Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Virtual Review Tour & Giveaway - Byzantine Gold by Chris Karlsen


Welcome to my stop on Chris Karlsen's Virtual Review Tour for Byzantine Gold.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question for Chris to let her know you stopped by.  Chris will be awarding an ebook copy of Golden Chariot (the first book in this series) at every stop on the tour to a randomly drawn commenter, she will also be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 


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Byzantine Gold 
by Chris Karlsen
Dangerous Waters, Book 2

Publisher: Books To Go Now (ebook)
                   CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Print)

Release Date: December 31, 2012

Genre: Action-Adventure/Romantic Suspense

ISBN: 978-1-481980-72-2
ASIN: B00AVMIHDE


Buy Links:

Amazon Print        Kindle        B&N Print 


Book Description:

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 cross hairs 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.



Excerpt:


Atakan didn’t answer as he sped out of camp, spraying dirt and stones behind them.

“What’s going on? Why are you in such a hurry?”

He stared straight ahead, silent.

“Atakan?”

Tight-jawed, he continued down the side road that paralleled the beach, ramming the stick shift into place as he went through the gears and ignoring her questions. She’d never seen him this tense, not with her at least. A bad feeling crept over her. She had a sick sense his mood involved her plan to leave.

They’d gone a kilometer from the camp when he came to a stop. He hopped out, slammed the driver’s door shut and came to her side.

Opening her door, he said, “Get out.”

She did.

“Atakan,” Charlotte started to ask the same questions again, but he was already turned and walking toward the sea.

She followed. He finally stopped near the water’s edge with his back to the surf and faced her. She stopped a couple of yards away.

“When were you going to tell me?”

She knew exactly what he was asking about. Who told him? It wasn’t Nick. He’d honor the twenty-four hour rule.

“Who told you?”

“That’s not an answer.” He stood still as a statue, arms crossed, feet apart.

She hesitated, trying to choose her words so he’d understand and not be hurt. She gazed out at the incoming tide. The blue-green waves, effervescent with bubbles, rushed toward shore in rapid succession. White foam droplets filled the air as they crested, framing him like a new, angry version of Poseidon.

“Answer me.”

“Today.”

“You weren’t going to tell me until today, although you’ve been planning to leave me for awhile.”

“Not awhile.”

“Long enough to send job inquiries to several museums.”

So that was how he knew. One of the museums contacted MIAR and they must’ve sent the questionnaire to Refik and he told Atakan. She hadn’t considered the possibility. She’d thought any contact from the museums would be handled by MIAR’s headquarters.

“I’m so sorry you had to find out this way. I intended to tell you if it looked like I’d definitely leave. If none of the museums showed interest, then you never had to know what I’d done.”

“And you believe that is acceptable?”

It killed her to see the look of disgust on his face with the question. “Yes...” she said low.

“Why?”

“Because I’m bad luck for you—everyone can see it, even your--, it’s obvious. There’s something about me, and God knows, I don’t know what, but I’m like a magnet for Tischenko.”

She never cried and she wouldn’t cry now, but she was close. “I can’t bear to see you hurt again, or worse. There are people that bad luck follows, even Iskender thinks so.”

Atakan inhaled deeply and let out a slow breath. Uncrossing his arms, he closed the short distance to where she stood.

“It’s not forever,” she offered, “I’ll return.”

He shook his head. “If you go, you cannot return. You’re either in my life or out of my life. There’s no in between.”


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My Review 

A fan of the Action-Adventure/Romantic Suspense genre, I was very excited when I realized this book was going on tour and I quickly signed up.  I intended to read Golden Chariot first, because I'm a little OCD about reading books in order, but unfortunately I ran out of time.  I worried this might be problematic in regards to my enjoyment of this book, however I can happily state that I was able to read and enjoy this book on it's own (I do plan to go back and read the first book though).  Well developed characters, good dialogue, plenty of action and a subtle romance, kept me turning the pages and wondering what could possibly happen next.  

