The Winter King by C.L. Wilson – Review, Interview & Giveaway

The Winter King by C.L. Wilson – Review, Interview and Giveaway

 

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Description:
Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when the prince of Summerlea steals Wynter’s bride and murders his young brother, Wynter calls upon a dangerous Wintercraig magic called the Ice Heart and marches against Summerlea.

After three bitter years of battle, a victorious Wynter arrives at Summerlea’s royal palace to issue his terms of surrender. The prince of Summerlea stole Wynter’s bride and slew Wynter’s Heir. He wants the loss replaced. The Ice Heart is consuming him. Wynter hopes holding his own child in his arms will rekindle the warmth in his heart before he becomes the monster of Wintercraig legend, the Ice King.

The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. She will have one year to provide him with an Heir. If she fails, he will send her to face the mercy of the mountains and claim another princess for his wife. And so it will continue until Wynter has his Heir or the Summer King is out of daughters.

The plan is perfect—except for one small detail. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. One of whom he is not so fond. And she is a fiercely passionate creature, with a temper as volatile as the forces of her weathergift, the power of storms.

 

Review:
I have been waiting anxiously for C.L. Wilson’s new novel, The Winter King. I am happy to say it was a great book, which is something you have come to expect from Wilson. This is a standalone book, and not part of her fabulous Tairen Soul series.

In The Winter King, Wilson has created two wonderful characters in our heroes, Wynter, The Winter King; and Khamsin (Kham), the one woman who will stand up to the King, and is as powerful as he is.

Wynter, as described in the book description, was at peace with his neighbor Summerlea, until their young prince came for a visit, and took Wynter’s betrothed and killed his young brother. Revenge changed Wynter, as he embraced the terrible magic of the Ice Heart, in order to enact his vengeance against Summerlea. After having successfully won the war, he arrives at Summerlea with his terms to King Varden. Falcon, Varden’s son, has been in hiding all these years during the war, and Wynter cannot get revenge on him. Instead, he tells Varden, he wants one of his daughters as his wife, to give him a heir (which he lost at the death of his brother). If within one year, the daughter does not give him an heir, he will come back for the next daughter.

Kham is King Varden’s 4th daughter, whom he despises and hides in his mansion, not allowing her to be part of the family. She is treated very badly, with only her three sisters secretly visiting her. But when he is faced with losing one of his three daughters, Varden devises a plan to secretly give Kham to Wynter as his wife.

All this is early on, and what follows is a fantastic story as we follow Wynter, Kham and his army back to his home in Wintercraig. The road home is difficult, as Kham gets sick and barely survives. The chemistry between Wynter and Kham is off the wall right from the start. As the romance builds, there are so many obstacles and betrayals that threaten to destroy their budding romance.

Kham grew up all her life thinking The Winter King was an evil man, who would do anything to destroy Summerlea. Wynter, despite his intense feelings for Kham, could not allow himself to totally trust her, as he knew her loyalty was questionable. But with each passing day, each obstacle, each threat, each incident, their feelings for each other intensified.

I will not give spoilers, but this was such an exciting, at times intense action filled story, that had me worried about the fate of our heroes; with all the betrayals, near death situations, the many battles, that I could not put the book down until I found out what was going to happen.

I loved Wynter and Kham together. They were the perfect couple, even if no one believed in them. Wynter, with the Ice Heart, was very powerful, but he knew it could also destroy him. Kham is very powerful in her own right, as we watch her learn to handle her powers, and put them to good use during the threats on her life, as well as Wynters. Kham’s nickname is Storm, which should tell you something (her sisters were named Summer, Autumn, Spring )

As much as I loved Wynter, as he was so swoonworthy; but I loved loved Kham. She suffered so badly all her life, but she was strong, independent, powerful, and when given a chance, loving. Kham is one of the best heroines I have read, and I do have some favorites.

The Winter King was a fantastic magical ride in a land of war, hatred, revenge, betrayals and love. The Winter King is a must read. C.L. Wilson has done it again with a fabulous story not to be missed.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author

 

Interview blue

CL Wilson

 

Hi Cheryl. Welcome back to The Reading Café.

TRC: We would like to start with some background information.

Would you please tell us about yourself?

