Today, it’s a pleasure to host friend and fellow Authors Reach colleague, Gina Dickerson, to the blog. She’s talking about her latest novel, a dark fairytale, Always Golden. I’m more than three-quarters of the way through reading it and it’s great. Here’s the blurb, an excerpt and, of course, those all-important buy links. It’s currently on special offer at 99p so go on and treat yourself. Welcome, Gina…
Gina: Thanks for having me on your blog! My new book, ‘Always Golden’, is a dark fairy tale retelling of the French fairy tale ‘The Story of Pretty Goldilocks’ by Madame d’Aulnoy. Oriana is the princess of the story and she’s about to find out that living in a castle does not mean she is safe…
Here’s the blurb…
Being a princess is both a blessing and a curse…
Growing up in a castle, Oriana was accustomed to the security of living within its walls…until the day an evil tore through the fortifications and shattered her perfect world.
Wanted by a ruler known as “The Collector” Oriana now has a battle on her hands to escape his clutches. With The Collector’s best tracker hot on her heels, Oriana is forced to fight for her freedom while trying to work out why she is so desirable to The Collector.
One problem is that Oriana didn’t expect her heart and head to also be at war. Will she do what’s right for the kingdom, or is she at risk of losing not only the realm but also her heart?
Oriana is about to discover life as a princess is most definitely not always golden…
And an excerpt…
Consoled the only sounds to be heard were far off in the heart of the castle, Oriana edged cautiously towards the exit. This part of the castle was not usually busy as the rooms in the lower corridor housed the wine collection. Oriana’s father was a hoarder of rare and unusual beverages and this particular collection was reserved for special occasions. Nearing the storeroom it was no surprise the locked door was now not only open but battered and hanging off its hinges. Risking a peek inside, she saw bottles had been pulled from their shelves, their expensive contents spilt across the floor.
She nearly moved on before she noticed it.
A bloodied foot encased in a pale lilac, satin slipper.
Oriana hardly dared to breathe; in fact she was not sure if she even was. The spilt wine splattered under her bare feet as she staggered into the room and towards the direction of the foot, protruding from behind a floor to ceiling wooden wine rack.
Time slowed although Oriana’s pulse raced.
She knew the slipper.
Knew to whom it belonged.
Yet, someone else could have borrowed the slippers, couldn’t they?
At first all Oriana saw was a flash of lilac. Her vision blurred, and then sharpened. Pale legs, bent awkwardly, stuck out at odd angles from within a mound of satin and lace. A slender waist encased within a crimson splattered bodice led up to shoulders which were so blood red it seemed as if they were wrapped in a ruby shawl. Looking past the neck, her mind already anticipating the sight of her mother’s heart-shaped face, Oriana screamed.
No head…her mother’s head had been severed!
‘Mother?’ Oriana whispered, bending down to touch the bloodied corpse. Her fingers brushed her mother’s leg and she recoiled, the skin was already cold.
Pain seared through her kneecaps upon impact with the blood slicked floor. Beyond her mother’s body was another. This time Oriana recognised the smart trousers, the ring on the little finger of the left hand. Her father’s white shirt was sodden with his blood, and the ruffles at the neckline were tattered, obscuring the stump where his head should have been.
‘No!’ Oriana wailed, flinging herself between the bodies and, despite her fear, grasping one of each of their hands in her own. ‘This can’t be real…it must be a trick…or an enchantment. Wake up!’
Clinging onto her parents’ cold hands, Oriana hung her head and sobbed so hard her head throbbed. Unaware of how many minutes had passed, she slowly composed herself, grief gradually giving way to anger and hatred.
What was it with these people and heads? First Shera’s, and now both her mother’s and father’s heads had been removed by these…these barbarians.
Hell, she had to escape. Neither of her parents would wish her to die here.
She must survive to ensure vengeance was exacted.
Having previously worked for a Local Authority in Planning and Enforcement, Gina is now a full-time author who has also written columns and articles for a local newspaper. Gina’s books include the Mortiswood Tales series, The Pennington Christmas Curse, and Underleaf. She has also had short stories and poetry published in anthologies.
Besides writing Gina also designs book covers and other promotional material under the name RoseWolf Design.
Buy the book…
Amazon UK http://goo.gl/PTYShD
Barnes & Noble http://goo.gl/A8IKLx