Princess Adele’s Dragon
By Shirley McLain
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 22 March, 2016
Princess Adele lives with her brother, Robert, the King of Valdoria in the castle. There has been a monster terrorizing the Kingdom for months. The King has finally come to a decision on how to deal with the monster but the Princess can't agree with him. For the sake of the Kingdom Princess Adele decides she must be the one to kill the dragon. She couldn't live with herself if her brother went ahead with his plans.
What Adele found on her quest changed her life and the lives of those around her. She was a strong young woman who knew what she wanted and would do whatever it took to get it. Follow Princess Adele as she battles to save her home and her life.Excerpt: Princess Adele’s Dragon
Princess Adele's face paled when she heard the words of her brother. Her large green eyes stared at his face as she spoke. "Robert, it's inhuman. You can't do that. If the child were yours, what would you be thinking?"
"Look, Adele, I didn't come to this decision without doing a lot of soul-searching. Do you not think I haven't run this through my mind a million times? I don't know any other way to keep our kingdom safe from that monster. The counselor told me it's worked in the past."
"I don't care what your mighty counselor said. You can't do this. There must be another way." Princess Adele turned from her brother, the King, leaving him standing in the room alone. Her plan must be executed before the full moon.
How such a monster threatens her beautiful home is almost too much to comprehend. If only Anthony was here. He'd know what would be needed to stop this unthinkable act. Tears rolled down Adele's cheeks as she thought of her beloved Anthony. She enjoyed the world one day, deep in despair the next. What happened? Why did he leave?
The Princess recovered her emotions and resolved to come up with another plan besides sacrificing a beautiful child to the creature. There ought to be another way. Arriving at her bedchamber, her lady’s maid waited for her.
As Adele entered her room, Miranda bowed "Your Highness", she said.
"How many times do I need to tell you, Miranda, you do not bow to me and call me "Your Highness" every time I enter the room when we're alone. We've been like sisters since the age of four."
"I know, Adele, but if I don't do it all the time, I may forget. If I call you, Adele in public His Majesty's ogre of a counselor will behead me or something worse."
"What's worse than having your head chopped off?" Adele asked.
"Made to marry a man I do not love." Miranda helped the Princess change into her sleeping gown to make her ready for bed.
"Robert has tried to marry me off too many times to count. Six years ago, before we married, Anthony ran away for some reason. "
"You don't believe that any more than I do, Adele," With a soft voice Miranda said, he loved you more than life, and it showed in everything word and action he made. Changing the subject, what did the King say?"
"He plans to go through with the sacrifice on the night of the full moon, which is in two weeks." Princess Adele's covered her face with her hands as tears began to flow. Her voice trembled as she spoke. "I can't sit here and do nothing. A child sacrifice is unconscionable to me."
"What can a girl of your small stature do against a dragon? Many Knights died fighting that dragon. I can see you dead before you even get to the lair."
Princess Adele climbed into bed. "You know I can do anything a man can. She stifled a yawn then said "Goodnight, my dear friend. I hope you sleep well,"
Miranda blew out the wick of the oil lamp and said, "Goodnight, Adele." She turned with a big smile on her face and walked to the door to her room. I know what she's going to do, and as soon as her death is confirmed, I'll console the King. I'm in a fantastic position now to put our plan into action. I will be Queen of Valdoria! She smiled as she blew out the light and settled into her bed.
The door to Miranda's room opened and closed without making a sound. She heard footsteps padding across the room. "Hello, my love," Miranda whispered as she joyfully fell into a pair of strong arms.
She walked down the aisle to her beloved, Anthony. When she got close enough to take his hand, she slid backward, having to begin the journey down the aisle all over again. Adele experienced the same nightmare about her Anthony when she fell into a deep sleep. Tossing and turning, Princess Adele unable to sleep any longer, sat up in the bed. In the blackness of her room, she reached a decision. I know what I must do.
Without stars, the night sky displayed no brightness, only blackness as pitch. Adele hurried as she dressed in the boy’s clothes hidden in the straw of her mattress. Her secrets remained her own. Her adventures out of the castle before the sun came up, on many occasions, was known only to her. This adventure would be no different.
Her father made sure both of his children received the same education which she gave thanks for many times. She could fight with a sword and ride a horse as well as her brother. She bested her brother in their formal schooling. He wanted to play instead of educating himself. Robert began to apply himself to his education not long before their parent’s death. Adele's impressive capabilities were known only to Robert. Her father wanted her skills kept a secret for the purpose of a surprise if she needed it. If something happened to her brother, Adele could run the kingdom.
If her quest failed, she would no longer be alive, and her brother would be alone. He would be the only one of the family left. Her parents, the King, and Queen died the previous year from the plague. She and her brother left the area until the crisis passed.
They returned home having no parents and the country, no King and Queen. Her nineteen-year-old brother became King and Lord Ashmore guided the new King in all decisions. They relied on Lord Ashmore as their father did, over the years.
In an inconspicuous manner, Adele walked down the long castle hallway to the secret exit that took her underground, straightway to the stables. She thought once again of her father and how he made sure she knew the secret entrance location. He told her no one knew about it except her, but if the need arose she could share it with her brother. So far, it remained her secret way out of the castle.
She lit a torch before entering the tunnel. She didn't like the darkness of the tunnel. The dampness didn't bother her at all, and it felt refreshing when the outside temperature got high.
The trap door opening in the stable storage room remained well hidden. She checked it every evening, so it remained unobstructed. At the bottom of the ladder, she pulled her sword from its storage area. She carried it as she climbed the ladder to the storage room.
After covering the floor with the rug to hide the entry, she made her way to Champion's stall. "Hello, my darling. Are you ready for a ride?" The stable hand saddled the horse. She put the mufflers on Champion's hooves so he wouldn't make any noise walking across the stones. Adele waited for the guards to walk to the other side of the parapet so she could escape the castle grounds unseen. She didn't wait long. When she felt it safe, she carefully walked Champion out the gate to the open field. Once on his back, she gave the horse his head and let him run across the field to the timber edge.
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About the Author:
Shirley McLain makes her home in Sapulpa Oklahoma with her husband and their fur family of four dogs and three cats. She also has two grown children, six grandchildren and twin great-grand sons. She has/is living a very full life. She retired after working thirty-two years as a RN and then began a full time writing carrier. She and her husband enjoy their five-acre country home. It is a perfect setting to let Shirley’s Muse work it’s magic. Shirley is an eclectic writer and has always enjoyed the writing process. Shortly after her retirement she woke up one morning with the thought that she was going to write a book. She didn’t stop writing until she’d finished her first book. So far she has published four books which are now on Amazon. Her goal is to bring as much enjoyment to her readers as they deserve and want.
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