Happy New Year from the World Between!
Wherever you are today, I hope the stroke of midnight sparked a year of magic and excitement. I was happy to spend New Years Eve with family, putting party hats on my week-old niece and enjoying champagne and cider to celebrate The Carver’s latest milestone. Yesterday, we hit #1 Best-Seller status on Amazon, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Enzo and Pietro are over the moon excited right now that so many people chose to join them on their road trip, and 2017 is going to be filled with amazing new destinations for them. In fact, I got to visit one of them last year when I was writing The Carver. I’m not sure I’d go back any time soon, because Queen Avoria’s presence lingers and our interview unsettled me a bit. I think it’s time I tell you about my conversation with her. Don’t worry–I took every precaution to make sure that I would be safe during my interview with Queen Avoria of Florindale, and even if I lost a part of my soul, I have faith that Enzo will save us one day. One can only hope…
Ivory Queen: You may enter.
Jacob: Do you promise you’ll be cool? You won’t reap my soul or anything?
I.Q.: Don’t be dense, Lore Master. If I reaped your soul tonight, who would tell the story of my glorious ascension to the ultimate throne? Somebody needs to keep a record of my beauty and persistence, and ensure that all the worlds know of my conquest. You favor me by conducting your inquiry. I might even thank you when it’s over.
Jacob: I suppose I appreciate that. Thank you for not ending my life.
I.Q.: Spare me the small talk.
Jacob: Alright, let’s dive right in. There are three worlds that I know of at this point in my research–the New World, where I’m from; the Old World, where you’re from; and The World Between where we sit today, also known as Wonderland. Why are you here? Did you choose to be here?
I.Q.: My ultimate destination is a world beyond, one that I’ve made where people bend to my will. I do not intend to stay here forever. I asked why Lady Fortune steered me here. It seemed a cruel punishment for a beautiful queen–being trapped in a cursed mirror–but I choose to treat Lady Fortune’s plan as an act of kindness. I can add the realm of wonder to my conquest, and my ascension will be all the more glorious for it. I’m happy to be here.
Jacob: And yet I assume you’re already working on a plan to get out?
I.Q.: Yes. That plan is of no concern to you. Next question.
Jacob: I want to show you a picture and find out what’s going on. Do you remember this night?
I.Q.: *snatches picture out of my hands* Who painted this portrait? How dare anyone spy and capture an image of me without my knowledge like some shameless bandersnatch paparazzi? Was it you, Lore Master?
Jacob: Ha! I can promise you it wasn’t me. I couldn’t even draw a stick figure of you. It’s why I write instead. I have a question about the man in the painting, though. He’s giving you a really weird look. You ever see a reality show, like The Bachelorette? People give each other this look all the time on those shows. It usually means drama’s about to happen. What’s going on between you two?
I.Q.: That is Cornelius Redding, the so-called King of Hearts. He found me on the streets of the Wondercity and offered me shelter. I offer him protection and strengthen his hold on Wonderland. In turn, I strengthen my own hold on the realms. Our relationship is professional and symbiotic. How dare he give me those dagger eyes behind my back? It is you who means drama, Mr. Devlin, showing me this image to spite me!
Jacob: Well, I can hardly imagine the two of you were having friendly brunches and playing golf with flamingo clubs every day. Surely there’s something else there, right?
I.Q.: You are merely seeing the visage of a troubled man. You may have heard that the Queen of Hearts is no longer alive after Alice showed up and wreaked her mischief in the realm of wonder.
Jacob: Wait, really?
I.Q.: Oh, you didn’t know? Somebody killed the queen. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to figure out that it was probably that girl. Certainly don’t get the idea to blame me, Lore Master. I think that’s quite enough for today. I demand my own book, Mr. Devlin. Have your spy paint me on the cover, and call it Ivory Queen.
If you’re ready to learn more and set the stage for the second novel in the Order of the Bell series, preorder this novelette on Amazon and enjoy Ivory Queen on 1.10.17!