February 22, 2013

Romantic Thriller: Byzantine Gold @BookstoGoNow #RLFblog

Byzantine Gold
Chris Karlsen, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Byzantine Gold.
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Cover artist: Elaina Lee from For the Muse Design
Length: 72K words
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: A Turkish agent and an American archaeologist find themselves in the crosshairs of dangerous enemies in this undersea thriller.
A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons.
Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal--seeing them both dead.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Charlotte Dashiell, 30, nautical archaeologist
Atakan Vadim, 38, agent for the Turkish Ministry of Culture.
Maksym Tischenko, 40, contract killer.


Charlotte answered on the fourth ring. Caller I.D. showed “restricted.”
“They are called, Angelique tulips. You admired them in the hospital garden in Paris.”
Charlotte froze, holding her breath as she listened to the nightmare voice, remembering how his Eastern European accent rounded certain sounds and how he stressed the last syllables in his words. Called became cawl-d.
“Everything in time,” he said and hung up.
Charlotte dropped the phone on the table. She turned to Atakan.
The shock must’ve shown on her face. “What is wrong?”
“That was Tischenko,” she said, finding her voice. “The flowers are from him. He was watching me in Paris when I was at the hospital. He--”
Atakan didn’t wait for her to finish. He rushed into the living room, grabbed his gun from the bookshelf, and ran out of the apartment.
Charlotte followed as he flew down the four flights of stairs to the street.
“Stop.” Catching up to him on the sidewalk, she hooked his elbow with her hand. Fearful an armed Tischenko hid nearby, she positioned herself in front of Atakan, thinking to shield him. “We can’t stand here. He could be anywhere taking aim at you right now.”
“Go back inside.”
“Not without you.” She tugged on his shirt, pulling him toward their building. “Atakan please, let’s leave. Call the Director.”
Atakan shoved her behind him. Silent, his eyes searched the dark doorways of neighboring apartment buildings and parked cars.
“Atakan please.”
“Get inside.”
She stepped in front of him again. “We stay here together or we leave together.”
An eternity of seconds passed. Neither moved or blinked.
They both jumped and turned at the bellow from the horn of a passing truck. Thankfully, the driver was waving to another coming the opposite direction. He never saw the man in the sling pointing a gun at him.
“Please,” she repeated.
Atakan nodded. He stopped at the building’s entry door and took a last look, surveying the street. “He moves us around like pawns in a private game.”
Golden Chariot


What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I allocate time for promotion work and I start asking for reviews as soon as I can.
What websites do you visit daily?
The Animal Rescue Site and the Rainforest Site, I click on the pages. For every click a bowl of food goes to a shelter animal and every click goes to purchase rainforest land at risk. It’s free to the person who clicks as corporate sponsors and/or private contributors take care of the costs.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
When a reader tells me they felt like they were there, in a scene, with one of my characters or when they say they felt part of the setting from the narrative description.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
Tough call but I think (if you mean another author) it would be either Bernard Cornwell or John Sandford. I have several favorite authors but they combine setting with action remarkably well.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Start writing now. Don’t wait.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
It’s pretty good. I do allocate time every day if I can to write, generally the afternoons. I don’t set page goals and don’t allow myself to not write because I’m “blocked.”
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
Before I became a writer I was car rental agent, a receptionist in a law firm, a switchboard operator, a grocery clerk and a police officer.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend Golden Chariot or Byzantine Gold. They are romantic thrillers and the romance is the subplot rather than the main plot. I think it’s a nice way to introduce someone to romance and the thriller aspect has wider appeal.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read historical fiction, like Bernard Cornwell’s books, Mike Connelly, John Sandford and Joe Wambaugh’s cop books, Julia Quinn’s historical romances along with Julie Anne Long and Deanna Raybourn. I also like Stephen Coonts’ thrillers.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
A couple pair of shoes as I wear a 10 and can’t always find that size abroad. Toothbrush, toothpaste, some other toiletries and my makeup so I look halfway decent when I arrive. Kindle and/or Nook, tablet for emails, and my iPod with my music. A couple of changes of clothes.
I’d go to Bodrum, Turkey, where I can lounge by the Aegean Sea and enjoy the sidewalk cafes at night.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Driving around England and Scotland is a fave. I love it there. I love there’s so much history and castles, and picturesque villages, and nice people. I can never see all I want in a visit.
What good book have you read recently?
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell and I’m currently enjoying Mad River by John Sandford.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
Watching a Castle rerun. Dull I know.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Stana Katic
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Bright Copper
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with pepperoni, sausage and onions.
I'm always ready for a glass of champagne.
When I'm alone, I listen to music and read.
You'd never be able to tell, but I’m not at all talkative at parties where I don’t know many people.
If I had a halo it would be ornate like Byzantine jewelry.
If I could get the courage I'd take a hot air balloon over part of Turkey.
I can never dive because I cannot manage to clear my mask properly.

Previous Books

Heroes Live Forever
Journey in Time
Chris Karlsen
Golden Chariot

Books Coming Soon

Knight Blindness


Commenters will have a chance to win an ebook copy of Golden Chariot.

Find Me Here


  1. Hello to Everyone,
    I'd like to thank Kayelle for inviting me today and for the opportunity to discuss my new book. I look forward to talking with her followers.
    Chris Karlsen

    1. Happy to have you here Chris. Your books look inviting!

  2. Great interview Chris. I can't wait for Knight Blindness to come out.

  3. Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for coming by. I am writing the last chapters of Knight Blindness now and hope to finish within a week or so (this draft anyway). Then, I'll take a breather before starting rewrites.
    Chris K.

  4. Great interview... I'm looking forward to those Knights too...

    1. Hi Felicm,
      Knights in Time is another series. It's a paranormal romance series involving time travel. I hope to have the third book, Knight Blindness out by late spring or early summer.
      Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

  5. Thank you to the masquerade crew for Tweeting about Byzantine Gold. I appreciate the mention:)
    Chris K.

  6. Would Felicm please email either me or Kayelle. You won the ecopy of Golden Chariot and I need your email and where to gift, either for Kindle or Nook etc.

    My email: chriskarlsenwriter@gmail.co
    Kayelles: kayelle.allen@yahoo.com


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