Most Saturdays, Helen dons her wizard costume and defends Thornvaal from evil, reveling in her power to hold back both demon hordes and reality for a few hours. But come Monday morning, the live action roleplaying (LARPing) is over. Helen’s still a star, but in reality most of her energy goes into protecting her son from her sociopathic brother, Louis, who runs the business based on her work and controls most aspects of her life. She knows she should leave, but she has nowhere to go and no money of her own. And she loves being a celebrity.
When Helen’s ex-lover reappears after a six-year absence, their hurried, secret encounter demonstrates he still knows how to give her exactly what she wants; this time it’s cash and her estranged mother’s phone number. Her real quest begins immediately afterward when she rescues herself and her son. On horseback.
Throughout Realm of Heroes, Helen imagines herself a spunky, witty heroine who must train under a stoic mentor (her mother) and capture the heart of a sexy, untamable man (her ex-lover) before she wrests back her realm from an oppressive usurper (Louis). However, the demons she must battle in the real world are internal. Mental illness, single parenthood, and the constant temptation to return to Thornvaal both inspire and undermine Helen’s quest to get back her royalties, keep her son, and win her freedom.
Complete at 98,000 words, REALM OF HEROES is standalone upmarket contemporary with series potential.