Prince by Blood and Bone
Tales of the Black Court
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Abracadabra Publishing
Date of Publication: April 2014
Word Count: 90,000 words
Cover Artist: Kari Ayasha Cover to Cover Designs
A rebellious prince, a reluctant witch, and a mysterious prophecy,twisted together in a tale of Beauty and the Beast
Trapped in an underground palace Prince Kian must remain a beast, or give in to the queen’s plan to strip him of his powers. But Kian refuses to submit to his mother's evil plan and is determined to escape both his prison and his curse—even if it means dabbling in witch's magic.
On the run for most of her life, Bryanna MacElvy has never learned to use her healing Gift. When she’s pulled by Kian’s spell into his prison, the prince sees the golden witch as his salvation. Refusing to let her, or to accept she is incapable of curing him, Kian offers her a terrible bargain—heal him, or give up her freedom forever.
Their lives entwined by fate, the prince must learn to love a human and Bryanna must learn to trust herself—or risk losing their freedom, his powers, and their passion, to the evil of the Black Queen.
Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in book two of her fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court
Kian barely got into his chamber and slammed the door shut before succumbing to his desperate need, frantically clawing off the confining cloak, scrunching it into a bundle, and viciously hurling it into a corner. He shook with the effort of controlling himself, his rage, anger, and frustration, spewing out in a bone-shaking roar.
As the dust settled, he paced the room, shoving broken furniture out of his way and listening to the tinkling of the crystal chandelier as it quivered to a stop.
He’d been here too long. So long he’d forgotten how a single breath of rose-scented skin could tempt a man to violence.
From the long blond hair and almond-shaped glass green eyes, all the way down her very long legs in those ridiculously short shorts, she couldn’t have been any more tempting. And he’d been tempted. Tempted to rip off her clothes and see what her full breasts looked like below the low scoop of her tank top. Tempted to lick and taste and devour her skin all the way down to the soft indent of the belly button that had flashed him when he’d scared her. Tempted enough to take her, and ravish her, and jeopardize all chance of her good will.
The wench had no idea how close she’d come to being violated.
If she hadn’t turned out to be a witch, would he have been able to resist the lure of her femininity? He’d been alone with only Beezel and the goblins for too long. He didn’t think any man would resist a fantasy sex slave dropped into his prison. But she wasn’t a slave. She was his only hope, and he would need to woo her into helping him break the curse.
Kian crossed to the full-length mirror he forced himself to look into once a day, lest he forget how much his mother hated him. She had twisted his Gift, and it was twisting his soul. His magic was strong, a legacy of his royal blood, and she’d used it against him the way only his twisted mother could. She’d taken his Gift, a thing of beauty, the ability to take on any shape—a mouse, a troll, a wolf, anything at all—and she’d perverted it before imprisoning him.
He stared and brooded at his reflection in the mirror, at the worst motley of animals he’d ever seen. Himself. And wondered what the terribly young, terribly beautiful, terribly innocent witch would think.
The upright stance of a human, but the humped-up shoulders of a bear. The razor-sharp talons of an eagle, but the heavy, earthbound weight of a boar. Long tusks protruded next to his wolf-like muzzle, and if it weren’t for magic, his too long tongue and sharp fangs would make speech impossible. His mother had stolen all his shapes from him and left him a mess, but at least she’d left him the ability to communicate. Goddess only knew why.
No woman would want to look at a creature like him. No woman would kiss a man with a wolf’s face and tongue, and a boar’s tusks. No woman would be running her hands down his coarse, hairy chest, and when she discovered what lay between his thighs? No.
His fist lashed out and connected with the mirror. Gleaming shards of glass flew, catching in his short, scrubby mane and fur.
The girl would help him. And soon. He didn’t know how long he could restrain himself from burying his face in her hair, and his cock between those long, long legs.
A hesitant knock sounded on the door.
Beezel entered and scrambled into a low bow.
“Enough of that.” Kian began pacing again, too restless to stand still. “Does she like her room? Do you think we should have put her in the one next to the library instead?”
The gnome’s accusing eyes took in the broken glass and the shattered mirror, but like the good servant he pretended to be, he kept his opinion to himself. Kian restrained the overwhelming urge to beat the gnome for the reproach he would never voice.
“I’m sure she’ll be fine, Your Highness. She doesn’t seem to care.”
“Doesn’t care?” Kian crossed to the trembling gnome, who edged closer to the open door. “Explain,” he growled.
Beezel hesitated. “She threw herself on the bed, sobbing, as soon as she entered. She doesn’t want to be here, none of us do.”
Kian stalked up and down the large room, pushing chairs and tables out of his way. “She’s staying.”
“Sire, I doubt your mother will let her.”
“My mother!” Kian crossed the room and picked up the gnome, shaking him hard until his arms and legs flew as if on strings. “You will not tell the queen. You will not tell anyone about this girl. Do you understand?”
“B-b-but, I must.” The gnome’s knees knocked together.
“Beezel,” Kian lowered his voice and drew close to the gnome. “If you do, I will kill you.”
“If I d-d-don’t the q-q-queen will do much worse.”
The reek of the gnome’s fear overwhelmed his sensitive wolf’s nose.
“Beezel, the queen is not here. I am. The strength of the spell confining me here has left her blind to whatever goes on within the confines of my prison. She’ll never know if you don’t tell her.” He lowered his voice and whispered into the gnome’s bumpy, pointed ear, “But I’ll know if you tell the queen and the girl is taken away from me. And I’m sure you will still be here for me to punish.”
