A SESTERCE FOR HER THOUGHTS--new Roman Time-Travel (excerpt PG)

Get ready for a trip back in time nearly 2,000 years to of Rome’s invasion of Britain!


Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Ancient Roman Time-Travel Romance

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.
Price: $4.99

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An ancient coin transports Olivia two thousand years back in time to the Roman invasion of Britannia and into the arms of a hunky legion commander!

Olivia Kent knows a brass sesterce is an ancient Roman coin with a value roughly calculated to be one fourth of a day’s pay. What she doesn’t know is that one particular sesterce is going to transport her two thousand years back in time to 43 AD and Rome’s invasion of Britannia. With the help of a Druid priestess, Olivia dresses as a Roman soldier, and meets Emperor Claudius, along with a handsome legion commander. She changes both of their lives for the better... and her own as well. But here’s her dilemma: should she remain back in the first century where she can make a difference? Or should she take a chance and try to return to her own time?

Quintus Antonius Avitus, commander of Legio XX Valeria Victrix, has served Rome faithfully but is weary of war. On this invasion, he comes across a puny, injured soldier, Livius. The soldier states that he is an American from a land to the west of Britannia--which is impossible since there are no lands past Britannia. But Livius is full of surprises, and also turns out to be a comely female named Olivia. Perhaps she is telling the truth? She is unlike any woman he has known. However, she insists that she cannot stay and must return to her home, despite the fact that Claudius wants her to accompany him to Rome. Quintus is torn: omnia vincit amor facit--does love conquer all? Or should he continue to auxilio imperatoris--help his Emperor?

Scene Set-Up:
Quintus Antonius Avitus, commander of Rome’s Legio XX, comes across a puny lad being assaulted by guards. Quintus carries the hurt boy to his own sleeping room so he can tend to the injuries. He has no idea that the boy is really a twenty-first century woman, Olivia Kent, who just time-traveled back to 43 AD.

Quintus took the few steps over to the fallen boy. He got down on one knee, and then, turning the lad over, he grimaced. Even with the helmet’s chin flap-guards, the young soldier had been cuffed across the face a few times. He looked the worse for wear--eyes swollen shut, cheeks bruised the colors of a rainbow, harsh breathing as if the action of taking a breath could hurt.

Perhaps ribcage damage. This boy had been harmed for the amusement of Quintus’ men.

Damn it to Hades.

Naturally, he felt responsible. Lifting up the boy as carefully as he could, he marveled at how light this willow thin creature was.

With a groan, the lad’s eyes cracked open. His eyes were blue... a bloodied blue, the color of blue-grey storm clouds. On seeing Quintus, the boy’s eyes widened.

Quintus gentled his voice. “Do not be alarmed. You are safe now. A doctor will tend to your wounds.”

If possible, the lad’s eyes grew wider but he did not speak. He did, however, bite his lower lip.

Quintus carried the injured bundle into the tent, bypassing the conference room for his own sleeping room. There was, of course, a hospital, a valetudinarium, based in the camp for the troops. But for some reason he wanted to oversee treatment for this boy. And the very best medical treatment meant using the Emperor’s physician, Xenophon.

Entering the room, he carefully set the injured bundle on the bed. His body slave must have heard sounds for he walked into the room and then spotted the boy. He stared down at him.

“Demetrius, I need some warm water and clean cloths. And fetch Xenophon. Tell him he has a new patient.”

The slave quickly left to accomplish his tasks. Quintus then reached down to unlatch the flap-guards under the chin, but the boy moved away in alarm.

“Do not fear. You will not be harmed. Allow me to take off your helmet so your injuries can be tended to.”

The boy started to sit up, but made a soft groan and fell back against the plush pillows on the bed. Those dastardly guards must have kicked him in the ribs.

Quintus pressed down on the lad’s shoulders. “Stay. Allow me to help you.”

No words but the boy bit his lower lip again.

Taking that response as an affirmative, Quintus then removed the helmet. By the gods, multi-colored bruises, blood flowing freely from gashes, swollen and split lips, and blackened eyes... the lad was so disfigured, his own mother would not have recognized him.

“What is your name, boy?”

In a low voice, the answer came haltingly. “My name is Liv-Livius. And you?”

Not only was Livius’ pronunciation barbaric, but he had to have been one of the few people on this good Gaia who were unaware of Quintus’ name and position. This confirmed the belief that despite the uniform, Livius was not a legionnaire nor a member of auxiliary units.

“Quintus Antonius Avitus, commander of Legio XX Valeria Victrix. Why are you here, Livius?”

The boy stammered again. “N-No... harm. I b-bear a gift for Caesar.” He pronounced Caesar incorrectly.” Perhaps he realized that for he then clarified, “For Claudius.”

“A gift?” This ragamuffin believed he had a gift worthy of an emperor?

Quintus ran his gaze over the boy’s inconsequential form. The leather armor and pleated under-skirt was of a pattern common in the days of Gaius Julius Caesar over one hundred years ago. Unusual, to say the least. The cloth tunica underneath was unbleached linen, so that was unremarkable, as was the over-the-shoulder belt--standard issue. But the breeches...

Setting aside the wet cloth, Quintus felt the material on the boy’s thigh. The lad almost jumped in the air.

“Steady on,” he soothed. “Your breeches are made of very fine fabric. Soft and sturdy. How very peculiar.”

Then his gaze fastened on Livius’ sandals. And yet they were like no sandals that Quintus had ever seen before. The entire foot was covered with a material akin to leather, but then not like leather at all.


I hope you enjoy Olivia’s and Quintus’ unusual story!

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing with a Twist!

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