Why is Mairenn Vestergaard an Archaeologist?

Was it necessary for Mairenn Vestergaard to even be an archaeologist? That’s a good question. As authors, we have the privilege of playing God with our characters, to make them live or die, to fall in love or to never find it, to succeed or fail. We create the broader landscape and populate it with people who have a story to tell. And while we type, we hope they tell it well.

I thought I’d share with you how I found Dr. Mairenn Vestergaard.

A couple of years ago, I read an article about a Native American site two hours south of where I live. An incoming business had been given permission to use the mound for fill dirt. There was public and academic outcry over the destruction and loss of such a valuable and irreplaceable site. The last update I saw was dated 2013.

And another story. Later, I read an article about Native American mounds that had graced the landscape near Bessemer, Alabama. They were 400 years older than the more famous mounds at Moundville. Over the years, treasure hunters had left their mark, and numerous excavations beginning in 1890 yielded many artifacts, but destroyed the mounds. A large portion of the Indian village has, in recent years, been developed over.

Then I learned that here in Alabama, when Native American sites are on private land, the landowner can pretty much do whatever he wants. However, the state hopes that the owner will seek advice from archaeology experts in order to preserve and protect the site for future generations.

I also watched a documentary about the Viking explorers, their travels in Europe and west to Canada, settling for a time at a place that has become known as L’Anse aux Meadows. What intrigued me was the mention of butternut tree seeds discovered there. The tree isn’t native to Canada and that suggests that the explorers sailed south, at least to the Gulf of St. Lawrence area.

So, all the information jelled and Mairenn Vestergaard was born–an idea with a few sentences. She was the right heroine for His Norse Star. I know–she’s not real, she’s just a fictional character, but I’ve known her all her life. She’s smart. Well-educated. Steeped in Norse culture. Loves Turkish style coffee and Bubble and Squeak. But she’s far from perfect, although she’s perfect for Tec Raines. She has insecurities, too. And fears. Just like all of us.

Her role in the story began with a what if? What if the land the Raines brothers inherited contained a previously unknown Native American site? What if artifacts had been stolen, including several that shouldn’t logically be there? What if those illogical items were tied to the Norse who settled L’Anse aux Meadows? And a final consideration – what if the Raines brothers were considering selling the land to developers?

Did the Norse explorers travel farther south than the area where they found the butternut tree seeds? I’ll leave that to the experts. Maybe they didn’t, but I like to think they did. Perhaps not as far south, perhaps not to Alabama, but somewhere.

Finally, to answer my first question – yes, Mairenn Vestergaard had to be an archaeologist. There was no other way for the story to go. She had to be the one to find the glass bead that started the ball rolling.

Coming Soon! New Book Reveal!

It’s been a long time in coming, but it’s almost here. Book 2 of the Majesta Landing Series has been through beta reading and is now in the hands of my editor. For those of you who enjoyed Book 1, Pictures for Maddie, you’ll remember that the hero, Kody Raines, has a brother named Tec. He’s a cocky helicopter pilot who owns his own company and played an important supporting role in Kody’s story with heroine Larke Scott.

Finally, Tec has his own story. complete with a heroine who turns his life upside down. She catches his eye, and he soon discovers that she’s different from any other woman he’s ever met. Not only is she beautiful and smart, she’s an archaeologist hired to assess a possible historic site. Sparks fly.

It’s one roller coaster ride of an adventure. And, it’s by far the sexiest story I’ve written so far. My beta reader (who’s no prude), said I made her blush! And the best part is the Happily Ever After ending. So, stay tuned. The cover reveal is coming up and I can’t wait to share it with you! Some good things are in the works for the official launch, including a small bonus at the end of the story–something I’ve never done before. I’m excited!

Until then, happy reading!

 

PICTURES FOR MADDIE has been released!

Drum roll, please! It’s here! Pictures for Maddie is here! It’s been a long haul to get this little gem ready to publish. During the past two weeks (a critical time in the final process),  I’ve been sick and writing was the last thing I wanted to do. However, I had to meet the May 31 deadline and I made it! It’s my first contemporary after four historicals. Woman with a secret. Hot, hunky male. A dangerous natural disaster. All the ingredients of a wild, sensuous adventure! It has its own storyboard at Pinterest, filled with elements from the book. Check it out and leave a comment–there or here! Pictures for Maddie is available at Smashwords and Amazon for $2.99.

Will they rediscover love in the midst of a disaster?
Will they rediscover love in the midst of a disaster?

Her secret . . .
Larke Scott never told anyone why she broke her engagement and disappeared, shattering her heart and leaving her fiancé confused and angry. She hid from him that she gave birth to his child, hoping that if she kept the secret and stayed away from the man she loved, her family would be safe.

His resolve . . .
Five years later, Mayor Kody Raines has his hands full—the worst flood in one hundred years is overwhelming towns along the Tennessee River. In the midst of the crisis, he turns around and there she is, the woman he’s never forgotten, the woman who mercilessly dumped him and vanished. She makes a shocking confession—he has a daughter! Convinced there’s more to the story, he decides that, no matter what the cost, he’ll discover how deep her deception runs.

Nature’s fury . . .
With the threat of the levee’s imminent collapse, Kody and Larke suddenly find themselves in the middle of a nightmare: on the run, dodging an unknown assailant. He believes she knows more than she’s telling. Their world unravels when they receive a desperate phone call—“Maddie is missing.”

And the levee breaks . . .