 

 

C.L.   Hmm. Not sure what to say. I’m a wife, mother of three, an avid reader, writer, and movie buff. I love to crochet, and I’m teaching myself to knit. (Crochet is so much easier, imo.) I quit counting birthdays when I turned 21 – I figured I was legal then for all the things I wanted to enjoy in life – so when someone asks me how old I am, I honestly don’t know. I have to do math to figure it out (and I’m horrible at math—too much moving around during my formative mathematics years, and the new schools were never in the same place in study as the old schools were.)

I love genre fiction, in particular fantasy and romance, although a truly excellent book outside of those genres can also hold my attention.

My first novel, LORD OF THE FADING LANDS, was published in 2007 by Dorchester Publishing. It spent two weeks on the USA Today list. My second book, LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS, which was released a month later, hit the NY Times extended list. I’ve got full length novels published (the Tairen Soul series, which was purchased along with my contract in 2011 by Avon / HarperCollins), I wrote a short story for THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF FUTURISTIC ROMANCE, a contemporary angel romance in a holiday-themed anthology, ONE ENCHANTED SEASON, which I self-published with two good friends, and I return to full length fantasy romance fiction with THE WINTER KING, published by Avon.

TRC: When and how did you first become interested in writing?

C.L.   Well, first, I was an avid reader. (Honestly, I think all writers must be readers first. I can’t think how it would work any other way.) I loved books before I knew how to read. My mother read to me constantly—she tells me that’s the only time I’d sit still and let her hold me when I was small—when I was curled up in her lap and she was reading a book to me.

I wrote my first story—an episode of the old TV sitcom Hogan’s Heroes—when I was 5 or 6. I used to write illustrated rhyming children’s stories to entertain myself (the Tales of Tiffany and Timothy Turtle), and I’d write really melodramatic short stories that I’d make my sister Lisette read. I knew I’d done well if I could write a story that would make her cry! Ha!

Then when I was about 13 or so, I discovered Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern and JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and starting writing my own fantasy novels. I was 11 when I read my first romance (one of those 1970’s bodice rippers with names like Sweet Savage Rapture and Love’s Luscious Surrender). I definitely shouldn’t have been reading those, but I did and I was hooked. I started writing romance when I was sixteen or so.

TRC:  The Winter King was released today. Can you please tell us how you came up with the idea of this story? Is this a standalone or the start of a series?

C.L.   Well, as it so happens, THE WINTER KING was originally supposed to be a book written by someone else. My plotting buddies, The Starfish Club, and I came up with the idea for one of the other members. Which is a little funny, because this isn’t the sort of book she writes. Anyways, the idea wouldn’t leave me alone, so I finally called her up, begged her to let me take the idea and run with it. She said okay, and I was off to the races. The first hundred or so pages poured out of me. Then my manuscript TAIREN SOUL sold (to become LORD OF THE FADING LANDS & LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS), and I shelved THE WINTER KING until after I completed the TS series.

Coming back to finish up a story I’d started five yeas earlier when I was in a different place mentally was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be, but I finally wrote the end last year and turned it in. The story turned out worlds different than what we originally plotted, but I love it.

It’s set in a totally different world than the Tairen Soul series, and although I do intend to write more books set in Mystral (THE WINTER KING’s world), it’s a standalone novel.

TRC:  Can you please give us a brief description of The Winter King?

C.L.   It’s a marriage of convenience story on the romance front and a “save the world from Ragnarok” on the fantasy front, but at its core it’s a story about wounded people overcoming betrayals and learning to trust again.

 Here’s the blurb:

Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when the prince of Summerlea steals Wynter’s bride and murders his young brother, Wynter calls upon a dangerous Wintercraig magic called the Ice Heart and marches against Summerlea.

After three bitter years of battle, a victorious Wynter arrives at Summerlea’s royal palace to issue his terms of surrender. The prince of Summerlea stole Wynter’s bride and slew Wynter’s Heir. He wants the loss replaced. The Ice Heart is consuming him. Wynter hopes holding his own child in his arms will rekindle the warmth in his heart before he becomes the monster of Wintercraig legend, the Ice King.

The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. She will have one year to provide him with an Heir. If she fails, he will send her to face the mercy of the mountains and claim another princess for his wife. And so it will continue until Wynter has his Heir or the Summer King is out of daughters.

The plan is perfect—except for one small detail. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. One of which he is not so fond. And she is a fiercely passionate creature, with a temper as volatile as the forces of her weathergift, the power of storms.

