JULIA PRIMA (Roma Nova) by Alison Morton released in August in the Historical fiction genre.
“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. But a vengeful presence from the past overshadows her perilous journey. Following her heart’s desire brings danger she could never have envisaged…
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/JULIAPRIMA
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 21stcentury 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 latest two contemporary thrillers, Double Identity and Double Pursuit. Oh, and she’s writing the next Roma Nova story.
Suppose you were in the cinema watching a beautiful but badly produced film with the plot all over the place? You whisper to your beloved sitting next to you in the dark:
“Good grief, I could do better than this!”
“Well, why don’t you?” he replies.
This is exactly what happened to me. I went home and pounded on the keyboard. Ninety days later, I had a 90,000 word manuscript and no idea what to do with it. That film and my recent reading had triggered a story whirling around my imagination since the age of eleven.
What if a tiny piece of Ancient Rome had survived for sixteen hundred years from the dusk of the old Roman Empire to now and was today ruled by women? It would have all the Roman elements: senate, Praetorian soldiers, temples dedicated to the old gods in the forum, but an imperatrix – a female ruler – and women heading the most important families and running all aspects of life on equal terms. My stories would feature heroines leading the action, although they would have their heroes (of course!). Roma Nova was born.
The whole world changed. Inserting the imaginary country of Roma Nova affected the way the rest of the world developed. I didn’t realise at first this was called ‘alternate history’ where the timeline split and went off in a different direction.
That manuscript turned into INCEPTIO where a young girl Karen Brown who was raised in the Eastern United States and lives and works in New York, finds herself pursued by a government enforcer. Conrad, an enigmatic ‘government employee’ (aka spy) sent covertly from Roma Nova to find her, helps her to flee there when the enforcer attempts to eliminate her. Karen is in fact the granddaughter of Aurelia Mitela, a very powerful Roma Novan senator who gives Karen refuge in Roma Nova. Re-assuming the name of Carina which her dead mother gave her at birth, our heroine finds herself very strongly drawn to Conrad the spy who turns out to be an intelligence officer with the Praetorian Guard Special Forces. But that romance does not go smoothly. Carina has to face a bewildering new society and her own fears when the government enforcer pursues her to Roma Nova. And he has a very personal motive.
Things move on and CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO continue Carina’s story through betrayal, rebellion and heartache and eventually introduce the next generation.
When I was writing SUCCESSIO, the final full-length book for Carina, I became intrigued by the story of her grandmother, Aurelia, as a young woman. She’d been a Praetorian officer, a diplomat and spy, and later a powerful imperial counsellor and a war leader. But what was her role in the Great Rebellion back in the 1980s? And who was the life-long, but elusive lover referred to in SUCCESSIO? So I sat down at my keyboard to write her story set in the late 1960s-80s – AURELIA. But I had far too much story for one book and so NEXUS (novella) set in the mid 1970s, INSURRECTIO and RETALIO, both in the early 1980s, emerged.
All the stories have strong thriller and suspense elements. All also have a central developing relationship. Some characters like Aurelia or Conrad appear in all or most of the series, at different ages spanning over 30 years. But the background of Roma Nova stays the same and readers will find themselves recognising the places, names and the Roman ‘feel’ throughout the series.
The two strands – Carina and Aurelia – each have four books which can be read as complete stories. I don’t like cliff-hangers! But readers tell me they find reading the whole series adds a great deal to their enjoyment. Those same readers urged me to write the origin story of Roma Nova back in AD 395 when two of the founders Julia and Lucius meet. My new release, JULIA PRIMA, is about this – a true historical, the latest in the series. But I have only been able to tell Julia’s part of the foundation story. I need to write another book to follow JULIA PRIMA!
Social media links:
Alison Morton’s World of Thrillers site: https://alison-morton.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor
Alison’s writing blog: https://alisonmortonauthor.com
Alison’s Amazon page: https://Author.to/AlisonMortonAmazon
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