Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE WOLF DEN by Elodie Harper! I’m so excited to share an excerpt of the book with you today, AND more information about the author and tour, PLUS you can enter the giveaway to win a print copy!The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
Series: Wolf Den Trilogy #1
Published on March 29, 2022 by Union Square Co.
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Retellings
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram
Sold by her impoverished mother. Enslaved in an infamous brothel in Pompeii. Determined to fight for her freedom at all costs. . . . Enter into the Wolf Den.
Amara was once the beloved daughter of a doctor in Greece, until her father’s sudden death plunged her mother into destitution. Now Amara is a slave and prostitute in Pompeii’s notorious Wolf Den brothel or lupanar, owned by a cruel and ruthless man. Intelligent and resourceful, she is forced to hide her true self. But her spirit is far from broken. Buoyed by the sisterhood she forges with the brothel’s other women, Amara finds solace in the laughter and hopes they all share. For the streets of the city are alive with opportunity—here, even the lowest-born slave can dream of a new beginning. But everything in Pompeii has a price. How much will Amara’s freedom cost her?
The women climb the steps up to the tall gate, Victoria leading the way, Beronice at the back, not quite quick enough to avoid Thraso’s angry slap. They all know why he’s lashing out. It’s the prospect of Felix’s rage when they get back to the brothel. Amara can feel the fear building, a lump in her throat she cannot swallow.
Stepping onto the street is like rejoining a fast-flowing river. She grips Dido’s hand, and they force their way through the crush of people, heading up the hill to the Forum Gate. The stones are wet and slippery. The first time Amara came to Pompeii was with Dido. It can only have been a few months ago but feels longer. They traveled in on this road, together, after Felix had bought them at the slave market in Puteoli. The weather was warmer then under the clear blue skies of late October. She remembers Felix buying ripe figs for the journey. The fruit smelt so sweet, its insides pink and shining when she split it open, sticky on her fingers. It was almost a moment of happiness. If happiness could exist in a world where she had been bought and sold. Amara still wonders at this act of kindness from Felix. They were not to know, then, how uncharacteristic it would be.
A man carrying a heavy basket of fish on his head shoves past, turning his shoulders into the crowd like a weapon. They follow him under the high archway into the dark, echoing tunnel, the road growing steeper and the crush more intense. Amara glances back to see Cressa, a look of resignation on her face, lugging the puffing Beronice up the hill. Thraso is almost out of sight behind. His leg must be giving him a lot of difficulty or he would be berating Beronice’s slowness. Victoria, of course, has darted ahead. She is the only one of Felix’s five women who was born in this town, and although a slave, she owns the place in a way that none of the others ever will.
Inside the town walls, the road evens out but also becomes wetter, water sloshing over Amara’s shoes. Dido helps her up onto the raised pavement, two fabric sellers muttering at having to shuffle out of their way. A man heaped in garlands of myrtle, offerings for the Temple of Venus, presses close.
“For your goddess? For love? One penny for two. Good price. Bring you good fortune.” He is holding the leaves so close to Dido’s face she instinctively puts her hand up to draw across the veil she no longer wears.
Amara pushes the garlands away.
|3/21/2022||Kait Plus Books||Excerpt/IG Post|
|3/23/2022||The book review crew||Review/IG Post|
|3/25/2022||A Backwards Story||Review/IG Post|
|3/28/2022||A Bookish Dream||Review/IG Post|
|4/1/2022||Stuck in the Stacks||Review/IG Post|
What do you think about The Wolf Den? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!