Tag Archives: Jessica Dall

Release Day for 5 Prince Publishing!

Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: FICTION / Westerns
Release Date: November 6, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-077-0 ISBN 10: 1631120778
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-078-7  ISBN 10: 1631120786

Purchase link : http://www.5princebooks.com/buy-links.html

Sheriff Luke Atwell, a religious man, doubts his occupation after
accidentally shooting a female bystander during a gunfight. The violent
deaths of lawmen and criminals that follow heighten his questioning and he
joins the priesthood to counter evil as a man of peace. However, his
lawman instincts remain as he deals with crime in his inner-city parish.
Temporarily relieved of his priestly obligations, Atwell returns as sheriff to
the changed, now crime-ridden Kansas town to rethink his calling, joined by
unlikely reinforcements—an experienced but alcoholic deputy and a youthful
banjo player. The team, often outnumbered, confronts thieves and killers in a
series of gun battles. As Atwell fights lawlessness, he struggles with his
feelings toward a recent widow. Eventually he must decide:  keep the badge or again wear the clerical
collar.

 
 
Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: FICTION / African American / Contemporary Women
Release Date: November 6, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-075-6 ISBN 10:1631120751
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-076-3 ISBN 10:163112076X

 Sydnee Garrett has a lot on her
to-do list. Wrangle her young and rambunctious twin boys.
Check. Get her life back in order since her husband decided to leave her for a
much younger woman. Check. And buy a Christmas tree. Check.

What she wasn’t expecting was
adding one more thing to her list. A young, sexy personal trainer. Check.
Quinn Masters is a man who knows what he wants and doesnt take no for an answer. He isnt fazed by age or race differences and he does
everything in his power to win Sydnee over.
Will Sydnee continue to fight
for her orderly life or welcome in the chaos that’s threatening to change her
entire world?
 
 
 

Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction, Romance,
Historical, Alternative History
Release Date: March 13, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-082-4 ISBN 10: 1631120824
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-079-4 ISBN 10: 1631120794

Living abroad, Adela
Tilden has avoided the worst of the rebellion. But now that King William
has ordered her back on risk of disinheritance, it doesn’t seem she’ll be able
to stay out of the tumult. Of course, Adela has never abided being a pawn.

With two men ahead of
her, and one left behind, she has to hope she can control this game–or else she
might lose her life.

Between books 1 and 2
of the Broken Line series, The Copper Rebellion is a
glimpse into Antony and Adela’s lost years after The Copper Witch

Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com

Genre: FICTION / Historical /Thrillers
Release Date: November 6, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-069-5 ISBN 10:1631120697
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-070-1 ISBN 10:1631120700

 On
Orders Of The Commandant
is an historical novel, set
inside a 1940’s concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland.

It
is the story of four men who are imprisoned.
In their
afterwards struggle, they deal with several issues-desolation, losing their
family and freedom-but more importantly are confronted with the knowledge of a
machinated plot intended by an SS First Commandant right
under their noses.
A
plan is conceived, after having an underground exit pointed out to them,
to escape the concentration camp itself…
Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: FICTION / Romance / Contemporary / Ghost / Paranormal
Release Date: November 6, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-073-2 ISBN 10:1631120735
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-074-9 ISBN 10:1631120743

Purchase link : http://www.5princebooks.com/buy-links.html
This novella follows on from Bridge Over the Atlantic and Bridge of Hope and should not be read as a stand alone
Mallory got her happily ever after,
but haunting loss in the past has her running scared that she will lose her
beloved yet again. Can anything…or anyone make her realise she needs
to let go of the past and live for today?

 
 
 
Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
Release Date: November 6, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-067-1 ISBN 10:1631120670
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-068-8 ISBN 10:1631120689

Purchase link : http://www.5princebooks.com/buy-links.html

Johnny, an IT geek still lives at home with his parents. When
his brother and sister-in-law help a sick friend, he gets coerced into babysitting
his two year old niece, Zoe, on a weekly basis. Johnny reluctantly takes on the
challenge with humourous and often near-disastrous results. Over time, Zoe’s
independence-seeking and outgoing personality inspires Johnny to try to improve
his health, his fashion sense and even his love life. However, after a couple
of setbacks, Johnny wonders if it’s worth the effort and retreats to his former
habits. Can Zoe show him the way to true love?
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Release Day! The Porcelain Child – Jessica Dall

Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction,
Alternative History, Romance, Historical, Family Saga
Release Date: July
3, 2014
Digital ISBN 13:
978-1-63112-058-9   ISBN 10: 1631120581
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-059-6      ISBN 10: 163112059X

 

 

The Porcelain Child
With less than a decade of stable rule behind them, Lord
Protector Richard Seymour has passed away leaving the country once again in
turmoil. With her connection to the old regimes, seemingly on all sides thanks
to her mother, Adela, Mary might find herself pulled into the heat of battle
whether she wants it or not.

