As I mentioned yesterday, I’m out of town all week at a family reunion, so I’m posting excepts from The Bull Riding Witch, which is being released on July 17. Please let me know what you think in the comments.
While the novel’s focus is on the princess trapped in the bull rider’s body, let’s not forget the bull rider is also in the princess’s body. What follows is from chapter 2 of the novel and introduces Joshua Killenyen, the princess.
From Chapter 2
I dreamed I saw myself cowering in the corner of my bedroom, dressed only in my shift. Well, it looked like me with my long curly blonde hair and slight built, but somehow, I wasn’t inside the dream figure. I was watching as if it were a play. My eyes were wide and looking wildly around the room. The door opened, and my maid Sylvia came in. “Your Highness, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“I have boobs, that’s what’s wrong!”
By Cernuous, was I watching Joshua inhabiting my body?
Sylvia sighed. “Your Highness, I know things would have been easier for you if you had been born a man, but isn’t it time you dressed?” She held up one of my favorite green dresses. It had leaves and purple flowers embroidered around the edges.
Joshua put up his hands. “I ain’t wearing no dress! Oh, God, how did I get here? And where the hell is here? This sure as hell ain’t my trailer!” He looked around at the large canopy bed, its woodwork carved into a pattern of dragons; the two huge wardrobes with matching dragons on the doors; the ornate chairs covered in embroidered silk; and the marble fireplace. “Looks like some Louis XIV’s palace or something.”
Sylvia’s face creased with concern. “Your Highness, are you all right?”
He wrapped his arms around himself. “Hell no! Haven’t you heard what I’ve been saying? Somebody turned me into a woman!”
Sylvia set down the dress and felt his forehead. “You don’t feel like you have a fever, but . . . should I fetch a physician?”
“No, fetch whoever turned me into a goddamned woman and make him turn me back!”
Sylvia backed away. “I’ll get a physician.” She nearly ran from the room.
Joshua muttered, “Maybe this is some kind of delusion brought on by the alcohol. I never should have drunk so much whiskey.” His hands flew to his crotch. “It’s gone! I don’t have no goddamn dick!”
Sylvia returned with Uistean. I didn’t have much faith in Uistean and did my own healing. There were stronger witches in the city, but my father hated witchcraft and barely tolerated me in the palace, let alone someone more powerful. “What seems to be the trouble, Your Highness?” Uistean asked.
Joshua got shakily to his feet and grabbed his breasts. “Look at me! I have boobs! And where’s my dick?”
“You see what I mean?” Sylvia asked.
“My, yes!” Uistean nodded. “It’s clear she has an imbalance in the humors and needs to be bled.”
“What the hell?” Joshua put his hands on his hips. “Who in the twenty-first century bleeds people? Oh, God, have I time travelled or something?” He turned to Sylvia. “Can’t you understand I’m not the princess? I’m in the wrong damned body!”
Uistean’s eyes narrowed. “I know Your Highness doesn’t believe in bleeding, but I assure it is an effective cure for when the humors are as imbalanced as yours are.”
Joshua stabbed a finger at Uistean. “What I need is someone who knows how to change me back!”
Uistean opened his case and got out a lancet and bowl. “Give me your arm, Your Highness. I’m afraid your case is rather serious.”
“Try it, and I’ll knock your head off!” His hands formed fists.
The physician put the instruments back in his case, snapped it closed, and turned to Sylvia. “Try to keep Her Highness quiet. I will discuss her treatment with the king.”