The Ultimate Test Drive


Okay y’all, I’m taking the plunge and showing you the OFFICIAL first two pages of my novel (subject to minor edits). Pretend you have NEVER seen this before and you’re completely new to my novel, “The Redemption of Velaria.” (if you are new, welcome to my insanity 🙂 )

Okay, so you just picked up this book from Barnes and Noble (or purchased it for your Nook or Kindle or other reading device). The description caught your attention but you’ve never heard of the author and you’re a little skeptical about how this book is going to go. It sounds great, but you spent $7.99 on this book and you would be pretty annoyed if it turned out to be crap. You take a deep breath, crack open the front cover, relish that lovely new book smell, and find page 1…

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Chapter 1

 

“Papa, no! Don’t drink more medicine, please! It hurts you!”

“It does not hurt me, dear.”

“But it does, Papa. Don’t you know? It drives you mad!”

“I must take it, Ardith. If I don’t, I shall die.”

It was a cloudy morning in spring when I had that conversation—my last rational conversation with my father, King Sarle of Ethiria. It was my twelfth birthday, and the only thing I wanted was a happy day with my family. When I saw my father bring the small potion bottle up to his lips at the breakfast table, I knew it was not going to be a good day.

The potion had been given to him a year before by King Callagan under the guise of being a cure for a common cold. It was actually an addictive substance that forced him to drink it in order to live, and after the fact, people realized that the potion was given in revenge—my older sister was the one who had rejected Callagan’s proposal and married the prince, now king, of Cromany. The worst part of the potion was that it drove Father out of his mind. His actions became more and more erratic, and on my 12th birthday his potion caused him to start acting murderous toward my mother and me. He didn’t even know who I was.

Mother knew that to keep me at the palace any longer would prove too dangerous, so she took me and just ran, not knowing or caring where she was going just as long as we were getting away from him. Father sent his soldiers after us and they chased us into Velaria, Land of the Cursed—the realm of the king who had poisoned my father. Once we crossed the border, we couldn’t leave—and had nowhere to go, anyway— so my mother and I started living undercover as the “Pleasantbearings” in the small village of Upsand. No one knew who we were, they only knew that we were fairies and that my mother was so kind she would help people with anything they asked.

I went to school with the humans because my mother said I needed to try to “fit in.” She said it wouldn’t be forever, just until Father was cured or… well, I knew the alternative. Four years went by, and living under King Callagan’s demands was hard—especially for my mother, because on top of meeting her sewing quota every day, she also had to sew things to sell to the villagers for food. The good thing was that Mother’s clothing sold like hot buns in a bakery and for decently high prices, because they had something woven into them that everybody wanted—magic.

If a lady came to my mother with a request for a dress that made her figure look perfect, Mother could do it, no matter how unshapely the customer actually was. Mother could also make hats for people that had gone bald that would grow their hair back. She could make stockings for people’s feet that relieved their pain and healed their sores. She could do anything, and everyone loved her work.

Fairies come from parents, just like humans do. When fairy children turn sixteen, their wings grow in and they become a “full fairy.” Fairy children can perform small acts of magic, and if you ever want to become a full fairy, you have to perform at least one act of magic as a child. My best friend, Julius Poliver, is seventeen but he doesn’t have his wings because his family and he are against the use of magic. He still could use his fairy child magic if he wanted to, but it will dwindle and die off as the years go by until eventually he’s just like a Velarian—incapable of producing magic.

Julius still lives in Ethiria on his family’s farm—a property about two miles east of our palace—with his little brother Eliot, whom we all call “Eli.” Eli is ten years old and very shy. He likes to keep to himself—but if you win his trust, he’ll be your friend forever. The two of them live by themselves because their parents died two years ago in a bear attack. Julius is so strong; he never cries about it in front of Eli and has devoted his entire life to taking care of him and the farm. I think I cried about it more than he ever did while I was reading his letters.

I love both of them—Eli like a little brother, Julius… well, that’s complicated. I love him as a friend and think I may also be in love with him, but as far as I know he still sees me as a sister. We kissed once when I was eight and he was nine, but that was because we were dared to and he hated it, so I would never ask him to do it again. Besides, why would the most attractive young man in the kingdom want someone like me?

I have never considered myself very pretty. Most people would expect a fairy to be beautiful, especially a fairy princess, but my hair is as straight and brown as mouse fur, my eyelashes are short, my nose is slightly crooked, and my skin is so white it’s almost colorless. My only physical triumphs are my shapely lips and my straight teeth. I should also mention that I’m insufferably skinny… as in, little boy skinny. Starved kitten skinny. I could eat five four-tiered cakes a day and stay the same size.

My life is not ordinary, but nothing exciting or inspiring either. It wasn’t until my sixteenth birthday that things began to change.

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So… thoughts? Questions? Suggestions? Please post/like/do your thang 🙂 Thank you readers and followers from all over the planet!! I am so honored to write for you!
~N.L.
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