A reverse Sleeping Beauty tale where the princess goes on the quest to save the prince.
Princess Kaylee has never had to fight for anything. Her entire life has been arranged, even her marriage. But when Prince Devlin falls under an enchantment, she finds she is willing to do anything to save him, even if it means fighting a dragon.
Devlin's own sister, Princess Arabella, is behind the deadly plot. She wants the throne and will use any means necessary to gain it. Her perfect plan unravels, leaving Devlin caught in a magical sleep that is slowly spreading through the kingdom of Breniera. All Arabella needs to finish her spell and claim the crown is a drop of Kaylee's blood, but obtaining the single drop is proving more difficult than expected.
To save her betrothed, Kaylee embarks on a quest to find an ancient sword and gather a drop of dragon's blood, while trying to stay out of Arabella's traps. But Arabella's traps aren't the only danger. Time is everything. For once the last inhabitant of the kingdom falls asleep, the spell will be sealed, and not even true love's kiss will break it.
“There’s nowhere to go, Princess,” Arabella said. “And don’t get any ideas, either. I can finish things just as easily with the hag’s daughter as I can with you.”
“Kaylee, don’t listen to her. Only your blood will work, ” Sabrina yelled.
“Silence, wench! Thaddeus, get Princess Kaylee and keep hold of her.”
Kaylee started, so focused on Arabella she had missed the knight waiting at the edge of the stream. When he stepped into the water, she took a step backward, but his long arm caught hold of her and tugged her toward the bank. She considered struggling, but with his height and strength, it would be useless. Instead, she trudged to the shore, her mind whirling with plans to escape Arabella’s clutches.
“Kaylee,” Sabrina said. “You must get away from here.”
“I won’t leave you here with her. There’s no telling what she’ll do to you.”
“Princess Arabella will not harm Sabrina,” Thaddeus said. “She has done nothing to warrant such action.”
“I don’t have the same faith in your princess as you do,” Kaylee said. “Not after what she did to her brother.”
“What she did?” Thaddeus asked.
“Enough talk.” Arabella pressed the dagger closer to Sabrina’s neck, and glared at Kaylee.
It was clear the knight had no inkling that Arabella was the most dangerous person in the area. If she could get him on her side, they might be able to leave unharmed.
“Let her go, Arabella. I’m the one you want.” Kaylee held up her hands in surrender. She gave a low whistle, thankful Arabella didn’t seem to notice. Not knowing what animal ability the other princess possessed made it dangerous to be calling for help, but her options were sparse. Hopefully the birds still in the area were listening. A faint trill rose from below, and Kaylee felt hope spark to life.
“Thaddeus is going to tie your hands, and you’re going to cooperate.” Arabella tipped her head toward Sabrina, a warning in her eyes. “Unless you would like your friend here to pay the price.”
“Princess Kaylee will come peacefully,” Thaddeus said. “Why don’t you put that blade away before someone is injured?”
“Why don’t you tie her up like I ordered?” Arabella snapped.
Kaylee held her hands behind her back, whistling a longer melody, asking the birds to be ready, to wait for her command. She waited for the rope to bite into her flesh, but Thaddeus made it tight enough to restrain her yet loose enough to keep from chafing.
“Kaylee, why didn’t you go? I’m not worth you losing Prince Devlin. You must finish the quest and save the prince.” Sabrina’s words ended on a whimper as Arabella dug the blade into her neck.
“Sabrina!” Kaylee struggled against the bonds holding her. Thaddeus grabbed her shoulders, and she bucked against him, desperate to aid Sabrina.
“She only nicked me,” Sabrina said.
“But the spell. That means—”
“No, Kaylee,” Sabrina said. “She has to have your blood to finish the spell. And it has to be on the special dagger, not this one.”
“Are you suggesting Princess Arabella is working with you to ensorcell the prince?” Thaddeus asked.
“No. I’m saying Princess Arabella is the one who be-spelled him to begin with. She needs my blood to finish the curse. A death curse.”
“Princess? Is this true?” Thaddeus asked, and Kaylee prayed he could be swayed to their side.
“Of course not. They’re just trying to deceive you so they can go free.”
