Copyright© 2011, Jefferson R. Blackburn-Smith
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Cover by Matt Westbrook
For Rosemary, Gaelan, and Erin, my Ogre Prince and Princesses. And for Denise, who believed enough to keep me going.
Morning already? Ogre groaned softly. It couldn’t be morning already. Ogre lay in the dark, wrapped in his old blanket, slowly rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Morning always came too early. It wasn’t fair that none of the other boys had to get up as early as Ogre. He stood, brushing loose hay from his clothes and shivered in the early morning chill. The hay covered the floor of the small room he shared with the other palace boys and clung to his clothing like ants on a stick. The hay would be swept out when summer began, but the tower room would be too cold during winter to sleep without it.