THE SEVENTH CITY
Chapter OneAbout 90 B.C.
Princess Karlinah hid a secret that could kill her. It felt as if it were buried in the pit of her queasy stomach. She quickly lowered her head as she approached her father-in-law where he glowered upon his throne. His scowl mirrored her husband’s while she fought with him last night. Shaking off the image, she bent her knees to the tiled floor and bowed. She rose when invited, keeping her gaze just below the king’s eyes. “You sent for me, great one?”
The Lamanite king of the land of Jerusalem dipped his feathered headdress in reply and sent back the servants waving palm fronds. He stood and motioned Karlinah forward.
Karlinah trembled. Dread filled her as awareness of the private nature and seriousness of the conversation increased. He meant to accuse her, she just knew it. She struggled to push her feet forward, took two slow breaths, and looked at him.
“There is no easy way to say this.” His matter-of-fact voice belied the gravity of his words. “My son is dead. Murdered.”
“Murdered?” Karlinah echoed, eyebrows raised. What a strong word to describe what had happened to her new husband. But she would never get the chance to explain. Regretting that the word slipped, she covered her mouth with her hand. It might have sounded like a confession for how nervous she must look. A quivering gasp escaped her lungs as Karlinah locked eyes with his. Had she betrayed herself?
More about The Seventh City:
A secret. A death. A spirited, sixteen year-old widow. For the young, Mayan princess it was either kill or be killed. Then a Nephite missionary comes to preach about repentance. Can Karlinah gain acceptance and remarry without revealing her secret?
I am currently revising the rest of the manuscript in preparation for submitting.