Wednesday, February 20, 2019

"The Sacred Artifact" by Caldric Blackwell


INTERVIEW and EXCERPT
The Sacred Artifact
(The Young Alchemist Book 2)
by Caldric Blackwell

The Sacred Artifact (The Young Alchemist Book 2) by Caldric Blackwell

Author Caldric Blackwell stops by today for an interview and to share an excerpt from The Sacred Artifact, the second book in The Young Alchemist. This middle grade fantasy will appeal to young readers who enjoy a side of action and adventure with their fantasy. Also available: The Missing Alchemist.

The Missing Alchemist by Caldric Blackwell

Description
Determined to uncover the secrets of a mysterious artifact, fourteen-year-old alchemy student Craig Pike and his teacher, Cornelius, journey to the birthplace of alchemy to seek the advice of a wise, ancient alchemist named Quintus. With the help of a witty archer, Audrey Clife, they trek across dangerous lands, compete in a cutthroat tournament, and reunite with old friends. They soon find out the artifact is more powerful than anticipated, and they aren’t the only ones seeking to discover its secrets ...

Excerpt
Under the faint light of a sliver of a moon, fourteen-year-old Craig walked through the forest with his heart pounding. Although he was armed with his alchemist’s staff and sword, every time he heard a noise, whether it was a rustling leaf or a snapping twig, he scrambled for cover.
He wondered why he had agreed to this.
“Be cautious; the scarecrows are ferocious,” Cornelius, his teacher, had said. “The challenge is worth it, though. You’ll be an expert at the Ventus spell by the time you finish.”
“That’s assuming I finish,” Craig thought.
Craig was in a training exercise that required him to use the Ventus spell to destroy a dozen enchanted scarecrows wandering one square mile of forest.
As a student of alchemy, Craig learned how to manipulate elements using spells, potions, and other techniques. Although he had been training for years with Cornelius, he still had a lot to learn.
Sweat beaded on his forehead as he thought about his recent lesson on wind alchemy. He wondered if he could deliver the powerful jet of air needed to destroy the scarecrows.
A thin strip of luminescent ground, glittering like powdered gold, appeared in the distance.
“That must be the perimeter of the exercise,” Craig thought.
He decided to walk along the perimeter, hoping to herd the scarecrows toward the center of the training exercise’s area. As he walked, he couldn’t help but get the feeling the scarecrows were stalking him like lions following a wounded wildebeest.
Thwack!
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Snagged a copy of the first book in this serious to read with my little brother and we both loved it! So naturally I snapped this puppy up the second it came out. And boy does it not disappoint! Blazed right through it. What I really love is that the author grew their book with the audience, as there are more mature themes throughout this installment. They did a great job really fleshing out their world, as well. If you're looking for a fun read with your younger family members then you need to pick this book up.” ~ Jonathan
“What an extremely talented author! Very creative author that has a knack for creating engaging children's books. Definitely a wonderful read for all ages. Highly recommended!” ~ Gary Wilson

Interview With the Author
Author Caldric Blackwell joins us today to discuss his new book, The Sacred Artifact.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Ages ten to fourteen, although younger and older readers can certainly enjoy it, too.
What sparked the idea for this book?
The idea for the protagonist, Craig Pike, an alchemy student, is what came to me first. The plot just grew from the idea of him. I toyed with a couple of different ideas, eventually coming up with the idea present in my middle grade fantasy series The Young Alchemist.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Because it's a middle grade fantasy novel, I had to make the fantasy element approachable. It was tough making the fantasy element, particularly the alchemy, digestible yet complete.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I want readers to have a positive experience when reading my middle grade fantasy, The Sacred Artifact. This can mean a variety of things, from getting inspired by the story or just using it as an escape. Or perhaps they relate to a character and find a sense of comfort in knowing that there are other people like them. Maybe they read The Sacred Artifact and decide to write a story of their own – that’s great, too. Even if they just read my books and think it’s a fun way to pass the time, I’m happy.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took about two years to finish the first draft - then there was lots and lots of editing.
What is your writing routine?
I like to write for short periods of time in the evening.
How did you get your book published?
Lots of letters and emails to agents and publishers.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Don't give up!
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Jiu jitsu, read, hike, play music.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are big supporters of it!
Did you like to read when you were a child?
Yes, I was always reading!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Caldric. Anything else you would like to add?
If anyone is interested in middle grade fantasy, give my new book, The Sacred Artifact, a look!

About the Author
Caldric Blackwell
Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten. Exposure to a host of great authors during his college years inspired him to begin writing.
He currently resides in central California, where he writes, gardens, and plays a variety of string instruments.


Links
Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

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