For all of you fantasy enthusiasts here's an extract from King's Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt which is her debut novel...
King's Warrior (Extract) - Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
“No, we’re supposed to go that way!” Oraeyn yelled in exasperation, pointing south.
The three travelers had been wandering through the woods for a good part of the morning now, and Oraeyn was fed up with the Princess Kamarie and her royal maid. He knew which way they were supposed to go, but Kamarie seemed to think that her input had something to do with where they would end up. Oraeyn was frustrated, cold, wet, tired, and hungry, and he would have sworn that the fool girl wanted them to end up in some kind of danger.
“Oh look! The river,” Kamarie pointed out coolly.
Imagine the nerve of that silly stable boy thinking he knew this forest better than she did! She was convinced that he would not be of any help when bandits attacked them. She had not counted on a spoilsport squire coming along on her adventure.
“And which way do you think we should follow the river, your highness?” Oraeyn asked through gritted teeth.
“That way, of course,” Kamarie said, pointing upstream, which she knew full well was the wrong direction, back towards the palace, just to annoy him; it worked.
“Fine!” Oraeyn exploded. “Have it your way! But when we show up back at the palace, I’m not going to take the blame for getting us lost, I know which way we are supposed to go, and you, apparently, have no experience in following directions at all! You want to go up-river… then… you... go up-river!” He knew he was sputtering, but he no longer cared, “I, on the other hand, am going to go down-river, through the Mountains of Dusk, and into the village called Peak’s Shadow, to find your father’s friend and explain why you are not with me. But I won’t have to explain that will I? Because you know where you’re going. You know your way around, don’t you?”
“Of course I knew we had to head down-river, stable boy,” Kamarie said in a chilly tone. As he began his tirade, Kamarie was simply amused, but by the time he finished, she was no longer amused and in no mood to explain that she had been teasing.
At that, Oraeyn completely lost any and all grip he had on his loosely controlled frustration. What right did she have to treat him like this? She was only a princess, after all. And he was a squire, in training to become a defender of her nation. Without people like him, she might have been born a peasant’s daughter. The nerve of her referring to him as a stable boy!
He dismounted from his chestnut horse and marched over to her. Glaring up at her through the rain that had been pouring down on them all day, he grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the saddle. She let out a startled yelp and started beating on him with her fists. He had to admit, the girl could throw a punch. He swung her into his arms and turned as she started yelling and protesting.
“Now, young man…” Darby started, but stopped when he threw her a withering glare.
“I am not going to hurt her. I am just going to teach her that she can’t treat people the way she does and get away with it,” he said.
He slowly and deliberately carried Kamarie to the riverbank and dumped her into the four feet of chilly, slow-moving water. He watched until she came up, making sure that she was not hurt. Then he turned and walked back to his horse.
Kamarie was outraged. She came up sputtering and coughing. How dare he? How dare he! The water was not overly cold, and the rain had already soaked her through, but it was the principle of the thing. Who did he think he was to be throwing the Princess of the Realm into a muddy river?
Oraeyn had returned to the side of the river and was now stretching a hand out to her. She grabbed it and spitefully put all her weight into trying to tug him into the river as well, but Oraeyn
had prepared himself for such an antic and he held firm until he had pulled her out of the river and set her on the firm floor of the forest again. Immediately she turned and slapped him across the face. Or at least, she tried to. He had been expecting the blow and he blocked it, but he was not prepared for her second blow. Her fist connected painfully with his jaw causing him to blink in surprise. Then he wordlessly handed her the thick, dry blanket he had gone to get out of his saddlebags. Kamarie snatched it out of his hands and wrapped it around herself haughtily.
“My name is Oraeyn, Princess,” the squire said firmly, “Not ‘stable boy’ or ‘squire,’ it is Oraeyn. And from now on, we are going to follow the directions that your father gave to me. Is that understood?”
Kamarie glowered at him beneath wet lashes and shivered in the cold rain. “I am the Princess Kamarie, Oraeyn, and you have no authority to order me about. However, I am quite willing to trust you with the directions from now on.” Mustering any and all dignity she had left, she turned on her heel and marched over to her horse, her head held high.
She did not look as though she had been taught a lesson. Oraeyn noted ruefully, she almost managed to look as though it had been her idea to take a swim in the river all along. The look she gave him made him wonder just exactly who had really won that round. Oh well, at least she used my name, he thought to himself resignedly.
Jenelle Leanne Schmidt is an author of Family-Friendly Fantasy adventure stories. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and two adorable daughters. Her second book is scheduled to be released later this year.
You continue reading and find more out about the author at: http://jenelleschmidt.com/
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