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The Quest (Sonnet Books) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Series: Sonnet Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671774514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671774516
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When young sorceress and healer Ana de Dannon uses an ancient spell to conjure the great Irish warrior Cuchulainn, she expects a legendary champion with the strength of 10 men to help her to free her captive mother, Rhiannon. What she gets, in this charming time-travel romance, is Kenneth MacKinnon (aka Mac), a professional quarterback for the Seattle Warriors fresh from the football field. Fed up with his life as a superstar, Mac is not sure what he wants anymore. But being magically transported to 14th-century Scotland to fight in a sword tournament he can't possibly win is definitely not it. Featuring a strong, independent heroine as fiery as her bright orange hair, this crisply written romance is lighthearted yet engaging. Binder (The Inscription) creates a colorful cast of characters, including Mac, a hero with courage, honor and intelligence to match his stature; Danu, Ana's aunt, a down-to-earth sorceress; and Colin, a battle-weary Scot set to the task of training Mac how to use a sword. Though at times the plot moves slowly and one of Binder's subplots is too quickly tied together, her solid historical detail and well-drawn period settings should please readers. Throughout she imaginatively and gracefully weaves elements of humor, magic and romantic tension. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Pam Binder says she believes in happier-ever-after endings. Married 32 years, with three grown kids, she has had a good life with an understanding mate, one who has supported her lifelong writing habit.

"I've always loved to write." says Pam, an Issaquah, Washington resident and office manager at Chinook Middle School. "Poetry, short stories...I cannot remember a time when I didn't like to write or read."

Binder's path to her destiny was circuitous. As she raised her children, she put her writing career on hold. But old-fashioned diligence and a chance meeting with a receptive agent, changed her life.

When Pam Binder was a kid, a fifth grade teacher told her mother: "Pam's reading too much. She's reading during recess." Her mother retorted that she didn't consider her daughter's love of reading grounds for complaint.

About ten years ago, Pam decided she wanted to start writing again in earnest. She went to a Romance Writers of America conference. Then she signed up for the commercial fiction writing sequence at the University of Washington's extension division.

It was there that things fell into place.

Jack Remick, one of Pam's teachers in the UW program, referred to a book called. The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. Based on the teachings of Joseph Campbell, the book teaches that most compelling stories, from the screenplay of Pretty Woman to Homer's The Odyssey, have the same elements:

1)The Quest -- the physical or emotional journey taken by the protagonist.

2)The Dragon -- the conflict the main character must endure, or surmount.

3)A resolution that comes back to the beginning of the hero's quest.

Pam learned that a story is "not a straight line, but a circle." When a character returns to his or her starting point "they're completely different, emotionally transformed."

"It was like a light bulb went off," Pam said. After traveling to Scotland on vacation with her husband, a story fermenting in her imagination suddenly came together and began to gel. The result was The Inscription, a time travel romance set in 16th century Scotland. Her book features a clan of immortals and a modern American teacher named Amber MacPhee who is pulled into their world of mystery, romance and adventure.

Pam's next class at the University was taught by the owner of a small regional press. P.R. Goodfellow bought Pam's work-in-progress, printed 2,000 copies of it in 1997 and sold them all.

If that were the end of the story, this would be a respectable happier-ever-after piece. It's not.

In 1998, Pam took the Goodfellow Press edition of The Inscription to the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association summer conference. More or less at random, Binder took the book to Liza Dawson, a New York literary agent. Dawson "patted my hand," Pam recalls, took the book on the plane and called her Monday morning.

"I can sell this," Dawson told Pam.

Dawson says she has a test for any book: "Am I having a really, really good time?" She recalls her immediate reaction to The Inscription: "I so much enjoyed reading that book. It's a bear of a trip from Seattle to Newark. I found myself laughing, enjoying it...it came as a surprise because I hadn't had any expectations." Though Dawson enjoys mixing with authors at such conferences, finding a saleable one is a relatively rare event.

