Message From The Author

Gerri Russell

Book Title: THE WARRIOR TRAINER
Genre: Medieval, Scotland, Historical Romance

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Author's Message

Meet Scotia

AMERICAN TITLE II WINNER GERRI RUSSELL'S HEROINE OF THE WARRIOR TRAINER

Gerri Russell's heroine in The Warrior Trainer first came to her in an improbable way -- at a Cub Scout meeting in Seattle that Russell attended nine years ago with her two sons, her husband and her fearless then-6-year-old daughter. "There was a demonstration by the Seattle Knights, and she was the only person that would go up front and try on the armor. Of all the boys, she was the only person!" Russell marvels.

When one of the Knights spoke about Scotia, the ancient real-life warrior queen known as the mother of Scotland, Russell was intrigued. "It planted the seed, but
I didn't do anything with it for a long time," she says.

A history buff from an early age, Russell had been writing stories set in the past since the age of 9. "All of my stories were historically based and I don't know why," she laughs. "I've always loved history, particularly the people of history and most particularly,
the women.

"Warrior women have been around as long as women have protected their families," Russell continues. "You can find them in just about any area of history." But Scotia captured her attention. "She really was a warrior, really was trained in martial arts and really taught the men how to battle," the author says.

The Scotia in The Warrior Trainer (out this month from Dorchester's Leisure imprint) does all that -- and
she gets the guy. Russell says she started getting fan mail based on Scotia after round two of last year's American Title contest, sponsored by Dorchester Publishing and Romantic Times BOOKreviews.

When The Warrior Trainer won the competition, Russell's strong heroine found another advocate in the book's editor, Leah Hultenschmidt. "Scotia completely knows how to handle herself in battle. She's more capable of protecting her people than any man because she's so focused and skilled," Hultenschmidt
says. "Yet despite that -- or maybe because of it -- she's also incredibly vulnerable emotionally."

Russell says she got a lot of support from her co-contestants in American Title II. "Warrior women are stronger when they bond together, and that's what we have done," she says of the group, which she likens to "a little clan." (They blog together at TitleWave.Blogspot.com.)

Winning the contest was just the beginning for Russell. "The Warrior Trainer is the first in a three-book series called the Stone of Destiny series, because each book features a stone of importance in Scottish history," she says. Russell is finishing book three, featuring Fiona the Fighter, and she reports that Dorchester has purchased book two, Warrior's Bride, about Isobel the Survivor.


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