Nest Pitch SJ5: The Duchess Quest

Category/Genre: New Adult Adventure/Romance

Word Count: 100,000

PITCH: A botched execution. A feisty former Duchess who doesn’t know she’s royalty. Three hard-headed men on a swashbuckling, perilous quest to seek her, only to fall for her…

If the MC was an Easter Egg he/she would be: Spicy chili pepper chocolate-flavored egg, because you’ll get a kick out of him.


They were condemned to die. Their heads hooded in sacks of black burlap, each pair of hands bound with rope, the royal family of Jordinia bobbed soundlessly, unseeing in the wooden wagons that carried them into the mouth of the Knights’ Forest.

Side-to-side they were lined against a row of pines as the Revolutionary soldiers drew their rebel swords. The Emperor of Jordinia, Dane Ducelle, was the first to be run through, followed by his wife, the Empress Néandra, weeping wildly for her children. Next to be struck down were the three young dukes, who fought valiantly despite their bound wrists. The soldiers were now bellowing to them and to one another, their orders contradictory, their sword-work inaccurate, their actions disorganized.

In the midst of the wailing and bloody turmoil around him, rebel soldier Francosto Eco found himself face-to-face with the youngest royal, wee Eludaine, the little Duchess of but three years old. There she stood on the frigid, dormant winter’s grass, her head enshrouded, chubby wrists bound before her.

Squinting, Eco slowly raised his sword, then exhaled, unable to summon the will to lower it. He watched the child, his breast heaving. She was now whimpering with terror and shivering fervidly.

The soldier glanced about at the surrounding chaos. His comrades were shouting at one another and at their victims, wrestling their swords through the bodies of those not perishing swiftly enough. Blood pulsing in his ears, Eco looked again to the tiny Duchess. His heart ached in his breast. This was not possible. He could not murder the child.

His opportunity was imminent. He had to act now, lest her innocent blood stain his hands, and that of his comrades, forevermore. With one last surreptitious glance about him, Eco finally made up his mind. Up he snatched the child into his arms before hurrying into the brush and breaking into a run.

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