With: Elizabeth Vaughan
I adore writing fantasy romance. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love the image of a warrior facing the world with a horse and a sword?
When I first wrote Warprize, the first book in the Chronicles of the Warlands, I thought I was writing a traditional fantasy trilogy, centered around the relationship between a man and a woman. Two warring cultures brought together by two loving hearts. My editor and my agent pointed out that this was a romance.
That gave me pause for thought, because romance carries with it certain expectations. I know that people like to debate the HEA, but I for one very much enjoy a happy ending. There is so much in the world and in life that pulls our souls down. Why not joy in a book?
However, as we have seen in certain fantasy series that are popular now, fantasy doesn’t usually end well for many of the characters.
So how to maintain the romance going forward?
Well, in real life, relationships don’t just end at the HEA. After that burst of joy, and celebration of happiness in what ever form, there are still dishes to be done, laundry to be washed, and problems to be dealt with.
Going forward with the next two books, the relationship between Lara and Kier grew, but it was also tested by the world around them. By events, by politics, by physical hardships and by separation. (Can you tell I am trying to avoid spoilers here?)
With each challenge, I try to pull the reader deeper into my fantasy world, weaving those elements around the relationship. With each challenge, with each doubt and fear, my hero and heroine end up together, stronger, learning more about each other and themselves.
Once the trilogy was done, I had a world and all those secondary characters to write about. Conflicts still rage and challenges must be faced, both in the relationships and in the world.
Writing fantasy romance lets me explore both genres in a very satisfying way.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt from my newest book, FATE’S STAR, the prequel to the Chronicles of the Warlands! https://www.amazon.com/Fates-Star-Prequel-Chronicles-Warlands-ebook/dp/B07QFB8TJ9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=fate%27s+star&qid=1556117569&s=gateway&sr=8-1
An apple tree stood to one side, providing shade over a bench. Verice remembered when Pernard had planted the seedling. To the other side, a small path wound around a series of thick rose briars, made to look as if they’d overgrown the area, but in fact were carefully trimmed. Verice took a deep breath, and forced himself to tread slowly and enjoy the serenity that the colors and scents brought. He’d just steal a few moments before–
“Life is fleeting, life is pain.
What need then to dance in the rain?
What need then to sleep in the night,
safe in the arms of my lover held tight?”
Verice looked around, curious. The song was soft and low, clearly not intended for another’s ears. He didn’t know the words, but the tune was sweet, and the voice… he walked forward.
“What need to love or laugh or sing,
or bind you with my wedding ring?”
He spotted a small foot peeking from under a tattered skirt, sheltered by the roses. It was fair, although bare and dirty. A faella, he guessed, although he couldn’t see her ears. She knelt, half-hidden under one of the bushes.
He continued, barely breathing, not wanting to startle her, but wanting to see her face.
“Close or far, low or high, I shall love you ere I–”
There was a gasp, a flash of movement.
Verice paused in mid-step. “Forgive me, lady. I didn’t mean to–”
The rose bush trembled and petals fell to the ground as the faella jumped up, and darted past him. He had a glimpse of tattered skirt, tunic and head scarf all of faded dull color as she fled. She was headed for the apple tree.
The warrior in him rose and gave chase, his long legs eating up the gap between them. She’d grabbed for the lowest limb and pulled herself up, rose petals falling from her skirt. He reached up, capturing her ankle.
She looked down, her brown eyes wide. Her scarf caught in the branches, and her blonde hair tumbled down around her.
Ancestors, this was no elven lass. His singer was human.
Five years before the events in Warprize and Destiny’s Star . . . .
Her family dead, her home destroyed, all she has left are her wits and her songs . . . .
When the flames of civil war rage across the Kingdom of Palins, Warna of Farentell has no choice but to flee to the neighboring Barony of Tassinic. The daughter of a wealthy merchant, raised to run a noble house in the hope of a good marriage, she watches her future burn with the rest of her homeland.
Elven Lord of a human Barony, betrayed and attacked by those he thought to trust . . . .
Verice of Tassinic has suffered the wounds of war, knowing loss and betrayal at the hands of those he trusted most. He buries himself in work and duty, behind emotional walls as high as those of his castle, rather than risk more pain. While dealing with a kingdom in political and economic turmoil, he ‘rescues’ Warna only to discover that the helpless human woman is anything but. Before he knows it, she is deep within the defenses of his heart, forcing him to confront his grief, his distrust, and the scars of his past . . . and maybe even steal his heart in the process.
About Elizabeth Vaughan:
Elizabeth Vaughan is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Warprize, the first volume of The Chronicles of the Warlands. Her father introduced her to sci/fi and fantasy, and she’s never looked back. She loves fantasy and romance novels, and has played Dungeons and Dragons since 1981, both table-top and the online game. The Chronicles of the Warlands stretches over nice books. Her most recent is FATE’S STAR, the prequel to the series. Beth also has a number of short stories published in various anthologies.
Beth is owned by incredibly spoiled cats and lives in the Northwest Territory, on the outskirts of the Black Swamp, along Mad Anthony’s Trail, on the banks of the Maumee River.