I meant to post it earlier but with the hurricane, there were other things that had to be done first.
Do you want a distraction from the world? I’ve got a book for you.
The Queen: Guinevere must save Camelot. Ever since Arthur died, the evil Scarecrow has been trying to marry her and gain the crown. If she and her daughter are going to survive his mad schemes, Gwen needs to find Merlyn’s wand. Fast. Unfortunately, the only man strong enough to help her on her quest is Kingpin Midas, a flashy, uneducated mobster dealing with a curse. Gwen is a logical, rational woman, though, and she can draft one hell of a contract. She’s pretty sure she can come up with an offer not even the kingdom’s greatest villain can refuse.
The Kingpin: Anything Midas touches turns to gold. Literally. The curse has helped him to rule Camelot’s underworld with an iron fist. He has more money and more power than anyone else in the kingdom. He’s convinced there’s nothing he can’t buy. One look at Gwen and Midas knows that he’s about to make his most brilliant purchase, yet. He’s about to own the one woman in the world he would give anything to possess. All he has to do to claim her is somehow win a war against the smartest man in Camelot, hide his growing feelings from Gwen, deal with his overprotective bodyguard’s paranoia about the queen’s hidden motivations, and adjust to a five year old demanding bedtime stories from a gangster. Simple, right?
The Contract: Gwen’s deal is simple: If Midas marries her, she’ll make him King of Camelot. It’s a fair bargain. Midas will keep her enemies away and she’ll give him the respectability that money can’t buy. She never expects Midas to agree so quickly. Or for their practical business arrangement to feel so… complicated. Midas isn’t the tawdry, feral animal that Arthur railed against. He’s a kind and gentle man, who clearly needs Gwen’s help just as much as she needs his. In fact, the longer she’s around Midas the more Gwen realizes that their “fake marriage” might be more real than she ever imagined.
This book is hilarious.
Okay, so there are these mythical kingdoms and one of them is the Kingdom of Camelot. The kingdoms are populated by various mythical beings, witches, wizards, griffons – which are a race of proud warriors, humans with wings – goblins, trolls, munchikins, the Walrus from Alice in Wonderland makes an appearance, big bad wolves, etc. All these beings are segregated into Good and Bad. The goodness or badness is determined pretty much at birth, and it determines how you will be viewed by the rest of the people. It’s a biting, sharp satire on all those artificial barriers we invent to segregate humans beings.
These mythical beings have modern technology, but they are still stuck in the bounds of their mythological kingdoms. You just have let go of the preconceived notions and roll with this worldbuilding. Anything is possible, go with it. This book doesn’t take itself seriously and that’s a wonderful thing.
So, Guinevere is married to Arthur, who turned out to be a horrible prick. They have a daughter they name Avalon, but she is born Bad. This causes no end of problems, until finally Arthur stumbles of a very tall balcony to a richly deserved early death. There is a question of whether or not Guinevere pushed him, but more importantly whoever marries Guinevere will become the King of Camelot. Scarecrow, who is literally a scarecrow made of black birds and who has twiggy hands, which is just utterly creepy, served as the head advisor to Arthur and he decides he should be king. On top of everything else, he is embarking on a genocidal program to enslave all the Bad people in the kingdom. The wizards baled and locked themselves in Emerald City.
Guinevere tells Scarecrow to stuff it, and he throws her in a dungeon. This is where the story starts. Guinevere breaks out of the dungeon, grabs Avalon, and runs away from Camelot. She can handle herself but to overthrow Scarecrow she needs resources, so she goes to the one man whom her husband utterly despised – Midas. The Gangster. The Kingpin. The man who turns everything he touches to gold. Quite literally. He was cursed.
I’m afraid to quote too much, because I don’t want to ruin the book, but Midas is a teddy bear. Large, violent teddy bear of a man with appalling taste. Again, I don’t want to ruin it, because you have to discover Midas.
Here is a part where Guinevere, after some dramatic butt kicking, finally gets a private audience with Midas. I did mention the appalling taste, right?
Guinevere’s gaze scanned around the interior of the room. Like the rest of his home, it was decorated in the most expensive, lavish furnishings in Camelot. Massive pillars lined the muraled walls, layers of silk curtains dripped from the stained-glass windows, and a desk the size of a small kingdom dominated the center. No palace in the world could match its opulence.
It was the best.
“This is quite… large.” Gwen said cautiously, her gaze on the frescoed ceiling and the two-ton chandelier. The multi-colored crystals dangling from it were as big as bowling balls. To Midas’ way of thinking, bigger was always better.
“Thank you.” He took a seat on his chair, which had a twelve foot high back and was made of wood from four separate species of extinct trees. “Lay your child down and have a seat. You must be exhausted.”
She hesitated, putting the gun back in her pocket as she looked around. Her gaze scanned the overstuffed sofas. All of them were covered in exotic leathers from the remotest lands. All of them had cost a fortune. “Um… We’re very wet.”
Of course they were. Camelot was always gray and rainy. It had been like that for years, but overly dramatic Arthur supporters swore that the land itself was mourning its lost ruler. Others insisted that the blue sky would only return when Camelot finally had a true king. Someone worthy, who was more interested in justice than Uther or Arthur had been. No matter the cause, the foggy, dreary weather seemed far too harsh for beings as delicate as Guinevere and her daughter.
