When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Today I welcome the book - Betrayal - and its 12 authors - to my blog

Today I welcome authors - Alison Morton, Amy Maroney, Anna Belfrage, Annie Whitehead, Charlene Newcomb, Cryssa Bazos, Derek Birks, Elizabeth St John, Helen Hollick, Judith Arnop, Mercedes Rochelle and Tony Riches and their collection of stories - Betrayal - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde).

I'm delighted to be able to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book.


Betrayal, treachery, treason, deceit, perfidy—all names for the calculated violation of trust. And its been rife since humans trod the earth.

A promise broken

A mission betrayed

A lovers desertion

A parents deception

An unwitting act of treason

Betrayal by comrades

Betrayal by friends

Could you resist the forces of misplaced loyalty, power hunger, emotional blackmail, or plain greed? Is there ever redemption, or will the destruction visit future generations and even alter history? These questions are still with us today.

Read twelve tales by twelve accomplished writers who explore these historical yet timeless challenges from post Roman Britain to the present day.

Publication Date: November 17, 2020

Publisher: Historical Fictioneers

Page Length: 486

Genre: Historical Fiction

You can purchase a copy of Betrayal via -

Now for the excerpt -

“The Idealist”

By Alison Morton

Imagine a tiny state surviving through sixteen centuries from the dusk of the Roman Empire . . . Roma Nova.

Roma Nova, present day

Back in his office, the care home director remembered to speak the usual words of condolence. Then he coughed and looked at me. Ah, the bills, no doubt.

‘Be assured any outstanding invoices will be settled through the Mitela Foundation,’ I said in a cold voice.

‘I have every confidence they will be. But there is something else.’


‘When Publius Mitelus joined us, we naturally safeguarded his personal effects. The instruction he gave was to hand them over to Countess Aurelia Mitela.’

‘Unfortunately, she has passed into the shades herself, but you may safely give them to me and I will ensure his testament is read.’

He hesitated.

‘Is there a problem?’

‘It was marked personally for her.’

‘I’m sure you don’t wish to take Charon’s ferry yourself to give them to her. I am her personal as well as public heir. The Mitela family recorder will send you a formal receipt.’

* * *
I drove away with two archive boxes on the back seat, relieved to be out of the director’s presence. The boxes were still sealed, but I wondered whether he had an idea of what was in them. Back at the house, Conrad helped me unload the boxes which we deposited on my study desk. I called in Dalina from the business office.

‘Okay, take some photographs and record this officially. Just in case.’

I unpacked file after file, Dalina spoke into her phone, interrupting only to photograph each file cover. From what I could see, it seemed to be files of stuff on obscure topics of personal research, some photos of Publius as a younger man with the two female cousins in the forum and at Castra Lucilla, plus some personal papers, his passport, bank card and ID. At the bottom of the second box was a flat, rectangular parcel wrapped in old-fashioned brown paper and tied with string. I lifted it out and pulled the string bow.

Inside was a pale green book with a tooled leather spine and corners. In the middle of the front cover was a faded cream label with the date 1873 in copperplate writing.

‘What’s this, buried treasure?’ Conrad said, half laughing.

I opened it.

Today, I am forty-two years of age, that same age my mother, Statia Mitela, reached when Mercury took her to the edge of the Styx. It is thus fitting that I recount my understanding of those events.

Leonia, Countess Mitela

And there were pages and pages of neat classical Latin, under headings of days and months, written in a careful and dry style. We sat in the atrium and took turns to read it out loud. Allegra came and sat next to me, leaning on my shoulder. In between the stilted words my imagination filled in the rest.


Outskirts of Rome, Italy, 2nd July 1849

‘Mercury be thanked,’ Statia rasped when she saw the ancient milestone ‘Roma VI.’ And these would be six good Roman miles. She swallowed hard which made her dry throat worse. Despite the broad-brimmed riding hats the four of them wore, the brutal heat of the early July sun beat down, exhausting them all. Statia pulled up her mount under the shade of one of the occasional clumps of pines and patted his shoulder almost absent-mindedly. The poor horse, a hired animal, was as weary as she was. And as dusty from the road.

‘Domina?’ Her leading companion drew up beside her.

‘I need a drink, Valerius,’ she said and swivelled round in her saddle. The other two riders were only a few paces behind. ‘And so do the animals.’

‘The Anio below us would be best and we can rest by the bank.’

They picked their way down to the river where Valerius supervised the two servants watering the horses. After a few moments, he left them to it and sat by Statia on the wool rug she had pulled from her saddle pack.

‘Yes,’ she said as he stared at it. ‘I know. Well and good for the mountains we’ve come through from the Adriatic, but inappropriate for Rome in June. But even though we’re incognito, I don’t want to enter Rome with grass stains or mud on my breeches’ arse.’

Valerius laughed. The first time, Statia noted, since they’d left Roma Nova eleven days ago under the cover of darkness. She hadn’t known what a terrible sailor he was until they’d slipped out of Pula in Istria on the merchant ship. He’d kept a pale, grim, nearly green face until they’d landed safely at Aternum, or Pescara as the Italians called it now. A former Praetorian centurion, he was used to travelling fast through mountains on ramshackle cold trails. These days, he guarded her home, the Domus Mitelarum, but more than that, he gave her, informally, wise counsel almost as a father would. He’d tried to stop her mission, calling it demented, but had given in with a grunt when she said she would go with or without him. Now they were near Rome, Statia was starting to have her doubts. Perhaps she should have stayed on the farm at Castra Lucilla where she knew what she was doing.

