Robyn DeHart (Author - 'Treasure Me')
In 'Treasure Me', Robyn DeHart pairs up a bluestocking and a spy in the third Legend Hunters Victorian romance (after 'Desire Me' and 'Seduce Me').
When scholarly Vanessa Pembrooke travels to Loch Ness to hunt fossils, she accidentally marries Graeme Langford, one of the secretive "Legend Hunters" of Solomon's in London, who's on the trail of the Stone of Destiny.
Their mutual love of adventure complements their growing physical attraction, and soon Vanessa is caught up in Graeme's quest to save the stone from a ruthless villain called the Raven.
Robyn DeHart delivers plenty of adventure and suspense along with the romance: secret passages, ancient encoded texts, and a double helping of theft, blackmail, kidnapping, and even murder!
I recently had the opportunity to speak with author Robyn DeHart about her new book, 'Treasure Me,' her upcoming project, and just how much say she has on the cover art for her books.
With your new book, 'Treasure Me' now out in the stores, what made you want to want to send Vanessa Pembrooke to Scotland ie: Loch Ness? Were there other places you had in mind that might also have worked, perhaps? "Well, having a heroine who is a budding paleontologist right there when the science was fairly new, it seemed logical to send her to Loch Ness. The series is about legends and myths and who out there doesn't have an opinion of the Loch Ness monster so it just fit the direction of the series and her character so well. Plus I had already introduced Graeme in a previous book and knew that his lineage was half English/half Scottish and it all just sort of came together in that fashion."
Once there she "accidentally" marries Graeme Langford, Duke of Rothmore, and one of the secretive Legend Hunters of Solomon's in London, but was there anyone in particular that you modeled Langford on? "Modeled as in real-life historical character, no though there was a theory that the monks who guarded the stone in Scotland knew the English king was coming to steal the stone and they created a replica for the theft. So there is real history of that nature in the book, but Graeme himself is just my character. Now as far as modeling his physical features, I would have to admit I drew heavily on Gerard Butler for inspiration for my own Scottie hottie."
Being that he is on the trail of the Stone of Destiny, what other ideas for what he could be searching for were considered - and why stick with this one in particular? "Well, once I discovered the real history behind the Stone of Destiny, I was sort of hooked. I mean the legends surrounding this slab of sandstone are seemingly endless and so interesting. The most common belief is that it is a biblical relic, the stone "pillow" upon which Jacob had his prophetic dreams. A variation of that made it into my own book. And then there were the rumored heists about it and the fact that it could have been part of the Tower of Babel and it was simply too interesting of an artifact to ignore."
"There's nothing better than finding a bit of history to use that really make the elements in the book feel all the more real. That being said I did look at other Scottish relics, a few treasures and whatnot, but the Stone of Destiny was the winner pretty much from the very beginning."
'Treasure Me' also features secret passages, ancient encoded texts, theft, blackmail, kidnapping, explosions, collapsing caves, and even murder! But with regard the encoded texts, etc. did you have to hire someone to clue you in to what the reader should expect to drawn into? "Nope, I really just made all of that up. It's amazing what you can come up with once you have a rich history to build upon. I knew from the first two books in the series that readers would expect lots of action and danger. And of course the villain in this book was a feature character in a previous book so he was already created. As for the encoded text, I pretty much just took the biblical element and ran with it. It seemed to be a logical connection with the fictionalized Kingmaker that if ancient monks were to hide a text they'd do so in a bible and 1st and 2nd Kings was the place to do it."
Your books always deliver plenty of adventure and suspense, along with romance, of course, but what is it about the coupling of those two that makes for good storytelling to you? "It's a perfect match, in my opinion. I draw from my own reading preferences but for this series I looked directly at my movie going habits. I love adventure romance movies like Indiana Jones and The Mummy. There's just something so perfect about marrying history with myth and adventure and well passion and love are natural in any kind of story. Look at most movies or TV shows and at the core is a romance."
"We're humans, we're emotion junkies, we love to feel and we love to fall in love again and again. It's why romance is so popular. Add in that layer of adventure and you've got people doing things we'd personally never dare to do, but to live through it within the pages of a book or for 2 hours in a movie theatre, it's exhilarating."
As 'Treasure Me' is the final book in your Legend Hunters trilogy, what is next for you? "I don't have any solid details as of yet, but hopefully it will be another Victorian-set series, this one though a bit more suspenseful than the last. We'll see. I'll have details on my website as soon as I have them."
As these books all come with colorful, depictive covers to them, I was wondering if you ever got a say on what the final artwork will look like each time your books are published? And, with that in mind, is there a cover of yours that you have just not been happy with, perhaps? "I do get some input on the covers, but ultimately I have to trust that my publishers know what they're doing. They're the ones that do market research and have seen buying trends based on covers. All I can do is offer my opinion, but I know that that's not where my expertise is. One of my older books from a different publisher is my least favorite cover and oddly enough it was my best seller for them, so see that just shows what I know about covers. That being said all of my Legend Hunters covers have been absolutely perfect and I wouldn't have changed a thing. And I think readers really agree."
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
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If you would like to win a copy of 'Treasure Me', just answer this easy question about the author, Robyn DeHart: DeHart has two very spoiled cats who are of no help at all (to her) when it comes to her writing! But, what are their names?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these new Books! Just send us an e:mail here before May 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: TREASURE ME BOOKs to: email@example.com
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