Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.
Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page.
New roles. New rules. No margin for error.
Zezilia Ilar joins the sept son’s entourage as a defender. Her growing Talent ability makes her a target for the Elitists, and her gender makes people question her competence. She must protect the sept son. Any mistake could be fatal.
Hadrian Aleron always knew his beliefs would cause trouble, but he didn’t realize how much. Rebels are rising. He could lose his title, his position, and if he’s not careful, his life. As the assassination attempts grow bolder, Hadrian must rely upon his young defender and their shared faith in the Almighty to keep him from faltering.
Accusing eyes and a wave of hatred and confusion followed us out the doors of the dining hall. I wanted to put up a stronger shield around Hadrian, but no amount of energy was going to block out the spite behind us. It helped that Hadrian was leading us down the corridor at a pace that kept me trotting to keep up. The farther we were away from that crowd, the better.
“Where may I have an hour in private?” Hadrian sent. I was so distracted by the emotion behind us that for a moment I thought he was asking me. Then my brother replied.
Taking a sharp left, Hadrian flung open the next set of double doors and swept into one of the side rooms off the main corridor. With quick orders from Renato, two defenders took up stations on either side of the doors while the remaining four followed us into the room and closed the doors behind us.
“Guard the windows from the outside,” Renato ordered. I heard them obey, but I didn’t see them because my attention was taken up with watching Hadrian.
He had crossed directly to the far wall of the room and sagged against it. His wide shoulders sloped and his head fell forward as though it was too heavy for him to lift. This alone would have concerned me, but the storm of pain, fear, anger, and frustration that warred within him was what tore a cry of help to the Almighty from my heart.
Almighty, help him. Give me wisdom. What can I do to ease his pain? Please, God, give him peace.
“Hadrian?” Renato’s panicked query brought Hadrian eyes to him. “You didn’t eat any of the fruit, right? Do you need a healer?” My brother stepped forward into the sept son’s personal space. “What is wrong?”
Hadrian raised a hand wearily and pushed him back. “I am fine, Renato. Now go fetch Korneli. I have time for him now.”
“Answer my question first.”
Hadrian merely shook his head. “No, I didn’t eat. I am not going to die, Renato. At least, not at this moment. Now go.”
Nodding, Renato turned to me. “Come. Korneli is…”
“No, she stays here.” Both of us turned to regard the sept son. Hadrian had not moved.
“But, Master, you said I was to never leave you and her alone.”
“Send in Plantonio when you leave. He will act as witness. Now go get Korneli before I throw you out.”
“Yes, Master.” Executing a sharp salute, he walked toward the door, sending me a warning look as he passed.
Hadrian did not move as Plantonio appeared, saluted, and then took station near the door. I watched Hadrian carefully, monitoring the emotions that kept flaring from him. Without the life of his dark eyes, his face appeared years older than I knew him to be. Feathered lines radiated from his closed eyes and deep crevices bracketed his mouth. The dark circles under his eyes spoke of hours of lost sleep. A flare of anger distracted me from his face for a moment as I stepped back from the intensity. His eyes flew open and immediately focused on my face.
“How did you know?” he asked. Slowly lifting his head and straightening, he crossed to the nearest chair and sank into it.
“How did you know it was poisoned?”
“He intended to kill you.”
“But how did you know? Did you read his thoughts?”
Fear flooded through me. The servant hadn’t been a Talent. To read his thoughts would be worthy of grave punishment. “No, he was projecting the emotions of a man afraid of getting caught. When I saw him exchange the dishes, I knew why.”
He closed his eyes and laid his head against the chair back. Pain washed over me as his forehead tightened.
“Headache?” I asked before thinking.
He smiled bitterly. “The cost of stress and tension.”
“Where does it hurt?”
He sighed wearily. “Are you sure you want details?” He opened one dark brown eye and squinted at me.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
Hadrian closed his eye. “Yes. Come and sit in the chair across from me, so I don’t have to keep looking up at you.”
I quickly moved to obey, carefully stepping over his sprawled legs to reach the chair. “Does this often happen, Sept Son?”
“What?” He lifted a hand to massage his forehead. “The headaches?”
“No, the attempts on your life.”
“More often than I would like. I haven’t had this close a brush in a while.”
“Who wants you dead?”
He looked at me from beneath the shade of his hand. “The better question is who doesn’t want me dead, Zez. The mesitas, half the kings, and most of the worshipers of the goddess wish me out of the picture permanently.”
