So, I love a good historical. I’m not fond of Scottish highlanders, but I do enjoy a Regency, and I love the medieval period. I don’t write Regency, but I do write medieval, and I’ve written in the WWII era, the late 1800’s, and now, as Theodora Lane, I’ve written a book set in 1600’s Russia.
Yes, you heard right – Russia. The Russia of the Csars, of Ivan the Terrible, or at least his son. The book, Her Lieutenant, is a familiar story, just set in a very different place. A young up and coming officer of an elite mounted fighting force, the Csar’s Druzhina, is sent to pick up and deliver a wayward daughter and her great aunt, only to find the situation is not what he’s been told to expect. What started out for him as an inconvenience and an irritation, turns out to be the greatest challenge of his life.
In order to write it, I had to do research, of course. About Russia, its lands, religion, and people, the Druzhina, which really existed, and then blend it all into a book which takes you to a foreign place without making the reader stumble along unfamiliar roads. I wrote this because of a picture I found in a book…a painting of one of the Druzhina, mounted on a rearing horse, saber held high, and sporting a huge mustache. He looked fearless. Brave and handsome. And I knew I had to write a story for him.
What I didn’t know was if I could sell it. It wasn’t Regency, or about a Scottish lord, or even a Western. It was Russia. Face it, Russia isn’t exactly the hot spot for romance. But to me, it was unusual yet familiar enough that I found it mysterious, intriguing and easy to place these characters in.
Lieutenant Alexei Zolvar is waiting for his chance to fight at the front, against the Turks of the Ottoman Empire, when he’s called into his captain’s office and given the assignment to travel to a little backwater town and pick up and deliver the duke’s daughter and great aunt. As you can imagine, he’s pissed at being given so low a task, when he’s needed elsewhere. Yeah, he’s a little full of himself, but he’s survived a lot and if he wasn’t good, he’d have been dead a long time ago.
Arisha Bagry, the daughter of the duke, well…she’s spirited. And most of all, she’s a survivor. But you’ll have to read the book when it comes out to find what’s behind her mystery and how it will propel both she and Alexei into danger and a live or death struggle.
I want to thank Taliesin Publishing for taking a chance on being a little different, and I hope readers will find it different, yet familiar.
It should be out this summer, and I’ll let you know the exact date when I find out and of course, I’ll post the cover when I get the final version.