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Announcement: Betrothed, by Therese Woodson

BetrothedQSFer Therese Woodson has a new fairy tale out:

Faery royalty have always married for duty rather than love. Prince Chrysanths should be no different – except with a human for a father, the prince known as Puck already is different. When he is betrothed against his will to Prince Sky, Puck flees to his father in the human world, only to have Sky follow.

Prince Sky Song of the Clouds isn’t thrilled with the prospect of marriage either, but is bound by duty to follow through. If he can’t win Puck over, the faery realm might very well dissolve into utter chaos. Too busy arguing, Puck and Sky are unaware there are others with a vested interest in seeing the betrothal fail. In a bid for Puck’s crown, they’ll seek to keep them apart, even as Puck and Sky realize that duty and love don’t always have to be mutually exclusive.


Excerpt

Sneaking out in the middle of the night would probably be classified as stupid, but Puck had made a decision, and he was going to follow through. Az would not approve. Neither would his mother. But they weren’t the ones being shoehorned into marriage. He was, and leaving for the nearest crossing was the only plan he had managed to come up with in the short time allowed.

Puck had taken his dinner in his room, and no one questioned him about it. They probably assumed he was being sullen and difficult, which admittedly he was—a perfectly natural reaction, Puck felt—but he also used the time to plan. To be honest, Puck wasn’t sure what he was trying to accomplish. He had three weeks before the ceremony, before he would truly break faery law, and while that was enough time to think, to take a break from all that loomed ahead, it certainly wasn’t enough time to meet someone and fall in love. Faery tale endings were not guaranteed, not even to faeries.

Whether he returned to the faery realm after the three weeks remained to be seen. He would decide later. After he had time to reflect and breathe. But he needed to leave, and quickly, since the Air prince would be arriving the following morning.

Puck wrote a note to his mother and signed it, leaving it on his bed, along with the crown he rarely wore. He packed a bag of clothes and grabbed the box from beneath his bed. He shoved it in as well. Donning a dark cloak, he pulled the hood over his head and hoisted the pack on his shoulder.

The corridor was dark and empty when he pulled open his door. The sun had set long ago, and only the guards would be awake in the small hours of the day. Bypassing them would be easy; Puck had made a science of it over the years. He was nothing if not mischievous.

He crept along the hallway and ducked through one of the servant’s passageways, following it to the kitchen. The door to the outside was heavy and warded with the cook’s magic, but the window to the right was routinely overlooked—too small for any faery with wings to fit through. Puck quietly climbed on top of the table beneath the window, careful to step around the pots and pans and jars of spices left there. He flipped the latch, wincing as the hinge creaked, the sound loud in the silence. He held his breath for a moment, standing stock-still, but no one came. Relieved, Puck shoved his pack through the window, then hoisted himself up and wriggled through the tight space.

Falling face-first into the dirt wasn’t on top of Puck’s list of ways to spend an evening, but neither was hiding from a potential husband. He’d gladly take a mouthful of soil over the alternative.

Puck picked up his pack, brushed off the dirt, and pulled his hood back up to obscure his face. Stumbling in the dark, not willing to risk using magic to light the way, Puck slipped through the shadows and down the path to the crossing.


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Author Bio

Therese Woodson is a writer, a wife, a mother of three, a pet-owner, and a long-time member of her college’s sci-fi club. She is a fan of watching bad television shows, superhero movies, and anything involving mythology. She loves creating interesting characters, universes, and stories with happy endings.

Therese’s Website/Blog: https://theresewritesthings.wordpress.com/

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