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I have loved stories, and storytelling, for as long as I can remember.
I didn’t start out as a novelist, though—I guess not many of us do. Like any career in the arts, there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to making a living (especially if you’re just starting out). I actually attended the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) and spent seven years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force. In a lot of ways I think this was a great start to any career, because it taught me to be organized, stay on top of things, make decisions, and so many other things that have served me well. Interestingly, it was actually the Air Force that offered to send me to grad school for English, and following that, I spent several years teaching literature and public speaking.
Eventually, I decided I didn’t want to just talk about other people’s books…I wanted to create my own. Now, the halls of academia are filled with people who either A) want to write a book someday, or B) have written a non-fiction book so boring that only a handful of people in the world will ever read it. I didn’t want to be one of the former. As for the latter, although academic books certainly have merit, that just wasn’t the kind of storytelling I wanted to do. I wanted action, romance, thrills and chills.
So, after a trip to Switzerland inspired a medieval romance that I just couldn’t get out of my head, I just started writing. I joined RWA, and joined a critique group of fellow professors and instructors at USAFA. I was the only woman in the group, and romance has traditionally been shunned in academia, but to my surprise and relief, I got a lot of support at that critique group. I guess they figured if I was brave enough to put my work in front of them, they would do their part to help me grow as a writer.
I did grow, eventually publishing two historical romances through Kensington, and another two that I’ve indie-published. One thing I’ve learned: there is always more to learn.
I am especially excited about my new Relic Guardians series, which traces the lost relics of King Arthur and the lengths people will go to in the quest to find—or hide—them. (This series is aimed at a broader audience including YA, so although there is definitely romance, the books are less explicit than my steamier romances.) The first Relic Guardians book, Entrusted, will be out on September 8, 2015.
Entrusted begins in the time of the Reformation, when King Henry VIII ordered all the Catholic abbeys, monasteries, and churches to be dissolved. The church was wealthy, and much of this wealth made its way into the king’s coffers. But not everything—many of the holy relics, some quite valuable, were sold off to private parties, stolen, or simply spirited away by “interested parties.”
Audrey Thorndale, the young heroine of Entrusted, is just one such interested party—even though she doesn’t know it when the book begins. Defying the king could have dire consequences, but she can’t fight the destiny that was set for her long ago.
If you love a mix of history, legend, and romance, this is the series for you. ☺ Happy reading!
Orphan Audrey Thorndale longs for the peaceful life of a convent, but with a younger brother to care for and England's religious houses falling one by one to Henry VIII's Reformation, she'll have to find another way to serve God and country. The Abbot of Glastonbury, aware of Audrey's dilemma and loathe to see the great treasures of his abbey looted and destroyed, suggests a plan that could save Audrey, the relics, and even the future of Britain...but if she agrees to it, she'll have to commit treason.
Second son and sometime adventurer, Tobias Seybourne has never left an opportunity unexplored. He’s won the favor of the king, and is aiming for knighthood, when Abbot Whiting offers him the chance of a lifetime—partner with Audrey, and protect England’s greatest legend. Most importantly? Do it without ever giving the king a reason to suspect more devious purposes simmer beneath Tobias’s charming façade.
With help from the abbot, Audrey and Tobias set in motion a plan to ensure that when the abbey walls crumble, one particular treasure will be safely hidden elsewhere.
But as the abbot points out, the king’s minions keep close account of their plunder, and the contents of Glastonbury’s repository are well documented.
With the king’s men bearing down fast, someone must take the fall…
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