Read an excerpt HERE.
Click on image to buy RETALIO.
Read an excerpt HERE.
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Read an excerpt HERE. Click on image to buy PERFIDITAS.

BRAG

Read an excerpt HERE.
Click on image to buy INCEPTIO. Amazon bestseller
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Diamond Tales - sparklers for you!

They say “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and “A diamond is forever” but that is just marketing. Diamonds have played a far more significant rôle in human culture, and for a much longer time.

The name “diamond” is derived from ancient Greek αδάμας (adámas), “proper”, “unalterable”, “unbreakable”, “untamed”. Stones are thought to have been first recognised, mined and traded in India at least 3,000 years ago, probably longer. Also, significant alluvial deposits of diamonds were found many centuries ago along the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari.

Diamonds’ popularity rose in the 19th century because of increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in people’s spending power within a growing world economy and innovative and successful advertising campaigns.

By Mario Sarto CC BY-SA 3.0

Today, we are still fascinated by the sparklers, and authors frequently have a tale to tell about them. Instead of a standard advent calendar, a group of authors are offering their readers a series of scintillating diamond stories, polished to dazzling beauty.

A Roma Nova diamond is there on 17 December – Saturnalia – about the young Imperatrix Silvia, her husband and a very special diamond’s story. In the meantime, start with today’s story from Richard Tearle – a throat-grabber and heart-wrencher. 

3rd December    Richard Tearle Diamonds
4th December    Helen Hollick  When ex-lovers have their uses
5th December     Antoine Vanner  Britannia’s Diamonds
6th December     Nicky Galliers  Diamond Windows
7th December     Denise Barnes  The Lost Diamond
8th December     Elizabeth Jane Corbett A Soul Above Diamonds
9th December     Lucienne Boyce Murder In Silks
10th December   Julia Brannan The Curious Case of the Disappearing Diamond
11th December    Pauline Barclay Sometimes It Happens
12th December    Annie Whitehead  Hearts, Home and a Precious Stone
13th December    Inge H. Borg  Edward, Con Extraordinaire
14th December   J.G. Harlond The Empress Emerald
15th December    Charlene Newcomb Diamonds in the Desert
16th December    Susan Grossey  A Suitable  Gift
17th December    Alison Morton Three Thousand Years to Saturnalia
18th December    Nancy Jardine   Illicit Familial Diamonds
19th December    Elizabeth St John The Stolen Diamonds
20th December   Barbara Gaskell Denvil Discovering the Diamond
21st December    Anna Belfrage   Diamonds in the Mud
22nd December   Cryssa Bazos    The Diamonds of Sint-Nicholaas
23rd December    Diamonds … In Sound & Song

Do look out for the hashtag #Diamondtales on social media.

Enjoy!

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIAINSURRECTIO and RETALIO.  CARINA, a novella, is available for download now. Audiobooks are available for the first four of the series.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter

What length will you go to in your writing?

When we say ‘creative writing’ what do we mean? Poetry, a story, a play? Perhaps you are moved to write a short story or a piece of flash fiction. Or go for a full-length novel or its little sister, the novella. Let’s unpick some of these…

Plays and poetry are well recognised as such but here I’m looking at stories written in prose – a form that shows a narrative with a natural flow of language in a grammatical structure.

Novel
This is an easy one! A fictional narrative of over 50,000 words with a beginning, middle and end and telling a story. It can be literary, genre or popular fiction, highbrow or low brow. The most important aspect is that it develops a coherent story, whatever its style. Most are around the 80,000 – 130,000 depending on genre; romance, crime, sci-fi often come in at the shorter end with historical and literary fiction at the longer end. Sometimes called “long form fiction”, novels are what most people pick up in a bookshop, online or at an airport when they want a ‘good read’. My own Roma Nova novels come in at 90-103,000.

