Chapter One: The Magic Rectangle

Hello folks! Wanted to share Chapter One of my new book Rosaline’s Curse.

This book will be released on June 25th!

(But if you want to read it for free, right now, scroll to the bottom of this post for the super-secret, exclusive, VIP link.)


Rosaline awoke to the astonished face of a mustached man. The last thing she remembered was cutting her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. She furrowed her brow. Why on earth had she touched the spindle? That was stupid.

The mustached man was standing next to her bed frozen in shock. Rosaline studied him. It truly was an awful mustache—like a balding caterpillar crawling across his upper lip. He couldn’t have been older than twenty-three. His hair, like his mustache, was a sandy color.

He was wearing an ornament on his face. A silver frame rested on his nose and held a rectangular piece of glass over each eye. It could have been decorative, but Rosaline suspected it had some practical purpose. Behind the device, his hazel eyes were bright and curious.

She sat up and looked around. She was in a tower room, not all that different from the one she occupied at home in Kaltehafen. It contained a table with an open Bible on it, a chest, and of course, that stupid spinning wheel.  Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. She looked at her own hands and noticed that she was as dusty as everything else in the room. Her finger was scabbed where she had pricked herself.

In addition to the mustached man, three others were present. 

A man stood by the door dressed in black from head to foot, except for his sleeves which were white. He wore a shiny black hat, with a brim only on the front. 

A short, round, gray-haired man stood in the middle of the room holding a tiny book in one hand and what Rosaline guessed was a writing implement in the other.  

The last person was standing next to the table holding some sort of flat, metal, rectangle in both hands over the Bible. She gaped at Rosaline, then looking at the mustached man said one word:


The mustached man started stuttering something in a language Rosaline couldn’t understand. He kept pointing to Rosaline and shrugging. 

“Who are you?” Rosaline asked, hoping one of the four strangers would answer. 

Then they swarmed around her all talking at once, and looking at each other and looking at her. 

It was immediately clear to Rosaline that they were just as confused as she was. 

Then the woman held up her hands and yelled something that silenced the others. She stooped down so she was at eye level with Rosaline and asked her a question. 

Rosaline could not understand the words. What language were they all speaking? The woman asked her another question. Rosaline still could not understand, but she recognised the woman had switched languages. 

Loquerisne Latine?” Rosaline asked, which means, “do you speak Latin? 

All four people started chattering excitedly. Rosaline tried not to roll her eyes. It was a bad habit of hers. The mustached man held up a finger and then pulled a rectangle out of his pocket.

It was like the one the woman had been holding—flat and very shiny. 

He tapped on it, and then the surface illuminated. Rosaline stood up and leaned over to get a better view. The surface of the rectangle looked like a page from a book with Latin letters lined up on the bottom in little squares. When the man tapped them, they appeared in a frame on the upper left side of the page. He was writing words, but the words didn’t make sense. He tapped a tiny blue rectangle and suddenly a new sentence appeared in the box on the right. It made sense, sort of: 

I am Mark Reid, The Learner of Humans. How do you live? What is the year?

Rosaline wanted to get a closer look at the rectangle. Was it some sort of magic? Or a machine maybe? What was the light source and where did the letters come from? She extended her hand toward it. Mark Reid, The Learner of Humans, pulled it back and shook his head. 

Rosaline wondered if it was dangerous if used by someone uneducated in its ways.

He withdrew a tiny book from his clothing and gave it to her. Rosaline laughed when she looked at it. She’d never seen such a little book before. The pages were very smooth. He handed her what she supposed was a pen but didn’t give her any ink. When he saw the confusion in her eyes, he took the pen from her and scrawled it over the parchment. Lines appeared without ink. Rosaline took the pen and wrote: 

I am Princess Rosaline of Kaltehafen. It is the Year of Our Lord 1227. Why shouldn’t I be alive?

The mustached man looked at her words and added them to the page on his rectangle which changed them from Latin into the gibberish she supposed was his native tongue. 

His eyes widened. He looked from her to the magic rectangle and back again. He held out the rectangle for the older woman to see and they both exchanged excited words. He added his reply and turned the magic rectangle around for her to see. 

The year is 2017. 

Rosaline stared astonished. Then all at once, she burst out laughing. It was too wonderful to believe. She looked at the strange people in front of her and their funny clothes and their funny little machines. 

What other wonders were beyond the castle walls in this marvelous future? 

Mark and his companions exchanged confused glances and spoke to each other for a moment. Rosaline jumped down from her bed. She had no interest in exploring the room. She doubted anything in it had changed much in seven hundred and ninety years. She brushed herself off as she walked, in a futile attempt to remove the dust.

The four strangers all started speaking again, clearly confused. Rosaline took the opportunity to brush past them and head for the exit. 

They started calling after her. She paused and looked over her shoulder. Mark, The Learner of Humans, was beckoning for her to come back. She felt a twinge of irritation at this. She had been locked in that oppressive room for centuries. What lay in store for her beyond the castle walls? What other people? What other machines? What other marvels had she yet to see? She ignored his calls and sprinted out the door.

She could hardly contain her excitement. The best part about waking up seven hundred and ninety years in the future was that it meant Lord Julyan was dead. And if Lord Julyan was dead, she wouldn’t have to marry him. 

This future—her future—was entirely her own.

Want to read the rest, right now, for FREE? You can sign up for an Advanced Review Copy here! All you need to do is commit to leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you buy books! The review only needs to be a few sentences, and it should be honest. (You still get the book if your review is, “I regret putting this in my brain. Getting hypnotherapy to forget the contents of this disaster.”)

There are limited spots available and this promo ends on June 24th.

Thank you in advance to all my reviewers!

Published by Katy Campbell

Katy is a little broken in the head.

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