Authors: Roseanna M. White
This is a work of fiction. All characters and events appearing in this novel are ficticious or used ficticiously.
A STRAY DROP OF BLOOD
2005, 2009 Roseanna M. White
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
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Cumberland, MD 21502
Cover design by Tekeme Studios
S t r a y Drop
Haunting and powerful are two words that come to mind at the close of reading Roseanna M. White’s debut novel,
A Stray Drop of Blood
. Not since Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion trilogy has a book and its characters captured me so completely. From its rich, historical prose that depicts the era of Christ with startling reality, to a compelling love story that will both jolt and seize your heart, this is one of those rare novels that haunts you centuries beyond the last page. Amid the seething unrest of Roman tyranny and Hebrew uprising, a spellbinding saga unfolds, unleashing startling twists of both fate and heart that will leave you utterly breathless.”
author of the Daughters of Boston Series
Prepare to be transported to Rome in the time of Jesus by this powerful debut novel. With a cast of compelling characters and a roller-coaster plot, this is a memorable tale that will stay with you long after the last chapter is read. Abigail's journey of faith and love is nothing short of miraculous. Biblical fiction fans will find it extremely rich and satisfying.”
author of The Project Restoration Series:
The Renovation, The Renewal, The Transformation
A Stray Drop of Blood
is a fast-paced story that keeps you guessing until the very end. The unexpected plot twists and action make for an entertaining read . . . If you’re a lover of Biblical era novels, then this is the book for you.”
I love biblical fiction. I love reading about how the ordinary people really lived during that time and related to each other without haloes drawn around their heads and a chorus of angels singing in the background. And Roseanna White does a splendid job in
A Stray Drop of Blood
of bringing the days and months surrounding the crucifixion to brutal reality through the eyes of a young Hebrew girl. If you enjoy biblical fiction like I do, pick this one up. You won't be disappointed.”
Golden Keyes Parsons
author of Darkness to Light Series
I’ve written a lot of books, ranging from humorous contemporary romances to intense historical fiction—with one delve in sci-fi (shudder). But through all those stories crowding my head, this remains the one dearest to my heart. I took great pleasure in reworking this story for its second release and hope that it touches you as the writing of it did me.
The story began for me on Good Friday when I was fifteen. Having just begun a relationship with the man now my husband—and getting in a huge fight over it with my best friend—I had a few bittersweet feelings flooding me as I sat down to reflect on the day. As I read the story of Jesus’ betrayal, of his crucifixion and resurrection, my heart swelled with the amazing reality of what this Man did for me. And I wondered . . . what would it have been like to be a woman in the crowd? A woman who went there seeking vengeance and instead beheld forgiveness the likes of which she had never imagined? And so
A Stray Drop of Blood
was born. I wrote a short story, which over the next six years became a novel.
Because this story touches on so many subjects you might find interesting, I’ve put together a companion guide with articles written by me and some of my dear, fabulous author friends, available on my webiste. Go to the “Books” tab, and there will be a link for it. Please visit if you’re interested in finding out some interesting FYI about the details behind the story. I also welcome any and all reader comments!
This story is not perfect, but it tries, just as my characters do. I pray we all have the strength to do the same; after all, that stray drop of blood was shed for the cleansing of each of us.
Roseanna M. White
To my husband, David.
You’re my heart, my love, and my inspiration.
Abigail’s tears were unneeded. Mourners enough had been hired by her mother’s husband, and their loud keening drowned out her grief. She risked a glance at Silas, who stood with an appropriately sorrowful expression in the corner. Her mother’s husband, but not her father. Her father was dead. Mother too. And this family would never be her own.
She turned to the doorway, where Rebekka, Silas’s first wife, beckoned. Abigail darted one last look at the body laid out on the table, but her mother could offer her no protection now. She left the room, following Rebekka’s voice down the hall. “She is eight years old. Very strong–she gets that from her father. But beautiful, as her mother was.”
Even at eight years old, Abigail recognized the jealousy in Rebekka’s tone at the mention of Mother’s beauty. She stepped into the room, felt her head go light when she saw the man within.
A Roman soldier.
Rebekka motioned her forward, and though she wanted to remain rooted in place, she dared not. One step, another, and she was under the Roman’s full perusal. Deafening silence pounded her until the man nodded and reached to the money purse on his belt. Her fingers clenched, her breath caught, her eyes ceased blinking. If possible, she would have stopped her heart from beating.
Had it come to this? First her father’s death, then her mother’s, and now she was to be slave to a Roman dog?
The man drew out several coins, but as he handed them to Rebekka, he offered Abigail a smile. And she knew. She knew that she would have more of a home with this Roman than with these people she could never call family.
Something inside shifted, making her shoulders edge back. That place from where tears sprang went cool, ran dry. An image of a cracked, parched streambed flitted before her eyes. That was what she would be. Hard and empty. If her own people would sell her to their oppressors, then so be it. She would be a humble slave. No more whimsy, no more dreams.
It was obviously what
Does she speak Greek?” The man’s gaze stayed on Abigail, though his words were aimed at Rebekka.
Of course. She is a bright girl, able to obey any command.”
He nodded, offered that smile to Abigail again. Strange . . . it was
younger than his dignified years suggested, not unlike those of the boys who ran the streets. And kinder than any Roman’s smile had a right to be. “What is your name, little one?”
Abigail.” Her voice sounded flat to her own ears. Barely more than a breath.
He crouched down, much like her father had once done when he wanted to speak to her. “Well, Abigail, you are to be my wife’s helper. She is a Hebrewess and wishes for a young girl to teach and keep her company. You will enjoy spending your days by her side.”
Enjoyment? Perhaps Roman masters could speak of such a thing, but Abigail had long ago given up on it. Ever since Father’s death, there had been no joy to be had.
Her eyes sought the ground and stayed there as she followed him out into the early-morning bustle of Jerusalem. With every step that took her farther away from all that she knew, her heart grew heavier. Only God knew what her future held now, and he had never shown her any favor.
But he would not forsake her, no matter how much she may wish it. Mother had died a loyal child of Jehovah, and Abigail knew no better end awaited her. The Lord would not relinquish her. Even if the Roman had not come, she still would have been a slave to him.
Cleopas Visibullis glanced at the waif that trailed behind him and fought back the urge to scoop her up and carry her the remaining distance to his home. Ester would take one look at her and admit her into her heart as a daughter. The thought made him smile. He had known when she begged him to go see about the girl for sale that if he brought her home, it would be as a slave only in the loosest sense.
But with Jason bound for Rome this afternoon, his wife would need the distraction. A companion. The impending departure not only erased his smile, it brought a pounding in his head. In some ways, he knew Rome would do his impetuous son good. But in others . . . would he even recognize him if or when he returned?
They skirted the Praetorium, where Cleopas had served as prefect for two years now. Even before the promotion, he had been a soldier of import. Hence why his home abutted the compound. As they walked, citizens of Jerusalem moved to the other side of the street to avoid him, all Hebrew gazes flicked away.