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Cover Reveal and New Release of "I Am Ushriya" by Beverly Young

Congratulations to Beverly Young for her upcoming new release of "I am Ushriya"!!

I had the privilege of designing her new cover along with an editorial review.

Here is more on Beverly and her spectacular book!!

Author Bio:

Beverly has been fascinated with life in Pompeii before the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius since an early age. After a career in marketing, she pursued a love of writing and completed a degree from Oregon State University, where instructor and mentor, John Larson, helped her begin an eight-year journey of research and self-discovery. Beverly is a mother, grandmother, and lives with her three dogs and one cat in Eugene, Oregon.





Book Blurb:

"An incredibly compelling journey through the eyes of

one powerful woman; royal, spiritual, physical, and beautiful."

The Historical Fiction Company Review

Born illegitimately into Roman royalty in AD 48, Ushriya is left for dead.

Raised to age four by merchant bakers in the wanton town of Pompeii, she is kidnapped by slave traders and returned to Rome where she becomes the slave of a wealthy Roman soldier and his wife.

Hearing of a teacher espousing a new morality, Ushriya begins following him before escaping the Great Fire. She finds herself back in Pompeii, desperate and disoriented at the notorious brothel, the Lupanare, where survival forces her into prostitution.

When an unexpected revelation connects Ushriya to the unpredictable Emperor Nero, she must accept her identity in order to fulfill her destiny.

Book Buy Link:

Editorial Review:

“All those things you were, you still are. Where you have come from and what you have learned has prepared you for what is before you. You will make sense of the task at hand and become stronger. And my dear, you have returned to who you truly are: royal.”

Most of you will know the famous line shouted by a line of slaves in a 1960 Hollywood movie, you know the one: “I am Spartacus!” Well, there is a new girl on the block with the same grit and the same power pulsating from the bulging muscles of Kirk Douglas. By the time you finish reading this book, you will hear her voice loud and clear - “I am Ushriya!” with the same passion.

A young baby with a most unusual white birthmark in her red hair is left for dead, scooped up by a caring couple from the Temple of the Vestal Virgins, and taken to Pompeii. She grows up in the shadow of Vesuvius, a spitfire little girl who never knew her real parents nor the dubious circumstances of her birth, and as a reader, you think all is progressing into a ordinary tale of a baker and his wife adopting this orphan girl, when a sudden twist of fate snatches Ushriya from their care and she ends up in Rome as a slave.

“Since I have been a slave, I understand how a soul may be reduced to one goal in their life; that of the servitude of another, just so that person may be a wealthy elite. The irony is both become reduced. The slave, because she has no charge over her own life, and the elite, because she accomplishes nothing.”

Now, as she grows to womanhood, the realities of living in Nero’s empire shapes the world around her as she sees the depravity of an emperor going mad, the huge divide between slave and domina, the lascivious lifestyle of the wealthy, and the dangers lurking for those who are listening to the teaching of Paul of Tarsus. Yet, the teachings intrigue her. She is drawn to this new Way, as is the husband of her domina, Ruth, who puts his family’s life at risk to listen to the words about the “Wonder Maker”, Jesus of Nazareth.

I went as her protector, but as I listened, I became intrigued. There is another way to live; without debauchery, killing, always looking over your shoulder for enemies. As I get older and wiser, I realize that a soldier’s life is full of discontent; that war and the pursuit of riches leaves me empty. After I heard Paul, I wanted to hear more of the message of this Jesus. Do you wonder if there will ever be someone who can deliver messages from God?

Again, fate steps in and Rome burns while Nero fiddles, sending Ruth and her son, David, far away after Marcus, her husband, falls prey to the machinations of the mad emperor. Nero blames the Christians, and the Christians blame Nero. And Ushriya is, again, left for dead as her domina flees down the Via Appia to save her and her son from the raging fires sweeping across Rome.

Maternal instinct overpowered her grief, forcing her to leave the opaque stare of her husband’s impaled body. The monstrous fire all around her picked up momentum; Ruth choked as the firestorm devoured the wooden frame of their home, the flames licking from recessed windows like serpent tongues. Searing currents of wind scorched her lungs and hot steam scalded her skin. Gray floury ash fell all around her, making it hard to breathe. She gagged, cleared her throat, then found her voice.

As if guided by an unseen hand, Ruth finds herself relying on the “somewhat” kindness of Justine, a baker’s wife in Pompeii, unknowing that they both share a connection to Ushriya. And both of them have no idea that Ushriya’s strength and determination have also led her back to the city below the quaking mountain, to the doorstep of Priscilla, the owner of the Lupanare, a brothel.

Statuesque in its view, the people of Pompeii feared its fury, yet worshipped its power. Ushriya saw similarities between Priscilla and Vesuvius. Maybe anger was her power. Maybe that was the only way she could reign over such a large enterprise.

Here Ushriya learns a different way of life, relying on her beauty and womanly skill as the prominent meretrix to save back coin to buy her freedom. But as the days pass, the conflicts of the physical and the spiritual wrestle within her, especially when she hears about a woman who also teaches about Jesus, someone who was close to him, a prostitute named Mary Magdala. Still, this new Way tugs on her heart. Not to mention, she falls in love with Priscilla’s son, Alexis.

And then, the Emperor comes for a visit to Pompeii, and everything changes as he spots her in the crowd, noting the streak of white in her hair... the same as his own. “Blessed by the Gods” with this unusual birthmark which only he and his mother, Agrippina, bore.

A summons from Nero makes Ushriya wonder if her life is in jeopardy from Nero’s knowledge of a possible blood connection or if he knows of her visits to the meetings of the Christians. Will she survive? Is she the daughter of Claudius and Agrippina? Is Nero her brother?

She rallies her courage to come face to face with a mighty ruler losing his mind, and finds she must reach deep inside to protect all those that she loves, those closest to her, as well as those she left behind. When her life is in the most fragile state that it can be, love is what spurs her onward to reveal what she really is inside, and every moment that leads her on the journey shapes her future.... even confronting a “monster” and an “angel” in the same day.

“I am Ushriya” is an incredibly compelling journey through the eyes of one powerful woman; royal, spiritual, physical, and beautiful. The prose flows naturally, the dialogue pleasant and effortless, and the author transports you to the days before Vesuvius ravaged a city – days filled with dangers, religious persecution, inequality, unstable politicians and rulers, and morality issues, along with devout faith, undying love, and binding friendships.


“I am Ushriya” receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award from The Historical Fiction Company


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