Palace of Sunderland. Paradise to the peasants. Prison to sixteen-year-old Anna, daughter of the king. She can never escape the castle’s cold walls and scorning disapproval of her father and his brute royal counsel, Seamus. She’ll always live in the shadow of her late mother the queen. Will they ever see her for who she really is?
A riding accident lands Anna in the hands of traders who sell her as a slave in distant Kasdod to none-other than her father’s enemy, Lord Anwar. After overhearing a dangerous plot to conquer Sunderland and kill the royal family, Anna must escape and warn her father, even if it means facing her greatest enemy.
With the doom looming over her, Anna is approached by a dangerous-looking man in the dark. He claims to want to help her, but can she trust him with her secrets? The perils of the journey ahead will push Anna to the limit and answer the one question that has always plagued her. Will she ever be enough?
Targeted Age Group:: Upper Middle Grade and YA
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 2 – PG
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I grew up loving The Chronicles of Narnia and many other books, including The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. I loved how stories can inspire and teach life lessons through the adventures of others. Escaping into fantasy worlds was a favorite summer past time growing up, and Sunderland seemed to just always be in the back of my mind.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Developing my main character, Anna, was a process. I always loved fairy tales, and this story began as a compilation of a fairy tale and the story of Joseph in the Bible who was sold as a slave by his jealous brothers. Anna's story changed a lot along the way and is still developing in books two and three. Jack was inspired somewhat by Aragorn from Lord of the Rings. I always love a reluctant hero!
The door burst open.
An arrow released.
The hand lost its grip on her tongue as its owner fell to the floor. An instant later, the other man fell, clutching an arrow piercing his chest. Anna would have fallen as well if strong arms hadn’t caught her and tossed her over his shoulder. He ran.
He tore down the stairs, taking them two at a time. Anna’s sore head hit his back on every step and jolt. He sprinted to the stables. Finally he reached his horse and plopped her on the ground, breathing hard. He threw the saddle on and yelled, “Can you ride?”
“Yes, yes,” Anna choked out. She hoped he was the man who had asked for water, but she hardly cared. Her heart pulsed adrenaline through her body.
He mounted and pulled her up easily behind him. The horse charged out the stable door.
“Duck!” he yelled as the doorframe zipped over their heads. Anna whipped her neck around to see men with swords yelling and running in their direction. An arrow whizzed by her arm.
“Go, go!” she yelled. “They’re coming!”
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