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For the past 10 or 11 years, I have been plucking away at my first novel, "Five Moves to Mate". It's now ready. Set in 6th-7th century England Five Moves to Mate explores the lives and adventures of two fictional houses, Sendor and Cavendish. Principal characters are developed strongly throughout the story, and the text is designed to evoke reader recognition with the attributes and failings of each character on a personal level. All characters were born from the personalities of people I have known, and I have taken pains to make each character both believable as well as entertaining. The basic concept is that the leaders of the two houses have a drastic falling out after many years of close friendship. The story focuses primarily on their offspring and the comical misunderstanding that an arranged marriage designed to reunite the two houses, (thereby restoring the closeness of the elder Lords), runs amok in that the bride believes that the arrangement is actually made for her true love, who is definitely not her father's selection. (This was not an uncommon misunderstanding in the time.)
The chasm between the real lover and the arranged suitor develops into a combative relationship that threatens (and succeeds) to destroy both elders' dreams of reconciliation. It leads to additional fallings out of the principal characters, Leon of Sendor, and his non-titled best friend, Oldark, who is presumed by the Lady Maude; to be the suitor described by her father. Ultimate preoccupation by Leon towards the eradication of Oldark, makes for some rather heady action, plotting and shenanigans. The novel uses lots of strategy, magic, romance and comedy. However the thrust of this work is to dissect each personality to the bare bone, bring each character to a level that we each and all can understand and relate to, and finally, offer a pretty darn good adventure along the way. Principal characters (not an all- inclusive listing): Oldark