Today I’m pleased to welcome back fellow Muse It Up author Mary Waibel. This time she is here to give us a look at her new self-published novella The Mystery Prince. If you’re not familiar with Mary, she likes to write fairy tales with a twist. This time she stays true to form by turning around the Cinderella story so the princess has to search for her prince.
Eric, thanks so much for letting me stop by today and share and excerpt from my new novella, The Mystery Prince. The following scene takes place as Princess Zoe is searching for her unknown suitor from a masquerade ball.
Tristan led Princess Zoe up the stairs to the larger of the two guest rooms in the east wing. He kept quiet as they walked, knowing he’d already said too much. He’d seen the flash of recognition, followed by surprise and dismay, when he’d spoken in the courtyard. Damn Rand and his stupidity. If it weren’t for him…
If it weren’t for him, Tristan would never have had the most incredible night of his life. He would never have met the most wonderful girl in the world. But he also wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to convince her he was worth keeping, even if he wasn’t a prince.
Opening the door to the lavender room, he let Zoe enter ahead of him. Per the king’s instructions, after Nor’s announcement in the courtyard, the maids had fluffed the bedding and lit a fire in the fireplace, taking the chill from the air. A pitcher of water sat on a stand, a basin and towel beside it. All seemed in order.
“Is the room to your liking?”
She looked at him and nodded. “Yes, thank you.”
“If you need anything, pull the rope, and a servant will attend you.” He stepped toward the door.
Tristan stopped and faced her. “Was there something you needed?”
“Yes.” She walked over and closed the door. “I’d like to speak with you in private.”
“Your Highness, this is highly improper.”
An amused chuckle bubbled around him. “About as improper as our time spent in the gardens last night.”
“You were chaperoned.”
“True, but if they’d known you weren’t a prince, things would have gone differently.”
Ashamed, Tristan hung his head. “I apologize, but I was only following my orders.”
A perfectly arched brow rose. “You were given orders to deceive me? To what end?”
“No. I mean…” Tristan ran a hand through his hair and tugged on the ends, hoping the pain would help him form a coherent thought. “I was asked to stand in for Prince Rand, as he was ill, so Merlette would still be considered among your choice for husband. No harm was meant by my actions.”
“No harm? I believed you to be a prince. A man I could ask to stand at my side for the rest of my life. A man to rule my people with me. And now I learn that not only are you not a prince, you aren’t even a titled lord.”
Tristan’s heart pounded in his chest, and each breath pained him. Tears glistened on her dark lashes. A single drop broke free, trailing down her pale cheek. Closing his eyes, hands clenched into fists, he forced himself not to reach out and brush away the tear, or worse, pull Zoe into his arms to comfort her.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He looked at her then. “I swear it. I didn’t know―”
“You didn’t know what?” Aquamarine eyes flashed as she cut him off.
A quiet sigh preceded his whispered, “I didn’t know I could fall in love with someone in so short a time.”
Her mouth formed a perfect oh as she stared at him with wide eyes. Not wanting to hear her explain all the reasons he never stood a chance with her, he walked to the door.
“I’m sorry. I can’t.” The whispered words caught in his throat.
He stepped out into the hallway, the door closing behind him with a click that echoed with finality. He’d laid his heart bare, had confessed his feelings to her, and then run before she could shatter what remained of his world. Never before had he done something so cowardly, yet never before had things seemed so dire. If only there were a way for them to be together.
The Mystery Prince, a novella
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU6TSY8
Tristan enjoys being in the shadows as Prince Rand’s bodyguard. Similar in looks, the two often exchanged places in their youth, but he never expected the king to order him to impersonate the heir to the throne in order to win the hand of a princess.
Princess Zoe needs to find a husband. After a year of searching with no success, her father insists on hosting a masquerade ball for the eligible princes of the nine kingdoms. Not one prince piques her interest, until she meets the mysterious stranger who won’t tell her his name. When Tristan meets Zoe he finds the girl of his dreams. The only problem? She’s a princess and he’s impersonating a prince―a crime punishable by imprisonment and floggings. Unable to tell Zoe his real name, he gives her a special navigation device. One that leads to the owner’s true love. Will this magic device lead Zoe to Tristan, or will her true love forever remain a mystery prince?
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 Princess of Valendria series (Quest of the Hart, Charmed Memories, Different Kind of Knight) are available from MuseItUp Publishing and other major retailers. Her novella, The Mystery Prince, is available at Amazon. Her Faery Marked (book 1 in the Faery Series) will be available from BookFishBooks this summer.
You can find Mary Waibel at: