A Wattpad FEATURED story

Philomena is a child of the empire, traded to faraway Deusetats to seal an alliance and marry a prince: the handsome but arrogant Prince Rainhart. However, politics is never simple.

On the eve of Philomena’s wedding, the king is brutally assassinated, his heir accused of treason, and Philomena’s life thrown into chaos. Philomena and Rainhart flee the king’s betrayers, trading the world of palaces and gowns for one of anger and fear.

Far from home and surrounded by people who want them dead, they must attempt to right a wrong that has angered even the old magic sleeping beneath the ground.

They’ll have to work together if they want to survive.

But, they can barely stand each other, and Philomena has secrets of her own, that if discovered could cost the alliance, her position, and the person who has captured her heart.

Read FIRST DRAFT on Wattpad

Read SECOND DRAFT (in progress) on Radish Fiction

What people are saying

—”This story is fantastic. I love the complexity of the characters and the seamless way you’re weaving the plot.”

—”Is there a sequel??”

—”I stayed up for the last two nights reading this.”

—”Best story in my library.”

Characters in Philomena

A note on naming conventions

In Deusetats, names comprise a title, a nearname and a farname; for example Prince Rainhart Dorn. Generally only people who know each other well or are close family will call each other by their nearname (“Rainhart”). Equals or superiors will use their farname (“Dorn”), or more formally by their title and farname (“Prince Dorn”). Subordinates will call them by their form of address (“your highness”).

In Jovan, names comprise title, given name, family name and then any additional names; for example, Lady Philomena Sylvanus Alysius–or Lady Philomena of the Sylvani, from Alysia. Equals or superiors will use either given name (“Philomena”) or more formally, title and given name (“Lady Philomena”). Subordinates will use form of address (“my lady”) or title and given name.


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Succession and Inheritance in Deusetats

So, in my Primer on Politics for Writers, I said:

If you make the [inheritance] systems any more complex than that, you risk (a) spending all your time explaining it, or (b) confusing readers over something that doesn’t drive the plot anyway. Trust me, I know this from personal experience. :)

In some ways, when I said “from personal experience” here, I was thinking of the succession rules in Deusetats, which are based on real-world cultures, but not the ones that are called easily to mind. Although for me as writer it’s a fun challenge to think about how this pivots the political landscape, I’m aware that for readers it is sometimes a little difficult to track. I think/hope the story reads fine even if you’re not 100% across the details, and think/hope also that watching the characters navigate the twisted roads to power might inspire readers to get more interested in politics generally, but I am also aware that it might be a bit hard to track. So, I have written this post to provide more info to those that want it, in the hope that it is not necessary to enjoying the story. 🙂

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Just started posting The Glittering Court (sequel to featured fantasy Philomena) on Wattpad. #excite!

Redid the covers of my Wattpad stories so they’re all matchy-matchy. Like?

(Stock credit: [x] [x] [x])


Angsthase 2 by Ruths138


indie & nature blog

Could I speak with you a moment?”

Philomena cocked her head. “Every time we start a conversation like that, you end up being insufferably rude and making me so angry I can barely look at you. Given you are about to ride into serious–” She stuttered to a halt, “–into serious danger, I would prefer to be able to think kindly of you at our parting.” She tightened her arms around her body. “So if there’s anything you wish to say to me, save it until everything is done and we are safe.”

Rainhart digested this in silence. “I cannot say that this is unfair,” he said quietly. “I will hold my tongue for now.

For a moment, Rainhart allowed himself to imagine that King Godfrey had never been murdered, he and Philomena had married, and this was part of their wedding tour. She came into his room–as she would have done every night since their wedding night–and slipped into his arms, letting him dig his fingers into her unravelling braids and pull them out. She would be wearing–

Oh great and lesser gods, blast it. He pressed his lips together and shook his head once.


(Settle down, young man!)

Great gods, lesser gods, and those who dwell above and below,” the captain breathed. “Please, come in and be welcome to Mullrose Castle. I will take you to the baron.


(There is something of a trick to developing an ascending scale of oaths in a fantasy kingdom. I quite like, “Great gods,” etc.)