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Monthly Archives: April 2013


Loving Leonardo
Loving Leonardo – The Quest

Rose Anderson, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We’re excited to interview
your character, Nicolas Halstead from the book, Loving Leonardo – The Quest

Genre: Erotic Romance/Historical m/m/f
Publisher: Calliope’s Writing Tablet
Cover artist: Kim Van Meter
Length: Approximately 200 pages
Heat rating: R
Tagline: Love transcends all barriers.
Never in his wildest imaginings as an art historian, could Nicolas Halstead conceive the book Leonardo
da Vinci created for his lover Salai existed, let alone lead to the discovery of hidden declarations of love worked into da Vinci masterpieces.
Happy and content in their polyamorous relationship, Nicolas, Ellie and Luca embark on a quest to learn all they can about the greatest mind of
the Renaissance. But their world takes a devastating and deadly turn that sends Nicolas into the deviant underworld of Victorian London. It becomes clear that Conte Acario Bruno lives, and the madman wants far more than Leonardo’s book. He desires Nicolas’ death, and Luca for himself.
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations? 
Nicolas Halstead 11th Earl of Halstead: 31 years old. House of Lords, Art Historian for the famed Ashmolean
Museum. He acquires and manages her Majesty’s art collections.
Elenora Schwaab Halstead: 24 years old. The new Lady Halstead. Student of philosophy, Suffragette, and American Progressive. Daughter of the American Consul to her Majesty Queen Victoria.
Luca Franco: 32 years old. The new Professor of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. Son of a Venetian merchant. Head of the Franco family. He acquires items of history to add to the vast museum collections.

Interview with Nicolas Halstead

Tell us about yourself.
Nicolas seated himself
and crossed his legs comfortably before him. “Well, let me see…My name is Nicolas
Halstead, 11th Earl of Halstead.
I’ve assumed my deceased father’s seat in House of Lords. Though my travels puts
me hardly ever there. As a young man I was educated at Eaton, and then finished
my art history education at Oxford.
From there I did my internship at the Ashmolean, where I recently became a fellow.
It falls to me to add to her Majesty’s collections of state, and to do so, I acquire
artworks from private holdings and collections.
I’m an exceedingly private
person. To maintain that desired privacy, I live in London, away from the family estate. Mrs. Fletcher,
my housekeeper, looks after me and has since the accident that killed my parents.
My grandmother, Lady Augusta Halstead did me immeasurable kindness when she gave
me over to her trusted servant’s care all those years ago. She has no idea of the
bond between Mrs. Fletcher and me, or what we truly share. You see, my Grandmother
comes from a time of little deviation from the path society placed before you. The
old dear would come undone in knowing the truth of me.”
Nicolas’ lips twitch.
“Until recently, I lived a quiet, somewhat content, life.”
Tell us about Ellie and Luca.
The twitch transformed into a wide smile. “I’ll assume by the question, you
are aware of my nature. Therefore, to phrase it simply, we three are lovers and
I love them. It’s trite to say,
but we complete one another in ways we hardly realized were incomplete. Through them, I’ve discovered and accepted myself.
Were I to describe my new wife, I’d say she’s unlike anyone, male or female,
of my acquaintance. Bold as brass in speaking plainly…in attitude and affections
as well. She’s a suffragette, a progressive in the truest sense. If any woman deserved
the vote it would be she. Her mind is extraordinary, her heart fiercely loving and
protective. She’s American, you know. In general, Americans reminded me of impressionist artists.
The Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting, and Americans violate
the rules of conventionality. As a student of nuance, I very much like her. That
on top of the love I feel. I consider Ellie
to be a true partner in life and love.
Luca? He and I are cut
from the same cloth in our interests and we share compatible views. I see Luca as
one of the world’s purest souls. He’s kind and sensitive, loving and thoughtful.
And I’ll add to that — he’s compassionate and self-sacrificing to a fault. Luca
is also bold and brave, far braver than I. He’s been through a lot in the last ten
years. Were I able, I’d take the heartache onto myself to free him of it. I know
he would do the same for me. He’s a man anyone would be proud to know, let alone

What do you think is your strongest point?

