Historical stories of Exile - A secret revealed!

It’s no longer a secret!

In late summer, I wrote a story. I know, I’m always writing stories, but this one was written during a heatwave, in between Roman festivals and while I was knee deep in my new novel.

I was invited to take part in a collaborative project called Historical Stories of EXILE – a collection of short stories from a range of historical periods with the common theme of people making the enormous leap of leaving their homeland. Some exiles are voluntary, others forced. More below!

The glorious thing is that I find myself in the best historical fiction company I could wish for: Annie Whitehead, J.G. Harlond, Helen Hollick, Anna Belfrage, Elizabeth Chadwick, Loretta Livingstone, Elizabeth St.John, Charlene Newcomb, Marian L Thorpe, Amy Maroney, Cathie Dunn and Cryssa Bazos.
Deborah Swift is giving us a brilliant introduction.

So what’s it about?

Exile – a risky defiance, a perilous journey, a family’s tragic choice or an individual’s final gamble to live?
Exile –  voluntary or enforced, a falling-out between friends, a lost first love, a prejudiced betrayal, or the only way to survive persecution?

Here’s an excerpt from my own contribution, My Sister

Rome AD 395.  Marcellus Varus (narrating) is attending a dinner party with his  sister, Flavola. He’s chatting with friends Lucius Apulius and Gaius Mitelus before eating.

‘How’s your sister taking it?’ Gaius asked me, nodding to the group of women where Flavola stood with a sullen expression.

‘Ah. Well, I…’


‘I haven’t exactly told her yet.’

Lucius looked at me in disbelief. Gaius collapsed laughing. The group of women turned and stared at the outburst of noise. Even the dozen or so other men at the back of the atrium sent puzzled looks at us. After a heartbeat, they returned to their talking. Maelia looked across the room and frowned at us. Lucius took my arm and hustled me into a side room. Gaius followed, still chuckling.

Lucius pushed me down onto a stool.

‘Are you seriously saying that you haven’t told Flavola you’re uprooting her from Rome, from all she knows, and going into voluntary exile?’

‘Look,’ I said, ‘it was hard enough to get her here tonight. She doesn’t get on with Maelia.’

‘You’re wrong, Marcellus,’ Gaius said. ‘She doesn’t get on with anybody.’

‘Don’t poke at my sister, Gaius. You’re not the easiest piece in the pack.’

So that’s all going to go well…

Back to the full book

Thirteen authors (We’re not superstitious!) have written exclusive short stories on the theme of exile. Some are based on true history, others are speculative fiction. All mine the depths of human emotions: fear, hope, love, and the fortitude to survive.

Join an inspiring Anglo-Saxon queen of Wales, a courageous Norwegian falconer, and a family fleeing back in time to escape the prospect of a ruthless future.

Oppose the law with the legendary Doones of Exmoor, or defy the odds with two brave WWII exiles.

Meet a Roman apprehensively planning exile to preserve the ‘old ways’, and a real Swedish prince forcibly expelled in heart-wrenching circumstances.

Thrill to a story based on the legend of Robin Hood, sail with a queen of Cyprus determined to regain her rightful throne.

Escape religious persecution, discover the heart-rending truth behind the settlement of Massachusetts and experience the early years that would, eventually, lead to the founding of Normandy.

Experience the stirring of first love, and as an exclusive treat special guest author, Elizabeth Chadwick, reveals a tale about the 12th-century’s heiress, Isabelle de Clare, and the Greatest Knight of all time – William Marshal.

With an introduction by multi-award-winning author Deborah Swift, enjoy these tales of exile across the ages. Some are hopeful, some sad, some romantic, some tragic, but all explore the indomitable spirit of resolute, unforgettable characters.

Available now on Amazon! https://mybook.to/StoriesOfExile
(ebook and paperback)

Clockwise from top left: Cryssa Bass, Anna Belfrage, Elizabeth Chadwick, Cathie Dunn, J G Harlond, Amy Maroney, Alison Morton, Marian L Thorpe, Annie Whitehead, Deborah Swift, Elizabeth St.John, Charlene Newcomb, Loretta Livingstone, Helen Hollick.

The beautiful cover and graphics are by Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics.


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers. JULIA PRIMA, a new Roma Nova story set in the late 4th century, is now out.

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email update. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

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