March 31, 2013

Character Interview: Charlotte - Byzantine Gold @BookstoGoNow #RLFblog

Byzantine Gold
Chris Karlsen, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Charlotte Dashiell from the book, Byzantine Gold.
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Cover artist: Elaina Lee at 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
Darav Binici, 27, PKK terrorist


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.”

Interview with Charlotte Dashiell

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a nautical archaeologist who recently received my PHD in the subject. While working on my doctorate, I met Atakan. We were dive partners last year on the recovery team of a Bronze Age ship wrecked off the coast of Turkey. I had a controversial theory regarding the Trojan War and hoped the ship carried the proof of that theory.
I come from a family of police officers. My father was a Chicago policeman, my step mother was a policewoman in Chicago and my brother is a SWAT team member for Chicago P.D. My mother is a housewife and remarried to a wealthy businessman.
I currently live in Istanbul with Atakan. Our next project is a Byzantine shipwreck off the coast of Cyprus.
When the dive season ends, I’m employed at a lab in Istanbul where I work on the preservation of artifacts, which includes cleaning, identifying, tagging and cataloging.
Atakan and I share a love of history, like to travel and enjoy skiing and water sports.
Tell us about Atakan Vadim.
He’s also an archaeologist and is an agent for the government. He works in the Ministry of Culture. His job is to oversee the legitimate archaeological sites and make sure the artifacts are processed safely and correctly. Site preservation and safety is part of the job in addition to proper handling of relics. When not in the field, he monitors smuggling operations and persons or groups involved in the illegal sale of artifacts to the Black Market.
He is 38, the consummate professional in his job and very reserved. People tend to see him as always serious and perhaps a bit cold, but to those who know him, we see his humorous side and he does have a wicked sense of humor.
Although we live in Istanbul now, he grew up in the southwestern part of Turkey, in the Izmir area. His mother tends to orchards on their land. His father is retired military. Like me, he’s close to his family but doesn’t get to see them often due to his job and the fact they live several hours away as does his married sister and her family.
He is one of the most honorable men I’ve ever met with an unshakeable code of ethics.
He’s also a pretty darn good cook.
What do you think is your strongest point?
My intelligence.
What would Atakan say is your strongest point?
I imagine he’s likely to say my love for him. I’d agree with that, but I suspect, knowing how reserved he is, he’ll say my determination.
What would Atakan say is your biggest weakness?
I’m too secretive at times.
What was it like where you grew up?
I grew up in Chicago on the northwest side. I love that city. It has everything: great restaurants, theatre, fabulous museums, fun to watch sports teams, friendly people, and the best skyline anywhere.
When my parents were still married, we lived in a brick bungalow typical for Chicago in a lovely neighborhood with nice lawns and good sidewalks for riding our bikes. We had a smallish fenced backyard with a fancy BBQ because my dad liked to grill and a colorful flower bed for my mom. We always had dogs adopted from the shelter. The smaller ones slept with me, the bigger ones slept with my brother, Nick.
My parents divorced when I was a teenager. Then, I split time between my dad’s house in the city and my mom and step father’s in the suburbs.
What do you wish was different about your life?
I’m pretty happy but if I had to change one thing, it would be for Atakan’s mother to like me.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
I think this is where I should say world peace but I’m going to wish for an end to the extinction of animals everywhere and an end to the slaughter of elephants and rhinos etc. for their ivory and horns.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
Home--our place in Istanbul. We have a covered, half-moon shaped patio with a view of the Bosphorus. When the weather is warm, we like to sit there with a glass of wine and watch the ferries cross the Strait. Some of the private boats coming and going are stunning to see. They’re sleek and elegant as they skim along the water. You’d think working wrecks I’d get my fill of looking out over water but I don’t. I love the sea.

About the Author

Chris Karlsen
I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.
My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.
I’m close to finishing the first draft of book 3 in my Knights in Time series. After that, I hope to start book 3 in my Dangerous Waters series, which the series Golden Chariot and Byzantine Gold are from.


The history of what place intrigues you as a reader?

Answer this question for Chris, and win a download of Golden Chariot, the prequel to Byzantine Gold. You can email Chris directly at chriskarlsenwriterATgmailDOTcom or leave a comment and your email on the blog. She will contact the winner personally.

Previous Books

Heroes Live Forever (book 1 in Knights in Time series)
Journey in Time (book 2 in Knights in Time series)
Golden Chariot (book 1 in Dangerous Waters series)

Books Coming Soon

Knight Blindness (Knights in Time series)

Find Me Here

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kayelle,
    Thank you for giving my heroine, Charlotte, a chance to talk about herself and her relationship with the man she loves, Atakan.

    I'd love to hear from readers on their thoughts of intriguing places or historical events even.


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