 

Book 2 of The Broken Line Series, The Porcelain
Child
 picks up with the next generation thrown into the mix.
About Jessica Dall
Jessica Dall finished her first novel at age 15 and been writing ever since. She is the author of such novels as Grey Areas and The Bleeding Crowd, the Broken Line Series, and a number of short stories which have appeared in both literary magazines and anthologies. When not writing, she
works as a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC.
How to contact Jessica Dall
Website: jessicadall.com
Twitter: @JessicaDall
Facebook: facebook.com/jkdall
Excerpt of the Porcelain Child

Chapter One

The porcelain a little chipped, Mary still recognized the woman in the miniature. There were enough pictures of her around, after all. Mary supposed she shouldn’t be
surprised to find it amongst the small box they had sent her of Richard
Seymour’s affects—even as the parliamentarian he was. Queen Adela wasn’t a
symbol of monarchy, after all. Even after everything, she was still the
romantic heroine.
And Mary supposed it likewise wasn’t surprising the surviving Seymours had sent it to
her. Mary hadn’t received much from Richard Seymour’s estate—she hadn’t
expected to—but it seemed to be the logical conclusion for someone going
through Richard’s things to send a picture of Adela Tilden to her daughter.
Mary couldn’t imagine the remaining Seymours would have much love for Queen
Adela themselves.
It was likely they would send it to Aberfirth or use it for target practice.
Touching the gold filigree around the little portrait, Mary finally set it down. Of all the
portraits Mary had seen, this one didn’t look the least familiar. Adela
couldn’t have been much more than fifteen in it. A rare portrait from before her short reign as queen, when she had been baron’s daughter living so far north she was barely on the map.
Still, looking down and off to the side, as if the viewer were below her
interest, the picture still seemed bizarrely fitting—as though she already
considered herself the viewer’s better, far before she had the right to.
The door opened, then slammed shut. William rested back against it, breathing heavily.
Mary frowned, attempting to recover from her thoughts. “What…?”
Motioning for her silence, William winced as someone knocked. He looked at her, mouthed, Help me.
Giving him a suspicious looked, Mary moved forward all the same, letting him hide behind the dark wood as she pulled the door open.
Mr. Johnson, red-faced and soaking wet, looked up at her, puffing. “Where is he?”
Mary blinked, could feel William tense through the door. “Who?”
Him,” the tutor seethed. “Lord Kedington. I heard him come this way.”
“He must have gone further down the hall, then.” Mary glanced out the door as though looking where William might have gone. “I haven’t seen him.”
Mr. Johnson didn’t move, hands clenched. A head shorter than her and red as a beet, he
still somehow remained intimidating. Even while dripping on the hardwood.
Mary looked at him, unmoving, daring him to call her a liar.
Mr. Johnson didn’t answer.
“If you’re wanting to catch him, sir, you should likely keep looking,” Mary finished.
Another tense breath, and Mr. Johnson bowed shallowly at the waist, stalking off as his wet shoes squeaked after him.
Waiting a moment, Mary finally shut the door, looking at the smiling man still pressed
against the wall. She crossed her arms. “Aren’t you getting a little old for
these pranks, Will?”
“It wasn’t meant to be a prank.” The smile grew. “Just a happy coincidence.”
Mary sat at her desk, shaking her head. “I doubt Mr. Johnson will believe you.”
William shrugged, seeming less than bothered as he moved to the box on the bed. “This
the Seymour stuff they sent you?”
Mary looked at it silently, allowing William to change the topic.
Peering over the side, William pursed his lips slightly. “Not much, is it?”
“More than I was expecting, honestly,” Mary answered. “You know what the rest of the
Seymours think of me.”
William just nodded, poking through the few things left in the box. “Should I assume you
aren’t planning on going to the funeral?”
Mary frowned, watching him closely at the change of tone. He hadn’t asked what he’d meant. She shook her head. “If my mother can’t be bothered to come back from abroad at
all in light of recent events, I see no reason why I should make the effort go
to Carby.”
“He’s your father.”
Mary snorted. 
“And who knows,” William continued over her justified skepticism. “It might be exciting.
Getting out of Aberfirth for a bit? Seeing Carby?”
“I really can’t think of a place I’d rather not see, Will,” Mary droned, picking up the
miniature before he could argue. She tossed it to him. “He had that apparently.”
William caught it easily, eyebrows rising as he looked at it. “Very nice.”
Mary frowned deeply. “Could you please refrain from salivating over my mother while I’m
still in the room?”
“I wasn’t salivating.” He smiled, tossing it back to her before he sat. “It’s just a nice
picture. One of her queen portraits?”
