Land of Shadow

A historical romance by Miriam Newman

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Born to a mysterious Celtic woman and a Roman father in Britannia, Domi seems destined for a life of ignominy until he is adopted by a Roman tribune. When he is forced to choose between his native land and his adopted one, and between the living and the dead, which will he choose?


Brittania, 60 A.D.

The boy knew Moire was dying. For some time now she had lain on her cot, not eating, barely drinking, complaining of a pain in her side like a beast trying to claw its way out. She was skeletal because she did not eat even when he brought her food, and stank because she could no longer clean herself. It was the same with the animals when they grew old and their time had come—their coats matted, their eyes grew dim. He knew death when he saw it.

It was a sad thing for animals to die so they could be eaten, but why people should die was a mystery. He had often wondered, but had to be content with the Druids’ explanation that they would be taken up by the Tree of Life, to come again. He needed a Druid.

He knew that Moire had hoarded coins in a small box beneath her cot against such an eventuality. Bound by honor, he had never filched a single coin even when he would have liked a sweetmeat to relieve his tedious diet. She did feed him and he had some gratitude for that. He was not a slave, but yet was not her family, so his position had always been tenuous. He supposed she hadn’t been obligated to offer him anything, so he had been honest and worked hard for his keep. But finally, this day, she told him to take out her pathetic horde.

“When I am gone,” she said, “boil the eggs.”

“Boil the eggs?” he repeatedly dumbly. It was the kind of remark that always infuriated her. They had lived together, widow and foundling, for all of his eleven years since his mother had come into the village, far along in labor and claiming no kin. The women had helped her out of kindness, but understood her predicament when she said the baby she delivered came from rape by a Roman. Such a child could be exposed if she wished it, but Moire had asked to have him, pointing out that she had no husband or children to care for her in her old age. And so she had brought him up after a fashion, but they had never understood each other.

“They will keep in the shell if you do not crack them,” she said, more patient than usual. “Take care of the animals and then wrap the eggs and some oatcakes. When I am gone, take them and go to Cloin the Druid. Give him my money and tell him I need burial. Then go south.”

“South?” He was completely confused.

“To the Romans,” she said. “You look like one of them. They may take you.”

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Guest post from Miriam Newman

Where did you get the inspirations for your characters?

It might sound corny, but I dream or daydream most of my characters.

Years ago—more than 30, to be precise—I began having a recurring and unusually vivid dream about a man who looked like a Roman general rescuing a girl from a slave market. Up to that time, I had written and published poetry, but never a novel. That seemed like a dream, too, but somehow I knew this was going to be the one.

My fantasy historical novel, The King’s Daughter, became a prize-winner that was eventually a trilogy and actually is going into its third edition. If you haven’t yet seen it, you can catch it later this fall. I fell violently in love with my hero, Sergius Magistri, and never quite got him out of my blood.

He has come back in a couple of incarnations, but probably never more than in the Land of Shadow tribune, Marcus. However, my fantasy character seemed to have aged as I have and was now more of a father figure, so my subconscious conveniently delivered a daydream this time. Domenicus, ill-begotten son of a Roman soldier and a Celtic woman in ancient Britannia, started haunting my days the way Marcus did my nights. It was only a matter of time before they met in a book and clearly it was destiny that they would make their way to Jerusalem, where Domi would have to meet a Jewish rebel woman. They were almost as dramatic a pair as my Irish father and Jewish mother. Well, no, honestly they were more dramatic. After all, it’s a book.

Between dreams, daydreams and genes, I was going to write this book. Like all the rest, it was just a matter of time. I hope you enjoy it.

About Miriam Newman

Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at
Find her online:
Miriam’s blog
The Celtic Rose Blog
Twitter <
Bookbub Author Page
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page


Miriam Newman will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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13 thoughts on “Guest Post+Giveaway: Land of Shadow by Miriam Newman

  1. A great cover and an intriguing synopsis and excerpt, this sounds like an epic read. Thank you for sharing your book and author details, I am looking forward to reading your story

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