To Stand Beside Her Press Kit
TitleTo Stand Beside Her
"To Stand Beside Her" is a young adult/new adult novel set in a medieval fantasy world that follows the exploits of Leila, a beautiful and capable courier, who is forced to give up everything to protect a friend. King Nalick, a young and powerful warrior king with a reputation for ferocity, captures Leila and intends to make her his bride. But how far will he go to stand beside her?
"And where should we put her, Nalick?" one of them asked. Leila was surprised to hear the man address Nalick so casually.
"Leave her here," he ordered.
"But, but . . ." the tracker sputtered. "If you just put my captive back in jail she will escape."
"Don't worry. She will not be going anywhere. She is not the ghost courier," Nalick replied as Kay was escorted out of the room.
"Now, I'd like to be left alone with this one," Nalick said, referring to Leila.
"Bring the seer," he ordered. The men beside him rose and left the room. One of the men from earlier escorted the tracker out. The second man shut the door and stood at the back of the room.
"So everyone out did not include him?" Leila asked. She had no chance of leaving if both men stayed in the room with Nalick and her. One, she could possibly overpower, but two would be foolish to challenge.
Nalick rose and walked over to her. Leila stood her ground and did not move. Nalick circled around her, inspecting her like a wolf getting ready to pounce on its prey. Leila knew what was coming next. She had this same encounter with five other kings before. Though, in her opinion, they were all lesser men than the man in front of her. She still did not happily anticipate the next words out of his mouth. Leila stood in silence as he returned to his table and leaned against the tabletop. Just like all the other kings, he looked at her like she was a trophy. Leila refused to be a trophy to any king. Like any man in power, Nalick had committed acts against innocent people. Intentionally or not, Leila did not approve of hurting innocent people. She had been in several battles over the last four years, and luckily escaped with her life each time, but never once had she killed anyone who attacked her. Even those who would try to kill her did not deserve to die in her opinion.
As she stood there, the door in the back of the room opened and the seer, Gabor, walked in escorted by the man who had just left. Leila stared blankly at Nalick, trying her best to read his expression.
"I really don't think you understand the word alone," she commented to Nalick sarcastically, as the door shut and there were now five people in the room.
Gabor walked past her and bowed his head slightly to the king. Nalick nodded his head, and Gabor returned to Leila. Extending his hand, Leila knew what he was planning to do. Trying to stay in control of the situation, Leila gave the old man her hand. Surprised, he stopped, held her hand, and closed his eyes. After a few moments, Gabor returned to the king's side. Nalick leaned over to the seer and asked him a question too quiet for Leila to hear.
"You don't need to be hushed about this since you are discussing me," Leila said before Gabor could respond. Nalick looked up at her. "I am guessing I can answer your questions just as well as he could."
Nalick smiled. He had become the king when he was fourteen and then everything changed. Almost every person treated him differently, apart from his two good friends that were standing in the room with him now. In his years of being king, Nalick had yet to find a woman that would speak her mind to, or at, him. Here before him stood the woman who was a legend around the dinner tables he shared with neighboring kings. All told of encountering a lady so beautiful she would take your breath away and yet who was so cunning none could cage her long enough to make her into a wife. She was truly everything they talked about, and even more. Nalick didn't need the seer's opinion to know that this was the woman he wanted to marry.