The Broken Daughter The Cursed Kingdom Book 1 by Aimee Shaye Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Long ago, magick filled the land of Dramolux. But one sorceress delved too deep into dark sorcery and tainted the creatures inhabiting the land. In an effort to save all creatures, a noble sentinel locked the dark powers away. For generations, the dark ones were controlled, passed down to those who ruled the sentinel kingdom. All is peaceful until the newest sentinel queen is murdered and all the magick is released back into the world. It is now up to her daughter, Princess Aymeri--who has no knowledge of what she truly is--to recapture it. But another dark sorceress is on the rise. She wants to lay claim to the magick and wield it herself, in an effort to take all of Dramolux under her control. The odds are against Aymeri and the magick the sorceress wants is evil. Aymeri must prepare to battle or die fighting for the survival of her people.
Sighing, she straightened her clothes, adorned yet again in the colors of mourning, then found herself parchment and a fountain pen—the ink clearly fresh; she’d have to thank Ser Parzival for that—and folded her hands as she had seen her parents do countless of times as they waited.
It wasn’t too long before Ser Parzival knocked on the door, then introduced her to Prince Drystan of Bréîn. She could not fathom why it was so urgent for him to meet her today.
After dismissing Ser Parzival, she held out a hand toward the seat opposite her and waited for Prince Drystan to get comfortable before leaning forward. “Ser Parzival informed me that it was crucial we meet today, though I cannot fathom what you could possibly need me for that is more urgent than laying my dead mother to rest.”
Prince Drystan briefly bowed his head before looking directly at Aymeri. “I am profusely sorry about the beloved Queen’s untimely death, Princess Aymeri.”
“And yet, how sorry can you truly be if you have called for this appointment on the day when you knew my mother was to be laid to rest.” Easy Princess, he is an asset. Aymeri rolled her eyes at the voice in her head, who clearly did not know what she was talking about. What asset could a narcissistic prince, of some unheard-of country, be?
“The matter is such, Princess, that I must put my people before all else.”
Aymeri tried to size him up. His answer seemed genuine and his tone posed no threat. Nor did his body language. He was sitting squarely in his seat, his eyes making constant contact with hers. Her gut gave her no warning, no inkling that he was up to no good. But still there begged a question: “What do your people have to do with me, Prince Drystan? We owe you nothing.”
The Dead Daughter The Cursed Kingdom Book 2
She was born an ill-fated princess. She was destined to be a savior.
Princess Kumud Maudlin of Treoles is a rescued prisoner of her own castle after twenty-three years of seclusion. Now that she has a second chance of life, thanks to her rescuer–and sister-Queen Aymeri, she must learn to speak with her words and control the wayward magick inside of her.
Meanwhile, the evil Empress Dimia is advancing toward Treoles with a vengeance for the magick guarded by Kumud’s sentinel sister, and ruler of Treoles.
Will Princess Kumud control her magick and help Treoles retaliate or will Treoles fall before it even stands a chance?
Kumud’s left shoulder ached and burned as she fell to her knees in pain. She gritted her teeth and grunted while she placed her hand on her shoulder to calm the pain. Drystan was at her side in mere seconds and coached her to breath while he assured her the pain would soon pass. She could barely move her left arm as the pain surged through her as though someone used a sharp, hot object to carve her flesh. Without an explanation, she knew it was her very own rune, just like Aymeri had between her shoulder blades. Before the pain became too intense, Lady Breya placed a hand over the shoulder that ached and the pain vanished.
Kumud looked up at her in askance. “I am Fae,” Lady Breya stated. “My kind are known for using nature and natural instincts. My abilities allow me to soothe.”
Kumud smiled brightly. Why were magickal creatures thought to be dangerous when so many were harmless? She had a lot to learn about the magick that had once been banned, but one thing was for sure: all parties were misunderstood.
By the time they finished sparring, the sun started to set and Ser Racquol called upon them for dinner. Although Racquol was King Drystan’s royal adviser, he had taken to help Aymeri as well. In the past few months, Kumud had become quite fond of him--in a friendly way. She still had to get accustomed to the people of the palace, especially the men. After everything Ser Parzival did to her, she was peculiar about who she wanted around.
“Congratulations on your rune, Princess.” Ser Racquol held out his arm to escort her back into the palace.
“I am many things but normal is not one of them,” says Aimee Shaye when asked to describe herself. She is a novelist whose genres include Fantasy and all its subgenres. When asked what drives her, Aimee says, “The world around me. The people I know. The love and support of my family." Aimee is a family-driven person and enjoys meeting and getting to know her readers. She is full of life and down-to-earth. She has a personality that fills the room. More than that, Aimee is someone people easily open up to. Her passion for life, reading, and writing are evident in her novels and she leaves no stone unturned in showcasing real emotions even in a fantasy world.
