Guest Post: THE LORDS OF VALDEON by C.R. Richards

THE LORDS OF VALDEON (Heart of the Warrior Book 1)
by C.R. Richards
January 7, 2016

A new series from award winning Author, C.R. Richards: The epic tale of two men begins. The first - a man of honor trying desperately to turn his country from civil war. The other - a boy struggling to discover his destiny before agents of evil find him first. 

Coveted by two ancient enemies of a long forgotten age, the continent of Andara holds the key to victory in an endless struggle for dominance. Eight hundred years have passed since the god-like Jalora struck a bargain with the first King of Valdeon. The Lion Ring, symbol of the covenant and conduit of power, gives its bearer incredible abilities. The ring's borrowed magic protects the people of Andara from covetous evil, but there is a price. As with most predators, the Lion Ring must feed. Only the blood of the D'Antoin√© family line will satisfy its hunger. 

A rival for Andara's treasures, the Sarcion has waited impatiently for its time upon the land. Whispers of treason in the right ear aid its treachery. The King of Valdeon mysteriously disappears, leaving his lands in danger of a civil war by the hand of a murderous usurper. His Lion Ring is lost and the covenant is broken. The Jalora's power begins to seep away from the land. Evil's foothold grows stronger. Can the Lords of Valdeon, Sacred Guard of the covenant, stop the tides of war? Or will Andara fall into chaos? The future rests in the blood of a boy...

Aaannd here's author C.R. Richards!!

The Good, The Bad and The Preachy

"Write an essay on the Theme of your assigned reading."

The most dreaded phrase a high school or college student could hear from their English professor. Why? Themes are tricky. If a novel is well written and the author does her job, the theme should be a delicate touch on the reader's mind rather than a smack in the face.

I'll tell you a secret. Most authors don't know how to express the themes of their books until we're forced to write those nasty pitches and back cover blurbs. Ask an author what their book is about in the early stages of development and panic will ensue. They'll either freeze like an old water bucket in January or launch into a fifteen minute nervous ramble about the character's back story. 

What is the book about?
Time spent with several cups of coffee over a synopsis of the book,  the author should be able to articulate the obvious storylines. I'll use my latest release as an example. The Lords of Valdeon follows two main characters:

·         Xavier the Wolf is third-in-command of the Sacred Guard. After their king disappears and his son has launched a plot to seize the throne, Wolf must take responsibility for keeping his country from civil war.

·         Seth grew up in a small island nation. His mother's murder reveals secrets about Seth's true identity as the child of two ancient enemy nations.

Okay. What is the book really about?

Here we go. This is the theme or message the author is given to share with their readers.
·         Xavier the Wolf - Show honor and integrity no matter how difficult the situation becomes.
·         Seth - One person can be a catalyst for change if they have enough courage to take the first step.

Once the author knows the true message of their work, they must resist the temptation to preach it rather than take the reader along on the character's journey. Take Seth's storyline as an example. Shaking people and demanding they stop being mean to each other doesn't end well. I show the reader what kind of person Seth is and why he's worth befriending. Eventually they'll know him enough to be affronted by the ugliness he experiences for being different. Perhaps someone will be inspired by his story enough to stand up and take that first step toward positive change in their own lives.

Authors are storytellers with a long and grand tradition of showing truth in our tales. Each of us has the responsibility to be true to the stories we're given and the readers we are here to inspire. Next time you finish a story that touches your soul, ponder this: If the author is the tool or conduit of the story, then where did the message actually come from? I'll leave you with this tantalizing question. 


A huge lover of horror and dark fantasy stories,
C. R. Richards enjoys telling tales of intrigue and adventure. Having began writing as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper, Richards has worn several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. She has now published a handful of novels, including Phantom Harvest - book one in The Mutant Casebook Series - which took home the EPIC eBook Award for Fantasy in 2014.  Richards beat out entries from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and other English speaking countries. 

The youngest of five army brats, Richards was born on a military base in Utah.  She spent much of her childhood in the back of her family’s sky blue station wagon on trips to see her grandmother - who would show her how to spot faeries in the backyard.  “Sometimes she’d put candy in small silk slippers and tell us the pixies had done it,” says Richards. “She’s the one who gave me my love of fantasy creatures.”

Her most recent literary projects include the horror short story, Lost Man's Parish and the newly-released dark fantasy thriller, Pariah. She is an active member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Horror Writers Association.

In January, Richards releases her epic fantasy novel The Lords of Valdeon, the first installment in the Heart of the Warrior series. Through her storytelling. Richards aims to reach lovers of fantasy who are exploring alternatives to the traditional status quo. Her message is simple: One person can be a catalyst for change. 


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