Wednesday, 21 February 2018

#MidWeekTease Love is for the Birds

I have a cover! Here's another tease from my contribution to Once Upon A Twisted Time, Love is for the Bird, a retelling of Swan Lake.
Once Upon a Twisted Time ~ 16 Fairytale retelling stories ~ ONLY 99c LIMITED TIME
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16 New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors have come together in this collection to bring new thrills are woven into the fables we know, both classic and modern.
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Odette waded to the edge of the lake, setting one webbed foot on grass tinged red by the setting sun. The second foot landed, but it was shod and hidden by her skirt.
Siegfried stood a few steps away, jaw slack. “That is amazing.”
Not the word she would choose. “Cursed,” she muttered.
“I know we’ve only just revealed ourselves to each other, but I already know you, Odette. Well enough to want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Tears pricked her eyes. She’d been slow to admit her love, and this was one of the few times he’d shared his feelings plainly.
“I’d like you to meet my parents.”
Odette stiffened. Siegfried and Odile. If she truly loved their son, she would have to meet them sooner or later.
“Too soon? I know you thought me a common man. Is it too much?” He took her hand and covered it with the other.
She took a deep breath to steady herself. “Maybe a bit quick, but I will manage. Please, Siegfried, show me your family.”
Looping her arm through his, he led Odette over the steps where she had collided with his father, and through the halls. He stopped in a parlor she hadn’t visited before.
The prince and princess sat across from one another while the king paced, examining the art hanging on the walls.
“Siegfried, there you are.” Odile rose, smiling at son and guest. She gasped in recognition.
“What? Mother?” The son looked to his father for an answer.
The elder Siegfried frowned, squinting. “Do I know you?”
The king was the last to place her. “Oh, dear God. How did you get here?”
“Grandfather! I brought her. She is my bride.” Siegfried put an arm around her and stared down the king.
The senior Siegfried looked from Odette to Odile and back. “You. And you. But…”
The king scoffed. “You won’t quit until you’re royal, will you? Just like your mother.” He had aged significantly since that horrible day, when Siegfried married Odile. With a bony finger, he stabbed Odette in the chest.
Siegfried stepped between them. “Grandfather, that’s enough. She’s cursed; how could she plot when she spends her days as a swan?”
“Should have been your nights too. You know, Odile. You saw her usurping you.”
Odette didn’t expect the woman to defend her, so she stepped back when the princess turned on the king.
“You think I wanted this? You think I like knowing he’s only in love with me because he thinks I’m her? I wish you and my uncle had both fallen on your heads.” She stormed out, leaving the king stammering.

It is Odile's turn to show her true feelings. Odette gets even more hotheaded in the next chapter.