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Realm Explorers Part LV: Visit Phantasma with Andrea Buginsky
Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: Andrea Buginsky

Title of book and/or series: Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen Series, Book Three
Brief summary of the story:

As a young hunter seeks a trainer, The Chosen prepare for an unforgettable adventure.
With Nature and Phantasma back in order, Halli and Silvor have settled into their new life in Drumple. During a visit from Striker, Kaidyla and Lumina, a request from an old friend of Halli’s family sparks a new challenge when she asks Striker if he’ll train their young son, Dylan. Working with Dylan gives Striker a chance to be a mentor once again, as he had been in his past.
This brings The Chosen to an area of Phantasma Halli has never seen before. What new dangers might be lurking in the forest? Will Halli have a reason to use her powers?
But Halli and Silvor are facing a new journey of their own, one that will change their lives forever. What is in store for The Chosen’s future? Will this latest escapade prepare them for what is yet to come?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Phantasma is the world where The Chosen live. It is a small world, with various areas, towns, forests, regions, and the Capitol City, The Castle of the Elves, which lies in the middle of Phantasma. To the East of the Castle is Drumple, the small Dwarf village. To the West of the Castle of the Elves is Loch Moss, a very strange area covered in a thick slime. There is a bridge going over the Loch, connecting it from the East side to the West side, and another bridge crossing it from the North side to the South. To the West of Loch Moss lies The Swamp Lands. This is a very dangerous area that leads to The Darkness, Phantasma’s most dangerous area. North of Loch Moss is the forest area where many of Phantasma’s creatures can be found, the Caprice Forest and the Shamrock Forest. The forests lead to Londonham, Londonham is the home of the goliaths, the gentle giants. It lies to the furthest West of Phantasma, safely north of The Darkness. It’s big, full of large trees and buildings, and built to resemble the outdoors, as the goliaths love nature. North of the Castle of the Elves lie mountainous areas where the air grows colder and snow begins to fall. It’s blocked by South Gate, the southern entrance to Ogre Land where the ogres are from. If you’re determined to get to the northern region of Phantasma, bring some friends to help get you through the ogres’ village and cross through the North Gate. North of Ogre Land is Polard, the most northern point on Phantasma.
If we were to visit Phantasma as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
You definitely want to visit the Castle of the Elves! It’s the Capital of Phatasma, and the best place to run into many of Phantasma’s safe creatures. The best hunting spots are the Caprice and Shamrock forests. I recommend camping here for a few nights. Drumple is a very friendly town to visit. The dwarves love visitors, and will treat you to an ale at the Tavern. You can take in the beautiful views of the Ironworks Castle at the top of the mountain. But Londonham is my favorite village to visit. The goliaths are very friendly, and the area is magnificent, with so many wonderful creatures that will take your breath away…
What dangers should we avoid in Phantasma?
You should avoid the Loch, but if you want to go to the Caprice and Shamrock forests directly from the Castle of the Elves, it may hard to do so. Be sure you have a good hunting party with you. And I’d recommend avoiding the Ogres that live within the South and North Gate region, but if you want to visit Northern Phantasma, again, this is unavoidable. Make sure you have another large hunting party with you. Do not, however, under any circumstances, go to the Darkness!
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Phantasma?
No, you’ll pretty much find a variety of foods from the animals and vegetation that are native to each region.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Phantasma?
You’ll see all kinds of arrows, swords, and blades, not to mention fantastical magic spells. There aren’t many common fighting styles, but you may come across some friendly dueling as you travel through.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Phantasma?
The only way to travel across Phantasma is to walk or on horseback. Due to the distance, I definitely recommend horseback.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Phantasma that we don’t see on Earth?
You’ll meet the goliaths, and see many odd creatures, including ogres, matadors, sea creatures, and various other creatures spread throughout the land. Plant life is everywhere, from many different species of flowers and trees, to the darker plant life in the marshes.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Phantasma?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic is a huge part of Phantasma. There are mages, druids, shamans and paladins. You’ll mages casting a wide variety of spells, druids and shamans communing with nature, and paladins both fighting and healing. All of this magic is used when battling evil creatures on Phantasma.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Phantasma?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
No, in fact, you’ll feel as though you stepped back in time to when there were knights on horses protecting their kingdoms.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Phantasma.
If you’re a hunter, you can hunt for sport. Most of the gatherings happen in taverns and eateries in various villages across Phantasma. There are several celebrations throughout the year at the Castle of the Elves, hosted by Queen Laurali and King Jerome.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Phatasma as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Yes, they are the same. There aren’t any particular special events or celebrations exclusively only to Phantasma.
What is the political or government structure in Phantasma?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Castle of the Elves is the center of Phantasma, and is the kingdom. This is where Queen Laurali and King Jerome live, the rulers of Phantasma. They are both wonderful, fair-minded, and kind rulers.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Some of the characters’ personalities and names are based on my family and friends.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
None that I can think of. I do touch on coming-of-age issues, such as learning who you are and coming into your own.
Author Autobiography:
Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer with a BA in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of South Florida. She has always wanted to be a published writer, and decided to try to write fantasy books for teens. The Chosen is her first book, and was released on December 14, 2010, to her delight.
Andrea has written five more books since:
  • Nature's Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2
  • Striker's Apprentice: The Chosen, Book 3
  • Destiny: New Avalon, book 1, a YA fantasy
  • Fate: New Avalon, book 2, a YA fantasy
  • My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease.
She is currently writing the fourth book in The Chosen series.

Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.

You can visit Andrea on her website or Google+
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
The Chosen: The Chosen Series, Book One Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print  
Nature's Unbalance: The Chosen Series, Book Two Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Striker's Apprentice: The Chosen Series, Book Three Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Destiny: New Avalon, Book 1 Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Fate: New Avalon, Book 2 Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print 
My Open Heart Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print  
Where can readers connect with you online?
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Phantasma.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the fantasy world of Levathia, in Realm Explorers Part LVI!
-Annie Douglass Lima


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