Read the Excerpt from Writer Devika Fernando's book below and find the perfect dress for Jessica!
Jessica took a last calming breath, but it didn’t help at all. She had hardly ever been this close to hyperventilating before—the recent kidnapping and an occasional heavy thunderstorm being the exception to the rule.
Yet, something inside her propelled her on, forcing her not to topple on the 4-inch heels with silver straps and glittering diamonds. Hidden strength and determination came to the fore, and she clung to it fiercely, wanting her first public impression to be favorable. She couldn’t let Erik down, couldn’t let herself down.
Hadn’t she vowed to herself that she’d never be weak again? Here was another hurdle to jump and prove herself, and millions of people around the world had done far worse.
Plastering a smile on her face, she nodded at the liveried butlers framing the huge double doors as if she entered royal ballrooms every day, dressed in a gown costing a small—or not so small—fortune.
The two men in uniform bowed slightly, and she took it as a sign of success that they treated her like the other important, mostly aristocratic or at least powerful guests, although they had surely seen her before and identified her as a commoner. A commoner whose nerves were frayed and who was about to put her acting skills to the test.
Squaring her shoulders and then fussing with her silver silk stole for the nth time because she had never worn one before, Jessica walked through the high, wide door with its gold ormolu.
Her steps nearly faltered once she caught her first glimpse of the ballroom. It sprawled huge enough to hold a football field or two, the domed ceiling so far up it seemed to touch the sky. For a moment, she allowed herself to crane her neck and stare.
She knew that the grand ballroom was right at the heart of the palace complex, its rounded dome rising proudly above the other floors. The middle comprised of glass, and from it all the way to the walls stretched elaborate paintings. They showed what she presumed were scenes from a royal court of yesteryear, teeming with finely dressed figures, pillars and gurgling fountains. There was the odd life-sized horse and trellis of roses, mingling with chubby cupids and what looked like an almost biblical scene of saints and a church.
Insecurity rooted her to the spot. She fidgeted with the edge of her stole and it slid off. While rearranging it and shooting furtive glances around, hoping nobody noticed how out of her element she was, a thought gave her strength: Erik had ordered this gown to be made especially for her. And while he had told her about the significance of blue, he had leaned closer and whispered in a deep voice, “I want you to wear teal. It won’t come close enough to our shades to arise suspicion or be against decorum, but you will still be the only one even approximately dressed in the same color spectrum. And one day, you’ll wear blue by my side.”
He had run a fingertip over her sapphire pendant and then stroked her neck with it, leaning closer yet to press a kiss to her forehead.
1. Open internationally!
2. We do not own any images you submit. It will just be online digitally just like all other images.
3. Sketches, pictures all are accepted!
4. You can post the image on Facebook or on Twitter or instagram or you can directly mail it to us.
5. To post on Facebook, please tag my blog - Book and Ink and Writer Devika Fernando's page (Click the link to be redirected there). Please use #DressUpJessica
6. To post on Twitter, Please tag @book_andink and @Author_Devika with #DressUpJessica
7. To post on Instagram, please tag @shreejanani and use #DressUpJessica
8. If you want to mail it, do send it across to firstname.lastname@example.org
9. OBSCENITY and PROFANITY will not be tolerated!
10. Contest open till 12th February 12 PM!
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