Welcome, Rachelle. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I have so many exciting writing projects in progress! After Prince Incognito, I have one more book in the Reclaiming the Crown series. The Missing Monarch hits shelves in September. Then, this December, my first historical debuts. A Royal Marriage is set in the same fictional
, but it takes
place in the year 801, and tells the story of the Lydian King John and the
daughter of Charlemagne, Gisela. It’s also the first book in my Protecting the
Crown series, which features a mix of suspense and historical titles. The first
suspense book in the series, Defending
the Duchess, comes out in March of next year. kingdom
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and kids keep me very busy! I have four kids, ranging in age from three to nine years old, two boys and two girls. Each of the books in the Reclaiming the Crown series is dedicated to one of them. My seven-year-old has even started reading the book dedicated to her (my nine-year-old has to wait—his book isn’t out yet!)
I’ve dedicated books to my daughters, my sons-in-law, my grandchildren. Now I have a new grandson-in-law. He’s next. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Since I’ve always been an avid reader, that aspect has never changed. But I find myself reading a lot of books for research, especially now that I’m starting to write historicals.
I totally understand that, since I write historicals. I’ve built quite a library of reference volumes. I like to be able to page through them when I’m writing. What are you working on right now?
I’m in the middle of the final edits of A Royal Marriage. I just finished the revised manuscript for Defending the Duchess, and I’ve finished the first chapter of the next suspense book in that series, which doesn’t have a firm title yet.
What outside interests do you have?
I love to travel, especially now that the kids are getting old enough to handle road trips. We’re taking off for Mount Rushmore in a couple of weeks (six McCallas in one van—pray for us!). We also like to go camping and hiking.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Right now I have it pretty easy, because my books are centered around one place, the fictional
Previous books have been set in places familiar to me. My first two Survival Instinct and Troubled Waters, are set among the kingdom of Lydia Apostle Islands
on Lake Superior. We lived in the tiny
lakeside town of Bayfield
for almost two years. And my Holyoake Heroes series is set in southwest Iowa, around the small
towns where my husband grew up.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I’d love to hang out with Winston Churchill, because he has such a great sense of humor and also because he lived through so many tumultuous events.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Hmm, that’s a great question. It would have been nice to know that I was going to get published, so I could stop obsessing about how to do that.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
This summer I’ve been learning how to be a mom to kids who are suddenly a year older than they were last year! I know a year might not seem like much, but we’re on new ground with a lot of new experiences. The oldest two set off their own firecrackers for the first time the other day. The girls went off the high dive at the pool for the first time this week. My oldest went away for six days at summer camp. They’re reading chapter books and middle grade books and playing board games with each other (sometimes without even fighting!). It’s been a great new adventure.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Read and pray and write all the time—and go on Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog if you can—she’s the best!
Thank you, Rachelle. Tell us about the featured book.
Prince Incognito is the third of the four books in the Reclaiming the Crown series. It follows the adventures of Alexander, the soldier prince and presumed heir of the Lydian throne. Alec is injured in the ambush on the royal motorcade, and he’s lost all memory of who he is and who is after him. He needs to keep his country and his crown safe, but first he needs to figure out who he is. Fortunately he finds a friend, Lillian Bardici, who tends his injuries and helps him. When he saves her life in return, they realize they need each other’s help if they’re going to survive.
Please give us the first page of the book.
His Royal Highness Prince Alexander of Lydia stood at attention in the palace courtyard, his back extra straight, his arms practically immobilized by the stiff sleeves of his dress uniform. The classic-cut olive-green suit was reserved for formal occasions, and Alec hadn't realized until he'd squeezed into it for this evening's state dinner just how long it had been since he'd last worn it.
His last deployment, a humanitarian mission in the deserts of
The limousines began to line up for the motorcade, and Alec watched his parents descend the palace steps with the rustle of sashes and silk. His father, His Majesty King Philip, waved Alec away from the head car.
"You'll be sixth in line." He pointed him farther down the queue.
"Why sixth? Who's in between us?" Though Alec didn't want to sound presumptuous, he was, after all, heir apparent to the throne of
"State officials. Regional dignitaries. Guards."
"Yes. Guards on motorcycles, guards in every car." King Philip motioned to a group of gun-bearing men. "You'll have one riding with you."
"A bodyguard?" Alec looked down at the young man who'd stepped forward. The kid wasn't small, but Alec was considerably larger, and he guessed, more experienced. "Father, I'm a soldier. I can take care of myself."
The king was halfway to his car, but as he looked back, he seemed to notice for the first time that his son had grown, and he deflated a little. "Fine. You can ride alone. But stay close. Stay safe." The king appeared as though he wanted to say more, but the cars and guards were waiting, and he ducked inside the limo after the queen.
Alec watched the door close after his parents, and their car rolled forward.
What was that all about? Stay close? Stay safe? Alec blinked at the abundance of men who filled the waiting vehicles and perched on their motorcycles, ready to go. Behind him, he spotted his sister Isabelle giving her bodyguard the cold shoulder as he held open the door to her waiting limousine. She'd told Alec that her request to have the guard removed had been turned down by their father.
Something strange was going on. When he'd first arrived home, Alec had assumed everything felt foreign simply because he wasn't used to it anymore. He'd acclimated to desert life, and no longer felt like he fit in with
But all the extra security, as well as his father's odd behavior, left Alec questioning what was going on. Sure, he was used to men with guns—but there weren't usually so many of them swarming the palace, were there? And whereas these events of state tended to be stressful for his father, today the king seemed downright jumpy.
Alec slid into his car, but he couldn't relax, in spite of the sumptuous leather seat of the limousine he was riding in. Too much about the situation bothered him.
Besides that, in a seated position, he could hardly take a breath.
His car crept forward, and Alec strained to see through the darkly tinted windows to the vehicles ahead of him. He hadn't seen any officials or dignitaries in the courtyard—no one had entered the vehicles ahead of him except for a few guards.
What was going on?
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m on Facebook, goodreads, and www.rachellemccalla.com
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Prince Incognito (Love Inspired Suspense) - paperback
Prince Incognito (Love Inspired Suspense) - Kindle
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