Friday, December 14, 2012

The Tyrant King Blog Tour with Cheri Chesley


Review of The Tyrant King

When a mysterious stranger with an eerie resemblance to Gregory Gildersleeve, her deceased husband, arrives upon the heels of a devastating letter bearing the news of her younger brother’s death, Queen Krystal is catapulted into a series of events wrought with intrigue, danger and heartbreak. 

As time passes she learns that her beloved husband, Jareth, and the Kingdom of Fayterra are the true targets of the stranger, now known to be Gregory’s son, Donovan Gildersleeve. However, Donovan considers the destruction of everything and everyone important to King Jareth part of his revenge against the king he considers responsible for his father’s death.

Though Queen Krystal came from peasant stock she proves once again that there is nothing common about her as she takes up her sword and prepares to defend and protect those she loves, propriety be hanged!
There are an abundance of page-turning revelations and mysteries in this fantasy tale to keep you up well after your bedtime. But this engrossing story won’t make you regret the missed hours of sleep.

By  Carol Marrs Phipps



Interview with Cheri Chesley

I’m Carol Marrs Phipps and today I am interviewing Cheri Chesley, the very talented author of The Tyrant King to be released in July, 2012.
The eBook came out July 20. The print version July 31.
Hello Cheri. I want to thank you for granting this interview today. How are you doing?
A little sleepy, actually. But otherwise great! :)
We’ll begin our interview today with a few “Cheri” trivia questions.      
Favorite Book:
That depends entirely on my mood. It's like asking me which is my favorite child.

Favorite Author:
Again, tough to narrow down. I love Gail Carson Levine, Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, C.K. Bryant, Ali Cross and Karen E. Hoover. And that's just the top of the list.

Favorite Genre:
I read pretty much everything but horror and erotica. But, right now, because I'm writing fantasy, I'm reading fantasy.

Pet Peeve:
Having to repeat myself. Especially with my kids.

Place you’d most like to visit and why:

Ireland. It's always been Ireland. Part of my family heritage can be traced back there, and I love ruins, castles, scenery, and the like.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in AZ, where I nurtured an early love of books and writing into creating my first novel in high school. I married in 1996 and had 5 children in rapid succession (I had twins, so that helped). In 2006 a series of personal and family incidents caused me to refocus on my writing. Now I'm writing, working, raising my kids, and trying to keep it all together--like everyone else.

What is your worst nightmare?
Call it a superstition, but I don't believe in acknowledging my deepest fears and having that information out in the universe.

Were you inspired by any other writers?
Certainly. Most of the time it's books I read and think, "I can never be that good" that inspire me to be the best I CAN be.
Would you tell us a little about your upcoming book? Is it a stand alone book or part of a series?
The Tyrant King is the sequel to my first book, The Peasant Queen, and it takes place 4 years after TPQ ends.  Trouble starts when a stranger arrives in Fayterra with a link to the past that threatens to spiral Krystal's entire peaceful world into chaos. I really think it's the best thing I've written so far.
There is an unofficial fourth book in the planned trilogy that I released last year called The Wild Queen. It's primarily for readers who liked my villain from The Peasant Queen (there were surprisingly many of them) and wanted to know more about his past.
The final book in the series, The Lost Princess, will be out next year.


If you could become one of the characters in The Tyrant King who would it be and why?
For a long time I'd have said Krystal, because in so many ways she was me. But, really, I'd want to be Alana. There’s a lot more to that character than the readers get to see. Maybe someday I'll write her story, too.


When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
The seeds were planted in high school, but I waffled about it for a long time. Sure I'd love to be a writer, but is it hobby or profession?
It wasn't until 2006 that I began to take myself seriously as a writer. It seems like a long journey, since it encompasses over 20 years of my life, but I wasn't writing all that time. I was spending a lot of it growing up, getting married and having my own family.

What genre(s) do you write?
My current focus is YA fantasy, with a dash of romance. But I have several irons in the fire, so to speak. I have contemporary YA, good old clean romance, middle grade fiction, even a couple of mysteries.

How do you come up with the title and cover designs for your books? Who was the designer of your current book?
I work with the amazing Deirdra A. Eden for my covers. She does awesome work. The titles are mine--usually the third or fourth attempt at finding the "perfect" title for the story.
What do you think about book trailers?
I'm still on the fence. I admire so many of the trailers I've seen, but I'm not sure how effectively they help sell books. And I admit part of that is due to my severe creative handicap at coming up with one of my own. :)
Is there any book that you know you will just never read? If so, why not?
50 Shades of Gray. Honestly, I'm not remotely tempted. I'm simply not a fan of graphically sexual or violent books.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Write. And read. And write some more. And share. Be open to learning how to make your writing better.

