Byzantine Gold
Chris Karlsen, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We’re excited
to interview your character, Charlotte
Dashiell from the book, Byzantine Gold.
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Cover artist: Elaina Lee at For the Muse Design
Length: 72K words
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: A Turkish agent and an American archaeologist find themselves
in the crosshairs of dangerous enemies in this undersea thriller.
A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo
of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable
cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery
team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics
will buy them additional weapons.
Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover,
Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery
team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught
in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge.
Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is
a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal–seeing them both dead.
Buy links:
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Charlotte Dashiell, 30,
nautical archaeologist
Atakan Vadim, 38, Agent
for the Turkish Ministry of Culture
Maksym Tischenko, 40,
contract killer
Darav Binici, 27, PKK terrorist

Interview with Charlotte Dashiell

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a nautical archaeologist
who recently received my PHD in the subject. While working on my doctorate, I met
Atakan. We were dive partners last year on the recovery team of a Bronze Age ship
wrecked off the coast of Turkey.
I had a controversial theory regarding the Trojan War and hoped the ship carried
the proof of that theory.
I come from a family
of police officers. My father was a Chicago policeman,
my step mother was a policewoman in Chicago
and my brother is a SWAT team member for Chicago P.D. My mother is a housewife and
remarried to a wealthy businessman.
I currently live in Istanbul with Atakan. Our next
project is a Byzantine shipwreck off the coast of Cyprus.
When the dive season
ends, I’m employed at a lab in Istanbul
where I work on the preservation of artifacts, which includes cleaning, identifying,
tagging and cataloging.
Atakan and I share a
love of history, like to travel and enjoy skiing and water sports.
Tell us about Atakan Vadim.
He’s also an archaeologist
and is an agent for the government. He works in the Ministry of Culture. His job
is to oversee the legitimate archaeological sites and make sure the artifacts are
processed safely and correctly. Site preservation and safety is part of the job
in addition to proper handling of relics. When not in the field, he monitors smuggling
operations and persons or groups involved in the illegal sale of artifacts to the
Black Market.
He is 38, the consummate
professional in his job and very reserved. People tend to see him as always serious
and perhaps a bit cold, but to those who know him, we see his humorous side and
he does have a wicked sense of humor.
Although we live in Istanbul now, he grew up in the southwestern part of Turkey, in the Izmir area. His mother tends to orchards on their
land. His father is retired military. Like me, he’s close to his family but doesn’t
get to see them often due to his job and the fact they live several hours away as
does his married sister and her family.
He is one of the most
honorable men I’ve ever met with an unshakeable code of ethics.
He’s also a pretty darn
good cook.
What do you think is your strongest point?
My intelligence.
What would Atakan say is your strongest point?
I imagine he’s likely
to say my love for him. I’d agree with that, but I suspect, knowing how reserved
he is, he’ll say my determination.
What would Atakan say is your biggest weakness?
I’m too secretive at
What was it like where you grew up?
I grew up in Chicago on the northwest side.
I love that city. It has everything: great restaurants, theatre, fabulous museums,
fun to watch sports teams, friendly people, and the best skyline anywhere.
When my parents were
still married, we lived in a brick bungalow typical for Chicago in a lovely neighborhood with nice lawns
and good sidewalks for riding our bikes. We had a smallish fenced backyard with
a fancy BBQ because my dad liked to grill and a colorful flower bed for my mom.
We always had dogs adopted from the shelter. The smaller ones slept with me, the
bigger ones slept with my brother, Nick.
My parents divorced when
I was a teenager. Then, I split time between my dad’s house in the city and my mom
and step father’s in the suburbs.
What do you wish was different about your life?
I’m pretty happy but
if I had to change one thing, it would be for Atakan’s mother to like me.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
I think this is where
I should say world peace but I’m going to wish for an end to the extinction of animals
everywhere and an end to the slaughter of elephants and rhinos etc. for their ivory
and horns.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
Home–our place in Istanbul. We have a covered,
half-moon shaped patio with a view of the Bosphorus. When the weather is warm, we
like to sit there with a glass of wine and watch the ferries cross the Strait. Some
of the private boats coming and going are stunning to see. They’re sleek and elegant
as they skim along the water. You’d think working wrecks I’d get my fill of looking
out over water but I don’t. I love the sea.

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

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.


The history of what place intrigues you as a reader?

Answer this question for Chris, and win a download of Golden Chariot, the prequel to Byzantine Gold. You can email Chris directly at chriskarlsenwriterATgmailDOTcom or leave a comment and your email on the blog. She will contact the winner personally.

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