“Modesty?” He laughed.
“How does one consider their strongest attributes without sounding conceited? Let’s
see…I’m a loyal friend and devoted to those I love. I have empathy. Consequently,
the unfortunate and hungry souls in Rome
laid me quite low when we were there. Admitting to that, I’d have to add that I’m
more than soft-hearted, I’m painfully aware. I suppose that is my strongest and
weakest attribute — my attention to detail. I simply do not possess a blind eye.
Given my training and interest in the artworks of the ages, I readily grasp nuance.
I see the subtle shading of life in those small details often missed by others.
It allows me to read situations quickly. Not a bad skill for a man with a deviate’s
proclivity in an intolerant world!”As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us
about him/her.
“When I was a lad of
twelve or so, Mrs. Fletcher’s orphaned nephew Thomas came to Halstead. He was a
few years older than I and possessing a ready talent with horses, took a position
working in the stables. I got to spend time with him when my Grandmother was out
and about. I found him witty and fun and although our stations in life divided us,
we enjoyed one another’s company. I went away to school and we stayed in touch through
letters. When I returned home, I went to the stable to find my friend, and instead
found him with his lover, the farrier’s son. Thom and I became lovers shortly after.
Our relationship changed. And so had I.”What do you wish was different about your life?“I was born to a world
divided by class structure and limitations. My mind sees the outward trappings of
this divide daily, especially at Halstead. But my relationships with Mrs. Fletcher
and her nephew Thomas transcend such boundaries. They mean the world to me, and
my heart rebels at the very idea that I must keep my love for them a secret. I love Luca as well. It wasn’t all that long
ago, loving him would cost us our lives. There’s no longer a death penalty for homosexual
Englishmen, but we are still not free to love. I wish I was able to openly
show my affections.”If you were given your
fondest wish, what would it be?“I’d wish to turn back
the clock to see my dear Thom living a full and happy life. We’d been together nearly
thirteen years before I married Ellie. It was he who ended our relationship out
of respect for her. I miss him.”What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask
and answer it now.
“I would have asked,
Will we ever live in a tolerant world?My answer would be,
yes. It’s 1887. Look how far we’ve come. Women will be voting side by side with
men shortly, and are soon to be equal in every way. Especially if my wife has her
say! With such social progress broadening our understanding of ourselves, I can’t
imagine it taking long for prejudice, bigotry, and hatred to fall by the wayside.
Love and kindness, tolerance and charity – these are precepts of faith around the
world. But we don’t need our faith to tell us this is best. Like water, mankind
eventually follows the path of least resistance. I have every confidence that before
long, we’ll do what makes sense.”About the AuthorI love words and choose them as carefully as an artist might
choose a color. My active imagination compels me to write everything from children’s
stories to historical nonfiction. As a persnickety leisure reader, I especially
enjoy novels that feel like they were written just for me. It’s hard to explain,
but if you’ve ever read one of those, then you know what I mean. I tend to sneak
symbolism and metaphor into my writing. You might say it’s a game I play with myself
when I write. And I so love when readers email to say they’ve found something. I’d
like people to feel my stories were written just for them, for that’s the truth.
These hidden insights are my gift to my readers.  Find Me HereMain Blog: Blog: books on Amazon:

Tax Tips for Authors.

Romance Lives
Forever welcomes author EM Lynley back to the blog. As a tax preparer, she has
a good insight into what authors need this time of year. Here are her top five
tips to us.

As both a
romance writer, and a tax preparer, I know exactly the worries and frustrations
my fellow authors go through every year. If 
you use tax prep software, you’re never sure what’s allowed or where on
Schedule C to put the cost of your website and cover art–or you pay through
the nose for an accountant to do your return. Kayelle asked me to offer a few
tips to help you feel a little more confident about your taxes, whether this
year as you rush to finish by April 15, or pick up some advice to help you out
when you file next year.

