A while ago, I got an idea for a way to rewrite Goldilocks and the Three Bears as an updated, modern-day erotic romance. Before you ask…no, they aren’t bear shifters. (For some reason, I didn’t think of that.) Instead, I focused on the idea of “too hot,” “too cold,” and “just right.” And so Aurelia and the Three Bodyguards was born. And…you can see what’s coming…one of the bodyguards is “too hot,” another is “too cold” and the third…the third is just right. And where’s the magic? Read the excerpt below to find out.
Aurelia and the Three Bodyguards will be released in May 2013.
Excerpt from Aurelia and the Three Bodyguards
“You’d better start from the beginning.” Barakov pulled a drape back and yelled out into the entryway. “I’m going to be here awhile!”
Aurelia told her all about Drake. “He was great at first, but after we had sex he went nuts. Locked me up in a cage.” She wrung the strap of her purse while she described her escape.
“So it’s a love curse of some kind.” The Seer went to a chest of drawers on the side of the room and brought back a large bowl filled with water. “Better than a crystal ball,” she said.
She set the bowl in the middle of the table. “I’m going to need some blood.”
Aurelia obediently held out her hand. She knew enough to know this was how magic worked. Blood bound and strengthened.
Barakov pricked Aurelia’s finger and squeezed three drops into the bowl of water. “Now let’s see what we can see.” She dipped three fingertips in the water. “Show us who cursed Aurelia.”
Several minutes passed before the surface of the water became cloudy then finally formed a picture.
Aurelia drew back. “Sandra!” What on earth?
“This is the sorceress who cursed you,” Barakov said. “Do you know why?”
“Well. Sandra was my ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. I didn’t even meet him until after they’d broken up, but she was convinced that if it weren’t for me, they’d still be together. She did everything she could to break us up.”
“Did it work?”
“No. I mean, we did break up, but not because of her.”
“Let’s see if we can find out what the curse was.” She dipped her fingers in the water again and the picture faded. “Show us the curse.”
This time when the picture formed, it was more like a movie than a still shot. Sandra tossed different items into a cauldron and intoned words in a language Aurelia didn’t recognize. It might as well have been MacBeth.
When Sandra stopped speaking, Barakov sat down. “This is bad. It’s a complex curse, which just makes it harder to break. It’s like this. You won’t recognize your true love until after you sleep with him. So even if you know him for years and really get to know him, you won’t feel love for him until after sex. But it gets worse.”
Barakov wiped her fingers on her flowery skirt. “Every man you sleep with who isn’t your true love will fall madly, crazily in love with you. Crazy like Drake, locking you in a cage. Once you find your true love and sleep with him, the curse will be broken and Drake and any others like him will come to their senses.”
The Seer felt silent while Aurelia tried to absorb the news. To break the curse she had to find her true love. To find her true love she had to sleep with him. She wouldn’t know who he was until after she slept with him, so she might have to sleep with a whole lot of men before finding him. But every one of those men would go nuts once she slept with them. “Shit.”
“I might be able to help. The scrying bowl might be able to show you who your true love is. Want me to try?”
“Oh, please. Anything.” At least if she knew what he looked like, she could avoid making any more men crazy while she searched for him.
Barakov dipped her fingers into the bowl of water. “Show us Aurelia’s true love.”
The picture took a long time to form. Three attractive men stood together, their arms crossed over their chests. Under each one was a word in quotes. From the shape of the picture and the frame around it, Aurelia thought it might be a billboard.
The first man looked sexily rumpled, passion burning out of his eyes. His wavy blond hair hung untamed to his shoulders–his very defined, well-muscled shoulders. He must be a bodybuilder or something, with the way his biceps bulged and his body filled out his tight t-shirt and jeans.
When she’d had her fill of the man tagged “Fire,” she moved on to “Ice.” He was taller, a little slimmer but no less strong-looking. His short black hair framed pale skin and bright blue eyes. Where the first man had looked wild with passion, this man appeared powerful, in control. Dominating.
The last man had “Magic” under his picture. He had chocolate brown hair that was shorter than the first man’s but longer than the second’s. His dark eyes seemed to gaze right at her–right through her–with an intense knowing. His body fit all her ideas of “ideal” from his broad shoulders to his snug jeans.
To the side of their pictures was a logo and the words “Sentinel Bodyguards.” It looked like there was a phone number underneath but the picture was too small to make it out.
“I don’t suppose we could zoom in on that number.”
Barakov laughed. “Nope. But we can do something almost as good.” She called out to her assistant, “I need you to Google something for me. Sentinel Bodyguards.” She pulled her fingers out of the bowl and the picture faded. “It’s one of them. Your problem is going to be narrowing it down.”
“Could we ask again?”
“Again? No. The spirits don’t like repeats. They give the answers they give and expect us to be happy with them.”
So Aurelia might have to sleep with all three of them if she wanted to narrow it down to one.
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