TRC:  When writing a storyline, do you envision actors as your characters? If so, can you tell us who you see in the roles of Wynter and Khamsin?

C.L.   I almost never do this. They are just “them,” the people I see in my mind. But if I had to pick an actor, I’d say Wynter might be played by Alexander Skarsgård or maybe a younger Dolph Lundgren. Khamsin is very definitely a young Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

TRC: Oh please, I love Alex. He would make a wonderful Wynter!

TRC: You have previously discussed returning to the Fading Lands. What can you please tell us about this?

C.L.   Yes, I will be heading back to the Fading Lands. I actually started Belliard vel Jelani’s book last year for NaNoWriMo, but I am currently working on the next Mystral novel, THE SEA KING, which my published wanted first. Once I’m finished with that, it’s back to Bel’s book.

TRC:  What are you currently working on, and what do you have planned for 2014/2015?

C.L.   I’ll be finishing up THE SEA KING the rest of this year, for a 2015 pub date, then in 2015, I’ll be concentrating on Bel’s book. I am hoping in the interim to offer a few smaller Fading Lands works for my Tairen Soul fans who’ve been so patient. Fingers crossed my schedule will permit it.

TRC:  What is your process in writing? Any specific place you like to write or special times of the day/night?

C.L.   Before I was published (and when I’d committed to finishing and publishing my TAIREN SOUL manuscript), I would get up and write from 3am-7am every day. I worked 50+ hrs a week and had three small children, so it was pretty much that or nothing.

Now, I do three to four scheduled Power Hours per day with friends (we conference call with starting word counts, set the timer, hang up and write for an hour, then call back to get final word counts and calculate our progress.) it’s super effective for all of us – like having an exercise buddy who keeps you on track, even on the days you really aren’t feeling it.

I may start doing the early morning thing again as well (although maybe more like 4 or 5-7am instead of 3!), just because I like the quiet, no pressure time to myself to just create.

TRC:  Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

C.L.   My plotting buddies (The Starfish Club)…and my power-hour buddies, which includes 3 of the 4 Starfish, plus a couple of friends. I also sometimes have crit night with another couple of writers who live near me.

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

C.L.   Just that I will be signing books this coming week in Katy, TX, Houston, TX, Mobile, AL, and Pensacola, FL. See my website Events page (http://clwilson.com/news-events/events/) for details.

 LIGHTNING ROUND  

Favorite Food: Sushi and Thai.

Favorite Dessert: Mango and sticky rice

Favorite Movie: Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS (all of them)

Favorite TV Show: The Closer

Last book that you read: Storm’s Heart by Thea Harrison (reread for like the 5th time)

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk

Favorite character (male & female) not written by you: Vlad Tepesh (Jeaniene Frost), Ivory Malinov (Christine Feehan)

TRC: Love your choices, they are both two of my favorites

Dog or Cat: Purrrrrrr

Thank you, Cheryl for answering our questions. We look forward to continuing to read your books, and to work with you in the future. We wish you the best of luck with The Winter King.

You can learn more about C.L. Wilson at the following links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Blog / Tairen’s Lair

 

Giveaway

Cheryl  is generously offering a signed paper copy of THE WINTER KING to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

4. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Like C.L. Wilson on Facebook for an additional entry.

6. Giveaway is open to USA only.

7. Giveaway runs from July 29- August 1st , 2014

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54 thoughts on “The Winter King by C.L. Wilson – Review, Interview & Giveaway

  1. Wonderful review Barb. I can’t wait to read this one. It just got d/l’d to my kobo. Been too long since I’ve read a C.L.Wilson book. Great interview too. So Happy to hear more Fading Lands books may be coming, I miss my Fae Warriors

      • Finally read Winter King and LOVED it!!!!! The ending rocked and was so fast paced I was practically biting my nails a few times. This book would make for an awesome movie. I want more Wynter and Khamsin. They r now one of my fave couples in fiction. Cheryl is an amazing writer and builds such wonderful tales and worlds in her books. She just sweeps u away on a fun and action filled adventure. I can’t wait for more fun and adventures from Mystral

    • Thanks so much for coming out, Marcie! I hope you enjoy TWK, and I miss the Fading Lands too. I had SOOOO much fun last Nov going back for NaNoWriMo. My darling Bel is getting himself into all sorts of trouble! :p (Trying to learn to write faster but still put out stories I’m proud of. Fingers crossed this is the year I finally succeed!)

