Monday, December 8, 2014

Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen by Marlene Wynn - Meet the Characters & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen blog tour. I'm so excited to feature two characters from the novel: Chandrea- the protagonist & Leilah- the antagonist! Check out their bios & interview. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post :)

The Return of the Avatar Queen

Marlene Wynn

New Adult Fantasy
September 22, 2014

Amazon * B&N * Goodreads

Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman. But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.

Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue, Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known. But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?

Meet the Characters

Character Name:  Chandrea Averill (protagonist)

Character Bio:  Chandrea is born the crown princess of Averill on the distant world of Itova.  On the day she is born, her kingdom and palace are attacked and her parents brutally assassinated.  To save her life and allow her to grow safely to maturity, several spells are cast upon the tiny infant and she is sent by magic to Earth to live.  There, she grows up like any other normal girl, oblivious of her true origins.  On her 23rd birthday, the spell reverses itself, and Chandrea suddenly finds herself back on her birth world.  She discovers that she is the queen of the devastated Averill kingdom and a powerful sorceress.

How do you feel about coming to Itova?
I don’t know.  Confused mostly.  Disoriented.  Like everything I’ve ever known as reality has been thrown upside down.  I mean, it’s amazing, don’t get me wrong!  I’m on another world!  How cool is that?  But, at the same time it’s terrifying. 
Why is it terrifying?
Have you ever gone into a foreign city at night and gotten lost?  You don’t speak the language, you don’t know where you are, you don’t know how to get out.  That’s kind of how I feel now.
But you can speak the language.  You can communicate with those around you.
So?  Just because I can talk to them doesn’t mean I understand their customs, values, rules, laws…their way of life.  The little things that you just know because you’ve grown up there.  
I see your point.  That would be unsettling.  What about the people that you’ve met?  What do you think of them?
 It’s interesting to me.  Physically, they are just like those I left behind on Earth, but everything else about them is different.  The way the move, talk, dress, act…it’s just different.  But, so far everyone I’ve met seems to understand how difficult this transition has been for me and has been really supportive.
Are you afraid of coming across anyone who might hurt you?
I’ve been warned so many times about talking to strangers that I feel like a little kid!  But, all kidding aside, yes…apparently there are a lot a people out there who would like to see me dead.
Dead?  Why?
Because I am the living heir to the Averill throne.   The queen of Svara has made it her life’s mission to wipe the Averill line from the face of Itova.
Who knows?  The more I hear about her, the more I think she’s not entirely sane.
What if you became separated from your new companions?  Would you be able to protect yourself in this foreign world?
Absolutely!  I’m a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and, unless someone had a gun, or was better trained than I am, I could easily defend myself.
What if there were several attackers?
Then that would be a problem.  I can hold my own against maybe two or three, but no more.  And, if they had swords, that would be even worse.  So, for now, I just try not to tell anyone who I really am.
Are you glad you discovered your true heritage?
That’s really hard to answer.  I loved my adoptive parents dearly, but at the same time, I wanted nothing more than to find my true blood family.  Though I had no idea I’d have to come so far to find them!  And, I can’t tell you how weird it is to have people call me ‘Your Majesty’ and bow down to me.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that!
Do you think you will succeed in your new calling as queen?
Succeed?  I have to defeat Svara first, before I can even begin to think of ruling anything.  And, I’m so overwhelmed by the thought of that that, sometimes, I just want to curl up into a little ball and cry.  How am I supposed to be able to raise an army?  Repair governments?  Defeat a cruel tyrant queen?  It all just seems so crazy…and at the same time impossible!
If you had the opportunity to go home, back to Earth, would you take it?
That’s really hard to answer too.  Selfishly, yeah…I really want to go back.  Earth is home.  It’s what I know and love.  But, though I wasn’t raised to know this world and its people, they need me.  They need what I can give them.  If I went back home, would I really be able to be happy?  Knowing that I left this world and all its people possibly defenseless?  I don’t think I could.
So, you are going to stay and try to help?  Even though you know the odds are really against you?
Yes…I think I have to.  As crazy as it sounds…I think I’m their only hope.

Character Name:  Leilah Averill (Antagonist)

Character Bio:  At the tender age of fourteen, Leilah’s family discover that her powers are vastly different than expected.  Afraid that her unusual powers will leave their kingdom defenseless, they send the young princess to live in the far away kingdom of Svara.  Devastated by the betrayal of her family, Leilah vows to someday prove that they were just as vulnerable with magic as they would have been without.  Eventually, she overthrows the Svaran government and becomes their queen.   Bent on revenge, she sends her troops to wage war on the Averill kingdom and kill her family.

Are you sorry your family is gone?
No.  They abandoned me when I most needed them.  They gave into their baseless fears and threw me away like unwanted trash.
Do you have any regrets?
Regrets?  Why would I have any regrets?  Stars, they protested to love me one minute, then cast me out the next.  They deserved what they got.  Every one of them.
Even your twin sister?
Especially her.  The bond between twins is sacred.  One that should never, ever be broken.  But, she ignored that bond and cast me away like the rest of them.  Of all of them, I hate her the most.
But Chandrea wasn’t even born when you were sent away.  Why hunt her?
I was sent from Averill because I was different.  Because my magic would make them defenseless.  In order to drive my point home, all of them must die.  Then, I will be the only Averill left alive.  The one who was sent away because she was different.
Do you miss your family at all?
 At times.  I remember the smell of my mother when she held me close, or the sound of my father when he laughed.  I remember how close my twin sister and I were.  But, remembering these things only makes their betrayal worse.  It rips my heart open each time and, like a festering wound, will not give me peace.  When I recall these moments, it only makes me hate them more.
In all this time, why haven’t you left the capital city of Svara?
Because my very presence here keeps Fairhaven safe.  The Svaran’s are now my people and I will do all in my power to keep them and my home secure from magical threat.   Besides, I have a very special captive here that I must keep restrained at all times…
You’ve worked very hard in your time as queen to overthrow the surrounding governments and kingdoms.  If they weren’t part of your family’s betrayal, why go after them?
They were loyal to my parents, and would therefore be loyal to Chandrea if she ever took the throne.  I need those who are loyal to me.  To Svara.  So, I destroyed those in power and put others devoted to me in their place.  I used my scouts and troops to search their lands for any trace of the Averill princess, and used fear to bring their people under my control.
Why use fear?
Why not?  If it works, why use anything different?  If they are harboring or aiding the Averill fugitive princess, then they are nothing to me.
Why are you hunting and killing those who can use magic?
Magic has been the bane of my life!  Its very existence tore me from my loving family.  I hate magic and will do all in my power to see it erased from Itova!
Tell me about your son, Ayden.
Ayden is my right hand man and my most prized possession.  He has been raised as the crown prince of Svara, and will someday be the commander of my armies.  He is as dedicated to finding and killing the Averill princess as I am.
Do you think you will find Chandra and kill her?
Of course.  She can hide, but the moment she shows her face again, the moment it becomes known that she is still alive, my scouts will find her and bring her to me.  I will torture any pertinent information I need from her, then kill her.  Then, and only then, will I be avenged.

About the Author

Marlene Wynn is a Utah native – fondly referred to as “Utonian” by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the Benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.

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