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Voices of Resistance

Stepping into another book genre is scary. I’ve written for M/M readers. I have written for F/F readers. Now, I am testing the waters with pursed lips and curled toes, about to plunge into the world of historical fiction.

In 1996, I took a trip to Europe where I visited London, Edinburgh, Bath, Versailles, Calais and Paris. I absorbed as much as possible, listening to the guides and reading everything within reach. When I arrived back in California, I had an overwhelming desire to write a story. A story that started in Paris.  I began to write a story about a woman and a man who meet on a train.

Over the next twenty years I tweaked and torqued that story. I moved the characters from one country to another. Gave them one back story only to change that as well. I married them off to others and felt their pain when the marriages didn’t work. I kept at them. They remained with me every day, every year and every time I wrote something else. Finally, a story began to take shape that felt exactly right. I knew where the characters were going and what they were doing. You see, I knew them inside and out. I had spent over twenty years growing along side them. This story is all about them and where they decided to go; I only wrote down the words.

This is the story of six Americans. Government agents sent on a mission that began in the dusty offices of the Panama Canal Zone Closure committee in Panama City, Panama in 1979. Knowing all along that their cover as administrators for the committee was a thinly veiled attempt to keep tabs on the birth pangs of the Colombian drug cartels. The agents found themselves neck deep in intrigue and espionage. Treason at the highest levels of government leads them to go deep under cover in the rain forests of Costa Rica. Following the trail of guns, money, drugs and human trafficking that moved throughout Central America from Colombia to Honduras. Surrounded by Contra rebels, Nicaraguan Sandinistas and La Resistencia of Central America, the agents find a life among the trees and mountains that speaks to their inner hearts and minds. No longer US agents planted to keep an eye on the goings on, they become the Voices of Resistance. Training a rag tag resistance army of peasants and farmers to become the most feared Resistance Army in all of Central America. They were La Discordia – The Discord. And they were deadly.

Trying to find a publisher for such a major tome was too daunting a thought. The novel turned into three novels and I set out to independently publish them. Voices of Resistance takes us from the Eastern United States to Central America over the span of fourteen years–from 1979 to 1993.

Voices of Resistance Book One: Deception’s Hand

The story begins in the administrative offices of the Panama Canal Zone Closure committee in Panama City. The year is 1979. Jimmy Carter is the president of the United States of America. Colonel Manuel Noriega runs Panama from the cozy aspect of a man behind the scenes. Drug cartels begin to flourish in Colombia. The guise of administrative officials allows a small group, one woman, Megan McLarren, and three men, Joe Miller, Bob Elkins and Mike Wells, of the Closure Committee to infiltrate a small group of Panamanians intent on saving the Darien Province between Panama and Colombia from being overrun by the drug labs. The group finds themselves on the receiving end of a kidnap attempt. Megan McLarren’s spouse, Mitch McLarren—a senior official in the US Department of Justice—is responsible for the kidnapping. The intention of selling Megan and her knowledge of the treaty to the drug lords in exchange for a steady supply of drugs to the US to be handled and distributed by Mitch. The kidnapping is thwarted and Mitch McLarren is tried for treason to the US. The failed attempt to take Megan McLarren angers her captors and they vow to avenge the action. The tale of how Megan was rescued by Joe, Bob and Mike is spread throughout the villages in the Darien by the natives who knew first hand the bravery of this team. A legend is born.

Book Two: A Cry in the Dark

Eighteen months later and the four agents find themselves back in Panama for the next phase of their mission. Joe, the one agent who had remained in Panama to infiltrate the Panamanian Resistance, is joined by his partner—and now wife—Megan. Bob and Mike meet up with them in Panama and accept the next step: to infiltrate and become members of the Central American Resistance, La Resistencia. Joe has been working with a small group of La Resistencia in Panama’s Darien Province. His contacts there aid the group in finding and joining the arm of La Resistencia in Costa Rica. The darker side of the US intelligence community asks them to provide proof that Noriega is funneling drugs, guns, money and humans, from Colombia through Panama and Costa Rica on to Nicaragua and points further north–eventually funneling the drugs to the United States.

