To Save a Race
When Duke Callon divorces his wife and decides on an uncanny way of choosing his next duchess, Arianna's left with little choice. Faced with the intricacies of politics, Arianna struggles to find her place. Just as she thinks she has her footing, a decree, issued with the blessing of her husband, calls for the extermination of her entire race.
A young innocent girl, a capricious duke, and a decree that will change everything. What will it take to save a race?
Follow along in this one of a kind Steampunk Biblical retelling of an Old Testament classic by Kandi J Wyatt.
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
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Kenden wandered into the garden with his heart in his throat. It was hard to think of Arianna as old enough for marriage, but she was a year older than Pasha, and Pasha would be married in two weeks. Kenden shook his head, frustrated at the turn fate had sent him. In these ruminations he rounded a corner and came upon Arianna as she bent over something in the foliage. The late evening sun glimmered in her hair, turning it to a fine gold. No one would mistake her for an Anduvian. Somehow Arianna had not inherited the green eyes, brown hair, and squat nose of her heritage. She was short, but that was the only thing that could indicate her race.
As he drew closer, he could see that she’d paused in her walk to admire a lone pink rose, which flourished even in the fading season. With a smile, she stood up and turned around.
“Oh,” she exclaimed as she ran right into Kenden’s arms.
He held her for a moment making sure she had her balance before backing away. He noticed the flush that filled her cheeks and smiled at her, his dark eyes sparkling.
“I see I just saved a damsel in distress.”
“Yes, you did.” Arianna smiled, a tear escaping her eye despite her best intentions.
Kenden’s smile faded as he gently caught the tear in his hand as if he held a treasure. “How can I help, Arianna?”
“I’ll be fine.” She was quiet for a long moment before she let out a small sigh and added, “I guess I’m getting used to the thought of Pasha being gone.”
Kenden sighed. “I understand. It won’t be the same around here.”
Two bats called in their first pass of the evening. Arianna averted her gaze and turned to the rose beside them.
“I’d just decided if this lone rose could make it, so could I.”
Kenden smiled at her. “You always did look at the bright side of things.”
“I think that comes from my roots. Anduvians have had to look at the bright side many times.” Her eyes dimmed with sadness. “After all, there was Uncle Marcos to teach me when Mother and Father died.”
Kenden nodded. “Would it help if I offered you something?”
Arianna looked up at him. He placed his arm around her protectively. She felt so fragile in his embrace.
“What would you offer me that I don’t already have, Kenden?” Her clear blue eyes trusted him.
He paused, debating what to say, or even how to say it. “Arianna, first: do you know why Mother and Father said yes to a two-week engagement for Pasha and Eugene?”
Arianna shook her head. “I’ve no clue. It seemed somewhat short.”
“That it is. They approved it because of the duke’s edict.”
“Duke’s edict?” Arianna’s brow creased. “What exactly is that? I’ve heard it discussed in hushed tones, no one will tell me what it was. All I know is Portia left because of it.”
“You heard about the duke’s divorce, didn’t you?” He waited for her nod before continuing. “Well, now he’s convinced he wishes to marry again, and he’s choosing a duchess from the eligible ladies of the city.”
“He’s the duke, after all; he should be able to have his pick of eligible nobles. What does that have to do with Portia or with us, though?”
“The duke’s counselors convinced him to have a beauty contest and any girl who pleases him will become duchess. Portia left because she wanted to be considered. The duke will soon demand that all eligible young girls come to the castle for his selection process.”
“What?” Arianna pulled away from Kenden to look up at him better. “He can’t do that.”
Kenden laughed dryly. “You just said he’s the duke.”
“But, that means—!” Her blue eyes sparkled with fire. “I won’t go.”
She pushed Kenden’s arm away and stomped down the path. Kenden’s voice stopped her.
“I wouldn’t want you to, but as it is right now, you’ll be forced to go.”
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True