“Maybe you should put a blanket down first?” She continued. “Or…”
Midas cut her off. “It’s fine.” He could always buy more couches, but queens were a far rarer commodity. “Please.” He picked up a remote control and clicked on his two-story high fireplace, in case she was cold. The mantle was made of yellow bricks. Damn Munchkins had charged him an outrageous amount for each and every one, but they were the best.
Gannon, Cassandra. The Kingpin of Camelot (A Kinda Fairytale Book 3) (Kindle Locations 684-705). Star Turtle Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Midas is in love with Guinevere. Deeply, completely in love with her and she has no idea. She offers him this marriage contract. If he marries her and helps her stop Scarecrow, he can be King of Camelot. Midas doesn’t give a crap about being king. The love of his love offers him a marriage contract. He agrees, which leads Guinevere to decide that Midas is way too trusting. She actually tries to do her best to shield him and protect him from what she sees as missteps he is making in dealing with the Underworld and other people, not realizing that Midas is an incredibly proficient killer and a ruthless businessman. There is one hilarious scene where he is following her through this old castle and there are assassins trying to kill her. He keeps taking them out just out of her view, and she is all, “Midas, please be careful, don’t get lost. This old castle can be tricky.” I was dying.
Oh and Avalon absolutely adores Midas. The feeling is mutual. For reasons explained in the narrative, Midas shows his love by buying things.
Guinevere arched a brow. “Which reminds me: Why are the gardeners erecting hundreds of rocking-horsefly feeders out back? You and I have had numerous discussions about not buying Avi every crazy thing she wants.”
“Well, I purchased those for myself. It’s just a coincidence that she asked for them, too.”
“You got them for yourself? They’re decorated with baby unicorns and plastic pinwheels.”
“I have excellent taste,” he said straight-faced. “Everyone knows that.”
Gwen rolled her eyes. “Just be sure you’re adding all this crap to my bill.”
“Your what?” He asked, like he genuinely had no idea what she was talking about.
“The bill, Midas. We agreed I’d pay you back for all the money you spend on us, remember?”
“Oh right. Yeah… I’m keeping a tally. Don’t worry.” He smiled, walking her towards the exit. “I got a lot of great discounts, though, so you owe a surprisingly low amount.”
The man was impossible. “Midas, you have to put the actual totals on the bill or it’s all meaningless. Let me see the receipts. You’re supposed to be the math-y one here, but you’re doing a terrible job. I think I need to audit you.”
“No need. I’ll add everything up tomorrow.” He opened the door. “First thing.”
Gannon, Cassandra. The Kingpin of Camelot (A Kinda Fairytale Book 3) (Kindle Locations 5285-5297). Star Turtle Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Okay, I’ll stop yammering. So to summarize, crazy worldbuilding, a huge fierce marshmallow of a hero disguised as a terrible monster, a queen who assures everyone that she is not a violent person after shooting people threatening her child, funnies, and a surprisingly sweet romance. Fair warning, it is a romance at heart, so there are a few steamy scenes. It is #3 in the series, but I picked it up by accident not realizing it was a part of the series and it works perfectly as a standalone.
Here is the order link: Amazon. And that’s the bad news. I emailed to Cassandra Gannon about it, but the whole series is on KU so it’s only available on Amazon for purchase. Sorry. And Cassandra does not have a website. But she did send this series description over.
The A Kinda Fairytale series takes classic fairytales and gives them a twist. Fairytale characters live in a modern-ish world, various parts of their traditional stories combining into fun, new adventures. Some of the characters are Good and some are Bad. Most of them are born with one True Love, who they have to find. Much of the drama in the series is derived from the social inequalities that the Bad folk face. There are laws in place that attempt to keep the wicked witches, ugly stepsisters, and big, bad, wolves under control. However, throughout the series, the characters are fighting to change that injustice and show that the Bad folk can sometimes do Good things. Theses romance novels tie into each other, but each features a different couple. The correct reading order for the books are: 1) Wicked Ugly Bad, 2) Beast in Shinning Armor, 3) The Kingpin of Camelot
I also write the Elemental Phases series, which deals with beings who control Water, Air, Fire, etc… A plague had hit their world, killing most of them and threatening to destroy the entire universe. Their only hope is to find mates among the humans. This is made harder by the fact that they are constantly fighting amongst themselves and causing chaos whenever they try to interact with mortals. Again, theses romance novels tie into each other, but each features a different couple. The correct reading order for the books are: 1) Warrior from the Shadowland, 2) Guardian of the Earth House, 3) Exile in the Water Kingdom, 4) Treasure of the Fire Kingdom, 5) Queen of the Magnetland, 6) Magic of the Wood House.
I also publish standalone novels (some of which do tie into each other) and my sister Elizabeth is a writer, too. We publish all our books through Star Turtle Publishing, which we founded together.
As always your mileage may vary, so please try a sample before blindingly buying. Gordon says that, “It’s witty, smart, well-written. No fat in the book at all. It’s just all good.” He is almost done reading it. He is at the big finale. Hehehe.
Okay, my job here is done. Something to take your mind off the hurricane.