Monday, May 9, 2016

One Week Excerpt Celebration

Just one week until Espionage comes out! I'm excited to share it. Today I'm going to share some excerpts from the book.

     “Papa, I thought Kermit wasn’t going to be here until tomorrow,” I complained.
     “They must have arrived early,” he said.
     “Ugh. An extra day with Kermit around. It’s bad enough he’s my second cousin, but you had to go and betroth him to me. Infant betrothal is such a horrendous custom.”
Papa chuckled. “Your mama and I were betrothed to each other as children, and we’re very happy together.”
     “Yes,” I said. “But you aren’t Kermit. He’s such a snob.”
     “Savanna, what have I told you about calling names?” Papa reprimanded.
     “Not to do it, but is it really calling names when it’s true?”
     “Yes, Vannie, even when it’s true,” he said. “Do try to be gracious to Kermit this time.”
     I nodded reluctantly. I would be gracious, if only to avoid shaming myself or my parents.

     “What does Papa want to make Sir Roland his ally in?” Kate asked.
     “The Calhortan Controversy.”
     “What’s that?”
     “Don’t you pay any attention to politics?” I snapped. Kate looked hurt. Well, she was only six and a half. “I’m sorry, Kate,” I apologized. “The Calhortan Controversy is that some people want to join with the strytes in Calhortz to get protection from the privateers, and others, like Papa, think we shouldn’t because the strytes shouldn’t be there in the first place. Papa thinks we should have helped the people when the strytes first came, but not many people think that, so there’s a controversy.”
     “What’s a contoversy?” Mandie asked. “And I didn’t let you see my bolus,” she added hurriedly.
     “Go look in the dictionary,” I said.
     “But I can only read ‘Mandie,’” she protested.
     I sighed. “It’s an argument. A disagreement. Something people get mad at each other about.”
     “What side is Sir Roland on?” Kate asked.
     “The other one,” I said. "He wants to join the strytes, and he’s just crooked enough to do it.”
     “Is he a hunchback?” Mandie asked. “No bolus.” She opened her mouth to show me how empty it was.
     “Stop saying that,” Kate reprimanded. “It isn’t ladylike.”
     “Why would he be a hunchback?” I asked.
     “You said he was crooked.” She hunched over to demonstrate her point.
     “Crooked like dirty. Dishonest. Not a hunchback.”
     Mandie frowned. “I like hunchback better.”
     “But hunchbacks are ugly.” I got up and hunched over, twisting my face into the most grotesque expression I could. “And they don’t like three-year-old girls who ask silly questions and talk about boluses.” I hobbled over to Mandie and began to tickle her mercilessly. She shrieked.
     “Stop, Vannie! No tickles!”

      I stepped cautiously on the first stair, half expecting it to creak eerily. Of course it didn’t. It was made of stone. What kind of stone creaked? If only the torches in the foyer had been lit already.
     My fingers found the handrail. The cold stone chilled my skin, but it gave me somewhat of a sense of security. Security? Why did I need a sense of security? I was only walking alone up a dark staircase in a strange castle that belonged to my father’s political enemy.
     I was alone on a dark staircase in the house of my father’s political enemy, who had only asked me along because he had strangely decided to gratify his son’s wishes, if Kyle could be trusted to tell the truth. Yes, I had good reason to be worried.
     Perhaps Sir Roland really did have a dark reason for my being here. Surely not. It was just another one of my crazy ideas. Maybe he didn’t really have any evil intent for bringing my father either. I felt a sudden need to have Nanny assure me I was only letting my imagination run wild.
     I picked up my pace, though it grew increasingly harder to see the further up the staircase I went. There was someone else breathing, I was sure of it.

     I hurriedly entered my chamber and gathered my sword, bow, and quiver of arrows, and returned to Kyle in the corridor.
     My face must have shown my surprise, for he said, “That didn’t go how you expected?”
     “Better,” was all I could think to say.
     “Your mother was right; your bow is a beautiful piece of workmanship.”
     I slung my quiver over my shoulder. “Does it look too weird?”
     “It actually looks quite natural for you,” Kyle answered.
     “I know we said just swords, but Mama said to show you…”
     “On you, I don’t think it sticks out too much.”


  1. I hadn't really had the chance to read through the ARC to check out the edits, but I love what I've seen that you've done here! :D *is quite excited for you*


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