Spreading the Knowledge!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Giveaway Winner Announced

A mazillion (yes, I made that up) thanks to all the kind folks who entered my very first giveaway. I made a lot of new twitter and FB friends and can't wait to try it again sometime!

And the winner? Rebecca, from Reflections on Reading Romance!

Congrats, Rebecca...and thank you for entering. Please email me your mailing addy and email addy (for ebook) to harperbennett (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you, again!!


P.S. Never fear...one more contest still available at Kat Duncan's Write About. Go enter!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Visit me at Write About today and win again!

I'm like the Charlie Sheen of historical romance this week. I create winning wherever I go!

Kidding of course, but not about the winning part.

There's the giveaway here on Harper Writes (see details) and I'm also over at Write About with Kat Duncan today talking about the new release and a little about me-ism. A second prize package is offered, so go visit!

King Arthur...the Centurion?

I can honestly say that no figure in history makes a better romance hero than King Arthur himself. My opinion of course, but it's been a lifelong romance with me.

Nevermind the sad ending Sir Thomas Malory gave the whole crew, history might have been kinder to Arthur and his rag tag crew of knights.

One take on the historical basis for Arthur centers on a Roman centurion from the 2nd century named Lucius Artorius Castus. The information available to historians today is based on inscriptions on a sarcophagus and plaque located in Podstrana, on the Dalmation coast.

"...with the power of the sword..."

Centurions typically achieved their rank after 15-20 years of service, though some were directly commissioned based on personal valor or ties to powerful politicians.

According to this version, Artorius served in Syria, Judea, and Budapest before becoming Prefect of the Legion in Britain, a position normally achieved as a 50 to 60 year old man. Artorius held this post as a young man and served as third in command of the garrison.

In the Roman-based telling of his life, Artorius fought Sarmations in Eastern Europe and this exposure to their unique fighting style led him to leading the command of a number of Sarmastions at Ribchester (then Bremetennacum), campaigning north of Hadrian's wall. Artorius led these Sarmation knights against the Caledonians who overran the wall in 183-185.

(The story was inspiration for the 2007 epic "King Arthur" with Clive Owen, though they placed Arthur and his knights in 6th century Britain and made the invaders Saxons. Creative license and all...)

Artorius' standard was a large red dragon pennant (auxiliary forces did not use the eagle standard), which might explain the Welsh epithet Pendragon.

His exploits were remembered for centuries, generating the figure of the romantic hero Arthur among the Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons, who quite possibly enveloped him into their myths and legends and plucked him out of Roman obscurity in British legend.

Are you a fan of King Arthur? There's one more day left in my very first give away, which includes a copy of my new release "The Centurion's Prize" and a DVD version of "King Arthur," among other great swag. Visit the giveaway details and enter today!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review at SensualReads

Thank you so much to Candy at SensualReads.com for the 4.5 stars rating for The Centurion's Prize! Read the review here.

"In the first book of the Taming The Centurion series, Harper Bennett paints a vivid picture of Roman occupation and the men who work to overthrow their rulers.  The attraction between Nara and Corvin is instantaneous, but the love develops slowly through the story.  Will Nara and Corvin be able to stop Cadeym before it is too late?" (Sensualreads.com)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hanging Out Down South Today!

New Orleans paranormal romance author and blogger Dawn Chartier was kind enough to feature "The Centurion's Prize" today! Here's the link.

Thank you, Dawn!

Be sure to stop by, say hello, and check out her latest release as well, "Not An Angel."

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Makings of A Romance Hero: Centurions (Plus Giveaway!)

As much as I would hate to admit it aloud, I have a weakness for alpha males.

One look at the man I married--the very same who never cries, is never wrong, rarely apologizes, stands ready to bash middle-aged bullies in Target store parking lots, and is a general all-around badass--and, well, you'll see I love uber males and naturally had to feature one in my first honest-to-goodness release.

It's a fact universally acknowledged that since the day "Gladiator" was released, I am a consumer of all things Ancient Rome, and it really didn't surprise anyone that my first series would center around the Roman Empire and those original bad boys of imperialism, the centurions.

But what is a centurion?

Well, friends and readers, let me enlighten you a little. And then let me give you a fantastic prize package just for stopping by. (And hopefully returning soon!)

Meet the Centurions

Bottom line, a centurion is a professional Roman officer, typically in command of a centuria (century) or about 80 to 100 men. It took most centurions 10 to 15 years to achieve the rank and these men were shipped to the far corners of Rome's massive empire to lead the dwindling troops throughout Rome's entire history.

Caesar himself relied heavily on his centurions and was said to have promoted men to the rank in appreciation of their performance in battle and displays of valor, beginning the prestige often associated with the rank.

Centurions led from the front. Found at the front right position of their formations, these brave men were often the first over an enemy wall or to push through an opposing army's breached formation. They were known to lead by example and often sought to showcase those very same attributes (strength, bravery, prowess) that got them promoted in the first place.

These men often suffered the heaviest casualties, leading from the front and bearing the trademark uniform that spotlighted them as battlefield leaders. They were also camp disciplinarians and were in charge of handing out punishment for poor behavior or cowardice in battle.

Centurions had to be literate, have connections (letters of recommendation), be at least 30 years of age, and had already served a few years in the military.

The centurion in the infantry is chosen for his size, strength and dexterity in throwing his missile weapons and for his skill in the use of his sword and shield; in short for his expertness in all the exercises. He is to be vigilant, temperate, active and readier to execute the orders he receives than to talk; Strict in exercising and keeping up proper discipline among his soldiers, in obliging them to appear clean and well-dressed and to have their arms constantly rubbed and bright. (Vegetius)

Sounds like the makings of a perfect romance hero, no? In The Centurion's Prize, Corvinus Aelius Martialis, a former centurion and now second in command of Aquitania, spent years chasing down the ambitious dreams under  emperor after emperor. When a beautiful Celt named Nara appears and challenges his long-held beliefs, Corvin finds himself believing in the power of love and finally having something worth fighting for.

The Centurion's Prize August Giveaway

To celebrate this month's release of  The Centurion's Prize, I'm incredibly happy to be hosting a giveaway. Interested? Here are the details!

Prize Package 1:
  • A copy of The Centurion's Copy 
  • Clive Owen! Ok, not the real Clive Owen, but one DVD copy of "King Arthur," where Clive plays a Roman Centurion so well!!
  • Nara's Jewels: A beautiful pair of yellow glass earrings and a handmade glass bracelet  that reminded me of what my character, Nara, might wear the night of the big celebration and well, you should read the book to find out what else happened that night!

The contest runs today through August 6, with winners announced on Sunday August 7.

How to enter

Enter the following ways:
  • Comment on any new blog post between now and August 6 (each comment counts as a separate chance to win)

So let's get this party kicked off...tell me about your ideal alpha male and earn some entries!

For more information about the release of The Centurion's Prize, visit my author page at  Beachwalk Press.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Centurion's Prize Excerpt is Up

Time is flying by this summer and the release date for "The Centurion's Prize" is less than two weeks away! To celebrate, an excerpt is available here, at the Beachwalk Press website.

Happy reading!!