Scheduled to participate in a sunken treasure excavation and underwater dive in Cyprus, American archaeologist Charlotte Dashiell and her Turkish lover, Atakan Vadim, are vacationing in Paris when an enemy from their past makes a sudden appearance.  When Maksym Tischenko shoots Atakan in the chest and threatens to come back and finish the job, Charlotte is afraid that Atakan will be unable to handle his duties as a Turkish government agent on the excavation due to his injury.  Refusing to stay home, Atakan has sworn to keep Charlotte safe from their old enemy.

Working together during the excavation and underwater dive, Charlotte and Atakan find themselves facing more than the usual problems on a dig - a terrorist organization has plans on stealing the gold to fund their continued operations and Tishenko is determined to carry out the rest of his plan for revenge.  Chris Karlsen did an excellent job developing this story and all of the characters.  I enjoyed the romance between Charlotte and Atakan, two people from very different worlds who are drawn together by both love and adventure.  It was especially nice to get to know Atakan, a modern Turkish man, who seemed to find himself caught between both the modern world and his family's (or rather his mother's) traditional thoughts.  

Giving us insight into both characters point of view, it was especially interesting to watch Charlotte and Atakan working around their issues for control.  Atakan has a subtle Alpha male vibe going on, while Charlotte is no one's fool.  I found the action to be well paced and the dialogue between Charlotte and Atakan witty and sharp.  With plenty of secondary characters, and two well developed villains, Ms. Karlsen also did a good job with the details surrounding the excavation, the sights and sounds of Cyprus and the history behind the treasure.

Will Charlotte's ideas about the newly discovered treasure pan out?  Will the romance between Charlotte and Atakan survive all the additional pressures from both the treasure hunt and his family?  You'll have to read Byzantine Gold to find out.  If you enjoy romantic suspense or treasure books then this is a book you will want to pick up.  I hope we get to see both Charlotte and Atakan again on another adventure.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns




FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. 


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AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Chris is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in the law enforcement with two different agencies.

The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love for history and books.

She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and Northern Africa satisfying her passion for seeing the places she read about.

A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris, Los Angeles, and now resides with her husband, and five rescue dogs in the Pacific Northwest.

http://chriskarlsen.com/

http://pinterest.com/chriskarlsen/byzantine-gold/
















Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Chris to let her know you stopped by.  Chris will be awarding an ebook copy of Golden Chariot (the first book in this series) at every stop on the tour to a randomly drawn commenter, she will also be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 

29 comments:

  1. Good Morning,
    I want to thank Queen of All She Reads for taking the time to read and review Byzantine Gold. I especially wish to thank her for the lovely review. I look forward to interacting with all of the readers here.
    Chris Karlsen

    ReplyDelete
  2. It seriously makes me want to go hunting for treasure.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mary,
      Thank you for joining me again. When I look at some of the underwater pictures in the research books I used, I see such a beautiful world. I also have an excellent source who was an archaelogical diver for three decades. He is a wealth of info regarding how they struggle some days against the currents and other forces.
      Chris Karlsen

      Delete
  3. This seriously makes me want to go and hunt for treasure.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the review! I've been looking forward to this part of the tour! Excerpts and Blurbs are great but when It comes down to it, I want to know what people think about the books! Great review :)

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Andra Lyn,
      This was a lovely review. I'm thrilled it was so well received. I have trailers for Byzantine Gold and Golden Chariot on my website: www.chriskarlsen.com and book boards on my pinterest page. http://pinterest.com/chriskarlsen.
      You might enjoy checking them out.
      Chris

      Delete
  5. This seriously makes me want to go and hunt for treasure.