Novella
Currently immensely popular as an ebook,”…it allows for more extended development of theme and character than does the short story, without making the elaborate structural demands of the full-length book. Thus it provides an intense, detailed exploration of its subject, providing to some degree both the concentrated focus of the short story and the broad scope of the novel.” (Robert Silverberg)

 

Today, a novella is often written in between novels, as an accompaniment or complement to other books in a series. Sometimes, an author may be trying out a new genre, character or storyline; other times, they may tell the story of a secondary character. These are quick reads, but no less enjoyable and are typically 20,000 to 45,000 words. War of the Worlds by H G Wells and Animal Farm by George Orwell are famous examples. My own experiment is CARINA (35,000 words), which tells of an incident referred to in later books and a mission that sits between the full-length INCEPTIO and PERFIDITAS.

 

Novelette
Usually around 7,000 to 17,000 words, so falling in between a novella and a short story. Not much in fashion these days, they are featured in some literary awards such as the Hugo and Nebula science fiction awards.

Short story
Often the first way writers try out their writing legs, the short story is immensely popular. In general, it features a small cast of named characters, and focuses on a self-contained incident or theme, but uses the same techniques of writing as used in a novel. Short stories are often collected together as an anthology by the same author or different authors, or featured in magazines. Moreover, there are countless short story competitions! And their length? Sticking my neck out, I would say 1,200 to 3,500 words, although I was  commissioned to write one of up to 5,000 words for a collection of alternative outcomes for the Norman invasion: 1066 Turned Upside Down.

Flash fiction
A very, very short and succinct fictional work that still shows character and plot development – a tall order! Examples include the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as “twitterature”, the “dribble” (50 words), “microfiction” (100 words), “sudden fiction” (750 words), “nanotales” and “micro-story”. At its best, flash fiction hints at or implies a larger story.

The common theme: all fiction requires inspiration, good craft and technique. The shortest forms demand pinpointing and extreme distillation, but the long form needs stamina and application. Over to you!

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIAINSURRECTIO and RETALIO.  Audiobooks are available for the first four of the series.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter

Achieving the private/public balance of being an author

Is an author who publishes books, by whatever route, entitled to a fully private life? Yes, and no.

Publishing a work – fiction, non-fiction, academic – makes that work and its author’s name available to the public. A fiction writer may use a pseudonym, of course. Readers will read the work – let’s call it a novel – and perhaps leave a review on a retailer site. The novel may get selected by a critic, a blogger or a book group who write reviews and/or discuss it. The ripples of publicity are starting.

Social media picks it up, perhaps from the author’s own blog, their Facebook account, a post on Google+ or a Tweet. Other bloggers ask the author for an interview, the author starts to attend events, to carry out book signings, to speak at events. Photos are taken for blog posts, reports in magazines. Perhaps the event is streamed live on Facebook, photos posted live on Instagram.

The author is acquiring a degree of fame. And fame, reviews, interviews, appearances, etc. sell books. Readers talk to authors at events, interact on social media, read their newsletters and blogs and send them emails.

Many authors love this, many are very happy, some will do it because it has to be done, others will feel nervous, embarrassed or even dislike the public side of publishing their work. But if you make your work public, i.e. publishing it, you are making yourself public. And if you want to sell books, you need to tell people about them and about you.

With Diana Gabaldon(!)

With Diana Gabaldon(!)

Why?
It’s the old adage – people buy people. As a reader, I love to know about the author of a book that has engaged me. Why did they write it? What happened in their life?  Do they have another occupation? Where can I go and see them speak? These days I read their blog, Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. I love to read about their research, their motivation, their passions, even their cat. Actually, especially their cat. And if I can meet them and get a signed copy of their book, I’m in Elysium.

So, reversing this…
Readers will want to know the same about their favourite authors including you. Depending on your inclinations and opportunities, you may write articles in magazines, appear on radio, on other people’s blogs. You may write your own blog, keep up on social media and make appearances. Part of your life has become public.

Keeping a balance
How much of your personal life you disclose is entirely up to you, but talking exclusively about your books is a tad boring, even on a Facebook author page. Some nice photos of your book signing, or places you’ve visited for research are interesting, but it’s the slightly more personal posts and blogs that interest people. Not your messy divorce or deep family grief, but your garden, (aforementioned) cat, cooking disasters, quirky facts from daily life attract a good following. I always get a surprising number of likes if I have a glass of wine in my hand!

