All's Fairy in Love and Murder, page 1part #1 of A Fairy Godmother Mystery Series
Table of Contents
About the book
Dedication and Acknowledgments
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
All’s Fairy in Love and Murder
Copyright © 2019 by Kizzie Waller
All rights reserved
Published by Kizzie Waller
Editing by Katie B. Thompson Editing
Cover Design by AnnieMoril.com
No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the author.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblances to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Be careful what you wish for!
Juniper is a fairy princess living in a fairy godparent world. But like most fairy tales–she wants to be where the people are…
Determined to prove she can handle humans like the rest of the fairy godparent population, she sneaks out of her protected magical home to sprinkle fairy dust and give a downtrodden man some luck. But she’s a misguided fairy and everything quickly goes awry.
When her interference leads to a murder, she has no choice but to find his killer and bring them to justice. But solving a crime after losing her magic wand and with very little fairy dust proves challenging.
Is Juniper ready to take on the human world and all the complications that come with catching a murderer?
To Nadine. May the fairies bless you as you have blessed me!
I would like to thank my first readers and friends, Becky and Gisele. You two ladies are always there for me when I need you. Along with them, I couldn’t do this without the support and patience of my family. Thank you for supporting me through my crazy moods and forgiving me for feeding you frozen waffles for dinner when I’m close to missing a deadline. xoxo
“Fairy, fairy, quite contrary, how does your boredom grow?” I stared at my reflection in the courtyard fountain’s translucent water while plucking plum-colored petals from an orchid’s long stem. I dropped them into the fountain and watched as they floated out of reach to the other side. If I sprinkled some fairy dust in the water, I’d be able to observe into the human world, but I’d grown weary of having only a bird’s eye view.
“You are outrageously melodramatic, Juniper.” My best friend and fellow fairy, Iris, sat on the edge of the fountain and crossed her ankles. The ends of her wings dipped into the water. She lifted her face toward the sun, exposing her pale, slender neck.
A palace guard stumbled over his feet as he passed by. He caught himself before spilling to the ground and his cheeks turned a rosy shade of red. I understood his clumsiness around her. Iris was the second most beautiful fairy in our land. My mom, Queen Poppy, being the first.
I waited for the guard to disappear down the corridor before lowering my voice to a near whisper. “Are we on for tonight?”
Iris grumbled a few unintelligible words under her breath and the tips of her wings flickered to highlight her agitation. She reached into her dress pocket and retrieved the parchment. She placed it on the edge of the fountain. “You are the biggest cliché. The sheltered princess has everything she could possibly desire but wants to slum it with the humans instead.”
I tossed the orchid stem at her and picked up the missive, glancing around again to make sure we weren’t being watched. “Be judge-y later. What’s the fairy errand?” I unfolded the paper and read the name and address. John Bleaker, 325 Palmer Road, Lilac Cove.
“The human male needs a sprinkle of fairy luck to help with an interview tomorrow. This is the closest FE I could snag. He’s a boring man who lives only a few miles away in a boring little town on Florida’s gulf coast. Lives by himself and is in bed most nights by nine p.m. It’s a simple in-and-out job.” She grasped my wrist and gave it a gentle squeeze. “If we get caught, your parents will feed me to the trolls. Or worse, they won’t let me live in the palace anymore.”
“Now who’s being dramatic? We won’t get caught,” I assured her, but she only fluttered her eyelashes in an exaggerated eye roll and fluffed the blonde curls that circled her head like a golden halo.
I’d been planning my one-night excursion into the human world for more than a year, ever since my twenty-fifth birthday, when I should have been allowed to join my fellow fairies as a fairy godparent. I’d trained alongside all the other fairies and, at the last minute, my parents had pulled the palace rug out from under me.
Being a godmother was my birthright, after all.
I took in the lush, green courtyard and the pristine gray bricks of the palace walls. Being the only heir to the North American fairy throne happened to be my birthright, too. According to my parents, that took precedence. Not to mention that a couple of fairies had left our world to live in the human world over the past couple of years and that made the entire kingdom nervous. There were only so many of us left.
For twenty-six years I’d been trapped inside the protective magical dome of our home in the swamps of Juniper Springs, Florida. That’s right, I’m named after our fairy land.
Every other fairy took on the responsibility of godparent on their twenty-fifth year. They then ventured out to wave their wands and sprinkle enchanted dust to help the humans. We called them fairy errands or FEs. With so much evil in the world, humans needed every sprinkle we could give them. That’s what I needed to be doing, too.
Instead, I had to spend my days preparing to ascend to the throne.
