Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Cornelia - the opening

Chapter One

Cornelia lay back in the new hay up in the hayloft and chewed dreamily on a grassy stalk.   Her knees were comfortably bent and her right leg was crossed over left.   Her right sandal was hanging loosely from the end of her toe, which she was slowly bouncing up and down in the shimmering beam of dust motes that hung in the sunlight slanting through the open window hatch.  Hector, her pet dog, lay below on the floor of the barn.
The voice of Paulus drifted clearly to her from across the yard.
“Will this be enough?” he asked as he heaved a large bundle of faggots off his back and dumped them on the ground near the opening of the hypocaust.  From the open side of the barn Cornelia could see the bathhouse at the other side of the yard.  She saw Paulus and noticed how his muscles shone with sweat as he twisted to unload his burden, but could not see the person to whom his question was addressed.  Suddenly a flurry of mouldering leaves and rubbish came out of the fire hole of the hypocaust followed by the rear end of Nicomedes.  His working tunic rose above his nether regions as he crawled backwards exposing his skinny bare backside.  Cornelia giggled quietly to herself.
“That should do for kindling,” he said,” now hitch up the ass and bring over a cartload of charcoal from the store.”
“Oh good,” thought Cornelia,”by tomorrow the bath water should be hot.”
During the hot summer months she did not miss the bath.  Up stream from where the cattle drank her father had had the slaves dig out a large basin where it was possible to swim and bathe in the cool waters. 
The bath was very different.  The walls of these rooms were also heated and were smoothly plastered and bore frescoes of delicate flora and fauna with elegant figures of people her mother told her were Greek gods and goddesses.  The front of the house faced the road but at the back a garden sloped down towards the brook.  In the garden were a number of fruit trees and beyond these were various workshops and slaves quarters.  Nicomedes lived there in a small house with his son, Paulus.  Nicomedes was born into Cornelia’s family but his own father had been brought to Britain by a Roman soldier who had acquired him as part of his booty after a battle in some far off land.  The soldier had fallen on impecunious times due to gambling and had sold his slave to Cornelia’s grandfather.  

Follow the adventures of Cornelia in Roman Britain. Buy your printed copy HERE
Buy your ebook HERE

More about the book:

Can First Love ever by True Love?

A thrilling romance set in Roman Britain that takes the young adult reader to the passionate, turbulent and violent heart of Imperial Rome.

Born into wealth and comfort as the daughter of a wealthy farmer in Roman Britain, Cornelia has everything that a girl could want. But on the passing of her 16th birthday, Cornelia learns that her parents have arranged for her to marry the son of a local landowner. When handsome army officer Marcus appears in her life, Cornelia finds her world turned upside down.

But happiness turns to despair when Marcus and his regiment are posted back to Rome. Determined to follow her new love to find happiness, Cornelia gathers what little money she has and sets out alone for the great Imperial capital of Rome. In the course of her long journey she will meet adventures and dangers in plenty.

But above all she must answer a burning question: Can first love ever be true love? And she finds the answer in a most unexpected place.

The book has been carefully researched to provide an accurate and convincing portrayal of Britain as it was in the mid-2nd century when the Roman Empire was at its most powerful, prosperous and secure.

About the Author
Jane Jones lives in a rural village in Surrey, near to where the novel opens - but some 1800 years later.


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