But… (You knew there was a ‘but’)

Anything you disclose on social media or in a newspaper/magazine will be out there forever, whether stored digitally or in a newspaper archive. You cannot retract Tweets, photos will be viewed and shared. You therefore need to decide where you set the line. I would caution posting photos of young children on social media for obvious reasons, but fellow authors and other adults are fair game. The smartphones are everywhere. The only way to ensure you do not appear drunk on social media is not to get drunk in public.

You are ‘on duty’ all the time you are at an event, mixing with the public and even with colleagues. But other times when you are out privately with your family, doing your shopping, going on holiday, you are entitled to privacy. But if you choose to talk to a fan/reader in a social situation, then you are back on duty as an author.

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIAINSURRECTIO and RETALIO.  Audiobooks are available for the first four of the series.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter

Sexual harassment - a perspective

This is going to get me into trouble, but I’m trying to find perspective.

It’s obvious that bullying – sexual, emotional, mental, physical or other – is wrong. Violent bullying, abuse or rape is criminal and punishable by law – rightly so. But the problem is not just about non-consensual sex; that’s the way feelings and urges are expressed. We have to look deeper at why.

To be clear, I’m not including comradely pats on the back, helping somebody on with a coat, hugs between friends or any other permitted or consensual touches.

A scenario…

Everybody’s been at a student party, a works’/staff Christmas party or a jolly of some sort when usual standards of behaviour slip and hands and lips go to places they shouldn’t. Between experienced colleagues of equal status, the answer is a pushing away, a biting comment or if necessary a slap across the face or a knee in the groin. But if the perpetrator has any level of  authority or power over the victim, then the whole situation changes, whatever the actual actions. The victim is shocked, not just by the physical touch, but by the instant rupture of trust, and confused about what to do, especially if they are young and this is the first time. Nobody wants a bad annual assessment or becoming known as unreliable or unpromotable or not being able ‘to take a joke’.

This puts the victim in a double quandary and a not inconsiderable place of fear. They worry if their behaviour or dress has encouraged the perpetrator; in this way they absorb the blame for the incident. Afterwards, they feel partly responsible which adds another layer of reluctance to report it. This is wrong in so many ways, of course, but telling people to be courageous in such circumstances is easily said, but incredibly hard to do when in those circumstances. The victim attempts to wipe it from their memory and dismiss it as high jinks or a one-off aberration by the perpetrator. Big mistake. Understandable, but big mistake.

The perpetrator has made first base of gaining power over the victim. And however the tiny scale, that power relationship will colour everything in the future. We only need to look at the Roman example of patron and client. The client is at the patron’s beck and call whether it’s waiting for hours on his feet to gain a small favour, voting in an election or carrying out some dirty work for his patron. The client wishes for advancement, the patron exerts authority, control, even dominance. The patron has the client’s fate in his hands. Clients sometimes flourished under the benign and disinterested protection of a patron who advanced the client’s interests, sidelining others with more ability but less influence. Today, although we consider ourselves liberal and enlightened in comparison, none of this is all that different.

Why does one individual do this to another?

I’m not a psychologist, just an opinionated observer of people, but here are my few pennyworths…

  • Sexual harassment, and worse, is about power, authority and lack of responsibility. We’ve seen power and authority above, but responsibility? Superiors of any sort have the responsibility of the care of their juniors. They have no right to go over the line of the limited authority they hold over them. Superiors, while expecting juniors to carry out their work or duties, do not ‘own’ those juniors (not these days).
  • It’s about entitlement. Nobody is entitled to subject anybody else to speech or actions that person does not wish, whether it’s an off-colour remark, quick grope or a violent rape.
  • Nobody is an object to be used and thrown away.
  • Rape or physical attack is not the way to express your personal insecurity in a difficult world, nor is it a way to show others that you are ‘hard’.

But..

Let’s keep some balance

People are very easily offended these days

I come from a more robust generation which has seen so much progression from the restricted 1950s of my early childhood through the various social, sexual and legal revolutions too numerous to count. Believe me, it’s paradise compared to then. Balance and equilibrium are often forgotten today in the search for extremes and the extraordinary.

