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Here’s Thursday’s tasteful tidbit of my most recent writing from the Last Gladiator. I’ve got almost 7,000 words, and now you get to enjoy some of them, courtesy of my newest main character – Lucia.

Anyone interested in being a beta reader – better let me know asap as I’m looking for feedback on this novella by Labor Day!

“What? Missing the warm deserts of Mauretania?” Trajan said, watching Lucia as he checked the horses. The young man was one of the chief stablehands, responsible for the health of the horses and overseeing the stables. Lucia ignored him, knowing it drove Trajan crazy. The man lived to argue, and Lucia had plenty of experience with that in her father’s shops. She busied herself by checking the straps on her armor, thankful for the thick trousers and woolen jacket providing a layer of insulation between the armor and her body.

“Krisotaline should have been the one to get that position. You’ve fallen off the chariot way too many times, probably bumped your head.” He sneered. It was true, Lucia has taken several spectacular falls off the chariot, including one that left her with a sprained wrist. “Maybe you’ll even fall off again.” He added a few choice invectives under his breath.

“Are the horses secured?” She asked sharply.

“Yes, novica.” He replied. Lucia repressed the urge to reach out and smack him with the spear. He would not be sneering after that! But no, it wouldn’t do. She’d have to show them the right way, and she knew just how to do it. Lucia turned around and waved to Lanista Mergovin, the training master in charge of the training circuit. He nodded and blew a whistle.

Lucia snapped the reins and the horses started, gathering speed. The chariot’s right wheel smacked into Trajan, knocking the man over with an exceptionally satisfying crack.

(No more, then there are way too many spoilers!)