Building a Fantasy World with Paula Millhouse and #Giveaway

(Looking for the Readers Choice giveaway? It’ll be here tomorrow!)

The PIRATESHIP DOWN tour continues as well. The interview at Literary Musings went up a little late on Friday but you can read it here and enter the giveaway at that site if you haven’t already. Two other chances to enter today: I’m talking about the reasons we love pirates at Fang-tastic Books today, and there’s a review up at Bad Bird Reads. Check them out and enter at all the sites!

Today, please join me in extending a warm welcome back to my friend and fellow author, Paula Millhouse. Paula is dropping by today as part of her virtual book tour celebrating her Kingdom of Chalvaren series. The series began with Dragonstone, which was published on May 12, 2013, by Boroughs Publishing Group. Dragonstone is a Lunchbox Romance Prequel in the Kingdom of Chalvaren series. Paula’s most recent book in the series is Chalvaren Rising. Chalvaren Rising was published on September 10 by Boroughs.

Paula grew up in Savannah, Ga., where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway. As a child, Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south. Paula lives with her husband at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their pack and pride of furry babies. In the southern tradition of storytellers, she loves sharing the lives of her characters with readers, and following her muse on the quest for happily-ever-afters in thrilling romantic fiction. You can learn more about Paula by visiting her website, on Facebook and by following her on Twitter.

dragonstoneABOUT DRAGONSTONE: Elf prince Kort Elias journeys to a new world in search of a stolen royal dragon egg and discovers a lost elven princess, a prophecy, and danger; and only true love–and an erotic magic he’s never experienced–will set them free.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Dragonstone, click on one of the following links:
Barnes & Noble
Boroughs Publishing Group
You may also check out the Inspiration Board on Pinterest.

chalvarenABOUT CHALVAREN RISING: When Mia Ansgar follows Elf Prince Kort Elias back to the Kingdom of Chalvaren she wants her happy ever after, but Mia gets blindsided in a war where sorceress Isa Ansgar targets everything she loves with black magic and a legion of wraith-possessed elves, with the kingdom of Chalvaren as the prize. Kort’s fallen hard for Mia, but despite their passionate new love affair, how can he possibly protect her when she refuses to listen to him? Not only does Magnus imprint on Mia, she insists on using the powerful magic of Chalvaren’s ancient artifact, the Dragonstone, to stand up against the threat of Isa Ansgar. Isa wants the Dragonstone’s magic to raise a powerful wizard from the grave so she can claim Chalvaren for herself. But, when she attacks Castle Elias and kidnaps Magnus, she sets in motion a revolution of magic where the elves of Chalvaren band together to stop her malicious crusade. Will Mia convince Isa to turn away from darkness and rejoin the light before it’s too late?

If you would like to purchase a copy of Chalvaren Rising, click on one of the following links:
Boroughs Publishing Group
Barnes & Noble

You may also visit Chalvaren Rising on Pinterest and view the Chalvaren Rising book trailer.

And now, let’s hear from Paula….

Maps, Basic Needs, Pinterest Boards, Magic, Wizards, and Dragons, oh my!

How I built my fantasy world, The Kingdom of Chalvaren
by Paula Millhouse

In my Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Program at Georgia Southern University we studied rural communities, which components make them up, and how individual parts keep people healthy, or contribute to illness. When I started writing fiction it was an easy leap to use such information to come up with my fantasy world, The Kingdom of Chalvaren.

KingdomofChalvarenMapforbookMaps: Layout of the Land

I’m an artist at heart, so I painted a watercolor map of the layout of the land. My editor helped me get the watercolor into the eBook and the print version of Chalvaren Rising as a nod to JRR Tolkien and his maps of Middle Earth.

Building Characters with Basic Needs

I appreciate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs for building my characters. If you meet paula millhousea character’s basic needs for food, water, shelter, love, sex, and community, your results are happy well-adjusted characters, and a recognizable world.
Take away, or impede those basic needs and your result is conflict – specifically wounds which lead to flaws related to their basic needs. Conflict is essential for all characters in fiction.

My hero, Elf Prince Kort Elias, believes love is worth fighting for. I set up scenes for him where he got chance after chance to prove his theme. Kort surprised me with his determination to meet his basic need.

My villainess, Isa Ansgar, experienced the wound of love-lost, an unmet need. Isa turned her reactionary flaw of vengeance into a crusade to take away what Kort wants most – his proof of his theme.

My heroine Mia wants love, but she also wants to belong to a community more than anything. Mia’s success depends on her learning how to create the community she wants. Watching her align her world with Kort’s through their romance, and defending the dynasty they both want to one day share, made for some very cool conflicts.

Pinterest Boards – my virtual world bibles

Chalvaren Rising

Some authors use a world bible, a book they compose with pictures of characters, settings, food, etc. I like to use Pinterest as a virtual world book for my stories. I go shopping for photos that meet my perception of certain scenes, characters, dress, magic, and my dragons. I cite the artist of the photo when possible, and I often find when I write to the photos for inspiration my scenes are more robust. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and with Pinterest Boards, I fashion the world I want to write about.

Magic and Wizards and Dragons, oh my!

I think the best fantasy stories show us the things we all relate to, not the things that separate us. I based my magic system on the elements: fire, air, water, earth, and spirit – a known concept. I gave my elven wizards, their deities, and all my dragons powers that correspond to the element they’re tied to. That’s how I united my fantasy world.
I hope you enjoy reading The Kingdom of Chalvaren romances. They’re fairy tales meant to entertain you, epic fantasy tales with the heart of a romance, and characters meant to endure through time.

Paula Millhouse Banner -PB2 851 x 315

Thanks, Paula. Congrats on the release of Chalvaren Rising.

In association with Paula’s virtual book tour, there is a tour wide giveaway which includes:

$5 Gift Card Amazon
2 readers will receive an ecopy of both books –Dragonstone and Chalvaren Rising

If you would like to be entered for your chance to win, then you MUST leave a comment and then enter using the following link:


19 thoughts on “Building a Fantasy World with Paula Millhouse and #Giveaway

  1. new author to me but i love the premises of the book(s)
    congrats on the new release ( and beautiful card of your world)

  2. Congrats on your new book. I have never read one of your books and am looking foreward to changing that.

    • Hi Debby!
      I love your dragon avatar!

      If you love dragons as much as I do the stories from The Kingdom of Chalvaren should satisfy your itch for dragon love.

      Thanks for stopping in and for the good wishes.

  3. Happy Monday, Suzanne! Thanks for hosting me my elves today. Congrats on your new release, Pirateship Down.

    It’s a labor of love to create fantasy worlds, right?

    Some of the elves in my kingdom are up to no good in Chalvaren Rising. Isa’s hell-bent on destroying the dragons who protect Castle Elias, and she’s gonna have to be dealt with.

    Hope your readers win big in the giveaway.

  4. I love elves and dragon stories so I will be adding your stories to my TBR list. I think using Pinterest as your world building bible is a great idea! Congrats on your new release.

      • Wow! Liz, you’re the best testament an author could wish for. A satisfied reader.

        I’ll be interested to hear how you enjoy the follow-up novel.

        I wrote tons more dragons, a really evil villainess, and an adventure-quest spiked with a high-heat romance in Chalvaren Rising.

        Thanks for saying how much you enjoyed my book.

  5. Congrats on your new book! The Kingdom of Chalvaren series sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing your world.