The group digs in and becomes a unit of La Resistencia. They are joined by two other agents, Skip Thompkins and Jackie Dupré. The six of them, deeply embedded with La Resistencia are not  only able to provide the intelligence requested by the government of the US, but become as feared and as formidable as any guerrilla group fighting against the Sandinistas. They find themselves drawn to the lifestyle and culture of the mountain peoples of Central America. Though they continue to provide intel to the US, they begin to relinquish their city ways for life in the rain forest.

For five years, the team remains on the radar of the Sandinistas and the Cuban/Russian element of the Sandinista elite. Hunted now by the Sandinistas and the Colombian drug cartel, the Americans risk their lives to keep the intel flowing to the US. In one critical attempt to pass information and obtain supplies, the camp where the Americans are living is found by one of the worst arms of the Sandinista movement. Megan, Joe and their daughter Nena are killed in camp. Facing possible repercussions from their relative agencies for going deep and off the grid, the four remaining members of the original six decide to return to the US with the remains of their family.

Book Three: The Legend of the Darien

It has been eleven months since Bob Elkins, Mike Wells, Skip Thompkins and Jackie Dupré returned from Costa Rica and deep cover for the US government. They are back in DC at desk jobs, separated by agency protocol. They are finding it hard to adapt to the life expected of them. All four are facing a crisis and in an effort to save himself and his family, Bob proposes that the four of them return to Panama and try to find a way back into the La Resistencia. To find a way to finish what Joe and Megan started in the Darien Province. Running guns and drugs out of the Darien and back to Colombia to keep the Province safe for the native Kuna peoples.

The CIA gets wind that Mike may be returning to Panama. The agency decides to make it another operation for the four operatives. Noriega has become a liability for the US. This time they are tasked with finding hard proof that Noriega is using US funds to traffic in drugs and guns. The four agree to go back down to gather intelligence for the CIA.

However, once they return to Panama, the four find a way to go back to the life of the mountains, living as the Kuna live, building an arm of La Resistencia in the Darien Province to keep it safe from the drug cartels and Noriega. The Darien is a magical place and the Kuna natives are a gracious and simple people. Their rituals and spiritual connection to the earth attracts the four, but it also attracts something else. The spirits of their dead family, Joe, Megan and Nena appear to them while they are in the Darien and they help the others confront their guilt and loss. The four agents become strong leaders of La Resistencia with a following up and down the Panama-Colombia border. The drug cartels of Colombia send their henchmen, the MAS, to find the so called Legend of the Darien, Joe Miller, not knowing Joe is dead. Mike and his team keep the legend alive and thriving by driving the cartel thugs back to Colombia.The intel that they pass on to the US leads to the invasion of Panama and Noriega’s subsequent arrest. The four remain in Panama for another two years and then they retire from government work. They make their home in Panama, quietly aiding their friends in La Resistencia without the sanction of the US.

Twenty-one years later the six Americans are finally recognized by the US for their efforts in Central America and are awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The four  allow a reporter and a photographer from the Washington Post to visit them at their homes in Hialita, Panama. It is then that they tell the full tale of the Millers, Joe and Megan, and their efforts to protect not only the interests of the United States, but the lives of the native peoples of Central America.

As the sun begins to set, the four excuse themselves from the patio of their home to take a walk in the pasture. The reporter and the photographer remain on the patio and watch as they are joined by a woman, a man, and a child. The sun goes behind a cloud and only the four are seen. A trick of the sun, the reporter speculates, until again the sun comes out and the four are again seen being accompanied by a woman, a man, and a child. On a small hill on the edge of the pasture, is a monument. The local peoples are often seen visiting the monument on the hill. On this day, an older man and his grown son have come to see the monument. The older man sees the small group walking in the pasture. He nods and gives a little wave when the woman turns and gives him a smile. The man turns to his son. “Por favor, read the rest to me,” he says.

