When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?
A girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love. But those from whom they expect support are manipulating them both because their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.
After a stormy youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery. That is, until he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation. To follow his heart, he’ll have to face his demons again, outside the security of the monastery. Is it worth the risk? Can he beat them this time? Or will they finally destroy him?
Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the abbey. All she wants is to learn how to manage her unusual abilities so that she is not a danger to those around her. When she comes into contact with Prospero everything threatens to spiral out of her control. Whether she leaves or whether she stays, how can she possibly avoid destroying – yet again – those she has come to care about?
Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice. He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war. Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for. He knows what he has to do but is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?
I am happy to share a guest post about housework. Enjoy!
I don’t like doing housework and I’m sure I’m not alone. But I know people who enjoy it, and I’m told that if you’re being paid to do it for someone else it can be very satisfying. I enjoy doing the laundry and the ironing, yet my husband will agree to doing almost any other domestic task just to avoid that. (Early in our marriage he agreed to do all the washing up. Somehow we bought a dishwasher within a week!) Anyway, my point is that any household has a range of domestic chores that need to be done and different people like or dislike different jobs.
When I started creating the environment in which my main characters lived, I wanted it to be a place where, if I lived there, I wouldn’t have to do the chores I don’t like (it’s my world, after all). Strand of Faith is set in the Great House St Peter, which is the home of the High Lord, Abbot Lord Gabriel, who effectively rules the whole territory of House St Peter. The community includes the monks and nuns who live in the monastery and the immediate household of the High Lord.
They also run a college, hospital and extensive farms with any number of people who attend or work at these, but those people aren’t part of the household. Those people might eat with the household, or live under its roof, as many of the students do, but they aren’t committed to it in the same way that household members are.
Everyone who is part of the household has their everyday needs – accommodation, food, clothing etc – provided. But they all have to contribute to the household too, not only in what we would call ‘the day job’ but also in the domestic chores necessary for the household to function. Andrew, one of the monks, explains it to Leonie (Lord Gabriel’s new ward) one day when he, she and Brother Prospero are in the gardens.
Andrew was amused by Leonie’s surprise at Prospero’s detailed knowledge of the wide range of flowers and greenery used to decorate hospital, House and Abbey.
“While everyone in the House has a job – you’re a student, we’re doctors, Pedro’s the chef,” he said. “We’ve all got a domestic role, too, to keep everything functioning. You work in the kitchens, I work in the stables, but Prospero works in the gardens, so naturally he knows about the plants.”
Leonie frowned. “How can the kitchen be Pedro’s job and my domestic role? Aren’t they different things?”
Andrew agreed, “Yes, they are different. But everywhere, gardens, kitchen, stables, the workers will be a mix of those for whom it’s their job and those for whom it’s their domestic role. But those for whom it’s their job tend to be more senior, and in charge in each area.”
That satisfied her and she went charging off to look at another plant that had caught her eye.
I’d be happy to work in the kitchen, laundry or gardens – just so long as I don’t have to do the cleaning!
I’ve very much enjoyed creating this world – I hope you enjoy reading about it too. If you do, let me know on Twitter or Facebook, or leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads – or both. Thank you.
Thank you, Rachel J. Bonner and RachelsRandomResources.
About the author
Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.
Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance. Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun. When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club. Target shooting only, honest. Nothing to worry about.
She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary. It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.