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"They were the faces of my dreams..." I, Claudia: A Novel of the Ancient World by @LinWild

Title: I, Claudia: A Novel of the Ancient World

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Romance / Historical / Ancient World

Publisher: Wyatt Mackenzie Imprint

Book Blurb:

"They were the faces of my dreams..."

Claudia Procula--wife of one of the most controversial figures in ancient history--comes alive to twenty-first-century readers in a groundbreaking new novel by the award-winning author of the Lindsey McCall medical mystery series.

For decades, the daughter of the last Oracle at Delphi has suppressed the secrets of her birth, extensive education, and marriage to the notorious Fifth Prelate of Judea--Pontius PIlate. Now, at age seventy-nine, she feels compelled to leave behind her story for the world and set the record straight about the beginnings of modern history.

He has had his arms raised for how many hours now? Shouldn't there be a Joshua to help this Moses? I suppressed a smile at my wittiness, knowing better than to voice the thought aloud. My ladies would be shocked by my allusion to the great Jewish prophet. Well aware of my reputation as an empty-headed nitwit among those who served my husband, such low expectations had served me well. Best to maintain the fiction.

In a surprising change of genre and style, Wilder brings her extensive research and wide-ranging imagination to bear on the seminal story of our time: the passion of the Christ. The result is a compelling and harrowing love story replete with historical figures such as Seneca, Socrates, and Pilate himself. It is sure to captivate both believers and skeptics alike, and remain in readers' minds long after the last page is turned.



They wore the faces of my dreams. Men, women, and children,

mouths open in joyous shouts, made soundless by the din

of hundreds of marching feet. The people lined the narrow

streets, the wealthier watching from their palace rooftops, their

children tossing brightly colored scarves upon the phalanxes of

soldiers. The lead centurion held the shield of Tiberius steadily

aloft: S.P.Q.R. Senātus Populusque Rōmānus (Roman Senate and People). The legionnaire moved it only when an errant puff of color landed on the scarlet standard, momentarily obscuring the golden eagle glittering in the bright sunlight.

He has had his arms raised for how many hours now?

Shouldn’t there be a Joshua to help this Moses?

I suppressed a smile at my wittiness, knowing better than

to voice the thought aloud. My ladies would be shocked by my

allusion to the great Jewish prophet. I was well aware of my reputation

as an empty-headed nitwit among those who served my

husband; such low expectations had served me well. Best to

maintain the fiction.

Soft pinks, yellows, reds, and blues of all shades drifted

lazily down the still, hot currents of desert air. They resembled

butterflies until our carriage drew close enough to see that they

were scarves. Some of the soft cloths puddled on the dirt streets

as I watched, only to be trampled by the next column of tightly

grouped soldiers. The morning sun made the helmets and shields

of the marching men radiate so brightly that they could not be

looked at without squinting. I closed my eyes tightly against the

glare, wishing vainly that the familiar faces of the onlookers were

just another dream; terrified that when I opened them, I would

see those same faces filled with hatred, their mouths joining in

the monstrous roar of malevolence, commanding the death of

the righteous one.

“M’Lady, M’Lady, are you all right?” I could hear Antonia’s

concern. She knew how I had dreaded this journey, how

fervent had been my prayers for some miracle to forestall what

I knew was destiny—his, mine, and the world’s. Unlike the others,

Antonia had known me almost since birth.

“I’m fine, Antonia, fine. Please do not worry, I am just

drained. We have been traveling now for more than thirty days.

The heat makes it almost impossible to sleep at night—it never

cools off here.”

It was still only midmorning, and yet the temperature had

to be over ninety. The fall weather in Athens had always been

gloriously cool, crisp; wholly different from this unrelenting, insufferable


Antonia wasn’t fooled by my reply, in spite of my attempt

at a smile. I did not blame her. I knew that the upturn of my lips

was more rictus than smile...and with good reason. We were

heading toward a doom of the kind the world had never seen,

and I knew there was nothing I could do or say to stop it. Surveying

my surroundings, I felt no relief at the unchanged jubilance,

the joyous expressions on the faces of the crowds.