“Good sir knight. Were I to blame for the curse put upon Devlin, why would I be here at Paladin’s Sword when I could have been safely back in Palindore by now?”
Thaddeus frowned. “I don’t know, but my princess has assured me she was not the one to harm her brother. That she saw you cast the spell on him. Why would she lie?”
“Because the only way she can have the throne is if her brother is dead.” Kaylee blinked back tears at the thought.
A clatter of rocks echoed around the clearing, and Kaylee felt Thaddeus stiffen. He stepped forward, sword in hand, relaxing his stance when Lady Deirdre and Lady Maeryn stumbled their way around the bend.
“Well?” Maeryn asked, bending over at the waist and panting. “Have you finished the deed?”
Arabella grumbled something, and the two girls paled.
“W-We should have w-waited at the w-waterfall,” Deirdre whined. “Y-You d-didn’t n-need our h-help at all.”
“I need you to watch the hag’s daughter while I finish things here,” Arabella said.
“Maybe you should just throw it at her and be done with it,” Maeryn said.
Arabella bent and pulled a dagger from her boot. Kaylee shuddered, certain this was the end. Devlin had bragged at how perfect his sister’s aim was, and now she would see it first hand.
“Thaddeus! Bring her here.”
Thaddeus didn’t move.
“I won’t allow you to harm her. Your father’s orders were quite clear about that.”
“I will do as I will with her.”
Kaylee decided she had waited long enough. The knight was not going to believe her, and she wasn’t going to give Arabella a chance to use her for target practice. She whistled, and the air filled with birds.
Arabella, Maeryn, and Deirdre shrieked. Thaddeus released Kaylee, waving at the birds as he rushed toward his princess as all good knights would.
“Sabrina! Follow me!” Kaylee yelled as she stumbled up the path, her hands still bound behind her back.
Chaos reigned by the stream. Thaddeus waved away the birds, but more swooped in. Maeryn and Deirdre screamed. Arabella gripped the dagger and glared at Kaylee.
“Let me help you.” Sabrina grabbed Kaylee’s arm and tugged her up the path. Their only hope was to follow the path around the bend and pray there was a place to hide.
“Don’t let her get away!” Arabella screeched.
Today I have Mary Waibel author of Quest of the Hart on my blog today. Welcome, Mary.
At the end of this post there is a chance to win a free ebook.
1. Tell us about your book and how the story came to be.
A friend told me I should write a story where the girly-girl princess had to save the prince, and Quest of the Hart was born.
2. What three words best describe your main character?
Fragile yet strong
3. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
I search names on the baby names sites, sometimes by meaning, sometimes by origin. I keep looking until I find one that resonates with the image I have of the character in my mind.
4. Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?
Plot path? LOL! I have a loose idea of where I want the story to go, but my characters definitely lead the way. I've learned when I can't go on from a point, it's usually because I had a character do something they wouldn't, and they won't let me go forward until I fix it and make it right.
5. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you over come it?
Laundry seems to be the thing that breaks through my writer's block. It never fails, the answer comes as I'm switching clothes from washer to dryer. I also have a great group of CP's (critique partners) I bounce things around with.
6. What types of books do you like to read?
I a sucker for a good romance, usually with some kind of intrigue or paranormal element in it. Over all, I want a good story, with characters I want to escape with time and time again.
I have to agree, Mary.
7. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Spend time with my family, camp, read, take a trip to the wineries, watch hockey or baseball. My son plays hockey and lacrosse, so I'm usually at a rink or field in my off time.
8. What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I just finished up my content edits for Charmed Memories, a companion novel to Quest of the Hart, and I am currently revising a third book in the group for submission.
9. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
If you don't write it, you can't fix it. As long as you have something on the page, you can always work at making it better, but if you leave it blank, it will never become anything.
Mary lives with her husband, son and two cats. When she isn't twisting fairytales, she enjoys reading, playing games, watching hockey, and camping. Her debut novel, Quest of the Hart, will be available from MuseItUp Publishing April 19, 2013. Charmed Memories, a companion novel, will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in August 2013
You can find Mary Waibel at:
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