Message From The Author

Author's Message

20th Anniversary of Bertrice Smalls Skye OMalley

20 Reasons to Celebrate Skye OMalley

By Cindy Schwalb

That larger-than-life lassie, Skye OMalley, first took readers by storm in October 1980, quickly topping all the major book lists. Skyes indomitable spirit marked her as a new kind of heroine. Now, twenty years later, this legendary heroineand her offspringare permanent fixtures in bookstores. Skye OMalleys 20th anniversary in print signifies a kind of phenomenon that authors and publishers cant plan for, or even predict. I was absolutely astounded by how readers took Skye to heart, Bertrice recalls of the characters fast-rising popularity and multitude of fan letters. But then again, Bertrice was one of Nancy Coffeys Avon ladies and considered herself a historian first and romance author second. She authentically manipulated Skye through the best and worst the 16th century could offer a woman while creating a character to overcome the century itself. Her authenticity also validated the books aggressive sex scenes, which heightenedand justifiedtheir appeal to many readers.

Still no one expected Skye OMalleythe character or the bookto take on the momentum that led to a sequel, followed by an entire series thats still progressing today. Bertrice was pleasantly unprepared for the aftermath. I dont think anyone did series in those days; it never occured to me. We were so thrilled just to be working in the genre. Also, by the end of book one it seemed that Skye had already done it allbut Nancy asked Bertrice if she could write a sequel. After all, this was Skye OMalley; she could handle anything Bertrice could dish out. After the publication of the second Skye book, All the Sweet Tomorrows, there was no question that this heroine outdid all others

1 The Model Heroine Shes all the woman you would be if you only dared. Ballantine Books

2 A New York Times Favorite Skye OMalley earned Bertrice Small her first bestseller (spending 12 whopping weeks on the New York Times list). It was also her first book in trade paperback format. And readers catapulted Skye into the longest running American historical romance series.*

3 Triumphs Over Adversity Shes a woman who when adversity strikes sometimes has a cry (sometimes not), but she always gets up. I think we all want to do that. Bertrice Small

4 A Grand Matriarch In 1555 Skye begins her adventures at fifteen years old. She has six husbands, four living sons (one died), and three daughters: Ewan, Murrough, Willow, Robin, Deidre, Patric, and Velvet who in turn give her a total of 49 grandchildren, 158 great-grandchildren, 302 great-great-grandchildren, and 27 great-great-greats as of the summer 1663.

5 Most Desirable Widow Husbands: vicious brute Dom OFlaherty, Master of Ballyhenessey; tender Algerian whoremaster schooled in the art of love, Khalid el Bey; the dashing blond Geoffrey, Earl of Lynmouth, a supreme seducer; Niall Burke, her first love who demanded her virginity many years before; Fabon de Beaumont, the duc de Beaumont, a marriage by the Queens decree; solid, stable Adam de Marisco, Earl of Lundy.

6 Unsurmountable Passion Its not just the passion and the sensuality that run high in the Skye OMalley series but Skyes passion for living life to the fullest, in bed and out. Kathe Robin

7 Overcomes Her Time Period Skye is strong and intelligent, which allows her to live beyond what that society dictated for their women. Reader from Ocala, Fl

8 Her Way With Words Da did me a great service in wedding me to Dom. Not only have I gained a lecher for a husband, I also have one for
a father-in-law. My husbands sister is a common bitch not averse to stealing my possessionsMy new home is in a shocking state of disrepair, and despite the fine dowry Da gave me, no money can be found to put it to rights. In short, I am the mistress of a dung heap peopled by a vain and randy old cock, a vain and randy young cock, and a flighty hen.

9 Brings History To Life Through Bertrice Smalls historical expertise, the pages of Skye OMalley bring readers back to 16th century England, Ireland, Scotland, and Algiers. She accurately reconstructs daily life, customs and culture; politics and business; weather, clothing, and food.

10 Titillates The Senses Your senses operate full speed ahead. You can feel, smell and see everything as if you were there. Reader, Tampa, FL

11 A Woman of Many Talents A pirate on the high seas, business woman, Countess, diplomat, mother, wifeSkye triumphs in any role she is cast in, simply by accepting new challenges and by refusing to change herself.

12 Worthy of Any Challenge Within the pages of Skye I was introduced to a heroine who was worthy of any challenge, tough enough to handle any hero and still laugh at the world when it was time to move on to the next victim. Reader from Illinois

13 She Has The Midas Touch Resurrecting the estates Ballyhenessy by intelligence and determination, running her fathers shipping fleet, financing trading vessels with Sir Robert SmallSkye earned her own fortune.

14 An Inspiration to Women She made me believe that a woman could do anything she sets her mind to. Reader, Rochester, MN

15 Strength of Character Her strength of character and resolve proved to me that no matter what happens in life you can overcome it and become a stronger person in the process. Ticia Miller, www.TheWorldofBertrice

16 Lives Up to Her Historic Namesake Skye OMalley was originally modeled after a real Irish woman pirate, who ruled the Celtic seas during the 1600s. Grace OMalley, the Pirate Queen of Connaught, did not experience enough passion and adventure for a romance novel of her own, but she was an incredible woman in history and earns an adventure in All the Sweet Tomorrows.

17 Lives Out Readers Fantasies Bertrice Small is truly lusts leading lady and Skye OMalley, her star pupil. Together they engage a womans deepest fantasieswhich is why they will have millions of fans, forever after. Kathryn Falk

18 Strong Values & Beliefs With a libido the size of Texas, enough money for a country of her own, and mesmerizing beautySkye never loses sight of what really matters. Of her royal rival, Skye comments, until Bess Tudor has a husband and loyal friends like mine, she has nothing of value at all. I pity her.

19 Raised Extraordinary Children In the OMalley Saga, Skyes adventures conclude in All the Sweet Tomorrows, then she takes a back seat to her childrens tales in Love for All Times, This Heart of Mine, Lost Love Found, and Wild Jasmine (the title refers to Skyes favorite granddaughter).

20 Skyes Legacy Lives On The second fantastic series explores the adventures of Jasmines daughters and the Leslie family with: Darling Jasmine (concludes Jasmines story), Bedazzled, Besieged, Intrigued (out Feb. 01). The final two books will be published by the year 2003. But can Skyes Legacy ever truly end?

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