For me, writing is my time machine, and books are my means of navigating from one wondrous age to the next. For as long as I can remember, books have been an integral part of my life. Family knew me as the girl who always had a paperback in her pocket. I wrote my first story in third grade, and pretty much haven’t stopped since. It sometimes feels like I gleaned a major part of my education via reading. Stories taught me many things, including that the power of the mind can take us anywhere with magical ease, and that imagination is everything.
Becoming lost in a story is still my pastime of choice. In my “real life” day job, I work for a library system in Western New York, doing everything from processing new books to cherishing old ones. Books always seem to surround me, and many have become good friends.
One of the best things reading has taught me, is that the magic spun by words has no limits. As a writer, I’ve tested the truth of this time after time. Often, readers ask me why I write across so many different genres, from Scottish Historical Romance to Steampunk, to the retelling of Fairy Tales. My answer is, I’m always testing those limits, and proving to myself that if I reach for the story, the magic will come.
Now, some forty titles later, here are just some of the places writing has taken me:
To Husavik, Iceland with The Berserker’s Bride, where a Scottish captive, daughter to a chieftain, is claimed as spoils of raiding by the one man she fears most. Can love, conjured like sweet music, save them?
To the Western Highlands of Scotland, where the incorrigible Finnan MacAllister practices His Wicked Highland Ways. He’s bent on seeking revenge and breaking widow Jeannie MacWherter’s heart. Is it too late for him to seek wisdom, and save his soul?
To the wild moors of Devon, while retelling the fairy tale Rum Paul Stillskin. A half-human, half-faerie, wrathful and misunderstood, Rum Paul longs for young Mallie, the one lass who loved him, Because the strength of one person’s love is sometimes enough to let us survive.
To the brick streets of Victorian Buffalo, where Clara Allen, in desperate need of a husband, decides to exercise an ancestral power and raise one from the dead. Fortunately for her, he proves to be Dead Handsome. Side note, here: readers sometimes hesitate to embark upon my Buffalo Steampunk Adventures series, which now numbers eight. But not to fear—Steampunk is nothing more than Victorian Historical with a delightful twist!
Not least of all, I’ve journeyed to medieval Sherwood Forest, where Daughter of Sherwood launched the Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy. Here we discover that Robin Hood lives on in his descendants, in a mystical world where the trees whisper to one another, and the old gods still reside. And love, like magic, never dies.
Lately, I’ve traveled to Wylder Wyoming, circa 1870, where my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has set a new series. New adventures to come, carried on the scent of sagebrush.
Which world, out of those I’ve created, is my favorite? Whichever one I happen to inhabit at the time! For me, changing from genre to genre keeps the story fresh. It’s my fondest hope I may bring my readers along with me, to share that magical ride.
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Title: Daughter of Sherwood (The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy Book One)
Author: Laura Strickland
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Raised in the kitchens of Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood until she is summoned to Sherwood Forest. Since Robin's death many years before, the resistance against Norman tyranny has been upheld by a magical triad, but now one of the guardians has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new triad with a bond strong enough to defend Sherwood's magic. To one of them, she will also give her heart.
From the moment Wren bursts into his life, Sparrow loves her. But he knows she may choose his lifelong rival, Martin, as her mate. Martin wants Wren also, but Sparrow fears Martin is driven not by love but by ambition. When Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, will the conflict between love and duty destroy the triad?
In the gathering gloom, the man looked tall and slender, a shadow seen only indistinctly. But she knew him, had seen him numerous times in both dream and imagination.
A sob burst from her throat. "You are dead."
“But I live on, here in Sherwood. That to which we give our love in life is never lost."
Rennie continued to examine him through narrowed eyes. This must be how he had looked at the time of his death, strong and handsome, vital as the forest itself.
"Long have I tried to reach you, Daughter, to tell you the importance of your place here."
There, he had said it: daughter. A chill chased its way through Rennie's limbs.
"Wren, life is a series of cycles. The flesh rises and falls as do the stars in the sky; the spirit endures. The three of you – Sparrow, Martin and yourself – must prepare to take your places on the wheel."
"It is not fair," Rennie cried, suddenly aware of how much she would have liked knowing this man.
"It is not fair," he agreed, "when a child is born into serfdom, an old woman bled to death for the king's taxes, or the father of a family deprived of his hand, so those he loves must starve. There is but one thing fair about our world."
"And, what is that?"
"That love does not die, but rides the wheel and goes round until it meets with those who love, again. You must do as you must do. Keep the magic strong."
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