Crushed Hopes and Hopeful Beginnings

Crushed Hopes and Hopeful Beginnings by Carol Ashby book cover

Available Nov. 1 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, many online booksellers, and local bookstores by special order.

Can God work all things for good if you don’t even think he’s real?

Lusario was content in Cyrene as part of the Philandros household. After he returns from serving the youngest son, Diokles, while he studies in Alexandria, Lusario expects to become a paid tutor for his master, earning the money to buy his freedom. But when Diokles uses him to pay a gambling debt, he must go to Carthago as the slave of a man who hates him. His once-bright future is gone forever. So why does his Christian friend Timon insist things will turn out so much better than he expects?

But Carthago brings new people, like Caelus Martinus, and new possibilities into Lusario’s hopeless world. Could Timon be right? When Lusario sees a chance to escape his fate, will going for it give him a future again, or only hasten his death?

Crushed Hopes and Hopeful Beginnings is a short novel about the turbulent lives of Lusario and his friends three years before Carol Ashby’s next full-length novel, River of Life, when two of them embark on a journey up the Nile that changes everything.

“This is a fabulous ancient-world series of novels that follow the lives of fictional early Christians. Carol is meticulous with her research and a true expert on Ancient Rome! History lovers and those who enjoy my biblical books are going to LOVE this series!” — Roseanna White, best-selling author and Christy Award winner.

Roman Carthage (Carthago)–one location in Crushed Hopes and Hopeful Beginnings

Light in the Empire Series: Dangerous times, difficult friendships, lives transformed by forgiveness and love

Crushed Hopes and Hopeful Beginnings is the thirteenth volume in the Light in the Empire series, which follows the interconnected lives of the members of several Roman families during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. The novels of the stand-alone series will take you around the Empire, from Germania and Britannia to Thracia, Dacia, Judaea, North Africa, Egypt, and, of course, to Rome itself.

Where to get Carol’s books:
Paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at,, and international Amazon sites
Paperback, hardcover and Nook (epub) at Barnes & Noble.
Paperback and hardcover at many online booksellers
Paperback and hardcover at independent bookstores
Ebooks at Kobo world wide

Other books in the stand-alone Light in the Empire series

Volume 1: Forgiven Are some wounds too deep to forgive?

Volume 2: Blind Ambition Sometimes you have to almost die to discover how you want to live.

Volume 3: The Legacy When Rome has taken everything, what’s left for a man to give?

Volume 4: Faithful Is the price of true friendship ever too high?

Volume 5: Second Chances Must the shadows of the past destroy the hope of the future?

Volume 6: True Freedom The chains we cannot see can be the hardest ones to break.

Volume 7: Hope Unchained Can the deepest loss bring the greatest gain?

Volume 8: Honor Bound Honor had forced him to protect her. Time would tell if he’d regret it.

Volume 9: Hope’s Reward Must the secrets we hide destroy our hope for a future?

Volume 10: More Than Honor
As he hunts the one who killed her father, will he discover the secret that could lead to her death?

Volume 11: What Matters Most When faced with impossible choices, how do you decide what matters most?

Volume 12: Truth and Honor Is truth worth the price if it costs you everything?

Relationships between the Light in the Empire Novels
Lists and charts of the times, locations, and people in the different novels. All can be read stand-alone, but you might enjoy reading some together because of what they share.

Important aspects of Roman history for each can be found in the short articles at the end of each novel linked here and in longer articles in this website.

Fact and Fiction by Carol Ashby