Killing a Messiah by Adam Winn

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29 – Israel

As Passover approaches, the city of Jerusalem is a political tinderbox.

Judah, a resistance leader, plots to overthrow the Roman occupation. Eleazar and his father, the high priest Caiaphas, seek peace in the city at all costs. Pilate, the Roman governor, maneuvers to keep order (and his own hold on power). Caleb, a shopkeeper, is reluctantly caught up in the intrigue. When rumors start spreading about the popular prophet Jesus, hailed by many as the Messiah, Roman and Jewish leaders alike fear unrest and violence during the upcoming festival. Then, in the midst of this tension, unexpected alliances emerge. In a city full of political entanglements, espionage, and competing interests, the blame for the crucifixion is complex and can’t land on just a single party. It takes more than one to kill a messiah.

A Death Well Lived by Daniel Overdorf

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29 – Israel

Lucius Valerius Galeo personifies the Roman Empire’s ambition and dominance. An egotistical centurion, his swagger betrays his arrogance and his blood-stained fists evidence his quick temper. He serves in Judea, quelling Jewish riots in Caesarea’s hippodrome and doing the bidding of the governor, Pontius Pilate, from Jerusalem’s fortress of Antonia. The Jewish people repulse him.

Lucius grows intrigued when protesting Jews lay their necks open to the sword―his sword―in response to Pilate’s desecration of their temple. His heart softens when a Jewish couple shows compassion to his children and their mother. His inner turmoil reaches its peak when a rabbi from Galilee arrives in Jerusalem. The rabbi’s teaching and miracles force Lucius to wrestle with his deepest assumptions and desires. Will he choose the ruthless power of Rome or the eternal power of Christ?

A Death Well Lived is a captivating tale set in first century Judea that offers hope for the worst among us and the worst within us.

Faithful by Carol Ashby

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122 – Roman Empire

Is the price of true friendship ever too high?

In AD 122, Adela, the fiery daughter of a Germanic chieftain, is kidnapped and taken across the Roman frontier to be sold as a slave. When horse-trader Otto wins her while gambling with her kidnappers, he entrusts her to his friend and trading partner, Galen. Then Otto is kidnapped by the same men, and Galen must track them half way across the Empire before his best friend loses a fight to the death in a Roman arena.

Adela joins Galen in the chase, hungry for vengeance. As the perilous journey deepens their friendship, will the kind, faithful man open her eyes to a life she never dreamed she’d want?

A trip to the heart of the Empire poses mortal danger to a man who follows Jesus, especially when Galen must seek the help of an enemy of the faith for Otto to survive. Tiberius hunted Christians when he governed Germania Superior and banished his own son when he became one.

When Tiberius learns sparing Galen offers a chance at reconciliation with his son, he joins the trio on their journey home. Can his life-long hatred for the followers of Jesus survive a trip with the Christian man whose courage and faithfulness demand his respect?

Faithful is the fourth 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.

Without Love by Anne Garboczi Evans

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112 – Roman Empire

No man marries a prostitute.

Born a slave, forced into ill-repute, Libya’s one meaning in life is her young son, the child of a nobleman, Victor Ocelli. Then, one night, her master moves to sell the boy.

A stranger rescues the boy by buying her and her child.

Moved by her tears, Roman patrician Felix “Wryn” Paterculi purchases Libya and her son that night. Wryn is working to gain a higher military post to bring the force of the law against the criminal who tried to kill him and his familia seven years ago—Victor Ocelli. To gain such a post, Wryn must follow custom and marry an elite patrician girl, but he can’t get the prostitute under his roof out of his head.

Then Victor Ocelli re-enters Libya’s life, offering her son freedom and a nobleman’s life if she will betray Wryn. Will Libya place her trust in the father of her son or the master whose kindness never ceases to amaze her? What will Wryn sacrifice for love?

The Fury of Dragons by Renee Yancy

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432 – Roman Britian

Eleri, a slave in an Irish hillfort, is seized on the day of her baptism by pirates on a slaving raid and taken across the sea to Britannia. About to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for the second time in her young life, she is taken off the block at the last moment by Coroticus, the fearsome British chieftain who led the raid.

Coroticus doesn’t understand why this skinny girl-child has bedeviled him from the moment he laid eyes on her. But when, on the deck of his ship, she speaks to him the identical words carved into his mother’s tomb, all he knows is he can’t let her go.

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When Gambling by Anne Garboczi Evans

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105 – Britain/Roman Empire

Cara of Camulodunum dreams of traveling the world, but as the daughter of a blacksmith, the height of her exploration is the plebian carpenter’s shop of her intended. Then she meets the patrician’s son, Eric Paterculi, who regales Cara with tales of Greece and Hercules.

The sons of Roman noblemen are meant to become soldiers and politicians, and Eric’s father, the Legate of Britannia has illustrious plans for Eric. However, Eric fails rhetoric class and seems more interested in training for the Olympic Games than for statesmanship.

At the training grounds, Victor Ocelli, a member of the Viri piracy ring, befriends Eric in order to use him against his father.
The more Cara learns about Eric, the more she desires to break free from the restrictive rules of her intended. But breaking the rules lands Cara in a bondage worse than she could have imagined. Only Eric can save her, but will a patrician defy his familia to rescue a plebeian?

