Wednesday, April 24, 2024


 Silver Dagger Book Tours is featuring Book 3 of my historical fantasy romance series, The Sahra Chronicles.  

See Fire of the Gods and enter the drawing for an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate at

Monday, April 8, 2024

 Miriam was so kind to invite me to post today! 

One of my favorite historical books from the Centurion series is The Gladiator Prince. It is available in Kindle, paperback, and now hardback! So I'm celebrating by publishing fun facts about gladiators, Rome, etc. etc,. I'm also having a contest this week. If you leave a comment on the article on my FB page, I'll enter you in a drawing to win a signed copy of any one of my books. See you in the past! xoxo M;o) 



Thought I’d share a bit of what it was like to be trained as a volunteer gladiator in the world of The Gladiator Prince. Many elite families would send their sons to train under well-known gladiators to prepare them for life. Below is just a little peak into that world…

EXCERPT: Phaedra fought the chill of titillation skimming down her back as she watched the golden-skinned gladiator thrust his gladius towards her younger brother Bahar. A shudder of disgust followed. Throwing a guilty glance from side to side, she pushed her long dark hair behind one ear to cover the motion. To think she could be so moved by the flex of muscles of a nearly naked slave. Worse, a gladiator. She knew better.

Her father would skin her alive had he caught her at the ludus, especially when the familia gladiatorium were out in force. She studied the forty-two men with skins in shades from pale birch to darkest black, fighting to the rhythm of each deadly blow of wooden gladii against beaten scutum, each exquisitely muscled and slick with sweat. The Gladiator Prince, Chapter I

SWEAT & BLOOD IN THE SAND – FIRST DAY (a narrative short story)

Young Markus stared for the first time at the crowd of men and boys fighting on the hot sand of the ludus. A particularly large man, maybe a Brit, maybe a Gaul, with piercing blue eyes and odd, amber-colored hair, hefted a wooden sword and tilted his head. A strange half smile contorted the right side of the giant’s face and he waved the boy to come to him. Uncertain, Markus stepped out into the sun, glancing quickly behind him to see if the medico and Lanista were still standing in the doorway. It was empty.

“Now, boy!” 

The accented Latin cut through him. Glaring at him, the gladiator threw heavily muscled arms over one another in disgust. Cold chills and sweat fell down Markus’ spine, soaking the loincloth he wore, the only garment he was given after the Lanista and medico had stripped him, examined every corner of his body and flayed his nerves. 

He launched more than walked toward the gladiator. Hiccups quaked in his chest fueled by fear and exhaustion. 

When he came within slapping distance, the gladiator pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes. “What do they call you, boy?”

“M…Markus,” he blurted out.

“M…Markus. My name is Thane, but you will address me as sir or Doctores.”

Markus’ chin bobbed on its own and he could not stop his tongue. “I know who you are, sir.” The words burbled out of his mouth. “You are The Prince. I know all about you! I could not believe my luck to get you as a trainer…”

“You call it luck?” the gladiator roared and then laughed. In one step Thane’s shadow blocked out the sun. Markus’ neck ached trying to stay focused on the gladiator’s eyes. “Believe me, son. After this day, you will not consider yourself lucky.”

Markus swallowed. “Yes, sir,” he whispered.

Without warning, the gladiator smacked the back of the boy’s hands with the wooden sword sending stinging needles of pain up both arms. Fumbling, he caught the suddenly airborne sword before it hit the ground.

“That is your weapon, gladiator,” Thane said, pulling a very real one out of his balteus. The highly polished bronze dazzled the young man’s eyes until he had to shield them. “One day you will fight with one of these.” That bright blue stare cut Markus to the bone. “But not today. Defend yourself.”

That night, exhausted, hungry, bruised and bloody from sandals to hair, Markus fell onto a hard cot where he fretted again about whether he would survive the next day. 

Thane watched the boy from among the familia gladiatorium and had to smile, remembering his first day in the sand. He knew the boy would do well, even if the youngster did not know that himself. 


Sunday, April 7, 2024


 Fire of the Gods, Book 3 of the historical fantasy series, The Sahra Chronicles, has just released.

Sange Garimandi is deeply in love with her husband.  You would think things would go well.  But it's not so easy when he is a captain in service to the Emperator who has designs on your country, and when your marriage to him makes you and your newborn son essentially hostages.

A tale of love and war in an ancient land where alliances shift like the sands and gods rule the affairs of mortals, Fire of the Gods is available here: 

Sunday, March 17, 2024


This comes to you courtesy of my Nana, born in Galway, who emigrated to the U.S. in time to give birth to her numerous, tumultuous brood.  The recipe was her answer to feeding a crowd and/or lacking time to cut out numerous individual scones.  It can be baked in a cast iron skillet--that's how she did hers--but I have made a deep dish pie plate do just as well.  Don't forget to grease and flour it!  I've eaten many scones, but never found a recipe I liked better than this one.  

4 c. flour; 5 tsp. baking powder; 1/2 tsp salt; 2 eggs; 1 3/4 to 2 c. milk; 1/2 box raisins; 4 tbsp. butter; 1/2 c. sugar

Sift dry ingredients together.  Add sugar.  Cut butter into dry ingredients.  Beat 2 eggs slightly.  Add 1/2 milk to eggs.  Soak raisins in water about 10 minutes.   Drain.  Add to flour mixture gradually.  Then add egg mix and 1 - 1 1/2 more cups of milk.  Bake in greased and floured pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Saturday, February 24, 2024


The Dress, a comedy of oddities, is finally available on Kindle & in paperback! 

Take an odd girl, mix her with a loving mother and lots of wacky neighbors, throw in an invitation to the prom, and watch the miracles fly. 
"A delightful coming-of-age story about a very odd girl with special talents. Funny, heartwarming, and full of characters you will love!" 

"What a fun quick read! I loved all the quirky characters and laughed out loud several times!! Definitely recommend it!"

BTW, the Kindle book is ONLY $.99 RIGHT NOW!

Thursday, February 8, 2024


 The first review is in for my historical fantasy romance, Hand of the Gods, and it's a good one.  Here's a snippet for you.

"At its core, “Hand of the Gods” is a captivating tale of love tested against the backdrop of political intrigue and supernatural forces. With its dynamic characters and gripping plot twists, this novel will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment of The Sahra Chronicles. Newman’s masterful storytelling invites readers to lose themselves in a world where destiny is written in the stars, and the gods hold sway over mortal affairs."

You can see the review in full and enter a drawing for an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate today at