This week's excerpt comes from Tower of Thorns, the first book in the Once Upon An Academy series (which is also free!) It's a fantasy fairy tale retelling of Rapunzel and crosses over with Grimm Academy!
Copyright 2020 Laura Greenwood
"Hi," a male voice says from behind me.
I spin around, my long plait swinging around in the process. I need to be more careful, doing that pulls at the base of my scalp. I should cut it, but I don't want to. Despite my prophecy, I like my hair long.
My heart skips a beat as I take in the boy in front of me. He's my age, or potentially a year older than me, with broad shoulders and kind eyes.
"Hello," I respond, hoping I've understood it right and he is talking to me. If he isn't, then I'm not sure what I'll do.
"You're new here, right?"
"I'm Gavin." He gives me a small bow and holds out his hand.
I glance at it, wondering if I should take it. Mother won't approve of this, but something about him calls to me. He feels nice to me. Friendly. More. I don't know how to put words to it.
Feeling bold, I reach out and place my hand over his. He lifts it to his lips and brushes a soft kiss against my skin. I resist the urge to giggle, not wanting to sound silly in front of him.
"I'm Rapunzel," I say, realising I'm supposed to tell him my name. That's how introductions normally work.
"Would you like to be my dance partner for this lesson?" he asks as he lets go of my hand and straightens to his full height.
"A-are you sure?" Wow. Is that the best I can do?
"Why else would I ask?" He cocks his head to the side, genuine confusion in his eyes.
"I'm sorry. I don't know how things work here yet," I admit.
"I felt that way my first month here too. If there's anything I can do to make you feel more comfortable with it, then I will."
An easy smile spreads over my face. I may still be nervous, but he's helping me feel more relaxed about the whole situation.
"How do you like dancing class?" I ask him.
"I find that it's greatly improved by having the most beautiful girl in the room on my arm," he says.
I snort, then instantly regret it. I sound like an idiot. "Are you always so focused on flattery?"
"Only when it's warranted," he admits. "I find words are wasted on people who don't appreciate the truth."
"Hmm. I will reserve judgement until I know you better," I promise.