I did not know Kathleen Givens personally. I had read her wonderful ON A HIGHLAND SHORE last year and then in December, I finished her RIVALS FOR THE CROWN. I was so impressed with the detailed story-telling, I spotlighted this title on the Em Recommends page on my website. It went live on December 31st and I fully intended to send Kathleen an email through her website to let her know how much I'd enjoyed her work, but I wasn't quick enough.
Kathleen died in early January and, from everything I've seen on the internet, unexpectedly. It just goes to prove you should never put off telling someone something nice about themselves.
So even though I didn't ever meet Kathleen, I'd like to share what I do know about her based on her writing.
She had a lyrical soul. Her prose sang. Her characters were so sharply drawn they lived full rich lives between her pages and I suspect they are still having adventures on their own. They certainly live on for me.
She was devoted to getting the details right, a thorough historian. Her nuanced recreation of King Edward the Long-Shanks corrupt court was fascinating. She was the sort of storyteller who could climb inside her characters' heads and show you why they thought as they did, how they viewed the world and those around them. Her wonderful Jewish heroine Rachel de Anjou showed me medieval Scotland through fresh eyes.
She believed in honor and redemption and mercy. And in the power of love to mend all wrongs. I know because that's how her characters lived and died.
I'm very sorry I didn't tell her I saw all these things in her work when I had a chance. If you'd like to learn more about Kathleen Givens and her books, please visit www.kathleengivens.com and look for her titles at your local bookseller. She's worth getting to know.
Note: Kathleen's friend Sherri Browning Erwin asked me to share this--
You might let your readers know that her family is reading the tributes at The Whine Sisters (http://www.whinesisters.com), a site she was a part of, and also at Kathleen's Facebook site, in case anyone wanted to leave a message for her family. Kathleen's passing was sudden and shocking, and we're all still reeling. Her family is very appreciative and touched by all the notes and emails they've seen.