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Introducing M.J. Woodman’s Debut Novel DIVINE Exploring An Alternate, Modern-Day World Of Tragic Death, Competition And Romance

17 May 2021


Divine challenges societies expectations of ‘powerless’ young adults in the event of corruption in a totalitarian state. Delving into the lives of the oppressed population of Appia, Divine is undoubtedly thought provoking and heart wrenching - the perfect read for fans of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series, the Hunger Games, and The Man in the High Castle.

Set in an alternative reality, where the Roman Empire never fell, and the world was never the same, Divine takes place in present-day Appia - real-world North America which has been fractured by a mythical war and consequently divided into five Imperial fortress states. These states, shielded by an invisible forcefield and known as Havens, are designed to protect inhabitants from the world beyond.



Female protagonist Electa Steel lives an ordinary life in a Haven, until her seventeenth birthday where the annual Choosing threatens to tear her world apart. Strange circumstances lead her to be Chosen, to live in her society for the remainder of her life. However, this year, she is one of five girls that will compete to become the next Empress of Latia, her homeland. A mysterious terror organisation, Spartaca, from outside her Haven, recruits her to bring down the Empire from the inside. Spartaca uses Electa as a pawn, and in the process, she must learn to adapt to the politics and power her new life brings. To win the competition, she must first seduce the Prince, and future Emperor, Asher Ovicula. Then she must defeat the other competitors in a series of brutal gladiatorial games. But, why did Spartaca choose her? The truth will change Electa’s world forever.



The debut novel from M.J. Woodman, a student of Ancient History and Archaeology, Classics enthusiast and self-proclaimed book-nerd has been in the making since M.J was just 13. Revisiting the untouched manuscript several years later and re-writing the novel with a clear, and mature voice, Divine embodies M.J.’s passion for creative writing and her love of Ancient History.

“As cliché as it may sound, being an author was always a dream of mine. From beginning Divine at the young age of 13 and putting the final touches on it years later, this novel embodies my passion for creative writing and Ancient History, exploring an alternate, modern-day world through a powerful young woman, forced into a journey of self- discovery."



M.J. grew up on isolated Dartmoor, in England, surrounded by nature, and as an only child, there was not much to do but read. Books soon became her best friend, so it was only natural that she should develop a passion for creative writing at school.

Inspired by a creative writing course at the University of Toronto, and by her studies of the Ancient World, her writing has culminated in Divine, an alternative-history, YA novel set in a rich and detailed world where the Roman Empire never fell. She spends her time reading, studying, writing, and developing new projects inspired by the enigmatic and mythical world of history.

M.J. hopes one day to use her platform as an author to engage young people through history, which she believes, is crucial to building a better, brighter future.

Follow Divine and M.J. Woodman on Facebook and Instagram: / @mj_woodman

Divine is set to be released on 21st May on Amazon. Follow this link to pre-order your copy now.

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