To any authors/publishers/ tour companies that are looking for the reviews that I signed up for please know this is very hard to do. I will be stopping reviews temporarily. My husband passed away February 1st and my new normal is a bit scary right now and I am unable to concentrate on a book to do justice to the book and authors. I will still do spotlight posts if you wish it is just the reviews at this time. I apologize for this, but it isn't fair to you if I signed up to do a review and haven't been able to because I can't concentrate on any books. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you. Kathleen Kelly April 2nd 2024

21 April 2023

Inceptio by Alison Morton Blog Tour! @cathiedunn @thecoffeepotbookclub @alison_morton @cathiedunn @AlisonMortonAuthor @thecoffeepotbookclub

  #10YearsINCEPTIO #RomaNovaSeries #AlternativeHistory #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Book Title: INCEPTIO (10th Anniversary hardback)

Series: Roma Nova

Author: Alison Morton

Publication Date: 28 March 2023 (original ebook and paperback 1 March 2013)

Publisher: Pulcheria Press

Page Length: 390

Genre: Thriller

“It's about Roman blood, survival and money. Mostly yours."

In an alternative New York, Karen Brown is running for her life. She makes a snap decision to flee to Roma Nova - her dead mother's homeland, the last remnant of the Roman Empire in the 21st century. But can Karen tough it out in such an alien culture? And with a crazy killer determined to terminate her for a very personal reason? 

Stifled by the protective cocoon of her Roma Novan family, deceived by her new lover, she propels herself into a dangerous mission. But then the killer sets a trap - she must sacrifice herself for another - and she sees no escape.

A thriller laced with romance and coming of age, this first in series is Roman fiction brought into the 21st century through the lens of alternative history and driven by a female protagonist with heart and courage.

This 10thAnniversary hardback edition includes bonus content: Three character ‘conversations’, two short stories and the story behind INCEPTIO.

INCEPTIO 10th Anniversary special edition hardback: 

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[After Carina has followed her intensive training in Roma Nova and is confident of her own abilities. She is checking up on one of her business protegees]

I spent the next day going through Dania’s bar accounts; they looked healthy. She gave me an insight into the tax system as experienced by the sole trader, which I found illuminating.

Midway through the afternoon, we were downstairs discussing inventory when the fun restarted. Laughing boy and the quiet one entered the bar. The drape of their coats betrayed concealed weapons. Dania and I watched the quiet one turn the door notice to ‘Closed’ and usher the two remaining customers out. Dania started to stand, but I laid my hand on her arm and shook my head. Laughing boy stood in the doorway, scanned the room and, satisfied, gave way to a tall figure, dressed in black. He strolled in, looking around to discover what problem there could possibly be in such a place. His black eyes took us in during his sweep and, flicking over Dania, fixed on me. I stared back, willing him to drop his gaze. There was no way I would. I was one of Felix’s graduates and could play mind games all day.

Eventually, the tall man broke, sat down and said, ‘Wine,’ in a commanding but soft voice.

Dania moved to obey, but I grabbed her arm so she couldn’t.

He looked up, one eyebrow raised.

‘Say “please”,’ I said.

He looked incredulous.

I held on to Dania’s arm. He and I remained locked in a staring contest.

He waved his hand in a bored, over-elaborate gesture. ‘Very well. Wine, please.’

I nodded to Dania and she scuttled to the chiller, fetched a bottle and glass and delivered it to the table in record time. She managed to open it without spilling any, but her hand trembled as she poured. She retreated to the safety of the counter. I couldn’t blame her. He was a frightening man; he sat totally relaxed, confident of his own power and ability to intimidate.

‘Won’t you join me?’

I took the chair opposite him, but moved it so his body shielded me from his heavies. A smile flickered over his lips.

‘Do I have the honour of talking to the owner of this bar?’

‘In a financial sense, yes.’

‘I understand you are reluctant to take out an insurance policy with us?’


