It’s time for the brand new & improved #WriterWednesday!
And this week it’s one of my very favorites! Get ready to feel the magic with:
C.L. Schneider is a self-published author of adult epic and urban fantasy. The first two books in her Crown of Stones trilogy, Magic-Price and Magic-Scars, are available on Amazon. The third installment will be released in February 2016. She is currently working on Nite Fire, an urban fantasy featuring a shape-shifting dragon hybrid named Dahlia Nite. C.L. Schneider lives in the scenic Hudson Valley of upstate New York with her husband and two sons. She spends her days torturing characters, overdosing on coffee, and daydreaming about the zombie apocalypse.
The Crown of Stones Series:
The Crown of Stones follows the trials of Ian Troy; a man struggling with an inborn addiction to magic in a world where magic is reviled, not revered.
Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races.
Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price.
A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end.
With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.
Magic doesn’t wound the same as a sword.
Captured by his old enemy, King Draken of Langor, Shinree magic user Ian Troy was sentenced to prison. Tortured and drugged, robbed of his will, his memories, and his magic, Ian was made to do unspeakable things. Rescued, as his body slowly rids itself of the drug, Ian realizes he has returned to an unfamiliar world gripped with fear. In the wake of his fall, those he cared for were left to their own grim fates. Draken has seized control of the realms and named himself High King. His brutal rein has sparked a desperate rebellion that Ian now finds himself a part of. His one task: recover and repair the Crown of Stones, in hopes it will tip the balance in the revolution that is brewing. In pursuit of the reason behind the artifact’s strange loss of magic, Ian is driven to release an explosion of retribution and power that leaves him irrevocably scarred.
Struggling to reconcile the man he has become with the man he once was, Ian strives to understand the growing number of magic-scars adorning his body. He searches for the truth behind his link to the Crown of Stones and uncovers shocking secrets buried for generations beneath the sand. To become the weapon the resistance needs, he must assume responsibility for his magical inheritance. But can he curb the destructive appetite that comes with it?
The price of Ian’s magic and his addiction have never been higher.
Coming this week! Stay tuned!
In one fell swoop, the resistance was shattered. Lives were taken. Hope was lost. Peace slipped like grains of sand through his fingers. So did the Crown of Stones. Now, forced into hiding, Ian Troy grapples for a way to save the realm—and free its people—from the sadistic clutches of Jem Reth; Mirra’kelan’s new self-appointed emperor. Plagued with the knowledge of a tragic future, he strives to influence events and save those he cares for. But his magic has betrayed him, and Fate has other plans.
Marked by the crown, hindered by the transformation spell contained within, each cast brings Ian one step closer to becoming more beast than man. Each move brings the death and destruction foretold in his vision inexplicably nearer. With Langor on the brink of war, and King Malaq’s plan for peace hanging in the balance, Ian returns to the ancient past; seeking an end to the eldring spell and a means to thwart Jem’s growing domination. What he finds there sets off a chain of revelations that leads Ian places he never thought to go.
Entrusted with the future of his race, Ian becomes the linchpin for lasting change. But how much weight can one man carry? And how much is he willing to sacrifice in the name of peace?
In Her Own Words:
LJW: What genres do you normally focus on?
CLS: I write mainly in the fantasy genre, both epic and urban. I have been known to dabble in post-apocalyptic fiction and sci-fi now and then, but none of those works are currently published. Generally, my stories are written in first person with mature themes and explicit content aimed at adults. No puppies and rainbows here!
LJW: What are you working on now?
CLS: I have a couple of projects I’m working on, but my main focus is an urban fantasy centering on a woman named Dahlia Nite. Dahlia is a shapeshifter, born of a human woman and a fire drake in human form. She is not from this world, but fled here from her own world under desperate circumstances. After a rocky start, she learned to blend and has settled into life here. Aside from shapeshifting, Dahlia has a few special abilities (some are extremely helpful, others…) The story involves serial murders, spontaneous combustion, travel between parallel worlds, various types of creatures, conspiracies, retro-cognition, secrets, and dragons.
LJW: When can we expect your next release?
CLS: The urban fantasy I described above will be my next release. It’s still in the draft stage, so I don’t expect to have it ready to publish until winter 2016/2017.
LJW: What was the last book you read that you loved?
CLS: Oh, there’s a few I’ve finished recently (all by indie authors) that have stayed with me. So I’m going to have to break the rules and mention more than one.
The first is Broken, by Angela B. Chrysler. Broken is a memoir, and it was an extremely difficult read. It was powerful and raw, heartbreaking and disturbing, and I cried a lot. It is such an incredible story. But be warned: it is not for everyone.
Another one is Saint Monolith by Tom Reinhardt. Tom is an author I have great respect for. He pulls no punches. His writing is mesmerizing at times, so beautifully dark and brutal. I’ve read several of his works now, and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. But Saint Monolith really got me. The sequel is due out this month. I’ve read some excerpts, and I can’t wait for more. He is one indie author that deserves some serious attention.
This last one I’m not quite done with, but I’m going to mention it anyway: The Journals of Bob Drifter, by MLS Weech. This book was not at all what I expected, and I love it. Weech dragged me in early on, and the story is compelling. It’s dark and sad. I’ve had a lot of trouble putting this one down. I’m almost afraid to read the end.
LJW: If you had to compare yourself to 3 other authors, who would they be and why?
CLS: I thought a lot about this question. I could tell you who my early influences were, but I don’t think my writing is comparable to theirs. What I can do is tell you who my readers have compared my writing to: Patrick Rothfuss and Karen Marie Moning, both for realism and grittiness. I can’t agree or disagree, as I’ve never read any of their works. Multiple reviewers have compared me to Tolkien. I’m not sure I see it, but I’ve only read excerpts of his work. I know; a fantasy author who hasn’t read a complete Tolkien novel. I’m awful. But it’s on my bucket list, if that helps.