Thank you for the many kind words you have said about my books. Thank you too for your patience.
Sometimes life gets in the way of living. My husband, the love of my life, died suddenly three years ago this October. Along with a train-load of grief, I inherited his business, for which I am extremely ill-suited as his business dealt with numbers not words. Just about the time I had his business affairs under control--I use that term loosely--my 89-year-old father moved in with me and a whole new learning curve began. On August 1, my father passed away. But by now grief and I are old traveling companions. Together we slog through our days. Grief sleeps more now and so can I. When awake, his voice is muted. On good days I can even ignore it enough to seek out those things that give me comfort like spinning stories out of history. Some days, I can string sufficient words together to make a few paragraphs. Some days I just stare at my research and eat choclate. But even that feels like progress.
Many of you have asked about a forthcoming book or if I'm still writing. The short answer is yes, but I am months away from a completed project. I write slowly. I am about half-way through a new historical novel set in seventeenth century England. I hope you will not have forgotten me by the time I finish. I look forward to the time that your imagination and mine can once again dance together.
Brenda Rickman Vantrease
PRAISE FOR THE ILLUMINATOR
Publisher's Weekly calls the novel "...enthralling..compelling...brilliantly sketched...absorbing, expertly told..." (starred review) Library Journal says The Illuminator is a "remarkable first novel ...depicts this complex period with imagination and care." (starred review) Praise from Booklist: "Her details and deft storytelling create a luminescent and very readable portrait of a dark time in history."
Audiofile magazine has honored The Illuminator with an AudioFile Earphones Award for the Audio Renaissance edition of the novel. Congratulations to Simon Jones for his excellent narration of the text. The recorded version is available in both cassette (unabridged) and CD (abridged) formats from Audio Renaissance.
Praise for THE MERCY SELLER
Publisher's Weekly says "Vantrease tells an engaging story and paints a vivid picture of 15th-century Europe . . ." Kirkus Reviews calls THE MERCY SELLER an "engrossing follow-up to THE ILLUMINATOR." Library Journal says "The many readers who liked Vantrease's debut, THE ILLUMINATOR . . . will be pleasantly surprised by this satisfying sequel . . . The same lovely period detail and attention to historical realities of the first book are here maintained." BookPage says "By turns exotic, mystical, regal and romantic, the story surges forward to a satisfying end. Anyone with an interest in European or Church history, religious movements or book arts will find this novel addicting." The Nashville Tennessean says "(The Mercy Seller) vibrates with specific details and with characters who leap off the page and haunt the reader."
THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY says Brenda Vantrease is "an author who has a unique ability to build a story and develop characters"--(Editor's Choice Review)