1. You can
write off that whip you bought while researching your BDSM story! There’s quite
a bit of latitude for authors to deduct research expenses. Just ask yourself:
“Would I buy this if I weren’t writing a story about X?” If not, then it’s a
legit research expense. I write off reference books, library fines on research
books, and trips to visit a location. I even wrote off some wine I bought while
writing a novel about a winemaker. You can also deduct some of the fiction you
buy, if you call it market research. Just don’t abuse that one. If you make
$500 on writing and spend $1000 on books for “research” you’ll find it
difficult to defend if the IRS asks any questions.

2. Document,
document, document. This is the magic word for the IRS. Keep records of
everything you buy or spend related to your writing business. You can do a
spreadsheet or write notes in a desk calendar. If the IRS happens to audit your
return, they’ll require this level of documentation, even if you don’t have
original receipts. You can even show them the scribbles in your calendar.

3. Other
deductions you might have missed: swag for conventions, fees for online
classes, contest entry fees, airfare and hotel for conventions, mileage for
trips to the library, bookstore, stock photos for cover art, your domain name,
RWA meetings (and the fees!), membership fees for any and all author
organizations. If you bought it for promotion, report it as
“advertising” expense. Anything that doesn’t fit into a standard category
on Schedule C goes as “Other.” Just document how the item was used
for business purposes: “RWA dues and meeting expenses” or “Books for research.”

4. Even
unpublished authors can take these deductions. If you had expenses in 2012, but
your book won’t be released until 2013, you can and should file Schedule C to
get the deductions for 2012. Don’t worry about a loss on your business return,
as long as 3 out of 5 years show a profit, the IRS won’t question the
occasional loss. And you can’t take the deductions in a later year, only the
year you actually spent the money.

5. Missed some
of these deductions? If you’ve already filed, but didn’t take as many
deductions as you’re legitimately entitled to, it’s not too late. You can file
an amended return. It’s  a correction to
the original, and if you are owed an additional refund, or have a smaller
balance due than on your original return, the IRS will send you the difference.

6. Bonus tip:
Like most of you, I get paid from many publishers through PayPal. I signed up
for a PayPal debit card, which I use for as many of my expenses as possible, so
I can keep personal and business expenses separate. Only use this card for
business expenses, and pay for personal items only from your personal bank
account or credit card. This will help with recordkeeping. Then, at the end of
the year, print out the statement and make a note what each item was for. Save
that with your return in case two years from now the IRS asks you to
substantiate a particular item. You won’t necessarily remember later on.

I teach an
online course each spring, covering these topics and a lot more. I do a
line-by-line Schedule C walkthrough and home office deductions, and explain
self-employment taxes as well as the dreaded estimated quarterly tax payments. The
course content is also available in a book, Tax Tips for Authors,
from Amazon
and Smashwords.
(Use coupon code DU56V to save $1.00 at Smashwords).

By night EM
Lynley writes gay erotic romance, but by day she’s a financial writer, editor,
and tax professional. She holds an MS degree in Financial Economics from the
London School of Economics and is a former staff economist at the White House
Council of Economic Advisers. 

Tax tips can also be found here:


Have a question? Ask it here and leave your email. EM will answer your questions (if time allows).

Find Me Here

For Men Like Us

Romance Lives Forever welcomes Brita Addams to the blog
for an article on why it takes so long to write.

What took me so long?

