Brenna Dalgaard smiled as she surveyed the land below, a land that had been under rule by her family for thousands of years. She was the elder daughter of Queen Isara, the tenth Queen of the small Norwegian Kingdom of Taydaryn. Her father, Amarice, had died in a bloody battle to save the land and castle four hundred years ago.
Landing on a mountainside to the south of the kingdom, she took in all that was before her. Castles beautifully constructed, some of brick, some of stone, dotted the landscape. Lush, verdant valleys gave way to thriving crops.
Brenna had fond memories of the bustle of the inner city. Daily, the streets of Taydaryn were filled with merchants shouting about their wares, and the aromas from fresh baked goods led you to the delacacies.
People were happy. Shouts of joyful greetings to each and children playing warmed the hearts of those who lived in this land. This joyous peace buried the blood of the past. It was a promised replacement for past sacrifices that bloomed into the present fortunes.
The moon was a silvery-white, making Brenna’s wings and scales glimmer the same color. She embraced her special abilities, abilities that protected her and many others. In dragon form, she was fearless. In human form, she was truth and honor. All qualities learned from years of daily instruction from her mother.
Brenna was an ice dragon, and small for her size. She was not a fire-breathing monster of a dragon, like her sister, but one who took care of conflict by freezing it. Whether that was right or wrong, who knew. She only knew that by cooling off some of those in battle, including her own sister, it gave her time to think about how to handle the situation.
In dragon form she felt exceptionally beautiful, more so than her human form. Small downy white feathered wings formed a silky collar around her shoulders and the armor of irridescent scales took on a sheen so brilliant others were blinded by ther shimmer. She sported two ivory tusks on her forehead, and unlike her ancestors, her eyes never changed color. They stayed the same icy blue as her human eyes.
Translucent wings on either side of her sleek body reached six feet when fully extended. Her tail was just as long. Because she was smaller than most dragons, she flew high and fast as she soared past clouds and stars and other celestial objects.
The streets were quiet now, and Brenna could think on this mountain outside Taydaryn. She needed to, that was certain. So many things clouded her mortal mind.
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Editor and award winning novelist, Grace Augustine, grew up in Montana. Her work career has taken her from title and abstracting to administrative assistant church work to co-owning a small town weekly newspaper to her current profession as a floral designer/jewelry designer/writer.
Grace thinks of herself as a “Jill” of most trades and is not afraid to learn new things. “If you can’t learn something new each day, there’s something wrong,” she says.
The ideas for her Acorn Hills series stem from her growing up years as well as the issues she has had to overcome along the way. “I’ve developed a new romance category…for the over 50 crowd…I’m calling it the salt and pepper genre. My books deal with real life issues, overcoming adversity, maintaining a positive outlook, and so much more. Just because we are 50 yrs old or older doesn’t mean that life stops. We all still want attention and affection and adventure! We want to experience all life has to offer. We use our age as wisdom to share with those around us. We are sexual,sensual, and sensible,” Grace explains.
Augustine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July of 2003. Her thoughts on that “It may slow me down, but if I can at all do it, I will. Sitting and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t the answer…living your life with an open, joy-filled heart is.”