Thursday 22 July 2021

Read an excerpt from Grace Augustine's fabulous novel — Secrets of Dalgaard Castle @mallidalli

Secrets of Dalgaard Castle
By Grace Augustine

Publication Date: October 19, 2018
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 169 Pages
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Dalgaard Castle stood proud among modern homes as a reminder of the battles of yesterday. Centuries ago, the bloodiest of wars between the Fire Dragon Guard and the Ice Dragons, who ruled Taydaryn, destroyed much land, homes, and lives—including the Queen’s husband, Amarice.

Brenna Dalgaard, the elder daughter of Queen Isara and King Consort Amarice, lived in two worlds. She loved her small Norwegian home, but also loved her thriving designer clothing business in Chicago. Brenna travelled home as much as her life would allow.

Tirdon, Assistant to the Prime Minister of Taydaryn, continues to support and uphold the laws of the kingdom and aide in any way possible. Amarice had faith in him to place him in this position with the command of keeping an eye on his elder daughter, Brenna.

Tirdon and Brenna have danced around each other their entire lives. A misfortunate accident brings the two closer than either thought possible. Will an ancient secret split them forever or bring their love for each other out of the shadows?

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I remember spinning stories for dolls, designing clothing for the animals in coloring books, and finding new ways to play with paper dolls (cutting out furniture from catalogues and licking the back of it so it would stick on the wall by the floorboards.)

I began my writing career in 7th grade in Cut Bank, Montana, when it was a mandatory assignment to create a poem. I cannot remember exactly what that poem was, but I do know I did receive a high grade on it. I continued writing poetry throughout high school and beyond. I even put together a book of poems and made copies to sell at the local pharmacy.

In 2013 my writing became a part-time career when I published the first book, Bittersweet, of my 7 book Acorn Hills series. Since that date, I’ve penned 22 books, several short stories included in anthologies, and am working on book 23, which is a women’s fiction that I’m hoping to publish by year’s end.

When I was approached to participate in an anthology of dragon stories, I was a bit mystified. I’d never written dragons, never read dragons, and didn’t know much about them…unless you could singing Puff the Magic Dragon many times.

I began research, and my research took me to Norway and folklore, and it opened up a whole new realm of writing. I enjoyed it so much that I penned a companion Christmas novel and plan to publish another in the Dalgaard series soon.

If you are bit by the writing bug, go for it. Put your words down on paper and keep writing until you finish your story. Then, go back through, make changes, read it aloud, and make it totally yours. Find a good cover artist, a good editor, and a good marketer (all can be found at The Coffee Pot Book Club.) The biggest thing, have fun with your characters and story. 

“Listen, you spoiled brat, I’ve had it with your attitude lately. I don’t get why you are biting sarcasm at everyone. You are setting things on fire in the forest when you go for a fly. Talk to me.” 

Brenna grabbed Eldra’s hand, pulled her into the living room, and plopped them both down on the love seat. 

“You are such a goodie two shoes,” Eldra quipped. “You love spoiling my entertainment. I’m not hurting anyone or anything. I’m just having a bit of fun.” 

“Eldra,” Brenna sighed. “Please, listen to me. Setting things on fire for fun is very disturbing, to say the least, not to mention you don’t know how quickly those small fires could turn into something big that would endanger our home. And bringing dad into this conversation makes no sense either. Have you no respect for our parents? For our family? For our legacy?” 

“Alright, I admit, that may be a bit freaky for you,” Eldra chuckled. “But I’m a fire dragon, and you must admit watching fire is a beautiful thing, you know? I’m not endangering our precious home or family. It doesn’t matter anyway. I’m not hanging out here much longer. There’s no need for me.” 

Brenna stood and walked to the window and back. She knelt beside her sister and placed a hand on her knee. “There was once a time when you took pride in Taydaryn and being the daughter of the Queen. Eldra, what happened?” 

Eldra thought fora moment. No way was she revealing to her sister or anyone else the plans she had. They were big...really big. And, if she played her hand right, she would win it all. “Alright, look, I won’t promise anything, but I’ll try not to be such a pain. I know you have a lot on your mind, including the crown of Taydaryn,” she air quoted the last words. 

“Is that what you’re upset about? Are you mad because I am next in line for the crown?”

Eldra shook her head. No she wasn’t angry; she was downright furious that her sister would be Queen. The last thing she wanted was to bow down to her ice dragon freak of a sister. She’d have to lie her way through yet another conversation. It was something she was becoming quite good at. 

“Heavens no,” she sighed. “I just have a lot on my mind. I’ve taken a new position with my firm that requires me to move. It’s goodbye Chicago, hello New York. I leave on Friday.” 

Brenna pursed her lips. Why was this the first she’d heard of the move? They lived three blocks away from each other. Granted they weren’t good at keeping in touch, but packing up and moving? What in the world was she thinking? 

“Interesting. So, you’re telling me you would rather continue your job than move back here to Taydaryn and help me?” 

“Sister dearest, you need all the help you can get, but I’m not going to be one of your minions.”


This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited

Grace Augustine, 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.

She spends her retirement as a full-time manuscript editor and author of her own novels. She enjoys gardening, old movies, game shows, and plays Scrabble once a week to keep her mind sharp.

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 your life with an open, joy-filled heart is."

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See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx