I’m excited to say I’m inviting fellow authors to my blog again from time-to-time. One of my favorites is author Cheryl Headford who has a new release!
Author Name: Cheryl Headford
Book Length 214 Pages
Book Name: Shade’s Champion
Release Date: 15th September 2017
Publisher: Extasy Books: Devine Destinies
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Shade has spent years imprisoned in a dark cellar after being snatched off the street as a young child. Events since his release have left him traumatised and desperate to die.
Dory is a lively and engaging seventeen-year-old with mental health issues that make him a slave to his dangerously uncontrollable emotions.
When Shade comes to the secure children’s home, Eastbrook; because no one else wants him, the manager appoints Dory as his champion, an appointment Dory takes very seriously indeed.
As friendship turns into something else, something new and exciting, they struggle to find their feet, but every step leads to more complication.
When a spiteful act separates them, it seems their love is doomed before it ever had a chance, but when Dory falls ill, it’s up to Shade to pick up the standard and become his champion, although it might already be too late.
It was the last week of June, a beautiful day, with glorious sunshine and a soft breeze. Dorien and Shade were in the conservatory. It was the closest Dorien had managed to get Shade to the outside. Initially, he’d been terrified of the room with its glass walls, just a flimsy skin between them and the big wide world. Dorien had tried to get him to lie on one of the loungers and gaze at the clouds, but he couldn’t look up at the sky and always kept his gaze down when they were in there, avoiding even glancing out of the windows if he could.
Today, they were reading a book. Shade had been working hard to learn to read and was taking to it quickly. He was still at a very basic level and taking his lessons alone with an individual teacher, but there was talk of beginning to integrate him with the younger children for some of the wide-ranging lessons. Of course, that led to ridicule from the older kids, but Shade didn’t seem to mind. Shade didn’t seem to mind anything much. He was the calmest and most laid-back person Dorien had ever met. Even Penny and Rich got frustrated and annoyed, sometimes, if not with him then with the others or life in general, but Shade never seemed to be in a bad mood, although sometimes he got kind of sad and distant.
There was nothing sad or distant about him today, though. Shade’s head was bent over the book, and his fingers traced the words as he worked through them slowly and methodically.
“Wow, you’re getting really good at this,” Dorien said with shining eyes. “When we’ve finished this book, we’re going to start Harry Potter, right from the beginning to the very end. It’s a lot harder, but I’ll be here to explain the hard words, and it’s a much better story than this.”
“I don’t know,” Shade said doubtfully. “I don’t think I’m up to that yet.”
“You won’t know if you don’t try. Now, what’s that word?”
“M…mou…moun…tain. Mountain.” Shade beamed with pride. “That was a hard word.”
“It was, but see, you climbed a mountain. If you can climb a mountain today, you can read Harry Potter tomorrow. Easy peasy.”
“Hmm. I don’t think it quite works like that, but I’ll give it a go.”
“Good. Will you do something for me? Something really hard but really important to me?”
Shade frowned. “Why really hard?”
“Well, it’s not hard for me, but it is for you.”
Shade narrowed his eyes. “What?”
“Will you come outside with me? Just to the willows. I want to show you something.”
Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.
Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re enactment group who traveled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and menagerie of three cats, a dog and a dragon. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close.
Immersed, as always, in the world of fantasy, she maintains a burning desire to share the stories and these days it’s in the form of books which all contain her spark and unique view on life, the universe and everything.
Where to find Cheryl