A recovered academic, Justine Saracen started out producing dreary articles for esoteric literary journals. Writing fiction, it turned out, was way more fun. With eight historical thrillers now under her literary belt, she has moved from Ancient Egyptian theology (The 100th Generation) to the Crusades (Lammy-nominated Vulture’s Kiss) to the Roman Renaissance.
Sistine Heresy, a blasphemic backstory to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes, won a 2009 Independent Publisher’s Award (IPPY) and was a finalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year Award.
A few centuries farther along, WWII thriller Mephisto Aria was an EPIC award finalist, won Rainbow Awards for Best Historical Novel and Best Writing Style, and took the 2011 Golden Crown first prize for Historical novel.
Sarah, Son of God, in which a transgendered beauty takes us through Stonewall-rioting New York, Venice under the Inquisition, and Nero’s Rome, won the Rainbow First Prize for Transgendered Novel.
Her second WWII thriller, Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bright, follows the lives of four homosexuals during the Third Reich, and won the 2012 Rainbow First Prize for Historical Novel.
Beloved Gomorrah (2013) marked a return to her critique of Bible myths – in this case an LGBT version of Sodom and Gomorrah – though it also involves Red Sea diving and the dangerous allure of a certain Hollywood actress.
An adopted European, Saracen lives on a “charming little winding street in Brussels.” Meeting people with memories of WWII and the German occupation sparked the creation of Waiting for the Violins (BSB, forthcoming). It tells of an English nurse, nearly killed while fleeing Dunkirk, who returns by night parachute as a British spy and joins forces with the Belgian resistance.