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Monday, May 9, 2011

A Ranger’s Tale by Mysti Parker

Title: A Ranger’s Tale
Release Date: January 29, 2011
Author: Mysti Parker
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Melange-Books
Buy Link            

Blurb: Set in the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the high elf Caliphany Aranea longs to explore the world and escape from her controlling father. Her dreams are fulfilled when she meets ranger and ship captain Galadin Trudeaux. But, when secrets from the past bring tragedy to those she loves, Caliphany must fight to hold on to the life she's always wanted.

Welcome Mysti, I'm so thrilled to have you here!  To get started, what is your latest offering?
Thanks so much for having me! I’m so excited about my debut romance novel, A Ranger’s Tale. It’s the first in a series from the fantasy world of Tallenmere.
What is A Ranger’s Tale all about?
How about I give you the scoop? Not the whole scoop, mind you—I gotta save some secrets for later.
Above all else, A Ranger’s Tale a story of love, trust, and a quest for freedom. 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. She convinces him to train her in the ways of a ranger so she can survive on her own. Caliphany’s father learns of this and imprisons her with the intent of forcing her to marry a mage she doesn’t love. She escapes, takes refuge as a stowaway on Galadin’s ship, and forces him to take her to Faewood so she can outrun the search parties.
Galadin, though angry at first, can’t just leave her out there to fend for herself. He decides to remain with her until the search is called off, but in the meantime, they fall madly in love.
They soon learn, however, that happiness is fleeting. 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.
That sounds like a great concept. Was there anything in particular that inspired this book, or did your muse come up with it?
My inspiration came from many sources, including a love of Lord of the Rings and all things romance, plus a very active imagination. My muse also has a strong desire to create realistic characters who make mistakes, but find redemption. My elves are far from whimsical and perfect.
Who is your cover artist and how much input do you have in the design?
Mae Powers at Melange Books designed my cover and did a fantastic job. She’s great at working with authors to customize the covers of their choice. She ran a few versions by me until I was happy with the current one.
If you could co-author a book with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d have to say Lillian Jackson Braun or Victoria Holt. The clever wit of Ms. Braun’s writing and the sweeping romantic suspense Ms. Holt wrote so well would be thrilling to witness first-hand.
What books are in your TBR pile?
There are too many to list, but a couple I am reading now is Guardian 2632 by Nora Weston and Purrfect Voyage by Ruth J Hartman.
I’ve met so many wonderful authors since I’ve started this endeavor. On my blog, I’ve been interviewing some fabulous writers, and they automatically go on my list. I’m just sad that I’m not a faster reader.
When you begin a new book, do you write it straight through, or do you work on more than one story at a time?
I write until I hit a block, then usually crank out a short story to stretch my writing muscles. Then, it’s right back to the main WIP. Momentum is everything.
This is your debut novel but I happen to know this isn't the only thing you have published. Tell me about that.
I have a fantasy romance novelette called Let There Be Love in the anthology Hearts of Tomorrow, also published by Melange Books.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on Book 2 of the Tallenmere series. It’s called Serenya’s Song and picks up where A Ranger’s Tale ended. But don’t be fooled—it’ll be a novel that can stand alone. A Ranger’s Tale actually introduces several characters (many only briefly) that will appear in subsequent books.
Serenya’s Song takes us to the small town of Summerwind, where the wood elf, Jayden Ravenwing (who plays a prominent role in A Ranger's Tale) seeks a quieter life away from the bustle of Leogard and his first love, Caliphany. At the local tavern, he meets Serenya Crowe, who instantly sparks his interest. She's half-elf, half-something else, but she's everything he's ever wanted in a woman. Except he never expected to fall in love again so quickly, especially with the wife of the Earl of Summerwind. To complicate matters, a strange portal has appeared on the Crowe property, one that Jayden fears could lead to the death of Serenya and everyone in Summerwind, unless he can find a way to close it.
Thank you for joining me, Mysti if I twist your arm would you give us an excerpt? J
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.

“Cali, run!”

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!”

“No time.”

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. 

Author Bio:
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.

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