Who the Hell Is Roland?

If you’re the sort of person who pays attention to front and back matter, you may have noticed a book in my “Other Books By” list that does not seem to appear anywhere else. This book, Roland: The Choice, is an alternate history/erotica novel that I wrote as part of my first batch of books in the late 1990s.

Roland was meant as a trilogy, of which The Choice is Book 1. In it, I envisioned a chivalric religious order of dragonriders operating much like the Knights Templar, based in Rome but with a fractious relationship with the Church. Rome is also the location for its seminary of sorts, known simply as the Academy, where prospective knights come to learn about dragonriding and hope to be selected.

Much of becoming a dragonrider involves capturing your dragon. This is a problem because the dragons have been cursed by an ancient spell that makes them dumb beasts and hostile to humans. Claiming a dragon requires lifting this curse through a religious ceremony. Roland, the titular character, has just completed his tenure as a squire for new dragonrider, and the book chronicles the three-month period at the Academy when he must prove his worth to seek a dragon and select a squire of his own.

The book is set in 1491, and much of the backstory, and most of the complications Roland encounters, involve convoluted papal and Italian politics, among them both the Medicis and the Borgias.

Oh, and the order is co-ed. Joan of Arc’s fault, as it happens. That allowed me to make this erotica as well. If you’re wondering how I managed to mix erotica and a medieval religious order, well, that’s another element of the conflict.

More than one old reader of mine has asked about Roland and when—or even if—it’s coming. I’ve been sitting on it rather than releasing it for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. It just doesn’t seem “ready” despite the fact that it’s finished and I released it already 15 years ago. Part of my reluctance stems from the challenge of (re)starting another series when I’ve got Twin Magic humming along nicely.

All this being said, it is coming eventually. I’m going to take another stab at it once The Witches’ Covenant is final and released. Look for it later this spring.