My guest this week is fellow Bookouture author, Jessica Thorne, who is interviewing Bel from her new fantasy romance ‘The Queen’s Wing’. What a gorgeous cover!
‘I was born to fly,’ I told my brothers. But it isn’t true. I was born to be a pawn in the great game of royal houses, married to someone – anyone – my family deems suitable. If I’m lucky, he’ll be my own age and bearable. If I’m very lucky, he’ll be someone who understands my need to fight, and to fly…
Bel, born to nobility, would do anything to spend her days alongside her brothers – soaring through the heavens in her beloved flyer. She’s faster than any of them, but she knows her days in the skies are numbered.
When a surprise attack on the palace lands Bel’s father on the throne, her life is forever changed. In order to secure her father’s empire, Bel must travel to a distant land to marry the recently widowed young ruler, Conleith.
But Bel’s new home is less than welcoming: compared to the refined ladies at court, Bel seems like a wild woman, and assassination attempts, treason and mystery threaten her at every turn. With a growing attraction to Con, her life is further complicated by the attentive leader of her bodyguards – a warrior called Shae whom she has loved since childhood…
A heart-stoppingly magical new novel that will keep you turning the pages. Perfect for fans of The Selection, Bella Forrest and Sarah J. Maas.
It sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? Let’s find out a bit more about Bel. She’s being interviewed here by Instersellar News:
**interstellar coms established**
Today on Interstellar News, we’re delighted to introduce her royal highness, Princess Belengaria Merryn of Vairian, Duchess of Elveden, Countess of Duneen, the youngest member of the new royal family of the aligned world of Vairian, a world renowned for its military prowess charged with keeping many subjects of the Empress safe in these difficult times. Your Royal Highness, perhaps we could start with a few—
Bel, my name’s Bel. Not… all that other stuff.
Of course, your highness—Bel…. Your family have come through a terrible ordeal to rise in station in this way. How are you coping with that?
My father was never expected to inherit anything more than an empty title and perhaps our family home at Elveden. But the recent tragedy has changed many things.
And your own situation as well.
Yes. I will be making preparations to depart for Anthaeus shortly.
That is such a long journey. But passage on a luxury ship like The Adeline can’t be all bad. And at the far end of this trip, your betrothed—the ruler of Anthaeus—what do you know about him?
To be honest, very little. The Empress herself arranged this match with my late cousin Princess Elyssa in mind. As the ruling family of Vairian it is our honour and duty to comply. Conleith of Anthaeus is the widower of the previous ruler, and everyone speaks very highly about him… I’m sure… it will all be fine.
That doesn’t sound like the most romantic prospect you, your highness.
No, I suppose it doesn’t. But that’s the way it is.
But you’re a young woman. Surely you have aspirations of romance and adventure? I believe you are an excellent pilot.
I… I like to say I was born to fly. Like my mother before me.
Your mother, Yolande Astol, was a famous war hero. Would you have followed her example and joined the Vairian airforce?
All I ever wanted was to command my own Wing. But that seems unlikely now, doesn’t it?
Your parents family defied the King of Vairian to marry. It’s such a romantic story. Is there any handsome Vairian warrior you’re leaving behind?
… No… as you point out I’m newly betrothed to the ruler of Anthaeus. That’s a promise. I doubt they would be thrilled if I turned up with a… a… lover in tow, would they? Now, if we’re done I have many preparations to make. Thank you so much for your time.
Goodness me, yes, thank you so much. Is that your bodyguard? Wow… I mean, that’s a very fine example of Vairian military might. Captain Shae Finn, isn’t it? That’s the main control for the coms, Captain. Do you have any comment to make regarding—
** interstellar coms signal lost**
We seem to have lost signal there for some reason. Let’s read an extract from the book.
A flash of light on metal in the trees below is the only warning I get. I imagine I hear the whine as the weapon charges. I manage to jerk left as the pulse of a plasma rifle turns the air beside my right wing iridescent.
‘Clear!’ I crow, not that they can hear me. ‘You’ll have to be quicker than—’
The whole Wasp bucks beneath me. It feels like being kicked in the chest by a pack mule. The Wasp’s engine whines, gives a splutter and stalls. My flying machine drops from the sky.
