Saturday, October 18, 2014

King of Anavrea Blog Tour

Today, I'm taking part in Rachel Rossano's blog tour highlighting the release of her new book The King of Anavrea.  You can see the cover below, along with the links to buy the book, and at the end of the post is an interview with Rachel.

The beautiful cover for The King of Anavrea:

The cover was designed by Laura Miller of An Author's Art.

Meet the Author:

Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virture set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

Rachel Rossano loves to interact with readers.
Blog ~
Twitter ~
Facebook ~
YouTube ~
GoodReads ~

Rachel also has her own book cover design business:
Website ~
Facebook ~

To buy The King of Anavrea:
Amazon –
Smashwords –

Book Trailer Link –
YouTube –

Welcome to The Splendor Falls, Rachel!!

First, please tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a happily married, homeschooling, stay-at-home mom. My three little ones (twin 4 year-olds and an almost 7 year old) keep my life full and spontaneous. Writing is a bit of a coping mechanism, something that is mine midst this season that is so centered on my children. I also see it as an investment toward the time when they don’t need as much of my time and attention like when they go off to college.

Please give us a synopsis of The King of Anavrea.

Ireic Theodoric didn’t expect to become king. His older half-brother was supposed to take the throne, but through an unexpected turn of events Ireic became the next king. Pressured to make a political marriage alliance by his overreaching council, he signs a treaty with Sardmara. However, before the ink is dry on the parchment, he discovers that his bride is not at hand. Instead, she is in need of rescuing before a wedding can occur.

Lirth Parnan, only daughter of the King of Sardmara, has spent the past five years in captivity. Kidnapped in an unsuccessful attempt to control her father, she remains isolated and apparently forgotten until one day a rescuer arrives. She has heard of Anavrea and her king. Apparently he knows even less about her. She has to break the bad news to him that she is blind.

Ireic is now faced with an impossible situation. If he marries her, his council will not accept her as queen. If he doesn’t marry her, her father will declare war on Anavrea. In the midst of it all he needs to figure out what he thinks of this quiet woman with nerves of steel and a strength that endures despite her weak frame.

What inspired you to write the Anavrea series?
It all started back in about 2000 in Schopfheim, Germany, which is in the black forest area. The region inspired the Grimm Brothers. Now it is best known for cuckoo clocks. My husband was on a two week business trip with me along. The two weeks turned into four. I read the books I brought with me, read all the English books available at the local bookstore that I could tolerate (horror is really not my genre), and my current writing project was not going well. So, I started a new project. The end result was The Crown of Anavrea.

The King of Anavrea grew out of a desire to give Ireic his own story. He was an unexpectedly wonderful secondary character in The Crown. I felt guilty forcing him to take the crown his brother had refused when he clearly didn’t want it either.

What were some of the songs you listened to while writing? (The book's soundtrack, if you will.)
My favorite writing music at the moment is pretty much anything by The Piano Guys. I love their work. They weren’t around when I was writing The King of Anavrea, so they were my editing music. I think at the time I was writing The King of Anavrea was when I was enjoying Mandy Patinkin and Roger Whitaker. I have a large collection of their works so it is hard to pin point exactly which songs fit where.

How long did it take you to write it?
I am not really sure how long it took me to write The King of Anavrea. At least a year, more likely more. My furor for the story started out strong and then faded to nothing. The unfinished manuscript sat for a while before I picked it up again and determined to finish it. Posting a chapter a week on my Xanga blog, I caught up to where I had stopped. Then I started writing forward at the same rate. The feedback from my readers encouraged me to keep going until I reached the end.

What is your favorite quote from the book?
“Dimly aware of the outside door opening and thumping shut again, she [Lirth] tightened her hold on the faith that had brought her through until now. She was being tested, but God had seen her through every trial so far. He would be no less faithful at the time of her death. She was ready. Soon I shall see Your face.”

Which character or characters were the easiest to write?
Lirth proved to be an easy character to write. She remained consistently sweet with this backbone that came out when I least expected it. I enjoyed spending time with her.

Which character or characters were the hardest to write?
The bad guys were hard. At the time I wrote this novel, I lacked the ability to write good bad guys. I kept things so vague it wasn’t even clear who was the bad guy, that their motivation was, or how to resolve the tension that came with them adequately. Let us just say I spent a lot of time on the bad guys when I edited for publication.

