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Super Intern Contest – UNDER THE TREES

Wednesday, 13 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Genre: YA historical fantasy romance
Word count: 50,000


 Falling in love isn’t easy when it’s challenged by a brutal duke, a murderous king, and the threat of war between kingdoms. But truelove doesn’t care about convenience, and it certainly has no aversion to danger.

When Princess Araya flees an arranged marriage to Duke Peter, her only goal is freedom, even if that means she must evade her father’s armed guards—men under strict orders to carry out her capture.  Maybe even kill her.  She never counted on falling in love with her rescuer, the one man she can never have an open relationship with.

Prince Thoredmund, the neighboring kingdom’s crown prince, quickly learns that the role of prince in shining armor isn’t quite what it’s made out to be. After a rash decision to help the princess, he now must deal with the consequences of harboring a fugitive, especially when visitors arrive at the castle, spewing kidnapping accusations and demanding Araya’s return. Thor realizes he’s going to have to make a choice: risk his kingdom or turn in the girl he has sworn to protect.

250-word excerpt:

Muscles burning, I clung to the sweat-slick reins as Major tore down the path through the Golden Woods. The heaving sound of his labored breathing ripped at my heart, but I could not let my horse slow down,not even when a monstrous fallen log loomed before us. Leaning forward and ducking low on Major’s neck, I extended the reins. With a grunt, he launched us into the air.

For the barest of moments, time hung suspended,leaving only the soaring.

His hooves slammed back down, but he stumbled on the landing, pitching me forward. Barely hanging onto the saddle, I flailed and tried to straighten. My left stirrup dangled uselessly beside my foot, but still I pushed Major back into a gallop, even as I struggled to recover my balance. Gripping Major’s sides with my legs, I clutched handfuls of his black mane as the next bend in the trail swallowed us whole.

The path opened again, and I let out the reins.Major shot forward, racing beside the river to our right. If I could make it out of my father’s kingdom of Rowlst and into Braythel, I might have a chance.Awakened within me, thoughts of home spurred me on like a hot brand to my skin.

I can’t go back. I won’t. I cannot marry him.

As if summoned by my thoughts, phantom fingers raked at my waist, and I shuddered, trying to erase the memory of Peter’s touch.

I would rather die than become his wife.

Filed: Contests, Misc


    I said this in another entry, but I like to know the protagonist right away. Although I do like your first paragraph, I’m wondering if you can insert Princess Araya in there? I do like the tension you’ve set up with the other prince being her rescuer. Is this a duel POV? Just wondering, because the query reads like it to me. I’m intrigued. I love a good love story.


    Wow. This is really good. I was totally sucked in by your writing. I felt like I was riding that horse with her. And the details you present about her not being able to marry Peter. Excellent. I would read this and more.

    Thank you for sharing your work ;o)

  • Ashley Maker says:

    Thank you so much for the feedback! I’ve never thought of putting Araya into that first paragraph, but I’ll definitely give it consideration. And, to answer your question, it is told in the dual POV of both the prince and the princess. Again, thank you so much. I appreciate your taking the time to do this for all of us 🙂

  • Very cool!! You’re welcome!! I enjoyed it ;o)

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