Would you share one thing about yourself that no one else knows?
That is impossible, since my husband knows everything about me. But something that perhaps is not well known is that I hate berries. I really do. I won't eat anything with berries in it--unless it's store bought blueberry waffles. Weird, but true.

When and where do you usually write?
I write whenever the impulse strikes, and wherever I am--I always have paper of some kind with me. But I prefer to sit at my desk when I'm working on my stories. That's where I take all my scattered ideas and try to make sense of them.

Why did you choose Indie Publishing?
I was traditionally published at first, but they declined to take on the sequel so I decided to publish it myself. It's next to impossible to find a publisher willing to start in the middle of a series.
But the more I get into it, the more I realize I like it. I like having control over the finished product--cover, formatting, editing, etc. The Tyrant King went through a professional edit after I was done editing it myself and sending it out to writer friends and reader friends for feedback. I believe in putting out the best book I can.

Are you currently working on something new and if so would you give us a sneak peek of what it is about?
I plan to have another book out by the end of the year. It's called City of Light, and it's about a young woman who purposely thwarts a demon's prophecy to save her sister's life.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you wish I had?
I don't think we covered whether or not I have any pets. :) For the record, I have the perfect little dog for our family. She's a recent acquisition and we call her Sunny.
Where can readers follow you?
Blog: http://www.cheri-chesley.com/
Website: http://www.cheri-chesley.com/p/home.html
Goodreads author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CheriWrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheri-Chesley-Author/117640374915557?ref=hl
Any other info you wish to share:
Readers who have read The Peasant Queen may enjoy the alternate ending I added to my website.
Also, I put up the first chapter of The Tyrant King on my site for those who want to read more.

Thank you so much Cheri for taking time to interview on my blog. It has been a genuine pleasure getting a peek into your writing world.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Last Time I Ever Saw Dad


Dad had Alzheimer's. We never figured this out until well after he stunned us all by selling the farm. A few years after he did that, he came across the yard to my back door. "Do I have my clothes on?" he said as he stepped inside.
"Well yes," I said.
"People get awfully upset if you don't," he said. Then he warned me to be on my toes so that no one would come and take the farm away.
Mom looked after him with endless patience. When we all went out to eat Sunday dinner together, Dad grinned, drew a great breath and let out a noise like a steam engine whistle, reducing the entire restaurant to dead silence. "Harry!" she gasped. "Mercy sakes!"
At three 'o clock one morning, Mom gave me a ring and sent me out to look for him. I found him in his pajamas, barefoot in the snow. As I led him back to the house by his gnarled old hand, I remembered him tirelessly holding me by the overall straps, ploughing whilst I slept on the running-board. Soon he was making a game of eluding us by hiding in the woods. He was becoming difficult to find.
The last time I ever saw him, I went to the rest home with my banjo to keep him company. He would no longer open his eyes, but they had him dressed and sitting in the common room. I played Camptown RacesOld Joe ClarkSilver BellTurkey in the Straw and King'sHead. Dad nodded and tapped his foot in perfect time. Old withered folks shuffled in with walkers to join us. Wheelchairs parked between the davenports. Here and there, frail old voices were beginning to sing.
A minister appeared, pacing about in agitation before coming up to me. "It's time for my delivery," he said, shaking his head. "I'm afraid you'll have to quit."
I put away my banjo. "I'll be back in a day or two, Dad."
He squeezed his eyes tight and nodded. 



Tom Phipps

Monday, November 12, 2012

Live What You Write

Back when I was an aspiring botany major, a heavyweight English student I knew showed up at my flat with a fifth of Jack Daniels to live the life of a writer, as he put it. He mentioned Faulkner. He made Hemingway watching a bullfight in Spain or sitting outdoors in a cafe along the Seine River, sipping wine with a crowd of angry young writers sound like a good thing. I don't know what became of him. I turned out to be a writer. Maybe he's counting tree rings.


If he understood what he was telling me, he did have a point. You do need to be familiar enough with what you are discussing in order to do a good job of writing about it. One would think that your words will be best chosen when you are discussing elephants if you have ridden one. And it is much easier to make walking across freshly ploughed ground in your bare feet amongst the scattered blackbirds come to life for your readers if you've actually done it.

So how do you do such a thing if you are writing fantasy? How do you make unicorns, Elves and dragons come to life? Well, unicorns are very much like horses, except for the narwhal-like horn, so we can talk about them in terms of the horses which we've ridden. We can talk about their horn waving about above their feed boxes as they nibble up the last of their oats. We can talk about the Elf with his insides shaken to a jelly of soreness, from an afternoon's frantic ride. And we can talk about a mob of dragons settling onto a sandbar in the dusk, as each one pauses to sort through the feathers of his wings before giving himself a thorough shake, if we have walked along a river's sands at sunset and have indeed spent an afternoon in the desert mountains, watching a flock of buzzards come circling in to land on their customary rocks.

