Wow, so I am reliably informed that it’s Spring here in Australia. Bearing in mind that by this time last year we’d had a few days in the high 20’s and so far this month it’s barely reached 19 (that’s centigrade), I’m reserving judgement. Still, as Spring conjures up the idea of new things on the horizon and a promise in the air, I realised that an update was timely.
I am excited to share with you that prequel to the Hannah’s Heirloom Trilogy is finished – yay! It ended up being quite a bit longer than anticipated and is not far off a proper book…certainly longer than the novella I was aiming for. Much as it’s taken quite a while to complete – researching Roman Army battle strategies, the Armenian campaign and the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem prior to the Great Jewish Revolt has been fascinating.
To complicate matters further, I decided that Maxentius and his soldiers would travel on foot from Armenia to Masada, as opposed to travelling part way by sea. A not inconsiderable distance, the soldiers would have followed well-worn trade routes, which gave me the opportunity to investigate some of the cities that they would have passed on their journey. Some, already regarded as ancient in AD62, were undergoing redevelopment usually as a result of Roman occupation, most especially, Palmyra and Damascus.
Palmyra was an important centre long before it fell under Roman control. Archaeological finds date the settlement to the Neolithic era and the city was first documented in the second millennium BC. An established caravan oasis, it linked Persia, India and China with the Roman Empire, and these diverse cultural influences were manifest in its art and architecture.
As with Palmyra, Damascus, positioned at the crossroads of the East and West has always been of tremendous commercial and cultural significance and is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Although the earliest visible physical evidence is dated to the Roman period, the name ‘Damascus’ appears in the 15th century BC on a geographical list, and human settlement can be dated to around 6300BC. Mindful of the current destruction being wrought on these beautiful cities, I felt it appropriate to include them.
Herodion was another must on their itinerary – well, if they had to march, they might as well have some fun on the way (there was a swimming pool)! Herod the Great, arguably an architectural visionary and considered one of the greatest builders of his time, had this palace constructed between 23 and 15 BC to commemorate his victory over the Parthians.
It is the only site which bears his name and believed to be where he was buried. Nine years after Maxentius and his soldiers visited, it was destroyed by the Romans.
Now – while frantically editing – my biggest challenge is to come up with a title for this prequel. I usually find that this, along with a synopsis is harder than writing the book itself – seriously! I have a couple of possibilities floating around, so hopefully I be able to choose one soon.
As for the second Regency romance – it is coming together nicely but is on hold while I prepare the prequel for release. It does keep intruding into my thoughts though, so I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to resist! Then there’s the mystery series….*clutches head* I need another me!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blurb, I hope you have a great day!