A Kingdom of Chalvaren Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing
THE DRAGONSTONE HAS RETURNED
With the love of Kort, Chalvaren’s warrior-prince heir, Mia Ansgar will seize her birthright and become the great dragon-riding wizardess prophesied to free that elven kingdom from her embittered sorceress kin.
TO ASCEND TRIUMPHANT
Twenty-five years ago, Theo Ansgar abandoned the Kingdom of Chalvaren for a hiding place on another world. Some called him traitor. Some, thief. Now his fully grown daughter Mia must return to the land of her birth...and their war.
It was the elf prince Kort Elias who brought her back. Theirs was an instant connection, an inescapable union of body, soul and sorcery, reminding Mia of what she truly is, and what she must become. There is also Magnus, destined to be more potent than any wyrm Chalvaren has ever seen, a three-day-old dragonlet Mia must nurture and then ride. And then there is the Dragonstone, an artifact of power nonpareil. Joined, they can tip the scales of battle against the wraith-possessed forces of darkness, of Mia’s own embittered kin. Redemption will be offered, the protected will become the protector, and an ancient prophecy will come to fruition, but only righteous love can conquer all.
“Dragons do exist…?” Mia Ansgar stared at the horse-sized creature. He slept peacefully just outside her cottage door under a protective spell of magic that she’d just helped conjure. She edged around Kort Elias, the strange but beautiful elf with whom she’d cast the spell, the first of her kind she’d seen who was not her family, to get a better look and satisfy her curiosity. “He’s awfully small. I thought they were bigger.”
“He’s only three days old, Mia,” Kort said, and joined her inspection. “Trust me. They get bigger. This little guy’s egg was stolen, and I’m here to see him returned to be with others of his kind on Chalvaren.”
The dragonlet’s wings were iridescent black like the rest of his hide, but their tips were swirled with purple and teal. His head was rather equine, Mia decided, with rounded bony horns.
She peeked up into Kort’s sapphire blue eyes. His magnificent face, his pointed ears intrigued her, set her heartbeat racing. She pointed at the beast. “What’s his name?”
“This dragon’s name is Magnus.”
“So, there are truly more dragons? My father always said so. But…how did you both get here? To Earth.”
“That’s another story for another day. The main question is how we are all going to get back to Chalvaren.” Kort pointed at the dragonlet. “That containment spell we cast over him won’t last for long. I need your help to get Magnus home.”
Mia stood bolt upright. “I cast the containment spell by melding my aura with yours when we touched, for the good of the dragonlet, but I don’t know how to work that kind of magic. Do you?”
Hi, Jeanine! Thanks for sharing your Readers at Eclipse Reviews with me today. *Waves at Readers* Let’s interview!
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I always knew I was a writer, even as a small child. In 5th grade I won a writing contest, and that recognition pushed me forward. My first critic was my 7th grade English teacher – glad I didn’t listen to her and give up writing!
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I considered myself a “real writer” on the day I signed my first publication contract with Boroughs Publishing Group for Dragonstone, my Lunchbox Romance prequel to Chalvaren Rising. You know, I always knew this was going to happen, but when we inked the deal, I felt like I finally earned my Street-Creds.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Publishing is not a fast turn-around business. From first idea to going live took about nine months. I’m not saying publishing is like gestating a human being, but…
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
To avoid the stigma of the starving artist I work a day job as a Family Nurse Practitioner. The money’s good, and I get to help people all day long. I earned a Master’s Degree in Health Professions from Georgia Southern University in 2004, and I care for patients ~40 hours per week. I assess, diagnose, and treat patients in an Internal Medicine/Pediatric office. It’s fun to take care of kids.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Chalvaren Rising. Mia Ansgar follows Elf Prince Kort Elias and his dragonlet to the Kingdom of Chalvaren to find Happily Ever After.
See the YouTube Book Trailer here: https://youtu.be/q2FCU-gJPog It tells the story well.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
Boroughs Publishing Group found room on their shelves for my fantasy romance series, and I will always love them for it.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I can fast-draft a novel in 30 days, but the real magic comes in editing. That can take an additional 3-6 months, more depending on the novel and real life.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m on the fence, actually. My Romantic Suspense series calls, but there’s a few amazing characters in the Kingdom of Chalvaren who are demanding page time.
