Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hidden by Shereen Vedam

Tales of Ryca
Book 1
Shereen Vedam

Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication:  October 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9953447-2-3
ASIN: 978-0-9953447-2-3

Number of pages: 346
Word Count: 82,380

Cover Artist: Wicked By Design

Book Description:

Come out, come out, wherever you are...

A fugitive from an evil sorcerer, GILLY hides among shadows, tortured by memories of the family she lost. Her twisted leg is both a hindrance and a reminder of her tragic past. For twenty-three years, she disguises herself as an eccentric goat herder and lives alone at the edge of an idyllic village. Who would notice her here?

From a distance, she keeps a maternal eye on her only remaining sister, ANNA. But in a moment of crisis, her fantasy of safety is shattered. Her use of magic lifts the veil and now she and Anna must flee again. The evil sorcerer, and the malevolent King he serves, are on their scent.

A perilous journey across unknown terrain with family, friends and strangers, leads Gilly and Anna back to the beginning. To discover hidden secrets, earn forgiveness for past discretions and perhaps even find enduring love. If they manage to stay alive long enough.

She crouched
beside him and whispered, “Stand up.”
He lay unmoving.
With a
frustrated cry, she slung his left arm around her shoulder.
“What are you
doing?” He slurred the question around a swollen lip and a missing tooth.
“Getting you out
of here.” She tried to lift him and buckled under his weight. For such a
slender man, he was heavy. “You need to stand.”
“No.” His gaze
trained on the white stallion, he removed his arm from around her shoulder.
“He’ll be back. Leave me. Leave Nadym. Not safe here anymore.”
“Fine, I’ll go.
But with you.”
“No!” His
rejection was vehement. “Let me die. I deserve it.”
Gilly sat back
in shock. “No one deserves to die.” She said the words with force and then
glanced at the frightened crowd on the street. Had anyone heard? No, the din
was too loud, thank the Light. Gilly moved his arm back across her shoulder.
“You will not die. I won’t let you.” She needed to get him off the porch, away
from watchful eyes.
 “Stop it.” His protest was fainter this time
and his eyes were closed. Any moment now he would be a dead weight.
She debated
stringing together a spell to lighten his weight. It was either that or drag
him, which would be slower and louder. Before she came to a satisfactory
conclusion, someone lifted Tom's other arm. She gasped in fright before
recognizing Anna’s scowling face.
Her sister
appeared none too pleased to be back out here.
Gilly’s emotions
rocked from relief to horror. She feared her heart was permanently lodged in
her throat. “Why can’t you ever listen to me?”
“Do you want
help or not?”

“Then shut up
and lift. I don’t know why I bothered to help your ungrateful butt. And don’t
expect a repeat of the gesture. We’re done once we leave the village. I only
came as a “thank you” for coming for me. Now and before.” She paused to gulp in
air, as if admitting to the role Gilly played in both those rescues was tougher
than hauling Tom.

About the Author:

Once upon a time, Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She's a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily-ever-after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.

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Interview with Shereen Vedam
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Most of my inspiration comes from 3 words I randomly pick from the dictionary and then challenge myself to write a story that must include those words and their meaning. This is a great exercise to ensure I never have writer’s block.

However, when I wrote Hidden, the character Gilly, was inspired by someone I knew years ago at university. She was a young lady who had the most amazing walk. Her left hip would rise higher than the right and there was a rhythmic quality to her pacing. Decades later, when I sat down to write Hidden, Gilly came to life, possessing that same extraordinary limp. 

How did you do research for your book?
Fantasy is difficult to research, since it’s not necessarily based on any specific place. However, since Hidden is a story of a journey through many lands, my research led me to deserts, where I looked into what grew there and what didn’t. How to scale mountains, or travel through them. What healing herbs can be found in the grasslands. As for the seashore, I needed to know what boats and ships might harbor there and navigation hazards for entry.

Do you have another profession besides writing?
I’m a data analyst by trade. I look at numbers to see if they can tell me a story as intriguing as the ones that flit around inside my head.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
The early 1800s in London, England. I’ve written many stories in this setting and would love to see if what I imagine to be real, is close to what actually existed back then. Going back into medieval England or any other part of Europe might also be intriguing, but I suspect it would also be dangerous and a very difficult life. I’m not sure how long I’d survive there. Probably not long. But it might be fun while it lasted.

What is your next project?
The book after Hidden, in the same series, is called Hushed. It’s currently in a YA fantasy boxed set called Magic and Shadows and is available for pre-order.

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