Sunday, November 16, 2014

A DDScottville Sneak Peek: KRISTIANICO'S CROWN PRINCE (The Royal Heirs Book 3) Chapter One

Wavin' atchya, DDScottville Peeps!

It's Sneak Peek time!!!

Here's a look at Chapter One of KRISTIANICO'S CROWN PRINCE (The Royal Heirs Book 3):




KRISTIANICO'S CROWN PRINCE will be released in February 2015 - the perfect Valentine's Day romance.

This is Dario's brother David's story.

David Magnus, King Dario’s oldest brother, is Kristianico’s new Crown Prince, The Heir Apparent (next in line to the throne). His life will never be the same and neither will that of his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Holly. With the first of his chain of island retreat yoga spas about to open in Costa Rica, that’s where he needs to be, not in Kristianico, trying to help his brother handle the Separatists promising to rip apart Kristianico. If only he could find all of the answers on his yoga mat, one breath at a time, one yoga-deep belly laugh at a time. But maybe that’s what they all need, a few good laughs and quality time on their mats.


CHAPTER ONE


Breathe.
Nice and easy.
In. And Out.
Simply follow your breath.


David Magnus heard every word his mother Anya said as she led the Intro to Yoga class at Pura Amor, their soon-to-be-opening yoga resort and spa in Costa Rica.

Let everything else go.
Let it go.
You are good enough.
Let that be your mantra today - I am good enough. My wish for each of you is that this — I am good enough — will be your mantra every day, hereafter.


Yeah, right, David thought, shaking his head. Now that he was Kristianico’s Crown Prince, nothing he did was good enough. And if he wanted to be everything that his brother King Adonis needed him to be, he couldn’t afford to let go of anything.

He tried to follow his breath, but realizing that his short huffs and puffs were far from the smooth, relaxed inhales and exhales his sixty-five year-old mother demonstrated was not helping him relax, at all. She had him by thirty-seven years, but he wasn’t close to keeping up with her in or out of her yoga studio.

For that matter, he couldn’t keep up with their new staff either, who were all in class with him, learning everything they could from his mother before the first guests arrived. Since they’d hired the best instructors they could find for Pura Amor, he supposed that that was a good thing. It may have been good for business, but it was embarrassing as hell.

David considered himself fit. Well, he used to think he was fit. But that was B.Y. — Before Yoga. Hardly a day went by that, regardless what continent he was on, he failed to hit a gym or get in a decent run. But yoga was an entirely new ballgame. And it was painfully obvious that he wasn’t going to master it in a week.

It sure wasn’t the environment or the facilities holding him back. Heck, if he had to choose a way to stay healthy, he’d take what Pura Amor offered over a gym any day. There wasn’t one thing, so far, that wasn’t to love about Pura Amor, his family’s new chain of yoga resorts and spas. His mother had nailed every aspect of designing this special place.

She chose Costa Rica’s Central Valley, known for having “the best weather in the world,” where the temperature on average is a perfect seventy degrees. They’d built their five-star resort and spa in the mountains of Alajuela, five thousand feet above sea level, with spectacular views. It was sure to become a destination of choice for the wellness and yoga crowd as well as for health-minded honeymooners.

The food was outstanding, including a food-stylist-perfect buffet with a variety of vegetarian dishes as well as chicken and fish. Guests who preferred vegan, gluten-free and/or high-protein diets were also well taken care of.

David lifted his head and soaked in the first rays of the sun as it cleared the highest peak of the mountains and climbed toward the heavens. All year round, it rose between 5:30 and 6:00 am and set around 6:00 pm.

At Pura Amor, life centered around the sun. Something David’s mother was very fond. It probably had a lot to do with why she insisted that their first resort’s location was in these mountains where it could be enjoyed at its brightest and best.

She’d raised David and his siblings — Dario, Deacon, Duke and Delaney — to live by the sun, a lesson that, over the years, David had abandoned, not by choice, but rather because his job as an international businessman with an expertise in global mergers and acquisitions required it. He did business when his clients wanted it done, not according to the sun’s rise and fall.

Now that his family’s resort chain was his sole gig, other than the Crown Prince of Kristianico thing, he hoped to get back to a more regular schedule. Since he was the Crown Prince, he could probably set his own hours. Huh. He thought about that idea a bit longer. Perhaps he’d finally come up with a benefit of his new role.

It hadn’t yet been a year, about a month shy, since David had learned that he wasn’t David Laveau. He was David Magnus, the second-born son of Kristianico’s then King, King Adonis III. With his father’s passing last February, his brother Dario, the only one of his siblings who’d been raised as the prince that he was, became King. And as the next oldest child of King Adonis III, David became his brother’s heir apparent, Kristianico’s Crown Prince.

Talk about a life-changing event. He still couldn’t wrap his head around his birthright and the new responsibilities it demanded of him.
Good thing they’d hired the best spa therapists they could find for Pura Amor, he harrumphed. He planned to try out all of them.

Over the last several months, he’d tried to handle all of this craziness on his own. He’d spent even more time than usual at the gym and hitting the pavement. He’d tried to eat healthier, cutting back to eating meat just a couple of days per week and drastically increasing his fruit and vegetable intake. He’d tried to get more sleep. But so far, nothing had eased the crushing burdens of his new life.

