The Fairytale Keeper
“The Fairytale Keeper” by Andrea Cefalo
Published as… Young Adult/Historical/Fairytale Retelling
Excerpt from The Fairytale Keeper
Intro: Adelaide’s plan to humiliate the callous parish priest, Father Soren, backfires. She and her father, Ansel, end up in the stocks for a crime they didn’t commit. Proud to have thwarted Addie, Soren comes to gloat.
Flutes trill and lyres thrum as the throng dissolves into the market for Annunciation Day celebrations. I catch the savory scent of roasting sides of beef and suckling pigs. My stomach howls. I haven’t eaten since Saturday dinner. Dozens rush at the archbishop, seeking an audience. Soren saunters toward me, smirking proudly.
He kneels, and I look him in his piggy eyes. “You thought you were pretty smart, did you not?” he goads. “You didn’t think I would find out about your little plan, did you? Oh, but I did. You would be surprised at how little I had to pay for that information, and now look at where you and your father are.” He cocks his head to the side. “I bet you should like to throw another stone at me now, would you not? But you cannot with those pretty little hands bound, can you? No, no, no…”
“You have become a thorn in my side, girl, and I think you’ll find that I can become a spear in yours.” He pulls a cloth from his robes, and I recognize it immediately. “This was your mother’s, was it not?” He places it beneath his nostrils and breathes in deeply. “She smells lovely…nothing like that day we burned her.”
I’ll claw out his eyes! I shove my hands through the holes as far as they can go.
“You are a feisty little witch!” he laughs. “This is the last of your mother’s things. I am having the rest of them burned in the streets right now. I am having all of your things burned in the streets.”
I pull backward, slamming the base of my head hard against the wood. My neck burns from the pain, but I try again, desperate to break through the stocks so I can get Mama’s clothes, her lavender satchels, anything that smells like her, anything that reminds me of her. Soren laughs.
“Do you want this back?” he asks smugly. Of course I want it back. He knows I want it back. “Swear to me, on your mother’s soul, that you shall sit in my church every Mass for the rest of my days. I shall save you a seat in the first pew so I can look upon your angry, defeated face.”
I collect all the saliva in my mouth and spit, hitting him on the side of his nose. “Keep it,” I hiss.
He wipes my spit from his face with the linen. “Very well, then. I think I shall use this to wipe my arse.” He rises and walks away.
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About the Book
Adelaide’s mother, Katrina, was the finest storyteller in all of Airsbach, a borough in the great city of Cologne, but she left one story untold, that of her daughter, that of Snow White. Snow White was a pet name Adelaide’s mother had given her. It was a name Adelaide hated, until now. Now, she would give anything to hear her mother say it once more. A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without last rites and the dead are dumped in a vast pit outside the city walls. In an effort to save Katrina’s soul, Adelaide’s father obtains a secret funeral for his wife by bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, pushing Adelaide toward vengeance. When Adelaide realizes that the corruption in Cologne reaches far beyond Soren, the cost of settling scores quickly escalates. Avenging the mother she lost may cost Adelaide everything she has left: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life. Seamlessly weaving historical events and Grimm’s fairy tales into a tale of corruption and devotion, The Fairytale Keeper, leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins. The novel paints Medieval Cologne accurately and vividly. The story develops a set of dynamic characters, casting the famous villains, heroes, and damsels of Grimm’s fairy tales into believable medieval lives. Though historically set, The Fairytale Keeper brims with timeless themes of love, loyalty, and the struggle for justice.
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About the Author
Besides being the award-winning author of The Fairytale Keeper series, Andrea Cefalo is a self-proclaimed medievalist, hopeless bookworm, and social media junkie. She graduated with honors from Winthrop University in 2007 where she studied Medieval art history and children’s literature. The next three books in The Fairytale Keeper series—The Countess’ Captive, The Baseborn Lady, and The Traitor’s Target—will debut in 2015 and 2016. She resides in Greenville, South Carolina—ever perched before her trusty laptop—with her husband and their two border collies.
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The Fairytale Keeper