Soooo excited to be a part of the Young Adult Scavenger Hunt this year! This year, I am hosting supreme authoress Julie Reece! I’m a huge fan of retellings, and so I’m super excited for Julie’s book THE ARTISANS. I never get tired of Beauty and The Beast.
Without further ado…here’s more from Julie with links to her incredible book trailer and some lovely artwork for THE ARTISANS below!
Whether it’s a paragraph or fifty pages, often sections of books end up just like in the movies: on the cutting room floor.
THE ARTISANS is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I say loose so people aren’t shocked when the story takes a very big left turn about half way through the book, and by the last quarter of the novel, the plotline leaves the B&B reservation altogether!
Gideon is our hero, but he’s stubborn and proud, and it takes him a while to get into hero mode. And by that I mean the end of book two. He really does start out as a pretty big jerk/ass/Beast ______ other? You get the idea, but just hang in there with him. Gideon’s had a tough time, but he’s learning, and hopefully you are going to love the poor beast in the end!
In this deleted scene, he needs to do some serious sucking up to Raven, the Beauty/heroine in the story. She innocently hugs Cole, a friend who’s in some serious trouble. But when Gideon sees them embrace, well, let’s just say the beast lurking inside him didn’t take it very well …
And though this scene didn’t make it into the book, sometimes it’s fun to peek behind the curtain anyway.
I hope you enjoy the deleted section.
I may need therapy.
Okay, I do. Raven’s been suggesting I go for months to deal with my ‘short fuse’, but so far, Hell no has been my typical response. Afterwards, I kiss her breathless for caring the way she does. It’s not that I’m unaware of my issues. The fact that my hands curled to balls of iron earlier watching Cole hold my girlfriend in his arms is proof my emotions are spiraling. But I’ve never seen the point in talking to strangers.
For counseling to work, there are two rules: first, you have to be honest; second, you have to trust your therapist. Since I can’t very well admit the magical elements of my family’s legacy, the first rule is out the window. And trust? In my world, it’s practically a four letter word. So, laying on some old geezer’s couch talking about my jacked-up childhood just isn’t going to fly.
Still, something’s got to give—and it will likely be Cole’s nose if I can’t control the power growing inside me.
Which brings me to this moment. Facing the closed door of a mutual friend’s house, I stand on the front stoop like an idiot, working on an apology for losing my temper again. I guessed Raven would be here. That she’d want to talk things over with her best friend Maggie, since they both voted to help Cole and the mysterious girl who keeps visiting his dreams. My jealousy over Cole (which I’m not admitting out loud) isn’t making anything easier for her, and I hate myself for that.
Still, what Cole thinks he needs is irrelevant. Rae and I are connected by a bond stronger than magic or even love. Over the last year, I’ve learned to read her. Emotions roll across her face clearer than closed captioned TV. We’re part of each other. I won’t lose her, now. Especially not to the French speaking, ass wipe that made my adolescence a living hell.
Before I can knock, Maggie’s boyfriend opens the door. Dane is as tall as I am, but wiry. His cheekbones jut out beneath a menacing brow, and I’ve always thought of his expression as a good imitation of the skull and crossbones warning label. Good thing, I don’t scare easily.
Dane smirks. “What, no flowers?” He shakes his head before giving my shoulder a slap. That’s as much sympathy as I’ve ever gotten from the guy. I enter and follow him toward the back of the house. His rust-colored dreads swaying like ropes across his back.
Rae’s voice floats down the hall. “Based on today, I don’t think a private meeting between me and Cole is the best idea. Do you?”
Maggie leans on the doorframe of her room with her back to us, rubbing her forehead. “Cole’s in real trouble. He’s also cute, and European, and crazy about you … Okay, nope. You’re right. Gideon will kill him.” She glances over, eyes widening as her gaze fixes on me. “Oh, uh … hey there.”
I nod to Maggie, then peer into the room beyond. On the bed closest to the window, sits the girl who owns me, body and soul. “Something you want to tell me, Rae?” Surprisingly, her covert plotting doesn’t unhinge me. I remind myself she only wants to help. That’s who she is.
Maggie slips into the hallway behind me, and I take her place filling the doorway. “Dane?” Maggie says, “How about you and I make a pizza run.” My admiration for Rae’s friend continues to grow. I angle, giving Mags a wink, and she smiles. “Play fair.”
Not a chance. I lean my cane against the door and make my way to the bed. The mattress gives under my weight, and Raven raises her stormy gray eyes to mine. We don’t touch. Hell, I don’t have to, just sitting this close to her makes my heart rate climb.
Rae threads her fingers when she’s nervous. “What are you doing here, Gideon?” Her tone is defensive, but also soft and unsure.
“I came to see you. And to apologize.” That earns me a little smile.
“I don’t believe it.”
“No.” She glances down. “I don’t.”
I watch her tongue wet her lips and heat fills every cell. One hand slides up her back until my fingers disappear into her dark hair. “Well, then. I guess I’m also here to change your mind, because I never want to hurt you.” I duck my head until her chin lifts and our eyes lock. “Or make you doubt the way I feel about you.” Our breath mixes and a wave of desire surges through me. “You mean everything to me …” How do I even begin to make her understand the everything I mean when I say that? “I overreacted, and I’m sorry about that. I can try to be nicer to the little … French … ferret.”ut
Her lips twist as though they can’t decide whether to smile or frown. “His name is Cole.”
“Whatever.” I slide her direction. “You and me? We’re going to figure this out. The magic, the curse … all of it, but I want us to do that together, okay?” We’re close enough that my last words are whispers against her mouth. When her nose brushes mine, I pull away—no more than an inch or two—just enough to search her eyes. “I’m sorry I got angry.
She’s so beautiful, an imperfectly perfect blend of strength and vulnerability, and she’s all I want. My lungs tighten. Need expands inside me to the point of bursting. “Do you believe me?”
For years, I hid behind walls of magic and cruelty built to keep people away, but there was no escaping her rain-gray eyes. Raven sees me as no one else has or will again. Her warm fingers cross the short distance between us, curve over my wrist and squeeze. That’s all the answer I need. I sweep her into my arms, lower my head, and show her everything my clumsy words won’t convey.
Check out THE ARTISANS book trailer HERE!
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