Thistle Grove is a small universe I began. I didn't intend for it to be as "young adult" as it feels, but when I kept to the canon of the original story, the prince remains a bear until the third act of the 2nd book.
It became more about the sisters and their relationship as they fell in love with a pair of bear shifters. I couldn't call it a romance, at least not by Romance Writers of America standards but there are certainly strong romantic elements.
I've had a few readers reach out to me, confused. Is it a romance or is it Fantasy Yong Adult? The answer is YES.
Twenty years ago, the Wicked Witches rose up and kicked the Fables out of the Woods. Forced into appearing human, the Fables began living in the village of Thistle Grove. Here you'll meet Red-Rose and Snow-White, two sisters who live with their mother and fall in love with brother bear shifters. Ruby, a woman in a red cape who runs a concierge business running errands for people. There's Sheriff Avery Wolfe, who loves to antagonize Ruby. I've got at least two more books planned in this universe and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them.
This isn't your typical story and I'm not sure there's a strong market for these books, but sometimes it's fun letting my imagination out and playing.
Snow, the 2nd book in the series, is now available on pre-order. Go live date is April 21, 2018.
As nineteen-year-old Snow cleaned her hands and face, she thought about how much she missed her sister. Her Mom. The cottage she shared on the edge of Thistle Grove. But when the Baron went missing, and Red took off to rescue him, the whole mess fell onto Snow’s shoulders.
Learning to use weaponry was all new to her. She’d been a sheltered girl before the attacks. Then children began going missing. Then Red got involved with the Baron. And like a neat link on a chain, Snow got involved next.
As she washed her hands, Snow’s once soft skin rubbed against fresh blisters and growing callouses. Each blister and callous were a visual reminder that she was changing. Growing up. Getting tough.
Ruby joined her to help with dinner. “Grandmother once told me three things happen when we’re put in hot water. We can be like an egg, a carrot, or coffee. One grows hard. One grows soft. One changes the water.”
“I’m not sure which one is happening to me,” Snow confessed. “But I’m glad you’re here with me.”
Ruby shrugged. “Not sure where else I’d be. Home pretending to be safe?” She waved her hand, indicating the small clearing. “I feel safer here with Wolfe and Tristan than I ever did at home. They’re teaching us to be strong.”
“We’re heading into almost-certain war,” Snow warned her. “I hope we can prevent it, of course, but you’d be a fool not to be afraid.”
“There’s being afraid, and there’s pushing through.” Ruby stared at her hand’s quietly. “May we be strong enough to give peace to our children and our children’s children.”
Snow took her hand in a solemn gesture of solidarity. “Agreed.”.
As they prepared the potatoes and carrots for the soup, Snow looked up at her friend. “This isn’t your fight. Not really. We’re going after my Red and Baron.”
Ruby bristled at the suggestion. “Thistle Grove is my town, too. I lost people I’ve cared about since these sneak attacks began hitting us again. If a twenty-year peace is about to be shattered, I’m as able-bodied as anyone else.”
Snow nodded, reaching out her hand to touch Ruby’s shoulder. “I’m sorry. You’re right.” Tears choked her voice. “I’m scared, I guess. I don’t want to lose anyone else.”
Ruby hugged her. “I know. We all are. But anyone wanting to take over our town makes it my business.” They were quiet as they enjoyed the last bit of solitude they’d have for a while. Tomorrow they were entering into Spellthrower Territory.
“Besides,” Ruby added as they got the food together. “You and Red are like sisters to me. I couldn’t live with my decisions if I stayed home and did nothing.”
Snow felt immediately contrite. “Of course! You’re like a sister to us, too.” She wiped at the tears that marred her cheeks. “I’m sorry if I made you feel like we didn’t want you. Please forgive me.”
Ruby smiled. “Nothing to forgive.” She held out her pinkie. “Sisters before shifters, right?”