The release date for my latest romantic fantasy novella, Whimsical Tendencies, has been moved up to Friday, November 27th!
Blurb: Although she has no memories before the quake that destroyed the kingdom of Augury, Cypher McCall holds a steadfast hatred of the repressive Cauldian regime now ruling the country. Because her magical gifts are deemed subversive, she does her best to avoid detection. Unfortunately for Cypher, however, she’s too beautiful to ignore. After a Cauldian contingent arrives in her hometown, a chance encounter leaves her repulsed by the arrogant Prince Ewan and attracted to his distant cousin, Lord Joss.
When she learns Prince Ewan plans to tear down the ruins of nearby Castle Augur, Cypher vows to stop him. Although handsome Lord Joss tries to protect her from his vindictive cousin, Cypher can’t bring herself to trust the enemy. At the same time, nightmares and dreams nudge her toward reclaiming childhood memories. She stumbles on a silver key that she hopes will unlock her past, but first she must confront a long repressed horror at the Castle Augur ruins.
Will the knowledge of Cypher’s true identity tear her apart or will it empower her to restore everything she ever loved?
“I do hope this girl isn’t bothering you.” The officer sniffed. “These country folk are so provincial.”
“Not at all, Ewan,” Joss said. “I was in the young lady’s way.”
Her eyes widened as she realized the officer was in fact Prince Ewan, the crown prince of Cauldia. Why had the man come to Plentiful?
The prince’s gaze traveled down her body. By the time his eyes returned to her face, the man wore an appreciative smirk. “What do they call you…besides schoolgirl?”
“Cypher McCall, Your Highness.” Albeit grudgingly, she sketched the briefest of curtsies.
“McCall? You must belong to that tavern down the street.” His chuckle was contemptuous. “You’re a future barmaid, then.”
Cypher bristled, but Joss offered her his arm. “We’ve kept the lady far too long, Ewan. I’ll escort her to her destination, and then we can resume our business.”
“Do make haste. I find the delights of Plentiful have long since worn thin.”
As Cypher wrapped her fingers around the proffered arm, her feelings were mixed. She was reluctant to accept help from a Cauldian, however good-looking he might be. Nevertheless, if Lord Joss’s absence irked the crown prince of Cauldia, she meant to keep the handsome man occupied as long as possible.
Joss guided her to the boardwalk, and they strolled together toward the tavern. She couldn’t help but notice several townspeople shoot her pointed glances. Undoubtedly, they wondered why she was fraternizing the with enemy.
“I-I thank you for your assistance, Lord Joss, but I shouldn’t be talking to you. You’re a Cauldian.”
“True, but my mother was born in Augury. Perhaps you could address my better Augurian half?”
“Perhaps.” A giggle escaped her lips.
“Good. I made you laugh—despite my unfortunate connections. I hope Prince Ewan didn’t offend you just now. My cousin isn’t necessarily known for his manners.”
“The prince and I are distantly related by marriage.”
Her heart sank and she released his arm. “So you’re part of the royal family.”
He frowned. “I wish you wouldn’t hold that against me. More significantly, I work for the Minister Alcott, of Citizen Relations. I’m here as a diplomat.”
The swinging McCall’s Tavern sign came into view.
“You’re wasting your time, Lord Joss, if you think any measure of diplomacy will ease our feelings about the Cauldian occupation of Augury. Please inform Minister Alcott that citizen relations will only improve once you return to your own country permanently and relinquish control of Augury.”
“There’s not a ghost of a chance that will happen, I’m afraid.”
“Then citizen relations shall remain decidedly cool.”
“I regret to hear that, Miss McCall.”
She was taken aback by the look of sincerity on the man’s face, until she reminded herself he was a Cauldian—and her bitter enemy.