  2. What a wonderful review, and interview. I have loved all your books, Cheryl. I am a major fan. I have to read the book, but I do agree with Barb that Alexander Skarsgard would be wonderful in any role.

  3. Awesome review & interview Barb. Nice to see you back Cheryl and I am looking forward to checking out the Winter King .

    And can’t wait for your new Fading Lands read and looking forward to Bel’s read.

    Congrats on your New read.

  4. Great review Barb, I have followed CL Wilson since the beginning. I should be getting my copy any time in the mail, looking forward to that as well as hoping Bel’s book gets here before 2016, but it is what it is. Love the interview, we share many of the same interests, but then, who doesn’t. LOTR? Purring Kitty Cats? Ivory? Who can miss?

    • Big Hugs, Mary Ann 🙂

      I can’t believe I put Vlad up as favorite hero instead of my beloved Jacques Pookie Face from Christine’s Dark Desire. Believe me when I say that is a measure of how utterly compelling I found him. Vlad utterly conquered my heart 🙂 He and Jacques will have to duke it out in the coming years for #1 But Jacques Pookie Face is stillllllll mine! MINE! MINE, I say!

      • LOL Cheryl. You sound like many of us Christine fans, who have nicknames from our Dark series heroes. Sandy herself will tell you that Darius is hers. 🙂

        I have a few Dark series men I love, but Roarke (JD Robb) is my all time favorite.

        • I know I will never live down Darius-Dark Fire but then again he and I are together on my Twitter account 😉

          Jacques is my second Carpathian-I cried so hard in his storyline….so hard *sniff*

  5. I’ve not read any books by CL Wilson… It appears I’ve been missing out! This sounds great! Really good review! Thanks for the giveaway.
    lindalou(at)cfl(dot)rr(dot)com

    Liked The Reading Cafe on Facebook
    Follow TRC on Twitter
    Sent friend request and now follow CL Wilson on Facebook

  6. Terrific review, Barb. I have this on my kindle, and I cannot wait to start it. Love Cheryl’s books and looking forward to Bel’s story. I also love LOTR.

  7. Barb, loved the review and interview. I can’t wait to read. I want to know why Kham is hated by her father. Ah, love conquers all in the end.

  8. Great review Barb and thank you so much for the interview CL. I am amazed at how many thing we like the same. Vlad and Ivory are two of my favs. too. My copy is in the mail . So looking forward to getting it.

  9. First of all, I want to mention that the cover is gorgeous! Great review and interview. I look forward to reading this, whether I win or not. I love Thai food, as well and make a pretty good pad Thai and shrimp in green curry sauce. The spicier the better – yum! Thanks for the giveaway!
    riveroftimefan(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. CL sounds like a very interesting and sweet person. This book is already on my TBR =D

    I’m already registered at The Reading Cafe,
    email annaoj (dot) mortes (at) gmail (dot) com

    I already like you on FB and getting notifications and also follow on Twitter.

    I already like C.L. Wilson on Facebook.

  11. I am not at home, and am having trouble getting my replies to post So, I want to be sure to thank everyone for coming out today and for your kind posts. Those of you who haven’t tried my books before, I hope you’ll give THE WINTER KING a try and that you’ll be glad you did! For all my friends of the Fey, THANK YOU, Thank you! Beylah vo! for your continued support!

  12. I’ve never read this author before, but this book sounds like it will change that for me! It was also interesting to hear how this book came to be. 🙂 Please enter me in the giveaway. I like TRC on FB and get notifications.

    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. Fantastic new release from CL. I am looking forward to reading The Winter King.

    Congratulations to CL on the new release. Thank you for the giveaway !

  14. Enjoyed the interview, Love your favorite characters! Thanks for sharing it, the great review and the giveaway. The Tarin Soul series is one of my very favorites and I can’t wait to read this one. Did all the other tasks. evamillien at gmail dot com

  15. Great review Barb. I am also new to Ms. Wilson’s work but this book sounds great. Can’t wait to start reading it. I agree with the other commenters , the cover is awesome.

  16. Wonderful review, Barb. And I enjoyed the interview as well. Ivory and Vlad are my favorites too. I loved reading The Winter King. It was fabulous. Looking forward to more of your books, C. Cannot wait for next year. I’m going to reread all of your books until then 🙂

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