04 May 2017

Excerpt Thursday: RETALIO (Roma Nova thriller series) by Alison Morton

This week, we're pleased to welcome our own Unusual Historicals contributor ALISON MORTON  with the final novel of her second trilogy within the Roma Nova series. The trilogy started with AURELIA which was followed by INSURRECTIO. And now RETALIO brings us the end game...

One lucky winner will receive an ebook in the format of their choice, which Alison has kindly provided. Join us again on Sunday for an interview with her to find out more about the story behind the series. Here's what RETALIO is about...

Early 1980s Vienna. Recovering from a near fatal shooting, Aurelia Mitela, ex-Praetorian and former foreign minister of Roma Nova, chafes at her enforced exile. She barely escaped from her nemesis, the charming and amoral Caius Tellus who grabbed power in Roma Nova, the only part of the Roman Empire to survive into the twentieth century.

Aurelia’s duty and passion fire her determination to take back her homeland and liberate its people. But Caius’s manipulations have isolated her from her fellow exiles, leaving her ostracised, powerless and vulnerable. But without their trust and support Aurelia knows she will never see Roma Nova again.

“A classic tale of resistance and resilience – the only regret is when the action stops.” – Douglas Jackson, author of Gaius Valerius Verrens series

 "An international thriller, full of intrigue and espionage, set against an imaginative retelling of a history that feels authentic and real. ...what an entertaining ride it is!" – Matthew Harffy, author of The Bernicia Chronicles

Available from:  Amazon     iBooks     Kobo   

**Excerpt from RETALIO - the third part of the AURELIA trilogy**

'Betrayal and collaboration used to lead automatically to a death sentence. You should be grateful this is the 1980s.’ She refused to look at me and instead jabbed her spoon into the coffee cup, almost scraping the glaze off as she rattled it round the tiny amount of liquid at the bottom.

‘Is that what you really think I’ve done, Maia Quirinia?’

‘I’m an accountant, Aurelia, used to looking at facts and figures. And the evidence against you adds up, if you’ll forgive the pun.’

 This was my childhood friend, my fellow minister, one of the inner circle I had trusted with my secrets, my failures as well as my successes. The person who’d comforted me when I was nearly raped as a fifteen-year-old, whose common sense gave me balance and whose life I’d saved on the dreadful night of fires.  She looked tired; her hair was neat, but she obviously hadn’t had it cut and shaped for weeks.

She’d draped her coat, pressed wool from a chain store, over the back of the chair and kept the acrylic scarf round her neck. That and the knitted gloves she would once have been embarrassed to give to a charity shop told me how hard things were for her. And it was probably the same for the rest of them. 

She glanced at the wall clock. Ten past eight on a freezing December morning in a Vienna backstreet. She wriggled on the hard wooden chair. The workman’s café, warm from the fug of cigarette smoke, wasn’t the most comfortable place to start the day. It was full of people arguing about the previous evening’s football and how much everything cost, and the whirr and clatter of the coffee machines and the snappy retorts of the server trying to get to all twelve tables at once; crowded enough to drown our words.

‘I have a job interview in twenty minutes.’ She stood up. ‘I’m sorry, more than you can imagine, but this is goodbye. If any of the others find out I’ve been meeting you, I’ll be proscribed as well.’

 She’d said it. That terrible word. Proscribed. Not that it meant much coming from a group of exiles stripped of authority, living on the edge of financial ruin, but it stung all the same.


About the author
Alison Morton, writes the acclaimed Roma Nova thriller series featuring modern Praetorian heroines. She blends her deep love of Roman history with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, adventure and thriller fiction.

The first five books have been awarded the BRAG Medallion. SUCCESSIO, AURELIA and INSURRECTIO were selected as Historical Novel Society’s Indie Editor’s Choices. AURELIA was a finalist in the 2016 HNS Indie Award. The sixth, RETALIO, is now out.

A ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, Alison has misspent decades clambering over Roman sites throughout Europe. She holds a MA History, blogs about Romans and writing. Now she continues to write, cultivates a Roman herb garden and drinks wine in France with her husband of 30 years.

Connect with Alison on her Roma Nova site: http://alison-morton.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alison_morton @alison_morton

Buying link for RETALIO (multiple retailers/formats):