Below the names engraved on the monument is a single date, 23 Abril, 1986. The sentiment below the date was written in Spanish first, followed by English. The son reads:

‘They were known as La Discordia—The Discord. They brought anguish and fear to the foreign intruders though they themselves were not native born. The natives called them The Voice of the Voiceless. The freedom fighters called them Voices of Resistance. They lived their lives loving and protecting the native peoples of Central America against the tyranny of small men. They fought one battle among the many that were waged against the drug lords, destroying the airfields that were used to smuggle guns, drugs, and humans through the rain and cloud forests of our beloved countries. They died in each other’s arms, holding on long enough to whisper ‘I love you,’ one last time. They gave and lived a life of unconditional love and mutual respect. Here now, the earthly virtues rest under a sapphire sky, where the grass smells sweet and the sun rises to touch their faces with warmth.’

Voices of Resistance Book One: Deception’s Hand is now available on Amazon.com. It is available in paperback and Kindle editions. Book Two: A Cry in the Dark will be available June 2019 and Book Three: Legend of the Darien will be available August 2019.

The two characters, Megan and Joe, have been through many transformations. After many years of struggling to find their own voice, they are content with their story. I hope you feel the same way.

Shieldmaiden Book Three

Heart of Alban

When truth is lost to legend and myth, what is left for those who knew first the truth?

~ The Book of Clanns

Book three in the Shieldmaiden series, Heart of Alban continues the struggle between the Druid Clanns and the Vík Ingr. Lady Athebryn and the Council of Alban, lead the newly formed Armies of Alban as they wait for the Vík Ingr to return.

Alban, the home to many clanns and kingdoms, is fighting to remain free of the marauding hordes from over the North Sea. Leading the cause is the former Druid handmaiden to the Princess Thalynder, Lady Athebryn of the Brae. Bryn—as those close to her call Athebryn—stands as a beacon to the newly formed Armies of Alban. She has gathered the scattered clanns and kingdoms under one banner to fight off the invaders. Those invaders, the Vík Ingr, want only one thing—to kill off the inhabitants of the Alban, especially the Druids. They greatly desire to claim the island as their own and will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. Aiding Bryn and the Army of Alban are the dragons. Descendants of the first stars to fall to earth, the dragons have pledged their allegiance to the Heart of Alban—the Lady Athebryn.

 

Heart of Alban, the third and final book in the Shieldmaiden series is available now on Amazon in ebook format. A print version will be available by February 22, 2019.  This last book is being independently published. Shieldmaiden Book One: Quest for the Jewel and Shieldmaiden Book Two: Jewel of Fire will continue to be published by Bella Books. These two books are available via Bella Books.com or on Amazon.com. I had hoped the final book in this series would also be published by Bella Books. However, as this is not the case, I hope you will checkout Heart of Alban, Shieldmaiden Book Three on Amazon.

I urge you to continue to support Bella Books where so many good stories call home.

Shieldmaiden Book Two: Jewel of Fire

From Bella Books – Coming Soon!  Shieldmaiden Book Two: Jewel of Fire

In the highlands of Alban near the waters of the Inbhir Nis, Lady Athebryn waits for her dragon to bring word of the enemy across the sea. At her side is her beloved Princess Thalynder. Once handmaiden to the Princess, Lady Athebryn now stands ready to lead the hastily gathered army of clanns and kingdoms to battle against the marauding Vík Ingr.

Danger and death come to Lady Athebryn and her council when the Vík Ingr venture beyond the eastern shore to the brochs and fortresses of the clanns. Will Athebryn be able to lead the fledgling army and not give in to the temptation to use the dragons against the enemy? Will the dragons remain hidden, keeping the secret of Alban safe? If she can defeat the enemy, Lady Athebryn will win the hearts and minds of all, uniting Alban under one banner. But if she fails, then all hope for a united Alban may be forever lost.

