A Knight to Celebrate
New Camelot Prequel
by Barbara Russell
Genre: YA Arthurian Steampunk Fantasy Romance
Nathair and two other fellow cadets of the Sir Lancelot’s Academy for Knights are pulling a prank on the ladies of Lady Guinevere’s Academy for Damsels. After the ladies filled the cadets’ quivers with honey, it’s only fair that the cadets return the favour.
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THE FIRST RULE to be a good, no, a great thief was to be patient. Hurry would get Nathair caught, and getting caught picking the lock of Lady Guinevere’s Academy for Damsels meant an immediate expulsion from Sir Lancelot Academy for Knights, a month grounded at home, and the end of his dream of becoming a knight.
But with his fellow cadets fretting around him and urging him to be fast, the noise of the night patrols roaming New Camelot’s streets, and the looming fear that a clockwork knight might discover them, he wasn’t particularly prone to follow this first rule.
Not that he was a real thief. He’d never stolen anything. So far, he’d used his pilfering skills to help his best friend, Tristan, enter the ladies’ academy to meet his girlfriend of the moment. If Sir Lancelot had been alive today, almost five hundred years after King Arthur’s death, he wouldn’t be impressed by what the young knights in training were about to do. Protecting the ladies was one of the first rules of the Knight Code. Heck, Nathair’s mother wouldn’t be impressed or amused.
He was the first dark-skinned cadet, member of the tribe of the Snake, to almost become a knight, and he might blow his career tonight. But two days ago, the girls of the Lady Guinevere had filled the cadets’ quivers with honey. So, it was only fair that the cadets returned the favour.
“Will it take long, Nathair?” Raymond asked, biting his fingernails. His gaze darted around, and his chest strained the jacket of the cadets’ uniform.
Nathair slid a thin knife into the slit between the door and the doorframe. “It’ll take the time that it’s needed.”
He paused to wipe his clammy hands over his trousers and to push back his hair. A sliver of anxiety crawled up his neck like a spider, but he ignored it. He’d picked this lock dozens of times. He knew it intimately, better than the cabbage field in his farmhouse. Yet that night the lock didn’t want to yield to his touch. The knife jammed even though the lock hadn’t been changed. He was sure of that. It was the same, rusty old lock of a few days ago.
Raymond shifted his weight and blew air on his hands. The blue cloak swished about his ankles. “Can’t you speed up?”
Tristan swatted his shoulder. “First, don’t disturb Nat while he’s working. He tends to become sloppy when you push him.”
“No, I don’t,” Nathair gritted out, sticking the second knife in the lock.
“You do.” Tristan waved a dismissive hand before returning his attention to Raymond. “And second, why did you wear the academy uniform? If someone sees us, they’ll know the Sir Lancelot’s cadets broke into the Guinevere’s Academy.”
A Knight in Distress
New Camelot #1
Knights are supposed to rescue damsels. That’s the natural order. So when Nathair, a knight in training, finds himself rescued by the princess he’s supposed to save, he’s annoyed. And when the princess proves she can fight like a knight? Well, that’s enough for a boy to think about a career change.
A Damsel in Shiny Armor
New Camelot #2
After fighting dragons, wild Vikings, and clockwork monsters, Nathair is facing the biggest challenge of his life: proposing to Bryhannon. Apparently, flowers and a three-month salary worth ring aren’t enough because she doesn’t seem thrilled by the proposal. She has a devastating power to control, Reapers to face, and more importantly she has to find the courage to tell Nathair that she’s a Morrigan.
I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Ring and fell in love with fantasy novels.
When I discovered cozy mystery and crime novels, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and . . . Nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.
PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis.
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