To be honest, that’s why he’d agreed to head up the family’s yoga resort and spa chain projects. He hoped that the relaxing nature and holistic philosophies of the industry would help him deal with life as a royal, a royal with a very real shot, way too real for his liking, at someday having to take his turn on the throne of their Riviera country.

If David couldn’t figure out how to deal with his destiny by taking advantage of Pura Amor’s spa services, there probably wasn’t any hope left for him. Pura Amor offered everything from Bio Energetic Healing to the Clinical Bodywork of various Massage styles, to Holistic and Asian Bodywork, Aquatic Bodywork, Ayurvedic Treatments and Signature Costa Rican Body Polishes and Exfoliations and Facials.

Along with the extremely-talented spa therapists they’d hired and moved to Costa Rica, his mother had persuaded several of the yoga teachers she loved and respected from around the world to teach retreats at Pura Amor for a week or two at-a-time, many of which were already booked eighteen months out. A few of the instructors, she’d cajoled into becoming permanent staff.

Despite his mother’s persuasive skills and the international yoga community following she had in her own right, the resort they’d built was magical enough to be more than motivating as a must-try adventure.

Instead of a hotel with a spa, they’d built a grand spa with a variety of suites throughout the eight-acre mountain estate they’d purchased. From a small suite for one to A-frames for a family to duplexes, tri-levels and private chalet’s with wraparound balconies, private pools and outdoor showers, there was something special to call a home-away-from-home for everyone.

David was most excited about the Tentalows, an idea he’d seen when researching the world’s best spas and resorts and brought to Pura Amor. For guests who wanted to experience the feel of the outdoors but enjoy the amenities of a brick and mortar room, they’d built hexagonal luxury tents. Each tent included an inside seating area, the same high-quality, ultra-comfortable beds that were found throughout the resort and electricity, but with the ultimate compliment of the incredible mountain air. Bathrooms were shared between small clusters of Tentalows but were high-end design set in lush gardens, conveniently located nearby.

Acknowledging that he was thinking thoughts he shouldn’t be, because he wasn’t supposed to be thinking, period, David shook his head and tried to refocus on, well, nothing. And that was his primary problem. How was he supposed to focus on nothing? According to his mother’s instructions, he wasn’t supposed to be thinking, just being, whatever that means. He opened his eyes, which he also wasn’t supposed to do. But he couldn’t help it. Even after being here a week, he still couldn’t get over how magnificent the view was from this studio.

The entire structure was designed as walls of extremely large, sliding-glass doors that were wide open more often than not. There wasn’t a bit of the eight acres of the estate that couldn’t be seen from somewhere in this room. To soften the ambiance even more, sheer white curtains framed the doors, catching each breeze as it passed through what really resulted in more of an open air studio.

The floor was a gorgeous almond wood that was warm and inviting. Filled with three rows of the very best, earth-friendly yoga mats, each with eco-towels and a nice blanket. With dozens of candles lit and the oddly comforting kirtan music his mother was playing, David felt as if he were part of some spiritual, tribal ritual instead of an exercise class.

Yoga isn’t an exercise class. It’s a way to connect or join your body and mind to the earth, your terrestrial space, and to the celestial realms of your heart and spirit.

With his mother apparently reading his thoughts, yet again, David gave up thinking about everything they’d accomplished at Pura Amor and focused all of his attention on his breath. He wasn’t sure how she did it, but the longer he sat in her classes and listened to her instruction instead of entertaining his wild mind, the better he got at finding a more easy-going rhythm to his breath. If only he could relax like this outside of the studio, when he wasn’t on a yoga mat. Now that would be something.

You’re over-thinking it again, my son. Let your thoughts go. Just be.

David smiled at his mother, who was now standing next to him, the love in her heart shining through her eyes, radiating from every ounce of her tiny-but-mighty being.

There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her, and they both knew it. So, he had to figure out this yogic lifestyle. If he could achieve even a small portion of the peace that his mother exemplified every day of her life, it would be worth the struggle.

He settled back into Child’s Pose, totally unaware that he’d popped out of it at some point during his assessment of all they’d built in Costa Rica. And he tried to Just Be, which reminded him that he was supposed to be in his suite in about an hour and a half to receive a call from Kristianico.

“David,” his mother said, gently pressing his shoulders toward the floor, “just be.”

His nose back on the mat, he congratulated himself that at least he was flexible enough to get into a fairly decent Child’s Pose. A lot of men his age wouldn’t be able to get on their knees and bow down to kiss the earth. It wasn’t the poses that he was having the most trouble with, for the most part anyway, it was the relaxing, just be-ing thing that he was completely lousy at.

He’d better get a handle on it though and fast. Stella, his sister-in-law, Dario’s wife and Kristianico’s Queen, along with her best friend Sophia, who was engaged to their cousin, Prince Alberto, would be arriving at the resort in a few days. And those two, like his mother, were full-on yoginis. If he couldn’t get the hang of this by then, he’d never live it down.

If only Holly could see him, David thought, feeling a deep squeeze and then a powerful tug on his heart. She’d be so proud of him. And it wouldn’t matter to her whether or not he’d mastered any of the poses or the breathing or anything else about yoga. She’d just be thrilled that he was actually trying and using the mat she’d bought for him the day before he’d left Kristianico for Costa Rica. Gosh, he missed her. More than he thought he would. A lot more.

~~~

I'm really enjoying writing David's story, and I can't wait to share it with you. Nothing celebrates Cupid's special day like a wonderfully romantic love story.

Cheers Hugs and Love --- DD

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