Via Appia Antica, Rome, 2004 via Wikimedia Commons

CC BY-SA 3.0,

Alison Morton

Alison Morton writes the award-winning Roma Nova series featuring modern Praetorian heroines—tough but compassionate women. She puts this down to her deep love of Roman history, six years' military service, a Masters in History and an over-vivid imagination. It was hot that afternoon when, staring at a particularly beautiful mosaic, she started wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by strong women. Now, Alison blogs, reads, cultivates a Roman herb garden and drinks wine in France with her husband.

Amy Maroney

Amy Maroney lives in Oregon, U.S.A, with her family. She spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction before turning her hand to historical fiction. When she's not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, drawing, dancing, traveling, and reading. Amy is the author of the Miramonde Series, a trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail.

 Anna Belfrage

Anna Belfrage wanted to become a time-traveller but ended up as a financial professional with a passion for writing and history. She has authored the acclaimed time travel series The Graham Saga, set in the 17th century, and the equally acclaimed medieval series The King's Greatest Enemy, set in 14th century England. Anna has also published The Wanderer, a contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal ingredients. Her latest release, His Castilian Hawk, is a story of loyalty and love set against the complications of Edward I's invasion of Wales.

 Annie Whitehead

Annie Whitehead has written three award-winning novels set in Anglo-Saxon England:To Be A Queen, about the life of Æthelflaed, Lady of the Mercians; Alvar the Kingmaker set in the turbulent tenth century when kings died young and not always of natural causes, and Cometh the Hour, the story of King Penda the pagan king. Her nonfiction books are published by Amberley Books and Pen & Sword Books and she was the inaugural winner of the Historical Writers' Association/Dorothy Dunnett Society Short Story Award.
Charlene Newcomb
Charlene Newcomb lives, works, and writes in Kansas. She is an academic librarian (retired) by trade, a U.S Navy veteran, and has three grown children. When not at the library, she is still surrounded by books trying to fill her head with all things medieval and galaxies far, far away. She loves to travel and enjoys quiet places in the mountains or on rocky coasts. But even in Kansas she can let her imagination soar.  
Cryssa Bazos
Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and a seventeenth century enthusiast. Her debut novel, Traitor's Knot is the Medalist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award for Historical Fiction and a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards for Historical Romance. Her second novel, Severed Knot, is a B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree and a finalist for the 2019 Chaucer Award.  
Derek Birks
Derek Birks lives in Dorset, England, though he spent his teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand, where he still has strong family ties. For many years he taught history in a large secondary school before turning his hand to writing historical fiction. His stories, set both in the medieval period and late antiquity, are fast-paced and action-packed—almost no character is safe. He has also produced a series of non-fiction podcasts on the War of the Roses. When he is not writing, he enjoys travel, walking and watching films.  

 Elizabeth St John

Elizabeth St. John spends her time between California, England, and the past. An acclaimed author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London to inspire her novels. Although the family sold a few country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going thee days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them—in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their legacy. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story.
Helen Hollick 
First published in 1994, Helen Hollick became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK), with the sequel, Harold the King (U.S: I Am the Chosen King), being novels that explore events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon's Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she writes a nautical adventure series, The Sea Witch Voyages. Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales, and Life of a Smuggler. She lives in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in North Devon, runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction, and occasionally gets time to write.
Judith Arnop  
A lifelong history enthusiast, Judith Arnopp holds an honours degree in English/Creative writing, and a Masters in Medieval Studies. Judith has written twelve novels to date, nine of which are based in the Tudor period covering women like Elizabeth of York, Anne Boleyn and Mary Tudor, but her main focus is on the perspective of historical women from all roles of life. The Beaufort Chronicle: The Life of Lady Margaret Beaufort (three book series) covers the transitional period between Bosworth and the death of Henry Tudor. She is currently taking a break from Tudor women and writing from the perspective of Henry VIII in "A Matter of Conscience."
Mercedes Rochelle 
Mercedes Rochelle is an ardent lover of medieval history, and has channeled this interest into fiction writing. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she received her B.A in Literature at the University of Missouri before moving to New York to "see the world". The search hasn't ended. Today she lives in Sergeantsville, N.J with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.  
Tony Riches 
Tony Riches is a full-time author based in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK, and is best known for his Tudor trilogy. After a career in the Royal Air Force he held senior roles in the National Health Service and Local Government. When researching his books Tony likes visiting the actual locations and discovering elusive primary sources. In his spare time he enjoys sailing and sea kayaking.  
You can connect with the authors via -


 You can learn more about the book and its authors by visiting other blogs on the tour - 

I hope you will check out this book.

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.









1 comment:

Alison Morton said...

Thank you so much, Zoe, for posting my extract. It's been such a fun and very creative project working with eleven other authors to produce Betrayal. We've stretched our imaginations across a millennium and a half but it seems people are just the same in any age, especially when it comes to a matter of trust and its betrayal.