The month of January is all about character interviews. Today, I’m firing questions at Swani from D.V. Stone’s latest release Kisa, book two in the Shield-Mates of Dar series, a fantasy romance.
1. First off, tell us who you are (age, where you grew up, where you live now, etc.) and what role you play in the novel.
Sawni: Greetings. My queen was unable to attend. And she sent me in her stead. I am Sawni and I serve queen and country.
2. Share with us your hobbies and interests, and why you enjoy them.
Sawni: Since the invasion, there hasn’t been much time to enjoy things. Queen Kisa and I do love to practice shooting targets though she’s much better than I am. I do love gliding in my owl form.
3. Tell us how you feel about being in a novel, and if you are happy with how your author presented you to readers.
Sawni: It’s a bit unnerving. Since my position is often one of stealth, having a story where I am named is strange. However, I don’t believe any from Terra Molto will be reading the tale, so this should be fine. I believe the author portrayed all of us in a real manner. We laugh, cry, and argue like anyone else. Even humans.
4. If your author was to create another novel with you in mind, give us a quick blurb of what it would be about. And be sure to give the title.
Sawni: Hmm, I’d call it A Birds Eye View. It’s quite wonderful seeing things from above. The perspective is more encompassing.
5. Which character in the novel do you like the most, and why?
Sawni: Too easy. Queen Kisa and I grew up together and bonded over our statures. We’re both small and often overlooked and underestimated. In Dar, we train as warriors from a young age. Others can be cruel though they often say they are only teasing.
6. Which character in the novel do you dislike the most, and why?
Sawni: I have a list. It started with Zander the former chancellor, then the people of Sorota, the dragons haven’t been what do you humans call it? BFFs?
7. Tell us why we should read the featured novel and what we will find most intriguing about you.
Sawni: Oh, I’m not so intriguing. My fellow Darrians and the humans we end up with are much more fascinating. Watching how they overcome being judgmental and learn not only to work together but respect each other and even fall in love is captivating. They’re often funny, even in dangerous situations. I’ll tell you a secret. Kalman is sort of dreamy, but Kisa’s reaction to him? Well, let’s just say she fought hard.
Title: Kisa, Shield-Mates of Dar
Series: Shield-Mates, Book Two
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Author: D.V. Stone
Heat Rating: 2 Flames (kissing, hugging, etc.)
Length: 283 words
Release Date: December 1, 2022
In a war between humans and shifters, sparks and fur fly…Until scales appear.
Blurb: Princess Kisa, the middle daughter in the shifter nation of Dar, is often overlooked and underestimated. Always the devoted caregiver of family and country, she’s come to terms with her future as a Shield-Mate in a political marriage. Many, including Kisa, are surprised when her father names her as heir to his throne.
Kalman, once a privileged son of the former protectorate Sorota, is an outcast and man without a future. The people of Ruinae consider him a weak, self-indulgent man. Only his trusted servant knows the heart of the soldier beneath the veneer.
Forces are gathering against the two countries, and now dragons, long banished to the outland, have returned. Kisa and Kalman are charged by King Dar to find out how entrenched the dragons are with the enemy. Since a long-ago meeting, Kalman never forgot the spitfire Lynx-shifter. He’s no longer the boy she’d met, but a man. One determined to have her despite their differences. But Kisa can’t fall in love with the enemy. Can she? Would her people accept not only the son of Sorota but one whose family seeks retribution?
“How may I serve you, Father?” Kisa glanced around. “It’s been long years since I’ve been in here.”
This was his personal lair. Darkly masculine with shelves filled with books. Maps lined the walls and a side table with a miniature replica of the kingdom and surrounding areas. It was where he could find peace from all the demands of running the empire. Though no respite from the ghosts who haunted him.
Amaya’s portrait stared down at him with accusation I left my daughters in your care. You’ve disappointed me, Shield-Mate.
“We have much to discuss.” He turned from the portrait, his chest tight with pain as he walked behind his writing table and lifted the stack of papers he’d collected. “These are all Shield-Mate offers for you.”
She stared first at them and then him. Barely a whisper squeezed out, “So many?”
“Is it love and Shield-Mate you want?” He asked with a penetrating look. “What is your greatest desire, daughter?”
Kisa’s mouth opened and closed as she stared at him. He had never asked her about her dreams. Shouldn’t a father know his child? “Well, what is it?”
“What do you mean?” She tugged at her earlobe as she’d done since she was a babe.
“If I throw this pile of papers into the fire —” he grasped the stack into his large hand and pointed to the hearth with them, “—will it disappoint you? Or give you relief?”
She blinked at him. “I don’t know what you are asking me.”
“It’s simple––disappointment?” He shook the papers. “Or relief.”
Kisa whispered, “Relief.”
Dar threw the communiqués into the fire, where they flamed and sparked. Neither spoke while the letters—some paper, some parchment—curled at the edges, turning brown, then black, then nothing but ash.
When the last cinders drifted away, his daughter sobbed, and he thought he would too. “Someone must rule when I’m gone.”
“What?” Her voice cracked. “I always thought you intended to bind Lansdowne and Dar into one kingdom, and Orsolo and her Shield-Mate would co-rule.”
“Orsolo is shrewd and intelligent but frivolous. Before her Shield-Mating, I informed your older sister that she would not be Queen here.” Dar folded his arms across his chest. “Before you ask, she was relieved.”
“I know as children of the Darrian royal house, there is no guarantee to ascend the throne.” Kisa hugged her arms around her waist. “Who did you decide it would be?”
Dar went to the matching high-backed chairs near his desk and, with a groan, sank into the cushions. “Come, sit. This will be a lengthy conversation.”
D.V. Stone is an award-winning author of independent and traditionally published works. She hosts a popular book and author blog, Around the Fire, and is a contributing writer for Still Moments Magazine, Dishing With D.V.
A Brooklyn, NY native, D.V. Stone has lived in many places, though she’s called New Jersey home for the past twenty-eight years.
A self-described Jack of All trades, she’s lived on a dairy farm in Minnesota, and a horse farm in NJ, before following a wide and varied path from waiting tables in a truck stop and as a motel maid. For many years she worked with the disabled and then became a volunteer EMT. That started her on the road to a thirty-plus year medical career spanning a hospital emergency room, women’s state prison, animal emergency hospital, and ending up in a radiology office. Taking a break from medical for a few years, she became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop in Sparta, NJ, and a small restaurant in Lafayette.
These days as a full-time author, she travels with her husband of twenty-eight years, dog Hali, and cat Baby in a 41ft 5th Wheel. She is also a contributing author for Still Moments Magazine with a column titled “Dishing With D.V.”
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