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COTSE BC Prologue



There once was a woman who wanted a daughter more than anything. For every year that her womb remained barren, she mourned what she could not have. This woman was a queen, surrounded by all the finery and possessions a woman could desire, yet it was not enough. Her devoted husband, in an attempt to please her, showered her with gifts almost daily, hoping to brighten her days and bring her joy. The longer the queen went without children the more miserable she became, until her agony turned into bitterness and bitterness into anger. The queen became spoiled and vain, realizing that her beauty commanded respect, awe, and devotion from others. She was, after all, the most beautiful woman in the kingdom of Fallada.

Despite the darkness slowly growing within, the queen would often walk through the garden surrounding her castle and fantasize about the daughter of her dreams.

“Oh, Enrak,” she would say to her king and husband, “how I wish to have a daughter with skin pearly as the snow upon the ground, lips as red as our lovely roses, and hair black as ebony.”

King Enrak would pull his wife into his loving arms and smile down upon her with indulgence—for he would give Eranna anything she wanted if it were within his power —and say, “She would be the second most beautiful woman in all of Fallada.”

The queen did not have to ask who he thought was the first; that answer was obvious. With the picture of the child she wished for dancing through her mind, the queen grew even more despondent. Tired of watching his wife suffer, King Enrak journeyed into the Delelm Mountains. The icy peaks bordering his wintery region of Mollac were home to the Witches and Sorcerers. While the royals of Fallada often avoided them because of the danger of practicing the dark magic arts, King Enrak was desperate. He would do anything for his beautiful wife.

When he returned from his journey, he brought with him the Witch named Ushma. The humpbacked Witch with gnarled tree branches for limbs promised the king results within a year’s time, and the queen was more than happy to have her despite her hideous appearance and dabbling in black magic.

The Witch took up residence at Semran Hall, the towering castle at the center of Mollac, and cared for the queen for the contracted year. As promised, the queen became pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful child. Just as she wished, the child was born with porcelain skin, cherry red lips, and hair dark as the night. She named her Desdemona, but often referred to the beautiful child as Snowdrop, because of her porcelain skin.

In her heart, the queen was satisfied but still discontent. One beautiful daughter was wonderful, but two … two daughters of unmatched beauty would be the perfect jewels in her crown. She would train them and mold them, perfect little miniature versions of herself that she and the world would admire.

King Enrak, however, was pleased with only one daughter. And so, he sent the hunchbacked Witch back into the mountains with hopes that his wife’s disposition would improve with the new blessing of motherhood. One day, while hunting in the woods, the king happened upon an abandoned baby bassinet, nearly covered by snow drifts. Horrified that someone would abandon a baby out in the harsh, cold climate of Mollac, the king immediately plucked the bassinet from the snow, relieved to find that the child inside of it lived.

The moment he laid eyes on the beautiful child—a girl—he loved her, and promised the screaming babe that no harm would come to her. Miraculously, she had survived in the woods alone, but now Enrak would take her home and Eranna would have her second daughter at last. He carried her back to Semran Hall joyously, in hopes that Eranna would happily accept the child as readily as he had.

She was given the name Jocylene, though there was no pet name for her as the queen could hardly stand to look upon her. Unlike Desdemona, who was a quiet and sullen child, Jocylene was a vibrant soul. Many who served in the castle at the time swore that the babe had to have been born with a smile on her face. However, it was not the child’s disposition that disgusted the queen, but her great beauty.

Hair like mahogany, eyes as green as spring leaves, and golden skin gifted the child with outer beauty that far surpassed that of her mother and sister. The queen hated the child on sight, and wanted nothing to do with her. She and Desdemona snubbed Jocylene and Enrak, each finding delight in the disagreeable company of the other.



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Get a degree, get a job, save adorable foster siblings from the clutches of the evil foster mom …

These are Jocylene Sanders’ top priorities as she enters her sophomore year of college. The last thing she expects is to find herself the champion of an entire kingdom. However, that is just what happens when the mysterious Faerie, Rothatin Longspear, appears to her, tasking her with saving a parallel world full of creatures from her wildest dreams.

Jocylene journeys with him into the world of Fallada, hoping for answers about her birth parents and background. What she finds is a mystifying past, and an even more uncertain future, as her heart becomes entangled with the stoic, battle-hardened Rothatin, as well as Eli, the untroubled Panther Shifter with no loyalties and no home. With her heart and soul pulled in so many directions, can Jocylene find the strength needed to become the savior one nation so desperately needs?
alicia mAbout The Author: Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.



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