Read an excerpt HERE.

Click on image to buy PERFIDITAS.BRAG

Read an excerpt HERE.

Click on image to buy INCEPTIO. Amazon bestseller
BRAG_INCEPTIO


Meet Alison Morton - the video!

Yes, I have succumbed. It’s all the fault of my new smartphone; I love exploring the features and I’ve just discovered the superb quality video facility.  So here you have a few thoughts about my writing, my heroines, writing in general, and what I think of reviews and interacting with readers.

http://youtu.be/5VgQPdFWKpA

For the techies among you, we used an iPhone6 and a tripod with a clamp to keep it steady. I typed up a few bullet points which we pasted into a teleprompter programme (so I didn’t waffle) called Best Prompter, which I then ran on an iPad. Thanks to my husband, Steve Morton, for being ‘technical support’.

I think there may be more…

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is now out.

Find out about Roma Nova news, writing tips and info by signing up for my free monthly email newsletter.

What's an ethical author?

ALLiEthicalAuthor_smYou may have spotted a new green badge in the righthand column of widgets …… An author program facilitated by the Alliance of Independent Authors but open to any writer who has published a long-form work of fiction or non-fiction, either via a trade publisher or self-publishing platform.

About its origins

So here’s the code itself – mostly common sense, really.

Ethical Author Code

Guiding principle: Putting the reader first
When I market my books, I put my readers first. This means that I don’t engage in any practices that have the effect of misleading the readers/buyers of my books. I behave professionally online and offline when it comes to the following practices in my writing life:

Courtesy
I behave with courtesy and respect toward readers, other authors, reviewers and industry professionals such as agents and publishers. If I find myself in disagreement, I focus on issues rather than airing grievances or complaints in the press or online, or engaging in personal attacks of any kind.

Aliases
I do not hide behind an alias to boost my own sales or damage the sales or reputation of another person. If I adopt a pen name for legitimate reasons, I use it consistently and carefully.

Reviewing and rating books
I do not review or rate my own or another author’s books in any way that misleads or deceives the reader. I am transparent about my relationships with other authors when reviewing their books.

I am transparent about any reciprocal reviewing arrangements, and avoid any practices that result in the reader being deceived.

Reacting to reviews
I do not react to any book review by harassing the reviewer, getting a third party to harass the reviewer, or making any form of intrusive contact with the reviewer. If I’ve been the subject of a personal attack in a review, I respond in a way that is consistent with professional behaviour.

Book Promotions
I do not promote my books by making false statements about, for example, their position on bestseller lists, or consent to anyone else promoting them for me in a misleading manner.

Plagiarism
I know that plagiarism is a serious matter, and I don’t intentionally try to pass off another writer’s words as my own.

Financial ethics
In my business dealings as an author, I make every effort to be accurate and prompt with payments and financial calculations. If I make a financial error, I remedy it as soon as it’s brought to my notice.

Responsibility
I take responsibility for how my books are sold and marketed. If I realise anyone is acting against the spirit or letter of this Code on my behalf, I will refer them to this Code and ask them to modify their behaviour.

This is an entirely voluntary code and open to all authors, however published. It’s a mark in the sand and not only impacts on authors; it tells reviewers, bloggers and most importantly, readers  that they are dealing with somebody who knows how to behave in a decent and professional way. Perhaps it could be extended to all arms of publishing. ;-)

STOP PRESS: Read this extremely interesting article from publishing commentator and influencer Porter Anderson.

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is now out.

Find out about Roma Nova news, writing tips and info by signing up for my free monthly email newsletter.

Saturnalia/Christmas/Yule present solutions

Yep, it’s that time of year again, and books are a 100% satisfying way to solve those gift problems – easy to give and wonderful to receive. In Roma Nova, we celebrate Saturnalia  during which presents are exchanged.  Here are my seasonal offers for you:
(All prices include postage (second class/economy) and packing.  Please ask for rates for the rest of world.)

Offer 1: Individual paperback gift service
SUCCESSIO at Saturnalia
A seasonal greetings card with personalised message from me, the author, with especially designed bookmark, and gift wrapped and sent to the person of the buyer’s choice:
one of INCEPTIO or PERFIDITAS or SUCCESSIO.
UK  –  £13.50,
Europe  –  16.50€
US – US$ 21.60

Offer 2Two-book bundle
IMG_4880_sm
signed paperback copy, with especially designed bookmarks, of any two of INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO
(Can be gift-wrapped and sent with greetings card for additional £1/€1.50/$2 per book)
UK –  £18.50
Europe  –  23.50€
US  –  US$ 29.50

Offer 3 :Three book bundle
RomaNova cards_smsigned paperback copy, with especially designed bookmarks, of each of of INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO
(Can be gift-wrapped and sent with greetings card for additional £1/€1.50/$2 per book)
UK –  £27.00
Europe  –  33.50€
US  –  US$ 43.25

Contact me to order using the simple form below. I will send you a confirmatory email asking you for full details. Payment by PayPal/credit/debit card.

