Hello my crunch Tots!
Today I'm very excited to bring you an super fun excerpt from the novel Painted Blind by MIchelle A Hansen. And what is super awesome about this excerpt is that it's not just a super charged teaser, its the prologue!!!! WAY FUN! And Michelle has also come with some great goodies!!
by Michelle A. Hansen
Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Now everyone—especially her dad—can see it. And yet, somehow, those are the mundane things in her life. That is because she is about to fall unexpectedly, head-over-heels in love with Erik, a mysterious young man who rescues her from a crowd of admirers, and who she’s actually never seen because…he can make himself invisible.
As strange as this may seem, it’s about to get even stranger. Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him. Overtaken, intrigued, and not wholeheartedly believing he's real, she is going to have to decide if she can love him blindly. Because if she can’t, she may lose him forever.
A wild, romantic adventure that travels at breakneck speed, Michelle A. Hansen’s debut is a fantastical journey filled with laughter, danger, and the indomitable power of love.
Painted Blind reminds us that one can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds with fortitude and a little luck and is a testament to the fact that real love is worth fighting for.
It was always a bad sign when his mother arrived before breakfast. The horses were in the courtyard. She hated waiting, so the young man slowly poured himself a glass of orange juice and cut another slice of warm cinnamon bread.
He existed; that was enough to anger her. She could rage all she wanted. He didn’t really care. When the glass was empty, he dragged himself off the stool and adjusted his sash. Before leaving the kitchen he set his shoulders back and made his expression pleasant.
His gait was confident. Most would say he inherited his mother’s pride along with her beauty, but the young man disagreed. His character was molded by humble hands not of his blood, and he was forever indebted. “Mother, to what do I owe this unexpected visit?”
The sun glistened into a halo on his mother’s hair as she took him by the shoulders and kissed his cheek. If only she were as angelic as her face. “I don’t need a reason to visit.” But she always had one. She’d traveled without maids. A personal matter. Only her bodyguard, Theron, stood beside her.
Theron was not welcome here, and she knew it. He was closer to the young man’s age than her own, and that was the least of his flaws. His greater crimes were known by all and spoken of by no one.
The mother sank onto a pillowed chair in the parlor. There was no need for pretended niceties. “Have you seen this?” She motioned to Theron, who pulled from his cloak a fashion magazine made by mortals. He offered it to the young man open to a dog-eared page.
The spread was a modern take on a familiar scene, and the girl on the page was stunning, even to immortal eyes. “It’s just an advertisement,” he said.
His mother’s expression went hard. “It’s an insult.” She smoothed a lock of hair from her face. “I want you to avenge me.”
“Me?” He glanced at Theron, confused. Dirty errands were her lover’s specialty. The young man wanted no part of it.
“I went to see her, but she was gone,” Theron replied, clearly disappointed.
The son looked at the photo again and tried to stifle the shudder in his chest. This mortal girl had no idea how lucky she was—how close she’d come to living her worst nightmares. Other mortals had not been so fortunate.
Theron offered him a card. There was a name and address printed on it. Now he understood why they were here. He owed his mother nothing. “And if I don’t?”
“I’ll send Theron to deal with it.” She threw an affectionate glance at her bodyguard, who grinned.
“Not in my kingdom.”
His mother stood. “She’s mortal. Technically, it’s not your…” She broke off when her son’s fists balled and his shoulders tightened. He was hot-blooded, and it pleased her. That made him even angrier, so he sighed and stood expressionless as she drew nearer. “You’ll do as I ask,” she whispered.
He had no legal recourse when it came to mortals, and he wouldn’t allow the girl to be brutalized. “What do you want me to do? Dust her?” He laughed. Really, it was ridiculous. All of this over a stupid photograph.
“I want you to dispose of her to the most despicable creature you can find.”
Ironic choice of words. The most despicable creature alive was standing right in front of him holding his mother’s cloak. “Fine.” His mother waited until he muttered, “Yes, I’ll do it,” through gritted teeth. It took great will for him to offer, “Will you stay and dine?” as the cook entered with a tray for the guests.
“Thank you, but no.” As soon as she got what she wanted, his mother retreated quickly. “Before the next moon, or we’ll deal with it ourselves.”
He didn’t see them out. When they were gone, he showed the advertisement to the cook. “Local girl. Familiar name, too.”
“Are you going to do it?” Her expression tossed a dagger of guilt into his heart, but he nodded.
The alternative was worse.