Readers from all of the world enjoy reading her novels which are suitable for all ages, despite her characters being in their late teens and early twenties
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
This is going to sound cliché but I always wanted to be an author. At an early age, our parents set us up for success in anything we put our mind to. My parents did not allow us to quit at anything unless it was detrimental to our health and well-being. Writing and reading are two of my passions (teaching is a third) and it was always something I practiced at home and in school. I was very much that child who always had a book in my hand. Most students get reminded to stop talking during lessons, I was told to stop reading. There were times when I just couldn’t put the book down so I’d read during math class or science class or even at lunch! But I’m getting off track, haha! I really knew I wanted to become an author in 8th grade. We had to write short stories for class and my 8th grade English teacher told me that I should publish one day. This was something that was reiterated to me in 9th, again in 10th, and all throughout my high school and college career. When I was 21, I took the leap of faith and did it! So to all of my teachers who told me to, THANK YOU!
What is something unique/quirky about you?
What isn’t quirky about me? I’m the typical tom boy who is one of the boys and can dress up when she wants to but I’m also an anomaly. I am very much introverted and have really bad social anxiety but once I get to know someone, I can be extroverted. I love learning and can always be found doing research, reading old textbooks to find answers, and playing trivia games. I own almost every kind of trivia game there is: Game of Knowledge, Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, 1 VS 100, Trivial Pursuit (Genius & Family edition), the list goes on and on. I also march to the beat of my own drum and I’m very independent. I love to sing in the shower. I can recite most of the lines from Titanic, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (a Bollywood film). I know every Backstreet Boy song, every Backstreet Boy member and their birthday (though I’m rusty on the years). I also know every Taylor Swift song. TEST ME ON THESE! I DARE YOU! LOL.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
This is my favorite story EVER! Okay, so back in 2016, I went to my first ever New York Comic Con with my then-boyfriend, now-husband and we were like 2 minutes late for Tom Mison’s signing. For those of you who do not know who Tom Mison is, he played Ichabod Crane on Fox’s primetime show, Sleepy Hollow (Netflix needs to reboot it!). He was literally packing up. Well, Tom saw the disappointed look my face and called me over to him. I ended up talking to him for about 5 minutes, got a TERRIBLE photo taken with him, but the experience was everything! The best part was my husband could not work my iPhone camera (he has an Android) and at the same time Tom & I were like “Oh, for the love of god, Matthew!” This was literally, the best day ever!
What are some of your pet peeves?
I really dislike when people talk over me when I’m trying to get my point across because I’m so introverted; so if I’m actually answering the question or contributing something it’s because I feel it’s important. I also dislike when people don’t get straight to the point; tell me what you mean in as little words as possible. Don’t fluff it up. Don’t beat around the bush. Just tell me. I also hate, hate, hate name-calling in arguments whether it’s a friend or my significant other. I don’t ever talk to people like that and I refuse to be talked to like that.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born and raised in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York. If you don’t know where it is, it’s literally next door to Williamsburg and McCarren park separates the two. If you do know where it is can someone please send me PETER PAN’S DONUTS?!
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
With my family. Tomorrow is not promised so I try to live every day like it might be my last, which is partly why (even though I’m married) I still live at home. I would hate to spend the whole day in my house and not see my parents ever again. They mean the whole world to me. Family is everything to me.
Who is your hero and why?
My father is my hero because he came to America with nothing in his pocket and really taught us what it was like to live life and take risks. If it weren’t for my father, I wouldn’t do half the things I am doing in life. Who I am is because of him. When I was about 12, my mom had to stop working to take care of me so my father was our only source of income. He worked so hard to make a living: barely took off from work even in the snow and even when he was in pain. If it wasn’t for him sacrificing his well-being for us, I would have never been able to live my dream of going to college, being a writer, and teach as a full-time job.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
A horrible one! I get lost in my emotions and I’m introverted. To rule the world, you would have to engage in conflict and mediate it and I hate doing both! I’m good when I’m talking one-on-one with the person I have conflict with but if I have conflict with more than one person and they’re all in the same room, I’m going to hyperventilate and pass out. I also over-analyze things and think with my heart and my gut and going into a world meeting and being like “I feel in my heart that this is the right thing to do and my gut is saying go for it” is probably not the best way to respond when countries are at war, fighting for peace, or trying to end world-hunger. Like I wouldn’t know where to begin, how to divide the money, how to make everyone equal. I have too many expectations of what this world should be. I have too many things that need to be changed and how to get from point A to point B is probably harder than it sounds.
What are you passionate about these days?