“Not one I recognize at least.” Mary set it down without looking. “Do you find it strange
that he had it?”
“Well.” William took a moment, shrugged. “Your mother is a beautiful woman.”
Mary made a face, standing to pick up the box.
William caught her wrist. “Don’t give me that look, May.”
She just flicked her eyes over him, pulling herself free before she moved the box to the
ground. A well placed kick and it slid out of sight.
He watched her carefully. Took his time before speaking. “They’ve asked me to go.”
She looked back up, a low level of panic starting deep in her chest though she wasn’t sure why. “They who? Go where?”
“Who, parliament,” he said, running a hand through his short blond hair. “Where, the
funeral.”
Mary pulled her eyebrows together. “Why? You’re no one important.”
He laughed.
“Thanks, May.”
“It’s hardly a bad thing.” Mary pressed her lips tightly together.
He took her hand, swinging to face her. “I’d like you to come with me.”
“To Carby?” 
He nodded, his blue eyes drilling into her.
Her grey ones looked back. “Are you feverish?”
The smile returned. “Carby can’t really be as bad as you think, May.”
“I can’t get within thirty miles of the place without someone trying to draw me into a
royalist plot. I would think especially now.” Mary glanced at the window, the
rolling green hills of Aberfirth seeming to be a false shield from everything
else waiting out there. “Anyway, I haven’t gotten marching orders from my
mother yet. If she thought there were any benefit in me going she would have
already ordered me there. This is Adela Tilden we’re talking about.”
William nodded, glancing out the window himself as if checking she didn’t see anything
before he looked back at her. “When was the last time you heard from her?”
Mary shook her head. “Years? What has there been for her to write about?”
“I would think there’s plenty lately.”
“She’s probably still figuring out her next move. His death was recent enough.” Mary
sighed, brushed it away. “I don’t have her mind. Don’t ask me to try to
understand her actions.”
“I still think you would have made a great queen, May.” William smiled.
Mary’s stomach clenched, her face turning deadly serious. “Don’t even joke like that.”
William’s eyes stayed on her, but he didn’t argue. Fair and tall as he was, Mary had to admit William had grown into a handsome man from the gangly ten year old that had
shown up to stay eight years ago. She froze, the nature of the thought
registering, making heat rise to her cheeks.
“You are beautiful, you know that, May?” his voice cut in before she could recover.
Mary’s body tensed, the odd sense he had read her mind too jarring.
“Don’t look so shocked.” He rested back on his hands, easy smile unsettlingly handsome now that she thought about it. “You are your mother’s daughter, after all.”
“And I would give anything that I weren’t.” She rubbed the side of her face quickly,
dropping her eyes.
His eyes stayed on her another moment before he stood, holding her chin.
She looked up, breath catching in her throat as he held her eyes.
“You still have this house, May. You still have your life. I don’t think you have
weathered everything too poorly, all things considered. Many lost much more.”
There was enough to set her head right again. Mary’s jaw locked as she pulled back.
“Thank you, Will, but I hardly need you to remind me.”
He touched her hair gently, pushing a dark auburn strand behind her ear. “Please come, May? You can’t spend your entire life afraid out here.”
Mary shook her head. “You shouldn’t go at all, Will. Not now.”
William looked at her another moment, finally sighed. “I have to. Anyway, you’re Mary Seymour. I imagine people would leave you alone at Richard Seymour’s funeral.”
“Not when they believe I’d be Mary Claybourne had the old king not lost his head.”
“Seymour claimed you as legitimate,” William argued.
“Words.” Mary slipped away from him, sitting on the bed. “Oaths and proclamations and edicts. They’re all just words. People hold them cheap these days.”
“I don’t know if I’d say that.” William turned to face her.
Mary looked down at her hands, back up. “Do they know who will be the new lord protector?”
William cocked an eyebrow but let her change the topic. “I think they’re still discussing it.”
“So there’s no one in charge?”
“Well, parliament is.” William laughed. “They won’t allow the country to enter a state
of anarchy just because one man died.”
“We’ll see,” Mary mumbled.
He shook his head, good natured as ever. “No one wants another war, May.”
“Every royalist who lost the last one does,” she returned, face serious.
“We aren’t going to war.”
“Are you certain of that?” She held his eyes.
The corner of his mouth turned up. “Would you like to place a bet?”
Her frown only deepened. “This isn’t funny, Will.”
William sat next to her, placing an arm around her shoulder before he kissed her forehead.
“You’re always so serious, May.”
“Life is serious.” She didn’t look at him.
“It can also be fun,” he said. 
“So you always think,” she said, knot still tight in the pit of her stomach.

