Welcome to the book tour for Kronicles of Korthlundia by Jamie Marchant! Today she’s telling us all about this epic fantasy series! You can also catch an excerpt and then follow the tour for even more. Best of luck entering the great giveaway at the end!
What was the inspiration behind this series?
The Goddess’s Choice, the first novel in The Kronicles of Korthlundia, originates deep within my childhood. My sister Jalane–she is ten years older than me–told me stories, fairy tales mostly: “Midas and His Golden Touch,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Hansel and Gretel.” But my favorite was always “The Princess and the Glass Hill” or “The Glass Mountain” as my sister titled it. I had her tell that story over and over again. I was captivated by the bold hero on his magical horses of bronze, silver, and gold.
When I had a child of my own, I wanted to pass that fairy tale on. My son, Jesse, loved it every bit as much as I had. One day after telling it to him, it came to me that the story could be so much more than five pages and sparse details. However, I didn’t want to write a children’s story but the type of epic fantasy I enjoy as an adult. I upped the dramatic tension, villainy, and sexuality of the piece to create something far different than the original fairy tale. The Goddess’s Choice is intended for an adult audience.
However, when I finished The Goddess’s Choice, the characters let me know that their story was far from done. It’s hard to say where I got the inspiration for the later volumes in the series, except that the characters themselves told me how to continue their tales.
What kind of research did you have to do for it?
It seems like the number of things I needed to research to get these novels right was endless, including herbal remedies, falconry, Celtic holidays, and horses. Most of this research I could do through books or the internet, but the one thing I found most difficult was the fight scenes. I have never actually been in a physical fight, and simply reading about fighting wasn’t enough. In order to write about fighting, I found I needed to learn how to fight, so I enrolled in karate. I still wouldn’t bet on myself in a fight, but taking karate enabled me to write characters who can whoop some ass.
Which character was your favorite to write?
This is a hard question to answer because I love so many of them. But I think it might be Fancy Man. Fancy Man is one of the magical horses in The Goddess’s Choice that helps the peasant boy Robrek mature into the hero he needs to be. Unlike Brazen, the magical horse who teaches Robrek how to fight, Fancy Man teaches him dancing and table manners, things that Robrek can’t see any point in learning. I had a lot of fun with Fancy Man entreating Robrek into taking his lessons. One of my favorite scenes involving Fancy Man has him teaching Robrek table manners through creating the illusion of a feast with “the table was piled high with cheese tarts, venison stew, roast salmon, roast pork, mushrooms and leeks, and dishes Robrek couldn’t identify.” However, when Robrek tries to partake of the feast, using the proper manners Fancy Man insists upon, he discovers that all the delectable looking dishes have no favor because, of course, “learning proper table manners doesn’t require flavor.”
What was one of your favorite scenes?
A scene that remains my favorite to today is the forgiveness scenes from The Goddess’s Choice, both because it focuses on something I find vital for human happiness and because I managed to make it as powerful as I wanted it to be. The male protagonist Robrek is badly abused by his father as a child and treated as an outcast by his community. He has been greatly wronged and has every reason to be angry and harbor hatred for others. But in order to grow and move on with his life, he needs to forgive those who had harmed him. One thing I have learned in my own life is that by hating others we harm ourselves far more than we harm them. It doesn’t matter if they deserve our forgiveness, we deserve to be happy. Conveying Robrek realization of this in a way that wasn’t trite, preachy, or too easy—a way that felt real and believable—was an immense challenge. One reader’s review of the novel leads me to believe I succeeded. She writes, “I found the scenes relating to forgiveness unforgettable and deeply moving.”
On what are you currently working?
I’m presently working on the fourth novel in The Kronicles of Korthlundia, which I believe will complete the series. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I call it the dragon book. I wonder what kind of creature it may introduce into my world. I also have ideas for at least two other side novels involving characters from the series. Eventually, I also want to get back to the other series I started with The Bull Riding Witch and finish that story.
Will we see these characters again?
You will. How many more books they occur in will depend on when they tell me their story is through.
Why should we read your series?
If readers are like me, they need to care about the characters before they care what happens to them. The most intricate, exciting plot leaves me cold, if it is not peopled with individuals whose fates concern me. Almost all of my reviews mention my characters as my greatest strength. Christopher Booker’s book, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories claims that there are only seven different stories we tell. While I think this is a bit reductive, it is true that it is nearly impossible to tell a story that hasn’t been told before. However, while plots may be limited, people are not. There are over 7 billion people on the planet today and untold billions who have lived, and every one of them is unique. Like living people, every one of my characters is a unique individual. They are deep, dynamic souls who live in my heart and on the page. They will continue to live within you long after you’ve completed the series. While I work hard to prefect my plots and my world building, the biggest gift I give my readers is characters they will love and love to hate.
