“From the stage that brought you Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre,” Allyn-a-Dale proclaims before the curtain, “here’s Ever On Word’s original talk show, Will Scarlet’s Kiss & Tell.”
The curtain rises, the studio audience applauds, and Will Scarlet himself walks smiling and waving onto the bright, cozy set.
“Hullo, everyone! Let’s jump right into it, shall we?” Leading by example, he hops into his armchair. “Allyn, who is our guest character today?”
As the guest enters from the other side of the stage, Allyn says, “Author Danielle E. Shipley— Wait. That’s our author.”
“Launch Week,” says Will. “You know how Wilderhark events have a way of seeping into my Saturdays. ‘Swan Prince: The Musical’, anyone? Things will be back to normal next time. ‘Til then, you were saying?…”
“Um, right. Danielle describes Laraspur thus:
The third-born child of Edgwyn and Rosalba Wyle of Denebdeor, Princess Laraspur spent her early years getting into all kinds of questionable shenanigans off-page with her best friend of a big brother. Now aged fifteen, she finds herself doing much the same thing, but in the story’s spotlight and with much higher stakes.
“Welcome, Your Highness!” Will greets the girl now seated in the chair across from his own. “So glad you could join me. First things first – who are you wearing?”
Laraspur beams. “An Edgwyn Wyle original, of course. You don’t think Father could bear to sit by and let me go on an international talk show without his sewing up a brand new gown for the occasion?”
“Not the tailor I know,” Will chuckles. “Well, just so you know, you look gorgeous. And it would seem I’m not the only fellow who thinks so. What’s this I hear about your receiving two courtship proposals in a single day?”
“Oh, goodness, I was stunned! A pair of suitors – and both of them kings, no less – from right out of the blue! I mean, I’d never even heard of them before the day they arrived at the castle; I’m surprised they took any notice of me.” Her dark brows lower a bit, her gaze gone faraway. “I hadn’t supposed anyone had.”
“Well, from what I’ve seen of these kings, you’ll have your work cut out for you, trying to choose between them. Perhaps I can help you solidify an opinion. What is it that you look for in a man?”
“About the same thing I’d look for in anyone, I expect,” she says. “A good heart. A clever mind. A way about them that draws you in. Engaging conversation. And, well, if he should just happen to have a gaze that makes me melt…” She shifts in her seat, cheeks going a bit pink and eyes bright with some reminiscence. “I’d call that a point in his favor.”
“Hmm. Sounds like some talk show hosts I could name,” Will says casually. “Just saying. Now, this novella of yours has you off on adventure to some potentially dangerous locales. And as a certain minstrel in blue was heard to say in the tale preceding yours, ‘the best adventures are faced with friends.’ Tell us about your quest companion?”
“My brother Ionquin, of course. There’s no one I’d rather run into possible peril with.” She pulls a face. “Even if he likes to amuse himself by saying vexing things. He doesn’t always seem to take things too seriously, but I know he’d never let me down. He’s far too much his father’s child for that.”
“Brothers are good for that,” says Will, nodding approval. “Or, y’know, in a pinch, outlaw bandmates. In any case, I doubt you’re in the dark about my final question for you. Tell me, Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?”
From off-camera, Allyn’s voice says, with some exasperation, “That’s not your final question. That’s a lyric from Aladdin’s ‘A Whole New World’.”
Will waves a half-apologetic hand. “Sorry, sorry. Got as far as ‘Tell me, Princess’, and I just couldn’t resist. In seriousness, Laraspur: What is our author’s biggest, deepest, darkest, most mortifying and/or hilarious secret?” He tries for his most melting smile. “Or would you rather kiss me?”
“I doubt there’s anything I could tell you about Danielle that you don’t already know,” says Laraspur, “given all the time you two spend together. It rather seems that I must kiss you by default.” She raises her brows in teasing innocence. “Would you like to pretend to be asleep, or shall I simply kiss you now?”
“Ha!” says Will, catching the allusion to a previous Wilderhark Tale.
“Well, whyever not? I love a bit of roleplay,” he says, and slumps over in his chair.
Shaking her head with a smile, Laraspur rises, crosses the space between them, and plants a peck on his lips. “Rise and shine, fair princess.”
Will “awakens” with a grin. “True love’s magic does it again! Hey, Allyn, how ‘bout a quick word from our sponsor?”
“Today’s Kiss & Tell segment,” says Allyn, “was brought to you by Danielle E. Shipley’s newly released novella, ‘The Sun’s Rival (Book Five of The Wilderhark Tales’.
“Furthermore,” Allyn continues, “the first reader to comment with the title of the book Laraspur quoted gets an extra point in ‘Sun’s Rival’ Launch Week Giveaway #2, winners to be drawn Monday. All the other modes of entry are listed here, and you can enter the blog tour-wide Rafflecopter giveaway here. Don’t forget to show your support for our author by ordering your copies of ‘The Sun’s Rival’ via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or CreateSpace, and leaving reviews at your earliest opportunity!”
“Thank you, Allyn,” says Will. “Thanks to you as well, Laraspur. And thank you, my beautiful audience. Remember, authors – if your characters would like to appear on the show, simply follow the guidelines provided in this post, and we’ll get them on the schedule. ‘Til next time, lovelies: Scarlet out!”