It sure isn’t easy to focus right now, but I do have a spot of good news to share.
I am very excited today to reveal the cover for Queen of None, my Arthurian fantasy novel coming this fall from Vernacular Books. It certainly captures the darkness and the mystery that are such an important part of Anna’s story, as well as the isolation and ruggedness of her world. I am about to dig into the edits for the book, and I’m quite excited. I’m one of those weirdos who just loves the editorial process, and I’m looking forward to adding the nuances and flourishes that I adore finding during the editorial process.
Below, you’ll also find a little scene that may or may not make it into the final. It’s between Anna and Arthur, right after his coronation following the death of their father.
So! Without further ado…
From Chapter One of Queen of None
Arthur approached me afterward and embraced me so hard I was left breathless. He was weeping after the coronation, though whether over the grief at the recent loss of our father or the emotion over such an experience I did not know. But he took my cheeks with both of his hands and stared at me.
“Let us become ever closer together, Anna. I pray you will only find happiness in the days to come.”
I could not suppress the feeling of dread that those words left me. Arthur did not understand. He was a man; I was a woman. Elaine had warned me. Even though we had the same parentage, he was the heir and I was a shadow. I would be sent off and married off like Elaine. And soon. Happiness was just another word for betrothal. I would be miserable, and Arthur would remain king of all Braetan. The whole kingdom bowing at his feet.
As if he had heard my thoughts, he said, “We will make you a happy match, dearest sister. I promise you. You will want for nothing.”
I hated him for those words, hated him because I could not believe them. And because I loved Carelon and its surrounding fields and forests and I wanted simply to stay. Arthur was always in search of another horizon — another conquest, another battle, another destiny — but I was happy within safe walls, protected and left to wander. I just had no idea how much it meant to me until it was too late.