Cover Reveal! The Porcelain Child – Jessica Dall

Well it appears our wonderful cover designer at 5 Prince Publishing has done it again. Check out this stunning cover!

 

Genre: Fiction, Alternative History, Romance, Historical,
Family Saga
Release Date: July 3, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-058-9   ISBN 10: 1631120581
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-059-6      ISBN 10: 163112059X
The Porcelain Child
With less than a decade of stable rule behind them, Lord
Protector Richard Seymour has passed away leaving the country once again in
turmoil. With her connection to the old regimes, seemingly on all sides thanks
to her mother, Adela, Mary might find herself pulled into the heat of battle
whether she wants it or not.
Book 2 of The Broken Line Series, The Porcelain Child picks
up with the next generation thrown into the mix.

Release Day! Jessica Dall – The Copper Witch

Available from 5 Prince
Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction, Romance,
Historical, Alternative History
Release Date: March 13, 2014
Digital ISBN 10: 1631120093 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-009-1
Print ISBN 10:1631120107 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-010-7
The Copper Witch:
“Ambition or Love”
Adela Tilden has always been more ambitious than her station
in life might allow. A minor nobleman’s daughter on a failing barony, Adela’s
prospects seem dire outside of marrying well-off. When Adela catches the eye of
the crown prince, Edward, however, well-off doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Thrown into a world of politics and intrigue, Adela might have found all the
excitement she ever wanted—if she can manage to leave her past behind.
About Jessica Dall:
Jessica Dall finished her first novel at age 15 and been writing ever sense. She is the author of such novels as Grey Areas and The Bleeding Crowd and a number of short stories which have appeared in both literary magazines and anthologies. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC.
How to find Jessica Dall:
Website/blog: www.jessicadall.com
Twitter: @JessicaDall
Excerpt of The Copper Witch:
Adela Tilden held as still as she could force herself to be, her eyes sliding over every now and again to study the man sitting in front of her.
Antony looked up from the easel and released a breath through his nose. “Hold still.”
“I am,” she said, barely moving her mouth.
He gave her a dark look.
Adela exaggerated a sigh, dropping her eyes again to the side, staring at the same patch of grey stone as she had been for what felt like years. “I want to see what you’re doing.”
“You’ll see when I’m done.”
She fidgeted, glancing at her dress. “Can’t we make the neckline just a little lower?”
“Your grandmother doesn’t like it as it is,” Antony droned, the same answer yet again.
“Well, of course she doesn’t,” Adela said, barely refraining from rolling her eyes and getting yelled at again.
“Drop your shoulder a little,” he directed, “and hold still.”
So she’d get yelled at either way, it seemed. Adela shifted, still attempted to freeze.
Antony shook his head, running a frustrated hand through his brown hair. “No, drop…not… You know what?” He moved to her.
Adela watched him carefully, making no effort to help as he straightened the line of the dress where it stopped around her shoulders. If a little too thin to be called well built, she had to admit Antony was an attractive man with his dark eyes and square jaw. It was a shame he had staged her looking away. She wouldn’t have minded the excuse to spend
her time studying him right back. 
He pressed her shoulder down lightly with the end of his paintbrush. “Can you hold that now?”
Her eyes remained on his face. “It’s hardly acrobatics.”
Antony’s eyes flicked up as he offered a weak smile, sliding away just as quickly as he adjusted the oblong pearl in the headpiece Adela’s grandmother had pulled out just for the occasion. He paused, finally moved a strand of the hair that had been left out of the braids at her crown and placed it over her shoulder. He stepped back, looking at her just a
little bit too long, starting when he met her eyes. “There. Much better.”
The way he backed away, almost making it look like a retreat, made Adela smile. She watched Antony settle himself before tilting her head back the way it had been. “I don’t understand why Grandmamma wants a portrait of me anyway. It’s not as if anyone is going to see it. No one ever comes out here, you know. I’m surprised you’re here and you’re paid to be.”
