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Unravelled

Jaline's world is in upheaval. Her beloved grandmother has taken her own life and left her the unmanageable task of ruling Kalad, a land in turmoil and dissension. On top of all this, she's expected to take a husband. Factions send their candidates to vie for her hand, and each one is worse than the last. Everything unravels when the palace is attacked. Jaline is swept away, going into hiding. How will she bring order to the chaos, figure out why her grandmother took such drastic action, and find someone to love?

Join Rebecca on a journey to build this magic and love filled story and help her get it right with your opinions and feedback. https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/52019298-unravelled

My Primary Audience: This work is gear toward adult women who love fantasy otherworlds. Think of the works of Patricia McKillip, Jacqueline Carey or Patricia Briggs. They particularly enjoy romantic subplots.

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First Chapter:

Long past bored, Jaline, Queen of Kalad tried hard not to yawn as yet another young and beautiful man was brought before her.

The caller announced his name while the man waited to present himself. Jaline leaned back in the magnificent chair she sat in, wishing it had been as well padded as it had been decorated. She knew that the effect of her heavily jewelled and embroidered gown, sitting on that chair, made her an impressive sight. She just wished she felt the part.

“Lord Darvan Saktir,” the caller began. Jaline tuned out as he rambled on about his various familial lines, properties and titles, honours bestowed and so on. He was prettier than most she’s seen thus far. His was tall too, a quality she approved of, for she, with her mixed heritage, was taller than most Hilliri women.

The man bowed low, averting his amber eyes. Jaline liked that. The arrogant ones always tried to stare her down. “Greetings from the Paracha Guild, your Majesty, and from my father and family in the North.”

Pretty words. They did little for Jaline, but she knew that manners were an obligation in court, and she approved of their judicious use in the appropriate context.

“You may approach, Lord Darvan.” She would have called him Lord Saktir, but that was his father’s title until such time as it became his. Heirs had a long time to wait among the Hilliri, for their lives were counted in the many hundreds, even thousands, of years.
He took the steps slowly, as if savouring the experience of being among the highest ranking members of the land. Jaline smiled as she showed him a simple chair placed one wide step lower than her own. He sat, looking around for a moment at his audience. The men and ladies of the court always wore their finest on such occasions, and the spectacle was impressive, even for Jaline, having lived in the palace all her adult life.

That brief thought triggered a memory of her first time in this room, which in turn brought forth an image of her grandmother. Jaline’s emotions ran amok. It was only a few months since Leander Horatius, her Captain of the Guard had found Queen Liriel dead. All evidence indicated it was done by her own hand. As Jaline’s eyes filled with water, she looked away for a moment, forcing herself to drive away the feels that threatened her calm. She still couldn’t believe her grandmother had taken her own life. Something else must have caused her death and made it all look conveniently self inflicted. There were things that didn’t fit with that explanation. Jaline resolved, yet again, to find out what really happened.

“Your Majesty, are you alright?” Her suitor furrowed his white brows in concern. She dismissed the question with a wave of her gloved hand.

“For a moment, I recalled my grandmother and was sad.” Sometimes, Jaline thought, it was better to speak the truth, or something close to it. There were already too many lies in court. She would not add to them if she didn’t have to.

“It was a great misfortune for the Kingdom and for your family.” It was kind of him to say so. She decided she liked this man just a little.

“Tell me about your home, my lord. What pleasures do you dream of when you are far from it?”

Darvan smiled. “Mostly I miss the horses.”

It was Jaline’s turn to smile. She liked horses too, and riding them. “And the Paracha Guild, how do you find your work?” She knew he was stationed here in the city, and held a high position, at least high for someone of his limited years.

“I enjoy training the new recruits, your Majesty, and seeing them learn and improve. It’s very satisfying work.”

The Paracha Guild trained soldiers in the art of war. While the thought was distasteful to her, she recognized the importance of being able to defend one’s country from enemies. Jaline had never studied any of the arts, never having displayed a talent worthy of exploiting, but others in her family had. Her father was a noted Marulan healer, who attracted students from all of the three Kingdoms to his back-water home in Castillon. Her grandmother, Queen Liriel had once been a powerful Marulan as well, though the demands of her position had required her to leave this work behind. No matter how well her face was covered with a silver veil, it would not be seemly for the Queen to be healing the common folk of their ailments.

In addition to this description, I updated my wattpad banner to this:

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I also set up my website banner (www.rebeccasimkin.com) to look like this: 

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Note the floral theme and the pinks and purples. I thought I would carry these elements through the covers and on social media as well. 

Here's twitter:

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And here's Facebook:

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