The Gladiator and the Guard by Annie Douglass Lima

About Book 1: 

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!


And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

About the Book

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

Book Excerpt

Ian came over, his eyebrows up in pleased surprise at the sight of the green flashing screen at the front of the treadmill. “You finally made it. Good!” He went round and pressed a few buttons on the control panel out of Bensin’s reach. “I’ll set it for another fifteen minutes so you can cool down with a slow jog. Then we’ll stop for lunch, and you can take it easy this afternoon except for some prep and warm-up with Riddior. You’re on later, you know.”

“Wait — what? I’m fighting today?” That was news to Bensin. Normally, when a gladiator was to compete, he was told days or even weeks ahead of time, depending on the kind of preparation needed. And Bensin hadn’t heard of anyone being made to fight when still recovering from a lashing as bad as the one he had received.

“Yeah, you’re on. It’s a special last-minute plan of Gile’s.”

Uh-oh. That didn’t sound good. Though Ian seemed to have gotten over his anger, Gile had made no secret of the fact that he was still furious with Bensin.

“But I thought they were doing wrestling today, not cavvara shil,” he protested. Asher was on this afternoon, after all, and that was his specialty. Ian had been giving Bensin wrestling lessons, but Bensin wasn’t very good yet. Not compared to everyone else.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get a cavvarach,” the trainer assured him. “You’re not part of the regular schedule, just an add-on at the end. Gile will explain it all later. I know you’re not in top condition, but it’ll be fine. It’ll be easy for you, and the fans will love it.”

Bensin wasn’t reassured. The last time I was an add-on at the end, I was scheduled for execution.

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats) 
for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!



Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her
students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially
fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

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