Friday 5 May 2017

Blog Tour ~ RETALIO by Alison Morton

 I am delighted to welcome back to Jaffareadstoo

Alison Morton 

Jo, Jaffa and Roma Nova

Jaffa has been reading the Roma Nova thrillers since 2013. He’s graciously allowed Jo to share. When I first met them I was a nervous newbie, unsure what a book blogger was and what they did. However, before writing I’d run a business and been an arch-networker, so I reckoned the way was to be polite and honest. After all, I was pitching for a place in the bloglight.

Jaffa and Jo welcomed me and guided me about what was needed. On Wednesday 10 April 2013, I was thrilled out of my socks to see INCEPTIO here on a well-known blogger’s site. And there were comments! I nearly fainted.

Well, over the intervening years Jo and Jaffa have invited me back to talk about PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO, AURELIA, INSURRECTIO and now RETALIO. All six books are set in an imaginary Central European state about the size of Luxembourg, but one that’s remarkable in two ways: firstly, it’s the last remnant of the Roman Empire to survive into the modern age, and secondly, it’s a more or less egalitarian society which although very Roman in nature and values is run by women. 

The first three books, set in the present, feature Karen Brown who reverts to her birth name of Carina Mitela and takes on crazy killers, betrayal and a nasty nemesis from the past, all while engulfed by a passionate love that doesn’t run smoothly.

The second three books – AURELIA , INSURRECTIO and RETALIO – go back to the late 1960s to early 1980s when Carina’s grandmother was a young Praetorian officer hunting smugglers and trying to prevent Roma Nova being taken over by a charismatic, but brutal, demagogue.

We’ve covered a lot of ground with interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and giveaways. This year it’s RETALIO, the sixth book and the third part of the second trilogy within the Roma Nova series. It’s the endgame of a strong and many layered antagonism between Aurelia Mitela and Caius Tellus that’s political as well as individual. As Aurelia says, “With Caius, it’s always personal.” More below!

But I really want to thank Jo and Jaffa for their support over four years, especially in taking on that newbie in 2013. Book bloggers don’t always get the consideration they deserve and I’d like to leave you with some tips for interacting with them.

1. The overriding one is simple. At a business seminar in a past year far,far away I was in an invited audience when the keynote speaker – a stellar level marketing guru – was introduced. He bounced onto the stage full of energy with an all-teeth smile that was reflected as a twinkle in his eyes. After an effusive, positively sycophantic introduction from the event organiser, the guru looked at us all and said, “You all expect me to give you strategy, tactics, funnels and segmentation. You know all that already or you wouldn’t be here. I’ll give you the true secret.” We sat up and leaned forward. He smiled again and said, “Be nice.”

2. I’d add to that, “Be professional.” Have an author photo in a sensible size 250-500 Kb, not 2.9Mb, ditto your book cover image and any photos which should be sent separately, never embedded in the text of your post. Photos should be royalty free, your own or public domain images, or if taken from Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence, credited.

3. Send everything in a good week ahead of your date. As a blogger myself I know it takes time to fiddle around laying everything out properly. Insert any hyperlinks cleanly into your document and send your social and buying links in with your bio. Nothing more annoying than having to go chasing round the Internet for somebody’s Facebook or Amazon page.

4. Make a note in your calendar of the day of your guest spot. If the blogger doesn’t send you the link on the day (most do), make sure you go and look, just to check everything is perfect and later to see if there are any comments. And check back in the next day or so. Reply to every comment – you may pick up some new fans! Do leave a thank you to the blogger in the comments.

5. And a final one that should have been first chronologically. If you are looking for a review, it’s worth remembering that although book bloggers love reading, their ‘To Be Read’ piles are probably higher than the London Shard building. It may take a few months to get to your book, so plan ahead if you’d like a review around a particular time.

Maybe Jo and Jaffa have some tips to add, but that’s my pennyworth!


Huge thanks, as always, to Alison for this guest post today. It's been a real pleasure to have worked with you and to have had the chance to feature such a fascinating alternate historical adventure series on the blog.

My own advise to bloggers is always to be professional. Make sure that blog posts are written up and posted on time, on the date specified, and that everything is put together in an easy to read manner. I always, thank the contributor, as without their input, the blog would just be all about me, and that was never the intention when I started out with Jaffareadstoo. I welcome guest posts and interviews from authors as they can give a unique perspective on what it is like to write a novel and how it feels to see it published either independently or by a recognised publisher.

Like all book bloggers, Jaffa and I blog because we love bringing interesting stories to a wider audience and if we can help, in some small way, to increase awareness of such talented writers, like Alison, along the way,  then that is real bonus and an added pleasure. As Alison so rightly points out, most bloggers have To Be Read piles bigger than the Shard and my own TBR pile is no exception, a new set of bookshelves acquired in October last year is already full to bursting, and the new 2017 family of review books, which arrive on a daily basis, much to the dismay of my postman whose postal bag is usually filled with packages for me, are already as high as the Eiffel Tower.๐Ÿ˜ƒ

All I want to add is that bloggers simply can't read books as speedily as genies appear from a bottle, sometimes we might take months to get round to a book which is stored in an e-folder or on a bookshelf, but rest assured your book is never forgotten and will be reviewed day.

Our twitter header reads Jaffa and I love to curl up together with a good book. Jaffa turns the page, while I read all the big words. What I should also add is... sometimes we just can't read quick enough !!!


More about Alison Morton 

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 out on 27 April 2017.

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.


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.

Social media links
Connect with Alison on her Roma Nova site:
Twitter: @alison-morton

Buying link for RETALIO (multiple retailers/formats):

RETALIO book trailer:

Enter this fabulous giveaway to win a a signed copy of  RETALIO for yourself

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Thank you so much, Jaffa and Jo, for hosting my sixth book. What a cause for celebration. I'll be back...

    1. Always a pleasure to have you as our guest on the blog, Alison..

    2. Thank you, Jo. Please stroke Jaffa's ears as a thank you to him.

  2. Thank you very much, wonderful blog. Very cute cat :-)

    1. Hi Claire, Thank you , I agree, Jaffa is cute ๐Ÿ˜

    2. He really is. There's nothing like a cat, and one who reads books, well, what a bonus!

  3. Alison's sixth book and your six years - great combo!

    1. Ah,yes, Linda, well spotted !! good luck ๐Ÿ˜ป

    2. It's such a good ride when you have good colleagues like Jo and Jaffa.


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