Category: Characters

Lorna Faith Interviews Her Main Character, Annaveta Travotsky

historical romantic suspenseIt’s been a while since I’ve had my next visitor here.

Now that I think about it, she never actually guest-posted here; I just had a book spotlight of her novel, Answering Annaveta. If you missed that post, you can find it here.

I’m so glad to finally introduce you to her and let you hear what she has to say. So, without further delay, here is friend and fellow writer, Lorna Faith, as she interviews Annaveta Travotsky, the main character in her historical romantic suspense series, the Russia to Canada series.

Interview with the Character ~ Annaveta Travotsky and Lorna Faith

Lorna Faith, author of Anchoring Annaveta, a historical romantic suspense due out in March 2016, was able to track down Annaveta, the female lead of the story. Annaveta wanted to meet Lorna at her small farmhouse just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s spring, and only six months after Annaveta and Alex escaped Russia by ship.

Annaveta appears relaxed, but with shadows around her eyes. They sit on the covered porch, each in a wooden chair that faces toward the ocean. Annaveta’s auburn hair hangs in a thick braid to her waist, and she wears a cream coloured shirt-waist and a long, dark brown skirt that touches her brown leather walking shoes.

After offering Lorna a cup of tea, Annaveta sits down and waits quietly.

LF: Thanks for agreeing to talk with me Annaveta. I wanted to interview you for a friend’s blog so she and her readers could hear your incredible story. You’ve been through a lot of trouble in the past couple of years, but you made it through.

AT: Well, I’m not sure how much detail I’ll be willing to share, and I’m not convinced I’m through the trouble you mentioned yet. Since Alex and I got here, we’ve seen some more evidence that we might have been followed by some of the men in the terrorist group, the Black Hand.

LF: The Black Hand has been terrorizing you from the start, haven’t they? Would you tell us a little about your story up to now?

AT: Well, I don’t like to talk about it much, mostly because they are such sad memories. But I can give you the short version.

LF: Sure.

AT: Well, after my family died when our hut caught fire, I escaped from my old village to the German colony where Alex lived with his family. It wasn’t long before Misha—the abusive drunk who I barely escaped marrying—discovered me at Pleve colony, and I had to run again. So I ran to St.Petersburg. That was when things went from bad to worse.

It started out simple and innocent enough as I worked as a nanny for Countess Tashkova, and sometimes would go with her and her husband to parties and bring the children along. But one time when I was asked to come along to help with the children, I overheard Baron Yakov talking to three other men about a plan to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Well, one of the men overheard me, and so the Baron put me in his dungeon for three days so they could carry out the assassination.

What I didn’t realize was that Misha, his cousin, Baron Yakov, and Gavrillo Princep were all part of a terrorist group known as the Black Hand. It was because we reported them to the police that they were put in jail.

LF: If they were put in jail, then why do you feel like you’re still not safe?

AT: When Alex and I quietly disappeared from St.Petersburg—after those Black Hand men were put in prison—we went to Odessa to stay with my Mama’s sister, Aunt Esther, and her husband Uncle Roman. While we stayed there, strange things started happening.

LF: What sort of strange things?

AT: After WWI was announced, the situation all around us went from bad to worse. My uncle suddenly decided he didn’t like Alex and his German background, and my aunt and uncle did their best to keep Alex away from me. So they planned dinner parties with their wealthy friends and their sons.

Hatred for Germans was everywhere. Someone even set fire to the local German Lutheran church when Alex and I went there one Sunday. Then the worst tragedy of all happened, German boats came to the port of Odessa one night in the middle of the night and started shooting their canons and rifles at every house and at every man, woman, and child within shooting range. Many people died—including people Alex loved—and it changed him.

LF: What do you mean it changed Alex?

AT: He went from being fairly easygoing and not wanting to join with the soldiers to being overcome with anger. Right the next day, he joined the Russian Navy. Before he left, Alex asked me to marry him. But it just wasn’t the right time—I could sense he was out of control. I told him no, and we broke up.

LF: What happened next?

AT: We hardly saw each other for a really long time. And both of us were being threatened by members of the Black Hand. (Annaveta’s voice sounds strained. She plays with the ends of her braid, her hands shaking a little). And I almost died trying to find something that my Mama had given me. We barely escaped with our lives, and that’s how I find myself here in Canada.

LF: That’s all you’re going to tell me?

AT: I just don’t want to talk about this anymore. All that we went through was so painful. I’m still feeling the loss of leaving Russia and our family and friends.

LF: Sorry for your loss. I won’t ask you any more deep questions like that. Although I do have one other question I wanted to ask.

AT: Well you can ask, I’m just not sure I will answer it.

LF: Okay, fair enough. You said you almost died trying to find something that your Mama had given you. That must have been something really important to you. Did you finally find it?

AT: Yes, I did find it. It’s a big part of what keeps me strong and anchors me in who I am. I’m tired of talking about this. Can we move onto another topic?

LF: Yes. Sorry if the questions got too deep or personal. I’m just trying to give readers a sense of what you’ve been through.

AT: Well… if they really want to know, they’ll have to read the book. I think you said it’s coming out in March 2016, right?

LF: Yes.

AT: Then they won’t have to wait too long for answers. (Stands and offers a small smile.) Let’s take a walk, and I’ll show you the new olive tree I planted.

LF: (Stands and walks with Annaveta, looking at the small tree in the middle of the farmyard.) Ah, very fitting.

Annaveta has grown in strength, maturity, and grace from all she’s been through. But the interview touched on too many fresh wounds, which explains why she rushed through the last few questions. Her story is captivating, though. I hope you check it out in March 2016.


Thanks so much, Lorna, for taking the time to introduce Annaveta to my readers. I loved the first book, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the second, so now I can look forward to March and the next installment.

So, guys, if you have any questions for Lorna about her novels, or about her coaching—just leave a message. We’d both love to hear from you.

About Lorna:

Lorna FaithLorna Faith loves stories filled with suspense, thrills… and of course, romance. She started as a young child telling stories first to her animals, then to her family and friends. She was asked many times if the stories she told were real.

Now, she saves her stories for her novels. Whether Lorna’s writing historical romance or contemporary romance, she always includes character’s dark secrets being exposed, suspense, and most of all love.

Right now Lorna is editing Anchoring Annaveta, Book #2 in the Russia to Canada Trilogy; she’s writing a contemporary romance, in the fictional but beautiful setting of Mulberry Island; and she’s almost finished writing a Historical Romance novella set in the early 1900s at the start of the oil and gas boom in Turner Valley, Alberta.

LornaFaith.com
…Writer/Blogger/CoachFacebook | Twitter | Google Plus | YouTube

Visiting Friends and Sharing Food

Hi, guys. I’m happy to announce that today I’m “visiting” my friend and fellow writer, Joan Hall, over at her website. We discuss writing, Bleeding Heart, and every Italian’s favorite subject—food. I hope you take a moment and come see what’s going on.

Click here to see the post at Joan Hall Writes.

Amazing When Sweaty Teaser

A Cross-Genre Conversation Between Characters

If you’re a regular visitor here, you know I’m a multi-genre author. (Actually, if you even glanced at the header, you know that. 😉 ) Sometimes it’s difficult marketing to different readers on the same platform, so I thought I’d do something a little different today. I’m going to introduce Royce and Vanessa (lead characters from Type and Cross, the first novel in my mainstream fiction series) to Gianni and Franki (lead characters from Bleeding Heart, the first novel in my romance series).

Maybe this will entice readers of one genre to try the other.

Maybe this will indicate similar themes in my writing, even as I work in two totally different worlds.

Maybe this will be a huge failure. (Oh well, live and learn, right?)

Without further ado, a merging of the Cathedral Lake residents and the Medici Protectorate.


