Series Spotlight – The Rise of Aredor & The Wildcat of Braeton

This week I’m doing something different: a series spotlight on two amazing books by author Claire M.Banschbach as part of her relaunch blog tour! In January, Claire had the terrible news that her publisher was going under, so she decided to go indie! Check out her relaunch of her first book (The Rise of Aredor) and the launch of the second book in the series (The Wildcat of Braeton)! Also, scroll down for free stuff!! 😀


Rise of Aredor Webcover

The Rise of Aredor

Lost in a foreign land and separated from his family, Corin does his best to survive as a slave in the household of a Calorin lord. With newfound friends he fights for survival in ambushes and wars. For one act of bravery, he is awarded his freedom and returns to a home that has been invaded and ravaged by the Calorin armies. When Corin sets foot on Aredor’s shores, he has one goal in mind: find his family. He is driven into the forest, where he is reunited with childhood friends. From the shelter of the woods, they begin a spirited rebellion against Corin’s former cruel master, who now holds sway over Aredor. Follow Corin’s path in his quest to free his imprisoned brother, find a father who has vanished, and ultimately free his country in The Rise of Aredor.

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Excerpt from The Rise of Aredor:

“What’s going on here?” A voice demanded in Calorin.

“Corin, there’s someone out there!” Trey whispered.

“Who’s in charge here?” Another voice asked.

From inside the storeroom, Corin’s heart lifted as he heard the slurred speech of the men. They’re drunk! he realized. He grabbed a flagon off the shelf.

“I hate this stuff,” he muttered and took a deep draft. Spluttering, he took another drink.

“Corin, what are you doing?” Trey hissed.

“Keep working. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Corin clapped his shoulder. Liam and Martin watched bewildered as he staggered past them toward the soldiers.

“That’d be me,” he slurred the words. “Lieutenant Hamíd, at your service, boys!”

The soldiers looked at him through slightly unfocused eyes.

“I’m Lieutenant Zafir, and this is Lieutenant Hamzah,” one said. “What are you doing out here so late, Hamíd?”

“We were supposed to leave earlier, but they didn’t get the wagon loaded in time.” He jerked a thumb back at his companions. “You know how lazy those cavalry soldiers can be.” He took another pull at the flagon as Zafir and Hamzah voiced their agreement loudly.

“We were just going to the tavern. You should join us, Hamíd!” Zafir said.

When Corin hesitated, Hamzah clapped him on the shoulder.

“Come on! You’ll have plenty of time before these buffoons get the wagon loaded.” He took the flagon from Corin and drank.

“You’re right!” Corin took the liquor back. “There’s no reason I should have to stand out here in the dark while they work!”

“Aye, you look like you work too hard already!” Zafir said. The three of them roared with laughter.

“Don’t send someone after me when you’re done. You’ll probably take all night!” Corin raised his voice as he gave the order to the other “Calorins.”

Trey’s salute told him that he understood. Relieved, Corin draped a friendly arm around Hamzah’s shoulder as they made their way toward the tavern.


What is he doing?” Martin asked Trey.

“I hope he knows. Come on, let’s hurry with these.” Trey slung another bag up to Liam.

An hour passed and there was no sign of Corin. Liam scanned the street anxiously. They had finished filling the wagon almost half an hour ago.

“The sentry will be along any minute,” Martin whispered to Trey. “What do we do?”

“Wait,” Trey replied, equally uneasy.

Want a chance to win free ebooks and other swag??

Giveaway Graphic

What you could win:
The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton, a set of 4 notecards of the series artwork, and the grand prize is a paperback set of the books + 1 notecard of choice!

The giveaway will run from 9/28-10/4.



Wildcat of Braeton Webcover

The Wildcat of Braeton

His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.

A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally.

As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain – war is coming to the North!

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Excerpt from The Wildcat of Braeton:

“Ranulf came here too. I would have sent men, but we were in the middle of helping the Aredorians with the Calorin War,” Laird Dandin said. “And now this Adalwulf threatens Durnian invasion if we send men. Forgive me for saying, but I think Laird Gòrdan would only see the Clans coming tae help now as an attack on him. There would be war in Braeton.”

“I understand.” Aiden hated it, but he could understand.

“So what are you really here for?  I know you don’t want sanctuary.” Laird Dandin’s look urged him to be honest.

“I have no patience left,” Aiden said. “I’m going tae stop Adalwulf. But I can’nae do it on my own. We need the Clan back.”

Dandin sat at the table. “How is your father?”

“My father…” Aiden paused. “He is controlled by Adalwulf. He banished William and has almost disowned Ranulf and myself.”

“I didn’t know it was so bad,” Dandin said.

