Thursday, May 21, 2015

Introducing: Marcus Calpurnius Aquila from LIBERTY #RLFBlog #MFRWOrg #giveaway

Daniel di Tomasso
One of the hallmarks of my fiction is the "impossible" relationship. In Liberty, the protagonist is a gladiatrix-slave named Rhyddes, who goes by the arena name Libertas (i.e., "Liberty"). The man she loves is the son of the Roman governor of Britain, Marcus Calpurnius Aquila—and Daniel di Tomasso (pictured, left) serves as a fine inspiration for Marcus.

Theirs is an impossible love because Roman social norms would have caused Marcus to be branded as an outcast for associating with a gladiatrix, even though he is a high-ranking aristocrat.

Love, of course, always finds a way, and I will leave the epic tale of Rhyddes and Marcus for you to discover for yourself. The e-book edition is only 99 cents today and is available for most e-readers, including:

Meantime, I would like to introduce you to the love of Rhyddes's life, who goes by Aquila ("the Eagle") in politics and business, and prefers for those who know and love him best to call him Marcus. The following set of interviews is reblogged from the RLF ("Romance Lives Forever") blog on 5/19/15. Thank you, Kayelle, for allowing me to introduce Marcus to your readers too!

Introducing Marcus Calpurnius Aquila 
Age: mid-20s
Gender: male
Birthplace: Rome, Italia
Profession: politician in training
Describe his body build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars: Marcus has the body of a football quarterback: muscular but not overly bulky. In present-day terms he tops 6’ in height, 220 pounds, and has a fading tan from having spent the past two years living under the paler northern sun of Britannia Province. He has some minor scars from his arena bouts, but nothing specifically mentioned in the book as being an issue for him.

RLFblog: Who is the significant other in Marcus's life?
The woman who empowers his soul is Rhyddes, a gladiatrix-slave whom he knows by her arena name “Libertas.”

RLFblog: Tell us about Rhyddes (a.k.a. Libertas), please.
KIH: Libertas is the first woman Marcus has ever known who does not swoon over his wealth, charms, or looks. She sees him for who he is: a man struggling to free himself from the bonds of duty, and he comes to appreciate that very much. He recognizes in her a kindred spirit in that regard, for she is oath-bound to obey her masters too. Although her beauty attracts him to her, it is her unconquerable spirit that ultimately leads him to want to sacrifice everything to win her love.

RLFblog: How does Marcus dress?
In a toga on the Senate floor, and in scanty armor on the arena floor. He prefers the scanty armor, and so do his legions of female admirers.

RLFblog: Is Marcus book-smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?
Marcus has had all the educational privileges offered to Rome’s aristocratic citizens, so in that regard he possesses a fair degree of “book smarts,” but he is also widely experienced because of his arena exploits… and the epic after parties.

RLFblog: What is his viewpoint on wealth?
Unlike most Roman aristocrats, Marcus believes that his wealth and status should be used to help people rather than to control and exploit them.

RLFblog: On what special skills does Marcus rely?
Although his being an aristocrat exempts him from fights to the death, he is a highly skilled swordsman in his own right—and he would never have believed that this skill would save his life and the life of the woman he loves.

RLFblog: Are any of his skills a source of pride or embarrassment, and if so, which ones and why?
His predilection for arena combat is an extreme source of embarrassment for his family, particularly his father, Governor Agricola. In fact, it becomes a major point of contention between them, and Marcus’s desire to consort with Libertas further widens the rift.

RLFblog: Is he close to family?
Marcus enjoys a very close relationship with his mother, Lady Loreia, who in the way of all mothers understands him better than he understands himself at times.

RLFblog: Can he keep a secret (why or why not)?
Marcus must keep his budding relationship with Libertas a secret, for to do otherwise would cause him to be banned from polite Roman society. He doesn’t care about that so much, but he knows it would stain his family too, and he has no wish to inflict that pain upon them.

RLFblog: What is his biggest need at the beginning of the story?
Marcus needs his father to accept him for who he is, not for how he can enhance Agricola’s political career.

RLFblog: If Marcus could make any one thing happen, what would it be?
Once he decides that Libertas is the woman with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life, he will stop at nothing—even sacrificing all of his wealth and power—to make marriage with her possible.

Marcus Calpurnius Aquila (MCA)
answers the following questions
about his writer, Kim Iverson Headlee:

RLFblog: Why do you think Kim chose to write about you?
She chose to write about Libertas—Rhyddes. I am merely a facet of Rhyddes’s story.

RLFblog: What do you wish she had not told others about you?
I wish that she had not gone into such detail about my strained relationship with my father; that is a highly personal matter for me, and one I do not readily share with anyone.

RLFblog: What other character from your book do you think Kim should write a book about, and why?
I would like to know more about Rhyddes’s brother Owen. Of all her brothers, Owen is the closest to her in age and spirit, and I imagine his story is a fine one too.

RLFblog: Why do you think she loves to write?
Who can say? But if I were to venture a guess, it would be that she must love to entertain people with her wordplay, much in the same way that I love to entertain people with my swordplay.

RLFblog: Is there anything you'd like to say to your writer?
Thank you, Kim Iverson Headlee, for accepting the daunting challenge of presenting the story of Rhyddes’s life in such a faithful and poignant manner.

View Marcus and Rhyddes's story in this fantastic book trailer!


Enter this great giveaway for note cards, e-book copies, and an autographed print copy of Liberty!

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