Two years after Emperor Augustus's bloody defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, he triumphantly returns to Rome. To his only child, Julia, he brings an unlikely companion-Selene, the daughter of the conquered Egyptian queen and her lover. Under the watchful eye of Augustus's wife, Livia, Selene struggles to accept her new home among her parents' enemies. Bound together by kinship and spilled blood, these three women-Livia, Selene, and Julia-navigate the dangerous world of Rome's ruling elite, their every move a political strategy, their most intimate decisions in the emperor's hands. Always suppressing their own desires for the good of Rome, each must fulfill her role. For astute Livia, this means unwavering fidelity to her all-powerful husband; for sensual Julia, surrender to an arranged marriage and denial of her craving for love and the pleasures of the flesh; for orphaned Selene, choosing between loyalty to her family's killers and her wish for revenge. Can they survive Rome's deadly intrigues, or will they be swept away by the perilous currents of the world's most powerful empire?
Phyllis T. Smith was born and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. After obtaining a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College and a master's degree from New York University, Phyllis pursued a practical career in computer applications training, yet she found herself drawn to writing fiction and to the history, literature, and art of the ancient world. Her first novel, I Am Livia, was a #1 Kindle and Digital Book World bestseller. She plans to write more novels set in ancient Rome.