Cover reveal: SOUL OF ASIMINA + Interview with Kristi Strong!

Guys, I’m thrilled to be able to share with you the latest (and beautiful!) cover in the Land of Kaldalangra series for Soul of Asimina. Make sure you check out my interview with author Kristi Strong below!

Her parents were heroes of the realm, and when Sabina de Nespa found herself in a position to thwart grave evil, she had never been more determined to do what is right, or more terrified.
Cover by Once Upon a Time Covers

Coming this winter!
Soul of Asimina is the third book in the Land of Kaldalangra series, written by Kristi Strong.

Sabina de Nespa was content living in the shadow of her heroic parents, traveling the realm and aiding the less fortunate. As the child of royalty, she kept her intentions pure and her heart guarded, always aware that the crown may one day rest upon her brow.

When two strangers fall into her world, life as she knows it spirals out of control, and shakes her to the core. One brings with him an enemy that destroyed entire cultures in his old world, and the second is filled with hidden intentions and dangerous secrets.

It has been two years since the reign of the tyrannical King Verikhan has ended, and the realm of Kaldalangra flourishes.

When a decade old evil threatens to destroy the peace of Kaldalangra, it is up to Sabina to take the step into her parents’ footsteps, or let everything for which they worked crumble into dust.

* * * * * * * * * *

Rhea Aralia lived an uneventful life in Virginia, until the fateful night of her kidnapping. Taken to a strange realm of destruction, despair, and mysterious people with dark secrets, the young woman must learn a new way of life to survive.

With the help of her new companions, Rhea discovers the courage to defy the tyrant King Verikhan and his heir, the cleverness to deceive the court, and the power within herself to transform this world of darkness into one of beauty and hope.

Will Rhea triumph over those who seek her destruction, or will she be forever lost in the darkness known as Kaldalangra?

Nyssa has taken her place as Queen of the realm, with her secret love, Sebast, now openly at her side. She rules with a fair hand, striving for justice and prosperity for all of her people.

Rowan and Rhea travel the realm, spreading peace and healing wherever they go. In Kylassame, they have formed a strong bond with friends and spread deep roots in the community.

The people of Kaldalangra are joyful, and life in their

world is better than ever before.

But a string of tragedies has the ability to bring Rhea to her knees, and with her, the entire realm. While Rowan struggles to recover the village of Kylassame from a devastating crime, Rhea’s faith in her own strength weakens, with dire consequences.

Re-enter the world of Kaldalangra, and join the adventure as Rhea and Rowan endeavor to continue upon their chosen destiny.

~ * ~ * ~
About the Author

 Fixing broken computers, wrangling a very spirited little toddler, and creating a world with a tyrant king, are all parts of the average day for Kristi Strong. While she has called Virginia her home for two decades, her head has rested in two countries, three states, and under far too many roofs to count. She was more than happy to give up her nomadic lifestyle and settle down with her husband, daughter, and their small zoo (consisting of a dog, cat, and chinchilla).                                                                                               Attending James Madison University gave Kristi the rare opportunity to work as part of an archaeological team on a variety of dig sites in Virginia. She now uses her extensive studies in human cultures (aka, Anthropology degree), to create her own world in her fantasy novels, beginning with her debut novel, The Lady of Steinbrekka, continuing with her second novel, Heart of Kylassame, as well as her upcoming novel Soul of Asimina.

* * * * * * * * * * 

heather: Soul of Asimina is the third book in the Lady of Kaldalangra series. What was your inspiration behind these fantasy stories? 

kristi: It sounds cliche, but it all started with a crazy dream. One night back in 2011 I had a dream about being kidnapped and taken to a strange realm where my best friend had been transformed into an evil prince. While I was there, he was attacked by a horrible creature. I wrote those down because they were so vivid, and then The Lady of Steinbrekka was born as I tried to connect the dots.
After I was finished with The Lady of Steinbrekka, I wasn’t done with Rowan and Rhea, so I decided to sit down and write a sequel, Heart of Kylassame. While I’m a sucker for “happily ever after”, I don’t think many people get that in life, so I wanted my characters to show how you have to work for that happy ending, and how fragile love can sometimes be.
I actually wrote Soul of Asimina while finishing Heart of Kylassame, because one of the characters from The Lady of Steinbrekka wanted to come back, but didn’t fit into the second book. I immediately fell in love with Sabina, Darian, Alcine, and the “children” of Heart of Kylassame and loved writing about their adventures.

heather: Like my Fate series, you’ve got a large cast of characters. Who are some of your favorite characters to write and why? 
kristi: I love most of them 🙂 I think my top contenders for female characters are Rhea and Sabina. Rhea was incredibly fun to write. She is strong, feisty, and has a great personality. While I wouldn’t say it was enjoyable to write her deeply sad story in Heart of Kylassame, I “enjoyed” writing about how she responded to such deep loss, as well as her fight scene with Rowan.
Sabina was also exciting to write, because she is just finding how deep her emotions run, as well as discovering love for the first time. 
Rowan is still my favorite male, with Darian (from Soul of Asimina), and Alcine (from Soul of Asimina) following closely behind. They are all incredibly strong male personalities, but with surprising tenderness. They are not perfect, but they always strive to be there for their family and do what is right. The three men are also have very different personality quirks, so it was a challenge writing reactions (to one event) that would be true to each man.

heather: What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you?
kristi: I went to school/received a degree to become a professional archaeologist. [heather: YAY FOR FELLOW ARCHAEOLOGISTS!] During my undergraduate and upon graduation, I worked at numerous archaeology sites including Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home), Montpelier (James Madison’s home), as well as many civil war sites and pre-historic sites.
Though my characters are all very outspoken, I am extremely shy and avoid conflict in any way possible. I’m getting better about it, but when I had my first author signing last May, I had a panic attack in the car because I was terrified of all the new people and just the aspect of not knowing what was going to happen. Once I was set up and meeting with readers though, all the nerves went away and I had an amazing time.
I don’t own an i-phone (lol!). While my regular job is tech support, and I certainly love playing with all of the latest gadgets, I’m actually several years behind actually owning any. In my house all I have is my laptop, a desktop computer (7 year old Dell), and my Trac-fone. One day I’ll get caught up!

heather: My Fate series is Urban Fantasy, but I love reading fantasy in general–it’s one of my favorite genres! I’m making an assumption here, but I figure you must be a fantasy fan, too, since you write it. What are some of your favorite fantasy stories and authors?

kristi: Absolutely! I first discovered fantasy in the works of Marian Zimmer Bradley (who doesn’t love Avalon?) and from there quickly discovered authors such as Juliet Marillier ( especially the Seven Waters series and Bridei Chronicles) , Anne Bishop (Black Jewel Series, Tir Alainn Series, Landscapes of Ephemera Series), Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel’s Legacy series and Naamaah Trilogy), and the late Sarah Douglass (particularly the Crucible series and Troy Games). While I do enjoy Piers Anthony’s Xanth series (and read all of those books that had been published prior to 2004), the series of his that really drew me was the Geodyssey series. That series, along with those produced by the authors already named, really showed me how important it was to blur the line between fantasy and reality, and how to make it seem totally natural that there is a little magic in the every day world.

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