Pompeii, AD 79
David and Sera are soul mates meant to be together, if only their bumbling guardian angels could do their job right...
First united in Pompeii as a privileged merchant's daughter and a slave gladiator, their young love is cut short when Vesuvius unexpectedly erupts. After several botched attempts, their angels get one final chance to bring the couple together and personally escort them back to war-torn Italy, nearly two thousand years later.
Sera is now an archeologist excavating the ruins of Pompeii. David is an American soldier masquerading as an Italian, sent to spy on the Germans camped near the ruins. With the help of their earth-bound angels, they soon find each other again as they excavate the ruins.
But will deception, the horrors of war, and the forgotten tragedy of their past lives, prevent them from unearthing the love of a lifetime?
David wedged his way between broken columns and waist-high pottery to take a closer look at a statue of a young child lying on its side.
He reached out and ran his hand down the child's leg, its surface bumpy and rough to the touch. Definitely not the smooth marble work of art he had come to expect from the ancient Greeks and Romans.
"I hope whoever carved this didn't quit his day job, because he sucked as a sculptor."
"That isn't a statue."
He glanced up at Sera. A sad smile tugged at her mouth, but there was no joy in her expression.
Setting down the backpacks, she walked over and delicately touched the top of the figure's tiny head.
"It's a plaster cast of a young boy who died in the eruption."
He snatched his hand back.
"You mean this was a real person? A kid?"
Sera nodded. "Flesh and blood."
He looked at the body cast again, now seeing the delicate features clearly for the first time. The boy appeared to be sleeping peacefully,
without a care in the world.
"But, how... ?"
She stroked the child's head, running the back of her hand down the boy's cheek much like a mother would caress her own son.
"When Vesuvius erupted, small stones and ash fell from the sky for several hours. During that time, most of the people of Pompeii had time to escape, but many stayed behind thinking they could wait it out and the danger would pass."
"That was stupid."
She shrugged. "Not to them. At the time, Pompeii was still rebuilding from a major earthquake that occurred ten years earlier. Most of the people fled the city then, too, only to have to return with all their belongings. Much of what they didn't take with them had been damaged or looted by thieves. I'm sure they thought this time would be much the same."
He shook his head at the idiocy of it.
"I find it hard to believe they couldn't tell the difference between an earthquake and a volcano eruption."
"They couldn't see the volcano. In fact, they couldn't see much at all. The first phase of the eruption blocked out the sun, turning day into night. Even with their lamps and torches, they could only see maybe a foot or two in front of themselves because of all the soot and ash in the air. The ones who decided to stay sought shelter where they could."
"Unfortunately for them, it was."
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.81(d)|
About the Author
Lori lives in Virginia with her engineering geek/hero husband, two kids who test her sanity on a daily basis, a dog named Hokie (named after the Virginia Tech Hokies, of course), and various other critters of the furred and finned variety.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Stephanie D. for Readers Favorite "Out of the Ashes" by Lori Dillon is a wonderful combination of romance and history with a dash of the paranormal for good measure. It is one of those books you can’t put down. It is a simple yet clever story of love through time. Due to Marsha and Hershel, two bungling yet likeable angels who enjoy bingo, Male 2028 and Female 5293 don’t get to enjoy the loving life together they are meant to have. Their first reincarnations are as Dacian the gladiator and Sabina the well-born politician’s niece in Pompeii in AD79. Ironically, the erupting volcano both frees the pair of them from their restricted lifestyles, yet entombs them in each other’s arms. Nothing daunted, the angels try again but there are other slip-ups. They have a final chance in war-torn Italy in 1943 with Serafina, the archaeologist, and David Corbin, working for the Allies. Surely they’ll get it right this time, won’t they? Shadows of the past play a helping hand. This is a delightfully fresh and entertaining yet poignant tale. The characters are so real and alive. Nothing seems contrived. The action unfolds at a good pace, with pauses at the sadder moments. Division becomes a strong motif in the book. People are divided from each other by social class, nationality, circumstance and politics. The world is divided by wars. Yet there is a way the divisions can be overcome, but it is not easy, even if Senior Guardian Angel Smithers is on the case!
If you like a good love story...this is a great one. A story of 2 lovers who because of issues out of there control, have a very hard time getting together. When 2 angels keep messing up, they are ordered to go back to earth and take care of the problem. So after 4 lifetimes of close calls finally the 2 meet in WW2 Italy. The story is about there problems, enemies, loss of family, and having the courage to fight the odds for love. It is a story that will keep you going to the end. Ms Dillon did a wonderful job showing the power of love can move mountains even a volcano! Thanks for the great read!
Warning: spoilers! After many tries to get male 2028 and female 5923 together, Marsha and Hershel – Guardian Angels – are called into the office of Mr. Smithers – the King of Heaven – to explain why they have not succeeded to get them together before they died – killed in the eruption of Vesuvius. Smithers decides to send these two to Earth to help them personally, but without their Heavenly powers. It’s now June 1943 in Pompeii, Italy. Here Serafina and David meet again, and although attracted, do not pursue each other. Serafina is an archaeologist and David has been thrust on her to help her with her digs. She has found other artifacts but the glory was stolen from her and now has found another site. Things happen, and little by little they get to know each other. As an aside, many things go wrong, and have to think that if I had Marsha and Hershel as My guardian angels I would have thought perhaps they could have done a better job. They do eventually fall in love but of course something is always standing in the way, so Mr. Smithers finally as to come down and set things straight. Serafina does make a great discovery not knowing that in the last previous life with David that they both died together and were forever entombed together. They do end up together and having 2 children together and living a long happy life. I can honestly tell you that I cried while I read this book! I highly recommend it, and give it the highest score possible.
I loved this book. Great premise, plot and characters. I could not put it down today until I finished it. Highly recommend it.
The book starts off with a gladiator slave who is about to enter the arena where he will fight to the death. When he is about to be defeated and killed, there is a commotion in the stands of the arena. A young woman is pleading for his life to be spared and crazy enough the crowd seems to agree with her. His life is spared and he is able to live another day to fight in the arena. The young woman is fascinated with the gladiator and starts visiting him in his cell. They start to develop a friendship that is rapidly becoming something more but then Vesuvius erupts and their time together is cut short. The story then changes to their guardian angels getting chewed out for allowing their charges to die before their time and are given a second chance by having their charges be reincarnated, and then again, and again. Until we get David and Sera. I was a little glad that the author didn't make us read about all of the failures but rather the first time these two spirits meet and then the current time for the two characters which just so happens to be during WWII. Sera is an archaeologist digging up the remains of Pompeii and David is an American spy who happened to get a job as Sera's assistant but is really there to spy on the German camp that is practically in Sera's excavation site's backyard. I must say that it was instantaneous love for me when I started reading about the gladiators. I am not a huge history buff but somethings do interest me and that is one of them. I loved Sera and David. Their characters just worked so well together. And Lori Dillon's writing was spot on for me. She didn't get too heavy with the details weighing you down with too many words and distracting you from the story at hand. She gives you enough details to paint a picture in your head but leaves some of it to your imagination, which I love. I really enjoyed the author's note at the end that explained that she got the idea when she saw a National Geographic photograph of a plaster cast of a couple from Pompeii. The two died in each others arms and from that picture she imagined who the couple might have been and came up with Out of the Ashes. She did an amazing job with the story and I can't believe that this is a debut novel for her. I cannot wait to read more of her work.
I read the first three chapters of this book several years ago in a contest, and never forgot it. The main characters first meet in Pompeii, in 79AD, when the hero is a gladiator slave and the heroine a young noblewoman. Of course, their guardian angles who were supposed to make sure they meet and fall in love didn't count on Mount Vesuvius, and thus begins a series of new lives where each time, angels Herschel and Marsha screw up until they're forced to live as humans and ensure the romance happens - and the lovers don't die prematurely. This time, David is a spy for the American army, and Sera is an archaeologist working in the ruins of Pompeii during WWII. As his cover, David is posing as an Italian laborer who goes to work on Sera's team. There's plenty of room for conflict when Sera reveals she hates Americans (not knowing David is one), and David has to fight to keep his secret while their relationship grows. Out of the Ashes is an emotional story that tugs at the heart. Bumbling angels Herschel and Marsha provide fun touches of comic relief throughout, while the reader wonders how on earth they'll prevail this time. Surrounding it all is an unusual, fascinating setting and a sense of wonder as the characters unearth finds that hint at a previous life together that neither remember. If you enjoy an emotionally-rich romance with a paranormal element that's not the same-ol, same-ol, Out of the Ashes is a must-read!