Don’t get me wrong. Living with the humans on a permanent basis didn’t hold any appeal so my parents fears were unfounded. And fairies who chose that path didn’t get the option to come back. Just ask my Aunt Mossandra, who I’ve never actually met and have only seen in a portrait hanging on the palace wall.
But day after day of palace duties like arranging nobility banquets and settling fairy disputes and this gal needed a little break in the routine. An adventure.
My only two connections to the world where everyone else traveled was the courtyard fountain and the human-written books Iris smuggled back from her assignments.
The king’s distinct voice boomed from somewhere inside the main halls.
“Uh oh. King Hypnum sounds mad. Again. I’m out.” Iris stood and shook the water off of her wings. She stretched out her arms and allowed a pout to pull down the edges of her glossy pink lips. “I’m losing my shimmer and am in desperate need of a glitter bath.” She pulled me to my feet and placed light kisses on both of my cheeks. “There’s still plenty of time to change your mind about tonight.”
I tilted my head to the side and held her violet gaze. “You know I won’t.”
Her shoulders sagged. “That’s what worries me most—your inability to let go of something once you’ve set your mind to it.” She fluttere
“When I find out who’s been skimming, they’ll spend their eternity with a wad of thorns stuck up their…” He caught sight of me and stopped short.
I waved the tips of my fingers at him. “Don’t stop on my account, Daddy. Where will the thorns be going?”
He pursed his lips and met me at the fountain. “Hello, dearest. I didn’t see you there.” He gave the top of my head a quick peck. Between my parents, I mostly resembled my dad, with his dark brown hair and gray eyes with a sharp, pointy nose settled in between.
I warmed under his affection, almost feeling guilty for my devious plans later on that evening. Almost.
“Who’s skimming what?” I asked.
Irritation returned to his expression. “The enchantment dust harvesters are reporting stolen crop.”
“We’ll find the culprits, your majesty,” Amaranth, the captain of the royal guard and my on-again, off-again boyfriend, assured the king.
Amaranth and I avoided eye contact with each other as at this moment we happened to be in the off-again territory. He’d caught me outside the palace walls with a copy of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Long story short, we’d argued about what he’d called my “infatuation with the human world.” The nerve. Just because something interested me didn’t mean I’d become infatuated with it.
Dad must have noticed the tension between us because he cleared his throat a few times before gesturing toward the main hall. “Your mother awaits me in the throne room, so we’ll be on our way. You have your itinerary for the remainder of the day, I assume. Will you be dining with us this evening?”
I turned on my sweetest, daughterly smile but my pulse quickened. “Iris and I have plans tonight. Tomorrow?”
“I look forward to it.” He led his private guards and the other palace lackeys out of the courtyard.
I blew out a hard breath and waited for my heart to return to its normal pace. My wings twitched, and I flicked them to work out the tension. At least I’d been able to avoid my mom all day. She could take one look at me and know when I was up to something—like a sixth sense.
I glanced at the sun and estimated that I had four hours before I set my plan into motion. Just enough time to immerse myself in my newest book. The itinerary my father spoke of, which included picking flower arrangements for the main hall’s dining tables, could wait.
I snapped my fingers, making my wand appear in the palm of my other hand, and then withdrew the miniaturized version of Pride & Prejudice from my pocket. I tapped it three times and said, “Big.” The book grew to normal size and I clutched it against my chest.
If the person I planned to visit tonight was half as interesting as Elizabeth Bennet or Fitzwilliam Darcy, I was in for quite the treat.
A succession of knocks in a rhythmic pattern sounded from the other side of my door shortly after sundown. I cracked it open and found Iris on the other side, dressed in a hooded cloak.
“What’s with the weird knocking?” I asked.
“It’s a secret knock so you’ll know it’s me.” She pushed through the door, a dress laid over her arm and a bag in her hand.
I closed it behind her and turned the lock. “It wouldn’t have mattered who knocked, I still would have opened it.”
Her expression warred between a smile and frown. “I don’t think this is a good idea.”
I took the shimmering dress from her and worked it over my body. A little tight, thanks to my curves and Iris’s lack of. I regarded myself in the full-length mirror. “Why? Because I don’t get the point of the secret knock?”
She took my hand and pulled me around to face her. “I love you lots. Like the sister I never had.”
“You have a sister. Her name is Marigold, remember?”
She looked up at the ceiling like I’d just made her point for her. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re a bit naïve about the way the human world works. It’s not your fault. It’s your sheltered palace life that’s to blame.”
I yanked my hand back and placed it on my hip. “You’ve been going to the human world for only a year, and you live in the palace too. I’ll be as world-wise as you before morning.”
She perched on the edge of my bed, staring off at something distant out the window. “But I’ve seen things. So many things. They’re seared in here forever,” she said, tapping the side of her head.
I dug my toes into the plush carpet. “I want to see things, too. Searing or not. And if you really loved me, you’d stop trying to change my mind and help me finish getting dressed.”
Her eyebrows drew together sharply. “Manipulative. Nice. You might do well in the human world after all.” She opened her sack and pulled out a yellow mop that reminded me of a dead animal covered with pollen.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Your wig. We have to change your appearance to look more like me. While my wand will get you past the gates, the guards still know you, and a lot of them know me too, if you know what I mean.” She winked and made a kissy face.
Despite her claim of my naivety, I knew exactly what she meant. Iris was a shameless flirt.
Our wands were our main source of identification, each fairy having a particular wand fashioned from a juniper tree and blessed by the king and queen. “I’ve planned for that. I know the guard schedule tonight. It’s a newbie. I’m almost positive we’ve yet to cross paths.”
“Still, wear the wig, just in case.” She twisted and piled my dark hair onto my head and jammed the wig on top, securing it with a few bobby pins. “There. Now for your face.”
I poked at the thing on my head. “I have to change my face, too?”
“I wouldn’t be caught dead without a healthy layer of glitter. Since you’re technically going to be me, you should play the part.” She nudged me to sit in front of my vanity. “Close your eyes.”
I did as she instructed and felt a pouf bounce across my face. I sneezed after some powder went up my nose.
“Okay, open,” she said, and stood back. “Perfection.”
I opened my eyes to a reflection of true ridiculousness. Purple, pink, and silver glitter covered every inch of skin on my face. I shifted the wig. Good thing I’d be able to hide most of it beneath the cloak’s hood.
Iris clapped her hands. “This might actually work.”
“Of course it will.” I’d waited a year for this perfectly-planned night. Rarely was the palace without guests, but tonight it was only the royal family.
A chime from the main village sounded three times, alerting the fairies that is was time for them to attend to their godparent duties. The main guard would turn an hourglass and for fifteen minutes an exit would form in the protective dome. After the sands finished sifting through, the exit would close until they turned it over again at daybreak. No one else out and nothing could get in.
I lifted off of the ground, the excitement pushing my wings to beat faster.
Iris removed her cloak and arranged it around my wings and shoulders. She pulled the hood over my head, and I could see her hands shake.
I kissed her on each cheek. “I’ll be back by daybreak, and we’ll laugh over all the wonderful and amazing things I’ve seen.”
She bit her bottom lip, but nodded and opened my door.
I stepped into the hallway checking for voices. “All clear.”
As soon as I vacated the doorway, the door shut hard behind me and I heard the lock click into place. I lifted off the ground and navigated to and through the palace kitchen. The kitchen workers bustled around and nobody so much as glanced in my direction. With a rush of adrenaline, I whooshed out the back door and floated down to the village.
Fairy men and women formed a line at the main exit. The dome shielded us from human eyes, as well as other magical beings that would like to see fair
I kept my gaze trained on the ground and when my turn came up for my bag of enchantment dust, I lowered my voice. “Nice evening, huh?”
“I guess,” the gate guard answered.
I presented my wand and as he handed over my bag, a familiar voice caught my attention.
“I’ll take over here, soldier. Why don’t you take a break?”
I snatched my bag out of the guard’s hands. “See ya.”
“Wait,” Amaranth called after me.
I stopped, not wanting to cause a chase scene. I pulled the hood down further around my face and waited for him to approach me.
“Juniper?” He leaned down into my face while lifting the top of the hood. “What are you doing?”
“Shh.” I pulled him to the side and glanced at his face for the first time since our argument. It was a face I’d seen almost daily since we were six years old. As handsome as any fairy male could be, his chestnut hair and matching eyes were features I’d memorized long ago. “How did you know it was me?”
He lifted an eyebrow. “The birthmark near your elbow.”
Ah. Apparently he’d memorized some of my features too. The birthmark must have shown when I reached for the bag. My own impatience had done me in.
His gaze took in my moppish wig and glitter disguise. “Please tell me you aren’t sneaking out to the human world.”
I smiled and tugged the hood back into place. “Okay, I won’t tell you.”
He squared his shoulders. There were many great qualities about Amaranth, the top being he took his job as captain of the guard seriously. “I can’t let you go.”
My smile died along with my excitement. I’d been so close. “You can. You don’t want to.”
He crossed his arms.
I grabbed his forearm. “Please do this for me. I’ll be back before anyone else knows I’m gone.”
The newbie called to us from his position near the stacked bags of dust. “Hey Captain, the gate is closing in a minute. Is she going through or not?”
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