Bernadette Rowley is a lover of epic fantasy who is a veterinarian by day and an author by night. She is currently published in the genre of fantasy/paranormal romance and has six books published, all set in her fantasy world of Thorius.
When she was a young teenager, an aunt gave her a copy of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and Bernadette has lived in various fantasy worlds ever since. So it’s no surprise that her chosen genre when writing romance is fantasy.
“I can see these settings so vibrantly in my mind and hope my readers can too.”
But Bernadette has no desire to spoon-feed her readers by laboriously describing her fantasy settings. She would rather the reader use their own imagination a little.
Along with sword and sorcery, dashing heroes and stunning heroines, this author includes strong healing themes in many of her books- an element which is central to her everyday job.
“When I started writing this series, I never imagined my day job would force its way into my stories as it has.”
And of course there are animals, especially Bernadette’s beloved horses, as well.
Bernadette lives in Brisbane, Australia, with the four heroes in her life- her husband Michael and three grown sons.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Brisbane, Australia? First and foremost, I’m proud to be an Australian romance author. I believe this genre is incredibly powerful in its message of hope and happily ever after. Secondly, I love the Brisbane fantasy scene which is vibrant with well-known authors in all subgenres of fantasy. There is always something happening here!
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve loved reading from a very young age and still do. I guess that was the driver, but the biggest single thing that happened was when my aunt introduced me to the fantasy genre with Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. I absolutely love high fantasy and it continually inspires my stories, particularly themes of ‘coming into power’ and ‘the quest’.
As far as writing is concerned, I discovered a serious desire to write a book through a goal setting workshop nearly twenty years ago and since then it has been stepping stones with lots of help from mentors along the way.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I think the major way my upbringing played a role in my writing was to make me rather self-sufficient. I can easily work alone and don’t need anyone to motivate me. I don’t use critique partners or beta readers but probably should. I do of course use professional editing and love this part of the process. Also, I learned early to accept criticism so I’m not precious about writing critique and have rather a hard skin which helps when you put your work out there.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I began writing towards publishing in 2007 when I spent a year working on the first book in my space opera series with Louise Cusack. I’d taken this year off work and had moved to regional Queensland so it was the perfect opportunity to devote some time to my writing goals. That series is yet to be published but there are some crazy good ideas in there. Louise urged me to try my hand at romance and I had my first romance published –Princess Avenger- by Penguin in 2012.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I would have to say working with editors has been amazingly rewarding. I learn something new from each editor I work with. I really love the process of polishing my work.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? There have been so many, it’s difficult to pick just one. I guess getting the call from my Penguin editor to let me know they wanted to publish Princess Avenger has to be right up there and then the email from Pan Macmillan with my two book contract offer was pretty amazing as well.
How many published books do you have? I have six published books. Two of them, The Lord and the Mermaid and The Elf King’s Lady, are published by Pan Macmillan Australia and the others are self-published. Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice were my titles originally published by Penguin Australia.
Please list the titles of all your books:
Princess Avenger- Brightcastle Saga Book1
Princess in Exile- Brightcastle Saga Book 2
The Lady’s Choice: A Spin Off From Princess Avenger
The Lord and the Mermaid- Wildecoast Saga Book 1
The Elf King’s Lady- Wildecoast Saga Book 2
The Lady and the Pirate- Wildecoast Saga Book 3
Please tell me the genre of each of your books. All my books are the same genre which I call fantasy romance or paranormal romance
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? A little of each. Princess Avenger was always exactly that. The Lady’s Choice was written as For Love or Salvation and I was asked to come up with a new name. Princess in Exile and The Lady and the Pirate were written under those names and my Pan Macmillan editor came up with the names for my mermaid and elf king titles. I would say from now on the name will come first.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I love high fantasy- I adore everything about it- swords and sorcery, paranormal characters, the themes previously stated, the epic nature of the stories and the fact that it lends itself so well to series which I also prefer to read. I never want a story to end when I’m enjoying it. All the books I’ve listed are actually one big series although you can read them on their own. Each of my titles describes a romance and they are principally romance stories set in my fantasy world of Thorius
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Lady and the Pirate, please.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? The Lady and the Pirate came about from the ship that’s featured on the cover of The Lord and the Mermaid. An author friend mentioned pirates when we were discussing that book and that’s what gave me the idea for a pirate hero. It’s utterly amazing where inspiration comes from but you have to be open to it.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write what you know in a genre you’re passionate about.