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Laurie,
      Thank you for visiting wieh me again. I see by your email, you're a "Paris fan." This book just happens to open in Paris, where Charlotte and Atakan are on vacation as was mentioned in the review. There's a short pursuit through Montmartre:)
      Chris

      Delete
  6. Great review, Charlotte and Atakan visit Paris? Probably for Valentine or was it work related?

    moonsurfer123(AT)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Anas,
    It was just a romantic vacation. They're visiting in the month of April. The dive season and recovery project isn't scheduled to start until June. They both enjoy traveling and Paris is somewhere they love.
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Chris Karlsen,
    I appreciate knowing that you have the work history as well as that you read history so I know that I can trust the author and read the story.
    Your trailer gave an ominous and adventure feel to the novel.
    Congratulations on your review and your trailer to back up your blurb.
    Yours truly,
    Annette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Annette,
      Thank you for the nice compliment. I'm glad you like the trailer. I was pleased with it. I've traveled to Paris and Turkey many times and loved using them as settings. I also like the islands in the E. Mediterranean, which is why I chose Cyprus.
      Chris K

      Delete
  9. This book sounds great, is there an audio book version of it as well?

    emiliana25(at)web(dot)de

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emiliana,
      No, there's no audio, only eformat and paperback. At another site, you expressed curiosity as to the level of history contained in the book. My hero and heroine are both archaeologists. I do make a concerted effort to weave history and archaeology into my stories, without weighting them down with the info. I am a history lover so I enjoy the opportunity to intersperse it in all my books. I have a paranormal romance series that incorporates medieval history, whereas this series has Bronze Age and Byzantine Era history.
      Chris

      Delete
  10. I love the historical, suspense genre as well. Do you write any other types of books?

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shannon,
      Good to talk with you again. I do write another series that is a paranormal romance series. Book 1 is called: Heroes Live Forever. It's about a young English woman who inherits a house haunted by two medieval knights and she falls in love with one of the ghosts. Book 2 is called: Journey in Time. The best friends of the couple in the first book are out riding when they're caught in a freak storm that creates a rip in time and they're transported to 1355. If they can't get back to this century the hero will die in battle and she'll be left alone in a very scary medieval world. I'm currently working on book 3 in that series, which is also a time travel.
      Chris

      Delete
  11. thanks for the chance to win
    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for stopping by and posting a comment. Hope your day is going well:)
      Chris

      Delete
  12. 4.5 out of 5 crowns?! That's a great review, Maria. I like how you mention reading things in order...or not. I'm terrible about reading books in order and I shy away from ones that NEED to be read sequentially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Catherine,
      I too, like to read in order. There have been a few authors I came into the middle of the series. Luckily, the transition from one book to another of theirs was fine.
      Chris

      Delete
  13. I definitely need to go back and start this series! Thank you for the in-depth review!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chelsea,
      As I recall, you won a copy of Golden Chariot last month. What I think you'll enjoy about the two main characters is seeing in Golden Chariot how they go from wary mistrust of each other, to respect, to trust and intimacy. Then, in Byzantine Gold, you get to see how the relationship has grown.
      Chris

      Delete
  14. Sounds like a nice series. Nice review.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bn,
      It is a very nice review. It made my day:)
      Chris

      Delete
  15. I like history as well, it's great that you could work something you like into your novel. Do you think you might want to write a historical romance in the future?

    shadorunner1987 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ami,
      I do have another romance series. I think of it as paranormal as one novel has ghosts and one time travel. The next in that series will have time travel as well. That said, both books have English medieval history involved. Those books, Heroes LIve Forever and Journey in Time, have both broken into the Amazon top 100 (twice!) in sales. Oddily enough in the historical romance category. Go figure:)
      Chris

      Delete
  16. It's an intersting topic to read about, did you had any help while writing the story?

    lennascloud AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lena,
      Yes, I had help not with the writing that is all mine but with some of the technical questions. I have a friend who was a archaeological diver in that region of the world. (He's retired now). He has answered my many, many questions. I also have taken belly dance lessons at a local studio. One of my instructors helped to choreograph the dance Charlotte does for Atakan. And last but not lease, my husband was a great help with the tactical part involving the capture of the terrorists.
      Chris

      Delete