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During March of 1248, Adelaide Schumacher-affectionately called Snow White-has lost so much: her mother, her possessions, and now her home.
Adelaide hates abandoning her home city, her family’s legacy, and her first love?Ivo. More than anything, she hates her father growing closer to her mother’s cousin, Galadriel. Adelaide plots to end their tryst before her fate is sealed, and she never sets foot in Cologne again.
But good and pious can only get Galadriel so far. Never again will she be destitute. Never again will she be known by the cruel moniker “Cinderella”. Never again will someone take what is rightfully hers. No matter what it takes.
The Countess’ Captive is the much anticipated follow-up to The Fairytale Keeper and is book two in The Fairytale Keeper series. The novel combines Grimm’s fairytale characters with real historical settings and events to create a tale that leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins.
Praise for The Fairytale Keeper Series
“A…resonant tale set late in the 13th century… with unexpected plot twists. An engaging story of revenge.” –Publisher’s Weekly
“Great historical fiction. Strong emotion injected into almost every page.” –Amazon Vine Reviewer
“…a unique twist on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Part fairy tale retelling, part historical fiction… The Fairytale Keeper is a story of corruption.” -Copperfield Historical Fiction Review
“The story that Cefalo weaves is intriguing and leaves you hanging on, wanting more.” -Hooked to Books Book Review Blog
“…it doesn’t feel like any retelling. Because it’s not. The Fairytale Keeper is its own unique story…very entertaining, containing a strong female role, a sweet romance, and much more.” -Lulu The Bookworm Book Review Blog
The night prior, Adelaide used the gatekeeper’s cutters to free a heretic. As their carriage rolls past the gate to leave Cologne, Addie overhears guards arresting the gatekeeper, Gregor. Addie’s father, Ansel, quickly realizes his daughter had a part to play in this and questions her. Galadriel, Ansel’s mistress and Addie’s rival, risks her own safety to try to rescue the gatekeeper.
I avert my gaze. Should I tell him?
“I freed Elias last night…and I used Gregor’s cutters to do it.”
“Stop the carriage!” Father barks.
The carriage halts abruptly, rocking Galadriel and Father forward.
“How am I to fix this, Adelaide?” Silence lingers between us, for I haven’t an answer he’ll accept. He snatches me up by the collar. “Answer me, girl.” His scream scalds the side of my face, and I brace for his strike.
It doesn’t come.
I peel one eye open and then the other. Galadriel’s hand rests lightly upon Father’s arm, the arm that holds me in a steel grip.
Her voice, thin as a whisper, says, “I know what to do.”
Father’s grip lightens, and I slip to the ground. “Wait.” His angry gaze darts to me for a moment. Then, his face
falls. “She is my daughter. She is my responsibility.”
She grasps the sides of Father’s face, her pretty blue eyes catching his gaze. “Ansel, look at me. I am a countess.
They shall listen to me, and if not–” She looks down, her full lips curling into a girlish grin. “Well, there is nothing in this world that coin cannot buy.”
She rises, knocking on the carriage to summon the driver. She takes a deep breath and straightens her back. The door opens, and she ducks out. The driver holds out his hand, and she takes it like a queen. I push my back against the seat and watch her through a slit in the shutter from the safety of a carriage.
“You should have come to me,” Father hisses.
“You were angry with me.” A weak defense.
“I am still angry with you! You do not think. Of course, Konrad would have his guards searching Airsbach for the culprit. It is where he thought this rebellion started. How could you not have thought of that?” He shakes his head. “Freeing Elias was a selfish and reckless thing to do.”
“Selfish?! I saved a man’s life and risked my own to do it.”
“You saved yourself from a guilty conscience. By saving Elias from the stocks, you’ve sent him to the stake, and you may send Gregor with him.”
Galadriel saves him as we speak, I think, but the words are too bitter to speak.
“What if we parted earlier or later, Adelaide?” Father continues. “Do you think the archbishop will be a forgiving man today, after his cathedral has burned?”
“No,” I reply.
“What do you think would have happened if those guards had already arrested Gregor?” he asks. “Let me tell you. Gregor would be in the North Tower right now. Konrad would have him tortured. If Gregor yielded, then there’d be a bounty on your head. If Gregor did not, then Konrad would burn him at the stake. Did you think of that?”
“No, you didn’t,” he continues before I have chance to speak. “And Elias, he shall never yield, Adelaide. He’s a heretic according to every law. He’ll die a heretic’s death, taking any followers, any associates with him. He’ll not think twice for doing so. The man believes himself a martyr.”
“You didn’t see him last night. So many days in the stocks would make any man cautious,” I say.
“Did so many days in the stocks make you cautious?”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrea Cefalo is an award-winning author and blogger on Medieval Europe. The next three novels in The Fairytale Keeper series will debut in 2015 and 2016. She resides in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and their two border collies. For more information please visit Andrea Cefalo’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.