Who is your favorite author and why? I have so many favorite authors but number one at the moment would be Marie Force. I’ve enjoyed every book Marie has written but especially her romantic suspense Fatal series. A new author for me who I’m really enjoying and who writes historical fantasy mystery is CJ Archer.
The Lady and The Pirate (The Wildecoast Saga Book 3) by Bernadette Rowley
Lady Esta Aranati, burdened by an impoverished estate, has turned her hand to smuggling. She leads a double life, a mask and wig the only shields that protect her reputation. Swashbuckling pirate Samael Delacost craves her cargo and her heart. But before he can be worthy of her love, he must exorcize the ghosts of his past. An irresistible connection binds them but will that be enough to convince Samael to turn his back on the sea, or for Esta to take a chance on happiness she doesn’t think she deserves?
The Lady and the Pirate continues The Wildecoast Saga, with popular The Lord and the Mermaid characters Nikolas Cosara and his wife Merielle featured in this latest installment from Bernadette Rowley.
Book Review: Book three in the Wildecoast Saga is a stand-alone book that any fantasy romance reader will enjoy whether you have read The Lord And The Mermaid or The Elf King’s Lady sagas first.
Twenty five well-written chapters with realistic characters bring the reader into Lady Esta Aranati’s double life.
Even though the author places this at the end of the book, I think it will benefit you to know the meaning of these two terms upfront. Lenweri (the elven people, they have dark skin, pointed ears and are tall and elegant) and Sis Lenweri (the faction of dark elves that wishes to take over the kingdom of Thorius).
Chapter one opens with some suspense aboard the ‘Sea Sprite’ when captain, Lady Esta Aranti’s first mate wakes her up from deep sleep to inform her they have a visitor on board. I quote: “Esta drew a deep and heavy sigh, her heart kicking up a notch as she contemplated who the visitor might be. On a ship miles out to sea at night, there were few possibilities and none of them good.”
In chapter three the mood shifts and I quote:
“Esta moved to the bow and stood with the wind in her face, the black strands of her wig streaming behind her. It was chill but not wet and she reveled in the dance of her ship over the waves. Sea Sprite was one of the joys of her life and sailing one of her great loves. When she was on the ocean, she was free of earthly ties and a little of its wildness seeped into her, giving her strength for the trials of estate life. Lately, she had found it almost impossible to return to the estate without a nagging sense of dread.
“You seem almost happy tonight, sister,” Katrine said, joining her in the bow. Katrine was wildness personified, with a lithe body and long black hair that she rarely tied back. Not for her the wig as she had less need for a full disguise, shunning public life as she did. She wore leather breeches, flowing black shirts and a broad black satin mask decorated with stars. Her piercing blue eyes were now fixed on Esta.
“I am happy, Katrine,” Esta said. “What makes you think I am ever unhappy?”
I invite you to join Katrine and Esta as they sail the sea with visions of finding treasure on their minds.
I hope the quotes above whet your appetite for strong female characters, rugged men, pirates, treasure maps, adventure, sword and sorcery and of course romance.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Lady And The Pirate (The Wildecoast Saga Book 3) by Bernadette Rowley. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on May 3, 2017
The Elf King’s Lady: Wildecoast Saga Book 2 by Bernadette Rowley
In the midst of a war between elves and men, two unlikely companions find love. But in this battle of ages, can they defy the very blood that courses through their veins?
