Who doesn’t love a great fairy tale retelling? That’s why I’m so pleased to share this lovely novella with you. I have an excerpt for you to read, and a chance to win your very own print copy of the book! Enjoy!
The Princess and the Peacock (Birds of Fae #1)
Publication Date: January 25th, 2019
Genre: Fantasy/ Fairy Tale Retelling
The first time I fell in love with Princess Mele was when I saw her smile, and I fell in love with her the second time the moment I heard her sing.
Two memories burn within Kaipo’s heart — the death of his mother, which left him alone to die, and the arrival of Princess Mele, which gave him a new reason to live. Together with his adopted brother, Kaipo seeks out Jaya, the Fae Queen who lives on the Forbidden Mountain, in order to gain the beauty he requires to win Mele’s heart. But Jaya has other plans for the scarred outcast who climbs up her mountain …
The Princess and the Peacock is the first in Birds of Fae, a fantasy fairy tale novella series from C. S. Johnson.
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THE PRINCESS AND THE PEACOCK: Kaipo desperately requests a wish from the Fae Queen, Jaya, after climbing up the Forbidden Mountain on Maluhia.
Desperate, I hold out my hands, palms upward, in a gesture of pleading. “Queen Jaya, I ask that you grant me my wish, as I stated, and as you promised. It is only fair, after all.”
“Dare you bother me in my own musings?” Jaya slams the end of her staff into the ground. The air around her whips out ferociously, as if her emotions stretch out far beyond her heart. “Very well then, Kaipo. I will grant your wish.”
She comes up in front of me, and I nearly stagger back at the overbearing fullness of her being. Her finger reaches out and touches my forehead.
Instantly, I am frozen; the essence of my soul shines as her power leeches into me. Just before my eyes go sightless, the last thing I see is her triumphant smirk.
“Yes,” she whispers, so softly I almost think I am imagining it. “I do believe this is just the magic needed to give you beauty Princess Mele will be unable to resist.”
Her words brush over me, leaving me weak with joy as my world is drowned with light, and I eagerly fall into its brightness.
For a moment, as I bathe in that transcendent sensation, I wonder if I had actually fallen off the mountain earlier, and this is just a final coming home into the arms of death.
“There.” Jaya’s voice echoes from far away, and behind her, I hear Rahj gasp in surprise. I try to smile, but I feel my face resist the movement.
Taking one last deep breath, I open my eyes.
A bouquet of dark, iridescent color swims before me, and it takes only two seconds before I realize every miracle I expected was horrifically wrong. Instead of scarless flesh, my arms have been transformed into wings of shimmering blue, with hints of green and black tipping off their feathers. My own body, once lean and hungry, is bulging out with meaty bird muscle, and my neck is three times as long. My legs are sticks with claws, and I can feel the ground part eagerly as I stumble, stabbing the divine earth as I go.
Jaya’s laughter follows me cruelly as I hurry around in a circle, frantically trying to find a way to see my new self.
“Here,” she says, and out of the middle of her meadow, a pond appears. I race toward it, ardently wishing this is all an awful misunderstanding of magic or even perhaps a friendly joke from Jaya.
But no; it’s not.
I glance into the water’s pond and freeze, taking in the sight before me in shaking horror.
My beady eyes, still their mix of green and brown, stare back full of fear. My shabby hair has been perked up into a colored crest on my small head, sticking straight up in the air, as the rest of my body gleams with an artful array of feathers.
I open my mouth to scream, but only a squawk sounds out. As I step back in fear, my tail feathers fan out, and I am vividly aware of the truth.
I am no longer a man; I am a peacock.
About the Author
C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me
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