The Call of Swords, Elves and Coffee

Have you ever agreed to meet for coffee then forgotten and gone straight home from your shopping trip? Or invited someone to your blog and totally spaced the date? I did this week, but author Chrissy Szarek not only welcomed me to her blog on Tuesday, but she also very kindly agreed to share a virtual coffee with me here today. So I'm delighted to introduce her and invite you to listen in on our conversation. You can even read an excerpt from her book while the coffee brews. But first, look at the cover. Don't you love the white wolf?

Blurb: Sword's Call, by C. A. Szarek

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?

Ah, coffee's ready. Hi Chrissy. I love the white wolf (is it a wolf?) on the cover of Sword's Call. Can you tell me something about it? Does it look the way you imagined as you wrote the book?

His name is Trikser, and he's magically bonded to the heroine of Sword's Call, Cera. Yes, the cover artist (Nicole Cadet) pretty much took a picture of the inside of my head. I love everything about the cover. Trik is very important to the story, as well as to Cera. I also adore him.

It is a really neat, eye-catching cover, which leads to my next question: I grew up hooked on Star Trek (the original series) so pointed ears always mean Vulcan first and elf second for me. Do you think there's any connection between Vulcans and elves?
I also am a huge Trekkie, but no, I don't think my elves are like Vulcans. Jorrin, the hero of SC is half elfin. His mom is an elf, and his dad is human, so that's the only reason he's tall. Full blooded elves are diminutive. 

I guess I'll learn that when I read the book, which I hope to do soon. Meanwhile, what about your other book? Sword's Call and Collision Force seem such different books. What genres have you written in so far? Are there any genres you've not tried yet that you'd like to try?

Sword's Call is fantasy and Collision Force is Romantic Suspense, so yes, they are night and day. I don't really write genre specific. I will write whatever occurs to me, and no there's nothing that I have tried that I could say I didn't like. I have a completed contemporary romance YA, and I have dabbled in Paranormal, both YA and Adult romance, and I seem to like everything. That's great for story ideas, but not so much when I don't have the time to write all my characters. I don't know if I would like to try something else. When I branch out it doesn't seem to end up what I intended. *wink*
What genres do you most like to read?
I love to read, and I'm not picky as to what I choose as long as it's interesting and a good story.

Me too, and the same goes for movies. So, which of your books would you most like to see made into a movie, and why?

I would love to see either one, actually. Nothing like an awesome epic fantasy on the big screen. But then again, a good cop story is awesome, too! 

Are you working on another book at the moment? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

I am always working on something. I just finished Love's Call (which is the book after Sword's Call, King's Riders book 2) and I am working on Crossing Forces book 2, Chance Collision, which is the book after Collision Force. Love's Call is the story of Leargan and Ansley, who are ordered to marry by the king. She loves him, and he's never known she was alive! It was a fun adventure to write. I love this couple. There is also a subplot couple in this one, Roduch and Avril and I adore them as well.
Sounds fun. I love your titles too. So, one final question: Where can readers find you?

@caszarek  Twitter.

So now, the part that readers have been waiting for... an excerpt from Sword's Call:

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.

Thank you so much Chrissy. It was lovely hosting you, at last, and I do apologize for spacing it earlier. I had a great time visiting your blog too.


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