Cathedral Lake 41_EmeraldEM-ViewRoyce and Vanessa packed the remains of their picnic back into the basket and folded the blanket. He took one last look at the lake, its dark water gently rippling and reflecting the clouds above on its surface. He looked over to the far shore, where families frolicked and lovers held hands. The terrain might be rockier on his side of the lake, but he’d never trade the privacy for the congestion of a flat beach.

He helped Vanessa climb the hill, and when they walked around one of the larger rocks, he almost stumbled over two people reclining at its base.

Reclining might be generous. The guy looked like he’d collapsed there. The woman fretted over him.

Royce dropped the basket and blanket to the ground and stooped down. “What happened?” He grabbed the man’s wrist, checking his pulse.

The woman batted his hand away. “Who are you? What do you want? What are you doing here?”

He recognized the signs of panic and desperation, drew on his expertise of years as an ER doctor to try to calm her even as he assessed the situation. “My name’s Royce. This is Vanessa. We were picnicking about a hundred yards that way.” He tilted his head back in the direction they’d come from. “We just came across you by accident.”

“He’s a doctor,” Vanessa said. “He can help.”

“No one sent you to find us?” the woman asked.

“No, no one sent us.” Royce reached for the man’s hand again. “I’m going to check his pulse. Can you tell me what happened?”

The woman didn’t move, but didn’t stop him that time. She shook her head, and tears formed in her eyes.

“Oh, honey,” Vanessa said. “It’s okay. It’ll be okay. Royce is the best.”

The woman squared her shoulders and wiped the tears away. “I know. Gianni will be fine. Everything is fine. You… you should go.”

“How long has—Gianni—been like this?” He was unconscious, but his pulse was strong and his coloring good. Royce couldn’t see any indication of what had caused his condition.

The woman bit her lip and stayed silent.

“What’s your name?” Vanessa asked.

She looked back and forth between the two of them and finally whispered. “Francesca. Franki.”

“Well, Franki,” Royce said. “I can’t help him if I don’t know what happened.” He took his phone out of his pocket.

“No!” Franki cried. “Not 9-1-1. No emergency people, no cops. Nobody.”

Royce looked them over carefully. The man wore boots, jeans, and a t-shirt, but they all looked like expensive brands… designer, and not knock-offs. The woman had on yoga pants, sneakers, and an old football jersey. Nothing about either of them said “Dangerous Criminal.” On the contrary, they looked like nice, normal folks. But something was wrong.

He swiped up on his phone screen to access the control center and touched the flashlight icon. Then he showed her the LED light glowing. “Not calling anyone. Just checking his pupils.” When he reached for Gianni’s eyelid, the man shook and jumped to his feet in front of Franki, knocking Royce back. He stood there, one arm out protecting her, the other searching for something behind him.

Royce had never seen anyone move so quickly, particularly someone so large. He scrambled to his feet and pulled Vanessa behind him. Nothing nice and normal about them, now. Everything about the guy screamed “Dangerous,” from his aggressive stance to his rapid, fighter-like movements.

“Gianni, right?” Royce asked. Vanessa’s nails dug into his arms even as he held them out in a we’re-not-your-enemies gesture.

Gianni pulled Franki further behind him. The muscles in his other arm flexed. He must have found what he was looking for. Royce didn’t want to know what that was. “Yeah. What’s it to you?”

“Yeah,” he said. “What’s it to you?”

“My name is Royce. I’m a doctor. My wife and I stumbled across you while we were walking to our car. I was trying to tend to you wounds, but I couldn’t find any. Want to tell me what happened? You might need to go to the ER.”

“I don’t need anything. I’m fine. Fast healer.”

Franki touched his arm and he bent down to let her whisper in his ear. He never took his eyes off Royce and Vanessa. When she finished talking to him, she stepped out from behind him. Gianni didn’t relax, but he shifted his gaze to her.

“I’m afraid we owe you an apology. You were just trying to help, and I think we scared you.”

