Message From The Author
Mistress of Her Destiny
BRENDA JOYCE LEAPS INTO THE PARANORMAL WITH HER MASTERS
By Michele Bardsley
"It's my ultimate fantasy to be flung back
in time to the Middle Ages and to find my romantic destiny there," admits historical romance writer Brenda Joyce.
But instead of doing her own time-traveling, the author flings her contemporary heroines into the Middle Ages -- and into the muscular arms of hunky Highlanders with supernatural powers -- in her new series,
The Masters of Time.
The award-winning author has written some three dozen novels using either historical or contemporary settings, so why switch
to stories with otherworldly elements? "Getting into the paranormal market was a no-brainer," says Joyce. "I get to write
the harder-edged stories I am known for, with no rules."
After much soul-searching, Joyce, the winner of a Romantic Times' Lifetime Achievement
Award, realized she no longer
wanted to write Regencies. "It's
too limiting, and I can't do the heroes I want to do. I love the genre, but today's historical romance market is butter soft, watered down and politically correct."
But she didn't want to give up writing tough, take-no-prisoners historical men. "A medieval hero has to be alpha and macho -- he is a product of a harsh, violent, bygone time," she explains. "And there is no love story like that of a brave, feisty woman confronting that kind of male power, and not only surviving it, but turning lust into love."
To chart this new course in her career, Joyce researched bestselling paranormal novels and examined current trends. She decided to set the stories in the Highlands and "to create a compelling, dangerous and dark paranormal world."
It took only a month for Joyce to develop the entire concept for The Masters of Time and to complete the first book proposal. In her carefully constructed mythology, the "Ancients" feared that evil was overtaking mankind, so they sent a goddess to several great chiefs and created a race of warriors.
"The powers vary from Master to Master, depending on how many generations are between each hero and his goddess ancestor," says Joyce. "These guys have telepathy and huge kinetic abilities. They leap time, they have super strength, super stamina and super virility."
The first book, Dark Seduction (May, HQN), introduces readers to novice Master Malcolm of Dunroch and New York bookseller Claire Camden. Malcolm is looking for the "healing" page from the Cladich, an ancient and holy book, but he ends up rescuing his "Innocent," the one woman he's meant
"Can you imagine the mental, moral, emotional and psychological conflict between a well-educated New York City bookseller and
a medieval Highlander?" asks Joyce. "The Masters are a race of men like no other, put on Earth strictly to protect innocence through the ages, and along comes a smart, sexy modern woman whom they instantly want and are sworn to protect."
The Masters aren't the only ones combatting dark forces. In modern times, the Center for Demonic Activities is a secret government agency dedicated to fighting evil. "Their agents are as dedicated to the cause as the Masters," says Joyce. "Some of them have extraordinary powers of their own."
The next novel in the series, Dark Rival, hits bookstores in October. In it, Black Royce, the Earl of Movern and soldier of the gods, is paired with Allison Monroe, who has the extraordinary ability to heal.
"Dark Seduction and Dark Rival are my best work recently, and I had a blast writing these stories. I cannot wait to start the next novel in The Masters of Time," says Joyce. "After 19 years,
I still get high writing -- every single day! I love what I do."
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