VALENTINE’S DAY AFTERGLOW
In The Magical Misperception of Meridian, a beautiful commoner and a stammering prince form a magical friendship that can survive almost anything—except the queen’s disapproval.
At the beginning of February, it seems all thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day. Although the chocolates have probably been eaten by now, and the flower petals have begun to drop, a wonderful romantic fantasy lasts forever. The Magical Misperception of Meridian is my permanent Valentine to best friends everywhere. Enjoy. ~ S.G. Rogers
Railing against convention in the kingdom of Meridian, Jona thinks a girl should be able to wear trousers, fight like a boy when necessary, and marry whomever she pleases. She happens upon the queen’s nephew, Lee, who stammers and cannot speak to girls at all…that is, until he meets Jona.
When the queen hires Jona to help her nephew acquire proper social graces, Jona experiences a blissful summer of pure enchantment. Jona and Lee learn to dance, perfect the art of polite conversation, and discover which fork to use at the dinner table. Although they become best friends, Queen Gaia considers Jona a mere servant. At summer’s end, Jona’s job in Meridian is done.
Lee and Jona keep in contact through a set of magical mailboxes given to Lee by the Wizard Farland. When the friends are finally reunited after ten years, their budding romance is torn asunder by an edict from the queen. Against impossible odds, Jona and Lee will fight for an uncertain future. But unspoken secrets and mysteries long in the making have yet to be revealed.
Will true love be denied…or can the differences between commoners and royalty be shown to be just a matter of magical misperception?
“If Mr. Rapp tells The Dragon we aren’t learning to dance, I’ll be sent home,” Jona said.
“I don’t want you to go. We’ll just have to find a way to impress Mr. Rapp.”
That night, after everyone had retired, they sneaked into the ballroom to practice. Lee turned up some of the gas lamps so they wouldn’t trip over each other in the dark.
“I can hardly wait to see Mr. Rapp’s face when he sees us waltz perfectly tomorrow,” Lee said. “He’ll probably think it’s because he’s a brilliant teacher.”
“Mr. Rapp is an evil sorcerer, you know,” Jona said with a playful wink.
“Evil, you say? What’s the man done now?”
“He transformed a beautiful princess into one of those peach trees in the garden.”
“The black-hearted villain!” Lee exclaimed.
“Each time we perfect a dance, it weakens his wicked spell.”
“I’m all about rescuing damsels, as you know,” Lee said. “Let’s get to it.”
Jona frowned. “It would be easier if we had music.”
“Oh, but we do. The Wizard Farland enchanted the piano in the corner. It’ll play anything we want.”
Lee patted the instrument. “A waltz, if you please.”
When the instrument responded with a tune played in three-quarters time, Jona clapped her hands in delight. “I do so love magic!”