I have asked myself that question
many times. Given that I’ve read all my life and aspired to be a writer since
middle school, even I am astounded that it took me so many years to actually
sit down and write for publication.
The simple explanation is that I
didn’t feel I had anything to say, but, as I said, that is the simple answer
and partially untrue. The truth of the matter is, I never knew my niche. My
thoughts were scattered to the four winds, interests in any number of directions,
and nothing concrete to anchor me.
Then along comes life and that
conspired to put my passion for the written word on the back burner, save for
the constancy of reading.
There was also the niggle in the
back of my head, that I couldn’t cut it. In seventh grade, my teacher, Mr.
Green, sent one of my short stories off to a famous writer, Hal Borland. I had no idea
until Mr. G. called me to his desk one day and showed me the paper, with myriad
comments in the margins, most of them positive, others constructive. He
explained that he thought the paper good enough to send to Borland, author of
one of the books we had read in English class. The final comment, at the bottom
of the page, was, “This girl has talent and shows great promise.”
Excited, I took the paper home
and showed it to my father. Now, Dad wasn’t a particularly encouraging fellow,
having never overcome his lifelong depression and issues that followed him to
the grave. He was also a frustrated writer, though he never got past the first
draft stage in anything he ever wrote. Anyway, he looked at the paper, got very
angry, and ripped it up. Amid mutters of “wasted time,” he stalked
off, leaving me upset and discouraged.
Now I say this because I hope that
others won’t let something like that to do then what it did to me. I never
wrote another word, save for continual journals and articles for the local
newspaper. Every time I picked up a pen, I heard those words that my father had
said. Isn’t it strange how words meant to hurt often drown out even the most
In later years, I often wrote
letters for friends who’d read things I had written, but that was the extent of
it. Something was missing, something that lived in my heart, while I refused to
let grow. My husband and I raised our children and went on with life. I still
read constantly, but by then, life was so busy, that writing wasn’t even a blip
on the radar.
One year for my birthday, my
husband gave me several of Philippa Gregory’s books, particularly The Other
Boleyn Girl and Earthly Joys. I have always loved non-fiction, have read
biographies and historical accounts for as long as I can remember. I hadn’t,
however, read romance. Gregory combines both, taking real people and creating
circumstances around them that tell a story that has some grounding in the
After devouring everything I
could by Gregory, I sought out other historical romances, not particularly
worried if they featured actual people, historical was enough for me. Oh, my,
did my world open up. I discovered Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, and so many other
wonderful authors, and I couldn’t get enough.
After reading hundreds of
historical romances, my creativity came to life. I started plotting stories
long after I turned the light off at night. I got excited and told my husband
about the stories and patient man that he is, he listened. One day, he asked
me, “Do you think you could write a book?”
Thank God he did, because I
haven’t stopped since.

Previous Books

Tarnished Gold
Tarnished Gold

In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded
streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a
secret that his country hometown would never understand. 

After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay
gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good
looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame
breeds distrust. 
Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He
wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through
Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants
to be. Love without trust is empty. 
As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public
tolerance of Hollywood’s
decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s
studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box
office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished
Read an excerpt and purchase the Tarnished Gold ebook
or print,
signed by the author (if one of the first twenty sold.)
ForMen Like Us, which takes place during the Regency in England. You
can find it at Dreamspinner Press. Just click the title to be magically
For Men Like Us
After Preston Meacham’s lover dies trying to lend him aid at
hopelessness becomes his only way of life. Despite his best efforts at starting
again, he has no pride left, which leads him to sell himself for a pittance at
a molly house. The mindless sex affords him his only respite from the horrors
he witnessed.
The Napoleonic War left Benedict Wilmot haunted by the acts he was forced to
commit and the torture he endured at the hands of a superior, a man who used
the threat of a gruesome death to force Ben to do his bidding. Even sleep gives
Ben no reprieve, for he can’t escape the destruction he caused.
When their paths cross, Ben feels an overwhelming need to protect Preston from his dangerous profession. As he explains,
“The streets are dangerous for men like us.” 
Serenity’s Dream
Lucien and Serenity – the rewritten, expanded version of the
first book in my Sapphire Club series.
Serenity Damrill has returned to her husband, Lucien after a
ten-year absence. She carries with her a secret that could destroy her life and
possibly all that Lucien has built.
Lucien was quite happy in his life running the Sapphire Club
and has no need for the frigid wife who deserted him the day after they were
Can Lucien teach Serenity that her fear of the marriage bed
is unfounded? Will Serenity’s secret be the death knell for their
You can purchase Serenity’s Dream – Lucien and Serenity at Amazon

