Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon

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Theirs was a love destined to be -- torn apart by the wrath of Vesuvius

Pompeii, AD 79

David and Sera are soul mates meant to be together, if only their bumbling guardian angels could do their job right...

First united in Pompeii as a privileged merchant's daughter and a slave gladiator, their young love is cut short when Vesuvius unexpectedly erupts. After several botched attempts, their angels get one final chance to bring the couple together and personally escort them back to war-torn Italy, nearly two thousand years later.

WWII, 1943

Sera is now an archeologist excavating the ruins of Pompeii. David is an American soldier masquerading as an Italian, sent to spy on the Germans camped near the ruins. With the help of their earth-bound angels, they soon find each other again as they excavate the ruins.

But will deception, the horrors of war, and the forgotten tragedy of their past lives, prevent them from unearthing the love of a lifetime?

360 pages


David wedged his way between broken columns and waist-high pottery to take a closer look at a statue of a young child lying on its side. He reached out and ran his hand down the child's leg, its surface bumpy and rough to the touch. Definitely not the smooth marble work of art he had come to expect from the ancient Greeks and Romans.

"I hope whoever carved this didn't quit his day job, because he sucked as a sculptor."

"That isn't a statue."

He glanced up at Sera. A sad smile tugged at her mouth, but there was no joy in her expression.

Setting down the backpacks, she walked over and delicately touched the top of the figure's tiny head.

"It's a plaster cast of a young boy who died in the eruption."

He snatched his hand back.

"You mean this was a real person? A kid?"

Sera nodded. "Flesh and blood."

He looked at the body cast again, now seeing the delicate features clearly for the first time. The boy appeared to be sleeping peacefully, without a care in the world.

"But, how... ?"

She stroked the child's head, running the back of her hand down the boy's cheek much like a mother would caress her own son.

"When Vesuvius erupted, small stones and ash fell from the sky for several hours. During that time, most of the people of Pompeii had time to escape, but many stayed behind thinking they could wait it out and the danger would pass."

"That was stupid."

She shrugged. "Not to them. At the time, Pompeii was still rebuilding from a major earthquake that occurred ten years earlier. Most of the people fled the city then, too, only to have to return with all their belongings. Much of what they didn't take with them had been damaged or looted by thieves. I'm sure they thought this time would be much the same."

He shook his head at the idiocy of it.

"I find it hard to believe they couldn't tell the difference between an earthquake and a volcano eruption."

"They couldn't see the volcano. In fact, they couldn't see much at all. The first phase of the eruption blocked out the sun, turning day into night. Even with their lamps and torches, they could only see maybe a foot or two in front of themselves because of all the soot and ash in the air. The ones who decided to stay sought shelter where they could."

"Bad choice."

"Unfortunately for them, it was."

About Lori Dillon

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In a previous life, Lori was a graphic designer for fourteen years. In her current existence, she lives in Virginia with her engineering geek/hero husband, two kids who test her sanity on a daily basis, a dog named Hokie (named after the Virginia Tech Hokies, of course), and various other critters of the furred and finned variety.
Published March 17, 2012 by Amari Press. 362 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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