The human kingdom of Thorius is once again under threat from the dark elven menace. General Kain Jazara has sworn to protect Thorius from all danger, magical or otherwise – but first he must rescue the highborn family of alluring healer Lady Alique Zorba.
Thrown together in their quest to save Alique’s family, and eventually themselves, from the merciless elven clan, the pragmatic General and the impulsive Lady Alique discover an undeniable passion. But when Kain’s world is torn apart by a personal revelation, he turns his back on both Alique and his homeland.
Can Kain find a path back to love and victory in time? Or will he allow revelations from his family’s mysterious past to destroy his relationship, his happiness, and his kingdom?
Perfect for fans of Nalini Singh and C.L. Wilson.
The Lord and The Mermaid: Wildecoast Saga Book 1 by Bernadette Rowley
Fans of C.L. Wilson will love this fantasy romance about two lovers from different worlds who will break the laws of land and sea in their quest to be together.
Mermaid Merielle has fled the sea, disgusted at the actions of her people and desperate to build a life for herself on land. But to truly live as a woman, she must
Lord Nikolas Cosara has lost his brother at sea, and is driven to discover whether his sibling has died at the dangerously seductive hands of a mermaid. But when Nik finds Merielle washed up on the beach, he reluctantly saves her. Despite his antipathy for her kind, Nik is increasingly drawn to Meri, who is slowly working her way into his damaged heart.
Can Nik surrender to his love for Meri before her hopes of a human life are lost forever? Or will a devastating secret bring all her efforts to naught?
Princess Avenger: Brightcastle Saga Book 1 by Bernadette Rowley
Princess Alecia Zialni is no ordinary noblewoman but a crusader for Brightcastle’s miserable subjects, disguising herself to exact revenge and minister to the poor. So it is irksome in the extreme when the dark and dangerous Captain Vard Anton rescues her from a mercenary she has attacked. Alecia manages to slip from his grasp only to discover he has been appointed her protector.
How is she to maintain her secret life with Vard watching her every move? More importantly, how can she safeguard her heart from this mesmerising man?
Vard knows he cannot remain Alecia’s protector and fulfill his mission to kill her father, Prince Zialni. Neither can he defend her when his control of his transformations is so tenuous.
Will the attraction that sizzles between the courageous princess and the daring captain be enough to overcome Vard’s obligation to his heritage and Alecia’s duty to the Kingdom?
Princess In Exile: Brightcastle Saga Book 2 by Bernadette Rowley
Princess Alecia flees her arranged marriage with the help of the dangerous Vard Anton, shapeshifter and former army captain. Blinded by love, they believe they can have a life together but every encounter with the mercenaries sent to find them, pushes Vard towards his least controllable form- the gigantic brown bear.
Desperate to find a mentor who will help him control his transformations, Vard and Alecia travel to a forgotten city where a powerful sorcerer resides. But this wizard is in league with the dark elves and the lovers soon discover he has his own dangerous agenda.
Will Vard and Alecia escape the clutches of the sorcerer who would use Alecia’s position to advance the dark elven cause? Can their love survive despite Alecia’s fear of Vard’s animal transformations? What secret does the princess hold that has the power to destroy the trust Vard has in her?
The answers to all this and more are contained in the pages of Princess in Exile, the dark sequel to Princess Avenger.
The Lady’s Choice: Will Love Conquer Duty (A Spin Off From Princess Avenger) by Bernadette Rowley
Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba?
Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.
World of Thorius Boxed Set: Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice by Bernadette Rowley
Princess Avenger: Passionate Princess Alecia sets out to avenge the slaying of her first love. Captain Vard Anton is dealing with his own dark secrets. When he is appointed Alecia’s protector, both find it hard to ignore the chemistry between them. Can Alecia resist the enigmatic Vard while trying to exact revenge? Will their fatal attraction ultimately lead to tragedy or can love unite Alecia and Vard forever?
The Lady’s Choice: Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba? Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.