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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Introducing... The Collectors


I'm thrilled to say that my seventh historical novel, The Collectors, debuts on November 21st!
Here's the trailer:

About the Book:
Inheriting a secret was just the beginning... 

In London in 1872, Amelia Borchardt inherits a seat among a secret society. They call themselves "The Collectors". 

For centuries, they have kept secrets to protect their way of life, their ideals, and England itself. Now someone is watching them, an interloper rises from among the group and Amelia's life is thrown into chaos when everything she thought she knew is challenged and secrets are exposed, which she never knew she held. 

As Amelia spends time with her inherited collection of friends, she learns all is not as it seems and that even united guardians of secrets withhold the past from each other. 

Where did Madam Hidgens disappear to for years? Centuries ago revenge was sealed into a letter, but by whom? And more importantly, how does this affect the Collectors? Amelia must fight for the truth or the Collectors, and all that she thinks is true, will evaporate.

It's now available for pre-order on Amazon. It will also be available in print, in paperback and hardcover. 

I can't wait to share the secrets of the The Collectors with you!

My best to you all,

Friday, November 10, 2017

Veterans Day: Dealing with the Return


Veterans day: A day to remember those who fought. It comes with yellow ribbons, free menu items, a lot of "thank you for your service" mentions. At least in the USA, it does. In the UK, it's poppies pressed into buttonholes by news' presenters and laying of wreaths to honor the sacrifices. In Ireland, it's --like so much of Irish history-- a complicated mix of acknowledging those who fought, while also recognizing that Irish men were called up to serve the British Empire right in the midst of renewed hopes for home rule. That war that interrupted millions of lives also paused Irish home rule. It was supposed to be enacted at the beginning of the war, but it was suspended until the end of the war. In a way, it was like the colonists wanting representation and the right to govern themselves during the American Revolution. In fact, in the late 1700s, Ireland did attempt to gain its independence, inspired by the American Revolution and French Revolution. In the midst of war, in 1916, the Easter Uprising forever changed Irish history.

1916 is also the year in which What Edward Heard, my second historical novel, begins.

The ebook cover reflects the beginnings of the book's setting: Venice.

The printed covers, though, depict the silhouette of soldiers. It's purposeful in that it shows the lingering shadow of war on veterans, especially Edward in this instance. I once heard someone say, "thank you for your service" is the end of a conversation, when it should be the beginning. There are many stages of returning to normal life and grief that accompany the soldier's journey. That return to normal life, when nothing is normal any longer is part of the story of What Edward Heard. He's trying to be strong for those around him, while crumbling on the inside. A moment of that is captured in this passage:

Agnes, haunted by her own ghosts of war, born of her suppositions and worries rather than experience as Edward's were, attempted to draw him from his solitude whenever possible.
“Let's go to the pictures,” she had suggested one recent Saturday afternoon. The suggestion caught Edward off guard and no reason to decline was readily forthcoming, so he had no choice but to oblige her. As they sat there side-by-side, newsreels began to flash onto the screen. Music played somberly in accompaniment from the young girl seated at the piano, as Edward sat transfixed by the sterile black and white of war. Many in the audience gasped in horror, but for Edward it was merely a shadow of truth like Plato's in the allegorical cave. The public had first been exposed to such images this past summer during the earliest weeks of Edward's own Battle of the Somme.
Agnes reached across to slip her small ivory hand into his larger calloused hand.
“Is that how it is?” she whispered, not wanting to arouse pain but unable to silence her internal screams and pleadings for information on George and John.
No, it's a hundred thousand times worse. Everything is in color—vital red turned to deathly crimson, blue skies turned to impending gray. No melodic notes accompany the scene, only the piercing cries, agonizing screams, and thunderous explosions. The air does not smell of the delicate rosewater worn by the women around you. It reeks of mud, mold, and putrid flesh. And it's personal, so painfully heart-wrenchingly personal. They are not strangers; they are the men you eat with, sleep with, fight with. They are James. 
The thoughts erupted in his head like molten lava, which had bubbled uneasily to the top, but Edward, stoic and steady, swallowed them all, dismissing them from duty and from reality.
“Yes, it's like that,” he said, simply.
Agnes's fingers clenched around his own, as she squeezed his hand, half to comfort him and half to console herself. She reached into her pocket and retrieved a lace-edged handkerchief to dab at her moistening eyes. For her, this version of reality, diluted and cheapened, was difficult enough to bear.
(Chapter 6, What Edward Heard)

My best to you all,

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It's Launch Day!