Last date for orders 6 December. After that, I can’t guarantee you’ll receive it in time…

Io Saturnalia!

SATURNALIA/CHRISTMAS OFFERS ORDER FORM

 

 

 

 

Ben Kane and A Day of Fire

A Day of FireToday, I don’t have one special guest but six! My writing friend Ben Kane has been working with a group of other historical authors to write a collaborative novel in six stories. This venture could have been as risky as the eruption of Vesuvius, the volcano at the centre of their story, A Day of Fire

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets.

An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.

An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.

A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.

A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.

A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others’ path during Pompeii’s fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

I asked Ben to explain…

Why does Pompeii have an enduring attraction and why did you choose it as the focus for this book?
Pompeii  street (c) Alison Morton
I think that its terrible history – a busy town that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, with terrible loss of life – says it all – and the fact that it has been so well excavated. It’s the most amazing place to visit, because so much of it remains. In most ancient ruins, it’s hard to get a sense of what life might have been like. In Pompeii, with its citizens in their houses, bread still in ovens, guard dogs in their places, it is impossible not to get a feeling of Roman life. We chose it as a focus for the book because of its appeal – there are relatively few events in Roman history as recognisable as the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Were the group of authors self-selected or chosen? And how did you find working together?
The authors were chosen by the three people whose idea it had been in the first place, that is, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray and Sophie Perinot. I had never collaborated with anyone else before, so I approached the whole thing with enthusiasm but a little trepidation. However, my concerns soon vanished. It was a real pleasure from beginning to end – and I would have no hesitation in working with the group again.

What do you think is in it for the reader having such a diversity of author styles?
One thing stands out for me – the cross-section of society that’s covered, which is from soldiers to politicians to tradespeople, gladiators and prostitutes. And because the focus of the eruption is so vital to the storyline, I think that any quibbles the reader might have will be smoothed out by the impending tragedy that unfolds through the book.

Will there be another book focusing on a different event?
An interesting question, and one I’ve been asking myself since we finished. I’d be open to the idea, certainly!

Thank you, Ben.
Well, I enjoyed A Day of Fire immensely – the six different voices were distinct but the whole thing melded together seamlessly. The intimate stories of real people trying to accept then survive the terrifying cataclysm seem so real in a way that we can understand today. You know people like these. Recommended.

——————————-

The authors:

Stephanie DraySTEPHANIE DRAY is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical women’s fiction and fantasy set in the ancient world. Her critically acclaimed historical Nile series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into more than six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Learn more at: StephanieDray.com

Ben KaneBEN KANE worked as a veterinarian for sixteen years, but his love of ancient history and historical fiction drew him to write fast-paced novels about Roman soldiers, generals and gladiators. Irish by nationality but UK-based, he is the author of seven books, the last five of which have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers. Ben’s books have been translated into ten languages. In 2013, Ben walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall with two other authors, for charity; he did so in full Roman military kit, including hobnailed boots. He repeated the madness in 2014, over 130 miles in Italy. Over $50,000 has been raised with these two efforts. Learn more at http://www.benkane.net/

E KnightE. KNIGHT is an award-winning, indie national best-selling author of historical fiction. Under the name, Eliza Knight she writes historical romance and time-travel. Her debut historical fiction novel, My Lady Viper, has received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Historical Novel Society 2015 Annual Indie Award. She regularly presents on writing panels and was named Romance Writer’s of America’s 2013 PRO Mentor of the Year. Eliza lives in Maryland atop a small mountain with a knight, three princesses and a very naughty puppy. For more information, visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com.

Sophie PerinotSOPHIE PERINOT is the author of the acclaimed debut, The Sister Queens, which weaves the story of medieval sisters Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence who became queens of France and England respectively. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. A long-time member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences, serving as a panelist at the most recent. When she is not visiting corners of the past, Sophie lives in Great Falls, VA. Learn more at: www.SophiePerinot.com

Kate QuinnKATE QUINN is the national bestselling author of the Empress of Rome novels, which have been variously translated into thirteen different languages. She first got hooked on Roman history while watching “I, Claudius” at the age of seven, and wrote her first book during her freshman year in college, retreating from a Boston winter into ancient Rome. She and her husband now live in Maryland with an imperious black dog named Caesar. Learn more at http://www.katequinnauthor.com

Vicky Alvear ShecterVICKY ALVEAR SHECTER is the award-winning author of the young adult novel, Cleopatra’s Moon (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter. She is also the author of two biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. The LA Times called Cleopatra’s Moon – set in Rome and Egypt –”magical” and “impressive.” Publisher’s Weekly said it was “fascinating” and “highly memorable.” Her young adult novel of Pompeii, Curses and Smoke (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic), released in June 2014. She has two other upcoming books for younger readers, Anubis Speaks! and Hades Speaks! Vicky is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.vickyalvearshecter.com/main/

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is now out.