Adventure! I am so passionate about finding a new hobby, a new place to go, exploring another part of town. Being in NYC in the middle of the COVID crisis has really showed me how much I’m missing out on the state that I am in. Every weekend we’d see a movie or go to the city and it’s like I am not doing that after COVID! Too many people and too much risk! So now I kind of just want to hop in the car and explore the rest of my state and see what’s out there because I know there’s so much more to NY than a congested city.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Writing is my time to unwind and relax, but I probably shouldn’t have this as my answer, right? Okay, fine. So besides writing, I love to watch TV, play board games or card games, play with my dog (Rusty), or sit on the deck and read. I love to watch shows like Supernatural, Reign, Resurrection: Ertugrul really anything fantasy or with royalty. I love to play games like Monopoly, Chess, and Trivial Pursuit. My favorite card game is 500-card Rummy (please please look it up if you don’t know how to play it’s so much fun!). Rusty loves to play fetch, cuddle, and belly rubs! My current read is Midnight Sun!
How to find time to write as a parent?
I’m not a parent yet but we have discussed this and I’m just going to have to find time to write when my kids are sleeping!
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Introverted, Personable, Fun, Loving, Caring
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was 8 years old and wrote my first story about a girl going to the park with her dogs. I wrote it on that yellow/manilla drawing paper and I was at work with my mom (it was take-your-daughter-to-work day) and she showed me how to make copies on the copy machine. Well, I copied that book for everyone in the bank that day and I have no idea where it is!
Do you have a favorite movie?
YES! Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast are my favorite movies. I love Aladdin because I like the songs and I like Beauty and the Beast because (let’s face it) the LIBRARY!!!! Who else fantasized about being Belle and rummaging through the library?!
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I’m going to stick with what’s currently published: The Broken Daughter. Even my father suggested I pitch it to Netflix! If only I knew someone who could write a screenplay for me and not charge me an arm, leg, liver, and my soul!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
None but I would love for some suggestions! Let’s do it!!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Sloth. Man, I get so lazy sometimes! Especially after a long day at work. I’m like a sloth walking into the house. I’ll literally go for a shower and go to bed!
What inspired you to write this book?
So, The Broken Daughter was actually a project for one of my master classes at Southern New Hampshire University. I’m currently enrolled in their English Literature & Creative Writing Master’s Program. I was inspired to write it when I saw a few covers with crowns on them while pursuing covers in the royal fantasy genre. The idea instantly came to me and I sketched what I wanted my covers to look like and the story flowed from there. It really helped me to have a visual to keep me motivated! I was also inspired by several shows and movies such as Resurrection: Erturgul (A Turkish historical drama) and Koi Laute Aaya (a Hindi drama). Turkey and India inspired the world and cultures of my characters while Koi Laute Aaaya inspired the palace of many secrets (this is a theme that returns in The Dead Daughter). The Dead Daughter is the sequel to The Broken Daughter.
What can we expect from you in the future?
You can expect more books like The Broken Daughter and The Dead Daughter in the sense that future books will be plot heavy with lots of character development. In fact, The Cursed Daughter, the closing novel to this trilogy, is currently in the planning stage. The cover reveal will be October 17. You can also expect fantasy without the romance subplot. There will be romance but it will be in the background and hinted at whenever there is romance. You can also expect novels with vampires, werewolves, demi-gods, and shifters in the future!
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I do, actually. After The Cursed Daughter is released, there will be a sequel titled The Mad Queen which will be about Queen Ismana. I think it’s important for the readers to see who Queen Ismana really was because they never got to meet her. Whatever they know about her is all through the eyes of Aymeri, Drystan, Kumud, Madam Bheva, and eventually self-declared Empress Dimia.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in the books?
All of the characters in The Broken Daughter are the same characters that appear in The Dead Daughter.
Aymeri: Aymeri is the main character of The Broken Daughter and she is the twenty-three year old princess of Treoles who has to learn how to run her kingdom after she finds her mother dead. She is headstrong and sensitive and not your typical princess. She shows her emotions and doesn’t just steel herself and act like everything is okay. She doesn’t need a prince to save her and she’s very compassionate. She is a sentinel being (a guardian) and is in charge of keeping dark magick out of the hands of anyone who might misuse it.
Drystan: Drystan is the protagonist of The Broken Daughter who knows more about Queen Ismana then her own daughter, Aymeri. Like Aymeri, he too had to run a kingdom, Brein, after he finds his father dead. He is compassionate and wants to help Aymeri but knows that she wants to figure things out on her own. Eventually he becomes her confidant. He is also a merchant king because Empress Dimia closed all trade to his kingdom and his people are suffering. As a result, he’s taken to mercantilism and sells goods that are made within his kingdom or artifacts from his castle that have no importance but monetary significance.
Jorlyn: Jorlyn is Drystan’s sister and is the head assassin of their kingdom. She steeled herself from hurt when her mother and father passed away and refused to run the kingdom even though she was better suited for it. I cannot say much about Jorlyn because of spoilers!
