This is a fairy tale. The Grimm kind. The kind where the woods are deep and dark and full of wolves and witches; where a mother’s longing for something forbidden means terrible consequences for her daughter; where the huntsman who takes the princess for a walk in the woods means to steal her heart – literally – right out of her chest.
This is Witchwood Manor’s gate. Iron twisted into flowers and swans, forged into curling leaves. It is very high and very heavy. It is rarely shut and never locked because there isn’t any need for that kind of thing here. The driveway on the other side is long. Winding. It’s a cobblestone affair that is impractical, but lovely. You feel something as you drive under the arch of the gate, some shift, some change in the air. A frizzle of something you can feel in the part of your brain that remembers every bewildering moment of your childhood, every story of magic and wonder and strange goings on that you have ever heard. You look around, expecting God knows what, but there is nothing to see. You start up the drive, moving slowly in the waning light.
This is the cottage where the Princess, who didn’t know she was a princess, lived. It is small. Made of old stones from somewhere very far away. The windows are dark. The curtains drawn. The Princess doesn’t live here anymore. It isn’t safe.
This is the hedge maze where the monster lives.
This is the rose garden, all gone to brambles now, where the Guardians were buried.
This is the fountain where the last girl lost her fight among the marble elves and fairies. While the dancing fawn looked on. The fight is over now. Long over. And all the statues seem to glow as they are touched by the last rays of sunlight.
This is where you stop the car. Here by the front steps. You get out, reluctantly, into the near darkness of a late fall afternoon. There is no noise. No calling birds. No leaves blowing across the vast lawns. Just a heavy kind of quiet that makes you want to get back into your car and drive away and never look back for fear of what might be chasing you.
This is where you have to be brave. The princess is inside and she is waiting for you. She wants to tell you a story. Her story. And she will tell you…if you make it to the front door.
Tab Bennett is normal — unusually, excessively normal. Her job as a bank teller is safe and secure, her grandfather finally let her move out of the house (at least to the cottage at the end of the driveway), and her fiancé fiercely guards her chastity, whether she wants him to or not.
It’s something of a shock, then, when Tab learns that she is the elvish queen of the fabled kingdom of the Inbetween. Also shocking is the appearance of the staggeringly confident and gorgeous elvish warrior who claims to be Tab’s true betrothed. Even amidst a steamy love triangle, Tab must tell friend from foe in an unknown world of danger, deceit, magic, and sex.
The first in the Underneath and Inbetween trilogy, The Uncovering sparkles with wit and unadulterated fun.
Jes Young holds a BFA in creative writing from Emerson College. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal romance because, in spite of a complete lack of supporting evidence, Jes still believes in fairy tales, happy endings, and true love.