Today we’ve invited author Irina Shapiro to tell us about her new series. Irina was born in Moscow, Russia. In 1982 her family immigrated to the United States and settled in New York. After graduating from Bernard M. Baruch College, Irina first worked in advertising, and then in Import/Export as a Logistics Manager. She left her job in 2007 to focus on her autistic son, and began to write. Since then Irina has written more than twenty novels. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.
I always tend to hesitate when people ask me, “What genre do you write?” probably because what I write doesn’t fit into any specific category. My books can be described as romance, historical fiction, mystery, and even time travel. I have so many different ideas, I want to incorporate them all into my books and interweave them in a way that’s new and unique. So why limit myself?
My new series, Echoes from the Past, is marketed as archeological mysteries and time travel, but that’s oversimplifying things. There’s romance, past and present, a genealogical puzzle that concerns the murky and unexpected origins of my main character, archeologist Dr. Quinn Allenby, and there’s just a little bit of the supernatural. You see, Quinn was born with a gift, or a curse, depending on what day you ask her. She can see into the past when holding an object that once belonged to someone who’s now deceased. Of course, as an archeologist, there’s no greater gift than to be able to get a glimpse into the lives of those who came before us, but as a woman, reliving the passions, disappointments, and heartbreak of those unfortunates can take its toll.
When Quinn signs on to do a BBC program entitled Echoes from the Past, she must delve into the lives of people whose remains have been discovered buried in unexpected places and suggest foul play. It’s up to Quinn to reconstruct how a young 17th century couple wound up in a locked chest, and died face to face, as if sharing a final kiss, or how a 14th century mother and child came to be buried naked and face-down on the fringes of a leper cemetery, a practice meant to punish and humiliate, even in death.
In the third installment of the series, Quinn travels to New Orleans in search of her biological father. There, she hopes to finally learn where her gift came from and to discover if there might be others who share her unusual ability. As Quinn delves into the life of Madeleine Besson, a Southern belle who was seemingly erased from history at the onset of the Civil War, Quinn finds the answers she is seeking at last, but unearthing long-buried secrets comes with a price. When Quinn blithely strolls into the trap of a killer, she must fight to save herself and her unborn child, or unwittingly become just another echo from the past.
The Unforgiven (Echoes from the Past Book 3) is now available for purchase. And look for the next installment of the series, The Forsaken, which will take you into the complicated political struggle that was the Wars of the Roses.