 

Coming soon: Shieldmaiden Book Two: Jewel of Fire.  Release date Feb. 15, 2018

shieldmaiden2

 

Jewel of Fire

shieldmaiden2 For your viewing pleasure here is the cover for Shieldmaiden Book Two: Jewel of Fire.  Thank you artist Sandy Knowles for the beautiful cover!  My editor Chris Paynter and I are working on the final touches for a release date in the Spring of 2018.  Thank you for all your encouragement Chris. You can read all about Chris here at ckpaynter.com.

Shieldmaiden Book Two: Jewel of Fire

In the highlands of Alban near the waters of the Inbhir Nis, Lady Athebryn waits for her dragon to bring word of the enemy across the sea. At her side is her beloved Princess Thalynder. Once hand maiden to the Princess, Lady Athebryn now stands ready to lead the hastily gathered army of clanns and kingdoms to battle against the marauding Vík Ingr.

If they are successful, Lady Athebryn will win the hearts and minds of all, uniting Alban under one banner. But if they fail, then all hope for a united Alban may be forever lost.

 

GL lives in the Pacific Northwest near the rugged and beautiful Oregon Coast. When not tapping away on a keyboard, GL can be found walking the beach in search of the next inspirational treasure.

GL’s first fantasy, Shieldmaiden Book One: Quest for the Jewel was a 2017 GCLS finalist.

2017 Golden Crown Literary Society Finalists

Bella Books authors Gerri Hill, Karin Kallmaker, KG MacGregor, Tracey Richardson, Jessie ChandlerD Jordan Redhawk, Dillon Watson, Rachel Gold, Blayne Cooper, Nat Burns, S.M. Harding, Caitlin DrakeGL Roberts, TL Hart and Joanne Passet, are among the many authors chosen for 2017 Goldie Finalists.

Thank you to all at Bella Books and Congratulations to my fellow finalists!

Shieldmaiden Book One: Quest for the Jewel is a finalist in the Young Adult genre/category.  You can find Quest for the Jewel at Bella Books.

Five Star Reviews for Shieldmaiden

ShieldmaidenCoverjaf0329 Five Star Reviews!

Book One: Quest for the Jewel is available at Bella Books and at Amazon.

Taken from the ancient texts of the Clann of Brae Writings and Teachings, as set down by the Arch Druid of Brae:

The pact between dragonkind and humankind, long a treasured and cherished union, began eons before the words were carved into the sacred stones or inked onto the ancient parchments. Once a union of equals, over the centuries the pact gradually was refashioned—to the continuing detriment of dragonkind—and the tenuous thread that held the two together began to slowly fray.

Bound to the ancient ways by honor, dragonkind adapted to the changing ways of humankind, albeit with reluctance. Obedience to the pact was the duty of every dragon. It had been so since humans had crouched behind rocks and dragons watched over them from both the earth and stars. Dragons that had remained true and pure of heart and thought were granted a spot in the night sky from which to spend eternity looking down upon their earthbound charges. Angels with hearts as big as their bodies, they lit up the night with a light from within their souls, causing the sky to blaze with nobility.

Follow Bryn and her beloved Thalynder on a quest that will take them to the edge of their world where dragons reside and danger lurks. Where friends are found and love cannot be denied. Brave the wild with the dragon riders and discover how the first dragons came to live on earth.

Book Two: Jewel of Fire has an expected release date in 2017

Shieldmaiden Book One

Shieldmaiden Book One: Quest for the Jewel is now available at Bella Books!

Shieldmaiden Book One: Quest for the Jewel is a YA Fantasy set among the highlands of ancient Scotland ShieldmaidenCoverjaf0329during the beginnings of the Norse invasion. Bound by traditions older than anyone can remember, Waiting Lady and Shieldmaiden Bryn of the Brae must decide whether to follow the path of her Druid ancestors or deny her heritage and follow her heart. What begins for Bryn as a leisurely summer trip to the North with the realm’s princess Thalynder, the captain of the king’s guard Arryn and Meydra the dragon companion of the princess, soon becomes an urgent quest to find the one thing that will unite all the realms of Scotland. To bring together the Picts of the North, the Clanns of the West, and the Kingdoms of the South will take nothing less than a legend. The future of a nation rides on the back of a dragon and in the heart of one young woman.