It would come, and soon.

I am nearing the end of my life. Seventy-nine years lived

as a shadow, a face behind a curtain, whispering the residues of

a dream. Insubstantial, unheard. But my time of silence is done.

It is time to write the truth for those with ears to hear it. I

am Procula, wife of Lucius Pontius Pilate. My husband has been

dead for several decades now. Like me, Lucius is the subject of

vast ignorance, lies, and injustice. The very name Pontius Pilate

has become synonymous with cowardice and betrayal.

Those who claim to know the substance of my dream believe

it emanates from evil. Others insist that those words that

will be recited by Christians: “Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was

crucified, and died,” were the source of terror in my dreams. I

was told by the Oracle that these eight words would echo

throughout the centuries and be memorialized in something that

will be called the Apostles Creed. Most of the people reciting the

Creed mindlessly overlooking the word under to believe that the

Righteous One was crucified by my husband.

The slanderous claims, and all others like them, no longer

break my heart; they are merely annoying. I often think of the

writing of Socrates, a man I consider a good friend though he

died before I was born. His wisdom and humility await those

rare searchers of truth. “I know I am intelligent because I know

I know nothing.”

I was born in Delphi, daughter of the last of the Oracles of

Pythia. It was a time of disorder, chaos, terror, and the death of

nations. My mother broke her vow of virginity in lying with my

father. She feared for both our lives, because what she had done

was punishable by death—hers and mine. The time of the Oracles

was coming to an end. Men no longer listened to the whispers

of the prophets, certainly not to the women—not even when

we had the words of the gods on our lips.

I survived, but my mother did not. I was taken to Athens,

where I was raised by Adrian and Sabina. Only they knew that I

was the last Oracle; my true identity remained a secret to all

others—although my husband speculated as much, due to my

foreknowledge of so much.

I ask that you permit a conceit. This book will be told in

two voices: my own and my husband’s. Perhaps that seems presumptuous,

or worse: specious? My defense is this: Near the end

of his life, almost daily, my husband told me that I knew him

better than he knew himself. He talked incessantly about how

close he had come to refusing the thunderous command of the

Jews. When Quintillus, Lucius’s best friend and Centurion gave

me Lucius’ Final Report of Lucius Pontius Pilate to Tiberius

Caesar on The Crucifixion of the Christ including the letters he’d

exchanged with Seneca, this book designed itself.

Could I have intervened even though the famed Stoic

philosopher directed my husband’s every thought? Incited a

hatred toward the Jews that cost him and the world—no less than


You decide.

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Author Biography:

Lin Wilder holds a Doctorate in Public Health and has published extensively in fields like cardiac physiology, institutional ethics, and hospital management. In 2007, she switched from non-fiction to fiction. Her series of medical thrillers include many references to the Texas Medical Center where Lin worked for over twenty-three years.

Wilder’s first novel, The Fragrance Shed By A Violet: Murder in the Medical Center, was a winner in the 2017 IAN 2017 Book of the Year Awards, a finalist in the category of mystery. The Fragrance Shed By A Violet was a finalist in the NN Light 2017 Best Book of the Year Award in the category of mystery. Malthus Revisited: The Cup of Wrath, the fourth in the Dr.Lindsey McCall medical mystery series, won Silver/2nd Place award in the 2018 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program for the Women's Fiction category. Malthus Revisited was selected for the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winners for Winter 2018 in the category of thrillers, was selected as a finalist in the IAN Best Books of 2018 in the category of action/adventure and won best suspense novel in 2018 in the NN Light Best Books of 2018.

Finding the Narrow Path is the true story of why she walked away from -then back to God. Finding was a finalist in the 2018 IAN Best Books of 2018 in the category of Non-Fiction, Religion/Christian.

All her books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at her website, where she writes weekly articles.

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