‘Oh, have I received an incorrect message?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Really, my dear, you are a very difficult person to hold a conversation with.’

I said nothing.

His fingers tapped arrhythmically on Dania’s shiny blue table.

‘Are you trying to get yourself killed? I do hope not – it would be such a waste.’ He appraised me slowly, like I was a piece of prime horseflesh.

I chuckled and leaned back in my chair, my left hand relaxed, hanging by my side.

‘Gods, woman, have you no sense of self-preservation?’

‘Yes, plenty.’

He rose in his seat, leaned over me and found a carbon fibre knife on his jugular. I didn’t scratch his skin, just pressed firmly so he couldn’t misinterpret my message. Laughing boy shot forward but seconds later he clutched his hand and cried out. Another knife had flown out of my right hand, and now grew out of the back of his left.

I stared into the black eyes that were as close to me as a lover’s.

‘Sit down,’ I commanded, ‘and, you two, back to the door.’

I stood tall in front of my opponent, legs braced. I kept my voice level, but chill.

‘Firstly, I am not reluctant to pay protection money. I refuse to. Secondly, my message was clear. If you didn’t get it, I suggest your messenger boys need remedial training.’ I sighed. ‘But perhaps their knuckles dragging too near the ground indicate they’re unlikely to absorb or benefit from it. Thirdly, I don’t have a death wish but, on the contrary, a very strong sense of self-preservation. Try to remember that fact.’

I sheathed my knife, picked up the bottle of wine and glass and placed them on the counter. ‘I think we’re done here. Please consider yourselves banned from the premises. With no likelihood of any change in the future.’ I strode to the street door and pulled it open, letting in the fresh air. I seized laughing boy’s wrist and pulled my knife out, wiping the blade on his pale coat. He turned white. His knees buckled, and the quiet one grabbed him as he collapsed.

The black-eyed man clapped his hands together in slow applause. ‘Bravo,’ he said. His eyes fixed on mine as he walked the length of the bar toward the open door. As he passed me on his way out, he said, ‘You play a dangerous game, my dear, but I give you my respect.’

He bowed and was gone.

I drank a generous mouthful of the wine that Dania pressed on me. ‘So who is the black-eyed man? He has quite a presence, doesn’t he?’

‘Are you insane? That’s Apollodorus. I almost died when I saw it was him.’


‘He runs this area. They’re all petrified of him.’

‘Maybe so, but he doesn’t run this bar.’

‘No,’ she said. ‘Not now.’ She looked at me, doubt written all over her face. ‘You really think he won’t come back?’

‘No. I’ve banned him.’ I smirked.

‘Venus save us. You know something? You’re just as scary as he is.’

I gave Dania my cell phone number and resolved to check out my other businesses. As I put my jacket on to go, I turned to her and said, ‘One last thing, Dania. If they want to know my name, tell them it’s Pulcheria.’

Alison Morton writes award-winning thrillers featuring tough but compassionate heroines. Her ten-book Roma Nova series is set in an imaginary European country where a remnant of the ancient Roman Empire has survived into the 21st century and is ruled by women who face conspiracy, revolution and heartache but with a sharp line in dialogue. INCEPTIO starts the adventure…

She blends her fascination for Ancient Rome with six years of military service and a life of reading historical, crime, and thriller fiction. On the way, she collected a BA in modern languages and an MA in history.  

Six full-length Roma Nova novels, including INCEPTIO, have won the BRAG Medallion, the prestigious award for indie fiction. 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 Bookseller selected SUCCESSIO as Editor’s Choice in its inaugural indie review. The Historical Novel Society recently selected JULIA PRIMA, the first Foundation story set in the 4th century, the accolade of Editors’Choice.

Alison lives in Poitou in France, the home of Mélisende, the heroine of her two contemporary thrillers, Double Identity and Double Pursuit. Oh, and she’s writing the next Roma Nova story.

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