|The remains of the Vestal Virgin house. The temple is in the right-hand corner.|
As a Vestal Virgin, Tuccia has dedicated her life to guarding the perpetual fire of Vesta, despite the personal sacrifices such a life requires.
Tension in the war against Carthage escalates and the panicked Roman people determine the gods’ wrath was invoked by a Vestal Virgin who lost her virginity. To appease the gods, Pinaria – a woman Tuccia loves as a mother – is executed.
Tuccia cannot understand why Vesta did not save Pinaria. Devastated and filled with doubt about Vesta’s devotion to her priestesses, Tuccia turns her back on the goddess who has been the focus of her life.
The manipulative priest Marcus, who senses Tuccia’s religious apathy and believes her to be rebellious, becomes determined to seduce her. When she refuses his advances, he accuses her of impurity and has her imprisoned. Her only route to escape certain death is to give in to his advances, or reclaim her freedom through trusting Vesta again to help her perform a miracle. Any miracle will prove Tuccia is favored of the gods and thus innocent, but Tuccia can only be successful if Vesta will assist her.
SACRED FIRE is a 106,000-word historical fiction. It is based on the true story of a Vestal Virgin who escaped execution by carrying a sieve of water from the river Tiber to the temple of Vesta.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University. I blog at teralynpilgrim.blogspot.com and I was selected to speak at the Historical Novel Society Conference in a panel on Depicting Religion.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.