Sawyer, Cheryl 1947–

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Sawyer, Cheryl 1947–

PERSONAL:

Born 1947, in New Zealand; married; children: two sons. Education: Earned master's degrees in French and English literature.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Agent—Nelson Literary Agency, 1732 Wazee St., Ste. 207, Denver, CO 80202. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, editor, and publisher. Manager for independent publishing company, Sydney, Australia. Has worked as a freelance editor; also taught French language and literature at University of Auckland.

WRITINGS:

La Créole, Bantam Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.

Rebel, Bantam Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2000.

Siren, Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2005.

The Chase, Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2005.

The Code of Love, Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2006.

The Winter Prince, Signet Eclipse (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Cheryl Sawyer, a native of New Zealand, is the author of a number of critically acclaimed historical romances. ‘Historical romance belongs to the good old ripping yarn section of our literature,’ Sawyer remarked in an interview on her Web site. ‘I'm being marketed as a romance writer, and that's fine. The roman, tales of adventure woven into a love story, is one of the great forms of literature. We haven't grown out of it and we're not going to."

Sawyer published her debut novel, La Créole, about a runaway slave masquerading as an Italian aristocrat, in 1998. Her second work, Rebel, concerns a young Frenchwoman's efforts to assist the Marquis de La Fayette during the American War for Independence. For Siren, Sawyer's first title to be published in the United States, the author drew on her research about pirate Jean Lafitte, who helped General Andrew Jackson defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans. In the novel, Lafitte matches wits with Léonore Roncival, the daughter of his late rival. When Lafitte learns that Roncival plans to raise her own crew, he kidnaps the feisty beauty, and the two are soon swept up in the growing hostilities between England and America. Siren ‘is a terrific historical romance that gives strong focus to early nineteenth century events,’ remarked Best Reviews Web site contributor Harriet Klausner, and Kathe Robin, writing on Romantic Times Online, noted that the author ‘infuses historical events with color, passion and thrilling escapades."

Set during the Napoleonic wars, The Chase focuses on Jacques Decernay, a French soldier who served with the British Army, and his complex relationship with Lady Sophia Hamilton, whose husband was killed fighting the French. After Decernay is arrested and court-martialed for treason, Sophia testifies on his behalf, saving him from execution. Jacques grows increasingly concerned that Sophia may be seen as a traitor to her nation, especially when it is learned that Napoleon Bonaparte has escaped from Elba. According to Booklist contributor John Charles, The Chase ‘will have readers enthralled with its complex characters, intricate plot, and richly detailed setting."

The Code of Love centers on a complex military code developed by Napoleon to communicate with his generals during the war against Spain and Portugal. The work follows the adventures of Sir Gideon Landor, a former prisoner of war assigned to infiltrate Paris and crack the code, and Delphine Dalgleish, a Bonapartist who is employed by the French to spy on members of the Foreign Office in London. Robin, in another Romantic Times Online, praised the novel's ‘tightly woven scenes and the high tension of political intrigue."

The Winter Prince, set in 1642, concerns the First English Civil War. When King Charles I begins feuding with the English Parliament, his adoptive daughter, Mary Villiers, hopes to broker a peace. Though married to James Stuart, Mary finds herself captivated by the king's charismatic nephew, Prince Rupert, who believes Charles must answer the challenge to his authority with force. ‘Hardcore history buffs will appreciate the fly-on-the-turret view of the dramas,’ noted a reviewer in Publishers Weekly, and Romance Reader Web site critic Cathy Sova similarly noted: ‘The real star of the story … is the history itself. Clearly the author has a passion for the time period, and she never makes a false move."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2005, John Charles, review of The Chase, p. 1574; March 15, 2007, John Charles, review of The Winter Prince, p. 32.

Publishers Weekly, February 5, 2007, review of The Winter Prince, p. 42.

ONLINE

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (December 30, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of Siren; (June 22, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of The Chase.

Bookstore (Radcliff, KY), http://thebookstore-radcliff.com/ (October 29, 2007), ‘Cheryl Sawyer Interview."

Cheryl Sawyer Home Page,http://www.cherylsawyer.com (October 11, 2007).

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (October 11, 2007), Cathy Sova, review of The Winter Prince.

Romance Review Today,http://www.romrevtoday.com/ (May 1, 2006), Ann Cooke, ‘Interview with Cheryl Sawyer."

Romantic Times,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (October 11, 2007), Kathe Robin, reviews of Siren, The Chase, The Code of Love, and The Winter Prince.