“My Laird, I’m not asking for your help. I just need tae know how many of Clan Canich are here.” Aiden leaned forward on the table.

“I’d say around forty. You’re going tae raise the Clan?”

“That is my intent, although it never should have come tae this.”

“The men here obey the command of a man named Artair. Convince him, and you’ll have your men,” Dandin said. “But I warn you, that will be no easy task. You are welcome here for as long as you need.”

“Thank you, sir,” Aiden replied gratefully, hoping he did not require the Laird’s hospitality for long.

Cool Trivia about The Wildcat of Braeton:

Random Fact 6

Want more random facts? Visit the other blog stops for more!

Two great books, and guess what?? Today is your lucky day!

Sale pic

For THREE DAYS ONLY, get The Rise of Aredor for only 99 cents!!

About the Author:

Claire M. Banschbach is a native West Texan. She discovered a deep and abiding love for fantasy and science fiction at a young age, prompting her to begin exploring worlds armed only with an overactive imagination and a pen while obtaining degrees in Kinesiology from Texas A&M and Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University.

She talks to fictional characters more than she should while struggling to find time for all their stories. She currently resides in Arlington, TX where she works as a Pediatric Physical Therapist.

You can connect with her on Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram


Thanks for stopping by and checking out Claire’s new books! Need more of the Aredor Universe? Try Claire’s short stories on her blog! Happy reading!


A Taste of Freedom

Follow the Blog Tour for Claire’s book launch!

The Overactive Imagination


So yesterday, I teased a new Aredor short story in celebration of the relaunch! So, I’m happy to announce, that yes, there is a new story up!

*WARNING* It contains some mild spoilers for The Rise of Aredor – mostly as in who survives. 😛 And introduces a certain small character from book 2. 🙂

A Taste of Freedom

You can find more short stories for Aredor, (and my other series) over on the Short Stories tab!

Remember that The Rise of Aredor is on sale for kindle for today and tomorrow for only $0.99, so go check it out! Click on the pic to be taken to Amazon.

Also, I’m running a shiny giveaway for the relaunch. Prizes include ebooks of The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton, a set of 4 notecards of series artwork, and the Grand Prize of paperbacks of the series…

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3 Years, 2 Editions, 1 Story

Claire stops by my blog on Saturday!! Check out the other great posts over the next few days and then come see what I’ve got in store! 😀

The Overactive Imagination


So technically it’s two stories. Sue me. 😛

But today kicks off the re-launch tour I pulled together to celebrate the relaunch of my books The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton! Instead of synopses, I’ll just tell you that these are fantasy/adventure stories about family, brotherhoods, a little snark, a touch of romance, and lots and lots of action. 🙂

So three years ago, in March 2014, The Rise of Aredor was first sent out into the world. The Wildcat of Braeton followed the next year in May 2015. And thus began my journey into the fantastical (and slightly overwhelming) world of authoring. It hasn’t been easy, especially since I was working on my physical therapy degree during that time. So, not a lot of extra time to devote to books. 😦 But now I’m all graduated with a grown up job and…slightly more time…

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Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo!

So this week I had a spark of insanity…er, inspiration! I’ve decided on my project for this year’s NaNoWriMo!

Time Travelers Cat Cover Small.jpg

Well, what do you guys think??

The synopsis goes something like this, but is subject to change:

The year is 3088. The world has fallen to vermin and disease, cats having been erased from it by a devastating plague. To protect themselves, humanity has encapsulated their cities inside glass bubbles to keep the vermin and diseases out. No one goes beyond the glass walls.

Piper is an astrophycisist. He and his team are trying to find a way to travel faster than the speed of light. The only hope for the remaining population is to escape Earth into the cosmos. One night, while working on his teleportation machine, Piper is involved in an accident. He suddenly finds himself in the year 2023, where there are cats and the internet is obssessed with them!

An unlikely, and occassionaly annoying, partner joins Piper as he struggles to get back to his own time. Mr. Fluffers steals away on Piper’s time-machine. Now the government and secret agencies are after Piper and his lone cat. With his machine confiscated and he and Mr. Fluffers in hiding, Piper must try to get the fuzz-ball back to his own time period to save both their lives.

This is just what I’ve thought about over the last few days. Stories totally have a way of contorting and restructuring themselves as I start to work on them, so this isn’t necessarily the final product. But I think it’s going to be fun!

If you haven’t already, be sure to download your badges for this year’s NaNo, and add me as your writing buddy (cloverfire19)! I’d love to see what everyone is working on this year!!




Daisy is home and is very tired. She had her surgery on Tuesday and, unfortunately, the vet was unable to remove the tumor. It has blood vessels running to it, which makes it a hemorrhage risk. They took a good biopsy and have sent it off to determine what kind of cancer she has and what kind of treatment she will need. We are still asking for support for Daisy’s treatment. If you’d like to make a donation to her care, visit here!

Daisy in Car

Daisy says THANK YOU to everyone for the well-wishes and prayers!

Sorry for the radio silence…

I know I haven’t been consistent the last few weeks with Friday Blog Posts, but this past week was a little bit of an exception.

On Monday we took Daisy, my 8-year-old border collie mix to the vet. She’d been vomiting and not eating, so we thought maybe a stomach bug or infection. The vet spent several hours doing X-rays and bloodwork, only to determine that she didn’t know what was wrong with Daisy. She referred us to a specialist to get an ultrasound.

Daisy 7

On Tuesday, we took Daisy to the specialist, who looked at her X-rays and palpated her abdomen, where she found a tennis ball to baseball sized lump. She wanted to rush Daisy into surgery Tuesday evening to remove the lump and biopsy it and resect her intestines, which is where the lump is sitting, which is why Daisy was vomiting and not hungry. The lump is causing a partial blockage, making it difficult for Daisy to eat.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have $5,000 to give the specialist to do the surgery, so we left, thinking we would go to Texas A&M’s teaching hospital. When Jake, our younger border collie, got sick and had the cyst on his brain stem, TAMU let us set up a payment plan and found research grants and all sorts of stuff to help us. We were prepared to drive two hours with Daisy to College Station, but TAMU didn’t take Care Credit, which we need to use because we don’t have a lot of money. They were willing to do a payment plan, but they needed 40% upfront, which we couldn’t make without the Care Credit.

So, once again, we were back to the drawing board.

While I was lying on the couch having a tearful breakdown, my husband was on the internet, finding ways to find a vet who would work with us. We love Daisy. We would throw any amount of money at a vet, if only we had it to do so.

Fortunately, James found a website called It lists vets in your area who will take payment plans. Yay! There was hope again.

On Wednesday, we took Daisy to a vet across town from us, more than an hour’s drive, because they are accredited and participated in Vet Billing. They were the best we could get, outside of the specialist who wouldn’t give us a payment plan. They looked at Daisy’s X-rays and did an ultrasound and a cytology. The doctor came back with crushing news.

It looks like Daisy’s lump is lymphoma, a type of cancer.

He wanted to send the sample to a pathologist and would have results on Friday. In the meantime, he put her on prescription food to help her eat. Thursday I took her with me to Petco and Petsmart. We had a nice afternoon of driving around, and I cried when I came home because I can’t imagine not having Daisy.

Daisy is special to me. I know a lot of pets are special to a lot of people, but Daisy is special because she was my friend when I didn’t have any friends and was caught in the throes of a bad, borderline abusive, relationship. She went everywhere with me. We did everything together. She was with me while I cried about my life choices. She kept me going and kept me sane and happy.

Daisy 1

Friday couldn’t come quick enough, but it brought worse news. The sample wasn’t lymphoma. It was adenocarcinoma. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, intestinal cancer affects 10% of dogs, with collies being prone to it. Of that 10%, only 17% develop adenocarcinoma. Most dogs with it are male. That means that technically, Daisy had less than 1% chance of having this cancer.

All my wuts. If we could channel this luck into the lottery, we could win a ton of money.

The vet we’re working with is really awesome. He’s been working during not-normal hours, and he has given me his cell to contact him. He’s put a rush on all of Daisy’s results, because he knows cancers like this are aggressive. They metastasize very quickly to other organs. He called me Saturday evening to talk about bringing her in for surgery.

On Saturday, we took Daisy down to Galveston. We decided that if she was going to have surgery soon, we wanted her to have a last, fun day before all of that starts. She had a blast. She chased the birds and went in the water and rolled in the sand. She even played with a tennis ball, which she hasn’t done in a while (she’s pretty lazy!).

She’s scheduled to be dropped off at the vet’s on Monday morning for pre-op testing. Her surgery will be Tuesday, where they will remove the tumor and resect her intestines. They will send it off for a more thorough biopsy, and most likely we will go to an oncologist for further treatments and chemo. She will be able to come home Wednesday evening, after a night of observation.

I really wish that this wasn’t happening, but I’m glad that we caught it. We’re hoping it’s early enough, because by the time they start presenting, they usually have a poor prognosis. I hope that’s not Daisy’s case. She’s not that old. She has many more beach days and dog park days and lazy, lay around the house days ahead of her.

We are asking for donations to help with Daisy’s care. If you’d like to send her money, please go to this link:

I’m making a mug that I will send to everyone who donates $5 or more. Be sure to include your name and mailing address so that Daisy and I can send your thank-you gift!

I will post updates about Daisy on my Facebook page.