Vanessa stepped out from behind Royce. When he went to shield her again, she batted him away. Holding out her hand to Gianni, she said, “I’m Vanessa. Nice to meet you.”

Gianni looked at her hand and glanced at Franki, then his whole body seemed to relax. He fiddled behind him for a second, then smiled, lighting up his features. Then he took her hand. “The pleasure is ours. I can just imagine what you must be thinking. My apologies. It’s just that Francesca is my responsibility, and—”

“Oh, give it a rest. I’m a person, not a job.” She shook Royce’s hand. “Thank you for trying to help us. I’m sorry I wasn’t more agreeable. But a girl can’t be too careful these days.”

“So, a doctor, huh?” Gianni asked and looked Royce over.

“ER,” he said.

“Chief of Emergency Medicine at Oakland Regional,” Vanessa said.

“Former Chief.” Royce shot her a pointed stare, which she didn’t seem to notice.

“Former? Are you retired?” Gianni asked.

“No, not retired.” He saw Gianni stiffen, recognized he’d better offer more information before things took an unnecessary, ugly turn. “We had a tragedy in the family recently. I’m taking a break, reassessing my future.”

Gianni continued to stare at him, while Franki said, “I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you find what you’re looking for. Family tragedies really make you think about the future…” Her voice trailed off, and Gianni put his arm around her. Tears welled in her eyes again.

“Are you okay?” Vanessa asked.

She nodded.

“Look,” Gianni said. “We got off on the wrong foot, and for that, I’m sorry. But in all honestly, I’m not sure it’s even safe for you to be seen with us right now.” He started to turn away.

Vanessa touched his arm. “Are you all right? Can we help?”

Royce didn’t know that he wanted to be involved with a weepy woman and a barbarian of a man who basically flat-out stated they were a danger to be around, but he admired Vanessa for asking. No one ever offered them assistance when they most needed it. Leave it to her to remember how lonely that felt and try to help.

Again he smiled at her, but this time the warmth didn’t reach his eyes. “That’s kind of you to ask. But we have help. We just need to get home.”

“I have a first aid kit in my car,” Royce said and scanned him head to toe. “You’re welcome to any bandages or—”

“Thanks, but I’m fine.” Gianni said. “Like I said, I’m a fast healer.”

“You’re sure you’re okay?” Vanessa asked.

“You’ve been very kind,” Franki said. “Thank you. We won’t forget it.” And they turned and walked away.

It didn’t escape Royce’s notice that Gianni’s shirt was untucked in the back, and there was some kind of bulge under it. He couldn’t help but feel like they dodged a bullet. Maybe literally. He didn’t stop looking after them until they made it to the tree line.

“Do you think they’ll be okay?” Vanessa asked.

He shook his head. “I don’t know. Nothing seemed to be wrong with him, once he gained consciousness. Wonder why he passed out.”

“I don’t mean that. I mean what he said about being seen with them was dangerous. Someone must be after them. Or her, at least. He said his job was to protect her.”

Royce shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“I think there’s more there than bodyguard-client. Maybe if—”

He looked at her. “Really? Matchmaking now for perfect strangers? Potentially dangerous strangers? Let it go, Ness.”

“I think they’re going to make it.”

Royce scooped up his phone, the picnic basket, and the blanket. “I think we’re going to make it.”

She smiled and kissed him. “As soon as we get home.” She winked and headed up the hill toward their car. “Race you!”

It surprised him that she scuttled so quickly up the rocky terrain, but then again, she was motivated. And so was he. So he scrambled up the hill after her, thoughts already on the evening activities her comment promised.


Type and Cross, Book One of the Cathedral Lake Series, is a  Foyle Press book and is available for purchase now.
For more information, visit the Type and Cross page on this site.

Bleeding Heart, Book One of the Medici Protectorate Series, is a Lagan Press book and will be available this spring.
For more information, visit the Bleeding Heart page on this site.

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