Just how would you make an imaginary creature come to life for the readers you are trying to engage and entertain? Wouldn't you need to draw upon similar things which you've actually seen? What do you think? We'd like to know.

Tom Phipps  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

ElF KILLERS, Epic Fantasy Adventure: Just $2.99 to Download



It is the very worst time to be in the woods.

Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper. And if he only dares to dream, he might also be back in time to speak with Doona alone.

Dyr's plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.

But on the way, Dyr's brutes stumble across Oisin's gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.
Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?

What They're Saying:

"The world that the authors created is a fascinating place. The creatures that inhabit the pages of this book are brilliant." Robyn

"Elf Killers is a fast-paced, descriptive ride of emotional turmoil and flight or fight drama right from the get go." Melissa Chesley

"This debut novel, from the husband and wife team of Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, is a fantasy delight" Rae

"There is something very brave about this book. First the attempt to create a half-language that the reader can still absorb and understand, yet completely imprints another culture. That would be brave enough on its own - but second, there is a sense of these two authors showing real courage in breaking taboos. They do not stint on the violence and some may find that harsh, but it's a harsh world they have allowed us to glimpse. They show a world in which no-one is safe, including children, and don't step back with false sentiment to protect the reader. Their world is not our world, but it's as real as it can get." KV

"Truly enjoy the twists and turns of imagination that these two authors are able to spin. I would highly recommend these authors to anyone who is a fan of fantasy stories." Lana C

"This book opened my eyes to a whole new different world..took the trolls and elves up to the next level...The fantasy and thrill that shook my mind and senses all those running, journeys to save the other elves from killer trolls was indeed a fantastic adventure! Truly epic!" Kimyunalesca

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Winner Is:

Congratulations Angela Hartness! You won the author-signed copy of The Collector Witch.

We wish to thank all those who participated in this giveaway. We will be posting another giveaway soon...   

Carol & tom

Sunday, October 7, 2012

FREE to DOWNLOAD NOW from Smashwords: Good Sister, Bad Sister

Now Free to Download From Smashwords: Good Sister, Bad Sister: Heart of the Staff, book 1

Also Free Now to Download at These Online Stores: Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Page Foundry, Diesel, Sony and the Apple iBookstore


https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/242759

            Minuet Dewin, eldest daughter of the wizard Razzmorten, practically raised her half sister Leeuh, who was abandoned by her mother. For many years, Minuet is Leeuh's passionate champion. As time passes, Leeuh becomes increasingly hard to defend as she grows determined to be awful at every turn. Whilst undoing her dangerous pranks, Minuet finds herself the target of her hatred and jealousy. And when they fall for the same prince, it looks like war.

            Suddenly Leeuh vanishes. She returns years later, compliant and sweet as she always should have been. Minuet is stunned. Should she trust her, or will it be the very death of her?   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ELF KILLERS TRAILER


It is the very worst time to be in the woods.

Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper. And if he only dares to dream, he might also be back in time to speak with Doona alone.
           
Dyr's plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.

But on the way, Dyr's brutes stumble across Oisin's gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.

Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Cover Reveal: ELF KILLERS

Just Released as Both an Ebook ($2.99) and a Paperback ($8.99) on Amazon: Elf Killers (2nd edition)



It is the very worst time to be in the woods.


Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper. And if he only dares to dream, he might also be back in time to speak with Doona alone.
           
Dyr's plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.

But on the way, Dyr's brutes stumble across Oisin's gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.

Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?







Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cover Reveal: STONE HEART: Heart of the Staff paperback

NOW on Amazon
Stone Heart: book three of the Heart of the Staff: paperback

Cover Reveal



PROLOGUE





            "Please forgive the interruption, Sorceress," said Budog, as he and the other guard

hove their captive onto the slippery stone floor, "but he's back again."      

            "You and Mazhev had better...'' said Demonica, turning aside from her prisoner on

the torture table, writhing in his irons. "This had better be important." Her ageless face

seethed with fury in the wavering torchlight.  

            "This thing says he has some real information for you, this time," said Budog,

nodding at his captive.

            "Oh, yes, yes!" pleaded the captive, as he sat up on his haunches. "This time I do

have. This time I truly have what you want to know, Demonica, my love."

            "Never address me in that manner again!" she shrieked, as she kicked him in the

gut, doubling him over to lie straining, cheek down on the clammy floor.

            "Forgive me, Mistress!" he shouted, heaving in his first breath with a gasp.

"Please! I quite forgot myself! I meant no disrespect! I swear!"

            "Very well, Yann-Ber!" she barked, as she lunged at his face and spat. "What do

you think you have to tell me?" She stood back to study her saliva, glistening on the mass

of boils swelling his face. "You'd do well to hope you aren't wasting my time, dearest."

            An agonized moan from the man on the table caught Yann-Ber's eye. He

shuddered at the sight of him, envying the wretched fellow's nearness to death. Soon

he'll be free of this, he thought, and maybe I shall be free as well, if what I bring

suffices...

            "Out with it, you vile kaoc'h ki du!" she screamed, flinging her knee into his face

to crush his nose with a resounding pop.

            Yann-Ber wailed out in pain and clapped his hands over his face, his eyes still

bearing the strength to give his wife a look of hatred. "Your daughter is dead," he

sputtered from between his bloody hands. "And your granddaughter has ascended the

throne of Goll..." He closed his eyes for a moment and reeled, coming to grips with his

pain. "They say she's got her hands on the Great Staff, you know, the Staff of Power,

though no one seems to think that she uses it." 

            "Just how sure are you?"

            "I wouldn't dare aggravate you with anything I was unsure of, Demonica."

            "So how do you know, Yann-kaoc'h?" she said, suddenly lifting her knee as

though she were going to strike him again. He winced and fell sideways, catching

himself on his elbow. She threw back her head and made the halls of the dungeon ring

with her laughter. "You stinking pomander of pustules, just how is it that you manage to

know this?"

            "A few still deny that she has the Great Staff at all," he said, pulling himself

upright, "but she certainly had no staff of any kind when she came to the throne, and then

she suddenly had one, right when her mother died. Too many reliable people have seen it.

And you said..."

            "This time you've actually learnt something, Yann-Ber," she said, suddenly

brandishing a high spirited gloat. "So. Back to Norz-meurzouar it is again."

            She turned to Budog and Mazhev. "And you two finish up this mess for me," she

said, waving her manicured hand at the man on the torture table. "I have far more

important business waiting on the Northern Continent." She swept past Yann-Ber without

a glance, heading for the door.

            "Wait! Demonica, please!" cried Yann-Ber, lunging after her on knees swollen

huge from boils, only to tumble forward onto his hands from the pain.

            Demonica stopped in the doorway. "I don't have time for this, Yann-Ber."

            "The curse!" he shouted through the blood on his face, as he rocked back and

forth, coming to grasp with the pain in his knees. "You promised me! You gave me your

word that if I found out the whereabouts of the Staff, then you'd end this curse. And she

does have it. You'll see. Please, Demonica! Have mercy! I'm your husband! You cared

for me once. Please!"

            "Are you certain you want that, Yann-Ber?" she said with a light in her eyes, as a 

ruby lipped smile spread across her face. 

            "What else could I want?" he rasped.

            "So be it," she said, making several signs in the air before turning crisply and

walking out of sight.

            "Demonica!" he shouted. "Nothing has changed! I still live! What treachery is

this?"

            The stony echo of her footsteps halted, then began again and stopped as she came

back into view. "On the contrary, Yann-Ber, your death has been irrevocably scheduled,

in spite of how slow and agonizing you may think it." She threw her head back with a

peal of laughter. "You see, dear heart, I always keep my promises."

            "But, so do I."

            "Ah! Ah! Ah! But not to me. Remember that it was your faithlessness to me that

earned you your nightmare spell of boils. So, as I was saying, I do keep mine, and you

will most assuredly be dead within the year, though it will seem such a long time to

someone with your lack of patience," she said, glancing at the crimson toes of her shoes

as she adjusted the pleats down the front of her gown.

            "I'll kill myself."

            "You can try, Yann-Ber," she said with a demure smile, "but unfortunately it will

never work." At once she turned and strode into the hallway, here and there erupting into

laughter as her reverberating footfalls passed beyond hearing.

            "You witch!" he screamed as he tottered onto his feet, only to be seized by the

hair and thrown flat onto the floor by Budog who pinned him mercilessly with both

knees, yanking his arm around backward until it snapped, making him wail out in pain.
 
            "Hurt your little armsie, stinkfish?" he hissed through his rotten teeth. "Too bad

that's all I broke." He yanked Yann-Ber to his feet by the hair and pointed him toward the

torture table. "Thing is, you stink so much, I can't concentrate on my work here." He

shoved him flailing for balance towards the door. "Now. If Mazhev or I even see you

again, we'll play with you awhile like that fellow on the table."