FORT WORTH, Texas, August 24, 2013 — C. A. Szarek’s debut novel “Sword’s Call” is the first in a series of stories involving an elite cadre called “The King’s Riders.”
In this novel, Lady Ceralda Ryhan, daughter of the Duke of Greenwald, seizes the enchanted sword kept by her family for generations and flees for her life. Lord Varthan covets it at all costs including the murder of Cera’s entire family in an effort to fulfill his quest.
Cera and her bond mate, a wolf named Trikser, must get outside help before it’s too late. Her journey leads her to Jorrin Aldern, half elfin and half human. He’s on his own search to find his father who disappeared over twenty turns ago.
There is a lot more to this story, but we won’t spoil this captivating tale by giving away the details. Suffice it to say that Szarek enchants the reader from the start with the portrait she paints of a mythical land and its inhabitants. Her prose keeps the reader mesmerized throughout the book, leaving you thirsting for the next volume in The King’s Riders series.
C. A. Szarek is also friend and fellow member of the Greater Fort Worth Writers group. I was delighted to be able to sit down with her and talk about not only “Sword’s Call” but some background on the story as well.
CH: What made you actually sit down and start putting your inspiration on paper (screen)?
CS: I had a dream. Yes, honestly, I had a dream about a girl and a wolf. So that solidified the idea of what became my world. I sat down and started typing. In the dream, I watched it form and change, come to life.
CH: What inspired you to write a book?
CS: I’ve always been a writer, since I was a very young child. So, I guess you could say there’s always a story floating around in my head. I’m always inspired by something or other. I have to write them down so they’ll leave me be.
CH: How did you come up with the character of Cera?
CS:I have always loved tough girls, and Cera is no different. She’s awesome. Strong, doesn’t take any crap, so to speak. But she also has a feminine and sensual side, and knows her own heart. I think in a few ways, she’s the cooler version of me. I think when a writer is new, they infuse a lot of themselves in their first characters. We can’t help it. So, there is a lot of me in Cera. I simply adore her.
CH: When naming the characters, did you give any thought to the actual meaning of the names chosen?
CS: Usually, believe it or not, they tell me what their names are. The name usually pops into my head and then I develop the character around the name. There have been times I haven’t gotten the name right, and they give me heck until I figure out the right name.
CH: Who designed the covers?
CS: My wonderful publisher for this series, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, allowed me to hire the fantastic fantasy artist, Nicole Cadet for my covers. The cover for “Love’s Call,” the next book in The King’s Riders series, is out and posted. It’s absolutely awesome!
CH: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
CS: I grew and changed with this book as much as Cera and Jorrin did. The initial project was much different but after edits the story more than fulfilled my vision. I love this couple, and this story, and I want everyone else to love them as much as I do.
CH: Who are your target readers?
CS: Anyone who loves a good adventure, quest story with a fantastic love story.
CH: Is there a writer or writers that would you consider a mentor?
CS: Oh, wow. I have tons of authors that have helped me. Nikki Duncan, Clover Autrey, Angi Morgan, Lavender Daye, Susan Sheehey, Kimberly Packard, just to name a few. They are all friends and fantastic critique partners. (Go check out their books.) These ladies, and the rest of the members of my two writing groups, The North Texas Chapter of Romance Writers of America (NTRWA) and GFTWW (Greater Fort Worth Writers) have only made my writing stronger. They are two fantastic groups of writers.
CH: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about his or her work?
CS: JR Ward. I love love love her “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series. She’s the author I drop everything for when she has a new book come out. This series has flawed alpha males you cannot help but love. They are so flawed. So “human.” (Most of them are vampires, so they aren’t human, but you get what I mean). They’re so real, because of their flaws. It’s something she does so well. I admire it. Oh, and the steamy scenes are fantastic, too.
CH: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
CS: My second novel, a romantic suspense called “Collision Force,” made its debut June 28, 2013. Since then, Total-E-Bound Publishing and allromancebooks.com named it to their bestseller lists.
Of course, romantic suspense is leaps and bounds different than fantasy romance, but Andi and Cole’s story is as near and dear to my heart as Jorrin and Cera. They are my first venture into this genre, and I love this book.
Here’s a summary/sneak peek at “Collision Force”:
Bad boy, married to his job FBI agent Cole Lucas always gets his man. So when the unthinkable happens and one gets away, Cole grits his teeth and hunts human trafficker Carlo Maldonado all the way to Antioch, Texas, where he collides with Detective Andi MacLaren.
Cole doesn’t do small towns and doesn’t get involved with women he works with, but Andi tempts him in ways he doesn’t want to acknowledge.
Two murders, her partner shot and leading the investigation on her own, the last thing Andi needs is a cocky FBI agent who sees her as no more than a tagalong.
Widow and single mother Andi is used to being on her own. When Cole gets stuck without a place to stay, crashing on her couch puts them in dangerous territory.
Attraction and passion bring Andi to a place she’d left behind when her husband died. Her three-year-old son quickly wiggles his way into Cole’s heart, and he starts contemplating things—family, love—that he’d never planned for himself.
Can being forced to work together make them stronger or will their differences jeopardize their case and their hearts?
Chance Collision (Crossing Forces Book Two) will release January 31, 2014 from Total-E-Bound Publishing!
CH: How many more King’s Riders books in the near future?
CS: “Love’s Call” (King’s Riders Book Two) will be released this fall. I have several more books planned in this series. I am excited about that, and seeing where the world will take me.
C. A. Szarek, “Sword’s Call.” Gypsy Shadow Publishing Co.: Lockhart, Tx., 2013. 329 pp. Available in print or as an e-book from the publisher and other popular outlets.
Find out more about C. A. Szarek by visiting her website at www.caszarek.com or her blog at www.caszarekwriter.blogspot.com.
Read more of Claire’s work at Feed the Mind, Nourish the Soul in the Communities @ The Washington Times and Greater Fort Worth Writers.
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