Cayla Kluver talks Romance & Fantasy in The Queen’s Choice (Plus an Amazing Giveaway)

Posted March 24, 2014 by Melissa in Author Guest Post, Giveaway | 28 Comments

Welcome to The Queen’s Choice Blog Tour and check out what sounds like the start of an amazing new series. And don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom for an awesome giveaway!

Guest Post 

How Much Romance is Just Enough in Fantasy?


Incorporating romance into young adult fantasy presents an interesting challenge. Often, young adults are in the process of discovering romantic relationships in their own lives, and enjoy when those experiences are reflected in the books they read. On the flip side, dedicated fans of fantasy sometimes view plot-prominent romance as detracting from the staples of the genre. Searching for the right balance can drive a writer crazy!

My first series, The Legacy Trilogy, began as a tale of forbidden romance and expanded from there into a broader fantasy tale. Criticisms I received from fantasy devotees frequently revolved around the amount of romance in the books, while the other side of the table called the romance light, and at times peripheral to the series’ world-building. It was easy to be frustrated and confused.

I try to use critical feedback as a tool to look at my work through new eyes. Outside opinions don’t always match up with my visions as an author, but they can certainly open doors and illuminate unexplored trains of thought. In this situation, the feedback was at odds, and rested heavily upon reviewer preference, and his or her background as a reader.

That realization led me to analyze my background as a reader. I’m a fan of epic fantasies like Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Harry Potter. I’m a fan of political fiction like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, and Les Misérables. And I’m a fan of classic romances like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Phantom of the Opera. Considering these books as the enormous influences on my writing that they are, the overlap in my own writing started to seem less confusing and more natural.

My new series, book 1 being The Queen’s Choice, has more fantasy and less romance, which has surprised but not disappointed some readers. My approach in writing this novel was to follow my gut, and tell the most authentic story I could. Anya, my main character, faces several personal crises, beginning right away in chapter one, and many of her relationships crumble as she struggles to find solid ground. Legacy was about Alera’s emotional awakening; The Queen’s Choice copes with Anya’s emotional retreat.

My responsibility as an author is to be as honest and genuine as possible with my readership, and that means trusting my instincts when it comes to finding that mysterious balance between romance and fantasy. Every author offers something different – a different story, a different perspective – and every reader is looking for something different. It’s my sincere hope that readers will uncover things worth finding in The Queen’s Choice.

The Book

Title:The Queen’s Choice
Series: Heirs of Chrior #1
Author: Cayla Kluver
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 512
Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Available Formats: Hardcover, E-book, Audio
Find it: Goodreads | Heirs of Chrior tumblr
Buy it:  Amazon |  BN Indie Bound | BookDepository


Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equaled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen’s mantle herself.

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined….


The Author

Cayla Kluver is the author of the Legacy Series (LEGACY, 2011; ALLEGIANCE, 2012; SACRIFICE, 2012). Her new book THE QUEEN’S CHOICE will be published by HarlequinTEEN in winter 2013/spring 2014.

Cayla spends her free time singing, reading, dancing, and horseback riding. Her office is filled with twinkly lights. She travels frequently to speak at middle and high schools, libraries, and book conventions. New York City is one of her favorite places on the planet.

Find the author:   Goodreads |  Website | Twitter | Facebook


The Giveaway

  • A copy of The Queen’s Choice, and
  • A fantastic grand prize package including the following Harlequin Teen titles: 2 copies of The Queen’s Choice, a copy of White Hot Kiss and Grim, a signed copy of Heartbeat and a complete set of The Legacy trilogy from Cayla Kluver.

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Monday, March 17th – YA Bibliophile
Wednesday, March 19th – Mundie Mom’s
Friday, March 21th – Two Chicks on Books

Monday, March 24th – Melissa’s Eclectic Book Shelf
Wednesday, March 26th – Refracted Light Reviews
Friday, March 28th – Such A Novel Idea

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28 responses to “Cayla Kluver talks Romance & Fantasy in The Queen’s Choice (Plus an Amazing Giveaway)

    • Characters motivate me. When I have characters to whom I feel connected, I can envision what they’d say and how they’d react in a million different overdramatic situations, which makes me want to create said overdramatic situations. 😛 Staying motivated… it takes discipline. And I won’t say I always have the most of that. It’s an acquired skill, and it requires a strong ability to keep the end goal in mind. If I can picture my goals and what I want to do with a project (i.e. cover concepts, fame and fortune, etc.), it’s easier to push myself through rough spots in my writing.
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