He lowered Beezel to the ground and patted his bald head. “Beezel, what do you desire? Jewels? Gold? An underground palace such as this one?” Kian swung his arm wide. The warren was falling apart, but for a cavern gnome such as Beezel, it would be more lavish than any other home he would have in his lifetime. “Once I am released I can give you all of that, and more. But only once the witch has freed me from this curse that binds my form and my powers. If you tell the queen and she takes the witch, I will still be stuck here, but without a chance of freedom, and whatever hold she has over you will remain.” He paused, and sighed. “Trust me, she never lets go. If you do this, I’ll set you free and make sure you’re well rewarded.”
The little gnome avoided his gaze. “Well, Beezel? What’s it to be? Do I reward you, or do I have to kill you now to gain some time?” Kian pushed out a frustrated breath. “Are you in?”
Beezel moved his head in a slow nod.
Kian’s muscles relaxed in a rush of relief. He didn’t know what he would have done if the gnome had refused. He likely would have had to kill him, and who knew what the queen would send next.
“Good,” he said. “Swear to me you’ll not tell anyone about our visitor, anything about the girl, nor my endeavors.”
The gnome’s voice came out almost too low to hear, but Kian caught the words. “I swear.”
For the first time in too long the tell-tale energizing upswing of joy and anticipation tingled along his nerves. Finally, after too many years in this dusty abandoned place, he would have his own shape, his powers, and his freedom.
1. Describe your books in 3 words?
- Fairytale fantasy romance
2. If you could be any character from one of your books who would it be?
- Tough one. All my characters have such hard rows to hoe, I’m not sure who to pick. I think it would have to be Red, in Little Red Riding Wolf. She’s spunky and gets to play with Ethan, her super-sexy forest ranger. I love that she’s completely comfortable in both her skins and that she fights for the right to be herself.
3. What is your greatest fear about being an author/publishing your book(s)?
- Probably the same fear every author has, that people aren't going to like the books. I love reading my reviews and discovering that, yes, readers DO love my version of twisted fairy tales. Every four or five star review gives me the confidence to keep writing the next one, so thanks to everyone who reads and reviews!
4. Would the 10 year-old version of yourself kick your butt or praise you for what you've accomplished in life?
- She’d love it! She just would be puzzled about why I waited so long to really settle down and be a real author since she knew exactly what I was going to be in the future. Too bad it took me so long to remember.
5. What do you do when you finish your book and turn it in to the editor?
- Breathe a sigh of relief and get started on the next one.
6. What is your favorite Genre and why?
- I love all kinds of genres. I read fantasy and paranormal romance, but I also love mystery and suspense. I still re-read Jane Austin’s books and think about diving back into Tolstoy, when I have time.
7. What is one thing that would surprise us to know about you?
- I love walking in the rain, especially when it’s a little dark and spooky.
8. Was there an Author who inspired you to write?
- So many authors I can’t pick one. Just the idea of writing and creating lured me in from my earliest memories. Books are magical and the fact that people actually can create entire worlds has fascinated me and called me to write.
9. How did you come up with the characters in your books?
- Some of them came from the fairy tales themselves. When you are working within a fairy tale framework, you have to choose which parts of the fairy tale to keep and which to get rid of. One of the most interesting things about fairy tales is that when you go back to the original stories, they are usually quite short, and frequently different than what the popular version has become. I’ve tried to keep the essence of each fairy tale heroine. Let’s face it, Snow White is always making mistakes based on her view of the world, so Trina, my heroine in The Dark Huntsman, makes a lot of mistakes. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is the one who quietly saves everyone, from her father who screws up in the beginning, to the prince, who is unable to rescue himself. I wanted to keep that competence for Bryanna, in Prince by Blood and Bone, even if she doesn’t think she can do magic, she is more than capable.
10. Do you prefer to write alone or do you like to collaborate with other authors?
- I write alone, but I edit with a critique partner. She helps me figure out the big holes in my plots and when my characters are heading off into the distance. I’ve considered writing with a partner, but I’m not sure my control-freak writing self would want to share.
11. Everyone uses computers, tablets, phones and no one uses handwritten form or typewriters, what do you prefer to use?
- I use a laptop. At first, I thought I would hate it, it was so different from using the keyboard with the stationary computer. But now I prefer it. I have a tablet, but I don’t like typing on the screen and I hate that I have to go to a different screen for an apostrophe. Writer’s use a lot of apostrophes! Someday I’ll buy a separate keyboard for it and see how that works.
12. Is there a ritual you do before you begin your book?
- Ritual, no. I do use a method called the Snowflake method to brainstorm and fine tune my outline. I used to just jump in and write, but now I love the Snowflake method and it has me writing much faster. I never realized how much time it takes to figure out where a story was going in the middle of writing it. Now I know, and I can sit down and just write. Of course there are still times I veer off track, but having an outline in an Excel spreadsheet means I can tinker with it and get back on track very easily and still keep those bursts of inspiration when they come.
13. What do you do when you finish your book and turn it in to the editor?
- Breathe a sigh of relief, do the happy dance, and move on to the next one!
Fast Fairy Questions-(one word answers)
1. Apple or Windows? windows
2. Dog or Cat? both
3. Pepsi or Coke? water
4. Facebook or Twitter? facebook
5. Summer or Winter? both
6. Fairies or Angels? fairies
7. Dark or Light Fae? both
8. Vampires or Werewolves? werewolves
9. Amazon or Barnes and Noble? amazon
10. Funny or Serious? funny
11. Print or E-book? ebook
12. Eyes or Smile? depends
13. Dean or Sam (Supernatural)? Dean
14. Dream spot to visit? Scotland
About the Author:
Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies.
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