Premise for the Prep Challenge, day 1. Beauty is Blind, retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Protagonist: Calista Rose Shepherd of Leander, Gaiane.
She is cursed with blindness because her mother fell in love with her father solely based on how he looked. She was cursed to be "blind to the beauty that snared her mother." Her mother Elani, and her twin, whom she calls Gabriel, both died in childbirth and her father, Flavian, isn't extremely fond of the child who "killed" his wife and only son. Elani's father, Quentyn Mercer, is a merchant (Flavian is a shepherd, Elani is his only child. He wasn't happy that she was marrying down) and dies when Calista is about 16 years old. Flavian inherits Quentyn's merchant business, and goes to port to check the investments. He asks his three daughters what they would like as a gift... Calista asks for a rose. You know how the story goes. Flavian gets driven to a castle by a snow storm in mid Coldwind (November-months have different names) and finds a rose. It's blue-Aurelia's favorite color, and is unlike any plant he's ever seen, something that green-thumbed Briony will love. And it's a rose, just as Calista asked for. After Flavian has been received and cared for by invisible servants and treated with hospitality, he takes the rose. This enrages the owner of the castle, Damien, who hides in the shadows and tells Flavian the price he must pay for the rose: send one of his daughters in his place, or come back to die. Calista, when hearing this, bravely volunteers to go to a huge, unfamiliar place. At this point, nobody knows that Damien is a beast, and when Damien discovers that Calista is blind, he intends to keep it that way. Until he tries to break the spell, it fails, and she discovers his true form.
He is cursed to remain a beast until he can learn to love another, and she love him in return, despite his appearance. Calista knows she's cursed, but doesn't know what with. She is cursed to be blind to the beauty that snared her mother until she can learn to love something despite its appearance. When she breaks Damien's curse, she unwittingly breaks her own. Because she is not naturally blind, she sees "life smudges"- little "floaties' or clouds of color, like you see after you look into the sun too long, whose colors correspond to a mood or feeling.
There's a motif or moral to this story about living in light and darkness-she lives in literal darkness, he lives in figurative darkness. Both must be overcome in order to live in the light.