Dawson sold The Inscription and another book by Pam Binder, The Quest, to Pocket. The Quest will be released in August 2000 under Pocket/Sonnet. It is also a time travel: A Celtic sorceress needs a warrior to free her mother; however, when she cast a spell, the man who appears is, Kenneth MacKinnon, a professional football player from the 21st century. For the first time in his life he is not in control of the situation.

What is this lesson in this happy ending?

Endurance, perhaps. Pam says she has a quality that approximates the "cone of silence" of Maxwell Smart on the old Get Smart television show -- she can block out anything and write anytime, everywhere. Writing on a regular legal pad, she writes during her lunch break. After work, she goes to Barnes & Noble and writes there. She credits her UW instructors for teaching her that you don't have to write in sequence. Write an adventure sequence when you feel like it -- write romance when the spirit moves you.

In fact, not a lot has changed since that fifth-grader was chastised for reading during recess. Pam's need to read and write endures. "I look at it as small steps", she says. "As a writer, you need to look at the long term."

The Inscription received 4 and a half stars and a Romantic Times Top Pick award in their February Review: "...Readers will be drawn in by Pam Binder's magic touch for blending the natural with the supernatural and creating a spellbinding tale with many subplots, wonderful historical backdrop and color, and the added attraction of the Highlander immortal. This is truly a love story for the ages."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on February 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story of Ana and Mac. She's a 14th century lady, he's a 21st century football player. Ana, desperate for her mother's release from her evil stepbrother, uses a spell to conjure a champion. Thinking she will get the great Irish Warrior Cuchulainn, she instead gets a 21st century professional football player. The two are instantly attracted to each other. Mac agrees to help her champion her mother and she agrees to train him in the ways of sword play and jousting. Together they travel to Edinburgh for the tournament. I liked this book and read it in an afternoon. I thought it was a sweet romance with a fun story. I'd recommend it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
During the reign of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland, Ana de Dannon worries about freeing her mother Rhannon. Ana's stepbrother Lord Roderick holds Rhannon prisoner. He will only free her in exchange for the Golden Sword that he believes will make him ruler of the country. A desperate Ana performs an incarnation from the Book of Spells that will bring forth the legendary Irish warrior Cuchulainn.

In the current age, Seattle quarterback Kenneth MacKinnon takes a hit from a linebacker. When he awakens he finds himself holding the football near Ana and her Aunt Danu in Stirling Castle. Ana thinks she conjured up Cuchulainn to battle Roderick and liberate her mother. Though he does not consider himself a warrior, Kenneth is brave and intelligent and begins to work on the game plan to free Rhannon. As he does so, he falls in love with Ana who reciprocates his feelings. However, both expect him to return to the future as soon as he completes his mission.
THE QUEST is an entertaining time travel romantic fantasy that will provide much pleasure to readers. The story line is filled with medieval pageantry and treachery augmented by Kenneth's confusion as he wonders if he took one hit too many. Fans of fantasy and romance will fully relish Pam Binder's spellbinding tale.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Condit on August 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well I was a bit leary about reading this book. I didn't care for the first book I read by this author but was pleasantly suprised by this one. I liked the plot line and the charactrs were well written. The discriptions of everyday life made it feel as though you were watching it happen.
This is a time-travel-historical. The heroine, Ana conjures a warrior to help save her mother. She is hoping for the legendary Irish warrior, Cuchuliann, but what she gets is a modern day man who plays footbal for a team called the Warriors. Kenneth MacKinnon, aka Mac, is suddenly taken from the middle of a game and thrown back in time to 1328. He is totally confused but quickly adapts to his new life. He soon finds himself training to do battle to be the hero that Ana needs. He also finds that he wants to be more than just a hero for Ana. he has fallen in love with her but with his future uncertain he is reluctant to make her his. She feels just as strongly for him but knowing that he must go back to his time she is afraid to let her heart feel for him.
There is action, humor, passion and love in this story. It is filled with many secondary characters that help tie it all together. I really enjoyed it and I hope her other books are as good.
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