Please join me today in welcoming Rachael Ritchey to my blog on the blog tour for her exciting new book The Captive Hope. There is also a competition, so don't forget to enter.
The Captive Hope Blog Tour
Captive Hope is the second book in a series of magical realism. It follows a minor character from book one, The Beauty Thief. Lady Idra’s story actually came about because in book one, to my utter surprise, one of the guardsmen fell for her.
He refuses to tell her because he thinks himself below her, but the feeling just won’t be shaken. Idra is completely clueless about his esteem, but she’s is smitten with him, too.
Shyness and duty work wonders at keeping her from dwelling on what she doesn’t have . . . most of the time. She cannot forget the life to which she was raised: service to her cousin, the future High Queen of all the realms. It sounds bleak, but she loves Princess Caityn like one of her own sisters. Still, it leaves her lonely and dissatisfied with her life.
But in the story, things are about to change, and possibly not for the better.
As you can tell from the title, hope is an underlying theme throughout the entire book. It is a driving force for both good and evil; though only for good does it ever amount to anything. Hope is also what sets the captive free. I wanted to write Idra’s story—along with some others—in this book because hope and redemption are such strong themes in my own life.
Never give up hope. Take it captive.
The Captive Hope by Rachael Ritchey
The Twelve Realms seems an idyllic nation, but behind locked doors there are sinister powers at work. Not even the royal family of High Castle is outside their reach, and Lady Idra has unwittingly placed herself in the crosshairs of a shrewd mercenary.
Idra is noble by birth and lady-in-waiting to the future High Queen of the Twelve Realms. Yet she’s unaware of her true value and strength. From her youth she has been pledged in service to the crown, and though accepting of her duty, she inwardly longs for more. But in her wildest dreams Idra never imagined the terrible future devised for her by forces unknown.
Sir Ahmad, a knight of the realms, admires Lady Idra from afar. But when he finally has the courage to tell her, it may be too late. He could lose Idra forever because of one man’s devious ploy to gain revenge and riches by her ruin. If an ocean stands between them, will all hope be lost?
ExcerptZaide pressed the door closed behind them, and Noreeta jumped when she heard the lock click into place. She spun around in time to see him slink toward her as if he were a beast and she his prey. She was content to be devoured by him and stood her ground forgetting for a brief moment why she’d come. His promises, his masculinity, and his charm had all worked their way into her heart.
“Well, my dear, what news do you have to share with me about Idra? Did you make all the preparations and unlock the necessary doors?”
“Not exactly.” She squeezed the key in her pocket, her thoughts turning morose.
Noreeta couldn’t ignore the storm brewing behind Zaide’s glassy stare. She knew it wouldn’t be held off for long. She wiggled under his scrutiny.
“What do you mean, ‘not exactly?’ It shouldn’t have been difficult to accomplish. We are prepared to move tonight to finish the job. With Dante and his men well away, it is the best time to act.”
“I mean a better option has come along.” Noreeta held up her hands in entreaty. “Please don’t be angry, Zaide. If you don’t like the idea, there is still a chance I can clear the path.”
“A chance, woman? I’m listening, but it had better be good.”
She swallowed hard. It wasn’t exactly that she was worried he would hurt her, but there was this lingering feeling of unease every time he looked at her like that. She didn’t know why it frightened her so much.
Noreeta touched her damp hair, fluttering her hands around, unsure where to place them before clutching them in her skirts.
“Well, Zaide my love, Lady Idra hasn’t been sleeping in her own room since the king and prince left. She sleeps in Princess Caityn’s salon. It would be a terrible risk to break in there. But I have good news.” She took a deep breath and plowed ahead. “Idra is to travel with an escort to Taisce. Tomorrow morning. They’ll take the main road to her family’s estate.
“I heard their whole plan. What I was thinking was that it would be easier to do away with her not in High Castle.”
Noreeta’s hands flapped while she spoke, her nerves getting the better of her. If only he’d smile at her; it would be reassuring. She cleared her throat.
“It would mean you’d have to . . . do something with her escort. But, my dearest, you’d be better protected and have less chance of discovery not being within the walls.” Noreeta held her breath and waited while he considered her rushed chatter.
Join Rachael's newsletter for a chance to win (click here to go to the sign-up form):
- 1st: ebook of Captive Hope & choice of one from a host author
- 2nd: ebooks of Captive Hope & The Beauty Thief
- 3rd: ebook of Captive Hope
Rachael Ritchey is the author of the Chronicles of the Twelve Realms, a YA fantasy fiction series set in a medieval era. Her passion for writing stems from her appreciation of history, since our world is built on stories, true and imagined. Rachael writes with teens in mind, because she wants her own kids to be proud of her work and be able to share it with their friends. She’s a wife and a mom to four amazing kids. Rachael and her family live in Eastern Washington where there’s plenty of inspiration to dream up exotic worlds, both real and fantastical.