Genre: Adult Historical
Word Count: 98,000
My MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed as:
Royalty. One thing Elizabeth and her cousin Thurzó both have in common is how highly they regard their positions in the nobility while dreaming of having more power. Both dread sinking in status and becoming lesser than their peers. They would love to stand as equals with the king, making them powerful enough to refuse his orders. Becoming royalty also means having the power they dream of fighting their enemies with. They’d spend the night pretending to be royalty while sizing each other up. Despite the plotting both would love every minute spent as royals.
Legend claims Countess Elizabeth Bathory killed over 600 servant girls and bathed in their blood to retain her youth. But legends aren’t always true.
Born to a prestigious Hungarian noble family in the sixteenth century, Elizabeth marries Ferenc, the Black Hero of Hungary. While he leads the king’s army against the Turks, she enjoys her independence running the family estates and practicing her healing knowledge. When several of Elizabeth’s servant girls die of mysterious causes, her enemies take advantage and spread rumors about Elizabeth and the blood on her hands. Thankfully the rumors of Elizabeth turning into a murderess are quieted by her husband, but they don’t stay gone for long.
First 250 words:
The place setting across from me remained untouched, signaling another broken promise from my fiancé to dine with me. I drummed my fingers on the table as the steam from my fish and vegetables subsided alongside my hope. Whatever the secret to gaining my fiancé’s attention, I had yet to discover it. Or else I wouldn’t be dining alone surrounded by nineteen empty seats in a great hall as silent as a crypt.
My pleated Medici collar stuck out like a wheel around my neck, restricting the movement of my head and forcing me to turn my whole body to check the door for Ferenc. The outfit was as inflexible as my role as Ferenc’s fiancée. The door stood empty. Last time I waited an hour for him. This time I refused to eat a cold meal. I stabbed my fork into my fish and it slid across the plate from the force. I took a slow bite, careful not to spill food on my dress or bump my arm into my collar lest I myself look more pitiful.
“More wine, my beautiful lady?” László asked as he stepped up beside me. The oaky scent of smoke from the kitchen fires clung to his clothes. When Ferenc first dragged me to this manor at the beginning of summer, I requested the kitchen staff make László my permanent server after his smile charmed me during my first breakfast.