Excerpt Reveal: When Wishes Bleed by Casey L. Bond
Title: When Wishes Bleed
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA Fantasy
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Publication Date: November 1st, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate.
The upheaval in my life began the moment a prince stumbled into my house and asked me to read his fortune. Any other night, I might have made an excuse to get him to leave, but this was no normal visit. My fingers prickled to touch him. So, I granted his request by handing him a single wishbone. When he snapped it, the wish … bled.
Hearing me suck in a shocked breath, he asked what it meant. Such an ominous omen could only mean one thing: his death was imminent. Fate revealed that he wouldn’t die of natural causes. Someone wanted him dead. Stunned by the revelation, the man I now knew as Prince Tauren disappeared into a night I feared he wouldn’t survive. The following day, I received an invitation to the castle. While it seemed the prince believed I could intervene and uncover who was plotting his death, his motives didn’t stop there. I was being summoned to join twelve other women in vying for the opportunity to be his wife and future queen.
Going could mean jeopardizing my plans to reclaim my heritage and resurrect the House of Fate. But staying would guarantee Tauren’s death, and the blood of his wish would be on my hands.
Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn't tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he's the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page.
Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, the Frenzy series, and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse. Learn more about her work at www.authorcaseybond.com.
“Tea, wax, or bones?” I asked, waiting for the answer I already knew she’d give. The girl chewed on her bottom lip while considering the three options. The smattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks made her appear younger than she was, but her indecision was what truly showed her immaturity. She knew what I could read before stepping inside. She should’ve come inside knowing her choice.
The auburn hue of her hair was the same hue of the heap of loose tea leaves lying on the counter. Across the room, the kettle leaked steam. Loose, languid tendrils curled and entwined with one another. I could get lost in their silken dance if I stared long enough, so I snapped my eyes back to her to refocus.
The water wasn’t heating for her. It warmed for the boy in the woods. He stood behind my cabin, clinging to the rough bark of a tree, desperately trying to talk himself into knocking on my door and asking me to read his fate, and berating himself for considering leaving before gathering it.
Eventually, he would garner enough gumption to approach and ask me for the favor he coveted, but not before witnessing the girl’s hasty exit. He would emerge from the woods as she left through the back door, because it would guarantee that his reputation would be kept safe. The girl would guard his secret so that he wouldn’t expose hers. And he would choose a tea leaf reading because he feared the color of candle that might choose him and that the bones might tell him something he wasn’t prepared to hear; guide him where he was yet afraid to step.
He was a boy of calculated risks, who wrestled with intense self-doubt. A boy who would rather cling to a tree than let go.
The girl inched farther into the room as if she was easing into a lake of cold water. There wasn’t much to see in the small, open space. A couch to her left. A simple, square table and chairs, a few cabinets, countertops littered with precious stones and potted herbs, the hearth with its flickering fire, and the thicker slivers of steam pouring from the kettle.
Her pale, amber eyes caught on the casting cloth stretched over the table’s top. She noticed the wishbones piled high in a silver bowl, desperately wishing she weren’t so weak. I couldn’t hear her words in my head, but followed the way her delicate features revealed a swell of emotions that built and crashed over her countenance.
“Fate doesn’t favor the weak,” I warned the girl as she shifted her weight back and forth, worrying her fingers. Her eyes met mine. In their depths swam both guilt and confusion. I elaborated for her. “You shouldn’t fear the bones. They can reveal things the wax and leaves cannot.”
She was a girl who wouldn’t take advice even when it was in her best interest, a girl who gave fear dominion over her decisions.
Her eyes flicked to a nearby shelf and the colorless candles it held. She refused to look away from the pale tapers, afraid the bones would call out to her again. They always did.
“I choose wax, please,” she said, her voice quivering. The little mouse was terrified, not of the tea or wax, or even the bones… but of me.
I gave her a smile to put her at ease, all too aware that it might do the opposite, and moved to the shelf, gathering the mound of slender tapers and bringing them over to the table. “Would you care to remove the cloth?”
She hesitated, but gently pinched the corners of the dark, silken square and pulled it from the wooden surface. I lay the tapers down, steadying them so none rolled off, then took the cloth from her. During the exchange, the tremble in her fingers rippled through the fabric into mine.