Message From The Author

Author's Message

Dear Reader,

BESIEGED is book III in my Skyes Legacy series. Its a rather timely book for the year 2000 as much of it takes place in Ulster, which we Americans know as Northern Ireland. Lady Fortune Lindley is to be given her mothers great Ulster estate, Maguires Ford, as a dowry on the condition she marry a Protestant. It seems simple enough, and Fortune, the practical daughter, is most willing. She is ready to settle down with a husband, and have children to
raise. Maguires Ford is an ideal place in which to do just that. It is a unique village in which the original Roman Catholic inhabitants co-exist with a group of Protestant newcomers. Pockets of peace and co-habitation have survived in Ulster for centuries despite bigotry and ignorance.

Raised to be tolerant of others, Fortune is appalled that her neighbors can hate so violently based on nothing more than religion and clan ties. Meeting her prospective husband, she finds he is handsome, charming, mannerlybut an utter ill-educated fool. She quickly refuses his suit, but it is her attraction to his elder Catholic half-brother that sets off a chain of violence Fortune could never have imagined. Like the ladies before her, however, Fortune will have her way even if it means giving up Maguires Ford, for much to the surprise of her practical nature, she discovers that love is all.

You will meet some wonderful characters in BESIEGED, as well as renew your acquaintance with others you have met
in past books in this series. Ill give you a good, swashbuckling tale, painlessly teach you a bit of history, put you on the edge of your seats, twist when you think Im going to turn, and tie it all up on the last page with a happily-ever-after.

I promise BESIEGED will give you your moneys worth, which considering the price of books today, is a serious promise to make! The cover of BESIEGED is by my talented friend, Elaine Duillo, and, drum roll, please, for the first time since 1995 you will not have to squint or use a magnifying glass to see her wonderful art! Kensington, wise and wonderful people they are, have decided to give us a full front cover! Elaine has painted an incredibly romantic scene of the couple. The first 150 readers who write to me at P.O. Box 765, Southold, NY 11971, and put on the front of their envelope: I LOVE THAT COVER!, will receive an autographed cover flat of BESIEGED.

In late July, Ballantine Books will bring you A MEMORY OF LOVE, which is set in 13th-century Wales, England, and the exotic kingdom of Cinnebar. Watch for my Romantic Times profiles for further details!

And in October, Kensington will bring out its second volume of erotic novellas, this one to be called Fascinated, by that terrific quartet of saucy, audacious, and uninhibited authors: Thea Divine, Susan Johnson, Robin Schone and yours truly. Captivated, our first book together, is still, I am told, selling like the proverbial hotcakes. My contribution to this new grouping will be titled Mastering Lady Lucinda, all about a proud and wealthy young widow who refuses to be forced into a second marriage until she is good and ready, then turns the tables on everyone by her choice of a new mate.

In February 2001, Book IV of Skyes Legacy will be published, followed by a novel from the Ballantine Book Group, not titled yet, and a third volume of novellas. Elaine is already preparing the cover for book IV. As the
Brits say, tis all go at my place!

So for now I wish you all much good reading! And if you should like a change of pace, I absolutely recommend author J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books. Theyre supposed to be for kids, but trust me, a grown up can read and enjoy them. Theyre well written, wonderfully imaginative, and all around good fun. Its the first time in ages Ive sat up all night reading. Kind of took me back to my days at St. Marys School for Girls, and those Friday nights I pinned my curtains shut so Sister Mary Basil couldnt see I hadnt really turned off my light at ten!

God bless you all, and may romantic literature continue to flourish in the 21st century, as it has throughout the ages. With love from your most faithful author,

Bertrice Small

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