I didn’t know what to say. I knew without a doubt that my father was one of the group that wished Hadrian ill. What words does one offer a man who has recently faced death?
“I don’t hold it against you, Zez. Your father’s position has not affected my trust in you or Renato. In fact, Renato’s closeness to me has limited some of the attacks because Ilar doesn’t want to harm his son.” He paused for a few moments. “I am sorry to bring you into the midst of this. This isn’t the place for you.”
I shook my head. He was wrong. “This is where I am supposed to be. If I hadn’t been here, the Almighty wouldn’t have used me to prevent your death.” I shuddered slightly at the thought. “I am the most qualified in many ways, and you are going to teach me so that I can grow even more skilled. He has a purpose for me here.”
He laughed softly. “I can’t argue with that. His purpose is the only thing that keeps me here. Though, I fear at times, Zez, that I am not going to survive this. Each time I face my mortality, I wonder what the Almighty has in store. All it would take is one moment when He decides not to show me grace and stop the assassin’s hand. One time and all I have worked for would be gone.”
“He has promised that what He has purposed will come to pass.” I quoted one of my favorite passages of the Revelation to him. “I shall pray that He will continue to spare you.”
Lowering his hand, Hadrian looked at me and smiled slowly. “Thank you, Zez. Your prayers will guard my soul while your Talent will guard my body. I will do the same for you and, Almighty willing, we shall survive. If not, at least we shall be at peace.” Then he quoted another favorite passage of mine. It spoke of the instantaneous transformation at death when a believer steps from his own body into the presence of the Almighty.
JACK NANUQ currently makes his living as a Private Investigator; hence the nom de guere (and no profile photo). Prior this occupation he lived the nine lives of a cat. He has been a teacher, police officer, park ranger, equipment operator, freight handler and even a ranch hand.
He has lived and worked in Egypt, Alaska, Oregon and New York (the State, not the City). He has snorkeled in the Red Sea. Slept on the Nile River and under the Northern Lights (but not at the same time). Walked among grizzlies, ridden his bike under the midnight sun, climbed Mt St Helens, and even jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.
He and his wife currently live on a small farm near Albany, NY. They share this property with three dogs, three cats, a handful of chickens and two peacocks. He enjoys, outdoor activities, writing, Tae Kwon Do and teaching self-defense.
How does a POW become a spy? And why? And what the hell is a GALCO? These are only a few of the questions Carson Nowak needs answers to.
Carson Nowak is a CIA contractor like none you’ve ever met before. Shortly after George W Bush is elected president Carson is tasked with retrieving a trunk load of documents. The order comes not from the Agency or even the President; but a higher authority, his Nana. In addition to the documents the trunk contains a war relic that is tied to a mysterious death just before D-Day. Tracing the provenance behind this relic triggers a chain of events that not only unlocks Carson’s family history but garners the interest of a South American hit squad. Carson must navigate the challenges of protecting his family, maintaining his business, ensuring the safety of a refugee developing a revolutionary weapons system, and deal with an infuriating curmudgeon. Along the way he falls in love. To navigate these challenges he must enlist the help of a pencil-thin code breaker, a claustrophobic corpsman and a Haitian nurse.
The trunk was packed full of ledgers and notebooks. On top was a lumpy leather bundle.
Nana pointed to the oddity and said “Table.” She then took a seat in an old wooden chair.
He picked up the package. It was heavy and metallic. A wrench maybe, he thought as he set the bundle down on the kitchen table.
She unwrapped the mystery package. It contained a C-96 Mauser broom-handle pistol and a silver cigarette case. She slid the gun toward Carson. “Careful, iz loaded.” She said it with the nonchalance of a counter guy at McDonalds.
Nana then picked up the other item. With trembling hands she popped it open. Inside was a black and white photo of a German soldier, in front of a sidecar motorcycle. She handed the photo to Carson. Except for the eye patch, the man in uniform could have been Carson’s twin.
Kelly Nelson graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree. She worked in public accounting for four years before starting a horse-boarding business so she could be more involved in raising her family. As an avid book lover, she later decided to pursue a career in writing. Her published works include The Keeper’s Saga, a young adult fiction series, Love’s Deception, an LDS romance, and The Woman with No Name. Her newest novel was selected as a finalist in the romance category for the 2018 writing contest of the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. She resides Cornelius, Oregon with her husband, four children, and a herd of horses.
