Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest Blogger: Chris Karlsen - Byzantine Gold #CharacterInterview #Excerpt

Today I'm excited to welcome Chris Karlsen, author of Byzantine Gold, book 2 in the Dangerous Waters series. Chris is sharing Character Interviews with Charlotte and Atakan.

So without further ado, here's Chris...

After I wrote Golden Chariot, I knew I wanted to write a sequel, another nautical archaeology story, and waited for the right setting. To my good fortune, I learned the couple I interviewed for Golden Chariot last year, Charlotte Dashiell and Atakan Vadim, would be working another shipwreck, a Byzantine wreck found off the coast of Northern Cyprus.

I contacted them for another interview. It was the inspiration for my latest book, Byzantine Gold. Since the book is in release, I thought I’d publish the interview.

We met at a restaurant in Istanbul where they live. For those who don’t know, Charlotte is an American who grew up in Chicago. Atakan is a Turkish government agent who grew up in the Izmir region of Turkey. They met working the wreck in Golden Chariot and over the course of time, became lovers.

Chris K:  Tell me Charlotte, you’ve been living in Istanbul for a year now. How do you like it?

Charlotte: I love the city. It’s very cosmopolitan. One of the things I find so interesting is the architecture, the mix of Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern buildings. The city is rich in history, the people are friendly, and there are loads of great restaurants and museums. I like the fact that as big and busy as the city is, our neighborhood has a warm, intimate vibe. We know the baker, the green grocer, and all the café owners by name. 

Atakan: The one thing Charlotte conveniently didn’t mention is her refusal to drive in Istanbul. For a woman who has no qualms about driving in Chicago with the heavy traffic there, and in spite of my encouragement, she won’t drive in Istanbul, citing even crazier drivers than in Chicago and brutal parking scenarios.

Charlotte: They drive like bumble bees on acid.

Atakan: She loves to tell people this. (I couldn’t miss the wink he gave her)

Chris K: You’ve been together now for almost a year. What’s one thing you enjoy about each other?

Atakan: It is hard to narrow the list down. I appreciate her intellect, courage (excluding driving), and resourcefulness. But I enjoy her humor, although I still pretend to be shocked sometimes. In the beginning, I was taken aback at times by her teasing but I’ve grown to laugh at her boldness.

Charlotte: In line with Atakan’s answer, I’d say I appreciate his strong ethics, his strength of character and honor. That said; I enjoy how open he is with friends and family. People who don’t know him see this stiff, reserved, and difficult to approach man. He’s so opposite that in private life. I never expected him to be a cook, let alone have fun with me in the kitchen. He and I love to entertain. He’s a warm and lovely host with a very wry sense of humor.

Chris K: Since you (Atakan) mentioned Charlotte’s courage and resourcefulness, I heard that prior to this latest project you were shot in Paris. Charlotte was with you at the time. Tell me what happened.

Atakan: An old enemy of mine decided to take revenge. Obviously, this was unexpected as we both believed he was in hiding. That is until the morning I was shot. Charlotte saw him at Sacra Coeur but I didn’t believe her. We were entering our hotel when he shot me. I was struck in the shoulder, as you can see from my sling. I managed to get inside but was losing a lot of blood. Charlotte kept her wits and didn’t panic. Through her quick thinking, she kept me from going into shock.

After I was released from the hospital, we returned to Istanbul. My enemy was apparently watching us there too. He came to our home and I chased after him. Charlotte refused to leave me vulnerable. I was very upset with her at the time, but she insisted whatever we did, we’d do together. My agency fully expects him to follow me to the Byzantine wreck site off Cyprus and make another attempt. Knowing the danger, she didn’t have to accept the assignment but has been stalwart in her desire to stay by my side.

Chris K: Tell me a little about this new project.

Charlotte: It’s a Byzantine warship but it carried a large cache of gold in the cargo, which has everyone mystified. This is most unusual for a warship. The team is excited to start the excavation and hopefully find some answers that will explain the strange cargo.
I’m looking forward to seeing many of the same divers return who I worked with on the Bronze Age wreck that you based Golden Chariot on. Talat and Refik will be there for sure. Atakan tells me our friend and his fellow agent, Iskender, is coming to help provide security for the site and to help if Atakan’s enemy shows up.

Atakan: Besides another possible attempt on my life, Iskender and I are both concerned about all the publicity the rich cargo has received and potential criminal activity it might attract.

Chris K: After this assignment, what is in the future for the two of you?

Charlotte: My brother Nick is a Chicago cop, a member of a SWAT team. He has a ton of vacation time built up and wants to come visit us in Istanbul for several weeks. I can’t wait. That will be sometime next year.

Atakan: Nick made friends with Iskender. They’re both something of ladies men. I think they’ll have no trouble staying busy. Iskender already plans for them to travel to the towns along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastline to play in the sun with tan, bikini clad beauties. Or so he tells me.

Chris K: Thank you both for meeting with me today. I already have the title for my next book: Byzantine Gold. I look forward to hearing how the project works out.

Back cover blurb for Byzantine Gold

A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons. 

Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal—seeing them both dead.

Available at Amazon:


Charlotte answered on the fourth ring. Caller I.D. showed “restricted.”
“They are called, Angelique tulips. You admired them in the hospital garden in Paris.”
Charlotte froze, holding her breath as she listened to the nightmare voice, remembering how his Eastern European accent rounded certain sounds and how he stressed the last syllables in his words. Called became cawl-d.
“Everything in time,” he said and hung up.
Charlotte dropped the phone on the table. She turned to Atakan.
The shock must’ve shown on her face. “What is wrong?”
“That was Tischenko,” she said, finding her voice. “The flowers are from him. He was watching me in Paris when I was at the hospital. He—”
Atakan didn’t wait for her to finish. He rushed into the living room, grabbed his gun from the bookshelf, and ran out of the apartment.
Charlotte followed as he flew down the four flights of stairs to the street.
“Stop.” Catching up to him on the sidewalk, she hooked his elbow with her hand. Fearful an armed Tischenko hid nearby, she positioned herself in front of Atakan, thinking to shield him. “We can’t stand here. He could be anywhere taking aim at you right now.”
“Go back inside.”
“Not without you.” She tugged on his shirt, pulling him toward their building. “Atakan please, let’s leave. Call the Director.”
Atakan shoved her behind him. Silent, his eyes searched the dark doorways of neighboring apartment buildings and parked cars.
“Atakan please.”
“Get inside.”
She stepped in front of him again. “We stay here together or we leave together.”
An eternity of seconds passed. Neither moved or blinked.
They both jumped and turned at the bellow from the horn of a passing truck. Thankfully, the driver was waving to another coming the opposite direction. He never saw the man in the sling pointing a gun at him.
“Please,” she repeated.
Atakan nodded. He stopped at the building’s entry door and took a last look, surveying the street. “He moves us around like pawns in a private game.”

Author Bio:

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.
My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write two different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse. 

Author Website:



chris karlsen said...

Hi Everyone,
I want to thank Gale for inviting me here today and letting showcase Byzantine Gold. I'd look forward to hearing your followers thoughts.

I love your wolf picture on the home page;)
Chris Karlsen

Gale Stanley said...

I'm happy to have you. I enjoyed the post and the excerpt! Gale