Good morning, y’all!
I am so thrilled to be here today as part of the creative blog tour for KINGDOM COLD by Brittni Chenelle, which was organized and run by the lovely Shaelea @ Caffeine Book Tours!
In case you haven’t stopped by any of the other blogs yet–in which case, I am glad to be your first, but be sure to check out the others listed at the end of this post!–and don’t know what a “creative blog tour” is, it’s one in which each individual stop has something different that the tour hosts put together–aesthetics, creative photos, quote graphics, feature posts, and more! And many of us haven’t yet read the book, so it can be a bit of a guessing game. Sounds like fun, right? That’s why I jumped at the chance to join the tour!
And as the title of this blog post would suggest, I elected to include some aesthetics and an excerpt for my contribution! (All images were taken from free picture sharing sites, but credits will nevertheless be included underneath the graphic.) As I haven’t read the book yet, at the time I’m creating this post, the pictures I gathered are based on the blurb, cover, and some reviews that I’ve read, so I hope I’ve depicted the book accurately!
I hope you like the aesthetic I put together, as well as the excerpt, so please feel free to leave some comments!
Title: Kingdom Cold
Author: Brittni Chenelle
Publication date: 14 February 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Attempted murder, that’s how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte’s engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent.
When her kingdom’s attacked, Charlotte’s parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom’s future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart?
One must fall.
Dying wasn’t my intention. Yet there I lay, ravenous—twelve hours into my hunger strike, certain I was already slipping away. The moans of my stomach howled for me to submit to the trays of food of every variety within an arm’s reach. I swallowed a gulp of nectarous air, heavy with the aroma of my favorite dishes, as the servants marched them in one by one. My mother was not relenting, but neither was I. As I lay dying, I didn’t observe my life flash before my eyes, but rather the few hours that led me to this desperate act— and ultimately to my untimely demise.
“Married? To who?” I seethed. It didn’t even matter. “Married!”
My mom, Queen of Besmium, let out a breathy sigh. “Honestly, Charlotte, can we skip the theatrics?”
I rushed closer to her. “I’m only sixteen. You said I’d have more time, until eighteen at least.”
She crossed her arms. “And you would feel differently about marriage in two years?”
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. Tears stung my eyes. I clenched my jaw, rage pulsing through me. Was this a punishment? Everyone knew I would make a terrible queen. I wasn’t cut out for rules or duty. My parents were never able to conceive another child, so they gave in to the fact it would have to be me. Married off for an alliance. “No. I won’t do it,” I said.
“I wasn’t asking your permission.” Her gaze cut into my resolve but I refused to surrender the modicum of freedom I had.
“I won’t say ‘I do’,” I said, locking my knees to keep them from shaking. Marriage? Even the word repulsed me. It sat at the back of my throat and I choked on it.
She stepped forward and leaned her face close to mine, her voice almost a whisper.
“Could you be any more selfish?”
I swallowed back a wave of tears.
“Drethen marches closer every day,” she said. “Without this alliance—”
I succumbed to sobs, melting like a wax candle at the end of a banquet.
This seemed to please my mother to no end. She watched my anguish, her eyebrow slightly raised. She did this after all her victories. Certainly, this was revenge for my disobedience. After what felt like one hundred years of silence she continued, answering the question I couldn’t bring myself to ask.
“The Prince of Vires. Prince Young.”
I choked. “The Eastern Statue? Did you know that’s what they call him? They say he never smiles.”
“Be grateful he’s only a year older than you.”
Her words hung in the silence like a thick fog, but instead of obscuring my vision, my mother had exposed herself. Her marriage had been arranged as well, and it was no secret that father was twenty years her senior. She pursed her lips as if she could somehow suck the words back. I studied her face but she spun away, taking her leave with poised, deliberate steps before I could respond, and left me there with the news.
I walked like the undead to my bedroom and collapsed on the floor. Milly, my lady-in-waiting, appeared.
“Corset off. ”
Milly rushed over, her small hands unlacing my corset with quick, decisive movements. From behind me, all I could see of her was an occasional wisp of her summery hair. When she finished, she dropped down in front of me, as if my morbid energy was draining her.
