*Over the next several months, I’ll be introducing you to a variety of writers. I am once again opening my blog up to guest bloggers in the form of author Q&A’s, author spotlight features and guest posts. I hope you enjoy!
Today I am pleased to introduce you to author C.A. Szarek, she writes Fantasy/Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance and Young Adult fiction. Learn more about C.A. and her latest projects in the Q&A session below.
Can you give me a synopsis of your newest release?
For generations, the Ryhans, ruling family of the Province of Greenwald have been keepers of a sword rumored to possess enough magic to defeat kings. Lord Varthan, a former archduke and betrayer of the king, covets the sword and invades Greenwald.
Lady Ceralda Ryhan, daughter of the murdered duke, gains the sword and flees, trusting only her white wolf, Trikser—magically bonded to her. Cera needs nothing more to aid in her fight.
Jorrin Aldern, half elfin and half human, left his home in the mountains of Aramour to find his human father who disappeared twenty turns before, but finds Cera with Varthan and his shades on her tail instead. His dual heritage and empathic magic will tempt Cera in ways she never thought she’d desire. But can he convince her trust and love can pave the path to redemption or will the epic battle end in tragedy and evil conquer them all?
If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing instead?
Well, I actually wear many hats. I am new published, so I am not writing full time, I would love if I get there someday. I work in a court and I work at a shelter for teens. Good thing is, I adore all my jobs. If you include writing, I have 3.
When it comes to planning out your stories, are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a pantser, but lately I have planned a little. Sometimes when I sit down I have no idea where a scene is going, sometimes I do. I am character driven, so at least I know the “who’s” of things.
What’s the hardest part about being a writer? What’s the best part?
Hmmm, a hard one. The most difficult part for me is telling my inner critic to be quiet so I can just write. Sometimes I question too much: The story, myself, where the scene is going. I think the best part is making up stuff. Hehehe. Bringing life to characters, making them real people. Making them have feelings and emotions and making them real.
Do you have a mentor or another writer you look up to?
I have tons. There are so many awesome writers that belong to my chapter of RWA, NTRWA and I have learned SO much. Joining them was the best thing I have ever done for my writing.
What advice do you have for someone who wants a career in writing?
Don’t ever give up. Rejection happens. If you want it bad enough, you keep going. Always.
It’s been said that to be a good writer, one needs to be a voracious reader, what’s your favorite genre and what are you currently reading?
I LOVE to read. But I tend to go in stages. Binge read, if you will. I read read read read, then nothing for weeks at a time. I love paranormal and historical, but honestly I will read anything that peaks my interest. I don’t care about genre or intended audience. If it looks good, I will read it. I am reading “Vampires Gone Wild” right now, an anthology with stories by Kerrelyn Sparks, Pamela Palmer (LOVE HER) Amanda Arista and Kim Falconer. It’s really good so far.
What other interests or hobbies do you have outside of writing?
I love to scrapbook, and I watch WAY too much TV.
What’s your next writing project?
I am working on book 2 of the King’s Riders, Love’s Call. (the next book after Sword’s Call, by Gypsy Shadow Publishing) I should be wrapping it up in a matter of days, then it’s on to book 2 of my romantic suspense series, Crossing Forces, Chance Collision, which is the 2nd in the series published by Total-E-Bound. The first, Collision Force will be out July 1. I also seem to have some wolf shifters that are inopportunely bothering me. Hehehe.
How can people reach you online?
I am EVERYWHERE! Hehehe
I love to hear from readers! firstname.lastname@example.org
*Below is a brief excerpt from Sword’s Call, on sale now with Gypsy Shadow Publishing.
Heart pounding and fists clenched, Cera sat in the Dragon’s Lair’s darkest corner. By choice, the candle on the table was unlit. The bowl of stew half eaten, food the last thing on her mind.
The door to the tavern swung open. Her white wolf growled low and deep beside her. Cera glanced up, squinting in the sudden flood of sunlight. As the door slammed shut and her eyes adjusted to the renewed murkiness, she took in the newest arrival.
Then she focused on Trikser. She couldn’t have him going for anyone’s throat.
“Shhh, Trik, it’s okay.” She ran a hand through his fur, smoothing his hackles along the length of his spine. The big wolf looked up at her and licked her hand. One corner of her mouth lifted and she bit back a sigh.
The only reason the owner of the tavern, Marshek even let him in was because no one else was allowed to enter the Dragon’s Lair if she was inside without him. No one according to Trikser, that is. He’d almost taken the hand off the last guy who’d tried.
“What’ll ya have?” Marshek barked, revealing his instant dislike of the newcomer.
She fixed her eyes on the bartender. Then she took a closer look at the man sitting in front of him. His pointed ears betrayed his heritage, but his height suggested he was not of pure blood.
Marshek was known to be tolerant of elves but he hated what he called half-breeds. Cera could imagine what the grumpy, middle-aged tavern owner was thinking, and it wasn’t friendly.
She rose, Trikser also immediately rising, awaiting her move. The white wolf was her bondmate and had been since he was young.
Relax, she thought-sent.
Trik sat, but his body was tight, tense. He didn’t respond to her mental order.
Moving to the bar, her wolf followed, slinking close to the floor, moving in a slight crawl. His belly probably touched the filthy planked flooring of the tavern.
Cera made a face but forced a breath. Detached control. Sliding onto the stool next to the half-elfin man, she was just in time to hear his order. His voice was clear and deep.
Marshek filled a mug with ale and started to put the jug in its place on the shelf.
“Wait, Mar,” she said with a wave of her hand, “I’ll have some of that, too.”
With a curt nod, the older man poured her a mug. She brought it to her lips, glancing nonchalantly at the stranger. His coal black hair brushed the collar of his hooded gray cape, giving him a rather unkempt look, but rugged rather than messy.
Cera couldn’t see the hue of his eyes from her seat but his high cheekbones made his profile appealing, his sleek tapered ears adding to the attraction. His powerful jaw line was clean shaven, an oddity in these parts. She could tell he was aware of her perusal. He was young, not much older than her, and had the stunning beauty of the elves.
His chest heaved as if he’d taken a breath, and he finally glanced at her. Blue. His eyes were a deep, sapphire blue. Her heart skipped a beat but she ignored it. The man said nothing, not that she’d expected him to.