Is the illusion the Queen cannot live without. It drives her to dark deeds beyond the imagination of those beneath the spell of her charms. Leaving ruined kingdoms in her wake, a dire prophecy before her–and one chance to conquer her fate.
Is the only chance Fortulla has to escape the grim fate that awaits one branded as a servant of evil. She longs for the chance to grasp hope and happiness beyond the curse of her existence.
Is the child whose existence could change everything. A princess whose life is threatened by a darkness beyond her understanding; her destiny intertwined with good and evil.
First Bite reweaves the classic story of Snow White from the perspective of its diabolical villainess, one of the greatest in fairy tale lore. Told with the backdrop of magic, mystery, and centuries-old pagan lore, the story of a desperate Queen and an innocent princess is connected to a servant girl’s secret past. As the evil prophecy ripens, their fates merge in an ending only a Magic Mirror could forsee.
Writer Laura Briggs steps outside her usual sweet romance genre and pairs with her fellow indie author for their first full-length independent novel, adding a slight touch of romance to a fantasy tale of suspense.
Excerpt from First Bite:
"Have you ever tended a forest before?" the queen asked.
"Never," answered the man across from her. He shuffled his weight slightly, a heavy bow and quiver of arrows weighing his shoulders. A mask cut from fraying sackcloth covered most of his face, except his eyes and mouth.
On the other side of the morning chamber, Fortulla caught snatches of their conversation. She crept closer, feeling a strange sense of curiosity in the stranger‘s communication. His appearance had been startling when she admitted him. Cloth face above earth-stained garments, two wild hares dangling from his game bag, lifeless eyes flat against fur.
Her eyes drifted to the crack between the wood planks and the frame. It was wide enough to see the rich red of her queen's robes, the stained coat of the young man before her.
None of the castle maids would come near him, Fortulla knew well. She was half-afraid herself as she showed him into the main hall, distance falling between her quick steps and his slower tread.
"I will see if her Highness will speak to you," she had said. In the shadows beneath the fabric holes, she saw a pair of eyes move, a pale color like the river before a storm. The only acknowledgement she received; although Jean had spoken to the man only moments before herself.
Now, before Queen Lillian, he had found his voice. The grating sound of metal on wood, a hoarse cough before he spoke again.
"There's where I live. Most days and nights I never leave. No one knows the woods as well as me, no others can find the way there and back as me."