Our MARCH Bookshelf GUEST AUTHOR is…
Alternate history thriller writer and self-confessed ‘Roman nut!’
Alison Morton lives in France, drinks wine, and writes Roman-themed alternate history thrillers with strong heroines. A ‘Roman nut’ since age eleven, she has clambered over sites throughout Europe including the alma mater, Rome. INCEPTIO and PERFIDITAS, the first and second in series were finalists in Writing Magazine’s 2014 Self-Published Book of the Year Award and awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion for independent fiction. Alison’s third book, SUCCESSIO, was selected as the Historical Novel Society’s indie ‘Editor’s Choice’ for Autumn 2014 and ‘Editor’s Choice’ in The Bookseller’s inaugural Indie Preview, December 2014.
I asked Alison about the alternate history genre and why she wrote in it. “Ever since I read Robert Harris’s Fatherland, which showed me you could divert history onto an alternative path from the one we know, I fell in love with the idea of reordering history. I wanted to write an exciting story about characters in that different society, but with a strong heroine at the core. My imaginary country of Roma Nova is a remnant of the Roman Empire founded by dissidents in the late fourth century. They’ve held on to Roman culture and values as they struggled through the centuries, but with a twist – they are ruled by women.
Why I write in this genre goes back to my own ancient history! I was eleven and fascinated by the stunning mosaics at Ampurias (Spain). My father explained about traders, senators, olive oil, Roman soldiers, people’s houses, the port, and so on. I turned to him and asked “What would it have been like if the women had been in charge?” Clever man, he answered, “What do you think it would have been like?” And that bubbled away in my mind for years.
I’m lucky – my novels allow me to combine my love of all things Roman, the pleasure of writing a tough but very human heroine, and twisty plots, all seasoned with a good dollop of romance and a hot hero. Why not explore Roma Nova for yourself…?”
Book Blurb – SUCCESSIO: Roma Nova – the last remnant of the Roman Empire that has survived into the 21st century – is at peace. Carina Mitela, the heir of a leading family, but choosing the life of an officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces, is not so sure. When a blackmailing letter arrives from a woman claiming to be her husband Conrad’s lost daughter and Conrad tries to shut Carina out, she senses danger crawling towards her. Trying to resolve a young man’s indiscretion twenty-five years ago turns into a nightmare that not only sees her love slipping away but also attacks the imperial family itself. With her enemy holding a gun to the head of the heir to the imperial throne, Carina has to make the hardest decision of her life…
Find out more about Alison, Romans and alternate history:
on MELANIE ROBERTSON KING
LLm author, Melanie Robertson-King, lives in eastern Ontario, Canada, along the shore of the majestic St. Lawrence River. The daughter of a Scottish Home Child, she began writing articles (all historical in nature) which have been published in Canada, the US and the UK. In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy (especially the study of Home Children), photography and travel. A Shadow in the Past is her first novel. The Consequences Collection, an eclectic compilation of short fiction, creative non-fiction, non-fiction and poetry, has recently been published. Melanie is also a contributing author, with her short story Cole’s Notes, to Starship Goodwords, a cross-genre anthology.
A New Release from LLm author Linn B Halton
Linn is releasing the sequel to The Quintessential Gemini – Quintessentially Yours in spring 2015.
Linn says: “Actually, I have two new releases planned for 2015 – The Man Who Can and the sequel to The Quintessential Gemini – Quintessentially Yours. I’ll be telling all in the weeks to come but if you get a chance to drop by my website don’t forget to leave a comment – I love to hear from readers and reviewers; it makes my day!”
The @LLmAuthorsCafe Snapshot
Loveahappyending BOOK BLOGGER Reviews
Bringing you independent reviews from some of the Best Reviewers in the Book Blogging world!
Author: Linn B Halton. Publisher: Heartfelt Fiction Genre: Contemporary Romance
For twenty-one years, the focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work. Love interests and hobbies came and went, but what has always been there for her was her nine to five habit. Until she’s replaced. With her confidence dented, Katherine is angry at life and at herself. She’s ignored hints of “changes to come” in her horoscope forecasts, written by the wonderful and renowned astrologer, Mark Ainsley-Thomas. Mark is now an “A” list celebrity in the UK and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on the new, but talented, astrologer James Kingman to help him run his web-site. Katherine lives her life according to her daily horoscope. When Katherine finds James has been writing her daily horoscopes rather than Mark, Katherine’s life explodes in confusion and, unexpectedly, love as the three lives become inextricably tangled. Now Katherine has to learn that the stars might be telling her that love is going to feature in her life, but when Katherine finds herself implicated in the headlines ‘Mystic Love Triangle Surprise’ she’s just as surprised as everyone else None of the men in her life are love interests – so what exactly does fate have in store?
Reviewed by: Jackie at The Book Maven – a Top 5 LLm Reviewer!
Jackie says: “I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and very clever. I thought it was very interesting bringing in the astrology portion of the story. Personally, I enjoy astrology and found its presence in this book interesting. The three characters were very well written. I liked how each chapter had a characters point of view. Katherine and James had a very naturally developed love story that just grew. The addition of Mark was important for the story to move forward and his insight into both characters was great. Overall, I really enjoyed this unique story told in only a way Linn can do it. This was definitely a breath of fresh air with many of the cookie cutter love stories out there. I can’t wait to read what Linn comes out with next.”
READ Jackie’s entire review at The Book Maven
Author: Anneli Purchase: Publisher: Acquiline Publishing: Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Beautiful, dependent, and insecure, Sylvia makes a sudden decision to leave her seemingly perfect California home. Kind, strong, capable Kevin walks away from his Alberta hardware store and fifteen years of unhappy marriage. When these two meet in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, they fill each other’s needs from day one, yet each has a secret they keep from the other. Before they can learn complete mutual trust, Kevin and Sylvia realize their spouses are not willing to let them go quite so easily.
Reviewed by: Jo at Cometbabe’s Books – a Top LLm Reviewer!
Excerpt from the review: “Kevin and Sylvia meet in Mexico, having escaped partners that neither were happy with, but this wouldn’t be a book if love ran so smooth. As their budding romance is building, they are then faced with the people that made their life hell. Can they survive against the odds and make their romance last? I liked how the chapters switched between the characters and loved seeing things from each point of view. It takes you to a different location and is very descriptive.”
READ Jo’s entire review at Cometbabe’s Books
Author: Emma Calin. Publisher: Gallo-Romano Genre: Passionate Crime Romance
Falling in love with the south of France was no surprise to Katherine. Choosing to walk away from her past and start over was completely unexpected. A new country, a new lover, and the promise of a bright future beginning in mid-life … who knew? Now there were the exciting dreams of restoring the property on the Cap, of beginning a new career, of experiencing the traditions of Christmas in Provence, of falling even more deeply in love with the man who inspired these hopes. It was all so perfect, until it wasn’t. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, had become her mantra. Would it be enough?
Reviewed by JB at Brook Cottage Books - a Top 5 LLm Reviewer!
My Review: “Shannon’s law is fast paced from start to finish. Shannon is a strong-willed female character and takes no nonsense from anyone. She is tough but fair and I liked that side of her. We get to see her vulnerable side where the Earl is concerned and she is unsure of her place in his world. At the heart of the book is a love story between two very different people who society would not expect to be together. There are some very, very, racy sex scenes in the book which are quite explicit and had me heading for a cold shower! An enjoyable read.”
READ JB’s entire review at Brook Cottage Books