PHOTO PROMPT – Just One Kiss

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With a quick shove, Prince Hadrian landed on the road in crumpled heap, still woozy from a long night of drinking and debauchery. His companions threw a fearful glance at the nearby cottage and rode away quickly, leaving him alone in the dust to nurse an aching head. A quick glance told him he had not been taken back to the palace by soldiers as he’d first thought. Instead, he found himself outside a simple peasant cottage at the edge of an oozy pond.

Hadrian stood on shaky legs just as the door opened, revealing a dark-haired woman he did not know but looked familiar. Simply dressed and unremarkable, she approached him slowly muttering under her breath. Though his brain warned him to move away, he found he could not. With a gasp, he looked down to find his feet and lower legs encased in swirling tendrils of yellow-green fog, holding him fast.

The woman came closer, circled once, and stopped to face him. Her black eyes were hard as flint: challenging, angry, determined. Normally confident and brash, Hadrian heard the unfamiliar temerity in his own shaky voice.

“Who are you? Why have I been brought here?”

The woman’s glassy orbs widened; a small triumphant smile gracing her ruby lips.

“Your indiscretions have become well-known, O Prince, and while your father looks the other way, I will not. How many maidens have been soiled in your bed? Who will love them now? The girl you ravaged last night was my only daughter. What you have taken can never be replaced, and now you must pay!”

Hadrian almost laughed. Yet another peasant family looking for a bit of gold to keep them quiet. This was easily fixed.

“Release me, woman, and name your price.”

She responded instead with unintelligible whispers, long fingers gesturing strangely in the air. The serpentine fog at his feet began to wind its way higher, powerful tendrils stealing his breath and replacing it with fear. Now encircled completely, the terrified prince could barely see through the greenish haze. Finally, she spoke and sealed his fate.

“A loathsome creature you shall be. A kiss of love shall set you free.”

She watched with satisfaction as his body shrank, changed color, and lost all semblance of humanity. The arrogant prince was scooped up and taken to the slimy pond behind her cottage. There she released him to preside over a watery kingdom, and there he remained – ever watchful, waiting for just one kiss.

Weekly Roundup 11-14-18 Book Review – LEVITY

Weekly Roundup is an update on what’s going on in my world. Welcome!

If you are a fan of fairy tale re-tellings, get a copy of LEVITY by Leta Blake and Keira Andrews. This gay fairy tale contains many of the classic ideas: a prince, a witch’s curse, a love story, a happy ending. All similarity ends there, however, as the authors spin an enjoyable tale with an incredible twist.

The prince is cursed from youth with a lack of gravity, both physical and emotional, requiring constant care to keep him from floating away! Though taught about normal emotions by the royal staff, the young prince spends his life laughing through most circumstances, never shedding a tear or showing remorse or sadness.

A birthday outing results in the prince floating away into the sky, only to be rescued later by a handsome woodsman. The lonely man also suffers from a curse of his own, yet the two of them manage to quickly develop a relationship before the prince’s keepers arrive to take him home. When the witch who cursed them both gets involved once again, the lovers face a crisis which seems to have no solution. How can they ever free and remain together?

I enjoyed both the classic format and the unique elements which made the story deliciously different. This is an example of imagination at its best! I can’t say I would ever have thought to curse someone with a lack of gravity, but the authors make it work. I found the use of flashbacks to explain the curses a bit clumsy, as it broke up the flow of the book and felt artificial. Otherwise, it was a wonderful read and one I highly recommend. You’ll like the cover too!

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Though my writing time this week remained severely limited, I did mange to get a good start on chapter eleven. Word count now stands at 88,000+. It felt good returning to the story!

I had hoped to publish Traitor’s Moon before the end of the year, but it looks doubtful. My new work schedule leaves me with even less writing time than I had before, and I am often so tired I have to use my free time to catch up on sleep. Believe me, I’m just as disappointed as my readers, but my health and ability to pay the bills has to come before my books. I will keep trying, and who knows – it may still happen. I’ll keep you posted!