Losing her memory might lead to finding happily ever after.
Sworn bachelor Colton Murdock gets more than he bargained for on the elk hunt when he finds an injured woman in Utah’s high country. She must have a history, but she wakes up to towering pines and the clap of a thunderstorm with no recollection of her name or how she came to be there. Colt brings her to the safety of his camp, trying to ignore the first stirrings of his heart since the tragic death of his fiancée six years ago.
The young woman can’t help falling for her ruggedly handsome rescuer, who calls her Skye for her blue eyes. But her life goes into a tailspin when she is recognized as Lily Vanasche, fiancée of a popular TV news anchorman, and Colt is arrested for a series of crimes—including her abduction. After the real kidnapper leaves a death threat in Lily’s ransacked house, the clock starts ticking. Can she remember her past before it catches up with her?
Praise for The Woman with No Name:
Kelly Nelson writes sweet romance that tugs at your heartstrings. —Susan Hatler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
Q&A With the Author:
1. Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
Horses are a life-long love of mine. There’s nothing that rejuvenates me more than cantering through the nut orchard, feeling the rocking cadence of my horse’s gait. Also, I can never get enough of traveling the world, though the horses make it difficult to leave home sometimes. But when I just need to unwind, nothing beats dark chocolate and a good romance novel.
2. When did you first realize you were an author?
I started my first book when I was 15, then began another about a decade later, but I didn’t consider myself a true author until 2009 when I wrote a time-travel trilogy The Keeper’s Saga.
3. Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Hoping to inspire one of my kids who was going through a tough time, I wrote a parable titled The Lost One. Over the years, I have shared the story with many people. Seeing their positive response encourages me to keep writing.
4. What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
I love the writing and creating aspects of being an author. It is some of the publishing facets of the business that pose a struggle. I am looking for a larger publisher for my current projects, so it is a little like starting over at square one. That can feel really discouraging at times.
5. What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
Hope and a sense of adventure. Hope that despite what happened in the past or where you are now, there is always hope for the future. A couple of years ago I had this epiphany: Today’s heartache and tragedy should not define our future, but should be the prologue for tomorrow’s happily ever after.
I want to inspire a sense of adventure and immerse readers in another world. Author Anne Perry once said, “We get to live only one life, but by reading well we can experience many.” That is my goal. Help readers experience different lives through the characters in my books.
6. Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
To some extent, always! Though usually the real-life part is small enough that only I see the connection and know about it. As an author, all of my experiences impact my writing. In 2010, my husband drew an elk tag for a premier unit in Utah. I joined him in elk camp for two days, inspiring the characters and backdrop for The Woman with No Name.
My sister’s husband served in the Air Force and completed multiple tours to Afghanistan, inspiring one of the characters in Love’s Deception. The main character boards horses and her love interest is a CPA. Since I have worked in both of those professions, I drew on my personal experiences to write many of the scenes.
7. What are your future projects?
I have two projects in the works:
An Inconvenient Marriage
The terms governing Amelia Grayson’s trust fund propel her into an unlikely match in this modern-day marriage of convenience. Montana cowboy Garrett Strong, wants nothing to do with marriage after his first attempt failed, while Amelia’s eccentrically old-fashioned grandmother insists her granddaughter be married before she sees a cent of her trust fund money. Garrett and Amelia bid against each other for the Double J Ranch, but for completely opposite reasons. When it appears neither of them will secure a contract to buy the ranch, a marriage of convenience might be the only solution. After a private investigator digs up secrets from Garrett’s past and a land-hungry cattle company willing to bend the law sets its sights on the Double J, will their fragile relationship shatter or can they build a foundation that will last the test of time?
Selected as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association contest for the romance category, this will soon be pitched to literary agents and editors.
After commoner Dade Hawkes rescues Greer’s lost princess, he doesn’t expect to see her again, but a mysterious summons from the king changes that. Princess Tessalyn of Greer knows her duty. Getting married off in a political ploy is a risk she had no choice but to accept the moment she took her first breath. However, she never thought feelings toward a commoner would get in her way. When a forbidden attraction becomes an impossible situation, Tessalyn must escape her betrothal or spend a lifetime married to the brother of the man she loves. The fates meddle with their futures as ancient secrets catch up to the royal families of Greer and Nebani in this fantasy adventure.
This YA trilogy needs a literary agent and a publisher.