CREED OF THE GUARDIAN (HEART OF THE WARRIOR – BOOK THREE)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Print ISBN: 978-0990669470
Print Price: $19.99
Kindle ISBN: 978-0-9906694-8-7
Kindle Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 18, 2019
C.R. Richards’ literary career began when she interned as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper. She wore several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. A co-author of horror and urban fantasy novels, her first solo fiction project – The Mutant Casebook Series – was published by Whiskey Creek Press in 2013. Phantom Harvest (Book One in the series) is the winner of the 2014 EPIC eBook Awards for Fantasy Fiction. Cynthia is an active member of the Horror Writers Association, EPIC and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. For more information about her books, visit her website: http://www.crrichards.com
Books and Short Fiction by C.R. Richards: Phantom Harvest (2013), Lost Man’s Parish (2014), Pariah (2014), The Lords of Valdeon (2015) and The Obsidian Gates (2017)
Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.
Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.
Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Bloodtooth Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.
Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…
Official Website: http://crrichards.com/
Keeping Things Real in a Fantasy Book Series
We experience a tingle of anticipation as we open the cover of a new book. Our fingers smooth across the crisp pages, anxious to find those wonderful words – Chapter One. The first paragraph grabs our attention. We’re drawn further into the story as our guide (the Author) takes us deeper into this intriguing new world. It might be an abandoned ruin in the middle of a haunted forest. Maybe we land on the cobblestone streets of a thriving town. Or the sleek tubes of a futuristic alien city. Wherever we journey, as Readers, we expect the environment to feel real.
Creating a new world is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing for a Fantasy Author. I spent months planning the continent of Andara for my dark fantasy series, Heart of the Warrior. It started with me asking the important questions. Are there differences in the appearance of Andara’s people (dress, race, religion, or body shape)? Of course! Do they have different cultural traditions within each country? Hmm. How do these traditions impact their relationships with others? What languages do they speak? Most of all, I explored the political and cultural differences for each country. I determined which countries were allies, which groups were enemies and why. I’ve documented each factoid in a large volume of information for my reference.
An author builds a tangible world for two primary reasons:
First – Give the characters a realistic place in which to act out their story
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t connect with at least one of the characters in a book, I’ll close the cover and move on. It doesn’t sound fair, but that’s the way it is. I want to bond with a book’s characters. And so many books, so little time.
Fiction and Reality share a common trait: an individual’s environment influences their world view. Someone who’s lived in the Midwest of the United States may have different challenges than a person living in Tokyo, Japan. People are people, no matter where you go. Though we share everyday experiences as human beings; our environment adds slight differences in perspective to those events.
Second – Keep It Real: Parameters Matter
Good fantasy stories set the Reader’s expectations of the extraordinary upfront. The Author gives us hints and brief glimpses of the possibilities of magic or superhuman powers. These subtle signs are delivered before making their full use part of the story. We watch for the sudden sparkle in the air, and when it comes, we get a great sense of satisfaction. The Author has successfully outlined the parameters of their world. We understand what can and cannot happen in the story.
Let me give you an example. We’ve followed a young girl around her little home town all day. Strange things have been happening to her after she rode her bike through some green slime in back of the town’s chemical factory. The little girl accidentally pushes over a heavy barrel. She shrugs, thinking the container was already unstable. We as Readers begin to get an inkling something about her has changed. Happy little accidents like this follow her, building our anticipation. Then she steps up to the plate at a neighborhood baseball game and slams the ball way over the wall, past the chemical plant and out of town limits. We saw it coming. The Author gave us hints about the new parameters of the little girl’s world.
Now, what if the little girl didn’t ride through the green goo? What if she was just an ordinary kid who loves to play baseball with her friends? It might come off as silly and unbelievable if the Author suddenly let her hit the ball like a superhero.
Building vivid and believable worlds is a must for any story. It takes time and work, but the results can make or break your book. Put in the effort. Readers are smart. They will know if you’re handing them lazy writing. If you don’t do the best job you can, they’ll toss your book aside and pick up another.
Take the time to do your job well. Keep writing!