In October 1884, the world united to decide on a single Prime Meridian. Twenty-six nations gathered in Washington D.C. in order to unify the map system and the time system.

As a student of historical International Relations, I was delighted to learn more about this period of history. A precursor to the United Nations and the League of Nations, this showed promise for international cooperation.

My sixth historical novel, Meridian, debuts around the world today. The International Meridian Conference serves as the backdrop for the story. Just as the conference brought together nations from around the world, Meridian unites characters from Africa, France, China, England, San Francisco, Germany, and New York City in intertwining stories in Washington D.C. Suffragettes, diamond miners, journalists, tea merchants, ship captains, and architects. It may seem as if they have little in common, but their lives will soon cross in unexpected ways.

Discover their stories at your favorite online retailer today!

My best to you all,

Friday, October 13, 2017

Historical Cartography Prior to the United Nations


My sixth historical novel, Meridian, launches around the world on Tuesday, October 17th. Its name is derived from the Prime Meridian. In 1884, the nations of the world united to decide upon a single Prime Meridian.

Today, it's something that we take for granted. The Prime Meridian runs through Greenwich, England and is the origin of zero from which longitude is counted on maps. Before there was a single meridian, though, different maps used different points as zero.

At times, this caused confusion and even shipping accidents. One of the characters in Meridian is a tea merchant. English by birth, he and his wife have moved to China to plant tea. He then commands the ships for his business dealings. The opening of Meridian sees him at sea, desperately lost, because of confusion surrounding a map. He is thus one of the characters immensely interested in the idea of a single meridian.

The International Meridian Conference was particularly interesting because it was a forerunner to the United Nations and it saw the United States become a global leader, since it was held in Washington D.C. Another component of the conference dealt with the unity of time zones. Already the United States and Canada had unified their time zones for the railroads. Now the conference extended that unification.

Prior to the advent of the telegraph, trains, and steamships, the individual times set by nations and even towns were not as important or noticeable. The distances between places were too far to really matter. As the world grew ever closer, though, there was a greater need, for convenience and safety, for unification in times and cartography.

This true conference provides the backdrop for Meridian. Whenever new growth is seen, there are some who hold it in contention. That division often runs deep and it courses through Meridian.

Pre-order your copy of Meridian as an ebook today.
It will also be available via hardcover and paperback.

My best to you all,

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Meridian Trailer

Hello! I am thrilled to announce that my sixth historical novel, MERIDIAN, launches around the world on October 17th! It's currently for pre-sale in ebook and will also launch in hardcover and paperback. 

About the Novel:
In 1884, the world unites but division runs deep...

Eliot Story, a journalist from San Francisco, thought that she was traveling to Washington D.C. to cover the International Meridian Conference. Instead, she becomes embroiled in a plot stickier than the humidity of the east. From Africa to France, New York City to secrets buried deep in the past, there is much that Eliot will have to uncover. 

The people that she meets, who have journeyed to Washington D.C. on family obligation, on business, or to participate in the world’s attempt to bring safety to cartography, will leave Eliot having to put together their intertwining pieces. 

How could a tea merchant be linked to a suffragette? What does a father’s Civil War legacy have to do with an eager architect’s work on the Statue of Liberty? What do working conditions of diamond miners in Africa have to do with the Prime Meridian? 

Journalism turns to investigation, as Eliot is up against the clock to save both her new friends and a city itself. Amidst the gathering hopes for cooperation, division and deception threaten the capital. Sometimes knowing where to go and just what to do requires a lot more than a map.

My best to you all,

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Talk Like a Pirate


Did you know that it's Talk Like a Pirate Day?

For Rebecca, in Across the River, she must not only talk the talk but walk the walk. That's right, as a pirate! Just why does the daughter of a lord, more accustomed to silk dancing slippers and sneaking out of her home to visit her beloved Caleb end up on the high seas and entangled with pirates? Rebecca finds herself at the center of a round-the-world adventure. It's 1774, both sides of the Atlantic are poised for Revolution, and anything can happen Across the River.

My best to you all,