Novels by Carol Ashby

The Light in the Empire Series: Dangerous times, difficult friendships, lives transformed by forgiveness and love.

The Light in the Empire Series follows the interconnected lives of four Roman families during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian when the Roman Empire was at its zenith.

To create characters that are true to their times, I happily immerse myself in many facets of that ancient culture, from political affairs to the details of home life. The research I conduct to write this series is the source of the detailed information about life in the Roman Empire shared at carolashby.com.

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.

True Freedom cover

Coming May 27, 2019; pre-order May 18. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and local bookstores as special order.

True Freedom by Carol Ashby
Volume 6 of the Light in the Empire series

The chains we cannot see can be the hardest ones to break.

When Aulus runs up a gambling debt to his father’s political enemy, he’s desperate to pay it off before his father returns to Rome. His best friend Marcus suggests they fake the kidnapping of Aulus’s sister Julia and use the ransom money. But when the man they hired kidnaps her for real, Aulus is catapulted into a desperate search to find her.

Torn from his childhood home by Rome’s conquering armies and sold as a farm slave to labor until he dies, Dacius’s faith gives him strength to bear what he must and serve without complaining. After a deadly accident makes him one of Julia’s litter bearers, he overhears Marcus advising her brother to kidnap her. When Dacius almost dies thwarting the kidnapping, a Christian couple pretend Julia and Dacius are their children to keep her brother from finding them before her father returns.

But pretending to be free again makes returning to slavery more than Dacius can bear, while acting like a common woman opens Julia’s eyes to dreams and destinies she never knew existed. With her brother closing in and her father almost home, can she find a way around Roman law and custom to free them both for the future they long for?

Light in the Empire Series: Dangerous times, difficult friendships, lives transformed by forgiveness and love

True Freedom is the sixth volume in the Light in the Empire series, which follows the interconnected lives of the members of four 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.

AVAILABLE NOW

Second Chances cover

Available at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and local bookstores as special order.

Second Chances by Carol Ashby
Volume 5 of the Light in the Empire series

Must the shadows of the past destroy the hope of the future?

In AD 122, Cornelia Scipia, proud daughter of one of Rome’s noblest families, learns her adulterous husband plans to betroth their daughter to the vicious son of his best friend. Over her dead body! Cornelia divorces him, reclaims her enormous dowry, and kidnaps her own daughter. She plans to start over with Drusilla a thousand miles away. No more husbands for her. But she didn’t count on meeting Hector, the widowed Greek captain of the ship carrying her to her new life.

Devastated by the loss of his wife and daughter, Hector’s heart begins to heal as he befriends Drusilla. Cornelia’s sacrificial love for Drusilla and her courage and humor in the face of the unknown earn his admiration…as a friend. Is he ready for more?

Marriage to the kind, honest sea captain would give Drusilla the father she deserves…and Cornelia the faithful husband she’s always longed for. But while her ex-husband hunts them to drag Drusilla back to Rome, secrets in Hector’s past and the chasms between their social classes and different faiths erect complicated barriers to any future together. Will God give two lonely hearts a second chance at happiness?

Faithful by Carol Ashby

Now available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide, at Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook (epub), and at local bookstores as special order.

Faithful by Carol Ashby
Volume 4 of the Light in the Empire Series

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?

The Legacy by Carol Ashby

Now available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide, at Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook (epub), and at local bookstores as special order.

The Legacy by Carol Ashby
Volume 3 of the Light in the Empire Series

When Rome has taken everything, what’s left for a man to give?

Betrayed by a ruthless son who’ll do anything for power and wealth, Publius Drusus faces death with an unanswered prayer―that his treasured daughter, Claudia, and honorable son, Titus, will someday share his faith. But who will lead them to the truth once he’s gone?

Claudia’s oldest brother Lucius arranged their father’s execution to inherit everything, and now he’s forcing her to marry a cruel Roman power broker. If only she could get to Titus―a thousand miles away in Thracia. Then the man who secretly told her father about Jesus arranges for his son Philip to sneak her out of Rome and take her to the brother she can trust.

A childhood accident scarred Philip’s face. A woman’s rejection scarred his heart. Claudia’s gratitude grows into love, but what can Philip do when the first woman who returns his love hates the God he loves even more?

Titus and Claudia hunger for revenge on their brother and the Christians they blame for their father’s deadly conversion. When Titus buys Miriam, a secret Christian, to serve his sister, he starts them all down a path of conflicting loyalties and dangerous decisions. His father’s final letter commands the forgiveness Titus refuses to give. What will it take to free him from the hatred poisoning his own heart?

Blind Ambition cover

Now available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide, at Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook (epub), and at local bookstores as special order.

Blind Ambition by Carol Ashby
Volume 2 of the Light in the Empire Series

Sometimes you have to almost die to discover how you want to live.

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?

Forgiven Carol Ashby cover

Now available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide, at Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook (epub), and at local bookstores as special order.

Forgiven by Carol Ashby
Volume 1 of the Light in the Empire Series

Are some wounds too deep to forgive?

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?

Historical Background for Forgiven
How Forgiven’s cover was made

Coming in November 2019

Honor Bound

When the honorable path isn’t clear, how do you find your way?

Marcus Brutus owns estates, ships, and gladiator schools that increase his fortune daily, but his greatest treasures are his honor and his wife. When she reveals her faith in Jesus before dying after the birth of their son, he’s consumed by hatred for the unnamed Christian woman who led his beloved to abandon the Roman gods, making him lose her in this life and the next.

For fifteen years, Licinia’s father hid her Christian faith. But now her father is dead, and a ruthless political enemy is hunting for anything to destroy her brother’s career. When she becomes the target, her brother sends her to their estate in Germania. But is that far enough to protect her from an evil man who will stop at nothing?

When a carriage accident leaves Brutus injured and his best friend near death after rescuing Brutus’s son, Licinia welcomes and cares for them. But her strange habits and his friend’s unexpected recovery make Brutus suspect she’s the Christian who corrupted his wife. When her brother’s enemies come for her, does honor require him to protect her or turn her over as an enemy of Rome? And when Licinia’s heart is drawn toward the pagan man who makes money off death, can she reconcile her growing affection with her love for Christ?

Join some of the people you met in True Freedom four years later in this tale of loss and discovery, anger and forgiveness, and the truth that sets people free.