Invading personal space is a big no-no

Different cultures have different customs and unwritten rules. The French give kisses in greeting to almost everybody, including same sex, the Brits shake hands (when they remember), Americans often stand there and wave hands nervously in the air and just say ‘hi’. I exaggerate and generalise, but these are tendencies. Within cultures, some people need a fifty-centimetre personal exclusion zone, others see closeness and touch as normal social behaviour. Somebody’s harassment is another person’s bonding. This is where law will have a problem, but this is where teaching social norms to the young is so important.

The key to interpreting these sort of gestures is the intent behind them

Many of us have experienced the lingering hand on the shoulder or arm, the ‘accidental’ bumping of hip or breast. Here the intent is obvious. The ‘hand on knee’, which is in the news at present, is a gesture I’ve often seen male-to-male, especially in middle-aged men and older. I think it’s a bonding thing. As long as the male hand doesn’t go under the other person’s clothing and the touch is brief, I see it as only mildly creepy. I wouldn’t sit too near them again, but I certainly wouldn’t ostracise them. Women tend to touch each others’ and men’s forearms for similar purposes. However, if the hand lingers on the knee and there is a glint in the other person’s eye watching for reaction, then the alarm bells should sound very loudly.

Social media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all play a role today in exposing, fairly and unfairly, people’s weaker moments as well as joyous ones. If you elect to go into public life, it seems you will need to behave like a chaste, sober and perfect person at all times. You may go bonkers inside, but that’s the reality today in a smartphone environment. Even an unguarded quip flares round the digiverse like a fire in a drought.

Trust

Trust takes a long time to build but a second to be destroyed. And the fallout is permanent. Is it really worth the personal, economic and social losses that follows such a rupture? The victim is crushed and humiliated inside, even though they don’t show it. They blame themselves and lose self-confidence. And the business, department or association may lose a competent and clever employee when they walk out of the door.

So, what to do?
It’s quite easy, really. Complete mutual respect of everybody you deal with; physically, emotionally, mentally. No exceptions. Ever.

I’m sorry to target you, chaps, but men are in most in need of this mental and emotional shift. Women are not second rate, there for your convenience, or to be taken advantage of. Just because a woman employee is efficient and caring, reminds you of meetings, brings you coffee, smiles at your visitors, does not means she is your dogsbody to go and buy your sex toys. Women find their friendships and links with other women easier because (generally) there isn’t the automatic pressure of looking out for sexual come-ons or harassment.

Women should be heard in meetings not just in a tokenist way but actively listened to. And don’t pinch their ideas and promote them as yours; it’s rude and bloody irritating.

Children should be taught manners and respect for others. The playground is a robust, often hard place. Children can be cruel to each other as they seek to establish their own place in the hierarchy. A little less hierarchy and a little more flexibility and acceptance at this age would go a long way.

So, it looks like mutual respect and common decency might crack it for the future. But can we do it?

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out in April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter

Being realistic in historical fiction

My guest today is Antoine Vanner is author of the Dawlish Chronicles, naval fiction set in the 1870s and 1880s. His latest novel, Britannia’s Gamble, was published last month (October 2017). Royal Navy officer Nicholas Dawlish is a fascinating character, very much in the mould of Hornblower, something that attracted me to Antoine’s novels. The author himself spent many years in international business in all kinds of dangerous places, but now lives more calmly in Britain although he continues to travel extensively on a private basis. His books are published by The Old Salt Press, a New Jersey-based association of writers working together to produce the best of nautical fiction and non-fiction.

Welcome back, Antoine. Over to you…

Historical fiction, at its best, is a time machine that transports the reader into another time and place. The best of the genre – such as Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire, Zoe Oldenbourg’s Destiny of Fire, David Caute’s Comrade Jacob, Kenneth Roberts’ North-West Passage, C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series – don’t just tell a story but give the actual “feel” of a past era, with its complexities, its concerns, its challenges, its fears and its hopes. In such novels, the styles and construction, and the settings, may be radically different, but all share the characteristic of realism, the impression of a story is being told by an eyewitness who is themselves part of the actual cultural and societal context.

How is this achieved?
I’ve identified below a (non-exhaustive) list of features essential for realism.

