THE KALDALANGRA SERIES
by Kristi Strong
Book 1: THE LADY OF STEINBREKKA
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?
Join Rhea as she fights to take destiny back into her own hands.
Book 2 – HEART OF KYLASSAME
It has been two years since the reign of the tyrannical King Verikhan has ended, and the realm of Kaldalangra flourishes.
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.
Book 3 – SOUL OF ASIMINA
In the land of Kaldalangra, one woman stands at a crossroads
Sabina de Nespa has known a life of freedom and peace, thanks to the actions of her heroic parents. As a child of royalty, she has kept her intentions pure and her heart guarded, always aware that the crown of the realm may one day rest upon her brow.
When two strangers stumble across her path, she finds her peace shattered as dangerous family secrets begin to emerge, along with a malignant force that threatens to destroy her entire world. These men have the ability to help her rise to brilliant heights, or cause a devastating plunge into darkness.
It is now up to Sabina to continue her parents’ legacy of honor, courage, and strength through adversity. With the fate of Kaldalangra upon her shoulders, she has vowed to follow the path of righteousness, or die trying.
HEART OF KYLASSAME
The clearing was covered in a thick layer of frost, the trees, the plants and the insects. Her feet crunched over frozen blades of grass as Nyssa walked to the small fountain that had been build in honor of the fallen Mercene and knelt briefly in the thin layer of frost-created snow. Needles of cold shot through her fingers as she picked up a bouquet of roses that lay on the ground, the flowers covered in a thick layer of ice.
Lianna walked forward tentatively, eyes open wide in fear. The fountain was frozen, the water caught mid-flow as it tumbled down the carved stone. The ice was clear as glass in the summer sun, slightly melting in the hot air before freezing once again, an endless cycle of entrapment. She could see the red swirls that had rippled through the water before it froze, the tiny red droplets that gleamed on the ice-white surface of the pool. In the depths of the water, the ornamental fish swam slowly, sluggishly, their resilient bodies succumbing to the freezing temperature above.
Dmitri folded his hands within his long-sleeved brown tunic. “It began yesterday. The roses and the fountain had frozen over when Lady Rhea left the garden. When I checked the clearing this morning the frost had spread to the entire area, and is slowly overtaking the entire garden.”
His nearly blind eyes shifted from Savin to Nyssa. “The garden reflects the heart of Lady Rhea. That was apparent so many years ago when her love and hope released us from the icy prison. Now,” he gestured to the icicles hanging from the tree branches, “something has caused her heart to go cold, and thus, we follow.”
AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTI
-What made you want to write?
Writing has always been my saving grace, because otherwise the people in my head would make me seem a bit crazy ;) I always loved reading because it has the power to take a person into another world, and I was even more thrilled when I first learned to write and realized that I could create those worlds. It's a wonderful way to explore the challenges and joys that people face in their every day lives, but through a completely different lens, especially if you go the fantasy/paranormal direction.
-What draws you to fantasy?
Fantasy has always been a big draw for me because I can create alternate realities. The rules of nature can be bent, and life as we know it can be completely altered. I love how great fantasy makes you believe that something fantastic could happen, almost like a magic show. While the logical part of you knows that it's make-believe, part of you is going, "you know...time travel would explain that weird encounter with the cashier today".
-Name a fun fact you learned researching this project.
The most fun for me was researching the different mysteries of this world. Part of the magic of Kaldalangra is the blur between our realm and theirs, and how we can move into their realm through these "blurred" areas. My research for these places led to reading about places like the Bermuda Triangle, Mel's Hole, or reading stories about people like Amelia Earhart, who just disappeared without a trace.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
I would love to spend time with the wise woman, Risalka (and readers get that chance a bit more in upcoming Kaldalangra books). She is one of the few people who lived in Kaldalangra before King Verikhan came to rule, and remembers the golden time before the realm was plunged into chaos. Her knowledge of things ordinary and extraordinary is endless, and she has seen things that we could only imagine.
-For aspiring writers, any tips?
Keep going, and look at everything as an opportunity to make your writing better. I still remember a Creative Writing lesson where we had to write about a leaf that was given to us by the teacher. For a while, I just stared at the leaf, thinking this was the stupidest assignment ever. Then a couple sentences came to me, then a few more, then the leaf turned into a forest, which turned into a sanctuary for a unicorn.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Crime mysteries. Even though I have created an entire world filled with different rules and creatures and regions, I feel like I would fall apart with the details of writing a crime mystery (plus having to follow our legal system would be problematic). The reader would either guess "who did it" within the first chapter, or would get to the end and be completely lost.
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 far too many houses to count. She was more than happy to give up her nomadic lifestyle and settle down with her husband, daughter, cat and chinchilla.
While attending James Madison University, she was given the rare opportunity to work as part of an archaeological team on a variety of dig sites in Virginia, including the homes of former Presidents, James Madison and George Washington, civil war sites such as The Stevens’ House and Fort Evans Mississippian Encampment, and a variety of pre-historic hunting sites and camps.
Kristi now uses her extensive studies in human cultures to create her own world in her fantasy novels, beginning with her debut novel, The Lady of Steinbrekka, and continuing with Heart of Kylassame and Soul of Asimina.
Email her: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join me in thanking Kristi for an awesome interview!
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-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt