Author: Starla Huchton
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Fantasy /YA
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Nov 3 2014
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print
Once upon a time, a dark evil crept into my kingdom, stealing my loved ones and the happy life I knew. The world turned against me, and I swore to become stronger, to keep myself safe.
Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, hair dark as ebony, skin as pure as the freshly driven snow, and I became the only one who stood between him and death.
Once upon a time, our stories intertwined, and now, healing my heart may be the only way to save us all from the evil that threatens to destroy what little we have left.
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Standing, he brushed off his knees. “Yes, though I don’t think I could have done that on my own. Thank you again. Is it much farther?”
I pointed up ahead to a dim light in the distance. “Just there. Be on guard, however. Follow where I walk and don’t stray from behind me. Farah is as adept with traps as she is wards. With the strengthened spell there, I don’t think she’ll have set new ones along the safe path I know, but I’d rather it be me who discovers it if she has.”
“You aren’t sure it’s safe?”
“I didn’t tell them specifically that I was coming, so, no.” I said.
Carefully, I picked my way through the trees concealing the cabin, and he hurried up behind me.
“Should I be at all concerned about the welcome I’ll receive here?”
“Are you worried about surprising six witches with only me standing between you?” I chuckled softly.
“It’s nice to see you’ve a sense of humor, but it’s more the surprising…” he paused. “Did you say witches?”
Stopping again, I looked at him, hands planted on my hips. “All of us have magical abilities, Highness. What else would you call that?”
“Fair enough, though I would rather call them friends, if it’s an option.”
Shaking my head, I continued on. “Consorting with stableboys and witches… You are quite possibly the strangest prince that ever was.”
“I can think of far worse alternatives,” he said behind me. “Were I of another bent, I daresay I’d not be alive this long.”
“A fair point. Now, best be quiet. If they hear us talking, they’ll think the worst. Keep silent until I’ve told them about you.”
When at last we were at the door of the wooden house, I inhaled deeply. The scent of dinner remained in the air, along with the hint of flowers. The ivy growing along the outside walls was still green, even so close to Yule, a testament to Adelaide’s talents with plants. I turned to Prince Leopold and set a finger to my lips, put a hand on the doorknob, and entered my home for the first time in nearly seven months.
“Hello?” I called as stepped into the warmth of the front room. “Sisters? Are you here?”
There was a great pounding of feet from the second floor, and soon, one after the other came crashing down the stairs, all of them in their nightclothes.
“Raelynn?” Delphine said, incredulous as she pushed her long brown hair away from her face. “What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be—”
I stopped her. “I know, but I need your help. I’ve brought—”
Erata, her light blonde hair much more closely cropped than I remembered it, snorted derisively. “Another wounded animal, Rae? This is too important for you to be bringing home helpless creatures for us to save.”
Blood rushed to my head, my fatigue distracting me from minding my temper. “Wounded animal? Do you think me stupid? Do you think I’d abandon all of this for the sake of a random creature?”
Clarice stepped between us, her serene blue eyes barely making a dent in my irritation. “We wouldn’t think it, dearest one.” She wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tightly. “I’m very glad to see you, but I’m curious. What is it that brings you home?”
Pulling away from her, I shot a peeved glance at Erata before opening the door once more. I motioned to him, and he stepped inside, greeted by gasps all around.
“Ladies,” I said. “I present to you His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Leopold Atimen…” I paused, stumbling as I tried to remember all of his names.
“Dedalus…” he prompted.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and took another deep breath. “Dedalus Trineal Benforno. The Third.”
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When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at DesignedByStarla.com.
Places to find Starla
Places to find Shadows on Snow
Other Works by Starla A.K.A S.A.
The Endure Series
Paradigm #4 (WIP)
The Antigone’s Wrath Series
Master of Machines #2 (WIP)