Background

  • Wide understanding of the social, political, religious and cultural context, as well as of the main events, ideologies and movements of the era. This is the sort of knowledge picked up over years, indeed decades, of reading. 95% of this information is never used specifically but in the writer’s mind it sets the stage on which the story will be played out.
  • Accepting that values may be radically different to those of our own time and that even decent people may have had views and attitudes we might regard as repugnant today. High infant and maternal mortality, low life expectancies, surgical procedures that were as likely to kill as to cure, exposure to animal-slaughter, a ruthless-enforced social hierarchy, all fostered a callousness that accepted torture and savage executions in times of peace and that descended into unbounded savagery in times of war.
  • Recognising the fog of ignorance that has enveloped much of human history and the fears – and the superstitions – it brought with it. Medicine and technology were based on trial and error, not on reasoned research. The origins of disease were a mystery and, even for intelligent people, witchcraft, astrology and alchemy all seemed to have a rational basis.
  • The importance of religion – and especially concern about eternal damnation – is not easy for a modern writer to appreciate. Demonic forces and fear of hell governed many lives and heresy – deviation from orthodox belief, often over abstruse theological issues – was often regarded as treason against the state. The values of the Enlightenment took hold only very slowly, even in sophisticated Western societies, and as the scientific revolution gathered pace in the nineteenth century new insights into the age of the earth and human evolution triggered agonies of conscience for many educated people.
  • Wide reading in available contemporary literature is crucial for a writer’s understanding of the ethos of any historical period. The closer that time is to the present, the greater the range available, but the further back one goes the fewer the resources. For me, who writes about the late nineteen the century, there is an embarrassment of riches – Victorians wrote copious and entertaining memoirs – but authors focussing on other eras may encounter appreciable difficulties.

    Victorian memoirs can be a delight – and surprisingly racy!

“Feel”

  • This involves conveying how it felt, both mentally and physically, to be alive in the past, an experience usually markedly less comfortable than the more cosseted lives we live today.
  • Bereavement was all but a constant in a world of low life expectancy. A small proportion did live to what we now regard as old age but most families experienced loss of spouses, children or parents at young ages. Marriage was a potential killer for women – frequently a one in six or seven chance of death in childbirth (chance at each confinement multiplied by average number of confinements), as in some African countries today, and many wisely chose life in a nunnery if they could. “Hopping into bed” was a dangerous activity for health reasons as well as for societal-taboos that could be mercilessly enforced.
  • Epidemics of communicable diseases were random but frequent, and lack of hygiene was not recognised as a cause, nor were bacterial or viral infection. Outbreaks spread terror, which often triggered persecution of minorities perceived as somehow “other”. The memory of such epidemics cast a shadow of fear for generations to come.
  • For much of history, the forces of law, order and governance were remote and inefficient. A high level of violence was accepted as the norm and when the authorities did dispense justice it was frequently with savagery. Desperation and uncertainty in the face of crime and low-level anarchy made vendettas a way of life in many societies.
  • The physical reality of daily life was often of endless discomfort – cold and sodden clothing, inadequate footwear, poorly heated houses, squalor ad filth, the drudgery of hauling water and chopping wood, lice and vermin, respiratory diseases caused by poor ventilation, malnutrition and poor diet. Fear of famine was seldom absent. When disease struck the king was little less vulnerable than the peasant.
  • It is all but impossible to imagine how bereft of human rights so many people have been throughout history and how rigid barriers of class and power inflicted such misery on millions. The greatest tragedy was that, knowing nothing else, they accepted it as normality.

From “Young Ireland”(Charles Gavan Duffy, 1896, British Library)

Physical Space:

  • “Distance” is a concept that has changed radically over time and, during much of human history, was measured in days rather than in miles. Depending on modes of transport available – including the humble shank’s pony – the perception of distance depended on the state of tracks and roads, on river or canal transport, on the capabilities of open-water shipping. In fiction, whether the journey itself is the story, or merely a transition between one scene an another, the difficulties and duration of travel needs to be credibly represented.
  • It’s essential to recognise the impact of seasons on journey times and that winter rains and snow could bring all land transport, and much of commerce and society, to a grinding halt. The same applied to movement by sea and an appreciation of the limitations of shipping – in terms of passenger and freight capacity, ability to harness wind effectively and impact of the arrival of steam technology – is essential.
  • Travel speed impacted also on spread of information and days and weeks might pass before news arrived. And once it disappeared over the horizon, a ship was a self-contained and vulnerable world that was lost to all human contact until it docked again. Information-based decision making was a necessarily slow and uncertain process.
  • Use of maps, whether they appear in the final book or not, are invaluable plotting tools. Whether on a global or a local scale, and taking account of natural or human obstacles, they allow calculation of travel durations. They may also raise trigger opportunities for plot elements that would not otherwise come to mind. The same applies to maps of towns, villages, campaigns and battles, whether real or fictional.

Hardware

  • This term covers not just tools, weapons, vehicles, ships, domestic utensils, surgical instruments and housing but also clothing and uniforms.
  • Among readers there will always be experts in one or more of these areas. One error of detail – a button too few on a general’s uniform, a hairstyle that appeared a decade later than in the story’s action, a rifle that actually had a shorter effective range than that at which a hero takes down an adversary – will be enough to destroy credibility. No matter how realistic the remainder of the story may be, a seed of doubt will have been sown.
  • The good news is however that this is the easiest type of detail to get right. Not only are myriad written, electronic and illustrative references sources available – including photographs for more recent periods – but in many cases actual artefacts can be seen in museums. Experts in such topics are usually very glad to share information generously and many can be contacted via social media.

No substitute for seeing the real thing!

Timelines and Real-Life Characters

  • Much historical fiction plays out in the context of real events and involves actual real-life characters. In such cases realism makes three demands, as below.
  • Except in minor details, the plot’s timeline must dovetail with what really happened.
  • At the end of the story the fictional action must not have changed the outcome of history (otherwise it’s the realm of alternative history, another genre entirely).
  • Where real-life personages appear, they must behave in character even if whatever the plot calls upon them to do is fiction. Such players also represent a complication as regards refining timelines – if a plot needs George Washington to be attending ball in Philadelphia on the night he was actually crossing the Delaware, then some knowledgeable reader will see the error. From that point on, all sense of realism is lost.

And finally…

The past was different to the present, often vastly so, even if there may be some similarities. People saw the world differently, may have been terrorised by fears that give us little concern and even the genuinely virtuous may have behaved, with clear consciences, in ways that would outrage us today. If this truth is ignored then the resulting historical fiction will be populated by twenty-first century characters kitted out in re-enactors’ costumes.

Good luck to all other historical novelists. I’ve been there, and I am there, and even if it’s hard at times it’s splendid and rewarding fun. Let’s get on with it!

Britiannia’s Gamble – read Antoine’s latest!

1884. A fanatical Islamist revolt is sweeping all before it in the vast wastes of the Sudan and establishing a rule of persecution and terror. Only the city of Khartoum holds out, its defence masterminded by a British national hero, General Charles Gordon. His position is weakening by the day and a relief force, crawling up the Nile from Egypt, may not reach him in time to avert disaster.

But there is one other way of reaching Gordon…

A boyhood memory leaves the ambitious Royal Navy officer Nicholas Dawlish no option but to attempt it. The obstacles are daunting – barren mountains and parched deserts, tribal rivalries and merciless enemies – and this even before reaching the river that is key to the mission. Dawlish knows that every mile will be contested and that the siege at Khartoum is quickly moving towards its bloody climax.

Outnumbered and isolated, with only ingenuity, courage and fierce allies to sustain them, with safety in Egypt far beyond the Nile’s raging cataracts, Dawlish and his mixed force face brutal conflict on land and water as the Sudan descends into ever-worsening savagery. And for Dawlish himself, one unexpected and tragic event will change his life forever…

Britannia’s Gamble is a desperate one. The stakes are high, the odds heavily loaded against success. Has Dawlish accepted a mission that can only end in failure – and worse?

Find out more about Britannia’s Gamble

“Antoine Vanner is the Tom Clancy of historical naval fiction”
Author Joan Druett

Much more on www.dawlishchronicles.com

Follow Antoine Vanner’s historical blogs on www.dawlishchronicles.com/dawlish-blog/

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out in April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter