An Invitation to the World of the Awakened
Where the magic is in the meeting of those who should never be friends…
Imagine a world thousands of years in the future, where the Lord has tarried in His return…
A world where a great cataclysm has struck,
sending a portion of the population beneath the sea
in search of safety. Imagine a people who learned
to thrive and survive beneath the waves.
They are still men. But they are also mer.
And they will not be dictated to by land-dwellers.
Imagine a world that cried out to God for help…and He answered.
A gift from God…combined with the technology of men.
“Magic,” they call it, knowing it is truly
science and faith combined.
But it doesn’t show up just anywhere.
Magic only comes in the meeting.
The meeting of worlds,
where enemies find a way to become friends.
And magic must be Awakened.
Awakened by the blood of another with this Gift.
In that world, King Seidon rules the tidal kingdom of Daryatla. He is the latest–and perhaps last–in a line of powerful half-mer rulers whose “magic” helps him control water, especially the sea. He is the strongest monarch since the days of the evil first Sea King, who tried to subjugate the mer. Seidon is a man of faith and conviction, and during his 200 years of rule, he has grown his power more and more, so that he can bring prosperity to lands all up and down the continent and extending ever farther inland.
He brings rain when it is needed, holds it off when it would flood. He calms storms and keeps the rivers in their courses, keeps a hand on the tides and can change them at will. It is a dangerous power–but one that he knows is kept in check by the Lord. If ever the Triada’s favor is revoked, all his people will know it. The Waters of Mercy won’t surge their blessing in the great cathedral, and his power will be given to whoever arises as worthy of it. He must seek God above all, always.
The stronger he grows, the longer his life stretches out before him…but Seidon is alone. His friends age and die while he grows only younger. And never, in all his years, has he been able to find the thing he craves most: a family, children to raise to take his place.
And now, the mer kingdom off his shores is in uproar…
and war is looming for them all.
Arden never expected to be called upon to help her kingdom.
She still remembers the lonely years, when her father, Guardian of the Barrier Banks–one of the king’s most trusted men–waited for her mother to come back and prove herself alive. She’d said she was dying and must return to her people before she did…but Arden doesn’t even remember her mother. She only remembers the haunted look in her father’s eyes, and how it all changed when he finally admitted his first wife was gone forever, fell in love with Sapphire, and married her, giving Arden a little sister and a best friend–Jade.
Jericho Bleu, Guardian of the Barrier Banks
Sapphire Bleu, Artist
They were inseparable as children, they’re inseparable still as adults, even though Jade is so beautiful that it surely means magic waits in her veins to be Awakened. Arden has always known Jade is special–so special that one of the Great Golden Sea Hawks circles them every day, and has ever since the day Jade was born. Arden doesn’t even know what her own dreams are, only that she can’t imagine what she’ll do when Jade leaves. After their Awakening ceremony, she’ll surely be swept into service by the king, or she’ll chase her dreams into a position as ambassador to the mer…and Arden will no doubt still be here. On her father’s island. Alone, always the outcast. It’s enough to make her hate the king she’s never met, who has been away from his capital city all her life.
But then the unthinkable happens.
Jade is kidnapped by the mer.
And not just any mer…
it seems the mysterious Black Tails have returned.
And where there are Black Tails, there is war between mer and men.
Arden will do anything to save her stepsister, even appeal to the king she hoped never to meet, the king who could have taken her father from her at any moment, the king who would surely have seen Jade’s potential too and called her into service. With her cousin, Storm, who her father has been training to be a member of the king’s Elite Guard–and who is in love with Jade–she goes to the palace to make her appeal, on the day of the biggest celebration Daryatla has seen in a century:
The king’s 275th birthday and 200th coronation anniversary ball–The Blue Ball.
Together, Arden and Storm beseech King Seidon for his aid.
But Seidon knows that more than the fate of one of his oldest friends’ stepdaughters is at stake. He knows that the mer would not have kidnapped Jade unless they thought she possessed strong magic.
Storm Bleu, Guardian in Training
Magic like he sensed in the water when she was taken. Magic that may just be strong enough to match his own.
Magic that could finally make a way for a future for Daryatla…if only he can rescue her from the mer.
Beneath the waves, Jade finds a kingdom on the brink of revolution.
Her kidnappers, the elusive Black Tails, are fighting for their very survival. When the Crown Princess ascends to the throne in a few months, she has sworn to kill all other Awakened, thinking it will strengthen her own power enough to challenge Seidon. But her siblings, cousins, and the other magical mer aren’t about to give up without a fight.
Prince Finn Sael
Prince Finn is the leader of the rebellion, but he knows that alone, and even with the help of his comrades, may not be strong enough to defeat his sister once she holds the power of the crown. So when his cousin, a priest of the One, tells him a prophecy foretells someone with Sky Magic, and that he thinks he’s found her, Finn agrees to kidnap Jade…and secure her powers for his purposes.
Electra is none too pleased with the plan, but she goes along because Finn is her best hope of survival. When she’s charged with training Jade, though, Jade isn’t sure if she is an ally…or the most dangerous enemy.
Electra, Black Tail Warrior
Librus, Priest of the One
Electra’s brother, Librus, the priest advising Finn, takes Jade under his wing…and reveals to her a magic no one on land knows. A magic that could well challenge Seidon and threaten everyone she loves. A magic she can’t convince him she doesn’t share, no matter how she tries.
What neither Arden nor Seidon could know is that more than Jade is waiting to be found.
Jade’s guardian hawk soon swoops down to help in the search, but even that isn’t the biggest surprise. What neither king nor guardian’s daughter could have expected was the quick connection they find in each other. No one ever took the time to know Arden at all, as long as she was in Jade’s shadow…and no one looks beyond the king to see the man beneath the fearsome powers and strength of the crown.
Ora, the Great Golden Sea Hawk
But in order to save Jade and all of Daryatla, they’ll have to be willing to sacrifice everything…and be willing to trust God to do the impossible.
The Tidal Palace
If you’ve read this far, then you may be interested in exploring new worlds with me–or rather, a vision of what our own world could become if God so ordained it. A world in which the hearts of His people must still seek Him, and seek unity with each other, to unlock our true potential. A world of romance and royalty, mermaids and giant sea birds, rivalries and friendships in unexpected places.
This is a story that has nourished my mind and heart and spirit over the last few months as I’ve developed it…but obviously a far cry from my usual historical romances. Oh, there’s still much the same–deep characters, swoon-worthy heroes, heart-racing romance, and an invitation to look deep into your own heart and soul. But this time, it’s on a backdrop of my own making, a future earth, instead of a world of centuries past. (Don’t worry though, historical romance fans! I’m still writing that too!)
I don’t want to bore my historical romance readers with news and updates of this story if you’re NOT interested in joining me on this adventure as it unfolds…but I definitely DO want to invite along anyone who thinks this story world sounds like a place they’d like to spend some time. I envision it eventually unfolding as a series, exploring the various regions of this new version of the world and what this God-given “magic” looks like in different kingdoms. First though, of course, is this book. I’m about halfway through the first draft.
In the next several months, I want to call upon YOU, you readers who are interested in joining me here, to help me decide on a title, on the cover, and so on. I’ll share images like the ones I’ve created (with AI) for this post, bits and pieces as I write, and what my plans are as they develop. I want to make sure the story I’m telling is one you want to hear. So if you’re interested in being part of my new core of royal fantasy readers, please let me know!