One (High) fantasy writer to another (MG) fantasy writer.

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I guess I should introduce myself before starting this post. I’m Cas Peace, the UK author of the Artesans of Albia fantasy series. The reason for this post (and many thanks to Dionne Lister for inviting me on to her blog!) is that I’m relaunching the series now that the first trilogy is complete.

Of course, that hints at more books to come. Yes – there are two more trilogies – making nine books in all! The first three, King’s Envoy, King’s Champion, and King’s Artesan, are all available RIGHT NOW on Amazon, and for the duration of this blog tour (December 12 – 18) will be offered at some great prices.

So, the theme of this post is one fantasy writer to another. I’ll confess that I didn’t know much about Dionne or her books before this, but I do know a few things. I know she writes epic fantasy, and that she writes about dragons. Ok – two of my most favorite things! My own books are epic fantasy, although mine are usually classed as High Fantasy, and mine are aimed primarily at adults, whereas Dionne’s target readership is a touch younger. Yet from what I can see, our respective readerships would cross over quite easily. I have had 12-yr-olds read and really enjoy my books, and Dionne has clearly had the same reaction from adults. Fantasy readers are some of the most accepting readers out there, I think!

My fascination with fantasy started with Anne McCaffrey’s dragons of Pern, and I’ve yet to see a writer ‘do’ dragons better (I’m prepared to be persuaded, though!). When I began my own writing, everyone who knew me assumed my books would be about dragons. They were astounded when I told them there wasn’t a single dragon in them! The creature depicted on the front of King’s Envoy is as close as I come: it’s called a tangwyr and it’s a sort of eagle-cross-bat. Nasty guy!

The other thing I know about Dionne is that she likes to use ‘proper’ English. This is another area where we are alike as writers. I treasure our language and as a fantasy writer, I’ve created my fair share of fantasy names and words. Language is wonderful like that – it really lends itself to being bent and moulded to our needs. But what every reader needs in order to appreciate a writer’s work is a good grounding in the basic rules of language. I feel very strongly that children should be taught how to spell properly and how to punctuate. It’s not that hard if taught correctly!

Dionne also likes poetry. I’m not a big reader of poetry per se, but I do use it in my books in the form of songs. I’m also a singer/songwriter, and my main female character, Sullyan, is a musician and singer. She has music in her background, and so it was inevitable that she would sing at some point in my books. I decided that this would be a good USP for my books, and so I recorded all the three songs from my first trilogy, and they are offered on my website as FREE downloads. They also feature in the series trailer. See the links below.

I don’t know about Dionne, but I sometimes find myself writing prose that almost comes out as poetry. Fantasy novels lend themselves to this, I think. Much of Tolkien’s writing has a very lyrical quality to it, and of course, there are songs in his books, too.

The last thing I know about Dionne that links us is that she likes chocolate. Me too! Many a difficult chapter has been written to a chocolate accompaniment. I believe it fuels the brain cells, and I won’t hear anyone tell me different! What do you think, Dionne? Ha! I agree, Cas. And the prose/poetry thing is right too. It’s our way of being lyrical. And thanks for joining me today, Cas, it’s been a pleasure learning all about your writing. Now everyone should go and check out her awesome fantasy books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Cas Peace was born in Hampshire UK, in 1957, and has lived there most of her life. Her first career was as a horse-riding instructor, and horses remain very close to her heart. She then spent 13 years working for the British Civil Service before leaving the UK to live in Italy for three years, 1991-1994. She speaks passable but by no means perfect Italian, and loves to return to Italy whenever she can.

Cas’s other great loves are anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses, (she supports many animal charities) and also singing. Cas loves folk songs and along with her husband, who plays guitar, has performed in many a Southern England folk club. Sometimes they even asked her back! She writes folk songs to accompany her fantasy novels, and offers them as free downloads from her website.

Artesans of Albia series synopsis.

On a foolhardy foray into a foreign realm, Taran Elijah is attacked by a terrible weapon known as the Staff. Killing its wielder, he escapes into Albia, inadvertantly carrying the Staff.

Concerned by the vicious raids that follow Taran’s actions, Major Sullyan of the High King’s forces crosses into Andaryon to seek diplomatic resolution to the crisis. She is captured and tortured by Lord Rykan, aspirant to the Andaryon throne.

Slowly dying, Sullyan escapes his clutches. She offers her skills to the Hierarch in defense of his throne, finally confronting Rykan on the field of battle.

Her handsome Captain and lover, Robin Tamsen, embarks on a desperate quest to recover the Staff. But Rykan’s greedy General, Sonten, is two steps ahead of him. If Robin cannot lay hold of the weapon before Sonten does, Sullyan’s life and the lives of all Artesans are forfeit.

The race for the Staff has begun.

ADVANCED PRAISE FOR King’s Artesan

“One of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. The balance between background story and action is just perfect. I’m very glad I found this author. You won’t want to miss this series!” ~Denyse Cohen, author of Witch’s Soulmate, Book 1 of the Living Energy Trilogy

“Splendidly written in a wonderful voice, drew me in immediately. Ms. Peace’s imagination alone gets 5 stars. Spectacular worlds and enchanting scenes. Anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a world of a charming fantasy with plenty of layers and a host of intriguing characters won’t be disappointed!” ~Rosary McQuestion, author of Once Upon Another Time

“As soon as I finished this book I was eager to start the next. I highly recommend this book. Great Job!!” ~Janus Gangi, author of Elizabeth Rose and That Morning After

 

Find Cas Peace on her website: www.caspeace.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cas.peace

Her Blog: www.peacewrites.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @CasPeace1

See the Artesans of Albia Trilogy Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ORbCO_wGI

There are also some awesome giveaways associated with Cas’s tour, so check out her website for details and maybe you’ll win.

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Shadows of the Realm—Bloopers

While writing Shadows of the Realm and A Time of Darkness, there were times when my characters would embarrass themselves and they begged me not to include those scenes. I have, up until now, kept them secret, but I’ve decided to do a ‘bloopers’ series. This is the first excerpt from that series. Please enjoy my characters stuffing up on the job.

INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN IN VELLONIA, CITY OF THE DRAGONS—MORNING

Bronwyn, Blayke and their creaturas entered the vast dining hall.  One of the long timber tables was set with a farewell breakfast. Pancakes, fresh strawberries, gozzleberries, fried bacon and the extra-large eggs of the Vellonian eagle—cooked sunny-side up—lay enticingly upon platters on the tabletop. Bronwyn breathed in. “Yum. That smells delicious.” She sat on one of the large bench seats, legs dangling, while Sinjenasta lay behind her chair, the large panther having enjoyed his haunch of venison outside earlier. Blayke sat opposite, grabbing his fork and stabbing into a pancake, dumping it into his plate before spreading a clump of butter on top. Fang, the rat, peeked out of Blayke’s pocket and took the small piece of pancake the realmist offered him.

Zim, the black dragon prince, entered as Blayke shoved a forkful of pancake into his mouth.

“Good morning, my friends. How did you sleep?”

“Good thanks,” said Bronwyn as she scooped strawberries onto her pancake. “I’ll be sad to leave today.”

“We’ll be sad to see you go, young realmist. I’m sure you’ll be back one day.”

“I hope so.” Bronwyn smiled as Zim sat next to her and spiked a piece of bacon with one claw, an egg with another, popping them into his mouth. “Mmm, this is good.” Suddenly a loud rumble rolled through the dining hall. “Oops. Excuse me.” Zim’s dinner-plate size eyes looked from Bronwyn to Blayke and back again.

“Oh my gods! Did you just … um, pass wind?” Bronwyn coughed and covered her mouth and nose with her hand.

“Wow, that stinks!” Blayke snatched another pancake and stood. “I’m gonna have to finish this outside.”

Bronwyn’s voice was muffled by her palm. “I’ll join you.”

Wait for me said Sinjasta.

“I’m sorry. Come back. It’s not that bad, is it? Really?” Zim sniffed as he watched them hurry out. Suddenly alone, he surveyed the food. “I’m going to have to stop eating eggs, at least when we have company. Oh well, I have no company now, and this food won’t eat itself.” The dragon reached over towards the eggs…

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: A Time of Darkness

OMG! I’m so excited! I just received the final cover images from Robert Baird, cover-guy extraordinaire, and my cover is full of super awesome fantasticity (if you can’t make up a word at a time like this, when can you make one up?). A Time of Darkness, second book in The Circle of Talia series, is going to be released in the next couple of days, but until then, here is the blurb and the cover, which depicts a scene from mid-way through the book. I hope this gets all you readers excited (I know I am). Now excuse me while I continue jumping around the lounge room :).

A Time of Darkness Cover
A Time of Darkness Cover

While Bronwyn languishes in a cell in the bowels of Vellonia and the dragon king argues for her death, the gormons are one step closer to destroying Talia. To add to The Circle’s problems, Leon’s plans to overthrow his brother, King Edmund, are moving ahead faster than anyone could have imagined, and someone will die as a result. The realmists and dragons are doing all they can, but how could it possibly be enough when thousands have already been slaughtered?

The prophesized time of darkness, a time the realmists have dreaded for the last thousand years, has begun.

I Finished Book Two, A Time of Darkness—Yay Me!

He, he, I’m celebrating! I finished my second book, A Time of Darkness, and it is with the editor being beautified. You would think I would be out enjoying myself, but no, I am home with a glass of Baileys and a blog post. I was meant to do grocery shopping later but now I can’t because of the Baileys—I’m an irresponsible writer but a responsible driver—it’s okay to blog when you’ve been drinking; in fact, it’s encouraged.

I’ve enjoyed writing this second book in The Circle of Talia series, although it took longer than I’d hoped (excuses are as follows: work, uni, kids, sun baking, tweeting) and one of my beloved characters had to die :(. Anyway, I finally made it and was nice enough to end on another cliff-hanger—don’t you just love me *batts eyelashes*.

I’m soooooo happy! It feels even better than the first time because I know it wasn’t a fluke. It has certainly helped that some wonderful people out there are actually waiting for it and have kept me going with constant encouragement. So now I’m waiting for the cover, and I’ll have to get stuck into the edits my wonderful editor, Chryse Wymer, did (she’s very good, but shhh don’t tell anyone or they’ll use her to edit their books instead of me).

My cover reveal will be on the 8th (so my cover-boy-extraordinaire, Robert Baird, tells me), and the book will be available by the 15th April. I can’t believe I made it. Woohoo!!! Yay me!! “Waiter, another Baileys.” Oops, that was my husband walking past. Looks like I’ll have to pour it myself. Bye :).

I’ve Been Tagged! U Got “The Look”

As the friend who tagged me, Tonya Cannariato wrote, Justin wrote, “The Look is a writing prompt, a game, another tagging event. This is how U Got “The Look” works: you take your current manuscript, search for the word “look”, and post the surrounding paragraphs. Lastly, you tag 5 blogging authors who you think will be a good choice for the game.”

My work in progress is the sequel to Shadows of the Realm, the first book in The Circle of Talia fantasy series. I hope this isn’t giving any spoilers away, but what the hell? Why not? I’m only mid-way through writing chapter six, but it’s getting exciting and the characters are in a race against time. Shit is hitting the fan—well  it would if their world had fans, but it doesn’t—hmm, I digress. OK, I’ll stop rambling and give it to you kiddies. Danananaaaaa!

Agmunsten peered at the Dragon King. “So, Valdorryn, who would you rather upset—Queen Jazmonilly, or Drakon?”

            The Dragon King squinted his eyes. “How do you know it’s him, hmm? You weren’t alive during the Gormon War. How can you know?”

            Agmunsten clenched and unclenched his fists, “Bronwyn told me his name and when I questioned him, he all but admitted Drakon was involved. I have ways of knowing when people are telling the truth. Look, Valdorryn, I know this is hard for you to accept, that your God may have wanted one of your own killed. But if I’m right, what does that tell us?”

            Zim listened and knew where Agmunsten was headed. He remembered finding the spires hadn’t been charged properly, and Symbothial’s reaction when he confronted him. His colour returned, but it was with a sad voice he answered the Head Realmist. “My cousin betrayed us.” Zim turned to look at his father, “I know this is hard for you to believe. I didn’t want to think it either, but I can’t ignore the facts any longer. Symbothial wasn’t maintaining the spires properly. It was his job, and we all know how important it is. When I checked them a while ago, the rivers to three of the spires were blocked; more than enough to let any Gormons through. When I spoke to him, he acted like it wasn’t important.”

            “That’s not enough to condemn him. Maybe he was just being careless because we’ve been safe for so long; it’s easy to become complacent.” King Valdorryn’s voice trailed off as he lost the energy to make excuses. He had to admit there was only one decision he could make, and he was dreading having to explain this to his wife. 

Hmm, so who to tag? Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. The following people are all in the firing line. If you’ve done it before you get a reprieve:

Maria Savva

Jane Isaac

James Garcia Jnr

Charity Parkerson

Julie Elizabeth Powell

Ok guys. Ready. Set. Go!

Shadows of the Realm Earns its First Badge

In the big push to get my book out there, I found a great website, Grub Street Reads. These girls have come up with a great idea for recommending indie books. They have a sound criteria of what makes a good book—rounded characters, consistency in plot and character actions, pace, grammar, spelling, overall plot (you get the picture). When they recommend a book, the reader knows it is going to be of a certain standard.

I applied to them and waited, only a couple of weeks, for the outcome. I must admit, my nails are shorter; it’s always nerve-wracking when someone is ‘judging’ your work.

I am so pleased to announce that I passed the test. My fantabulous book (if I do say so myself) Shadows of the Realm, is now recommended on their website and I get a cool badge to display on my cover and my website. The badge reminds me of the little medals they stick on wine bottles. They also had this to say about my book which makes me smile every time I read it:

You have done a great job of creating characters with distinct voices and personalities. It was a pleasure to go on this epic journey with them. 

So if you’re a reader looking for a good book, visit their site, they obviously have good taste ;). Ok, well I’m off to continue my happy dance then I think I’ll need a little nap.