Oh yes! 2016 has begun in a spectacular way and I’m not talking about fireworks. AURELIA, the fourth Roma Nova thriller, first in a new cycle of adventures featuring Praetorian and imperial councillor Aurelia Mitela, has been shortlisted for the 2016 HNS Indie Award.
*Jumps up and down with silly grin on face.*
When AURELIA was selected as an indie Editor’s Choice in the August 2015 Historical Novel Society’s reviews, I was delighted. This was the second Roma Nova book to be so honoured; SUCCESSIO was an Editor’s Choice in 2014. But now it gets serious.
The 2016 longlist derives from all the Editor’s Choices in the previous year; in 2015, there were 38 and all terrific reads. The shortlist of nine is the second ‘sift’ announced today and a final list of four will be chosen to be considered at the HNS Conference in Oxford in September 2016 when the award will be presented.
Even if AURELIA doesn’t go further (but I rather hope she will), this is a huge honour. Being shortlisted for one of the most prestigious indie prizes around will make anybody reach for the champagne. It may have been New Year’s Eve yesterday, but the bubbly will be flowing again today!
What’s AURELIA about?
Late 1960s Roma Nova, the last Roman colony that has survived into the 20th century. Aurelia Mitela is alone – her partner gone, her child sickly and her mother dead – and forced to give up her beloved career as a Praetorian officer.
But her country needs her unique skills. Somebody is smuggling silver – Roma Nova’s lifeblood – on an industrial scale. Sent to Berlin to investigate, she encounters the mysterious and attractive Miklós, a known smuggler who knows too much, and Caius Tellus, a Roma Novan she has despised and feared since childhood.
Barely escaping a trap set by a gang boss intent on terminating her, she discovers that her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles and pursues him back home to Roma Nova…
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