What genre would you place your books into?
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
In the Kingdom of Chalvaren Romances, I explored the relationship between genres with a question: “How can we blend High Fantasy and Romance into a story that leaves the reader breathless where magic and suspense collide in an imaginary world?”
I grew up in Savannah, Georgia, surrounded by fantasy tales steeped in southern and worldwide tradition. One question I wanted to explore was why wasn’t more heart-rending romance woven into the fantasy genre? “Hey, all those elves and hobbits and dragons had to come from somewhere, right?”
Now, with the release of my new novel, Chalvaren Rising, I get a chance to explore weaving the strengths of both worlds into one. “I wanted to find out what would happen if I designed a world where fantasy lovers get their quest, but also give their girlfriends a healthy dose of grown-up romance along the way. Worlds are better when you include the element of love.”
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
Mia won my heart as female protagonist – she had so much to learn, and she showed up for work ready and willing to tackle the Elven Kingdom of Chalvaren. Kort has a special place in my heart because he loved Mia so much through all their trials, and was the hero she needed to complete her character arc.
But Magnus, my dragonlet, is my favorite character from all my books.
He’s my favorite because he’s innocent, and when he discovers the magic of Chalvaren he revels in it. When he discovers the darkness that abides in Chalvaren, he arcs into a formidable force to be reckoned with. I can’t tell you if he saves the day – you’ll have to read the story to find out – but if I could choose one imaginary character to live with, and watch grow over time, it would be Magnus.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing since I was very young. Poems, letters, silly little journals, greeting cards. My mother inspired me to write –she always had fiction laying around our home, and she’d get lost in great stories that transported her elsewhere. She signed me up for my first Library Card, and it’s because of her that I write. Mama never got to read any of my published fiction, but I suppose she’d be very happy to know her baby girl is a published author. I also think she’d like the dragonlet.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I have a writing office in the basement of my log cabin overlooking the mountains and my garden. I have my comfy chair, ergonomic keyboard, big monitor, and a couch for napping. I keep inspirational quotes all around, little dragonlet figurines, and all my bookshelves are close at hand. I listen to movie scores – instrumentals, to feed the creative muse.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do read reviews, then chuckle to myself, and sometimes share with my friends. When you’re first starting out writing, book reviews have such power over you, and your self-esteem. Good or bad. Now when I read a review, even if it’s not praising my work, I smile because that person took the time to say something about my creation.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Chalvaren Rising’s working title was Dragon’s Heart for the longest time. I definitely write the book, discover the overarching theme, and re-title during the final editing phase.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
It’s like this magical creature taps me on the shoulder and says, “Okay. I’m here for work.” I use Scrivener’s name generator and base names on cultural heritage. For places, I scour Pinterest for photographs of places where my characters live. Check out Chalvaren Rising’s Pinterest Page for an example: https://www.pinterest.com/pmillhouse/chalvaren-rising/
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I grasp an idea of what my character looks like, their dominant impression at the beginning of the book. For instance, with Mia, I knew she was a tall elf with blazing green eyes and long blonde hair. What I didn’t know, and I learned as we went along, was what she wanted, and why she wanted it. So, her physical shell was there at the start, then she “filled out” as we traveled through the story.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Love is worth fighting for no matter the odds.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I read a lot of eBooks, but my favorite books remain my special hardbacks – particularly author-signed first editions.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Personally, I think movies have been ruining books since the 1920’s.
Your favorite food is?
Dark chocolate and dry red wine.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I’ve developed a surprising Nickleback fetish…
Your favorite color is?
Purple, like the Dragonstone amethyst.
Your favorite Author is?
Too many to list here! I love the old James Patterson thrillers – the ones with Alex Cross. I just want to fix them by adding a hot romance. I also love Suzanne Brockman’s stories. And Steven James. And Deborah Harkness… And…well, we just don’t have enough time.
Paula Millhouse grew up in Savannah, Georgia where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway. As a child, Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south.
Paula lives with her husband at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their pack and pride of furry babies. In the southern tradition of storytellers, she loves sharing the lives of her characters with readers, and following her muse on the quest for happily-ever-afters in thrilling romantic fiction.