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Friday 2 September 2022

Alison Morton #MyLetsTalkGuest PART TWO


Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds real and fictional,
meet interesting people, visit exciting places
and find a few good books to enjoy along the way!

About the Book

“You should have trusted me. You should have given me a choice.”
AD 370, Roman frontier province of Noricum. Neither wholly married nor wholly divorced, Julia Bacausa is trapped in the power struggle between the Christian church and her pagan ruler father. 
Tribune Lucius Apulius’s career is blighted by his determination to stay faithful to the Roman gods in a Christian empire. Stripped of his command in Britannia, he’s demoted to the backwater of Noricum – and encounters Julia.
Unwittingly, he takes her for a whore. When confronted by who she is, he is overcome with remorse and fear. Despite this disaster, Julia and Lucius are drawn to one another by an irresistible attraction.
But their intensifying bond is broken when Lucius is banished to Rome. Distraught, Julia gambles everything to join him. Following her heart’s desire brings danger she could never have envisaged…

My review

Ms Morton knows her stuff about Rome and the Romans. The cliché saying is 'what she doesn't know is not worth knowing' and in this case it is perfectly true. If Ms Morton doesn't know it - then it isn't worth knowing. Or, if you really want to put things into context: if she doesn't know it and it's worth knowing - then she finds out!

The idea behind the Roma Nova series is an inspired one: take the known facts of Roman history and turn them sideways into alternative fiction. What if pre-Christian Rome had survived until 'today'? What if its leaders and organisers were women, not men? 

By subtly changing history, so well written where the background details are included that the reader doesn't quite notice, Ms Morton has created a series that is, historically, entirely believable. By developing an edge-of-the-seat adventure thriller, combined with a large splash of romance between characters that are so real you would recognise them if you bumped into them in the street, you have a series that is exciting, engrossing, enjoyable and entertaining. Readers (I include myself) are left eager for the next installment - and while we wait we go off to search for Roma Nova on Google Maps. (Which, sadly, we can't find, but I blame that on Google, not Miss Morton!)

Cleverly also, Ms Morton has not restricted herself to setting her books as contemporary, but taken her characters into the range of 'what happened before that' ... and with Julia Prima has gone even further back into Roma Nova history, to the  beginning of the beginning in fact.

We meet Julia Bacausa when she herself is about to meet Tribune Lucius Apulius, the man who is to become the most important person in her life. I will give away no spoilers, but what is to follow is a page-turner adventure of misunderstandings, determination, passion and thrilling action.

The physical journey Julia undertakes in Julia Prima is written with such skilful flare that you feel you are riding with her and her companions along every mile, wary of what might be looming ahead, or following behind. We travel with her by sea, and stand with her, awed, by that first sight of Rome.

There also with Julia's mental journey - you could strangle her at times for her ill-thought impulses, but cheer when she finds the courage to keep going on her quest, despite the many difficulties thrown at her. The supporting cast of believable friends (and enemies) are as just well written.

So, good writing, intriguing plot, superb research, realistic characters and an engrossing story. What more could readers want?

Helen Hollick August 2022

Read an Excerpt

The new Roman officer. A tall man, he must have been several years older than me, possibly in his late twenties. His face tight with anger above his red neck scarf and scale armour shirt. His boots were dusty as were his breeches. He walked a little wide as if chafed from being on his horse all day. He stopped, set one hand on his belt, the other on the pommel of his short sword. He glanced at the Gaul, then turned his gaze on me. Brown eyes, reflecting the pale light. Something twisted inside me, immobilised my breath, then settled in my core. Perhaps a meeting of something familiar, a recognition. He didn’t move, just stared at me. I returned the stare. I couldn’t find a word to say. Heat crept up my neck and into my face. Venus Suleviae. He must have thought I was half-witted.

Buying links for JULIA PRIMA:

Ebook (multiple retailers):


Separate ebook retailers if preferred:

Kindle   (Universal link)  

Amazon UK:



B&N Nook


About Alison

Alison Morton writes award-winning thrillers featuring tough but compassionate heroines. Her nine-book Roma Nova series is set in an imaginary European country where a remnant of the ancient Roman Empire has survived into the 21st century and is ruled by women who face conspiracy, revolution and heartache but with a sharp line in dialogue.

She blends her fascination for Ancient Rome with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, historical and thriller fiction. On the way, she collected a BA in modern languages and an MA in history. 

Alison now lives in Poitou in France, the home of Mélisende, the heroine of her two contemporary thrillers, Double Identity and Double Pursuit. Oh, and she’s writing the next Roma Nova story.

The Roma Nova Series
Follow the Tour


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1 comment:

  1. Goodness, that's not just a review, but a tour de force. Thank you so much, Helen, for such a comprehensive write-up!


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