“She’s trying to make sure that no one gets any funny ideas about your financial situation, I believe, Miss Tilden.” Antony didn’t look away from the easel.
“Even if they’re completely correct.” Adela heaved a sigh.
“Stop moving.”
She couldn’t help glancing again, looking away when he glared. “How old are you, Antony?”
He paused momentarily. “Does that matter?”
“I was just curious,” she said. “You’re much younger than the painters we used to have come here.”
“I’m not as well-seasoned as them, I would think,” he said. “And I imagine I’m quite a bit cheaper.”
“Oh.” She fought away a smile. “So I shouldn’t be surprised when my nose comprises the better part of my face, then?”
“I think I’m skilled enough to keep that from happening,” Antony answered, continuing under his breath, “Anyway, if I were going to make a feature too large it would much more likely be your eyes.”
Her eyes slid over to him again. 
He met them for a second before looking away sharply. “Stay still.”
“You just started painting, then?” She looked down and away again.
“I’ve been painting my entire life,” he said, seeming relieved. “Just finished my apprenticeship a year or so ago.”
“So you’re what then?” Adela did the math in her head. “Twenty? Twenty-One?”
“Something like that.”
She smiled. “You don’t know which one?”
“Relax your face.”
She took a breath, forced off the smile. “Is it a secret?”
Exasperation leeched into his voice. “Is what?”
“Your age.”
He released a breath. “I just don’t see how it’s relevant.”
“I asked,” she said. “That doesn’t make it relevant enough?”
“I don’t believe that’s the way it works, Miss Tilden.”
She shifted. “Can I please move? I’m going to freeze in this position if
I have to keep it up much longer.”
Antony set down his brush, holding his hands up, motioning his surrender. “We can take a break.”
Adela rolled her shoulders, standing quickly to stretch her legs. She turned. “Can I see now?”
He looked up from straightening his paints.
“I’d like to see how you’re painting me,” she continued at his silence.
Antony hesitated. “I prefer people not to see what I’m painting until I’m done.”
She moved closer. “I’m paying for it. I’d think you’d want to know if I’m unsatisfied in any way.”
He opened his mouth, cleared his throat before starting. “Your grandmother’s paying for it, Miss Tilden. Maybe I should show her.”
Adela pouted. “Please?”
He looked at her for another moment. Finally, sighing, he backed up for her to take a look. Adela moved quickly, her soft slippers barely making a sound on the stone floor. And the painting slid into view.
Unlike the other china-doll portraits in the manor—with every inch of the women
in them softened, pale—the picture in front of her looked as though he had
taken her reflection and pressed it onto the canvas.  She studied herself, fascinated for a moment before collecting herself. She pulled herself straight. “You’re using a lot of
red in my hair.”
His eyes lifted to her scalp. “Well, there is a lot of red in your hair, Miss Tilden.”
She twirled a strand absentmindedly around her finger, and didn’t dispute it.
“Satisfied?” he finally asked.
“You are quite talented,” she said, looked from the painting to him. “I don’t think you have my lips quite right, though.”
“No?”
She picked up the mirror on the mantel, studying her face before looking back at him. “Don’t you think? My bottom lip is fuller.”
He looked at her lips for a moment, slid his eyes away, nodding. “I’ll fix it when you sit back down.”
She looked at her reflection for another moment before tilting the mirror down to fix the neckline of her dress. “This was the dress I wore to my mother’s funeral, you know.”
Antony started, mouth working as he searched for something to say. “Oh.”
“It’s been altered, of course.” She played with the gold thread that had been used to embroider the swirling pattern along the bodice. “But Grandmamma insisted that black was the proper color for a portrait, and I doubt we would have been able to get new silk, so she recycled this one.”
“Oh,” Antony repeated.
“I have to say, I like it better this way.” She leaned back against the wall sliding her hands down the skirt.
Antony coughed, looked at the windows. “We’re not going to have the light much longer. As soon as the sun…we’ll have to stop for the night.”
Adela sighed dramatically, looking at the high windows around the gaping hall. “How much longer do you think it’s going to be?”
“Not long. I’m almost done with what I need you for. I can do the background alone.”
She nodded slowly, studying him.
