A great re-telling of one of my favorite fairy tales.
The book is Dark One’s Mistress (Dark One’s Trilogy 1) by Aldrea Alien, a Young Adult Gothic Romance.
When you’ve spent all your life in the same quiet village, what is there to fear?
As Clarabelle Weaver passes her seventeenth year, she still lives under the protection and shadow of the Great Lord’s fortress. The lord’s men patrol the land and keep the villagers safe, but no one has seen or heard much from the lord himself for years.
Then the Great Lord passes and Clara is abducted and taken to the fortress that has overshadowed her entire life. Lucias, the new lord, is hunting for a woman to bear his heir and ensure the safety of the kingdom, and Clara is his choice.
With nowhere to run and no one to trust, Clara must match her will against a man with dark magic at his beck and call.
But is there more to Lucias than the darkness she sees? Could this quiet, patient man be enough to replace her longing for freedom?
Fans of the original “Beauty and the Beast” or the Grimm Brothers fairy tales won’t want to miss this great tale.
Other buy links: Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KEO4E3U
The hall was pocked with closed doors. No sound came from the rooms they shut off. Could she hide in one and wait? She fled to the nearest doorway. The handle twisted at the softest of jiggles and she hastened inside, gently pushing the door shut behind her.
She listened for the man’s passage, the muffled thump of the unseen seeker’s steps paling as a steely hiss issued from within the room. Fear of what stood behind her put a lump in her throat, choking off any thoughts of crying out.
Clara halted in the act of turning to face the sound. Only now did she note the warm light flickering in the hearth, its smoky aroma adding to the soapy smell in the air.
“Step away from the door. That’s it. Now turn around. Slowly.”
She did as the deep voice commanded, fast flattening herself against the wall as the blade of a sword came into sight. It was held steady before her, the tip glittering in the candlelight. Her gaze travelled down the sword’s sharp length to the man on the other end.
Dark eyes blazed with barely restrained fury as they regarded her from under a wet mop of black hair. “Who are you?” he asked, his teeth clenched and his lips barely moving. “Who sent you? What are you doing here?”
“No one sent me anywhere. I—” Her eyes snapped back to stare at the sword’s lethal point as it twitched. “I was brought here against my will.”
“You?” The sword lowered, its tip brushing against the rug. One dark brow rose, the glint in his eyes intensifying as his gaze slowly ran over her once more. “They picked you to be my mistress?”
Guys, I have Clarabelle, the Heroine, here with me today and I’m so happy!
Hello, Clarabelle. Have you ever had a nickname?
Yes. I rather do prefer that people call me Clara. Only my mother ever really uses my full name nowadays. Oh, and Lucias. But that’s generally when he’s in a teasing mood.
What is your profession?
I was destined to become a seamstress, like my mother, and I was apprenticing under her until the Great Lord’s carriage came to my village. But that’s not a life I can go back to. I guess my title of the Great Lord’s Mistress is also my profession.
What would you change about yourself?
My hair. Specifically, the colour. Dad always said I should be proud, but it’s such a deep shade. Lucias was right when he called it the colour of spilt blood. Just once, I’d like to be able to walk down the street and not be so easily picked from the crowd without having to cover my head.
Worst and best thing that happened to your life.
Being kidnapped by the Great Lord’s men would have to be a bit of both, although, I certainly wouldn’t have called it such at the time. I was so consumed with trying to escape that I didn’t stop to think of the chance being torn from my mother’s grasp had given me.
What are you most afraid of?
It used to be— You know, I cannot for the life of me remember what, such a frivolous thing that it was. After all Lucias has told me of the Great Lords and the nature of those in their army… I fear him dying without an heir, of the army being set loose to terrorise the kingdom.
Pasties! Dad used to bring them home all the time. Then he got sick and everything changed.
What would you do if:
Someone tried to blackmail you. How easy or difficult would it be?
Before the Great Lord’s men grabbed me? I would say it would’ve been very easy. Our family had no special standing or leverage. Although, I can’t imagine what they’d possibly use as blackmail against a simple tailoring family. But now? Not so much. I doubt anyone wants to incur the Great Lord’s wrath anyhow.
Someone told you today that you are destined to fulfill a great prophecy.
I probably would’ve laughed in their face. The Goddess doesn’t just offer up prophecies willy-nilly. I think the last one was fulfilled centuries ago. One the other hand, I suppose becoming the Great Lord’s mistress is almost of the same vein.
Do you miss being a child?
At times. I miss Dad being around more. My mother wasn’t quite as harsh then. Maybe Dad tempered her outbursts. Or maybe she was no different and I just didn’t see it.
What errand/chore do you despise the most?
Cleaning the shop. As soon as I was old enough to heed her orders, my mother roped me into scurrying under tables to sweep out all the bits of thread and cloth that gathered beyond her reach. The older I got, the more she had me cleaning. Wouldn’t let me leave the shop some days until every inch was spotless.
Up early or sleep in?
Definitely up early. Before the baker, as my mother would say. It gave me time to myself back home and I guess it’s become somewhat of a habit now.
How honest are you?
I like to think I’m pretty honest. Except… Well, there was this one time when I eight, where I swiped a section of cloth from my mother’s bits bin—I swear I thought she’d put in there by mistake—and fashioned a little gown for my doll. Turned out it was a piece of pretty expensive fine linen, woven with accents of silver thread. I was so afraid of getting a hiding that I… well, I can’t recall exactly what I said, but I gave my mother the impression that someone had stolen it. She had the village watch on the lookout for weeks. She never learnt the truth.
Have you ever been on a boat?
Goodness, no! I’ve not even seen a boat—or a body of water big enough to warrant such a vessel—let alone actually be aboard one. Oh, that would be so much fun.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Aldrea Alien lives on a small farm with her family, including a menagerie of animals, most of which are convinced they’re just as human as the next person. Especially the cats.
She discovered a love of crafting other worlds at the age of twelve when she first conceived the idea of The Rogue King. Since that that fateful day, she hasn’t found an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind, all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first.
It’s a lot of people for one head.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Aldrea-Alien/e/B00JQW8R1W