Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Steve Berry | The Mystery of Charlemagne
Uncategorized / December 10, 2008

Charlemagne is a historical figure you don’t see a lot of in thrillers. Katherine Neville is the only writer I can recall who’s made good use of him. But he’s fascinating. He ruled for 47 years, and lived to be 74, at a time when kings rarely reigned more than 5 years, and people died long before age 40. He unified a continent, laid the groundwork for the formation, centuries later, of a modern Europe, and many of his policies and practices became proven models for western civilization. He was a visionary who surrounded himself with smart people and, for the first time, placed the needs of his subjects before royal ambition. He was so progressive that it begs the question—did he have help? Was he privy to special knowledge? Both questions spurred my imagination. Within The Charlemagne Pursuit I utilized an actual artifact known as the Voynich Manuscript. It’s preserved in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University . Supposedly created sometime in the 15th or 16th centuries, its folios are penned in a language that no one has ever been able to decipher. In addition, there are a multitude of colorful, odd drawings. By general…

Romance / September 10, 2008

In many ways, I view the country house as a silent character in my books. Although its role is often relegated to the background, the country house represents different things to different characters. For Amara Claeg in Tempting the Heiress, the family’s country house, Arras Green was a tragic reminder of Lord Cornley’s violent assault. In A Lady Mischief, Foxenclover was both a prison and sanctuary for young Maddy, while it represented a reclaimed birthright to her brother Tipton. Lady Fayre in Wicked Under the Covers viewed Arianrod simply as her beloved home, whereas in my current release, Scandalous by Night, Lord Everod was banished from Worrington Hall. The house became a symbol of all that he had lost. Once I’ve locked down the plot and characters for a new story, I set to work on creating the various country houses and London town houses that will be featured. This is a great deal of fun for me because it mixes history with my imagination. It also has given me a chance to set up at least a half a dozen dream houses. Most of what I design never makes it into my books. This step is mainly a personal…

Dianna Love | Walk the Land
Uncategorized / June 6, 2008

Research is the strength of all stories, regardless if it is contemporary, historical, fantasy or futuristic. So how does an author create real settings in all of these worlds? I like to walk the land every time I can to pick up details we don’t see in a casual passing or on the internet. When Sherrilyn Kenyon and I were writing our new romantic-suspense story PHANTOM IN THE NIGHT (Pocket/June 10, 2008) last fall, we spent time in New Orleans (NO) surveying areas specifically for the story in spite of our joint knowledge of Louisiana. Sherrilyn knows New Orleans well since her Dark-Hunter series is set primarily there, KCON (Kenyon Convention) is in or around the French Quarter each year and she lived in NO at one time. I had family in Louisiana at one time and still do in Biloxi, Mississippi, plus friends in NO. I’ve fished from many of the coastal Louisiana towns along the Gulf of Mexico and had a business in NO at one time, so Louisiana has been a favorite location of mine for many years. Even with all this background, we spent time there last fall “walking the land” so we had fresh images…