TITLE: Blood Rose Rebellion
GENRE: YA historical fantasy
London, April 1847
I did not set out to ruin my sister’s debut.
Indeed, there were any number of things I deliberately did not do that day.
I did not pray for rain, as I knelt in the small chapel of our London townhome that morning, the cold of the floor seeping into my bones. Instead, I listened to Mama’s petition for successful spells and sunshine. Peeking through my lashes at Elizabeth’s placid face, I yearned to ask for disquiet, disorder, and torrential downpours—calamitous words that might have eased, a little, the restless crawling in my heart. But I swallowed the words unsaid. Even should God heed such a treacherous prayer, my father would not. And though Papa’s weather magic would cost him a headache, Elizabeth would dance under clear skies.
I did not argue with Elizabeth, when she banned me from the ballroom where she and Mama were laying the final grounding for her illusions. “You’ll break my concentration,” she said, “and spoil my spells.”
But then I did not go to the nursery, where I was expected to improve my sketching while James studied his Latin. Instead, I lingered (Mama would say loitered) in the lower hall, watching the servants scurry back and forth with their brooms and buckets and cleaning cloths, in feverish preparation for the ball.
I did not rest, as Elizabeth did.
And because of those omissions, I was in the hallway when Lord Frederick Markson Worthing came calling.