“Prince of Vires,” I said as I buried my face in my hands.
She leaned forward, awaiting more information, as I remained motionless. Her eyes widened. “Marriage? But you’re only sixteen.”
I sat up and gave a hard nod, shaking a few of my dark curls from their pins. We sat there in silence. Each drape, chandelier, and ornately decorated vase screamed the same thing: my life wasn’t mine.
I strained to remember him. I’d met Prince Young once. Dark hair and dark, almond-shaped eyes that curved in at the corners… But his face—I couldn’t really recall it. I could only remember the feeling of him. He’d seemed so serious and miserable, even more so than the stuffy, political vultures that circled court. I hadn’t given him a single thought since we met—until now. Now, all I could think about was his cold, heartless stature and a lifetime without laughter.
Milly wrapped her arms around me and pulled me in. She was a year younger and yet I’d always gone to her for guidance. She was beautiful, the kind that could rival any well-groomed royal, but that wasn’t what I envied. Even as a paid servant of our household, she was in charge of her fate.
For the next few weeks, I tried to think of a way to sabotage the wedding. I tried running away but didn’t make it past the courtyard before the guard caught me. I wrote a heartfelt and smartly worded letter to my father. He responded with a letter of his own, which read something like, “Tough luck…” Finally, I got the idea of going on a hunger strike.
Admittedly, I had expected my mother to give in much sooner, but I remained obstinate because she’d clearly expected me to do the same. The anger welled inside me, tightening my stomach, which only emphasized its emptiness. A fresh loaf of Sasha’s wheat bread fluttered into the room on a silver tray. I sat up and stared as a servant placed the tray down beside me, the corner of her mouth turned up.
I leaned into the steaming loaf and breathed in its warmth, my will being sucked away like summer rain on dry soil. I eyed my chamber for servants, but I was alone. No doubt they were scheming to bring in the next temptation. My stomach ached for me to surrender. If I took a small bite from the bottom of the loaf, they’d never know. I lifted the loaf carefully and bit into it. My mind surged with delight and I savored the crunchy exterior and doughy flavor before carefully placing it back on the tray, bite side down.
I hesitated before I lay back down. Surely, my mother was evil for forcing me into such extremes. My father wasn’t though. Why hadn’t he intervened? Was the war with Drethen so dire that he was willing to sell his only daughter for a few extra soldiers?
I remembered that five years ago, when the war first started, the rhythmic clop of two hundred horses reminded me of the rain. I was eleven and my father knelt before me, for kings bow to no one but the daughters they love. He urged me to hug him goodbye, but I didn’t want to—I hated goodbyes. I remembered how my mother pinched the back of my arm.
“Hug your father,” she rasped, coldly. “You’ll regret your poor attitude if he’s killed in battle.”
I hugged him. The trumpets sounded as he mounted his horse—taking his place at the front. After that, Besmium was always at war, and my father, the king, was always one goodbye away from being gone forever.
About the Author
5 Fun Facts about Brittni Chenelle
1. She lives in South Korea. It’s true. She does most of her updates in the morning or at night to account for the time difference. She also infuses most of her novels with her observations about Korean culture.
2. She’s a Type 1 Diabetic. She uses an insulin pump for survival and refers to her diabetes as “Beetie” which is what inspired her children’s book “Life with Beetie”. When she wants something from her parents she tells them, “My Beetie hurts.” It’s a trick that has never failed her.
3. She doesn’t really BELIEVE in fiction. Despite all the; Dragons, Elves, and Magic present in her novel “Involuted the Tale of the Red Ribbon Tree”, Brittni INSISTS that it’s a true story.
4. She’s OBSESSED with dark chocolate. She made me put that in and would also like me to inform you (on an unrelated note) that her birthday is in May.
5. Sorry guys, she’s married. If you ask her, she’ll tell you her husband saved her life but everytime someone asks “how?” she gives a different reason. I’ve overheard her give about 4 different reasons, but I bet she has more. He must be an amazing guy.
Blog Tour Schedule