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What's a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a B.A. in English and French doing writing a medieval romance with a unique, even paranormal element? She's having the time of her life, if you ask multi-talented Michigan author Shelly Thacker.
TIMELESS (available on February 14, 1998) is Shelly's eighth book, but it coincides with a lot of exciting firsts for her: a first book for Dell, her first lead title, even her first stepback cover (created by no less than her favorite artist, Victor Gadino). As Shelly says: "I have never had a more stunning piece of beefcake...um....artwork grace one of my books." Doubleday Book Club has also chosen TIMELESS as one of its Alternative Selections, another first for Shelly.
"TIMELESS," she says, "is a sexy captive/captor romance with a twist of Brigadoon. The heroine is Lady Avril de Varennes, who readers may remember as the feisty, widowed sister-in-law of Gaston from Forever His. [In TIMELESS] Avril is abducted from a trade fair by a Viking warrior who sweeps her away to an enchanted island paradise that's been kept secret for hundreds of years. She marries her captor, Hauk Valbrand, against her will and he turns out to be more than he seems. He's not your average Viking warrior! He's keeping a deep, dark secret that I'll give you a hint about: if you're a "Highlander" fan like I am, then this is the book for you."
"One thing I want to emphasize is that TIMELESS is not a time travel. Some of my readers are getting confused by the title. [But] I'm happy writing historicals right now, though someday I hope to spread my wings and write a futuristic novel."
Hot on the heels of TIMELESS comes a real change for Shelly: her first Western! After a number of years abroad, fictionally speaking, she's finally coming home to America. This tale is about a shady lady on the lam and the U.S. Marshall who tracks her down in Colorado. (She just happens to have killed his brother-not an easy thing for a man to forgive.)
Of the Western, Shelly says: "I don't have a working title yet, but this book is a real change of pace for me-both in terms of setting and theme-and I'm really enjoying it. I think variety is essential to staying creative and staying challenged-and to keeping readers entertained.
"I get bored easily," Shelly admits, "so I like to do something different every time. I'll bounce around from a fast-paced medieval adventure to a very dark, psychological character study that's set in Georgian England and then over to a sexy swashbuckler."
Writing a novel takes Shelly an average of ten months. "That allows me to have a life. A couple of years ago, I did two books back-to-back-about six months each-and vowed never to do it again. It meant working days, nights, weekends. And I started to resent my own books. For the first time in my life, I hated writing and came dangerously close to burn-out. Ambition and success can be a double-edged sword. Up until [that point], I was willing to do anything asked of me, give up anything in order to become a best-selling author. But not anymore. I'm not a best-seller yet, but I'm a very happy one-book-a-year author."
With all of the firsts going on in her life, Shelly recently celebrated another one-in cyberspace. She and her computer-savvy husband, Mark, designed an official website for her.
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