Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: February 26, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0569-1 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0570-7 Digital
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Former Junior Miss Kentucky Emerson Shaw won pageants using martial arts as her talent and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” as her guide, but a painful secret leads her to the University of York, and puts her in the path of tattooed and pierced bad boy, Michael Nightingale.
Michael is a Traveller, part of an ancient line of mercenary gypsies who protect the world from vicious monsters called the Moktar. When Emerson gets attacked, she has no choice but accept Michael’s offer of protection or face certain death.
Traveller society, full of outdated rules and ridiculous superstitions, isn’t a good fit for the headstrong Emerson. Traveller women aren’t allowed to fight. Traveller women aren’t allowed to win. Traveller women aren’t allowed to leave. But Emerson will do what she must, even if it means losing the one person who matters most.
“Who are you and what do you want from me?”
I took a deep breath. It probably wouldn’t be a good start to tell him he occupied my every waking thought and most of my dreams, too. I decided to go with a more conventional approach.
“You’re here every morning, and I thought I’d say hello.” I stuck out my hand. “Emerson Jane Shaw.”
He surprised me by reaching for my extended hand and holding it firmly. His hand, large, warm and rough, had cuts and bruises all over the knuckles. He had faint bruises on his face, too, and some small wounds still in the process of healing. He’d been in some kind of fight recently.
It didn’t surprise me. He had the look of a warrior about him, the lean strength and watchful eyes of a predator, and he was lethal. Sun Tzu would have seen it, too. He would have recruited him without a moment’s hesitation.
“Michael Nightingale.” He stared at me with those hypnotic eyes as he continued to hold my hand, using it to pull me nearer to him.
“I know. Mrs. Burke told me.” I couldn’t focus on what I was saying while he touched me, not that I’d done such a great job up until now with my witty repartee.
He tilted his head to one side, studying me the way a lion studies a gazelle before he eats it. His face was only inches away from mine.
“Do you like to flirt with danger, Emerson Jane Shaw?”
“Not usually, but today I can make an exception.”
About the Author:
Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, fun, and sexy. Abigail is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
Interview with Abigail Drake, March 24, 2016
Where are you from?
I’m from Beaver, Pennsylvania, which is in Beaver County, on the Beaver River near Big Beaver, Beaver Falls, and Western Beaver. My friends from out of state always get a big kick out of that.
Tell us your latest news?
Traveller has been doing quite well, and I’ve been busy. I teach a writing class to children once a week, and I’m going to attend several book signings in the next few months. It’s been a fun, whirlwind of a time.
When and why did you begin writing?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing – or reading. I’ve always been addicted to the written word, and I never go anywhere without a book (or a Kindle) in my hand.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always been a writer, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I had the opportunity to do it full time. I began by entering (and winning) contests, which boosted my confidence. I became a bit addicted to those certificates. I never won any actual prizes, but those certificates meant a lot to me.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I just wanted to see if I could do it. I knew I could write, but completing a book is something very different. Many good writers try and fail. I know lots of really talented people who just can’t seem to make it past the first chapter. I took an online creative writing class, and something the instructor said really resonated with me. She said, “Write forward.” This enabled me to ignore the (many) imperfections in my manuscript and write and write and write until the story was done. Editing is the time to go back and fix everything. Drafting should be a wild roller coaster ride of creative abandon – or at least that’s how I roll!
Do you have a specific writing style?
Most of my books tend to be in first person. That feels more intimate to me and allows me to immerse myself more in the character. Most of my books are romances, with a certain element of magic or humor.
How did you come up with the title?
Traveller is the term used to describe an ethnic group of gypsies known as the Irish Travellers. My character, Michael Nightingale, is part of this group, although the Travellers in my book are a little different from real life Travellers. They have special powers and fight monsters.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Don’t judge a person based on how they look. They could have talents that aren’t apparent, and they might be fighting battles you know nothing about.
How much of the book is realistic?
I tried to incorporate certain elements of real Traveller culture into the book. Obviously real Travellers don’t fight monsters, but they do face a great deal of prejudice and live on the fringes of society.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My main character Emerson is from Bowling Green, Kentucky. I lived there myself for a while, and enjoyed the dialect and the warmth of southern culture. I also had a neighbor, Miss Blanche, who insisted I call her Grandma Sugar and taught me to appreciate sweet tea and chess pie.
What books have most influenced your life most?
As I child, I spent every single Saturday at our local library. I started with an obsession with Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Madeleine L’Engle. Then I discovered Stephen King (I was ten!!) and at the same time got addicted to the romance novels of Barbara Cartland. That probably explains a lot. I grew up loving a mix of horror and sweet romance.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I belong to the Pittsburgh chapter of Romance Writers of America. It’s called Three Rivers Romance Writers. Those ladies are my support group, and also my teachers. We meet once a month for a meeting and a workshop. The education I get there, as well as the camaraderie, is priceless.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished The Line, by J.D. Horn. It’s a fabulous story about a family of witches in Savannah. I’ll be in Savannah for the first time in August for an event called Authors After Dark. I can’t wait to explore all the places mentioned in the book.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I just downloaded The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert. It sounds like the perfect romantic read, and it also reminds me just a bit of the movie You’ve Got Mail, which I adore.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on several other projects at the moment. My contemporary romance, The Enchanted Garden Café, is being considered by several publishing houses, and I just finished books one and two of a new adult series that I plan to self publish.
What would you like my readers to know?
If a story touches you, or makes you laugh, or makes you cry, let the author know. It means the world to me when people send me little notes on Facebook or Twitter just to let me know how much they enjoyed my book. I do a little happy dance every single time. It’s not pretty, but it’s genuine!
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