Characters on the Ragged Edge

I’ve always been fascinated by people who have obstacles to overcome that are bigger than the ones most of us deal with. That’s why, in addition to the love story between Erik and Valdis at the heart of this book, the main characters in Silk Dreams all deal with some pretty difficult issues.

ValdisValdis has epilepsy. Grand mal seizures are no picnic in this century, but imagine being plagued by them in the 11th. In the Northlands, her family thinks she’s been witched when she has a fit before her betrothed’s fine jarlhof, so they sell her to the next group of traders who sail by.

Her new owner wants to use her seizures to convince others that she has prescient dreams and can foretell the future–the future he orders her to see.

DamianThe man who buys her in Miklagaard (Constantinople) has problems of his own. Damian was gelded 10 years earlier, but his heart is still that of an intact man’s. As a eunuch, he’s risen high in the emperor’s service, with houses and investments and servants of his own, but he still sends support anonymously to his wife and son back in Greece. He’d rather let Calysta believe he’s dead than to return to her as a half-man.

The life of the mind is his province now and Damian’s is as Byzantine as they come. When Valdis uncovers a plot to unseat the emperor, she and Erik aren’t sure if Damian is trying to foil it, or secretly foment it.


thor-cpErik is a captain in the Varangian Guard, the emperor’s elite bodyguard made up of Norse soldiers. But he’s not in Miklagaard by choice. He was banished from the North for killing his brother–a rash act that torments him daily. He’d planned to seek a battle death in the service of the Bulgar-Slayer, but when he loses his heart to Valdis, he has no idea how to rebuild his tattered honor and free her at the same time.

I hope you’ll enjoy Silk Dreams. It was a difficult book to write because there are no easy answers for any of my characters. Of course, there’s a Happily Ever After. It is a romance, after all. But the journey to that conclusion is a hard one. If you’re game for a story that’s not quite safe, Silk Dreams is for you.

Reviewers say…

Silk Dreams

“The lush smell of spices, the soft silk of the harem and the intrigue of court life combines as Marlowe sweeps readers into her novel of medieval Constantinople. She crafts a lavish love story that’s as entertaining as it is epic.”
~ RT BOOKReviews

 “The colorful and captivating world of ancient Byzantium provides the intriguing setting for Mia Marlowe’s lushly sensual, sumptuously written historical romance.”
~John Charles, Chicago Tribune


Available for:

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Now it’s YOUR turn. I love to hear from my cyber-friends so please leave a comment. I’ll kick off the discussion with a question: Have you ever read an unsafe story, one that didn’t go in comfortable directions and made you wonder how in the world the author would ever lead you out of the tangle she led you into? For me, the most recent one was Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. What was it for you?

P.S. Yes, I know it’s Thursday, but if we have no volunteer, we can’t have Red Pencil Thursday. If you’d like to take a turn in our online critique group’s hotseat, please click here for info on how to submit your material. Hope to hear from you soon. ;-)

9 thoughts on “Characters on the Ragged Edge

  1. Mia,

    SILK DREAMS sounds awesome. I haven’t read a story where a eunuch is a main character. Way to break the mold.

    I don’t tend to read unsafe stories, but I love your writing, so I will have to read this one.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Barbara. Lots of readers have written to let me know they’ve taken a chance on Silk Dreams and haven’t been disappointed with the wild ride. Hope you love it too.

  2. Laurie Evans says:

    Yes, I just read Outlander and felt the same way!

    I can’t wait to read Silk Dreams, too.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      When Jamie was rescued from prison, it was not a happy time, was it? However, Gabaldon managed to make me believe in the transforming, healing power of love before the book ended.

      I hope you’ll love Silk Dreams, Laurie.

      1. Laurie Evans says:

        Yes, I had a hard time getting through the last part of that book. Several things in that book made me uncomfortable.

        But I think good fiction makes you uncomfortable.

  3. A story that doesn’t go in comfortable directions and leaves you wondering how things could possibly work out? George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Fire and Ice” series, definitely. (The first book is “Game of Thrones.” It’s the basis for the HBO series.) He hasn’t finished the series yet, so I still don’t know whether he will pull off a satisfying ending. It’s hard to imagine, when we’ve lost so many characters along the way.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Oh, looks like I can read the books instead of bemoaning my lack of HBO. Thanks, SD.

  4. Mia–this story sounds so deeply rich and emotional. I can’t wait to read it. I’m on a total historical kick having just gotten into Game of Thrones plus watching my son play Sky Rim. :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Katherine. I hope you love it. I don’t have HBO, so I’ve missed Thrones and some of the other big historicals on the premium channels. Wish there were more on regular TV. Guess there’s no way to make a reality series out of it a historical setting, huh? Instead of Duck Dynasty and the Wives of Wall Street, I’d sure rather see Viking Vacations or Wives of Titled Alphas!

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