    • Oh boy! I listen to all kinds of music while I’m writing. For this book, I listened to a lot of Florence + the Machine, especially the song Never Let Me Go. For my previous series, The Legacy Trilogy, I listened to Holly Conlan’s You Are Goodbye over and over again. I also love Sia, Billy Joel, the Beatles, Natasha Bedingfield, showtunes ad infinitum… I could go on and on. 🙂
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

    • In YA, I love love love The Hunger Games. I think Katniss Everdeen is the best heroine ever (and of course, Jennifer Lawrence in the movies is astonishing). I almost read more adult fiction than YA, strangely, so my favorite series of the moment is Mo Hayder’s Jack Caffrey series. He’s such an original character, and Mo Hayder doesn’t pull punches.
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

    • I read Wicked Lovely back when it first came out, and there was something so raw and intriguing about the fantasy elements in it. I think that was what first pulled me toward the Fae. Then I started doing some other reading and additional research, and I went nuts!
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

  1. There are times when I don’t know how much romance I want in a book, sometimes I’m in a romantic mood and want it to be the focus and then there are other times when I want the other aspects of the story to take center stage. I’m a finicky reader apparently:) I would think as an author the only thing to do would be exactly as Cayla said and follow their gut, us readers will sort ourselves out:)

    Thanks so much for being a part of the tour Melissa!
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…Review: Fire & FloodMy Profile

    • My FAVORITE book when I was a child was Sleeping Beauty. I wanted to be Prince Philip because some parts of that story get really dark, but he was driven and unafraid. (I’m SO excited for Maleficent to come out, by the way. Angelina Jolie looks like she’s going to be amazing.) I also loved Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Oh the Places You’ll Go. When I got a little bit older, I lived on Nancy Drew books. My mom explained to me how important Nancy was in showing young girls that they could and should use their brains. Nancy Drew seemed like a revolutionary to me, and I still adore her to this day.
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

  2. January

    The right amount of romance in a book really depends on what it’s about and how well the author can integrate it in my opinion. There are some books where the plot is overshadowed by the romance and it just drives me crazy, but some books pull it off perfectly! As for a question, I’m really curious how much say authors get in the cover of their book! Did you get to say what you wanted on the cover or approve it?

    • With my first series, The Legacy Trilogy, my publisher put together several concepts for the cover of the first book, then had everybody (the Harlequin art department, my editor, my agent, even my mom, and me) vote on which we liked best. The vote was unanimous, then they hired models and did a photo shoot for all three books in one day. For this book, I was asked to put forth some ideas and concepts from the novel for the cover, then my ideas and my publisher’s were sent to Larry Rostant, who actually did the art. My input is definitely considered, but I’ve also never strenuously disagreed on a cover, so I’m not sure what would happen in that scenario!
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

  3. Michelle Lee

    Where do you get your inspiration from? and thank you for this amazing giveaway! I loved your The Legacy Trilogy <3 🙂

    • Thank you! <3 Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sounds, images, fleeting feelings and sensations, news stories, the weather, bad jokes, dinner conversations, music. I never know where ideas might come from, so I carry a notepad with me everywhere to jot things down on the go! The important thing is to be engaged in what's happening around you, so you can interpret things and add your vision and imagination to them.
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

  4. Lori Ha

    This sounds like an interesting read and I am looking forward to reading it. I haven’t had read any of your books yet so adding them to the TBR stack.
    Thanks 🙂

    • There were two elements I really wanted to explore. First, the idea of someone privileged (with magic, influence, beauty, etc.) who has everything taken away from her. I wanted to explore how she would cope, what she would cling to in order to keep going, and if/how she would recover. Second, I wanted to create a juxtaposition between two worlds that, on the surface, look like perfect examples of heaven and hell. The Faerie Realm is pure, nature-focused, and seems to engender happiness and contentment, while the human world suffers corrupt politicians, cruel laws, pollution, and everything rough-and-tumble. But nothing is ever that simple, and I created these worlds so that I could strip away the layers of each of them and show their cores. This is a process I’m planning to continue through all three books, and that hopefully will leave readers to draw their own conclusions!
      Cayla Kluver recently posted…Queen’s Choice Full Jacket!My Profile

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