Kings & Queens
My debut, YA suspense novel, Kings & Queens is out in paperback and eBook through Little Prince Publishing. This novel went through two critique circles and so much transformation, so I'm ecstatic to be able to share the finish product with you and for you to meet me crazy characters.
Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.
All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.
So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.
At first, I just had this love triangle kicking around in my brain, centering around this teen, Majesty, who was the manager of her high school's baseball team, on which her two guy best friends play, but I had no plot to plunk it into. And if there's one thing I crave in a story above all else, it's plot. Then one night, I dreamt I was running in the woods for exercise--yes I do that and play Tetris too, so what of it? Anyway, I overheard two guys planning a church massacre and escaped them in this little town. Boom! There was my setting and plot. Sort of.
As I penned Kings & Queens, it grew into something totally unexpected and awesome, and the whole royal thing took me by surprise. The fact that her name reinforces this concept is just a little too precious in my opinion but entirely accidental. My feisty MC, however, refused to be anything but. So, MAJESTY she is.
This was the second book I wrote, and when I started it, I'd learned a lot more about story structure and the importance of a story question. So this novel has a very evident question that holds taut all the way to the Epilogue. Kings & Queens contains many twists on its dark and weird decent to truth, aspects that took even me by surprise, and it trumped my expectations in its scope, depth and intricacy. I laughed and cried along the way, and I honestly got paper cuts too, so I literally poured blood sweat and tears into it.
Hope you love the story and my characters as much as I do.
THE EARLY BUZZ:
"Gritty, emotional, and, at times, deeply disturbing, Kings & Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting voice in young adult fiction." ~ Jessica Chambers, Voices on the Waves
"A thrilling, mysterious tale with an ending that moved me to tears." ~ Sybil Nelson, Priscilla the Great
"An action-packed adventure where the stakes are high and the players ruthless." ~ J.L. Campbell, Contraband
"I think the best way for me to describe the book is quirky. "Beautifully unique" would be another term I'd use. I just...I love this book. Each character, especially Majesty, was like a 20-layer cake. The book was both character-driven and plot-driven, which promises to be an exciting ride for every type of YA reader. Add to this Courtney's incredible writing style and you have a story that you want to devour in one sitting." ~ Missy of Missy's Reads & Reviews