Publication date: November 7th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Who makes YOUR choices?
“I was once the type of person who was impressed by starlight; the type of person who would dance beneath glass ceilings and let the world swim in its loveliness. The sky reminds me of the parties we used to throw – parties like the one last night. The memories bring back the trill of harps and endless ripples of satisfied laughter. Now, though, when I try to recall what I felt, all I hear is screaming.”
In a world ravaged by war and oppressive forces of evil, a princess must fight to claim her bloodright and save her people.
When the princess, Alondra, falls for the beautiful, blue eyes of a hooded stranger, it awakens in her a taste for freedom and an escape from her duty.
But her parents have other plans; they have a kingdom to protect and Alondra must marry to ensure the peace between nations. Only what happens when your parents choose a cold-hearted assassin as your betrothed?
As lies, illusions, and long hidden vendettas surface, the princess has to confront a very secret history. One that makes her realize that she not only risks losing her liberty, but also everything she has known and loved.
Curiosity echoes through the room. No one goes to Challar. We live in a world that does not need history books; stories that we need to know are preserved through the bards and everything else… Well, some things are better left in the past. I know there is much of Anara that has been kept from me, but I always believed my parents and elders when they said the past was buried to save us. Now, though, I feel like a marionette, and I want to know who’s holding the strings.
“Something’s bothering me,” I tell Seamus. “I can’t explain it, and please don’t ask. But I want to go to see if I can get some questions answered. I planned on going without telling anyone and being back for dinner. Still,” I pause, “I would be happy to have your company.”
“Sure,” he says. The truce is unspoken, but it’s there. As he said yesterday, I cannot fight my destiny; now at least I have someone to go alongside me.
“Thank you. I’m sorry I can’t say more, but I hope you take comfort in knowing that my asking is…”
He nods. “I understand. Actually, there was something I wanted to say to you before you left, and I suppose now is as good a time as any. You see, Alondra, I… Well, I know that this is challenging for you. I know that our parents strive to think for the future, to establish an alliance that will better both of our kingdoms and Anara as a whole. However, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Seamus,” I start, but he brushes his fingers across my lips and continues.
“I never anticipated that you would love me, but I don’t want to be hated. Not by my wife. I see the way you look at me. I see what you see, and I know what I am. I am prepared to offer you a choice, Alondra. After you depart Demoria, I will not contact you until we return to your kingdom for the engagement ball. When I return to Kooram, I ask that you tell me how you feel then. If you still feel that our marriage would never be more than a punishment, I will publicly ask for a dissolution of the agreement.”
“Your kingdom will blame me,” I argue.
“Although I am an assassin, Alondra, I am also a prince. I know how to affect change with words as well as with a blade.”
I want to reply, to say something, even though I don’t know what words would bubble to the surface. Choices swim in my mind and I try to pull the threads of them apart to see the future lying at the end of each. As I contemplate, Seamus leans over. He gets closer and I realize he is going to kiss me. I don’t have time to decide if that’s okay before a scream rings out from the party below.
As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved Young Adult literature and ‘Dust’, an epic fantasy novel where romance blends with the blood and grit of war, is her second official foray into YA, following the gamer geek romantic comedy, ‘Backward Compatible’. Most of Sarah’s work is about teens and college students, as it’s what she knows well.
Sarah’s passion in life is writing – weaving tales of magic and beauty. The modern and vast social networking world is an alternative universe that she makes infrequent trips to, but when she does, readers will find her attentive, friendly and happy to discuss the magic of stories and reading. Please stop by and say hello anywhere Sarah is online! You can find these places at http://sarahdaltry.com
Sarah has moved back and forth between independent and traditional publishing. Her first novel, ‘Bitter Fruits’, is with Escape, an imprint of Harlequin Australia, and she signed with Little Bird Publishing in the spring of 2014.
Sarah has also written ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,’ a reimagining of one of her favorite poems in a contemporary setting.
She is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer and sarcastic nerd.