Great Summer Reads; King's Envoy, Book1 First Artesans Trilogy by Cas Peace

Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website: 

See the video of her performing live at the King’s Envoy book launch here:

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Taran Elijah's quest for knowledge uncovers a plot that threatens the world...

In Albia, the fourth realm, the precious Artesan gift is dying. Although born to the craft, Taran is struggling to achieve his potential. Against his friends' advice, he embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. Alone, he crosses into Andaryon, the fifth realm, but instead of finding a mentor, he stumbles upon a treacherous plot.

In the wake of Taran's actions, Albia suffers a series of vicious raids. Major Sullyan of the High King's forces is sent to oppose them. But a dark and treacherous force is moving through the realms and both Taran and Sullyan will feel its power.

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Q&A With the Author:

1.       When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author? I have always loved writing and used to write poems and short stories when I was a child. But my serious writing didn’t start until the late 90s, after my husband and I returned from a few years living in Italy. I didn’t have a job and found myself bored one cold, wet December afternoon. I began writing out a small scene I’d had in my head since watching a kid’s TV program in the 70s (called Tarot, Ace of Wands), and that seemed to open floodgates I didn’t know existed. It turned into my triple-trilogy fantasy series, Artesans of Albia, and in case anyone’s interested, the actual scene became Taran’s first meeting with Major Sullyan.

2.     Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it? I’m currently working on a prequel to my Artesans series that will relate Sullyan’s early life and how she became the powerful Artesan she is. It will be aimed at the YA market and is around halfway complete at this stage.

3.       What is your favorite writing snack? Has to be chocolate, I’m afraid. Milk, not dark (too bitter for me), and I really love Belgian chocolates, especially the red Lindt balls!

4.       If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve? Well, it’s no secret that only one of my characters is based on a real person, and that is King Elias Rovannon, who is based on UK actor Sean Bean’s portrayal of the Bernard Cornwell soldier, Richard Sharpe. So I would love to have dinner with Sean Bean, primarily to ask hm f he would do the voice of Elias in the audiobook versions of my novels! I have no idea what kind of food Sean likes, but I love Italian, so I’d most likely cook something pasta-based. I also do a mean lime cheesecake for dessert! 

5.       Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I learned a huge amount from writing my books as I started from the bottom with only my High School English education to call on. I learned about POV (Point of View), how to structure a story, and also about rejection once I started sending my first book out. But I also learned how supportive and helpful people in the writing industry can be if approached in the right way. I also learned things about myself – most worryingly that I seem to have quite a dark side! One of the reviews of my final trilogy, Master of Malice, says that I go places that George R R Martin (Game of Thrones) didn’t dare go!

6.       How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? I’m a singer/songwriter as well as a novelist and have written and recorded songs to accompany five of my fantasy novels, so singing is a wonderful way to switch off. I’m a member of a Shanty group, and enjoy performing and raising money for charity. I have two rescue dogs that I love walking, and I also grow a large amount of cacti. My husband and I own a powerboat, a Nelson 38 called Sea Hound, and we love taking off round the Solent for day trips or longer.

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