Who was your favorite minor character?
My favorite was definitely Liam Tremain. I liked him so much that I gave him his own book. Although he isn’t officially a Theodoric, his story (which sort of also follows up on Ireic and Lirth) is the next novel in the series.

What is your opinion of 'character casting'?
I think it is a great idea, but it hasn’t worked well for me. My characters live in my head as personalities. Some of them have specific characteristics that must be there. Examples would be Lirth with her blindness and Ireic with his brown eyes and the nose he shares with his brother. Other things are not as clear. I have a face type in mind, but they aren’t exactly like anyone I have met or seen, yet.

What scene was the most fun to write?
I loved writing the assassination attempt scene. Written from Lirth’s perspective made it both a challenge and a joy. Instead of using her eyes, I could only rely on her smell, taste, touch, and hearing.

How about a scene that absolutely ripped you apart while you were writing it?
The torture scene hurt. I really liked Lirth by that point and I felt for her.

Did you plot out the story before writing it or did you just sit down and write?
When I wrote The King of Anavrea I was definitely a pantser. Even I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I followed the characters.

What was the most unexpected part of writing The King of Anavrea?
The writing stalled because I decided I hated writing about politics. Now, almost a decade later, most of the books I am writing have something to do with the politics of a nation. Whether the country is Rhynan (the Novels of Rhynan series) or Pratinus (Living Sacrifice), political happenings are a major part of the plots.

What is an interesting piece of trivia about The King of Anavrea?
I seriously contemplated killing off Lirth at one point. I am thankful I never went through with it, though.

The King of Anavrea is self-published, isn't it? Why did you choose self-publishing?
Back when I first started seriously pursuing publication, I discovered that most of the publishing houses out there are not looking for the genre I was writing. If they were, they weren’t publishers with whom I was interested in being associated. So, given the choice of never publishing my stories and going out on my own, I decided to strike out on my own. I have made my share of mistakes and learned some lessons the hard way, but now I wouldn’t consider doing it any other way. The process is definitely a lot easier these days and a lot less scary than when I started out looking for a publishing platform to distribute my books.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks or behaviors?
I am a nomadic writer. It comes from not having a desk. My laptop frequently sits on my kitchen table in the center of the chaos of our life. I grab moments when I can. When the kids are in bed, I move to the soft couch and a table that was originally a mini-desk for my kids. It is the perfect height for typing while sitting on the couch. Also, once or twice a week, when the kids are in bed and my husband is home, I run away and write at a local restaurant or Dunkin Donuts. Somewhere with no wifi, no children I am responsible for, and no chores sitting there tempting me to procrastinate.

I know you have at least two young children. How do you make time to write and be a mother at the same time? Is it hard?
I have three children. Finding the time to write is a constant challenge. It is like balancing two dreams. I always wanted to be a mother. That hasn’t changed. I only started to seriously consider writing as a career when it looked like we weren’t going have children. Now I try to balance the two. I think having writing as a hobby has been good for me, though. I have a life apart from my children, something that is mine alone. It gives me perspective that I might’ve not had if I devoted all of my energy into my children and my house.

Children can be extremely inspiring at times. There have been many scenes in my own stories that were inspired by my younger siblings. Are there any scenes in The King of Anavrea that were particularly inspired by your children?
At the time I wrote the first draft of The King of Anavrea I didn’t have children. Now that I do, they have definitely inspired characters in my novels. The son of my main character in Duty: First Novel of Rhynan has many similarities to my oldest son.

What is one question you've always wished an interviewer would ask you?
Hmm... I am always terrible at these kinds of questions. How about “Can I come over and watch your kids while you write?”

What is one thought you hope readers will take away from The King of Anavrea?
I want them to finish reading The King of Anavrea with a feeling of hope that no matter what happens to them the Lord has a purpose, a plan, and reason for everything in their lives. He will never leave them or forsake them, even in the worst of circumstances. Just because we cannot “see” the reason doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Thank you for stopping by, Rachel!

Miss Melody Muffin


  1. Thank you for hosting me, Melody. :)

  2. Another interesting-sounding book/series to investigate someday....

    I like what she said about having "a life apart from my children, something that is mine alone." So many mothers (especially if they have a truckload of munchkins) wear themselves ragged just raising their kids and have to give up all their own dream and hobbies/talents. It's refreshing to see one mother who realizes it doesn't have to be that way. :-)

    God bless, and happy writing!
    ~"Tom Wild Rose"~


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