By: Cas PeacePublished by: Albia PublishingRelease Date: April 19, 2014Pages: 426
Friend against friend, lover against lover, ally against ally.
Conflict is coming …
Nine months have passed since Brynne Sullyan helped forge an alliance between the realms of Albia and Andaryon. A fragile peace reigns as both sides recover from the events of the previous year. Then mysterious raiders strike Andaryon villages. Attempts are made on the life of Albia’s High King.
As Sullyan scrambles to find those responsible, unseen enemies threaten to pull apart everything she has worked for, including her marriage.
To betray either one would break her heart, but if conflict is inevitable, she must make a choice …
The alliance begins to crumble, and Sullyan finds herself caught between two monarchs: the king she’s sworn allegiance to, and the man she loves as a father.
Check out the amazing interviewer below that I did with this truly wonderful author.
Thank you so much for letting me take part in your Blog Tour with Lady Reader Bookstuff and thank you for taking the time answer some questions for me and my readers. These were some of the best answers I have ever gotten in an interview and your answer to questions 2 made me tear up a bit. Thanks for getting it 🙂
- Fantasy is a big genre and full of great authors. What drew you towards writing fantasy books and how do you try to be different?
My being an author came about as a complete accident. I never intended to write a novel, let alone an entire series, so there was no form of forward planning or thoughts about the process at all. The fact that my series is fantasy simply stems from the fact that fantasy is mainly what I love to read. It was a 1970s kids’ TV program (Tarot, Ace of Wands) that spawned the little idea that eventually became my Artesans of Albia series, so it was always going to be a fantasy tale. Once I realized that, I then set about trying to create a believable female fantasy character. I’ve read so many books where the main female character is completely improbable, and I wanted mine to be different. She had to be capable, beautiful, and powerful, and also able to exist on her own merits within a male-dominated world, but I also needed her to be flawed, imperfect, and capable of making mistakes. In other words – human. I really hope I succeeded!
- We are both dog people. Somewhat recently I was forced to say goodbye to my dog child of 12 years named Harley. You also had to say goodbye to your canine friends Daisy and Pepper. How did you cope with the loss of two of your family members?
I’m so sorry to hear about Harley. I read some of your blog posts and tears immediately came into my eyes. She looked such a lovely dog. It tears your heart apart having to say goodbye to such a loyal, loving friend. I don’t have children, but I can imagine the pain of losing a child because my dogs are as much a part of my family as a child would be. Before I lost Daisy and Pepper, I’d also had to rehome two dogs. My first marriage broke up and neither of us was able to keep the dogs. Knowing I’d failed to protect them broke my heart, even though they were found good homes. Never being able to see them again felt like the ultimate betrayal. With Daisy and Pepper, I was at least able to give them the dignified end they deserved, and I held them as they departed, telling them they were loved. Being able to do that for them eased me a little. It’s been 4 years since I bade farewell to Pepper, but the pain never goes away. I have to learn to live with it. My current rescue dogs, Milly and Milo, helped bring smiles into my heart once more knowing I’d given them loving, comfy homes. What else can I do?
- If there was genre that you would experiment with in writing but never have, what would it be?
I would love to write historical fiction. I’m fascinated by English medieval history and enjoy reading historical novels. All I need is to find an historical character that hasn’t been written about and then tell their story. Many people have done it before me, but there’s such a wealth of history out there that I’m sure I could find someone interesting to write about. I just need the time to find them!
- Italy is a beautiful country. Did your time there inspire any of your books and what is your favorite phrase in Italian?
I really loved living in Italy. We were there for just over 3 years, and we lived in a small community just outside Rome. At the time, in the UK, I had an Italian car, an Alfa Romeo, so we took that over with us. The drive from the UK to Italy is fabulous, we made it several times during our stay there. We got to travel around much of the country too, and our favorite place of all is Positano, near Sorrento. That entire coast is wonderfully beautiful. We were so lucky to be able to live and work there. As for Italy inspiring my books, much of the Andaryan countryside is modeled on what I remember of Italy.