About the Author

Born in Upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in
the sultry south for many years. Brita’s home is a happy place, where she lives
with her real-life hero, her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. She writes,
for the most part, erotic historical romance, both het and m/m, which is an
ideal fit, given her love of British and American history. Setting the
tone for each historical is important. Research plays an indispensible part in
the writing of any historical work, romance or otherwise. A great deal of
reading and study goes into each work, to give the story the authenticity it

As a reader, Brita prefers historical works, romances and
otherwise. She believes herself born in the wrong century, though she says she
would find it difficult to live without air conditioning. Brita and her husband
love to travel, particularly cruises and long road trips. They completed a Civil
War battlefield tour a couple of years ago, and have visited many places
involved in the American Revolutionary War.

In May, 2013, they are going to England for two weeks, to visit the
places Brita writes about in her books, including the estate that inspired the
setting for her Sapphire Club series. Not the activities, just the floor plan.
A bit of trivia – Brita pronounces her name, B-Rita, like the woman’s name, and
oddly, not like the famous water filter.


Ebook giveaways at each stop. Random commenter’s choice from
my backlist
Serenity’s Dream

Signed 8×10 glossies of Jack Abadie

Grand Prize is a Kindle, along with the winner’s choice
of five (5) of my backlist titles, sent to them by email.
Leave a comment at one or all the stops. At each stop, a
random commenter will be selected to win their choice of backlist book
(Tarnished Gold excluded.) This selection will be made daily throughout the
tour, except where blog owners wish to extend the eligibility. Be sure to leave
an email address in your comment. 
All names of commenters and their email addresses will be
put into the drawing for the Kindle, even if they have won the daily drawing.
The more comments you make the more chances you have to win.
Other prizes include five (5) 8×10 glossies of Jack Abadie,
signed. The winners will be selected on April 10, from all the commenters at
all the stops, and notified by email.
The Grand Prize winner will be selected on April 10th and
notified by email. Once I have heard from the winner and obtained a shipping
address, I will order the Kindle and have it shipped directly to the winner.
They will also be eligible to select five (5) of my backlist titles and I will
email them to the winner.
Contest valid in the United States.
Full schedule for the Tarnished Gold Virtual BookTour

Find Me Here

Like Slow Sweet Molasses

Cover Love at Romance Lives
Forever is a short intro to a book and includes only a cover, blurb, buy links,
and social media contacts for the author. Today’s featured book is Like Slow Sweet Molasses, by Mickie Sherwood.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tagline: Sweet, spicy romance–a heartbeat away!
Teacher Angela Munso has lost control–of her spiraling life. She can control
the fallout of recent news from whose loins she sprang as easily as she can her
heart’s pitter-patter. To have feelings for a man who is everything she now
wants to hate? That’s the last straw!
Lt. Brock “Chance” Alexander’s arrogance baits Angela. And–he
knows it. It’s never so obvious to him as when she lobs that insulting phrase at
the side of his head. She pushes all of his hot buttons. But, there’s one he dares
her to touch–the one that pushes him out of her life.
Buy link:
Red Rose Publishing
Find Me Here
Lady and the Highwayman

Ashley Christman writing as Charlotte Davila, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about your book, The Lady and the Highwayman.

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entranced Publishing
Cover artist: Suzannah Safi
Length: Novella, 28 pages
Heat rating: erotic romance
Lady Elizabeth Bennington has the perfect life: she’s the daughter of an earl and betrothed to her childhood friend, William Hartley, the second son of a duke. But, when her sister’s indiscretion leads to an unplanned pregnancy, and the subsequent disgrace of Elizabeth’s entire family, her idyllic life is thrown into disarray.
First, her fiance is prohibited from marrying her. Then she receives word that William has been killed by thieves. To top it all off, she gets abducted by a highwayman. Can Elizabeth find love again, and with the most unlikely of people?
Buy links:


