Book Two of the Stranje House Series
In the Regency era, young ladies were expected to dress in soft pastels and purr politely like weak kittens.
Not Tess Aubreyson, the main character of EXILE FOR DREAMERS. She doesn’t do the expected. Every morning before the sun comes up, she runs.
Tess can also throw a dagger better than most men, and she can scale a wall if the need arises, because Tess is one of the extraordinary young ladies in A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS.
The Stranje House novels are about a handful of girls who didn’t fit into Regency England’s rigid high society – and a shrewd headmistress who is turning these gifted young ladies into spies in the war against Napoleon.
Kathleen Baldwin, spills Six Secrets about
EXILE FOR DREAMERS
1. 1. Tess is fearless because she has to be. Her prophetic dreams would drive a weaker person to madness. Sadly, Tess doesn’t realize the depth of her inner strength. She’s afraid she’ll succumb to the same madness that took her mother’s life.
The book opens with Tess explaining why she runs:
“I run to escape my dreams. Dreams are my curse. Every night they haunt me, every morning I outrun them, and every evening they catch me again. One day they will devour my soul.
But not today.”
2. A fun secret about the Stranje House series as a whole is that producer, Ian Bryce, optioned it for film. He produced Saving Private Ryan, Spiderman, Transformers, Almost Famous, and many others. We are all thrilled and excited about that.
3. In my mind, Tess looks a lot like this actress, Ryan Newman, except Tess might look a little bit more rugged.
4. Tess communicates with animals using an old language that her mother taught her. That language is based on a version of almost forgotten ancient Welsh. I am part Welsh, but actually got the idea for this from an American Indian friend of mine, Kathy Redwing. Kathy and I worked on a dude ranch in Northern Arizona and she talked to our horses using her native language, which was Apache.
5. There are many dreams in the book, but several were edited out of the story. For instance, in an earlier version Tess and Napoleon share a dream sequence. In real life, Napoleon had a deep interest in dreams, and apparently had experienced meaningful dreams. He was obsessed with trying to decode their meanings. Supposedly, he had an ancient Egyptian oraculum that he consulted.
6. Obviously, dreams play prominently in the theme of EXILE FOR DREAMERS. Tess struggles with prophetic dreams. Sometimes they are literal, other times both she and the reader must work to decipher them. I created a new stamp to take with me to signings.
To celebrate the release of this latest book, I’ll be giving away a copy of EXILE FOR DREAMERS. Giveaway will end Monday, May 30th...so enter daily.
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My Question for you is – have you ever had a dream that warned you of future events? Or one that helped you navigate some important aspect of your life? I’ll admit that I have.