Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Available now from Phaze!

Yay! My short story, The Gladiator's Woman, is available now from Phaze (http://www.phaze.com/index2.html).

Enjoy the excerpt below.

Collina Flavia leaned on the balustrade that ran around the
central courtyard of the gladiator school and watched silently as
the men went through their paces under the fierce guidance of their
It was three days since the lanista-Brutus Aemilius had asked
her to be the doctor for his ludus, and she'd been too busy moving
in and purchasing supplies to pay much more than a glancing
attention to the gladiators who might soon require her services. But
the tall Aethiop with skin the color of night, a man of her mother's
own race, had caught her eye. He wore nothing but a loincloth and
she noted how his muscles rippled and bunched as he performed
his maneuvers. After practice, a masseur would attend to the men.
Collina found herself wishing it was her hands that would glide
over the Aethiop's oiled skin, loosening his tired muscles until he
was as pliable as dough. Then, if he had no objection, she would
massage him elsewhere bringing on the hardness she'd banished
from the rest of his body. She'd find out if what they said about tall
men with long hands was true. With luck, he'd feel obliged to
return massage for massage. The thought sent a finger of fire
snaking upwards from between her legs.
In front of her, the Aethiop executed a particularly complex
maneuver and then sank to his knees, chest heaving, exhausted.
Catching sight of her for the first time, he raised his wooden sword
in a mock salute, grinning as if he knew what she'd been thinking.
Collina Flavia nodded primly at him and hurried away. They had
not spoken two words since she'd moved to the ludus-she didn't
even know his name. Still, she couldn't get the gladiator out of her
mind as she sat in her treatment room that afternoon, pounding her
newly purchased supplies into powders and salves and measuring
them into their individual bottles. She must at least find out his
name, she decided. Maybe even strike up a conversation. How
difficult could that be?
In her mind's eye she saw again his naked, finely-built torso,
the muscles twisting in his arms and back, the look of
concentration on his face as he put himself through his moves.
He'd looked like some onyx statue carved by a master and brought
to life by the breath of Jupiter. She had to meet him.
Her opportunity to talk to the Aethiop came earlier than she'd
hoped. That same night, he came to sit beside her at one of the long
kitchen tables where the gladiators and those who worked with
them ate.
"I never saw you watch us train before," he said, bringing a
heaping spoon of meat stew to his mouth.
Collina paused before answering. She wanted to make sure her
voice didn't shake.
"I've been busy getting the treatment room to my liking," she
said, congratulating herself on the smoothness of her delivery.
"Ah, yes. I think if Tiberius hadn't conveniently died, Brutus
would have fired him. He wasn't all that good. I hope you're
Collina decided not to take offence. "I hope so, too," she said
"She's certainly easier on the eye," interrupted the squat, blond
gladiator sitting opposite her.
The Aethiop looked her over, his heavy-lidded eyes sweeping
from the top of her head to what he could see of her legs, while
Collina did her best not to look as uncomfortable as she felt.
"Much easier," he agreed, chuckling.

Tula Neal
The Gladiator's Woman, Available Now from Phaze

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen tropical fruits you might not be familiar with -

1. Tamarind - sweet and tart at the same time. (Except for the Phillipine variety which is just sickly sweet!)

2. Star apple (also known as Carambola) - slice it up to cover your plate with stars.

3. Sugar apple - tons of seeds but totally yummy - refrigerate them for a yummy treat.

4. Mango - lots of varieties - all yummy! And, yes, the skin is edible.

5. Soursop - looks odd but makes great drinks and even greater ice cream.

6. Mamee apple - custardy taste.

7. Guinep - mostly seed but that's no reason not to try them.

8. Banana - high in potassium.

9. Guava - makes for great jellies and tarts or you can just enjoy them raw.

10. Jackfruit - if nominations were open, I would definitely campaign for this to be the King of Fruits! For size AND taste!

11. Papaya - high in beta carotene and tastes great chilled, with a splash of lime.

12. Sea grapes - sweet and tart. Can be found on or near many Caribbean beaches.

13. Passion fruit - makes a great drink but I don't know that it'll do anything for your love life - some Caribbean men claims it cuts their nature (makes it hard for them to get an erection).

You can soon learn more about these in my upcoming book from Amira Press - Forty-Six Days in the Caribbean: A Girl's Guide to Sand, Sun and Sex! Isn't that just the hottest title? I'll let you know more about it, maybe even do a giveaway or two as the release date approaches.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fun condom facts!

* Charles Goodyear obtained the first patent on a crepe rubber condom in 1844. And our sex lives haven't been the same since!

* Gabriele Fallopio, the Italian anatomist after whom Fallopian tubes are named, claimed to have invented the condom in 1564 in order to prevent syphilis. He may not have known it but condoms of one kind or another were in use around the world long before then!

* The number of condoms estimated to be used every year worldwide hit the 5 billion mark a couple years ago. And continues to climb even as you read this!

* Young Malcolm X, he of "by any means necessary" fame, supplemented his early income as a shoeshine man by selling condoms. Woowee! Malcolm could have sold me one any time!

* In 16th century Europe, condoms were made of linen. A ribbon sewn into the open end allowed for it to be drawn snugly around the man's cock. The ribbon may also have helped add to the woman's pleasure!