the auroras envelop the sky above us. It won’t happen this summer, though, LOL!
2. Name your favorite romantic tip
Calculate the number of DAYS since your wedding, first date, first kiss, first… whatever, and then surprise your partner with a night out on the town. It will utterly stump him or her as to what the special occasion is! I can’t take credit for this idea, however. My husband got it from a coworker, years ago, and surprised me on the 5000th day since our wedding anniversary.
3. What Rocking romance do you find intriguing?
Arthur and Guinevere, of course. Most romances don’t carry the power to shape the destiny of two nations, but theirs did–as portrayed in my series The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles (Dawnflight, Morning’s Journey, etc.).
4. What is your Rocking Romance flower?
I am quite partial to the Peace rose.
5. Plan one romantic evening what would you do?
Dinner at a great restaurant that doesn’t have any TVs! I’m not sure that would be my husband’s idea of a romantic evening, however… 😀
What’s your favorite romance tip or ideal romantic evening? Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to enter this month’s Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card & 2015 Mouse Pad Calendar.
Linda / Lyndi