Rome's maligned and adored first empress tells her own story. At the tender age of fourteen, Livia Drusilla becomes her father's chief political asset - later, her sharp intellect - and her heart - will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice: one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen.
Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration At the tender age of fourteen, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her father's chief political asset - and reluctantly enters into an advantageous marriage to a prominent military officer. Her mother tells her, "It is possible for a woman to influence public affairs," reminding Livia that - while she possesses a keen sense for the machinations of the Roman senate - she must also remain patient and practical.
But patience and practicality disappear from Livia's mind when she meets Caesar's heir, Octavianus. At only eighteen, he displays both power and modesty. A young wife by that point, Livia finds herself drawn to the golden-haired boy. In time, his fortunes will rise as Livia's family faces terrible danger. But her sharp intellect - and her heart - will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice: one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen.
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"This highly polished and compelling story of ancient Rome is told by Livia Drusilla, wife of Caesar Octavianus who defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium. ... Seamlessly written, this novel will appeal mightily to fans of historical fiction." - Publishers Weekly
"Smith's Livia is such a dynamic character, so approachably human, at times fearless and forceful but also merciful and just...The historical backdrop of Rome becomes more accessible, less academic, when seen through the lives of Smith's characters." - Historical Novels Review
"This book superbly mixes strongly developed, emotionally complex characters with well-researched accurate history. It humanizes historical figures that had, for me, just been names on a timeline. I can't recommend it highly enough." - Susan Coventry, author of The Queen's Daughter
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Phyllis T. Smith was born and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. After obtaining a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College and a master's degree from New York University, Phyllis pursued a practical career in computer applications training, yet found herself drawn to literature and art of the ancient world. I Am Livia is her first novel. She has another novel set in ancient Rome in the works.
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