Guest Post: Cas Peace and the Artesans of Albia
December 17, 2013
I’m proud today to celebrate the amazing creations of author Cas Peace and her vivid Artesans of Albia series.
Cas is celebrating the re-launch of her series with The King’s Envoy under her new imprint Albia Publishing. Cas has weaved a world of mystery and adventure that is rooted in magic and in nature. There’s a new surprise around every corner, and, if you’re able to put the books down, you’ll wish was has unfolded before you wasn’t mere fantasy, but a real place full of good friends and unspoiled landscapes to get lost in. But, don’t simply take my word for it:
“One of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. The balance between background story and action is just perfect. I’m very glad I found this author. You won’t want to miss this series!” ~Denyse Cohen, author of Witch’s Soulmate, Book 1 of the Living Energy Trilogy
“Splendidly written in a wonderful voice, drew me in immediately. Ms. Peace’s imagination alone gets 5 stars. Spectacular worlds and enchanting scenes. Anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a world of a charming fantasy with plenty of layers and a host of intriguing characters won’t be disappointed!” ~Rosary McQuestion, author of Once Upon Another Time
“As soon as I finished this book I was eager to start the next. I highly recommend this book. Great Job!!” ~Janus Gangi, author of Elizabeth Rose and That Morning After
Series Synopsis: On a foolhardy foray into a foreign realm, Taran Elijah is attacked by a terrible weapon known as the Staff. Killing its wielder, he escapes into Albia, inadvertantly carrying the Staff. Concerned by the vicious raids that follow Taran’s actions, Major Sullyan of the High King’s forces crosses into Andaryon to seek diplomatic resolution to the crisis. She is captured and tortured by Lord Rykan, aspirant to the Andaryon throne.
Slowly dying, Sullyan escapes his clutches. She offers her skills to the Hierarch in defense of his throne, finally confronting Rykan on the field of battle.
Her handsome Captain and lover, Robin Tamsen, embarks on a desperate quest to recover the Staff. But Rykan’s greedy General, Sonten, is two steps ahead of him. If Robin cannot lay hold of the weapon before Sonten does, Sullyan’s life and the lives of all Artesans are forfeit.
The race for the Staff has begun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cas Peace was born in Hampshire UK, in 1957, and has lived there most of her life. Her first career was as a horse-riding instructor, and horses remain very close to her heart. She then spent 13 years working for the British Civil Service before leaving the UK to live in Italy for three years, 1991-1994. She speaks passable but by no means perfect Italian, and loves to return to Italy whenever she can.
Cas’s other great loves are anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses, (she supports many animal charities) and also singing. Cas loves folk songs and along with her husband, who plays guitar, has performed in many a Southern England folk club. Sometimes they even asked her back! She writes folk songs to accompany her fantasy novels, and offers them as free downloads from her website.
The Giveaway ends on December 19th, so do hurry to join in.
Here is the link for the giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f0acc32/
AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBIN: Robin Tamsen is a captain of the manor under Major Sullyan. He is just one of the many fascinating characters populating the domain of Albia. Let’s hear what he’s got to say:
Q: Where are you from?
A: I come from a small village called Lychdale. That’s in Garon Province, in south west Albia.
Q: How has your home village shaped who you are?
A: It’s not so much the village that shaped my life as what happened to my family. I lived there with my parents – my father was a thatcher, my uncle the local smith – and my younger sister, Jessy. I suppose I would have either followed my father’s trade or my uncle’s if not for Jessy’s illness. She was always frail, and when our healer told us she had the wasting disease and would not recover, I applied to the local garrison to be accepted as a cadet in the High King’s forces. My father’s earnings as a thatcher were not enough to provide Jessy with everything she needed to make her life bearable, and becoming a Kingsman was the only way I could think of to help her. What I have achieved, and what I have become, all stem from that first decision, made to help my sister.
Q: In a single sentence, sum up your thoughts on Garon Province.
Garon’s a great place to grow up if you like a quite life; it’s too far away from Port Loxton, the capitol, for anything interesting to ever happen there. And I didn’t mean that to sound as dismissive as it did. Many people live happy and fulfilled lives in Garon. Sorry, that’s more than one sentence!
Q: What is your occupation?
A: I am currently a Captain in the Kingsmen, based at the Manor in Loxton Province, mid-Albia. My immediate superior is Major Sullyan, and we all answer to General Blaine, General-in-Command of High King Elias Rovannon’s fighting forces. I help lead the Major’s unit, and we carry out patrols, peacekeeping duties, and occasionally repel raiders when necessary in Loxton Province. I am also an Artesan, of Adept rank, and I stand for Major Sullyan whenever she needs me.
A: Hal Bullen, also known as Bull, is Major Sullyan’s aide. He used to be Blaine’s sergeant-at-arms before the civil war which saw Blaine become Elias’s chief General. Bull’s a bit old these days for regular soldiering, although he still trains. He usually sees to the cadets when he’s not with Sullyan. Bull and I get on fine. He loves Sullyan, he’s known her and loved her for longer than I have, and he has a very special place in her heart. He does sometimes treat me like a cadet, which is annoying, but he’s also good at stopping me making a fool of myself when I get a bit hot-headed. I guess you could say I love the old ox, too!
Q: Tell me about Taran. What do you think are his greatest strengths/weaknesses?
A: Taran is also an Artesan, rank of Journeyman. I like him, he has some fine qualities, and he’s not a bad swordsman, either. He’s very loyal, and very honest, although he can be a bit earnest now and then, if you know what I mean? He didn’t have the best of starts in life as far as learning the Artesan craft goes. His father was a strict and uncompromising taskmaster, by all accounts, and I’m not surprised Taran ended up with flaws in his training. He tries very hard, but he has no confidence in himself. I suppose his greatest strength is his refusal to give up on his dream of achieving his potential as an Artesan. This stubbornness did land him in a whole heap of trouble, though! His greatest weakness is definitely a lack of self-confidence, or self-belief. Sullyan’s working hard to help him change that.
Q: If you could visit any place in Albia, where would it be?
A: I think it would have to be the Torlands, in north-east Albia. I’ve never seen true mountains. We did have some large hills to the east of Lychdale, and of course, there are the Downs to the west of the Manor, but the Torlands are reputed to be some of the highest mountains in the world. They are said to be quite specatcular, although how the Torlanders live with all that ice and snow, I can’t think! I’d probably freeze to death, but I’d love to see them someday.
A: Cal is a good friend of mine. He came here with Taran when Taran was looking for help with that Staff business. Cal is Rienne’s lover, and at first he was a bit quiet, stayed in the background. But when he helped us fight the invasion, the lads realized how useful he was with a sword. He’s one of us now, and I expect him to make Captain one day. He’s great on that little silver whistle he carries, too. And he’s very protective of Rienne. He’s quite dark-skinned, so it’s not always easy to tell what he’s thinking, but you can rely on Cal. He’d never desert his friends. He is a bit too ‘pretty’ though – Rienne’s always mooning over his dark eyes and long eyelashes!
Q: What, if anything, have you learned from Sullyan?
A: If anything? Are you kidding? I’v learned practically everything from Sullyan! Mind you, I was already a Captain when she found me in Garon, and I already knew something about my Artesan powers. I guess the first thing I learned from her was never to judge by appearances. When she and Bull turned up at the Garon garrison, and my commanding officer told me that a Major Sullyan had come from the Manor to speak to me, I though the Major was Bull. Well, he was in combat leathers, while she was just in a shirt and breeches. And she was female! I think it was an easy mistake to make… Still made me feel foolish, though. And I’ve been learning ever since. She’s taught me combat, how to increase my metaphysical strength, how to control my hot-headedness, and also what it feels like to love someone so deeply, you feel you will drown in it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning from Sullyan!
A: Good gods! There are so many … I probably ought to say allowing myself to be drawn into that duel with Parren. That really was a grave mistake, and it could have cost me my career. I still wish I’d—no, never mind—least said about that, the better! I suppose I would change the way I behaved when I first arrived at the Manor. Our little garrison in Garon was so tiny that I guess I got an inflated idea of how important a Captain was. My family were so proud when I was promoted, and I was often in sole charge when my commanding officer was off duty. When I came to the Manor, I became a very green yearling in a huge herd of trained stallions, and I should have kept my head down. Instead, I often behaved quite stupidly. Why Blaine never got rid of me, I don’t know. Well, I do. It was Sullyan who convinced him to keep me. I owe everything to her.
Q: Who stirs your heart?
A: Well, I guess I’ve already answered that one! But I’m sure she’ll forgive me if I say I do have other loves. Sullyan aside, nothing stirs me so well as a damn’ good sword fight. But I also love singing marching songs with Bull, and drinking with the lads after patrol. And I have a very soft spot for Rienne. Not only is she pretty, and very kind, she’s also our healer, and empathic as well. Everyone loves Rienne!Apart from that, the only other person to really stir my heart was my sister, Jessy. I still miss her terribly, and wish she had not been taken from us so young. But I know that “soon the Wheel will turn again, and Love unite the past.” That line comes from “The Wheel Will Turn”, the song Sullyan wrote for Jessy at her passing. To think I will one day see her again helps comfort me when I feel sad.
copyright 2013, Cas Peace