Yes, in honor of Alice and Uncas. I have this set as my background 🙂
Also, the rewrite of the Shadows Fall is now at approx. 15,000 words and 30 pages! WOOHOOO!!!!!!! It’s WAY better than the first version. 🙂 Here’s one of the funnier parts for you, I thought you all (no ‘ya’lls’ – just because I’m southern now doesn’t mean I have to sound like Paula Deen!) might enjoy. In the first version of the book, this section was very short, probably a paragraph. But I decided some humor could be gotten from it, and so expanded it quite a bit.
She neared the stables, braving her fears of running into His Highness again hoping she might find Alec. She heard him before she saw him – or rather, she heard the twins.
“No, no! Not like that – no! The reins! You’re not an – what are you doing!? Dismount!”
“Never mind! Forget it! Put your feet in the stirrups!”
“Grab the – URGH! NO!” bellowed Kael, vaulting over the pasture fence and running toward Alec, who was careening crazily around on horseback and doing something that resembled a sack of potatoes being carried and a high-wire act. He was leaning oddly to the side – slipping father and farther.
“ALEC!” Sienna screamed as her brother landed in an ungraceful heap on the ground. She scrambled up over the wooden fence, clearing it with a helpful pull from Kael, and the two ran over to her brother’s prostrate form. “Alec, are you okay?” she bent down and shook his shoulder rather roughly, her heart pounding.
A muffled answer came from him, and she let out a deep breath of air. “You scared me,” she remonstrated.
He sat up, his face smeared with dirt and his hair sticking up crazily. “I scared myself,” he said, blowing a friendly blade of grass off of his face. He grinned at her. “Don’t worry, nothing broken,” he said, standing. “Where is that beast?”
“Here,” called Thane, who had left to catch the horse and was now walking back with the animal in tow, looking as meek and mild as a lamb.
Alec stalked over to the horse and snatched the reins from Thane. “Thanks,” he said, then glared directly into the horse’s soft brown eyes. “You listen here, you rebel scum,” he commanded, “I am going to ride you whether you like it or not, and I’m going to do it before tomorrow. You and I have a long journey ahead of us, and I’d like to not get dumped every five yards or so. Understand?” He tugged sharply on the horse’s forelock for emphasis, and the animal nickered and nudged the boy’s stomach with his muzzle.
“Will you look at this!?” Alec hollered over to the other three, pointing at the horse. “Look at! The picture of innocence! It’s disgusting.” He got himself into the saddle with some difficulty, red-faced and panting. “Come on,” he said to the animal, giving it a kick in the ribs. “Trot!”
The animal lunged forward in a springy gait that had Alec looking very much like a bouncing ball. “Whoa!” He sawed at the reins, and the horse backed up. “No!” he said, frustrated, “STOP!”
The animal planted its feet and came to a stop so sudden that Alec was nearly thrown forward. He grabbed the horse’s neck and sat back in the saddle, grinning proudly at Sienna, who grinned back and waved.
“I think I’ve almost got it!” Alec shouted, and was off again, and Sienna could only hope that he didn’t break his neck before they left tomorrow.