My favorite Italian phrase is “non capito una mazza”, which roughly translates as “I don’t have a bat”. It’s a phrase particular to Rome and it’s used to mean someone’s a bit dense. It’s my favorite phrase because although I don’t speak fluent Italian, I did once manage to drop this phrase into the conversation at an Italian dinner party. It must have worked, because everyone roared with laughter and were most impressed that I could tell an Italian joke!
- On your website you have a few songs such as The Ballad of Tallimore, Morgan’s Song (which is absolutely beautiful BTW) and others which were part of your Artesans of Albia series and Mikey Brooks’ Dream Keeper. I love that you created original music for your books. What made you decide to do that or how did that come into play?
Thank you so much for the compliment – I’m so thrilled that you like my music! Long before I got into writing, I was a folk singer. I learned to sing by listening to and singing along with folk groups such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. I bought my first guitar when I was 15, and took lessons at school (although I’m not very good!). My best friend and I then began writing little worship songs to sing in our local church, and things grew from there. When I wrote King’s Envoy, my first fantasy novel, it seemed natural to include references to music, because people in medieval times would have used music as a common form of entertainment. The first song mentioned in the books, The Wheel Will Turn, didn’t originally have a melody – it was only later that I got the idea to write one. As a writer in a crowded genre, I thought having original songs might help promote the books and draw in readers who might not otherwise hear of the books. And once I decided to write music for The Wheel, I realized I could do it for each book in turn. I’m very fortunate to have skilled help from my musician brother, David Snell, and his song-writing partner, David Shepherd. They play and sing on the tracks and also do the techie recording and mixing stuff. My husband (another Dave!) also plays guitar and sings on the tracks. And recently we suborned a fiddle player, Sue Mallett, to play on the latest track from The Circle: “Larksong”. It will hopefully be released at the same time The Circle is published.
As for The Dream Keeper Lullaby, it just came to me after reading Mikey Brooks’ The Dream Keeper and I just had to record it for him. He does all my book covers, so I was thrilled he liked it so much.
- Since you are a music lover, IF your books were ever turned into a film or TV show what composer would you want to do the score?
Well, I’d love it if the original music I’d written could be used, of course! Once all nine books are published, we are planning to collate all the songs into one CD. We will also write a series theme song or musical piece, and that would be ideal as an introduction to a film or TV show. Failing that I guess it would have to be Howard Shore, who wrote the music for The Lord of the Rings. Well – why not aim high?
- Of all the characters you have created which one is your favorite and why?
That’s actually quite a tough question because I’m really pleased with all my characters – I hope that doesn’t sound too smug! If I had to pick two favorites though, the first would have to be Sullyan, for the reasons I already stated above. But my second favorite might surprise people, because it’s Parren. He’s the embodiment of every bully, every sycophant, and every arrogant, slimy, boot-licking, back-stabbing, nasty piece of work I’ve ever come across. He’s basically a coward, although he thinks he’s a hero. He has no conscience and no fellow-feeling whatsoever, and although I can’t actually say I had “fun” writing him, I did feel satisfaction that I managed to portray his character in the way I intended. I really hope everyone hates him!
- What is your least favorite part of the job as a novelist?
It has to be marketing. I’m rubbish at it. I love the writing, the editing, proofing, cover designing etc., but I’m basically too suspicious to trust promotion or advertising companies. The thought of advertising on Facebook or other social media sites leaves me cold – I hate being spammed by adverts and don’t want to do it to anyone else! But I do need to find an effective way of promoting my work because readers do seem to like my series. It’s even been endorsed by the acclaimed best-selling author Janet E Morris, something I’m extremely proud of! I’m sure it would be even more popular if I could only get the word out. If anyone reading this has any tried and trusted methods of effective book promotion – please do get in touch!
“Mike, I would like to say how much I appreciate you taking part in my blog/review tour and helping me promote my series. I thoroughly enjoyed answering your questions – thank you so much!”
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.
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