Have you ever wondered what happened before a story begins? I am releasing a number of novellas that tell the story before the story. The first one is the very beginning and tells how the parents of Carthinal, in The Wolves of Vimar Series met and fell in love.
This novella is now released and can be bought from Amazon. It is available in ebook format and paperback (including pocket book and large print).
Click the book cover to go to Amazon where you are.
Here’s the blurb.
At sixteen years of age, Jovinda is to be presented to the Royal Family. She fantasizes about catching the eye of Prince Gerim and becoming Queen, but her fantasies evaporate when she meets a young elf called Noli.
The pair fall in love, but parental opposition, mainly because of their different lifespans, leads them to meet in secret, despite warnings of severe repercussions from Jovinda’s family.
But can the young lovers overcome the opposition of their parents?
And to whet your appetite, here is an excerpt from the book.
Jovinda is attending her first ever ball and banquet at the royal palace in Aspirilla. She is to be presented to the King and his family, and she is very excited about meeting the Crown Prince, who is almost the same age as her. She has dreams of romance.
Jovinda and her parents stood at the top of the stairs leading down to the reception room in the Palace. Jovinda scanned the room looking for Prince Gerim. The prince was not quite sixteen, but would be at such an important banquet as the heir to the throne. She frowned slightly as she noticed a young elf watching her as she descended the stairs.
Ellire had decided the best style for her dress for the banquet would be, not like the elaborate dresses they saw hanging in Madame Frimb’s workroom, but a simple style.
Jovinda saw the green velvet fabric and fell in love with the colour. Ellire agreed it would look good on her, and then went to discuss a style with Madame Frimb. The dress she now wore had a high neckline with small pearl buttons sewn around it. The buttons continued down the centre of the otherwise plain bodice with sleeves that stopped at her elbow. They also had pearl buttons around the cuffs. The skirt flared from her waist giving room for her feet to move when dancing, and more pearl buttons graced the hem. She wore small pearl drops in her ears and a white orchid in her hair.
The family walked down the stairs as a butler announced them. Jovinda stared around. The stairs descended from the balcony where they had entered, and flared out towards the bottom. A red carpet ran down the centre. Large floor to ceiling windows to her right opened onto the Palace gardens, and doors carved with vines and fruits stood open on the opposite side. Torches in sconces lit the room, and glinted on the gold-leaf that covered the cornice. More gold covered a few chairs scattered around for those unable to stand for long, and at the opposite end of the room was a dais with two thrones, again, covered in gold leaf.
A waiter brought a tray of drinks. Jovinda took a glass of Perimo, a sparkling wine from the islands, as she chatted with many of her parents’ friends and acquaintances, feeling very grown up.
Suddenly, a horn sounded. Everyone stopped talking and looked towards the stairs. The Royal Family entered and made their way through the crowd to the dais. As they passed, people bowed their heads or curtseyed. Once the King and Queen settled onto their thrones, the butler announced the first of the young people to be presented.
As it was her first social occasion, Jovinda was one of those young people.
When the butler called her name, she looked at her father who mouthed “Go on, Jo”.
Her mother gave her a little push to start her on her way.
She took a deep breath to try to calm her racing heart, and ascended the dais where she curtseyed to the King and Queen.
The King smiled and his eyes twinkled. “We are delighted to meet you, Jovinda. Enjoy the occasion. There’s nothing quite like your first ball.”
Then she moved on. Prince Gerim smiled at her and shook her hand.
“Pleased to meet you, Miss Jovinda.”
Jovinda curtseyed. He’s quite good-looking. I wonder if I can attract his attention? He may even ask me to dance. I wonder what kind of girls he likes?
The call came for everyone to go into the banqueting hall and be seated. Jovinda was surprised to be seated well away from her parents. She found herself sitting between a young man she knew, whose father was the head of the leatherworkers’ guild, and a handsome young elf—the very same elf she had seen watching her as she descended the stairs. She drew her eyebrows together.
The elf turned to her and asked her name.
“Jovinda. What’s yours?”
He laughed. “I doubt you’d be able to pronounce it.” His smile lit up his deep blue eyes.
“Well, it’s Nolimissalloran, but you can call me Noli. All my friends do.”
Jovinda looked at the elf. He’s very handsome.
His extraordinary eyes fascinated her. They were slanting, like those of all elves, but it was their colour that attracted her attention. They were a deep blue. Much deeper than any eyes she had ever seen before. She no longer felt an interest in capturing the attention of Prince Gerim.
After the banquet, the king announced that the ball would commence in thirty minutes in the ballroom. Everyone left the tables and stood around in groups talking.
As they passed through the double doors, Jovinda’s mouth fell open. She would have stopped in her tracks if Noli had not been urging her forward.
When the music began, people started to move toward it. Noli held out his arm to Jovinda, beating the young man who had sat on her other side at the banquet. She took it, blushing, and the pair strolled into the ballroom.
The chandeliers hanging from the ceiling cast dancing lights around the room as the candles flickered in the currents of air. Everywhere she looked she saw gold leaf. On the carving on the dais, on the thrones for the king and queen, on the urns in niches on the walls.
A delicate blue paint covered the walls,on which were painted scenes of dancing couples, The ceiling was painted a deeper blue with stars covering it.
The quartet on the raised dais was playing a jolly tune and people were beginning to drift onto the dance floor.
“May I have this first dance?” Noli bowed to Jovinda. She nodded her assent.
He swept her into his arms and whirled her around the floor. Noli was an excellent dancer and she found herself dancing better than she had ever done before. He was so easy to follow.
After the dance Noli escorted her to a seat at a small table occupied by her parents. They were sitting with Salor and her parents. He bowed and drifted off towards a group of elves.
Jovinda watched him go. He bowed to one of the young female elves and escorted her onto the dance floor.
“Jo.” It was her mother speaking. “Jo, Krombo is asking you to dance. What’s wrong with you?”
“Oh! Sorry, Krombo.” She rose and they joined the dancing couples.
A constant stream of young men came to dance with Jovinda. Some danced well, but some were clumsy. None danced as well as Noli. She kept looking around to see with whom the young elf was dancing.
Does he like her better than he likes me?
This thought ran through her head over and over again whenever Noli danced with another young woman. All thoughts of the Prince fled as she watched the handsome elf.
He asked her to dance again before leaving her once more to dance with others. But he danced with her more than anyone else, and danced the last dance with her.
All too soon the evening ended and Jovinda and her parents took a carriage back to The Swan in Flight. They were leaving the next morning for the ferry back to Bluehaven. Jovinda found herself hoping she would see Noli again. After all, if he stayed with the delegation, then he would be based in Bluehaven. She smiled.
“What are you grinning at?” her father asked her.
“Oh, nothing. Only that I had a really good time this evening.”
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