Title: JEREMIAH COPPERPOT
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 85,000
After her father is secretly murdered by his successor, 15-year-old Princess Noni chooses to go rogue rather than face bitter silence in a convent. A talent for accents and disguises helps her blend in with the twelve wells of the Kingdom of Doorish, from Well Six’s nobility to the fish workers of Well Eleven. Slipping in and out of identities, she depends on stashes of money and a hidden costume trunk to keep alive and undetected while planning King-to-be Renart Duchamp’s ruin. Revenge is her only goal.
After taking shelter with a clever dockboy, she discovers a truth more sinister than the price being offered for her dead-or-alive return. Duchamp is setting up an alliance with a group from the unknown East, and his plans for Doorish have more to do with his military background than loyalty to the Kingdom. Setting aside personal mourning, Noni’s vows of vengeance evolve to include justice for all of Doorish. Now she’ll need to create an alias that will inspire the masses to resist the incoming King, and find proof to convince the Royal Council to suspend Duchamp’s appointment before Coronation Day. When she takes on the persona of Jeremiah Copperpot, a gutsy peasant boy, Noni may have found a misfit capable of accomplishing both. Rebellion is her destiny.
But there are traitors in her midst, who know her secret and grow more tempted by rewards and clandestine offers of power as each day passes. Betrayal is in her future.
By the time the final words at the King’s funeral were spoken, I felt nauseated by incense and overwhelmed by the urge to become a trespasser.
And a thief.
And a vandal.
When Renart Duchamp, soon-to-be King of Doorish, interrupted the eulogy to declare that everyone should paint their doors black in honor of the royal passing, I almost choked on the thickness of his insincerity—of the betrayal that nobody else sensed. Perhaps it was because I was the lone mourner in the front row. Perhaps the extra distance rendered the others comfortably blind and deaf. Whatever the reason, my broken heart did not melt at Duchamp’s speech, nor wither with sorrow. Instead, it burst into flames of anger.
And of plans.
Even as Father’s closed casket was anointed with olive oil and wafted with holy smoke, I considered my approach. I would run that very night to the paint shop in Main Square. I would break glass or bludgeon locks, whichever it took to get inside. It would not be black for me. Nor dull grey or navy. Nor soft brown or pale sage, the traditional colors of Doorish. No, I would take brilliant blood red, pagan green, and shocking blue.
I would paint every traitorous door in Doorish, starting with the one belonging to Renart Duchamp—the man who murdered my father.
My fingernails scratched the wooden pew, orchard splinters digging deeper into my skin. The sharp pain was worth it. My midnight trip to stash money in the wingfruit tree had gone unnoticed.