He met her eyes before once again looking away. “What?”
“Where did you learn to paint?”
He shook his head. “I told you, I’ve always painted.”
“Was your father a painter?”
Antony pressed his lips together. “Soldier, actually.”
“Ah,” Adela said. “Second son?” Antony shrugged. “What’s your last name?”
“I don’t think I was hired to help you figure out my life story, Miss Tilden.” Antony finally looked back at her.
“I’m just curious.” Adela shrugged innocently. “If you were able to apprentice as a painter obviously you aren’t from a farming family.”
He shook his head, straightening his brushes awkwardly. “Fletcher.”
Adela tilted her head. “Any relation to Thurston Fletcher?”
“None,” he said, voice curt. “Think you’ve stretched out enough to let me finish?”
She smiled at the joke he didn’t seem to catch. “Maybe.”
He motioned to the stool. “Whenever you’re ready, Miss Tilden.”
All business once again, Adela’s smile dropped as she settled on her stool. “You could call me Adela, you realize. No need for all the formality.”
“I’m more comfortable with ‘Miss Tilden’ if it’s all the same to you,” he said, jaw tight. “I wouldn’t presume the familiarity.”
“You wouldn’t be presuming anything. I said you could,” she said. “I call you Antony. I didn’t even know your last name until a few moments ago.”
“Your family is quite a bit more important than mine, Miss Tilden.” He took his seat. “There’s no reason for you to know my family.”
She scoffed. “I’m living in the middle of nowhere, alone, save my grandmother who hasn’t been further than our front gates since my mother passed.” Adela looked up at the ceiling. “God rest her soul. I’m surprised anyone remembers us at all.”
“You do own Penrith,” he said.
“Also known as the entirety of three-dozen people and five-thousand sheep.” She let out an exasperated sigh when he didn’t answer. “Am I sitting properly?”
“Turn a little towards me,” he directed, finally looking up. “Relax your hand.”
“Like this?”
He nodded. “Head down. Right there. You can hold that?”
She rolled her eyes. “I have been for two days.”
He didn’t answer, returning to the painting.
“Whom have you painted before?” she asked.
“Mostly models,” Antony said.
“Were they pretty?” Adela asked.
Antony’s cheek twitched. “If you want me to get your mouth right you’re going to have to stop moving it, Miss Tilden.”
She released a breath, froze, staying still as long as she could stand the silence. Her eyes flicked toward him. “Well, were they?”
“Miss Tilden,” he snapped.
“It’s just a question, Antony.”
He groaned, the sound coming from the back of his throat before he finally answered in a more civilized, if still strained, tone, “Were they what?”
“Pretty,” she said. “The models.”
He painted a few more strokes. “I suppose. Some of them.”
“Only some?” she asked.
“Well, we need to know how to paint non-pretty people too.”
“That can’t be fun.” Her nose crinkled. “Staring at ugly people for days on end.”
“Hold still.”
She sighed, complying for barely a second before continuing, “Do you think I’m
pretty?”
He frowned. “I hardly think I’m qualified to judge, Miss Tilden.”
“You’ve seen plenty of both, I’m sure,” she said. “Am I closer to the pretty models or the ugly ones?”
He released a slow breath. “You are attractive, in my opinion, Miss Tilden.”
She smiled.
“Miss Tilden,” he snapped.
The smile dropped without having to be told. She tapped her foot under her dress for a moment. “What’s it like having a job, Antony?”
He let out a loud, exasperated sigh, resting his pallet in his lap. “What?”
“I’ve never worked,” she said.
“You’re young.” He waited, only continuing when she didn’t speak again. “And I doubt you need to.”
“It probably wouldn’t hurt around here.” She puffed out her cheeks, stopping before he could snap again. “Though my grandmother would rather die in the poorhouse than let me work, I’m sure.”
He hummed, eyes back on the painting.
“And I’m not that young,” she added.
“Young enough,” he said.
She studied him out of the corner of her eyes, glancing away each time he looked up. The brush moved quickly, Antony barely seeming to think before he made the next line. She half wanted to be on the other side of the easel watching how he painted rather than stuck on her stool across the room. The silence stretched on, every movement of the brush seeming amplified as he refused to speak. “You’re rather boring, you know
that?”
“I’m not paid to be entertaining,” Antony answered quickly.
“Obviously.”
The silence returned, long enough this time Adela began to doubt he would answer at all, then the sound of brushes being set on his small table. Adela turned her head to look at him.
