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Realm Explorers Part XCV: Visit Slavina with Cassie M. Shiels
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: Cassie M. Shiels
Title of book and/or series: Lady A (A Princess Tale book 2)
Brief summary of the story: 
Lady A is in terrible danger, an annoying side effect of her brother's latest scheme. Forced to run for her life from a madman, she must return to the one place she vowed never to go again, or die. After a failed attempt on her life leaves her without a name and her memories, Lady A must fight to regain them in order to help the handsome prince defeat the madman, who is threatening their kingdom. But will she remember in time? Or will she lose everyone and everything she loves?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Lady A takes place in the country of Slavina and three of its closest towns. Veyon where Lady A and her brother Dan live. Avern where the old wheel Inn is located. Avern is also between Veyon and Saris. Saris is the capital city of Slavina where the castle and most of the story takes place. There is a little bit of magic in this country but not as much as some surrounding countries. They mostly have healing magic with select holders.
If we were to visit Slavina as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
            Go see the castle in Saris. It is huge and beautiful. The gardens at the castle are a must, especially the maze gardens. The rose gardens are a close second. If you need a place to stay there is no place better than the Old Wheel Inn in Avern.
What dangers should we avoid in Slavina?
Slavina has a river that falls into a ravine right next to Avern, between Avern and Veyon. It would be best to avoid this river and only cross at the one bridge in the town of Avern. It starts out as a normal river near Veyon but as it arrives at Avern it falls into a deadly ravine.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Slavina?
            They eat the usual mutton and bread. The drink of choice for most is ale. The castle cook is especially good at making white cakes for the royal family. They live in an area where berries grow well. Strawberries do especially well.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Slavina?
            The knights of the realm prefer swords to any other weapon. Crossbows are also used fairly often. Boot daggers are the norm for the prince and his best friends.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Slavina?
            Travel in Slavina is limited to walking, riding a horse, or a carriage. The lower class people use wagons. The technology is also limited. No electricity. They use fires, candles, and torches for light. Animals are the normal forest animals.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Slavina?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
            Magic is only being discovered in Salvina. Other nearby countries have more of it, but so far those in Salvina are only aware of healing magic. Those who hold it are healers. They are still discovering their magic. They can heal small wounds easily. Things like breaks are harder, though they can speed the healing process. Memory loss is beyond them at present.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Slavina?
            Tournaments held by the knights. Balls held by the royal family and the nobles who attend court. Court is the biggest weekly event, where all those of nobility gather.
What is the political or government structure in Slavina?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
            King William is the leader of Slavina. He is a good king. He has full control of his country but he does have a group of lords who help run their various sections of the country. They are however still under the control of the king. William cares a great deal for his people and trys to protect them and keep the peace as much as possible.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
            A little bit of medieval history has been a small influence. As well as a few movies like Ever After, and Cinderella. I spent a long time on pintrest looking at castles and medieval dresses for ideas and images to keep in mind while I wrote the story. I also took the idea of the memory loss from my own stories that I told myself when I was a little girl.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
            I think I avoided most of those. I do get into the history of Slavina where the true ruler of the country is questioned.
Author Autobiography:
Cassie M. Shiels has loved stories since she was little. Her love of writing started even before she could write words. She was one to be found, reading late into the night (wait, she still does that!), on the school bus or before she did her homework. In middle school she determined that she liked creating her own stories as much as she liked reading them; so she decided she wanted to be an author and keeps working on making that dream come true with every story idea that bounds into her head.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
Lady A is available in both paperback and ebook on Amazon.I hope to expand into other areas like nook soon.
Where can readers connect with you online?
FIND ME: at my website: On Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram as authorcassie. You are also welcome to follow me on Amazon

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Slavina.  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 another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima


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