The Wood-Fired Blog

A Novel of Ancient Rome

You know that I have always found ancient Rome interesting (to this day I get a kick just thinking about the wood ovens in Pompeii), and so does my wife — who recently published a historical novel on Galla Placidia, empress of Rome in the mid 400′s. She started researching the book when we were living in Florence, and has now put the finishing touches on the novel, and has published it through It is available in both print and Kindle editions, and the early reviews have been very positive. We are all so proud; completing any novel is a big task, and taking on a historical novel as her first book was huge.



Our oldest daughter did the cover art, so it was a family effort. There is a wood-fired oven mentioned on page 75 (I think), so I think it reasonable to post it here. haha.

You can find it on Nobelissima: A Novel of Imperial Rome. It is also available through the Amazon lending library.


Here is the Book Description. Enjoy!

Nobilissima is the story of Placidia, a Roman princess who marries the King of the Visigoths and later becomes Empress of the Roman Empire.  It is a story of love, ambition and war, set against a backdrop of barbarian invasions and the Empire’s turbulent transition from paganism to Christianity.  In 410 AD, the Visigoths sack Rome and seize hostages. That dark, violent night marks the beginning of a perilous journey through Italy, Gaul and Spain for Placidia and her companions. She survives immense hardships and an attempt on her life to find happiness in her marriage to the new Visigoth king and the birth of their son. But a series of terrible tragedies forces her to return to her brother’s court, where further trials await her. A strong and courageous woman, Placidia is also a skillful politician capable of building alliances with popes, kings, senators and generals. She gathers power and influence, but all seems lost when a scandal erupts and her life is again threatened. She flees to Constantinople, only to learn that her brother has died and a usurper has seized the crown. At the head of an army, she returns to Ravenna to fight for the throne. 

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