Find out about Roma Nova news, writing tips and info by signing up for my free monthly email newsletter.

Meet David Ebsworth's Napoleonic women warriors

DavidEbs

A welcome return visit from my writing friend David Ebsworth telling us about his next project …

1815. The 200th anniversary is looming. A passion for the Napoleonic period is tugging at my writing hand. Yes, I thought, my next one will be about Waterloo. But from what angle?

I began looking for the real-life experiences of women who may have been on the battlefield itself, rather than mere observers. And there were many. Like the story of Jenny Jones, from Talyllyn, and the other soldiers’ wives who accompanied the British army. But then I came across the tale of the beautiful Frenchwoman, in cavalry uniform, found among the dead by Volunteer Charles Smith, 95th Rifles, where the fighting had been thickest during that hot June afternoon.

Marianne Tambour

Marianne Tambour

It occurred to me that we don’t have too many English-language novels that look at the Hundred Days from a French perspective. And I also couldn’t remember reading anything about the French women who might have been present at Waterloo. So I began to read everything available on Frenchwomen and their relationship to the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Suddenly, as often happens when we research for historical fiction, I found myself in a very different world. One in which women were not confined to simply following the army, and perhaps helping to tend the wounded at the battle’s end, or nurse the fever cases, but in which there was a well-established tradition of women soldiers or, at least, of women who thought little of being in the centre of the action. Feisty women. A gap had opened up, a void that begged to be filled. So the research for The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour began in earnest.

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And I loved writing this story. It was finally inspired when I read a factual account of French Napoleonic cantinière, Madeleine Kintelberger, who served with Bonaparte’s 7th Hussars during the Austerlitz campaign and was caught up in fighting against the Russian Cossacks while protecting her children who were also with her on the battlefield. Her husband had been killed by cannon fire and Madeleine held off the Cossacks with a sword that she had picked up, losing her own right arm in the process. She was slashed by sabres and speared by lances during the same engagement, as well as shot in each leg. Yet she was also eight months pregnant with twins. It seems nothing short of a miracle that she survived at all. The Russians took her prisoner and she eventually returned to France with her children, where she was received in person by the Emperor and awarded a military pension. But the most astonishing aspect of all this was the fact that Madeleine was only one of hundreds of women serving in such positions in the French army’s front lines, many of them with similarly incredible tales to tell and yet largely ignored, both in fiction and non-fiction alike.

marie-therese_figueur

Mari-Thérèse Figueur (unattributed)

Then, almost immediately afterwards, I also came across the equally remarkable exploits of Marie-Thérèse Figueur who in 1793 had joined the French revolutionary army, though she had originally fought for the counter-revolutionary Federalists. But she enlisted as a cavalry trooper, all the same, in her own right as a woman, and served with distinction in various Dragoon regiments at Toulon, Savigliano-Genola, Ulm, Austerlitz, Jena, Burgos and the battles of the 1814 Campaign. She was captured, and escaped, both from the Austrians and, later, from Spanish guerrilleros, though not without suffering several serious wounds. Her reputation made her an object of curiosity in fashionable French society and she found herself invited to dinner with Bonaparte himself when he had still been First Consul of the Republic – the first of several face-to-face meetings with Napoleon. She was not present at Waterloo, however, since she had retired in 1814 and opened a table d’hôte restaurant in Paris – though that was certainly not the end of her adventures. Once again, her story was unusual but not unique.

Liberté & Marianne

Liberté & Marianne

So the proposition was simple. What if two fictional women, but based on the real-life characters of Kintelberger and Figueur, were brought together by something more than a simple twist of fate during Bonaparte’s final campaign, in June 1815, that culminated in the Battle of Waterloo? And what if that “something” had a mystical element that would have been very typical of the age’s flirtations between the scientific and the spiritual? The result: two of the most feisty women ever to hit the pages of historical fiction – Dragoon trooper, Liberté Dumont, and the eponymous Imperial Guard cantinière, Marianne Tambour, each of them easily capable of putting Richard Sharpe to shame. I hope readers enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the telling of their tale!

Marianne-coverYou can follow the exploits of Dumont and Tambour in David Ebsworth’s novel, The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour, due to be released on 5th December.

 David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer, Dave McCall, a former trade union negotiator, born in Liverpool (UK) and now living in North Wales. He has published three previous novels: The Jacobites’ Apprentice, Finalist in the Historical Novel Society’s 2014 Indie Award; The Assassin’s Mark, set during the Spanish Civil War; and The Kraals of Ulundi: A Novel of the Zulu War. Each of these books has been the recipient of the coveted B.R.A.G. Medallion for independent authors. 

More details of David’s work are available on his website:  http://www.davidebsworth.com

Where you can pre-order Marianne now:
Amazon       Kobo

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is now out.

Find out about Roma Nova news, writing tips and info by signing up for my free monthly email newsletter.