The second novella in my young adult paranormal romance series, Bitter Snow, is now available.
You can find it on Kindle (here) and Nook (here)!
Excerpt Dark Solstice:
I stood on the snowy walkway, staring in the window. There was a dining table on one side of the room, and on the other Perchta was sitting in a velvet-covered chair, her long blond hair spilling over the back. Kai was standing behind her, brushing her hair, running his hand over the smooth golden fall after each stroke.
Perchta had a folder in her lap—one of the ones Kai used to hold his drawings. She was examining a drawing critically, holding it at various distances and gazing at it. She finally tossed it to the floor.
“Really,” she said, sounding bored. “Is that the best you can do?” I could hear her clearly through the open window.
“I’m working on another one,” Kai said eagerly. “You’ll like it. I just haven’t gotten it quite right yet.”
Perchta caught his hand as it stroked her hair, and ran her fingers down his palm. She still had the glove over her right hand, but the left was bare, and I could see that she had the same long, icicle fingernails she’d had at my house. Not passing as human at the moment, apparently. And Kai didn’t seem weirded out by this at all, which freaked me out even more.
Perchta slowly pressed her icicle nail through the center of Kai’s palm. I had to shove my fist in my mouth to muffle the sound I made. She pulled the nail free and blood welled out. Kai hadn’t flinched or made a sound. Perchta smiled like a cat, and licked the blood. Kai looked dreamy, ecstatic.
Holy God. Was she some kind of vampire?
I didn’t see any fangs, and she wasn’t sucking his blood. Did evil goddesses drink blood?
Or eat body part soup made from screaming bloody hearts?
On cue, Grandfather Winter came in carrying the tray. “Here we are,” he said, with a heavy German accent that made the ‘w’ into a ‘v.’ “Something delicious for you.”
I bit down on my mitten. Don’t eat it! I wanted to scream. At the same time, the smell drifted out the window, and I wanted to dive through it and eat the soup myself.
Kai ran over and unloaded the tray, which Grandfather Winter took back to the kitchen. Then Kai started setting up places at the table like a good little boy. Perchta just lounged in her chair, watching him. The napkins were cloth, and he folded Perchta’s into the shape of a rose, then his own into the shape of an elephant. He’d learned to do that years ago, once he found out that cabin stewards on cruise ships could fold towels into animal shapes. But he’d never given me a rose. A napkin one, or any other kind.
When everything was perfect, Perchta finally deigned to get her princess butt out of her velvet throne and come to the table. Kai held her chair out for her like a waiter in a fancy restaurant, and then sat down himself. He took a handful of goldfish crackers and sprinkled them in his soup. Perchta watched him avidly.
All the fairy tales I’d ever heard came rushing back into my mind, about what happens when you eat fairy food. You’re stuck in the fairy realm, and can never escape. But I couldn’t make myself call out. I kept seeing the old man’s big, powerful hands, squeezing blood from heart-things and wringing a bird’s neck. If he’d yank his own eye out, what would he do to me?
A voice came from behind me, on the walk. Gravelly, with a heavy German accent.
“So. Vat is it we haff here?”
I swung around, terrified, to see Grandfather Winter standing on the pathway.
Be sure to check out my blog tour, where I reveal many strange and wonderful things about myself, and people review the book! Not to mention I'm giving away a fabulous necklace, straight from Dark Solstice!
The blog tour schedule and giveaway info are here.
__Lauren Sweet is the author of the Bitter Snow series, a modern fairy tale in nine novellas, and Aladdin's Samovar, the first of a series starring Amber Polaski and Jasper the genie. Lauren lives near Portland, Oregon, where she is a freelance writer and editor.