Pssst! Wanna sneak a peek?

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Great!  Because today I’ve got an excerpt from Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith.  It’s a great scene, and I hope it hooks you as much as it hooked me. 🙂

Stay tuned afterward, because I’ve got all the deets on a great Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!

As was fast becoming their habit, she and her father had started that evening by arguing. They’d always argued, of course, but not like this. Not as if each would rather kill the other than concede the fight. Ayla knew she couldn’t beat Florentyn in a real fight, either in human or in creature form, but she hoped this battle of words would be different. Her father probably wouldn’t go so far as to physically chastise his wayward daughter.

Probably.

She had to keep trying, anyway, for Myrren’s sake.

Scavenger_day05‘You can’t do that to him,’ she said for the tenth time in as many days. ‘He is your true heir, your pure-blood son. I’m only half a Nightshade.’

On the other side of the desk, her father sat motionless and in shadow; no need for light when only Changers were present in the room. Ayla resented the fact that he’d summoned her into the library as if he had every right to control her movements. That he’d made her stand in front of his desk like a stripling awaiting punishment, not a fully grown woman. She resented a lot of things. But she had to concentrate on the one that mattered.

‘You can Change.’ Florentyn’s face showed no more emotion than the ancestral busts adorning the bookcases to either side of him. ‘Myrren cannot. I have no choice but to disinherit him.’

‘I won’t take his birthright away from him, Father.’ She lifted her chin, but he was as impervious to her defiance as his Firedrake form was to steel.

‘You will start accompanying me on state visits. It’s time you began to learn what is required of Darkhaven’s overlord.’

Ayla bit her lip. Always he dangled that in front of her:

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Photo 365 #322

One of the many things we did on vacation was cruise the Wildlife Loop at Custer State Park.  We saw a bunch of neat animals (buffalo!) and just generally had a great time.

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This is one of my favorite pictures from that part of our trip.  I just love the way the road curves into the distance.  I could have stayed here and stared at this scene all day. 🙂

Unfortunately, the boys needed a nap after drinking in all this glorious nature, so I had to content myself with this picture.

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