 

Shieldmaiden Book One: Quest for the Jewel available now at Bella Books!

 

 

4 Stars for ‘A Bell For Andy’

abfa4 4 STARS!

The Novel Approach Reviews gave 4 stars to A Bell For Andy.  Thank you Rena!

Here’s a snippet from the review:

TWO MEN SHARE A HISTORY, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, IN GL ROBERTS’ “A BELL FOR ANDY”

Review: I’m an absolute sucker for reincarnation stories. It’s the idea of a second chance (third, fourth, or fifth, even?), of righting what was wrong once upon a time, of redemption, closure, etc., that gets me every time…

A Bell for Andy is all about being given another chance (a third one in this case) at correcting a past tragedy, but it comes with a wrinkle. Each man involved returns in a new life with the same personality and behavior, and with this being a love triangle, the odd man out always turns around and screws things up for everyone, forcing the process to repeat in future lifetimes until everyone gets it right. In this case, it’s Brian whose past life memories are the most important; he needs to not only remember all the events that’d led to their dilemma in their current lifetime, but also be the catalyst in finally putting things to right and allow everyone involved some closure. Motivations behind the past tragedy figure largely, and that not only involves Andy, Brian, and Mark, but also peripheral characters such as the gypsy woman who played a key role that got the ball rolling…

…The mystery is also not as straightforward as it seems at first, which is gratifying on several levels. When I thought I’d figured things out about midway through, the grand reveal proved me otherwise and kept the predictability of the tragedy at a minimum. No, it’s not a hundred percent unpredictable, but it at least veers off far more familiar paths.

Read the full review here at: The Novel Approach Reviews.

Rena_TNA_zpsa750d80f

Thank you again Rena, for the great review!

A Great Review for ‘A Bell For Andy’

abfa4 4 STARS!

The Novel Approach Reviews gave 4 stars to A Bell For Andy.  Thank you Rena!

Here’s a snippet from the review:

TWO MEN SHARE A HISTORY, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, IN GL ROBERTS’ “A BELL FOR ANDY”

Review: I’m an absolute sucker for reincarnation stories. It’s the idea of a second chance (third, fourth, or fifth, even?), of righting what was wrong once upon a time, of redemption, closure, etc., that gets me every time…

A Bell for Andy is all about being given another chance (a third one in this case) at correcting a past tragedy, but it comes with a wrinkle. Each man involved returns in a new life with the same personality and behavior, and with this being a love triangle, the odd man out always turns around and screws things up for everyone, forcing the process to repeat in future lifetimes until everyone gets it right. In this case, it’s Brian whose past life memories are the most important; he needs to not only remember all the events that’d led to their dilemma in their current lifetime, but also be the catalyst in finally putting things to right and allow everyone involved some closure. Motivations behind the past tragedy figure largely, and that not only involves Andy, Brian, and Mark, but also peripheral characters such as the gypsy woman who played a key role that got the ball rolling…

…The mystery is also not as straightforward as it seems at first, which is gratifying on several levels. When I thought I’d figured things out about midway through, the grand reveal proved me otherwise and kept the predictability of the tragedy at a minimum. No, it’s not a hundred percent unpredictable, but it at least veers off far more familiar paths.

Read the full review here at: The Novel Approach Reviews.

Rena_TNA_zpsa750d80f

Thank you again Rena, for the great review!

4 Stars for A Bell For Andy

abfa4 4 Stars! Joyfully Jay reviews A Bell for Andy

Brian and Andy became instant friends the moment they met in 1950s Boston. They attended the same Catholic school, shared a passionate interest in Ireland, and even shared a hospital room when they both had Scarlet Fever. They grew up having the same intense dreams that took place in a time they had not lived or studied about, involving people they had never met. Their need to be near each other was something they could not explain…
read more here:
JoyfullyJay.com

 

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