“The moon is a mirror, as it has ever been. What is below, must be above. And what is above, must shine down below.” He glanced at the sky and stiffened. “Already I have lingered longer than I ought. The night is nearly gone. Eat the cheese or not, it is your choice. Only remember that what is promised must be given, one way or another.” With one last quiver of his whiskers, the mouse scampered off, his silken robes flapping behind him.
“The stories my keeper used to read to me,” Kya said, eyeing the bit of cheese that was beginning to melt in her hand, “were filled with dire warnings against eating food from Faerie.”
Hearthorne brightened at the mention of her home. “Really?”
Kya let her nervousness seep out in a small laugh. “Yes. They said that eating the food of the Folk would steal your soul, bind you to the Realm, and empty you instead of filling you. Of course, I’m not sure how that works with plants.” Kya furrowed her brow. At her heart, she was still a small flower of only three seasons who was not content to stand upon the windowsill. And yet, there was something else. Something small and foreign nibbling at the corners of her heart. Different and strange and . . . lovely.
But the stories had things to say about that too.
Happy Saturday! This week, I wanted to share something that’s been bubbling on the pot. I’m happy to announce the second tale in the Snow Queen series. It’s currently going through its final edits, and then through copy edits, and should be available soon.
To celebrate, I’d like to share the first chapter. I’ll also, over the course of the next couple of Saturdays, be adding two short stories from the Snow Queen world to the library.
I’m working on the third book (OF INDIGO AND ICE), and am hoping to finish the series this year. I’m excited to see where things go from here and can’t wait to share! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this brief snippet of that which is to come.
Have a great weekend!
OF FIREBIRDS AND FROST: CHAPTER ONE
The moon was restless.
The velvet sky stretched out before her, lit with thousands of stars and possibilities, each enticing her to forget. Or, if forgetting was too much to ask, to remind her of her duties and privileges.
But for all the stories the constellations whispered, for all the promises the shooting stars hinted at, three memories saw her growing paler and paler with the passing of each night.
Four, if one was being particular, but the other memories all tied to the fourth, and giving the Babas Yaga the distinction of distressing the moon would only serve to encourage them.
All bound together by the nefarious workings of a single witch. A witch multiplied by three, now that she’d set her sisters free.
As if the world hadn’t problems enough.
The Crown Prince’s eyes widened, for they were of equal height, and both had a mop of unruly curls that hadn’t yet decided if they were going to be brown or gold.
“Bring the creature to me,” the Crown Prince ordered, raising his miniature scepter before he turned and scrambled back into his litter. The golems stood as one, and began the long run back to the Castle Under, while the Lord Mayor looked on with envy.
Now that was power.
“Well, you heard the Crown Prince,” the Lord Regent said, grinning. His teeth were every bit as yellow as his eyes. “See that the creature is delivered safely to the castle in a timely manner.”
Mutely, the Lord Mayor nodded. He was going to have to round up a committee to deal with the human child. The crowd, meanwhile, shifted restlessly and were already edging away.
The box crouching behind the Danish pastries could only mean one thing: the Pink Lemonade Brigade was back in town.
Mira’s mother hadn’t finished setting the table yet, but the box covered with yellow paper and a gauzy white and bold pink ribbon was all the proof she needed. It wouldn’t be long before the table would be filled with cucumber sandwiches, fancy cakes, and a tall glass pitcher of pink lemonade.
“Mom,” Mira called, gripping the strap of her backpack. “I think I’m going to stop at the library on the way home. There’s, uh, a thing I want to—” She glared at the lacy white tablecloth. No matter how hard she tried to lie, she could never stretch the truth beyond trailing off vaguely and hoping the other person followed what she couldn’t say.
“Is it due soon?” her mother asked, polishing a teacup as she entered the dining room. “Because I’m going to need you home right after school otherwise.”
Mira rubbed the back of her leg with her foot, then shifted her weight from side to side as she tried to come up with a plausible excuse that didn’t fall under lying. Even if she’d had the constitutional ability to speak a lie, her mother’s intense gray stare would burn anything but the complete truth to smoldering ash. There was a reason the sales people at the kiosks in the mall gave them a wide berth.
“The leaves are turning and I want to add to my collection.” She gave her mother a wan smile, promising herself that she’d scour the entire forest behind their house if it got her out of meeting with the Pink Lemonade Brigade this year.
Her mother placed the teacup—another oddity out of the plethora of weird the Pink Lemonade Brigade always inspired—she’d been polishing on the table and pulled another out of her pocket.
The daisies had been gossiping again.
Their voices, high and fluting then low and secret. Words cupped behind leaves, sepals curling with glee.
And their eyes.
Bright and knowing. Watching her. Waiting.
Gwyn curled her fingers into her fist, one by one as she stared back. For one breathless moment, she envisioned herself gripping slender stems and tugging upward, hard and sharp. Exposing root to sky, scattering the daisies’ secrets on the wind along with wishes and petals.
But the beastly things were sentient, and she was not a murderess.
Not yet, anyway.