Tell us about your other published works.
In addition to the novels in this box set, I have published a novella about demons invading New Orleans, Demons in the Big Easy, and the first novel is an urban fantasy series. Titled The Bull Riding Witch, this novel begins the story of a princess from a parallel world who finds herself stuck in the body of a rodeo bull rider.
What is your favorite part about writing?
Revision. I’ve heard some writers claim that they hate to revise. I feel the exact opposite. When I first put words on the page, they never measure up to my vision, something always isn’t right. But through revision, the magic of my stories come alive. I can prefect the scene until they glow on the pages as brightly as they glow within me.
When not writing, what can we find you doing?
I teach literature and writing at Auburn University.
Let’s say I’m coming for a visit to your area. What are some must-see places?
As much as I’d love to meet you, unless you’re into college football, I’d advise you to take your trip elsewhere. Auburn, Alabama, is a small college town. There’s Jordan/Hare Football stadium, and that’s about it. The only exception is in the early spring when the Azaleas bloom. Then the entire South comes alive with flowers. There is nothing prettier than spring in the South.
“Magic, love, hate, torture, heroes, and a story that will never stop blowing your mind!” Cheree~For Love of Books
The three volumes of The Kronicles of Korthlundia plus The Ghost in Exile: A Korthlundian Kronicle brought together for one low price. In addition to the novels, the collection features several bonus short stories, previously available only to members of my readers’ club.
The Goddess’s Choice–In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.
Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane–or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.
Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.
The Soul Stone– A match made by the goddess is threatened by an Ancient Evil.
As Samantha and Robrek prepare for their marriage and coronation, they are met with opposition on all sides. Not all believe that the peasant sorcerer is worthy to be king, and the young couple must perform delicate political maneuvers to prevent the joined kingdoms from breaking apart.
As the church splits over opposition to their union, an unseen force is poised to release an ancient evil that was last defeated a thousand years ago. When the Soul Stone is broken free of its bonds, all life in its path succumbs to its power. How much will the new royal couple have to sacrifice to free the joined kingdoms of its evil?
The Ghost in Exile—A special Kronicle outside of the series that tells the story of Darhour. The novel takes place at the same time as The Soul Stone. The Ghost is going to hell. Not even the goddess can forgive his sins: assassin, oath-breaker, traitor (an affair with the queen earned him that title). No one can ever learn the princess is his daughter. To keep this secret, he flees to the land that turned him from a simple stable groom into an infamous killer.
His mission now? To find evildoers and take them to hell with him. But when an impulsive act of heroism saddles him with a damsel who refuses to be distressed, her resilience forces him to question why he really ran from his daughter.
The Shattered Throne– Queen Samantha’s spirit brightens as the festival of renewal approaches. The Ancient Evil that drained life from the land has been destroyed, and life is returning to the joined kingdoms. The birth of her heir gives her even more reason to celebrate. But a coup orchestrated by the unlikely alliance between a freedom-loving count and a fanatical church shatters both her plans and the ancient throne itself.
With her infant daughter missing and death and destruction spreading, Samantha finds herself faced with an impossible choice: save her daughter or her people. Already torn between a mother’s love and her duties as a queen, Samantha learns that an even greater danger threatens: the goddess herself is fading. What sacrifices will Samantha have to make to stop an evil god from taking Sulis’s place?
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Read an excerpt:
As The Ghost entered Ares’s temple, an oppressive presence settled over him. He seemed to be alone in the huge sanctuary, but he knew the acolytes of Ares watched through hidden panels. Rumors claimed they waited for someone with signs of weakness to enter. Then they would pour forth, seize the unfortunate, and sacrifice him to their god. The Ghost had found no evidence to support such rumors, but he knew that animals and criminals were regularly sacrificed on Ares’s altar, bleeding out their lives into the bowl at the foot of his statue. It was a hard death, both the blood and the pain feeding the magic of Ares’s priests. The Ghost knelt at Ares’s feet, where the stench of blood was nearly overpowering. The altar was stained with it, and the bowl at the god’s feet was full from a fresh sacrifice. The power present in this place was undeniable—dark and forbidding, far from the peace and serenity in Sulis’s temples. But he was no longer worthy of Sulis’s blessing. The Ghost drew his dagger, held his left forearm over the sacrificial bowl, and sliced a new cut alongside his numerous scars. As he bled into the bowl, he felt the magic of the place coalesce around him. His blood sizzled as it hit the bowl, and the wound on his arm healed instantly, signaling that The Ghost truly belonged to the Saloynan god.
Jamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. Her other novels include The Soul Stone, The Ghost in Exile, The Shattered Throne, and The Bull Riding Witch. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies Urban Fantasy, Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, and Waiting for a Kiss. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and five cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.
Jamie Marchant will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway