I’d like to thank indieBRAG, LLC for organizing the Colors of Spring Blog Hop and you for visiting my website to read “The Mystic Princesses and the Secret Garden”. Please check the end of the post for other participating blogs and the rules for prize giveaways by the authors and by indieBRAG.
The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool was awarded the indieBRAG Medallion after passing their rigorous tests of excellence. If you’d like to know more about the indieBRAG review process, please visit their website.
The Mystic Princesses and the Secret Garden
The Mystic Princesses woke early their first day in San Francisco. Janna yawned and rubbed her eyes as they’d been up late the night before reading guide books. It was worth the time, because they’d found several places they wanted to visit during their spring break vacation which they coupled with celebrating Harmonie’s birthday.
“Where do you want to go first, Harmonie?” Catie asked.
“To eat at Mama’s. Their Chocolate Cinnamon French Toast sounds delicious.” The girls headed out to Mama’s and each ordered the French toast. When they were finished, they licked their syrupy fingers clean and threatened to lick the plates, but didn’t. They knew they better not, or PJ wouldn’t take them out to eat anymore.
After breakfast Catie said, “We are near Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill. Let’s go see the wild parrots.” She had watched a documentary about the parrots a few months back and still wanted to see the birds. She was intrigued that they didn’t migrate when it grew cold in the winter, and she was worried because the flock was dwindling and hoped to find out why.
Energized after breakfast, the princesses walked up the circular drive to the top of Coit Tower. They didn’t want to miss any sites if Catie turned them into birds and they flew to the top. But they agreed that if they did see the parrots Catie, who was the Goddess Iris’ daughter and the air element, would turn them into birds so they could fly with the flock.
“Wow, I can see forever from up here. Look at the view of the Golden Gate Bridge!” Janna said when the reached the top. “We’re lucky it isn’t foggy today.”
Then Catie spotted the parrots and immediately turn the girls into birds. They followed the parrots to a hidden garden and admired its lush flowers. The secluded garden, concealed between row houses, immediately made the girls feel peaceful after they landed. They watched the parrots forage for food, and Harmonie, who is Aphrodite’s daughter, and who makes people feel peaceful explained that the garden must have its own secret to making people feel happy because she wasn’t using her powers. She thought perhaps they’d landed in a Zen garden.
Catie asked the birds about living in San Francisco and found that the locals and the tourists leave food for the birds, but the birds were more interested in eating than in talking, so she didn’t learn why the flock was dwindling. Catie turned everyone back into girls right before another girl carrying a bow and arrow entered the garden surprising the princesses. Moving quickly, the Mystic Princesses encircled Harmonie scaring away the parrots. The princesses all had elemental powers and were prepared to defend Harmonie from her siblings, the Children of Ares. Her siblings want to kidnap Harmonie because harnessing her power for making people feel peaceful would help them with their mission to fight and cause wars.
“She doesn’t have a tattoo, like the Children of Ares,” Pele’s daughter, Breanna, said preparing to throw a fireball if she thought the girl was going to hurt Harmonie. “Do you believe she is one of them, Janna?”
“She doesn’t look like any of the one’s we saw in Hawaii or New Orleans. And, there’s only one of her, I don’t see the others.”
“I can hear you. I’m right here,” called the girl with the bow and arrow. “I am the huntress Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto. Because I am the twin of Apollo I have been sent to give Harmonie a birthday message. Harmonie, you also have a twin. He is called Chase, and he will make a difference in your life.” After making her announcement, Artemis turned and left.
That odd message made no sense, as Harmonie’s brother, Eros, had raised Harmonie since she was a few months old. Why didn’t Eros raise Chase, as well? And why did the girl who had tricked Eros in New Orleans look exactly like Harmonie? The princesses who had previously surmised that perhaps the girl, named Ryder, was Harmonie’s twin now had a new mission. They were going to follow Artemis to find out who wanted her to deliver the message and how Chase would influence Harmonie’s life. So Catie turned them back into birds, and they looked for Artemis but didn’t find her. Where had she gone so quickly?
“Since we don’t know where she went, let’s walk down Lombard Street and then go to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Botanical Gardens before the fog rolls in,” Harmonie said. “I have a feeling we will see Artemis again.”
Mother Nature’s daughter, Janna, hopped from one foot to the other with excitement, thinking about the flowers lining the most crooked street in the world, Lombard Street. They talked quietly, still musing about Artemis’ message, as they walked down the curvy street carefully avoiding all of the cars slowly making their way down, as well. Then they saw a crazy tourist posing for his picture with his arms up in a “victory stance” and laughed at his antics and took his picture, too.
The girls hopped on a nearby cable car and saw Alcatraz in the distance before disembarking at Fisherman’s Wharf. They talked about visiting the abandoned prison but decided it might be too scary. So Catie turned the princesses into birds, and they flew the rest of the way to the Botanical Gardens. The colorful blossoms painted a floral patchwork quilt across the grounds. Janna smiled in delight when butterflies landed on her shoulders. She controls butterflies and lady bugs, and will eventually control all the land animals. But today she was distracted by Artemis’ message and what it might mean for Harmonie. She wished she’d turned Artemis into a half flower, feet and legs rooted to the ground, but with her head and shoulders still in human form, so that the huntress couldn’t escape until the girls had asked every possible question.
Finally, trying to lighten their mood, Janna turned herself into a Cloud Forest plant to play hide-n-seek with the others. The princesses took pictures of the flowers until they noticed that Janna was missing. They looked carefully at the flowers until they found that Janna’s eyes were visible among the flower petals so she could watch them hunting for her. Once the girls found her, Janna asked the butterflies to land so she could take their pictures.
The next day the princesses set out for Muir Woods to go hiking. They decided to ride Catie’s rainbows because it was foggy and no one would see them. In Hawaii, they dove into the water at the end of the rainbows. But because they were over land, they tried something new and exciting. Catie turned them into birds, and they soared to the top of the rainbow and turned back into little girls to slide down. This time, Catie turned them back into birds just before they crashed to the ground. They flew from the bottom to the top of Catie’s rainbows, slid down and flew to the top again, time after time laughing all the way to Muir Woods.
Harmonie looked up at the Redwood trees in wonder. “These trees are so tall they reach into the clouds! How old do you think they are, Janna?”
“I found a National Park Service website that says these trees average 600 to 800 hundred years old. Redwoods can live up to 2200 years old, but the oldest one in the park is about 1200 years old.”
“Look; there is Artemis! I wonder why she’s here,” Breanna said.
The Mystic Princesses walked quietly toward Artemis, but did not surprise her. Artemis’ acute hearing, fine-tuned from centuries of hunting, alerted her to the approaching girls. “I thought I’d see you again knowing that Janna would want to visit Muir Woods.”
“What did you mean that Chase would make a difference in my life and who asked you to deliver the message to me?”
“I don’t know what the future holds for you, Harmonie. However, the same person who had the unusual bird in Alaska wanted me to deliver the message.”
The Mystic Princesses visited Alaska a few months previously to help clean oil from birds’ feathers after an oil rig ran aground in the gulf. While their, the Mystic Princesses found a dove which Harmonie named Riddle because it was a mystery why a dove would be so far from its natural habitat. Now, the princesses knew that the bird’s owner was following their movements. Was this person good or evil? And why was he or she interested in Harmonie? Was it a trick by the Children of Ares?
When the girls headed back to San Francisco they had one more surprise for Harmonie’s birthday. Harmonie’s sweet demeanor makes everyone feel peaceful. However, each of the Mystic Princesses wanted to give hearts back to Harmonie, so they went to the Financial District to show her the hearts in Union Square. PJ arranged to meet them in the park with chocolate cupcakes decorated with strawberry frosting and heart shaped sprinkles.
“Happy Birthday, Harmonie!” they all said at once.
Harmonie smiled and hugged each of the girls. “Thank you for being my protectors, and thank you even more for being my friends.” This was Harmonie’s most intriguing birthday ever. She’d learned wonderful news during their spring holiday and couldn’t wait to tell her classmates that she has a twin.
Thank you for reading my Colors of Spring Blog Hop story. If you’d like to read the first two books in The Mystic Princess series, please click here.
- Prize and book giveaways starts March 16 and ends on March 24.
- Click on the indieBRAG website starting March 16 and comment to enter your chance to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card!
- Each author is providing a print copy or e-book in the book giveaways. Be sure to visit their websites and comment on their post to enter a chance to win a copy of their book.
- The chance to enter for the prize and giveaways ends March 24. The winner will for the Amazon prize will be announced on the indieBRAG website on March 25. And each author will announce the winner for their giveaways on their sites on March 25.
- You must be 18 years or older to participate in the prize & giveaway.
- Giveaway is open internationally.
- Winner has 48 hours to claim prize and giveaway or a new winner is chosen.
Win one of three print or ebook copies of The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool. Print book winners must have a mailing address in the USA. eBook winners may be international. Winners will be randomly selected from people who leave a comment on this post during the March 16, 2016 through March 24, 2016 Blog Hop.
I’d like to introduce you to the other indieBRAG Colors of Spring Blog Hop participants. You may have to wait until the appropriate post date for the links to work. Each of the participants is giving away ebooks or print books, so stop by comment on their pages and try to win a prize. Good luck!