INCEPTIO is essentially a thriller set in an alternate timeline. Karen Brown is 24 years old and works in an office in New York. She’s not particularly happy or unhappy; she’s had to become self-sufficient and even defensive because of the changes in her early life when her parents died. She’s cursed, or maybe blessed, with a strong sense of right and wrong. And a bit of a temper.  

When her life is threatened by a sinister government enforcer, Karen is forced to run. With the help of the enigmatic Conrad Tellus, she escapes to Roma Nova where her dead mother had been born. Struggling with culture shock, she learns more about her family background but is terrified when the enforcer pursues her into her new home. She doesn’t understand why he is so determined to terminate her. Forced back on her own resources, she develops physical and mental toughness to face him, but he sets a trap for her that she has no choice but to spring.  

Sixteen hundred years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire people are still fascinated by the complex nature of that civilisation and its values. As am I. In a world of relativism, I wanted to see how a society with a more robust value system would work. First and foremost, though, I want people to be entertained by my book, but there are themes of loss, self-discovery and uncertainty running under the thriller story. Nothing is ever as it seems and we can never be sure of what will be thrown at us. And there’s a strong tone of feminism, not strident, but very confident: in Roma Nova, women are naturally prominent in all aspects of life.  

So far, INCEPTIO has garnered over forty mostly five star reviews on Amazon UK, US, and Goodreads.

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Alison Morton

I’ve been writing in different forms all my life - plays and stories as a child, student work as a languages undergraduate, ministers’ cases, corporate documentation, marketing materials, articles and a masters’ history dissertation later. As a translator for many years, I’ve been used to selecting and testing words and expressions all day long for worth and weight.

Thanks to my numismatist father showing me Roman wonders remaining in Europe, I am a deep-dyed ‘Roman nut’. My mother brought me up as a feminist. When the novel writing trigger was pulled in my head in 2009, I drew on these strands to tell the story of Roma Nova, where women ruled a Roman-style 21st century country.

Intrigue, mystery and a challenge are essential elements for me, but I love developing my characters, and throw as much trouble as I can at them so they have to struggle.

My first book in the Roma Nova series, INCEPTIO, was published in March 2013 and the second, PERFIDITAS, will be out in the autumn.

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