Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This week the theme is holidays. I’m sharing the first page from the prequel to A Spell for Susannah — imaginatively titled “A Spell for Susannah’s Mother” and set during the Wintertide Festival, the fantasy version of our various winter holidays.
The best part? You can read the whole thing for free at the Samhellion Newsletter website if you want.
Blurb: If the King is fated to love thirteen women before he turns fifty, is he still husband material? One cold, wet Wintertide Eve, the Queen labors over the answer to her husband’s curse.
The back of the King’s tawny fur coat disappeared around the corner, and the Queen maneuvered herself out from behind the flower seller’s cart before she lost sight of the sneaky bastard who called himself her husband.
The saleslady shot her a knowing look and selected a posy of small purple blooms, a Kingdom Foresta specialty in this cold, wintery season. “Might I interest you in Heartsease?”
“Thank you, no. I’m in a rush.” Normally the Queen would converse with the citizens, but right now she was both angry and incognito. Her lower back ached, and dirty road sludge weighed down her nondescript cloak and gown at the hem.
“I would be in a rush, too, were my babe due any day,” the seller observed. “Luck to you, madam.”
The Queen tugged her hood closer to her face and hurried past, her fury increasing with every cold, miserable plodding step. Wind gusted down the streets of the capitol city as if blown by giants, funneled by the tall buildings on either side. Wintertide was a day away and the Wintereve Feast tonight. By all rights she and her husband should be warm and safe at the castle’s hearth, toasting one another with mulled cider, stringing cranberries and awaiting the birth of their third child.
Due any day, indeed! The Queen was far too pregnant and exhausted to be trailing Reginald as he skulked toward his latest assignation. Her feet had bloated over the tops of her winter boots. False contractions hardened her womb so frequently it stole her breath. Yet here she was, lumbering along as quickly as she could, because there was no one on her staff she could trust with such a delicate mission. Not even the nurse, home with Princesses Susannah and Calypso. Instead of enlisting Nursie’s help, she’d told the older woman she had to purchase last minute Wintertide gifts, and Nursie had threatened to call the court healer to prevent the Queen from going.
But she was the Queen of Foresta, the pregnant Queen of Foresta, the pregnant and cranky Queen of Foresta, and by the Dragon, her will would be done.
Her will would be done by everyone except her sneaking, cheating skunk of a husband.
If you like Susannah’s parents, you’ll like Susannah even more:
More holidays and festivities can be found at: