Today for the A to Z Blogging Challenge 'Q' is because I'm QUITE happy to welcome Mysti Parker here to talk about her new book, A Ranger's Tale.
A Tour of Tallenmere
Please join me on a little adventure into the world of Tallenmere, where A Ranger’s Tale and future books in the series takes place.
What is Tallenmere? It's a world of fantasy, of magic, of intrigue. Is it Tolkien-esque? Perhaps. But there are no orcs. Orcs are so overdone. And elves in Tallenmere aren't nearly as perfect and mysterious as Tolkien's elves. They don’t diminish and head into the west. Instead, they have more than a few skeletons in their tidy closets.
It’s a world in which my imagination can run wild. It's the stuff dreams and nightmares are made of. Epic romances can emerge as love at first sight, and terrible tragedy can happen in a flash.
In Tallenmere, you'll find elves—high elves, wood elves, dark elves. There are, of course, humans, that most rigorous and versatile of races. You'll see faeries, barbarians, dwarves, halflings, ogres, and trolls. You might even discover a secret race or two as the stories unfold. What you'll always find is romance, mingled with suspense, and you'll never know what situations the characters will find themselves in next.
We'll begin our journey of Tallenmere in its largest continent, the land of Innessa, named after the creator goddess of the high elves. So, remain seated, keep all appendages inside the vehicle, and secure any loose objects. It’ll be a fast ride!
Innessa is divided into four provinces. To the west lies Leogard, home to high elves, where A Ranger’s Tale begins. It's the largest province, and is ruled by the high elf King Leopold Vaeloria. The capital city, Leogard (yes, same as the province), can be seen for miles, surrounded by a towering white wall. Until Leopold's reign, Leogard was closed off to much of the world. Now, with Leopold's devotion to Omri, god of peace and tranquility, he has opened up the city to the rest of Tallenmere, and conducts his own crusades in nearby lands to bring Omri's peace to the hurting.
In the east is Faerion, home to faeries and dwarves. Its capital city of Faewood lies on the coast, a popular tourist destination, known for its music, architecture, and food. The Eastwood Mountains of Faerion are vast and mysterious, filled with some unusual creatures, some of which can be quite deadly.
To the north is the province of Hezral—cold, rocky, and home to some very hardy humans. They're fishermen and traders, and rumor has it they have a vampire problem.
In the south lie the swampy lands of Yggrich--home to warring bands of ogres and trolls. Every now and then, they emerge to cause problems in Leogard. Good scouts are needed to keep these uglies in check. Let’s just say it’s a good thing Caliphany learns to handle a bow.
In the Southern Sea, where the breezes are warm, we’ll end our tour on Tilliya Island, with its lush tropical landscape. Stroll along the white sandy beaches, through the green pastures of sheep farms, or take a picnic under the rustling branches of a willowvine tree. You might spot Caliphany and Galadin there. It’s one of their favorite places.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our brief tour of Tallenmere. Please feel free to post any questions you might have about our journey. I hope you’ll love the characters in my series as much as I do. Thank you for coming along!
Blurb:In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the high elf, Caliphany Aranea, nearly a century old, has never been allowed to travel farther than a few miles out of the capital city of Leogard. Her father, Sirius, leads the Mage Academy, and after losing his only son, he expects Caliphany to take his place one day. The trouble is, she doesn't want to study magic and doubts she'll ever be as good a wizard as her father. She dreams of leaving Leogard to explore the world and strike out on her own--lofty goals for Sirius' daughter, who also happens to be King Leopold's niece.
When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap her while she dreams of faraway lands, half-elf ship captain and ranger, Galadin Trudeaux, comes to her rescue. From their first chance encounter, to the finale, where Caliphany must decide where her heart truly lies, she and Galadin will face more adventure, more love, more heartache, than they ever thought possible. Through it all, they discover the power of forgiveness and of a love that stands the test of time.
Buy link for A Ranger’s Tale at Melange Books
Buy link for A Ranger’s Tale at All Romance eBooks
Mysti Parker is a full-time wife, mom of three, and a writer. Born and raised in Kentucky, writing has always been her first love. After many years of pursuing other things, she began her writing career in earnest in 2009. Look for more romantic tales from her fantasy world of Tallenmere, where magic, passion, murder, and mayhem are a part of everyday life.
Author page at Melange Books (includes photo, bio, and interview):
Excerpt from Chapter 18:
Cali stood and flung her bow over her shoulder.
I waved my hands at her. “Cali, I think you should stay here in the camp.”
“I will do no such thing.”
“The goblins aren’t to be taken lightly. They can swarm on you in an instant.”
“Which is all the more reason I should go along to help.”
There was no arguing with her, not with that stubborn set of her chin and those flashing blue eyes. Damn, she was beautiful when she set her mind to do something.
“All right, then, let’s go, but we have to be careful.”
We climbed the narrow path up the cliff side to the ancient temple. Bastivar was a crumbling, pillared fortress carved into the mountainside in honor of the goddess Innessa. Worshippers had long since vanished, and as long as anyone could remember, the only current inhabitants were goblins.
“Hidari mi compli,” we chanted, and sneaked inside. Our eyes adjusted to the dim light in the entryway.
“I’ll draw some of them out,” I whispered. “Stay concealed, and when you see one coming, shoot it.”
Down one corridor, a group of three goblins came toward me. I aimed and shot one, then ran back when the other two charged. Cali’s first arrow barely missed my head, but she got one. I shot the last one as she readied another arrow.
“Nicely done,” I whispered. “Now, we—”
“Achoo!” Cali couldn’t stop her sneeze in time. She whispered, “I’m sorry.”
A great snarling ensued from within the main corridor. A horde of beady, yellow eyes came toward us.
She fled, and we ran down the cliff side as fast as we could without falling off. We reached the forest floor, and I looked back. Goblins streamed out of the ruins, so many that some fell off the cliff. There had never been this many before. It must have been a long while since anyone had cleared them out. We sped through the underbrush. Thorns scratched our skin and snagged our leathers, but they were gaining on us.
We reached the main path, and I grabbed Cali. “Give me my father’s sword.”
She unsheathed it and handed it to me. “Galadin, there’s too many. We’ll never fight them off.”
“Conceal yourself and run. Now!”
She clutched my sleeve. “I won’t leave you here!”
For the brief moment while the goblins closed in, I met her panic-stricken eyes. I’d never met a woman I would die for, until then. “Go!”
I pushed her on, and she turned to run. Goblins burst through the bush, and I readied my sword. Right and left, I swung, impaling and kicking them off the blade, chopping off spindly gray limbs, a head when I could aim just right. Piles of jerking bodies began to pile at my feet. The onslaught lessened, but before I could catch my breath, another wave of them burst forth.
One of them latched onto my arm, its jagged teeth sinking in through the leather. I cried out. Then, an arrow sank into its ugly body. Cali had come back, her next arrow nocked and ready. I shook the goblin off my arm. Still, they came, yet another wave.
She threw down her bow and ran to my side. “Galadin, get back!”
“What? No, I told you to run!”
She pulled me back, stepped in front of me, and held out her hands. Blue fire burst from her palms, like flaming blasts of lightning, but continuous, and dreadfully hot. I had to back away from the intensity of the heat. The inferno charred the goblins, turning them from gray, to black, to piles of ashes before my eyes. The fire consumed every bush and weed, everything in its path, until the goblins in the rear decided they were outmatched. Shrieking, they turned and hightailed it back up the cliff and into Bastivar.
Cali stared at her smoking hands. I ran to her, relieved to see that she wasn’t burned. But, she was weakened. I embraced her, letting her catch her breath, her head on my shoulder. I ran my fingers along her braid.
“I didn’t know you could do that,” I said.
She raised her head and peered into my eyes. “I didn’t either.”
Then, our lips met, and nothing else mattered.
One lucky commenter on this blog will win a PDF copy of A Ranger's Tale. Contest ends midnight EDT, April 27th. (US entries only)
Also tour wide Mysti is offering one signed print copy to be chosen from all comments at all stops. One winner to be chosen; US shipping only.