It all started with a Miller's daughter.
The Maiden Without Hands is about the daughter of a Miller family who was inadvertently traded to a Wizard for a pile of gold.
The girl in the story has a gentle, patient heart. So, first I needed to find the perfect name and ended up with Kardia who is a Sano, or healing mender. This means she can heal by touch, a gift that's very rare and highly sought after by the Wizarding community.
Kardia comes from the tiny hamlet of Goia that's located on the far outreaches of the Rodonal Province. Goia has been forgotten and left abandoned. A prime target for a wizard seeking a way in to overtake the Province.
It's those left on the outside that are often the ones the enemy picks off first.
Miltie the Herbalist...
If you picked up the free short story I offered, Veiled Blossom, then you've met Miltie when she was much younger.
In Blood & Water, Miltie is in hiding, disheartened over the condition of her town and the callousness of the people living there.
When an innocent young girl with a golden heart is traded to a Wizard for gold, Miltie realizes she still has a bit more life left to be lived.
The Sano girl has nobody to help her, so Miltie decides she must step up for Kardia and help her find a way to turn the town around in hopes of breaking Kardia's curse.
Question is, will their plan be enough?
The Regent, Leonard of Rodon, is the reluctant leader.
Leon has been appointed as the new ruler of Rodonal after his father's demise. Considering the way his father managed the Province, Leon can't understand why Prince Issah would want him anywhere near the capitol city.
Yet, Issah remains adamant that he's chosen the perfect person for the job, assuring him that he doesn't pick the qualified, but qualifies those he picks.
The first task that the new Regent must tackle is making a tour of every city and hamlet within his province. What he finds is both eye opening, and disheartening.
His father did Rodonal a great disservice. And now the whole Province is under threat of being overtaken by a rebel order of Wizards.
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.