Faithful Daughter of Israel by Wanda Ann Thomas

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Roman Times – Judea

The homeless outcast known as Cursed ANNA has spent her days avoiding the reproachful glances of her fellow Jerusalemites and her nights defending against the bitter cold and her growing hunger and fear. Her deepest desire is to find acceptance among her people. For that to happen she must live one more day, and one more day after that. Desperation drives her to turn to the only means of survival for women without friends or family—harlotry. At Jerusalem’s Dung Gate in the dead of night, a scarlet-caped Roman soldier nears, and Anna quakes at having to approach the imposing, broad-shouldered man. Confronted by the foreigner, who identifies himself as the fortress commander, Anna fears she has made a terrible mistake.

JULIAN OF ALEXANDRIA is counting the days until he could escape this cursed assignment. He suspects his mother, his Jewish mother, is to blame for the bad luck of being stationed in Judea. Raised thoroughly Roman, Julian wants nothing to do with the Jews. Until Anna. Anna, the spirited Jewess who means to be a harlot. Except this frightened half-dead beauty seems an unlikely seductress. Though he should flee this attraction and fulfill his promise to his father to find a Roman wife, Julian makes himself Anna’s protector.

Impossible choices face this desperate Jewess and her hardened Roman commander. Will their rigid beliefs and traditions separate them, or will they follow their hearts?

Forgiven by Carol Ashby

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forgivenForgiven

122 – Judea

With a ruthless father who murdered for the family inheritance, Marcus Drusus plans to do the same. In AD 122, Marcus follows his brother Lucius to Judaea and plots to frame a zealot for his older brother’s death. But the plan goes awry, and Lucius is rescued by a Messianic Jewish woman. Her oldest brother is a zealot and a Roman soldier killed her twin, but Rachel still persuades her father Joseph to put his love for Jesus above his anger with Rome and hide Lucius until he heals.

Rachel cares for the enemy, and more than broken bones heal as duty turns to love. Lucius embraces Joseph’s faith in Jesus, but sharing a faith doesn’t heal all wounds. Even before revealed secrets slice open old scars, Joseph wants no Roman son-in-law. With Rachel’s zealot brother suspecting he’s a Roman officer and his own brother planning to kill him when he returns, can Lucius survive long enough to change Joseph’s mind?

Forgiven is the first volume in the Light in the Empire series, which follows the interconnected lives of the members of three Roman families during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. The eight novels of the series will take you around the Empire, from Germania and Britannia to Thracia, Dacia, and Judaea and, of course, to Rome itself.

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Warrior’s Vow by Christina Rich

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Warrior’s Vowthewarriorsvow

835 BC – Judah

Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice—if she dares trust him. She is royalty, yet Jesse is surprised by the gentle compassion Abigail shows him as he heals. In return, he will help her escape to Jerusalem, protecting her life with his own. But Abigail’s rank and Jesse’s deadly past makes any future impossible, unless forgiveness forged by love can triumph over all.  

The Scroll by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh

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The Scrollthescroll

70 AD – Judea

A sensational but little known archaeological find, the divorce document of a woman named Miriam issued at the desert fortress of Masada is the basis for this new historical page turner. Beginning with a fateful decision by Miriam, a strong-willed survivor on Masada’s final, horrific day, the tale spans three generations of her descendants. This saga extends from the depths of her despair on a barren desert plateau to the glittering city of Alexandria where Miriam sought love and a future, and back to the Holy Land, where, amid the clashing cultures at Beit Guvrin, the storied city of Zippori and, finally, at the emerald oasis of Ein Gedi, the past continues to stalk her, threatening to devour her children.

The Scroll is an adventure-rich voyage through the ancient customs and beliefs of Judaism and early Christianity and the challenges both faced in a hostile world. Readers are transported to the very roads and markets, palaces and hovels, synagogues and village squares of ancient Judea, where The Scroll’s characters choose between nation and family, and finally, between life and death. Will Miriam’s descendants learn the lessons of her life, or will enemies – within and without – rob those lessons from them?

Although The Scroll deals with events that took place two millennia ago, it sheds light which helps make sense of the complexities of today’s Israel and the choices its leaders make.