He didn’t look back. “I think I have what I need.”
She frowned. “You’re sure?”
“Very.”
She stood, looking at him for a long moment. “Do I make you uncomfortable, Antony?”
He glanced up, then away. “No. Why?”
“You never look me in the eyes.” 
“That’s a sign of respect, isn’t it?”
“Maybe a hundred years ago.” She scoffed. “Seems dishonest to me.”
He looked at her, straight on, nearly seeming to squirm. “You have very…interesting eyes, Miss Tilden.”
She smiled. “Runs in my family, don’t you know? My mother’s side.”
“I know, in…” he led off.
“You can say it,” she said. “Just because we’re far enough removed that they forget about us doesn’t mean we don’t talk about our dear royal family.”
“Your mother,” he said. “From a long line of mothers.”
“Yes, it’s all very maternal,” Adela droned. “And why I’m out here on a small tract of nothing rather than in Carby.”
“You’re still nobility,” Antony said quietly.
“But not noble enough to even be called ‘Lady’.” Adela pouted. “I’m just ‘The Honorable Miss Tilden’.”
“Most people would be thrilled at being able to put ‘honorable’ in front of their name,” Antony said.
“In all due respect Antony.” She crossed her arms. “I’m not most people.”
He looked at her, finally managing to hold her eyes with some degree of fortitude.  “So what’s your plan then, Miss Tilden? Find yourself a prince to marry?”
Her smile returned. “I’d be happy with a marquess. Maybe an earl in a pinch. No need for a prince.”
“Well, you have that royal blood. You have that going for you.” He looked at the portrait.
“True.” She looked at her wrists, studying the blue veins just under the skin. “Just not nearly enough of it to be of any use to me.”
Antony tilted his head to the side, looking at the painting from another angle before looking back up at her. “I mean no offense, Miss Tilden, but I don’t think I’m the one to whom you should be complaining about your family.”
“You could always claim you’re related to Thurston Fletcher,” Adela said. “He was knighted recently.”
“I’m sure he’d love that.”
“Or you could make friends with someone important and see if they could get you
knighted,” she suggested.
“I have no desire to be Sir Antony Fletcher, Miss Tilden” Antony said. “I’ll leave such ambitions to you.”
“I don’t want to be a knight.” Adela smirked. “That would be a step down.”
He frowned. “You know what I meant, Miss Tilden.”
She still smirked, looking him over. “You have no ambition then, Antony?”
He shook his head, wiping off one of his brushes.
“None whatsoever?”
“I’m quite content as I am, Miss Tilden.”
“Would you turn it down if someone offered it?”
“There are already two Sir Fletchers in my family.” He gave a tight smile. “I believe my father and brother have that title more than covered.”
“You can’t seriously tell me you would turn down the chance for the title,”
Adela insisted.
“You don’t need to sit around here, Miss Tilden.” He went to straightening his paints, not looking at her. “I can finish this simply enough.”
“I don’t have anywhere better to go,” Adela said. “Sadly you’re some of the most interesting human interaction to be had around here.”
“Lucky me,” he said, sarcasm breaking through. He quickly reined himself back in. “You really don’t have anything better to do?”
“I’d just be in my room, reading or sewing more than likely.” Adela picked at a piece of lint on her hip. “And as much as I do love Lettice, there’s only so long one can talk to the same person before everything becomes a chore.”
“Lettice?” he asked
“My chambermaid,” she said. “Though these days she’s somewhere between a lady’s maid and chambermaid. She’s the one who did my hair.”
Antony nodded, silent.

Cover Reveal! The Copper Witch – Jessica Dall

COMING MARCH 2014

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Historical, Alternative History
Release Date: March 13, 2014
Digital ISBN 10: 1631120093 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-009-1
Print ISBN 10:1631120107 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-010-7
The Copper Witch
Adela Tilden has always been more ambitious than her station
in life might allow. A minor nobleman’s daughter on a failing barony, Adela’s
prospects seem dire outside of marrying well-off. When Adela catches the eye of
the crown prince, Edward, however, well-off doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Thrown into a world of politics and intrigue, Adela might have found all the
excitement she ever wanted—if she can manage to leave her past behind.