I’m excited to be working on my first fantasy/romance trilogy. Developing my own universe has been a great experience! The first installment, The Unlikely Queen, is under way and set for release this month.
Want a sneak peek? I’ll be posting sample chapters here!
The Unlikely Queen
The first war was the bloodiest war with body counts unsurpassed by any war before or after. There were only four factions then. They were great and robust filled with the masters of many species. There was the Faction of Land who controlled the scaled and furry beasts, the Faction of Sky who controlled all who had wings, the Faction of Sea who ordered the ocean and the Faction of Stream who stood fast in control of the rivers, lakes and bayous that speckled the land.
The first war depleted the factions. It took so many, it wiped entire species from the planet. Those who were left tried to rebuild and fortify but they’d lost not only spirit animals and soldiers. They’d lost some of their rulers, too. Who would lead the factions, now? Would the Faction of Sky be ruled by the Crow who carried the dead and horded their baubles? Would it be the Hawk or the Eagle or would the Order of Dove take the throne and work with the other factions to restore peace to the planet? After all, the Doves were the leaders of the sky before the first war. The Great Mother placed them in control due to their penchant for peace.
Each faction felt that it was there turn to rule. Why would any be unworthy? They’d all sacrificed in the first war! They’d lost so much. Didn’t they deserve to be rewarded with the crown?
The infighting wasn’t exclusive to the Faction of the Sky. All of the four factions, it seemed, were experiencing the same fate. This lack of compromise led to the second war. It wasn’t a war of faction against faction. It was a war between brothers that lasted until the Great Mother came down and demanded that the factions divide. She placed only a sprinkling of factions of land, sea, sky, and stream on each continent using the factions of sea to keep the borders secure.
This division gave us the Faction of Crow who kept to the mountain. They needed a place to store their treasures. The Faction of the Dove stayed close to the river banks where the sun gently caressed the lush land ensuring a plentiful harvest. The Faction of Coyote, who were cunning and wise watchers in the woods. The Faction of Frog who traveled from brook to bayou making sure the water was pure, and the Faction of Shark who tirelessly guarded the ocean keeping the other Factions in their place.
“Tell me about my people!” the girl with the snowy dove on her shoulder cried.
“Your people were the most powerful leaders of the Faction of the Sky, Ava. They were born to the Order of the Dove but they ruled the sky so justly that they earned the trust and affection of all things with wings,” Columba told her.
“No more tales for the children tonight, sister. The sun is set and they must rest,” Colm interrupted.
The children pouted and wined but it was Ava who was especially disappointed that story time was cut short. She loved hearing about her family. She wasn’t interested in hearing how powerful they were. She wanted to hear what they looked like; how they moved and what their voices sounded like when they sang to the morning sky. She wanted information that she could use to paint a picture of them in her mind. She’d never met her mother or any of the people in her line. She was longing to know them in some small way so that she could have an identity of her own.
Orphaned in the second war Ava was being raised by the new King and Queen of Doves who had no children of their own. King Jonah and her real father had been great friends before and during both wars. He said it was his duty to see that Ava survived. He and Queen Sephora loved Ava as if she was their own child providing her with the life that they were incapable of giving to their own little prince or princess.
At first, there was concern within the faction. The child didn’t share blood with the King and Queen and therefore, was not royal. What would they do to continue the line after King Jonah’s reign? The King addressed the court and reminded them that though the child was not of his blood, she was the descendant of the greatest King who’d ever reigned. If she were to marry and produce an heir to the throne, this next King would have the bloodline of King Collum and an up bringing provided by King Jonah. Could there be a more worthy King?
“All little birdies get in to your nests!” Calla told the children. “Your mother is waiting young Ava. Do go to your room.”
Ava flit and floated across the hall holding her arms out to imitate wings. She skipped to her room and placed her spirit guide on her perch, then she leaped in to her bed.
“Good night, little dove,” Queen Sephora said, kissing her forehead, “May your dream send you soaring above the clouds on a cool Spring breeze.”
Ava cuddled her pillow and closed her eyes. She envisioned herself soaring as the Queen suggested. She smiled at first feeling the breeze on her skin but it didn’t take long for the sky to darken around her. She tried to drop to a lower altitude but the air was stiff preventing her descent.
It was dark as night now impairing her vision as she hovered, frozen in the sky. She screamed and tried to retract her arm as something brushed against it in the darkness. Then, something else caught her by the hair flipping her body over pulling her backwards in the midnight sky.
“Let me go! I’m the Princess of Doves and the King will have your head!” she cried.
There was a crack in the darkness and sunlight shone through. She peered at the sky above her and realized that the darkness wasn’t darkness at all. The sky beneath her hadn’t gone stiff. She was laying a top a murder of crows. The sky was filled to its tipping point with the birds of black feathers and she’d been swallowed up by their sky party.
The crows began to
disperse leaving her to find her own wings again. She listening to their calls;
caw, caw, caw and then, a booming voice from the sky that said, “You are not
the Princess of Doves. You are the Queen of Crows!”