For Life or Until by Anne Garboczi Evans

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85 – Britain/Roman Empire

Subduing the barbaric hordes came easy, until he married one of them.

Everyone in the Celtic Catuvellauni village assumed Ness would marry the man she had loved since age fifteen. Their eventual matrimony seemed preordained. His inscrutable rejection of Ness sends shock through the entire community. Heartbroken but resilient, Ness accepts a marriage proposal from a most unlikely eligible bachelor.

Battle scarred and weary of solitude, Roman Tribune Aquilus trained to do just one thing all his life—stoically serve the empire. The beautiful tribeswoman perfectly answers a long ignored call from deep within his soul. Though he adores his new bride, when Ness harms a political connection, Aquilus lays down the law.

But Celtic women aren’t inclined to submit to inconvenient rules, and the only obstacle standing between Ness and a Celtic divorce is Aquilus’s garrison of legionaries.

Will Roman might, Celtic stubbornness, or something else entirely prevail?

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

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25 – Philippi (Greece)

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

Blind Ambition by Carol Ashby

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114 – Roman Empire/Germany

It’s AD 114 in the Roman province of Germania Superior, and being a Christian carries a death sentence. Tribune Decimus Lentulus is on the fast track for a stellar political career back in Rome. When he’s robbed, blinded, and left for dead, a young German woman who follows the Way finds him. Valeria knows it’s his duty to have her and her family killed, but she chooses to obey Jesus’s command to love her enemy and takes him home to care for him.

It’s not his miraculous recovery that shakes Decimus to his core. It’s the way they love him like family and their unconcealed love for Jesus. In spite of himself, he falls in love with the Christian woman Rome wants him to kill. Can Valeria hide her faith to follow him into the circles of Roman power? Or should he abandon his ambition to help rule the Empire and choose to follow a different way?

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Unseen Love by Nancy Kimball

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79 – Rome

She has an uncertain future. He has a hidden past. Can a forbidden romance set them free?

In the shadows of pagan Rome, Laelia Ricarri’s recent blindness destroys her hopes of a betrothal to escape her abusive father. For Drusus, his new mistress is more capable, and beautiful, than she knows. Still tormented by the sins of his past, the only thing he fears more than falling in love with his mistress is failing her in his task. But his newfound faith has made him an enemy of Rome, and the reemergence of an old feud with a calculating rival threatens to ensnare Laelia within its dark grasp. As Drusus reawakens Laelia’s inner strength, his patient encouragement is awakening her heart. She’s learning to trust, as Drusus must also learn to trust in his God. When the indiscriminate tide of tragedy sweeps through Rome, Drusus and Laelia will have to put their faith in each other to survive. Even if that means being parted forever.

Courageous by Dina Sleiman

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1219 – Roman Empire

Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she’s haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.

The Advocate by Randy Singer

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63 A.D. – Rome

At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young assessore raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths—Roman crucifixion.

Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. He has survived the insane rule of Caligula and has weathered the cruel tyrant’s quest to control the woman he loves. He has endured the mindless violence of the gladiator games and the backstabbing intrigue of the treason trials.

Now he must face another evil Caesar, defending the man Paul in Nero’s deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution?

The advocate’s first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.

Premonition by R.S. Ingermanson

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AD 57 – Israel

What if you were studying for your Ph.D. in archaeology and somehow got trapped in first-century Jerusalem after a controversial physics experiment went horribly wrong?

What if you knew from your history books that a kind and decent man was going to be murdered by the powers-that-be, all because of stupid politics?

What if you could prevent the murder, but you knew it might endanger the person you loved most in the world?

It’s A.D. 57 and Rivka Meyers desperately wants to go home, but her husband Ari is a physicist, and he says they’re stuck in the first century. He also says that the laws of physics say Rivka can’t change history. Rivka knows he’s wrong, and she’s going to prove it—by saving James the brother of Jesus from being murdered by the evil high priest.

Transgression by R.S. Ingermanson

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AD 57 – Israel

What if you were studying for your Ph.D. in archaeology and decided to take a break from your crummy life for the summer by working on an archaeological dig in Israel?

What if you met a great guy in Jerusalem who happened to be a world-famous theoretical physicist working on a crazy idea to build a wormhole that might make time-travel possible … someday?

What if he had a nutball colleague who turned the theory into reality — and then decided to use YOU as a guinea pig to make sure it was safe?

What if the nutball had a gun and went on a crazy, impossible mission to hunt down and kill the apostle Paul?

It’s A.D. 57 when Rivka Meyers walks out of the wormhole into a world she’s only studied in books. Ancient Jerusalem is awesome! Rivka can’t believe her friend Ari Kazan’s theory actually worked. But when she runs into Ari’s wacko colleague, Damien West, in the Temple, Rivka starts to smell a rat.

When Ari discovers that Damien and Rivka have gone through a wormhole that’s on the edge of collapse, he has to make a horrible choice: Follow them and risk never coming back — or lose the woman of his dreams forever.