What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy the act of creating something. Words are magical and to be able to create worlds, people and situations is amazing.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
Neil Gaiman. He’s an incredibly intelligent talented man.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Learn to be comfortable being you. You actually grow up to be a great human being.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Of course. There’s an unspoken agreement that if it’s something interesting, it will end up in a book.
What are some jobs you’ve done before (or while) you were a writer?
Editing, Nursing, college student
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I like to read a bit of everything, especially if it’s interesting. Right now I’m reading a historical fiction novel about Marie Antoinette.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
I think it’s evolving as it should. Digital is becoming more and more the norm and while authors do like to see their books on paper, I think more and more are realizing there’s a big shift in reader demand from paper to digital.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
My Kindle, Laptop, cell phone, credit cards and cash, and a few clothes. I’d buy everything else I needed in Paris.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween because it’s entire holiday where we get to play make-believe and no one thinks anything of it.
What do you like to do when you’re bored?
I’m never bored. I think boredom comes from an inactive imagination. There’s always something to do.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
“I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed.”
“I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible.”

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with…I’m not a fan of pizza.
I’m always ready for the zombie apocalypse. I’ve got a plan.
When I’m alone, I entertain myself.
You’d never be able to tell, but I love karaoke.
If I had a halo it would be misplaced for the millionth time.
If I could get a cabin in the woods, I’d be a happy hermit as long as there were internet.
I can never relax because my mind doesn’t shut off.
Charlotte Davila

Find Me Here

Author Website and Blog:

Byzantine Gold

Romance Lives
Forever welcomes Chris Karlsen back to the blog for an article on writing romantic
suspense books as a retired detective.
When I retired after
twenty-five years in law enforcement, I thought I was pretty much done with all
things police related, other than watching a couple of shows on television. I could
finally write the romance story I’d had in my head for three decades. Since it was
a romance and not a thriller or mystery, it never occurred to me that I’d wind up
applying skills directly and indirectly learned conducting investigations. How wrong
I was.
My first two books,
Heroes Live Forever, and Journey in Time, were part of a paranormal series. Heroes
had a reincarnation aspect to the story. The hero and his best friend are aware
of what is happening when they enter into the experience. The heroine has no memory
of her previous life and connection to the hero. In order to convince her that the
outrageous tale he tells is true, as I wrote the scene, I put him across the interview
table from me. I mentally returned to my detective time. I asked myself what questions
would I ask a victim/witness/suspect. What answers would they need to give me to
convince me they were telling the truth? To convince the heroine, they had to convince
me first. If I believed it, I could make it believable on the page.
By the time I started
Journey in Time, I knew I wasn’t done with my police experience. This story required
knowledge of evidence, along with another exchange involving an outrageous tale
to convert a doubter to a believer. In this story a modern couple has been transported
back to Fourteenth Century England, an England
preparing for war with France.
The hero in this book is the best friend from the first novel. He is a product of
reincarnation. He has lived in this time and place before, and retains his memories
from the period. The heroine is a modern London
attorney who has been caught in the time portal with the hero. This time it is his
turn to sit across the interview table in my mental interrogation room. I put myself
in her place and questioned him relentlessly. I searched for the answers I needed
him to give to make me believe that I am indeed part of a terrible and dangerous
situation with no clue how it happened or how to return to the modern world. Unless
they find a way out, he will die in battle. History cannot be changed, including
his death. She would be alone in the alien medieval world.
In that story, there’s
a scene where the king orders the heroine to stay as a “guest” of a wool merchant,
who’s a favorite of the queen. It turns out the man is a vicious brute who attempts
to sexually assault her. She fights off the initial assault but is badly beaten
in the process. The hero locates her and brings her back to court and the wool merchant
back to stand trial. The merchant falsely accuses her of a crime. His testimony
is nothing but lies in an effort to defend the beating he gave her. The heroine
must present her side of the case before the king and entire court. I used my experience
testifying in criminal trials and had the heroine ask the questions a prosecutor
would’ve asked me or the defendant. I had the heroine use evidence that I’d use,
if this had been my case to present to a judge or jury. Lacking the technical equipment
and scientific means we have at our fingertips today, I relied on the most obvious
physical evidence available that could be seen and touched. I didn’t want the trial
to be an easy time for her. In my head, I laid out the crime scene and visualized
what she could take from there back to court. I went over the scene again and again,
like a detective does looking for anything I might’ve missed.
My last two books, Golden
Chariot and Byzantine Gold, are from a different series. They’re romantic thrillers.
Golden Chariot involves the murder of a Turkish government agent, artifact smuggling,
and the kidnapping of the heroine, a nautical archaeologist. She has a loose connection
to a private collector who purchases looted relics on the Black Market. The Turkish
agent sent to investigate the first agent’s murder must also investigate the heroine
further. Between my detective background and my research, I was able to put together
enough of the foreign legal process to make the investigation relatively accurate.
It should be noted that much is different with regards to due process and the judiciary
system. I was also able to use the heroine’s ignorance of how a foreign agency employs
due process to create a great deal of fear in her.
Toward the end of the
story, she is kidnapped and taken to a contract killer’s compound. I had a very
basic, I stress very basic, idea of the tactics needed to extract her. Here my background
came in handy but not as a result of my personal experience but with who I knew.
I had a friend who headed up a SWAT team for a major city. He was also in the Marine
Corps Reserves. After the invasion of Iraq,
he was deployed to both Baghdad
and Fallujah. His job was to teach young Marines urban crisis entry. He had retired
from both the police department and the military when I was writing Golden Chariot.
I called upon him to help me with the tactics, including the use of explosives and
how the extraction team would deploy once they gained entry into the compound. Phone
calls, emails, and drafts went back and forth. He was a great help and I was and
am incredibly grateful for his patience and assistance.
Byzantine Gold involves
the contract killer from Golden Chariot, in addition to a terrorist cell. The killer
is hunting the hero, bent on revenge. In a scene early in the story, he plans to
shoot the hero. I fired several different types of weapons over my career. I was
able to use my knowledge of range capacity, in addition to types of weapons the
killer might employ build that scene. I also used my experience in a later scene
involving a sniper type attack.
In the end of Byzantine
Gold, there’s a tactical operation where the terrorists are involved. As I mentioned,
my tactical knowledge is limited. But once again, I was able to call upon a friend
who is more than a friend, I asked my husband. He spent three years in the military
and thirty-one in law enforcement. While we sat in a hotel bar in Chicago, he helped me lay
out the schematics for the operation on cocktail napkins. While I was talking about
terrorists and how they’d approach, I noticed the man next to me giving me a rather
strange look. I half expected Homeland Security or the FBI or someone from one of
the alphabet agencies to rush into the bar and drag me off for questioning. I quickly
inserted a code word for terrorist.
In conclusion, I can
only say that when I began writing, I was firm in my conviction that in no way would
I relive my career through my characters. I did not want to write cop stories. I
love to read them and have several favorite authors who write fantastic ones. They
weren’t for me. I laugh now as I see in every story a part of the last twenty-five
years coming through my character’s lives. Fortunately, it has been to our mutual

About the Author

Chris Karlsen
I was born and
raised in Chicago.
My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader.
I grew up with a love of history and books.
My parents also
love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I
read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated
me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near
East, and North Africa.
I am a retired
police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two
different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired,
I decided to pursue that dream.
I currently live in
the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four
rescue dogs and a rescue horse.
I’m close to finishing the first draft of book 3 in my Knights in Time
series. After that, I hope to start book 3 in my Dangerous Waters series, which
the series Golden Chariot and Byzantine Gold are from.

Previous Books

Heroes Live Forever
(book 1 in Knights in Time series)
Journey in Time
(book 2 in Knights in Time series)
Golden Chariot
(book 1 in Dangerous Waters series)

Books Coming Soon

Knight Blindness
(Knights in Time series)

Find Me Here

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