Americana Fairy Tale
by Lex Chase
Genre: M/M Fairy Tale Urban Fantasy
Length: Novel, 340 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Modern fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: He’s a guy. Two: His perfect brother Atticus is the reincarnation of Snow White. Three: Taylor has no idea which princess he is supposed to be. Four: Taylor just left his prince (a girl) at the altar. Despite his enchanted lineage, Taylor is desperate to find his Happily Ever After away from magic, witches, and stuffy traditions. Regrettably, destiny has other plans for him. Dammit.
When word reaches Taylor that Idi the Witchking has captured Atticus, Taylor is determined to save his brother. He enlists the help of rakish and insufferable Corentin Devereaux, likewise of enchanted lineage. A malicious spell sends Taylor and Corentin on a road trip through the kitschy nostalgia of roadside Americana. To save Atticus, they must solve the puzzles put forth by Idi the Witchking. As they struggle, Taylor and Corentin’s volatile partnership sparks a flash of something more. But princesses have many enemies, and Taylor must keep his wits about him because there’s nothing worse than losing your heart… or your head.
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Still flustered and confused, with no time to contemplate what had just come over him, Corentin tossed out his hand and gestured to the open road. “Do you see signs for I-85 North anywhere, genius?”
“Man, you’re really bitchy,” Ringo said, crossing his arms. “Have enough water today? Hydration is important.”
“Why should I trust you anyway? You could be getting us lost on purpose,” Taylor said. There was a sneer in his tone, and he glared in the rearview. “I’m not counting out we nearly died three seconds ago.”
“I was avoiding a tire in the road,” Corentin lied. “And I am not getting us lost.” His irritation grew as he tried to puzzle through everything that had just transpired. “I’m keeping my promise. You’re useless to me, so we’re going to go save your brother and kill Idi instead.”
“Woooooah,” Ringo said, holding up his hands in surrender. “You didn’t tell me this was Idi we were up against.”
“Someone fill me in,” Taylor said in a demanding tone.
Corentin gritted his teeth. Just like all princesses, Taylor was a pretty spoiled brat. “Idi is the Witchking,” Corentin said simply. He braced himself for the oncoming flurry of questions. Which he wouldn’t know how to answer in the simplest of terms.
“Idi’s bad juju,” Ringo said. “The worst of all witches.”
“And we’re going to kill him?” Taylor asked.
Corentin caught him arching a brow and making a doubtful expression in the rearview. “That’s the plan.”
“And save Atticus,” Taylor said.
“That’s the plan,” Corentin repeated tersely.
“What’s in it for you?” Taylor asked. Something in his tone suggested his mistrust had hit its limit.
Before Corentin could come up with an expert lie, he was unfortunately saved by the GPS popping with sizzles and showering sparks over the cabin of the truck. Ringo zipped behind the passenger seat, and Taylor yelped in a half squeal. The truck fishtailed over two lanes and came dangerously close to clipping a car. Corentin acted fast, ripping the melting device from its dash mount and chucking it out the window. Taylor turned to look out the back window, and Corentin caught the bright orange flame as the thing exploded like a grenade.
When the spots cleared from Corentin’s eyes, he muttered a curse under his breath as the truck passed from a clear division of daylight into the dead of night. He clicked the headlights on and waited for his eyes to adjust.
“What the hell is going on?” Taylor asked, leaning up to the back window.
“Idi’s fucking with us,” Corentin said. “It seems like he’s trying to delay us as much as possible.”
“He knows we’re onto him,” Taylor said. “Way to go for discussing the super-secret squirrel plan out loud.”
“You know…,” Corentin said, glaring in the rearview. “You are a lot more pleasant when you’re passed out, snoring.”
Taylor huffed. “I don’t snore.”
“You bleat like a dying hyena,” Ringo said, then spit a giggle.
Taylor’s attention snapped to the pixie. “What is this? Asshole day?”
Corentin caught his eerie pink glare in the rearview.
“Dude, just get off at the nearest exit. We should be near Birmingham by now.”
“All right, all right,” Corentin said, and it was a pleasant reprieve that Taylor kept his mouth shut for more than five minutes. It didn’t last.
“Hey, hey!” Taylor said and pointed at a green-and-white interstate exit sign in the distance. “Talladega! Turn here. I can get us to Atlanta from here. We’re not that far off.”
Corentin guided the truck up the exit ramp and frowned. Something was wrong—flat-topped mesas came into view.
“What the…?” Taylor whispered and watched the rolling dunes of the Painted Desert.
“Uuuh…,” Ringo added and pressed himself to the windshield. The occasional cactus whisked by. “Wow, Talladega’s having a hard time with the drought this season,” Ringo said through their awestruck silence.
“That’s not a drought,” Corentin said softly.
Taylor squinted into the distance. “Does ‘Welcome to Arizona, the Grand Canyon State’ answer your question?”
Ringo pasted his face to the windshield. “How do you even see—” Ringo squeaked when the state sign of Arizona blurred by. “Oh my Storyteller!”
Corentin remained tense, trying to get his thoughts together.
Taylor, however, seemed to not be able to resist blurting out his opinion. “It seems this Eddie guy is doing more than just fucking with us.”
“Idi,” Corentin said and realized how terse he sounded. “I think he wants to do more than just delay us.”
Ringo peeled himself from the windshield. He slapped his hands to his cheeks in horror. “He wants us to die out here?” he croaked.
“Panicking is not going to help,” Corentin said firmly.
“Easy for you to say,” Taylor snapped. “We just need to stop somewhere and ask for directions. We’ll get back on the right road in no time.”
Corentin sighed. Taylor’s hope was admirable, but Ringo was only half right. They would die out here, but only one of them. This was Corentin’s first trial. Now he was here, in the middle of nowhere, with Taylor to do with what he will. As soon as that was over, Idi would release him and he’d be on his way, but only until the next time Idi summoned him to do his bidding.
They drove on, again in a long-hanging silence. The interstate lay barren, not a single car or scrap of civilization to be seen. The pavement bore veins of black tar from years of shoddy repair. Corentin caught Taylor’s pink gaze in the rearview, and his feral eyes seemed to gleam in the dark.
The princess shifted from one side of the backseat to the other. He seemed to look for anything that would help. He cupped his hands around the glass and peeked out into the night. “I can’t see anything out there. It’s just desert,” Taylor muttered.
Ringo turned to Corentin, “How are we on ga—”
“Don’t say it!” Corentin and Taylor shouted in unison.
Ringo held up his hands and pursed his lips. “Got it…. Uh… why?”
“I assume Eddie is listening in to everything,” Taylor said.
“Idi,” Corentin corrected Taylor again. “I think sir princess is right. It seems the second we’ve said anything, something’s gone wrong.”
Ringo fluttered over to the dash and rested his chin in his palm. “You know… it could be all a coincidence….”
Corentin and Taylor glared angrily at Ringo in silence while the hum of the pavement whooshed as Corentin drove.
Ringo waved his hands. “By Titania’s tatas, guys, I was just kidding!”
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About the author
Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting too.
Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure and epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.
Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.
Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine now residing in the burbs of Northwest Florida, where it could be 80F and she’d still be a popsicle.
She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.
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