Author Name: Cheryl Headford
Book Length 214 Pages
Book Name: Shade’s Champion
Release Date: 18th December 2015
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Cover Art by: Kellie Dennis: Book Covers by Design
Shade has been kept in the dark for eight long years. Now he’s facing a world that terrifies him. A world that seems to hold no place for him.
When the authorities are unable to find a home for Shade, Penny, reluctantly accepts him into the secure school she manages, despite thinking it’s the wrong place for him. Penny fears for his safety among the other troubled children. In an attempt to forestall the disaster she predicts will happen she appoints one of them as his champion.
Dory, an engaging seventeen year old with mental health issues, is proud to be chosen as Shade’s champion and throws his heart and soul into the job. In doing so he is forced to face the thing he fears most – his own emotions.
An unexpected friendship begins to grow into something more, until a spiteful act tears them apart and leaves them broken.
When Dory falls ill, Shade is forced to face his demons and struggles to find the strength and courage he needs to fight for the right to love, and to be there for his champion when he needs him most.
Taken aback, Dory considered the question. “Yes, I like him. I like him a lot. I think he’s a really nice person who had a really shitty thing happen to him that wasn’t his fault. None of it was his fault, but he thinks it was. I know he does. I can see it in his eyes, and he’s scared all the time, scared he’s going to do something wrong and be punished for it, even though he can’t help it because he doesn’t know what else to do.”
Penny frowned. “How do you know that?”
Dorien bowed his head. “Because I can see it in his eyes. Because it’s how I feel, too.”
“How you feel?” Penny sounded really shocked.
Dorien nodded. “I can’t help being the way I am. I’m trying all the time not to be, to be someone else who doesn’t hurt people, who isn’t... dangerous. I’m trying to be normal, but I don’t know how, not really. I don’t know what’s okay to think or feel or do, so I’m always scared I’m doing it wrong.”
“Oh God, Dory. Have you spoken to Dr. Blake about this?”
Dorien shook his head.
“Because you’re afraid she’ll think you’re doing it wrong and will admit you to hospital again?”
“That’s why you were so afraid of having an appointment with her?”
He nodded again.
“Dory, the last thing we want is for you to be too frightened to be yourself. You’ll never get better if you’re always trying to be someone else, someone you think is more acceptable.”
“But I don’t want to hurt anyone,” Dorien burst out. “I’m really scared of hurting someone.”
Meet the Author:
Meet the Author:
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 travelled 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 the Author
I have two copies of the ebook to give away to randomly selected commenters on the Shade’s Champion cover reveal or blog post on my website http://cherylheadford.com/