I intended to have my book available through all channels before going on vacation, but things just aren’t cooperating. So, if anyone has been waiting for Black Forest: Kingdoms Fall to be available in other formats, I apologize for the delay.
The print book will be available through Amazon soon, and I have EPUBs and PDFs available for those looking for alternative tablet options. You can find them here -
Just like the Kindle version, they will be $6.99 for the next four days (July 21-July 24), or through whatever date I remember to check them, and will then go up to $8.99. You’ll have to pay through PayPal if you buy direct from me. Sorry! If you prefer to wait, the other formats will be up at Smashwords, Kobo and Barnes & Noble around August 10th.
Thank you to everyone who has already bought through Amazon.
When I return from my trip, I promise many non-book-related posts.
For now, though, one last excerpt for the road. Mostly because I’m really happy with this one, and it is spoiler-free. Unless, of course, you are completely unfamiliar with the story of Snow White.
Cloak drawn tightly around her, the winter air still prickled her skin as Snow White skipped ahead of Gurr through the snowy landscape. The lantern she held cast light into the forests’ shadows, so the frightful bend of the trees in late evening became a wrenchingly beautiful site, each unexpected sound revealing itself as nothing more than a scurrying forest animal. Snow White knew the phantoms would come out, but, for the moment, the forest still belonged to the living.
At her back, she could hear Gurr’s familiar heavy steps, a constant, comforting reminder that she was not alone. As long as Gurr was with her, Snow White was safe from harm. He had long been her protector, having stood before her waving off stags, growling against bears, and shooing wolves away as if he feared nothing. His courage had always wrapped around Snow White, making even the woods a safe place.
Tossing light onto a tree, Snow White saw a few stubborn leaves that held tightly to the cracking gray branches, and, below, the bushes were so thin it was impossible to miss the sudden burst of color. Bright red, it showed, hanging on to life in the midst of so much death.
“Look, Gurr, look!” Snow White cried anxiously, rushing to the bloom to touch a delicate petal, amazed to find the flower real. “How did it survive?”
“Sometimes they find a place to hide as the world turns cold around them,” Gurr answered, far less excited by the discovery than Snow White expected.
Glancing back, she smiled, but Gurr did not, and Snow White felt a frisson of fear she could not place. Gurr never had a hard time smiling, especially in the woods, which was the place where he seemed most fitted to the world. “What is it?” she asked, trying to coax him to joy.
“It is a Dragon Flower,” he returned dully.
“I like this one very much,” Snow White said.
“It will not live forever,” Gurr whispered, and Snow White’s smile fell completely.
Turning away, the shadows deepened around her and she turned up the flame in her lantern. Remembering the days were shorter, she glanced at the light fading through the trees.
“It is growing late,” she said uneasily, Gurr’s presence at her back less a comfort. “Should we not be getting back?
When Gurr did not respond, Snow White turned to him again, the light of her lantern catching on the blade she had seen him use many times to skin deer or rabbits brought in from the hunt. Raised high above her, the hunting knife looked terrifying, but not as terrifying as Gurr’s face, which had taken on a demented quality Snow White never could have imagined on the gentle man she had known her whole life.
Knife slicing quickly through the air, Snow White fell to her knees, the lantern tumbling from her hand, its light sputtering out.
“Gurr,” she pleaded, and the sound of his name changed Gurr’s face, removed some of the threat from it and returned some of the man she knew. “Please. Why are you doing this?”
“Do not talk to me,” he barked, eyes darting around as if he was the one who was afraid.
“What have I done?” she questioned.
“I did not ask,” Gurr replied. Eyes fighting to hold onto the rage, the knife trembled in his hand, and Snow White could see Gurr’s hesitance, knew he would act only on command.
“My father…” Snow White uttered in disbelief. “He called for this?”
Gurr’s fingers turning white on the handle of the hunting knife, he said nothing.
“I will go,” Snow White pleaded. “I will run away into the forest. I will never come back, I swear.”
“She will know.” Gurr gave a violent tremble, tears filling his eyes.
“Who?” Snow White uttered, realizing with a flash of pain through her chest there was only one other person Gurr would obey without question. “The queen,” she said, pain so sharp she almost wanted Gurr’s knife point. The queen had always kept her at more than arm’s length, where she kept everyone, but Snow White never believed the queen hated her with such ferocity.
“She will not know.” Snow White tried to keep her poise, wiping the tear that squeezed from the corner of her eye, as she mustered some royal authority of her own. “I will never come back,” she assured Gurr. “She will never see me. She will not know. I am your princess. You will do as I say.”
When the knife in Gurr’s hand remained too near, Snow White risked a touch to his arm, softening as she realized the royal vestment did not fit her. “Gurr, please,” she prayed him, and Gurr flinched as if she was a wild animal. “She will have no way of knowing. I will find a place to hide myself, for it seems the world has turned very cold around me indeed.”
Face taut, Gurr’s lips trembled as he raised the knife again, higher, tears falling unchecked down his face, and Snow White thought of her mother, who would be waiting. When she left the world, whenever it came to pass, there would be someone to meet her, someone whom she very much wanted to see. At the thought, a strange calm settled over her and she closed her eyes, prepared to meet her future and her past.
“Go,” Gurr said suddenly, and Snow White’s eyes shot open.
“Go!” Gurr shouted, and Snow White hurried to her feet.
“Go!” Snow White cast an anxious look toward her dark lantern, before rushing away without it.
“Do not come back, Snow White!” Gurr yelled at her back. “Do not ever come back!”