The Heir and the Spare | Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

Well, folks, the cat is out of the bag. My next novel, The Heir and the Spare, will release on February 19, 2021.

This is my first-ever kingdom adventure (fantasy without a magic system), and today I’m excited to bring you the summary and cover reveal!

The Heir and the Spare: A Summary

An evil princess, a ruthless persecutor, a wretched match.

Tormented at home and bullied during her studies abroad, second-born Iona of Wessett hides in the quiet corners of her father’s castle. Her art and music provide refuge, but her cruel sister Lisenn ever lurks like a monster stalking its prey.

Such has been her life for twenty years.

However, a promise of reprieve and retribution arrives when the neighboring kingdom of Capria proposes an alliance between their new crown prince and Wessett’s heir to the throne. The treaty will rid Iona of the toxic Lisenn, and the potential groom is none other than her erstwhile bully, Jaoven of Deraval. The marriage could not be more poetic: each deserves the misery the other might inflict.

Except that Jaoven, humbled by the war that elevated his rank, appears to have reformed, and the fate of both kingdoms now hinges on the disastrous union he’s about to make.

And the wrapping paper…

cover image for The Heir and the Spare: a gold snake and bird face off against a leafy green backdrop

A big thank you goes to my brother, Russell. That’s his bougainvillea decorating the background. When he heard I was looking for a thorny, leafy shrub, he graciously volunteered it for the cause.

(I know you can’t see the thorns, but if you’ve ever encountered bougainvillea, you *know* they’re there.)

If you want a jump on this release, THE EBOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON.

Some fun facts

This is the first time I’ve taken a full-length novel from idea to publication within a period of six months. It’s also the first time I’ve used an epigraph rather than a dedication. Because of the quickness of the drafting/editing/publishing process, when it came time for me to make that decision, my mind drew a blank.

See, the family relationships in The Heir and the Spare are kind of strained, so I didn’t want the dedication to come across like, “Hey, beloved family member, this one’s for you!” *wink*

(Although, I guess I could have dedicated it to my cat.)

Dedication vs. Epigraph: What’s the difference?

A dedication marks the book as a formal offering to a person, cause, etc. as a symbol of the author’s respect or affection.

An epigraph is “a quotation that is pertinent but not integral to the text.” (CMOS 17th ed, 1.37)

In this case, I used Luke 17:3 (KJV), because forgiveness vs. retribution plays a thematic role in the plot. Also, that verse uses the subjunctive mood in two of its clauses, and I highly appreciate such nuance. #grammargeek4lyfe

Anyway, this whole project has been a whirlwind of fun from start to finish. I truly hope you enjoy it!

10 Responses to The Heir and the Spare | Cover Reveal and Pre-Order
  1. Sarah says:

    2021 is finally looking better!!!!

  2. Melanie says:

    Been excited for this, so I’m glad it’s a fast release. But your explanation of why you did an epigraph instead of a dedication leaves me with the conundrum of whether I should “highly” recommend it to my sister *wink*

  3. S G says:

    I’m so excited for this! I feel like I’ve already read the excerpt a hundred times and I’m INVESTED

  4. S G says:

    Well I sat up till midnight to read it, finished it around two, and have read it twice more since. I love it – it’s heavy, of course, but. I don’t know, I read it three times in about 12 hours ‍♀️ So clearly I love it. I’m sure I’ll keep thinking on it for some time.

    As always, I love how you don’t force the protagonists into a No Violence Ever No Matter How Warranted position, but without any of them ever being egregious or excessive or taking any joy in it.

    And man do I **hate** the villains here. Wonderful book. It’s always safe to pre order yours, I never regret it.

    • Kate says:

      WHAT. You’ve read it *three times*?!

      I’m just… thank you. I’m so glad that it hit the mark for you. I hadn’t considered it a heavy book, but as I’m looking back on it, that’s more because of the writing process (which was quick and fun) rather than the actual content. The villains are definitely dyed-in-the-wool, so the protagonists have to respond accordingly, and both those factors lend to heavy circumstances.

      Again, thank you for sharing your experience/reader response. This has buoyed me in the midst of my release-day anxiety, to a degree I can’t fully express. ❤︎

  5. S G says:

    It’s such an interesting and complex premise, to have to address the whole concept of never feeling (or really being) safe and finding ways to survive and trust despite that. Iona’s resilience is inspiring, even if I wish she’d throat-punched a few people along the way (but that would ruin who she is).

    It just is such an interesting thing to think about and examine in different ways. I reread brine and bone while I was waiting which I find similarly thought provoking. I just find that I see new perspectives through your writing, and it’s interesting and compelling and really lends itself to rereading over and over, for me.

    I’m glad it helped on release day! But the credit is yours 🙂 I’m just a fan

    • Kate says:

      Iona’s character really came into focus for me when I realized that Survival Mode was her “normal,” and that her mechanism for fighting back was to adapt beyond her tormenters’ control, a muted sort of defiance. (What Clervie refers to as her subversiveness.) Some people definitely deserved a throat-punch, but, as you said, that would go against who she is at her core.

      I’ve been experimenting with perspective/point of view for a while now. Brine and Bone is probably my most conspicuous effort in that regard, but it’s woven into all of my books since Namesake (and possibly before, but not quite so intentionally). I’m so glad you’ve picked up on that thread and found value in it.