When Maddie’s father catches her with a boy, he hauls her into town in a pig wagon and finders her a husband. But Peter’s cabin in the woods promises something very different than Maddie’s happily ever after.
Pretty Things, a retelling of “The Robber Bridegroom,” is the first novella in the Grimm Chronicles series. Warning: not your granny’s fairytales!
An Excerpt From:
The Grimm Chronicles ~ Pretty Things
By Christine Haggerty
“You don’t need to follow me,” Maddie said without turning around. She ignored her sore feet and traipsed down the road with a vengeance. She was going to make sure Stepmother never warned her father about anything again.
“That’s alright,” Peter trotted a few steps and caught up to her. “I figure I should see the place since I have to show up there in the morning.”
Maddie stopped in the road and turned around. “No, really, don’t follow me. I knew I never should have let you help me up. Now you’re like a stray puppy.”
Peter laughed. His blue eyes looked icy in the shadow of his gray hat, and Maddie saw flecks of blond in the stubble along his jaw.
She shook her head. “I can’t believe you think I’m actually going to marry you.”
Peter tipped the brim of his hat. “No offense, miss, but it doesn’t seem like you have much choice here. Your father seems to have made up his mind.”
“He’ll change his mind tomorrow. A few drinks and a good night’s sleep and he’ll kick you right out the door.” Maddie headed down the road with long strides and Peter matched her pace. The summer heat had dried her skirt and her hair, but the thickest parts of her corset were wet from the river and chafed as she moved.
“And if he doesn’t?” Peter looked at her. Maddie saw his head turn through the corner of her eye.
Don’t look at him. She answered simply, “He will.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“Because he’s my daddy. He’s only doing this because my stepmother said something to him. I just have to straighten things out.”
“Oh,” Peter fell back. “Oh, no.”
“What?” Maddie turned around.
He shook his head, his hands folded across his chest. “You definitely have it.”
“What do I have?” She looked at her arms for signs of pox or plague.
He waved his hand up and down, indicating her height. “The tears, the bare feet, the daddy tantrums,” Peter sighed. “Evil Stepmother Syndrome.”
Christine Nielson Haggerty grew up in rural Utah with three brothers, a sister, several chickens, a goat, and an outhouse. She always loved the escape of fantasy and the art of writing, and her passion for life is to craft stories of strength and survival.
As a former high school language arts teacher and a black belt in karate, Christine has found a niche in combining those skills to help authors write effective fight scenes.
An award-winning young adult author, she is now launching her dark fantasy fairytale novella series The Grimm Chronicles.