One green frog.
One cynical artist.
One innocent kiss.
A lifetime of magic.
When prickly Los Angeles artist Sofia Ballondor reluctantly agrees to frog-sit (*grumble*) for her seven-year-old niece, she has no idea what’s to come. Her cranky demeanor starts wearing off as her new amphibious muse stimulates her artistic talents. One morning, excited about her fresh creations, Sophia impulsively gives the green frog a quick peck.
And everyone knows what happens when you kiss a frog . . .
This romantic fairy tale remix with a Regency time-travel twist is a novelette of 12,000 words (approximately 50 pages). Cate Rowan’s sensuous fantasy romances have won more than thirty awards.
Oh what fun! Sophia agreed under protest to babysit her niece’s frog. She really gets a shock when her muse kicks in and she is more than happy with the results. Chatting with a frog may seem a bit strange but then she is an artist. In appreciation she actually kisses the frog, somehow hoping fairy tales do come true.
This is a favorite scene.
“Hey,” she said, “you feel nicer than I thought you would. Smooth, not rough or scaly at all.” She stroked her finger along the back of its head and down its spine.
Toad’s eyelids lowered to half-mast.
“You like that? Who knew. And here I was afraid of you. Huh, maybe Carole’s right and I should take more chances.”
When she pulled her finger away, Toad blinked and took a step up the branch toward her. She chuckled. “Okay, okay. I get the hint.” She rubbed its head again and its eyes closed to little slits. “Is that better? Yeah, I wouldn’t mind someone doing that for me, either. Fine, I admit it. You’re really not so bad. When Tadpole asked me to pet sit for a frog, my eyes bugged out as much as yours do.”
She withdrew her hand and was startled to see Toad hustling toward her end of the terrarium. “Wow. Demanding thing, aren’t you? All right, one more time and then I’m going to go take a bath and wash the LA stink out of my hide. And yes, it’s pathetic that I’m standing here talking to myself. Or to you. Either way. But at least I’m not a cat hoarder.”
Toad put its webbed hand on her knuckle.
“Is that some sort of request?” Its only answer was to wrap its other hand around her finger. “Does Tadpole pick you up or something? Oh yeah, she said she did. Okay . . . But if you jump away from me, I swear I will cause you grief. After I stop screaming and leaping onto chairs, that is.”
Gingerly she cupped her hand, and Toad crawled onto her waiting fingers. It didn’t squirm as she raised it, and its wedge-shaped head was cocked upward as if it were examining her, too. “I’ve never been given a once-over by a frog before.” She chuckled. “You’re probably more reliable than the average human male. You wouldn’t ask to borrow money. And I couldn’t be miffed when you don’t call me, since you don’t have a phone.”
She crinkled her nose. “I don’t suppose it could hurt. Here.” She pulled her hand close and delicately placed a kiss on top of Toad’s bright green head.
Exactly nothing happened.
“No, I guess that isn’t the spot, is it? One more, just in case.” She brought her palm up and, with a slight shudder, touched her lips to Toad’s mouth before jerking her head back. What the hell was she thinking, anyway? This had to be the dumbest thing she’d ever done. Even more moronic than playing Doctor with that weasely Jimmy Derkin in first grade. He’d told the whole class about it.
Still, she waited a few more moments, just in case. Fairy tales died hard, even for the cynical.
Too bad they did, eventually, die. No mystical puff of smoke, no tingling of bells or ghostly breeze through the room. “So much for magic,” she muttered. “No surprise there.”
Cate Rowan. Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale (Kindle Locations 211-216). Enchanting Ink.
Little did she know it would actually come to fruition, just not when she was standing there.
Hilarious, fun, romantic and more!
5 Contented Purrs for Cate!
Cate has washed laundry in a crocodile-infested African lake, parasailed over Cabo, had monkeys poop in her hair, and swum with dolphins, but her best adventures are her story worlds. Her lush fantasy romances about magic, danger and passion in faraway realms have won more than thirty awards. Her debut novel, Kismet’s Kiss, was a two-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist.
She credits her favorite childhood authors—a list that includes J.R.R. Tolkien, Guy Gavriel Kay, Anne McCaffrey, Nora Roberts, Ursula K. Le Guin, James Herriot, and C.S. Lewis—for her love of fiction, great characters, and a rich imagination. She also thanks her family for forgiving all those times she brought a novel to dinner.