Empress Dimia: Dimia is the antagonist rules the kingdom of Aixeris and proclaims herself the Empress of Dramolux as she starts to overtake the other kingdoms. She wants to claim Treoles for her own and get her hands on the dark magick that is being guarded by the kingdom.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I came up with the concept I wanted to write the next Game of Thrones—or so I thought! Originally, The Cursed Kingdom series was supposed to be three sisters fighting each other for their right to the throne but then it sort of took a life of its own and actually became a series of keeping the magick at bay and getting the continent of Dramolux back to the way it originally was: crawling with creatures and magick. The characters were my imagination but inspired by Turkish and Indian culture. Resurrection: Ertugrul (A Turkish historical drama) inspired the world-building and Koi Laute Aaya (A Hindi drama) inspired the plot of the palace with hidden rooms.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I usually use the website FantasyNameGenerators.com. I don’t take the exact name that they deliver, instead, I put names together to create new ones. Fantasy Name Generators allows you to choose from different creatures, fictional worlds, and countries/cultures all over the world! It’s really a saving grace!
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
What didn’t I enjoy? Before writing The Broken Daughter, I had never planned a novel before. I usually just sat down and wrote and fixed it in editing. However, being enrolled in a Master’s English program at SNHU, there was a class where we had to sit down and really plan a novel. The Broken Daughter was that novel! I enjoyed the whole process from plotting, writing, editing. There was nothing I didn’t like. That being said, I had the most fun developing my characters. We had to use two different character guides to flush our characters out and the best part was that we had to write the answers to the question from the characters’ perspectives. It was so much fun to get inside my characters’ heads and let them do the talking instead of me! I also enjoyed watching my characters come to life. It had been a while since I wrote—I took two years off from publishing and have since taken my earlier works down to work on them—so to be back in that positive mind space was amazing!
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Aymeri is moved by her people. She is selfless and in tune with her emotions. She wants what is best for everyone and will stop at nothing to please others. However, she is fierce and tells it like it is. You will see her butt heads with Drystan often when he is first introduced and when you read that scene, you’ll understand why!
Drystan is also moved by his people. He will do anything to make sure they survive and are taken care of. In fact, he sells artifacts from his own castle to make money to ensure that everyone has enough food and materials to take care of themselves.
Jorlyn is independent and her heartache is what makes her tick. She wants to protect people.
Kumud…I’m still unsure of. She’s been through a really tough time and she’s really trying to make it work out. I don’t want to give too much away, but you’ll understand this once you read The Dead Daughter.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
Oooh, I love this question! My first novel was titled Destroyed but it is currently not in print as it’s getting a total makeover! Original readers won’t even recognize it anymore! I came up with this title because the main character, Jaden, goes through so much heartache and it’s always one thing after another, that he is literally destroyed by it. He keeps his feelings inside, is very stoic, and really tries to hate everyone but his friends all know better. He’s not an acerbic jerk, but he is very hard-hearted.
Who designed your book covers?
My husband, Matthew of Sentinel Designs, designs my book covers. We met when we were in college and he was a graphic design major. I had a huge crush on him and didn’t know how else to spend time with him (I was so awkward then) so I asked if he would design my covers while building his portfolio and well, the rest is history! You can check him out on www.sentineldesigns.net
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Absolutely…not! I love everything about it! There isn’t a thing I would change. I worked so hard on planning and getting everything correct in the planning and re-planning stages that I don’t think it could be any better. Many readers have told me there’s not a book like it that they can compare it to and that in their eyes, it’s a good thing!
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I did! I learned that I need to just let the words come and edit later. I’m so used to editing as I write and it in the end it ends up getting the better of me. This time, I waited until the end and I couldn’t be happier with the way it all came out. I also learned that my writing has really developed and come a long way. I finally found the balance between dialogue and description and found my niche in third-person limited!
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Many people won’t know who she is but her name is Jennifer Winget. She is a Hindi drama/soap opera actress and has done some Bollywood films. She was truly the inspiration for Aymeri’s character.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yes! Please, please, please reach out to me! I love hearing from my readers and I love interacting with them! Feel free to message me or email me anytime! Let’s be friends!
How did you come up with name of this book?
I wanted Aymeri to be authentic and to grieve for her dead mother the way an everyday person would and when I thought about what it would feel like to lose one of my parents, one word came to mind: broken. So there you have it: The Broken Daughter.
I can’t reveal why I came up with the title The Dead Daughter. I’ll let you all interpret that as you will! I don’t want to give away The Broken Daughter if you haven’t read it yet!
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part of The Broken Daughter is when Aymeri meets Drystan for the first time because this is the first time the reader sees her stick up for herself and truly say what is on her mind.
My favorite part of The Dead Daughter is the battle in chapter 15! This is when the characters really shine.
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