I punch the controls, frantically trying to start her up again, turning the engine which only clunks and gutters painfully. There’s precious little gliding in a Wasp but I manage to get the machine under control before it goes into a full spin.
It’s like trying to fly a brick.
Further weapons fire lights up the air behind me. I keep the Wasp steady, tracking the ground ahead for the safest place to put down. All trees. This isn’t going to be easy. Or in any way pretty.
Transmit position – the instructions drilled into my memory replay now, my mother’s voice, calm and reassuring, persistent. Transmit position in an emergency just as fast as you can. Get the Wasp down in one piece. Take the survival pack and weapons and get clear in case of an explosion.
Training takes over. It’s effortless. I move before I think.
‘Base, come in, this is Bel. I’m going down. Repeat, going down. Co-ordinates—’
Zander’s voice cuts me off. ‘Negative!’ he yells. ‘It’s an open channel.
Negative on the co-ordinates. Over.’
What? This is madness. I’m crashing, Zander. I’m going to die.
‘Under attack!’ I protest, my voice tight. ‘Wasp is dead. Over.’
‘You know what to do! We’ll come for you. Repeat, we’ll—’
The impact with the canopy shakes the whole ship and throws me upwards. I hit the roof hard and slam down again, tumbling with the Wasp, crashing through branches, the screams of torn canvas, metal and wood drowning out my own, deafening me. My head slams into the controls and the sudden pain is blinding. With an almighty, bone shaking crash, we land, my broken Wasp and I, and all is horribly still.
The radio hisses. Something has done for it. My vision blurs as I try to look around. I blink furiously to clear it. As I attempt to move, icy pain shoots through my shoulder and my stomach heaves. Damn it, I’m hurt. And concussed, probably. And my Wasp is in bits.
I can’t think about this now. I’m a sitting duck. I have to get out.
It hurts so much that twice I think I’m going to pass out. But I push myself out of the Wasp and tumble onto the forest floor.
My goggles are cracked but the world of the shattered Wasp seems even worse when I push them out of the way and drop them. There’s blood on them too. Don’t think about it. Not now. Keep moving. But my face throbs and there’s sticky stuff covering the side of my head… more blood…
Survival gear, my training tells me adamantly, forcing me to ignore pain and damage. They don’t matter. Only one thing does. Getting out of this alive.
Oh, and weapons. Yes, weapons too.
Weapons are terribly important when anyone is trying to kill you.
A laugh bubbles up in my throat, born more from panic than humour. Is this shock? Feels like shock.
I roll out on to the churned earth and then reach inside the broken machine, feeling around for both the slim pack of supplies and my rapier. The pistol at my side is loaded at least, but I have no extra charge packs.
It’ll have to be enough. It’s all I have.
Wow! What an exciting extract. If you want to follow Bel’s adventures, The Queen’s Wing is available in ebook, print and audiobook format from:
What readers are saying:
‘WOW WOW WOW, what an incredible debut… a gripping tale full of action, romance, strategy and finding the strength within… a fantastically written heroine and I was besotted with her and her story from the first chapter.’ Esotericerlixir, 5 stars
‘I am in love with this world… kept me hooked and gripping my tablet for 4 straight hours… Battle and war, love and loss, fear and fire and triumph and loyalty… this book has something for everyone.’ Evanescent Flames Books, 5 stars
‘This books is awesome… it’s that kind of book you wish you could erase from your memory so you can read it again and again… so so epic!!’ Rach’s Books
Jessica Thorne watched far too much sci-fi and read far too much fantasy at an impressionable age. And it was awesome. She writes fantasy and sci-fi romance with a steampunk edge and just refuses to face reality.
Thanks so much for dropping by to tell us about Bel, Jessica. Wishing you many sales of your book!
When Saffy’s sister called to say she was stuck abroad with no hope of getting home to run her usual ‘singles Christmas lunch’, Saffy knew she would have to abandon her plans for wild festive parties in the city and head down to remote Cornwall to save the day. But family parties are so not her thing and both her sister Hannah and sexy single dad Logan seems certain she’ll never manage. Can she prove them wrong? Now available in print and as an ebook: