WHAT EVER HAPPENED AFTER HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
THIS STORY TAKES PLACE BEFORE THE EVENTS OF WONDROUS STRANGE, featuring the character of Kelley Winslow’s Faerie-fabulous roommate, Tyffanwy of the Mere (Tyff Myers as she is known, incognito, in the mortal realm)
Leaning on the decorative stone railing of Central Park’s famous Bow Bridge, Tyff Meyers gazed at her reflection in the touch-screen of her brand spankin’ new shiny-shiny phone and smiled contentedly. Dang if she wasn’t still fabulous. Even after almost two-thousand years spent exiled in this crummy mortal realm. Mesmerized by her own perfect features, she wasn’t expecting to get elbowed by a handsome young man, even considering the bridge was quite crowded with evening strollers. When her shiny-shiny new phone slipped from her slender fingers, first she gasped… and then she swore like a Teamster.
The young man stopped, apologized profusely—and then, oddly enough, offered to retrieve the device for her… even though it had sunk like a stone into the murky depth of the Lake.
“Oh, sure,” Tyff answered caustically, one perfect eyebrow raised. “Go ahead. I dare you. Take the plunge.”
He smiled and his eyes glistened strangely in the fading light of evening, with a sort of inky green iridescence. Then he turned and put one foot up on the railing.
“Hold the phone!” Tyff winced at her unintended wordplay, wishing that she’d done just exactly that. Bloody thing had cost her a fortune with its stupid, shiny, sparkle-pretty Swarovski crystal-encrusted case… “I mean—hang on a minute—I know Waterfolk when I see them,” she said, narrowing her gaze.
“I’m not surprised, Lady of the Mere,” he nodded his head slightly. “You are wise as you are beautiful. But I am not Faerie, as you are.”
Tyff took a step back. She used to be known—among those in the know—as Tyffanwy of the Mere. But that was a loooong time ago. Now she just went by Tyff Meyers.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“I’ll tell you when I return your lost bauble.”
“For what price?”
Tyff thought about it. He hadn’t attached any strings—as Faerie are wont to do—and he was pretty cute. She shrugged. “Okay.”
In a flash, he was over the railing. In two flashes, he was back, carrying her phone in his mouth. He hopped nimbly back up onto the bridge, clothing dry as a bone. He handed back her expensive bit of technology and, at a glance, she saw that it was still working. The guy was obviously enchanted. She put two and two together…
“You’re the guy, right?” She said. “Frog Prince?”
He bowed slightly.
“Man. You’ve been around for…”
“A long time.” He shrugged ruefully. “The whole enchantment thing? Apparently immortality is an unadvertised side-effect.”
“Oh… I’m sorry.” Tyff understood suddenly. She knew what would probably happen if she kissed him. He would turn back into his previous amphibious state. That’s the way kisses worked in Fairy Tales. “You have a broken heart don’t you? You had to watch your mortal princess grow old and die, didn’t you?” she asked.
He snorted in amusement. “Nope. But the guy she ditched me for and ran off with two weeks after I shelled out big-time on the wedding probably did. Or maybe it was the guy after him. Who knows?”
“Yeah.” He nodded at the lake. “Out there,” he said, “I’m a prince among frogs. Here? I’m just another schmuck stock broker. And as a frog… lemme tell you, I have great legs.”
Tyff tried hard not to think about the last meal she’d had in a French restaurant. “Won’t you miss it out here in the world?” she asked.
“If I do,” he grinned and tapped her phone. “I’ll give you a call. I’ve got your number.”
Tyff smiled and leaned in to gave him a warm, genuine kiss on the lips. Next thing she knew there was a large, handsomely-striped frog sitting on the bridge railing. He winked a golden, multi-lidded eye and disappeared over the side.
Every couple of months after that, Tyff would go to the movies with her extra-large Prada purse slung over her shoulder. When the lights would go down, she’d open up the purse, and let her froggy date sit in the drink holder, snatching popcorn bits from the bag with a long, sticky tongue slurping ribbity slurps—from his own straw.
Thanks to Penguin Canada I have 5 copies of Once Every Never to offer you!
Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.
Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.
This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.
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Ends September 7th, 2011.
Lesley is a writer and actor living in Toronto, Canada. Captivated at a young age by stories of mythology and folk lore, past civilizations, and legendary heroes, she developed into a full-fledged Celtic Mythology Geek, steeped in stories of the Otherworld, Faeries and King Arthur. Lesley went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Toronto specializing in Shakespeare and Arthurian literature.
More books by Lesley Livingston