Monday, 21 October 2013

Daughter of Oreveille (Tricia Ballad) in One Thousand Words

Daughter of Oreveille by Tricia Ballad is today's feature on One Thousand Worlds.

Daughter of Oreveille-

Brianna will inherit everything - if she can play by the rules.

Instead she rejects yet another fine noble of the Faelands in favor of a half-Fae commoner. 

The House of Oreveille has been without a Defender since her father’s death in the jotnar wars. Her mother’s drunkard second husband has neglected his duties; the estate has fallen into decay and rumors are flying that the grand house of Oreveille, protector of the border between Gaia and the Faeland for thousands of years, may soon fall.

How much will Brianna be forced to sacrifice to protect the life – and the man – she has chosen? 

About the author-

Tricia Ballad started making up stories as soon as she was old enough to talk, and began writing them down soon after.

When she could not find a story to fit her mood, she wrote one. And in one way or another, she’s been writing ever since.

After spending most of her childhood cavorting with words when she should have been learning algebra, she came up for air in college, did her fair share of stupid things, met the love of her life, and managed to graduate with a degree in creative writing. 

Tricia spent the next decade in a haze of sleep deprivation and diapers. When she finally remembered how to sleep again, she returned to writing stories. Her debut novel, Daughter of Oreveille, was released in August 2013.

Tricia lives in Illinois with her husband, four children, and assorted other creatures. She is fairly certain there is a family of coffee-stealing gnomes hiding in the walls.

Chapter One

May 1649. Isle of Oreveille, Faeland Sea.

Brianna walked silently through the grove of banana trees. Their wide, flat leaves offered welcome relief from the afternoon sun. She absent-mindedly fingered the moonstone that swayed from a delicate golden chain at her throat. Communing with her chosen elements of Earth and Air helped tune out the incessant droning of her companion. 
“It really is a beautiful estate, Mademoiselle Oreveille. But surely you can see how neglected it will become once your father retires. An island such as yours requires constant care,” Alston clearly mistook her silence for agreement.
“Stepfather,” Brianna murmured, coming out of her trance before she gave into the temptation to float away like one of the thousands of fuchsia blossoms that had drifted down from the trees to litter the ground beneath her feet. 
“A little hot to be out walking,” A lighter male voice filtered through her consciousness, still clouded from her too-short time within the elements. She opened her eyes and saw Gabriel pruning the trees. His deep black eyes contrasted sharply with his sandy brown hair and weathered skin. Those eyes never let her forget that he was of Fae blood, despite his human mother. Brianna smiled, remembering the many long, happy childhood hours she and Gabriel spent climbing these old trees, and she envied him now as he sat amongst the limbs while she was forced to walk the lane with this arrogant son of a... 
“You dare speak so to the Daughter of Oreveille?” Alston Feurlet sneered. “Get back to work, before the overseer has you flogged!” He raised his head taller and walked down the path. “Brianna, this is exactly what I was telling you about. Even the servants have begun to disrespect the authority of your House!”
Brianna glanced at Gabriel and rolled her eyes in disgust at Alston’s back. Gabriel grinned and bowed in mocking subservience. Brianna stopped on the path and spoke. 
“There may be truth in what you say, Monsieur Feurlet. But fear not, I would not dream of burdening a man such as yourself with such a large estate.”
Alston stopped and turned to face Brianna, ready to protest her misunderstanding. She held up her hand to silence him, a gesture usually reserved for servants and human slaves. Brianna was careful not to smile at the look of shock on his aristocratic face.
“I would sooner marry Gabriel than you. He, at least, understands how to care for the trees.” Finally, she allowed herself to smile.
Alston’s back stiffened at the insult, however sweetly delivered. He turned and bowed to Brianna. “Forgive me for overstepping my bounds, Mademoiselle Oreveille. I shan’t waste any more of your time. Perhaps we shall meet again as friends.” 
“Perhaps,” she replied. Brianna stood still, her face carefully neutral, until Alston passed through the orchard toward the dock. 
When he was finally out of earshot, she shuddered. “Horrid man!” She spat out the words and leaned against the banana tree where her oldest friend still perched. “What do you think, Gabriel? Is the island so unruly, simply because I have not yet married? I know my mother’s husband does not care for the property as well as he should. But I cannot think that replacing him with a man such as that,” she gestured toward the departing Alston Feurlet, “would be an improvement.” 
Gabriel dropped his shears as he swung down from the branch, landing lightly on his feet. He stood next to Brianna, although she noticed sadly that he did not stand as comfortably or as near to her as he once did. 
“Me and Da, we keep things running as best we can. We need to post nightly guards, and regular patrols, but without direct orders from the Master of the House, they don’t listen to me,” he gestured toward the slave village.
Brianna smiled. “Are you looking to move up in the world? Perhaps I could convince my mother’s husband to name you steward. Then they would listen to you,” she offered, reaching across the space between them to take his hand. Her smile faded when his arm stiffened at her touch.
“Leave me to the trees,” Gabriel mumbled. “If I don’t get them pruned by sunset, I’ll get that flogging your Monsieur Feurlet was so keen on! If the Master’s in the mood to listen, ask him to order patrols.”
Brianna sighed. “If you like.” She hesitated, wishing she could recapture the easy camaraderie of the banana grove.
Gabriel nodded as he picked up his tools and moved on to the next tree in the row without looking back.
Brianna watched him study the branches for a moment, then resolutely made her way back to the main house to explain to her mother why she had rejected yet another fine young man from an old and powerful family. 

Chapter Two

Gabriel held his breath as he stared up at the branches of the banana tree, listening for Brianna’s footsteps. As she walked away, he turned and allowed himself a glimpse of the woman he loved. Her obsidian hair was pinned in an impossibly complicated arrangement, with a single ringlet allowed to escape to adorn her right shoulder. The glossy black curl contrasted with the pearlescent skin she had favored since they were children.
“You cursed fool…” he muttered to himself, looking down at his own drab, tanned arms. His father may be a Fae, but Gabriel had not inherited the ability to alter his appearance any more than he could use other forms of power. Brianna’s face, lit by the glowing symbol of her House above her eyes, remained in his mind. That mark glowed brighter than ever when she took his hand, reminding him not to forget who she was. And who he was not.

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