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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Minnette Meador

***** This is part of the Virtual Book Tour for The Gladiator
. Please leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 Gift
Certificate at the end of the tour in addition to the weekly prize.
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Today’s excerpt takes place after Thane’s tryst with Phaedra. A daily routine like a bath can make life very interesting for a gladiator, especially one as popular as The Gladiator Prince…

By Minnette Meador


Thane groaned when the two guards escorted him through the door. Women lounged everywhere in the bath, some swimming, others splashing arms and feet in the hot waters, while others cupped water into their hands, releasing it against their breasts. It was a soft dance of seduction that Thane found amusing. How they knew he would be there was beyond him, but he suspected that Thaddeus, one of his two guards, and a damned good auctorati, had sold the information. Thane did not fault him; the man had a wife and four children to feed.

Thane presented his shackled wrists to Delius, the other guard, who removed them cheerfully, giving Thane his usual leer. “Busy night, Prince? Not one, but two? How do you do it?”

“Briton secret, son.”

Thane gazed across the crowded bath at a wake of naked women, from youngsters no more than twelve to old women skirting sixty. As always, the two guards waded into the bath to urge the knot of female bodies away to make room for the gladiator. A chorus of disappointed moans flowed softly against the roiling steam.

Thane eased himself into the hot water, sore from his training and from his evening ventures. The guards usually held the ladies at bay so he could wash; however, most of the time they were distracted by young ones who would move in hoping to get close to Thane or cause a diversion so others could. Fights always broke out in the ludus for the privilege of taking Thane to the baths. It was one of the more stimulating duties of the auctorati.

Two Nubian women sailed through the water toward Thane as another three distracted the guards.

“My sire,” called the tall one at the lead. She had skin the color of burnt coal and eyes like honey. Thane found the combination compelling. The friend gliding forward with her was equally attractive. He had never been with an Afrikan.

When they got nearer, the first one stopped and pulled the second one to her side running her hand under the other woman’s breasts one at a time.

“This one, my prince,” she claimed, her accent heavy but arresting. “Her name is Adama, and she desire to pierce herself on your belly. A virgin.”

Startling white teeth shone from the younger one as she smiled then covered it up with a shy hand. “She my sister, sire. She take your seed and have a beautiful man child.”

“You are very beautiful,” he said to the sister, “but…”

“She not speak Latin, sire. But I will tell her.”

“Well, tell her she is lovely and will make beautiful children someday with a man. I am not that man.”

“But, sire,” the first one said, “we will both lay with you and give you beautiful sons.”

Delius had managed to disentangle himself from the other women and came over to fulfill his function.

“All right, ladies. Off you go. The Prince needs his privacy.”

Just then, a loud voice called for order, and two Roman soldiers appeared on the marble deck above the baths sending the women scattering and diving to cover their nakedness. Thane never understood this habit amongst their own kind. They never dove when the gladiators came to the baths… quite the contrary.

“You ladies will have to leave the bathhouse.” The soldier’s voice shifted through the bathhouse echoing loudly against the marble pillars. “By order of the procurator. All of you out.”

A general trumpeting of disappointment or anger drowned out the man’s voice. Thane would not have given the two of them a single chance against that mob. The other soldier pulled his sword and leveled a stern frown at them. “If we have to, your husbands and fathers can be called to get you out.”

That did it. The women, though still protesting, moved swiftly to the edges of the bath and disappeared into the catacombs towards the dressing areas.

Thane was moving to the edge of the pool as well, but the soldier with the sword pointed the tip at the two guards.

“You and you may wait outside for the gladiator. We will see to it he does not wander.”

Confused, but not inclined to argue with the tip of the gladius, the two guards got out, took up their clothes and scrambled through the door, both shooting glances back at Thane.

Moving to the edge of the pool, Thane called up to one of the soldiers. “What is this about?” A strangling apprehension settled on his shoulders. Something was wrong. “I am the property of Abella.”

The two guards ignored him and went to a dark entrance at the back of the bath. There, standing in the shadows, stood a woman enveloped in a heavy cloak. She spoke with them briefly, and Thane knew there was some argument, but apparently, she won it, for they both turned on their heels and left her alone in the bath.

Another woman. This had to be yet another of Abella’s elite. She must have been wealthy indeed to get him alone in the bath with the fine wives of citizens chased out by two Roman soldiers.

The light was very dim in the bath, so he could not make out her features as she moved to him. Her gait seemed oddly heavy, as if she carried something. The steam now released from all the commotion rose thickly around him, and he could not see her face when she stopped next to him and slid her cloak and tunic to the floor, but he could see why she walked with such a burden. It looked as if the child she carried would be there at any moment.

As she slid down the stairs into the bath, Thane caught a glimpse of auburn hair and bright blue eyes. A Brit? It would have been very unusual for a Briton woman to wish to lay with him even if she was not carrying a child. However, Thane had had enough for one day.

“Forgive me, mistress,” he said as she glided through the water toward him, “but I have fought and trained all day and lain with two women. I am afraid I do not have the strength to satisfy you tonight. Perhaps tomorrow…”

“Tomorrow it will be too late, cousin.” The face that materialized out of the steam smiled at him with mischievous glee. “Besides, I have heard that it would take more than two women to satisfy the great Gladiator Prince. Perhaps six or seven…”

“Your majesty.” Thane immediately lowered his eyes before her, and she lifted her hand to touch his face.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Somewhere between thirty and hair, blue eyes...six kids, one slightly used husband, and any number of pets from time to time... wanttabe hippy... wanttheirmoney musician and actress for 20 Years... native Oregonian... lover of music, beauty, and all things green. Willing slave to the venerable muse. Minnette currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband, having replaced the children with one dog. The dog, Pierre, pretty much runs the show.




Mary Preston said...

This was a wonderful excerpt. Taking a bath has it's own perils I see.


Unknown said...

There sure area lot of things that were accepted in the past that are not accepted today wow.


Minnette Meador said...

Good morning, everyone!

It does indeed, Marybelle! This was a really fun chapter to write.

You said it, Leanne! :o)

If anyone wants to see the Celtic necklace I'm giving away for today's blog stop, just visit


Stacie said...

Every blog stop is making me want more of the characters. I think you should write another book about them. lol

Jean P. said...

I had to miss a few days, but I'm sure glad I got back for this post. Off to get caught up.


Shadow said...

Great excerpt! Very interesting post. If you could go back in time for one day, what peroid would you go back to and what would you do?

Nichole said...

Oh la la! Sounds like a spicy bath!! Its amazing how, back then, public baths were okay. Now, try getting away with it and you'd be in jail!

...almost makes me wanna go back in time!

Lovely excerpt!!

Nichole B nelsnr2010(at)gmail(dot)com

booklover0226 said...

Great excerpt. I look forward in reading this series. I've added all 3 books to my wish list.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Bama said...

oooooooh lala! a great excerpt! :D

Sheila Deeth said...

Ah, your majesty... Bowing to the queen of Celtic romance.

Unknown said...

What would you say was the most amazing thing you learned in your research for this book?

Toni said...

I agree Leanne. Not everything has changed for the better. Great scene Minnette!

Christiana said...

I was thrilled to get to read more of this scene, it definitely leaves you eager to read the whole book. Hope your day is going well, I will try to get back tonight, however, it's Dad's 65th birthday and I have a surprise party planned and it wouldn't do for the hostess to miss her own party... of course Thane is a good reason to skip out.. :)


Minnette Meador said...

Thanks, Stacie... There are some of the character from this book in the next one. :o)

Hi, Jean! Welcome back!

Tough question, Shadow. I'd have to brush up on my Italian, but I think I'd spend a day with Leonardo di Vinci and just talk shop!

Me too, Nicole! Can you imagine? I'd probably be too shy! :o)

Thanks, Tracie! I really hope you like them.

Thanks, Bama!

Oh, Sheila... don't know about that, but thank you!

Good question, Leanne. I think it was all the research about poisons, potions, and alchemy... well, read the book. You'll see.

Thanks, Toni!

Thanks, Christiana... You take care of dad. The posts will still be here later. Give him a big fat kiss from me! :o)

jeanne said...

SOunds like a great read!!

Wicked Pretty said...

I had to stop halfway through reading this and take a bath I and the computer got soooo steamed up reading it, LOL. This chapter is superb and if it is any indication of the rest of the book I am sitting on the edge of my chair awaiting the rest of the book. I am so into this genre since the movies and television shows of this period that I thoroughly enjoyed this EVEN MORE. Your written grabbed me from the first words and took me to that bath scene and I felt as if I was right there too!(don't I wish) and that is the kind of writing all readers LOVE and enjoy. Keep sending us more, please!

Pam Asberry said...

Loved the excerpt. Glad to meet you and look forward to reading more of your work!

Pamela Mason said...

I love all the historical detail. This is an epic novel, yes?

Nichole said...

You, shy? never!! Thats the best things about books can go into an imaginary world and be or do whatever you want!! No such thing as too shy or too whatever. You get to create yourself! :)

Minnette Meador said...

Thanks, Jean!

Oh, Wicked Pretty! You just made my night. What an amazing compliment. I really hope you get a chance to read the books... I'd love to know what you think of them! :o)

It's lovely to meet you too, Pam. You are sooo adorable! :o)

Hi, Pamela! It run at about 92K, but is probably the least epic of the three books; more intimate, though the Rome sequence is very epic. :o)

You are absolutely right, Nichole! I'd probably be the one sidling up to the naked hunk! Oh, mama!

Yami Neko said...

mm the bath scene looks wonderful~ *cough* something about it makes me wish for someone that handsome..


Na said...

It would take a very strong-minded woman to be married to a gladiator. I don't think I would be able to handle all these woman seeking out my husband and offering to give him sons in exchange for luck. I imagine a lot of cold showers would have been needed ;)

Minnette Meador said...

Thanks, Neko... It was a blast to write! :o)

I'm with you, Na... but I think that's true of any handsome man. A friend of mine is married to an extremely handsome fireman... yes, right out of the calendar... Women are always looking at him, but as long as he's only looking at her, all she does is smile. :o)

Chelsea Rafferty said...

Wow Minnette, that was an awesome scene to introduce :P I've been busy lately but spotted this post about a bath scene... was like hmm... I can take 2 minutes for that *grins* So worth it too... there's enough suspense in that excerpt to make people want to read the whole book because they are curious more about the girl, the roman guards, his regular guards etc :P I'm afraid I'd be one of those slaves happy to wash the Gladiator myself lol XD

Julee J. Adams said...

*whew!* Is it steamy in here or what? Great to leave it on a note of mystery. Thanks, again and wishing you much success!
juleejadams (at) gmail (dot) com

mrs z said...

wow. bath. gladiator. need i say more. Time travel would be on my list of must have powers if it was possible. Quite a teasing exerpt.

Minnette Meador said...

Thanks to everyone who came over yesterday and commented. It was a ton of fun...

And the winner of the adorable Celtic necklace is...

CHRISTIANA!!!! Congrats, girl. Send me your name and address to mmeador at minnettemeador dot com and I'll get that in the mail to you!

See you guys on the next stop! Minnette :o)

Unknown said...

Great excerpt, This sounds like a fabulous read would love to read it.