Her Real-Life Hero
A Beyond Fairytales
Adaptation of “The Frog King” and “Iron Henry”
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Joanie wants to get her romances published but can't seem to succeed with her writing. She buys an antique bureau which the shopkeeper says is magic. While using her new bureau, she begins to talk to the hero in her book, asking his advice on writing, all the while thinking it's her own imagination. She promises he can live in her home, eat at her table and sleep in her bed, if he helps her with her writing. She doesn't expect him to knock on her door and insist she keep her promise.
Theo has also bought a magic chest of drawers that brings him into Joanie's life. He wants to settle down with one woman, tired of shallow relationships, and Joanie seems like the perfect candidate if it weren’t for her insistence on getting rid of him.
The magic keeps on forcing them to live together and Joanie’s not happy. This is her first year alone and she’s been craving time to herself after looking after her younger siblings and an ailing aunt. Theo’s presence in her home, although unwanted, stirs up needs she’s suppressed for years. When they start to discover things about the magic and why it’s bringing them together, will Joanie recognize another type of magic at work? Will she succumb to the charm of Theo or will her need for breathing space pull them apart?
Theo stood up and moved toward her. How could he think that coming closer to her would help? A stifled feeling choked her throat as his maleness cloaked her. Tingles ran up and down her spine and her body screamed for him to touch her shoulders, to run his hands down her arms, to cradle his body against hers. Her body betrayed all common sense. How could she be so attracted to a stalker?
She turned to face the window, staring out at the leaf-covered ground. “I told you to get out.”
“This isn’t me. You can believe it all you like. I don’t enjoy going around making women my wives. I’m going to take a walk home. If you think it will work, I will withdraw my wish and remove my belongings from the chest of drawers.”
She shrugged again and kept her back to him, unable to look at him, to take in those magnetic features. She sensed his breath upon her neck. Sensed his hurt. Deep inside she knew he was innocent, so why did she persecute him?
“Bye.” His last words echoed in the room as she heard his footsteps retreat and the kitchen door slam behind him.
Slumping down on the hard kitchen chair, she tried to ease the tension in her shoulders by rubbing them with her fingers.
Her life was spiraling out of control.
Once upon a time….
“It’s magic, you know,” the shopkeeper whispered in a covert tone.
Joanie sniggered. Was the woman teasing her? With that rainbow scarf wrapped around her head and all those beaded necklaces blinking from her wrinkled neck, she could pass for a gypsy.
“I’m serious.” The woman gave her a knowing smile, which caused her irritation to rise.
“I’d like to take the writing desk right away, please.”
“Don’t be in such a hurry. The piece is not your everyday antique. It has magical powers.”
What type of antique store had she chosen? She’d planned on stepping into the little shop on
in , for years but never
had the finances to bother with expensive historical objects. Today, she’d come
in to browse but had fallen in love with the Victorian walnut bureau which
boasted a curved roll top revealing nooks and crannies, which could store her
stationery as well as her bird-ornament collection. The desk surface could be
propped at a slant for ease of writing by hand—perfect for someone who
preferred paper and pen to a computer. Underneath were lots of tiny drawers
accentuated with sweet, round knobs. She would have plenty of space to store
all her equipment. All in all, a good space for her writing. Durban, South Africa
“You will discover the magic soon. I’m warning you though…it might shock you.”
Joanie rolled her eyes. “Do you honestly think I believe you?”
The “gypsy” laughed. “I thought as much. Don’t come crying to me when things start happening.”
“Whoa.” She pulled away from the woman’s front counter. “Is there a curse on the desk, or is it haunted?”
“The magic is connected to your deepest desires. It will only surface if those desires are unfulfilled.”
“You’ve got to be kidding. This is like some crazy fantasy story on TV.”
“Beware. Not many people can handle the effects of the magic.”
She studied the antique. “Should I not buy it?”
“Your decision should be based on how in tune you are with yourself.”
In tune with myself? Oh, what a stupid question. Getting a book published, that was her deepest desire. Something the bureau would help with. The dark-stained walnut would calm her, the ancient feel would transport her to other worlds, plus the lack of modern clutter, like files and electrical cables, would keep her from being distracted.
“I’ll take it, magic or no magic.” She handed over her bank card. For a minute, she’d let herself get swept away with the gypsy lady’s crazy talk.
Vicki writes erotic and fantasy romance. She loves taking her characters into an alternate world where strange and sexy things happen. She lives with her patient husband and three noisy kids in South Africa. In between being a busy stay-at-home mom who hates housework and spends half her life cooking everything from scratch, she runs several blogs, writes under another name, and buries herself in the delightful world of her characters.
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