So many of you have written to me, asking when Harbor for the Nightingale, book four will be coming out? Thank you!! Your kind words, your patience and your encouragement have been a Godsend. I wish I could hug each one of you and tell you how much your emails and notes have meant.

AND . . . I have good news for you, not only is the end is in sight, but we have finalized the cover!!

And it is gorgeous!

I can’t wait to show you. I will be sending it out to my newsletter subscribers in the next few days, along with a sneak peek at the story.

All of the girls of Stranje House take part in Harbor for the Nightingale, but Maya and Lord Kinsworth are center-stage. And what a pair they are; very unique characters, wonderfully mismatched, often at cross-purposes, and yet, in the end, so right for one another.

It proved enlightening to write from Maya’s point of view. She experiences the world through sound. A trait which is exciting to write, but also very VERY challenging. I am an incredibly visual person, so writing from her point of view stretched my understanding. But it also broadened my mind. The deeper I got in her story, the more the world of sound intrigued me.

A question readers often ask is whether Maya’s gift of manipulating her voice, is real or not? All of my characters are amalgams (blends) of people I have known, and Maya is, too. Her gift is based on that of a real person.

The inception story of Maya’s voice:

My neighbor is from India, and one day I intruded on a breakfast she was preparing for friends. With genuine Indian graciousness, Rashmi invited me to join them. Every time her friend spoke, I found myself mesmerized. Mind you, I have been to hypnotists, and it turns out I am one of those people extremely resistant to their techniques. But Rashmi’s friend’s voice was a different matter. Her voice seemed almost magical, enthralling. She relaxed us as we listened, and something about the musical quality made me see everything she was talking about, she conveyed emotion with a simple shift of tone and cadence. We all leaned in to listen, riveted to every word.

A young lady at our local high school, who helps me get some of my facts right about India, confided in me that her mother shares Maya’s gift. Apparently, her mother can be quite persuasive. Of course, most of our mothers can use a tone that makes us fall in line. But I have met others with this fascinating gift.

Another question I get is, can the gift of voice be learned? Yes, with practice, I believe we can all learn to use our vocal cords more effectively. Speech-givers and politicians study cadence and tone, as do hypnotists. There’s more to communication than the total of our words.

Check back soon to see the cover reveal and a contest. Meanwhile, try practicing a persuasive voice in some situation. I’d love to hear how it goes. There’s as much power in how we speak, as there is in what we say.